5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Wellness

allison mcnamara wellness tips

allison mcnamara wears white eyelet storets dress and mustard satin Zara sandals wellness tips

allison mcnamara white eyelet storets dress red hair wellness tips

allison mcnamara wears white eyelet dress by storets with red hair wellness tips crystal healing

white eyelet storets dress with nantucket basket bag and mustard satin sandals from Zara

allison mcnamara wellness tips white eyelet dress and woven nantucket basket bag

I know this sounds a bit cheesy, but ever since turning 30 earlier this year I’ve noticed a big personal shift towards wellness. I’ve always been health conscious–I stick to a consistent workout routine and (try to) eat clean as often as I can–but recently I’ve been focused on both mental and physical wellness. I’ve been noticing myself gravitating towards self help and personal growth books, investing more in things that make me happy, and making more time for myself. I’ve been taking notes from women who inspire me too, and incorporating their wellness tips and tricks into my routine. Below are my five favorite wellness tips right now.

1. Morning Meditation

I used to be one of those people that snoozed a billion times and woke up at the very last second before I had to get ready. After reading The Miracle Morning (which I highly suggest) I started creating my own peaceful morning routine. I like to get up, have a glass of lemon water, start brewing coffee, and then settle into my living room to meditate. I have been using the Headspace app, which I also highly recommend, and it’s made my entire meditating journey really enjoyable and easy. I started meditating for three minutes a day and now I’m up to 10, and I even meditate at night sometimes as well! It’s really helped me slow down, de-stress, and start my day off in a really positive way. 

2. Adaptogenic Powders

I’ll be honest, when I first heard about adaptogens over a year ago, I rolled my eyes. I even did a spoof on Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP detox here. But after doing the GOOP cleanse, I quickly saw the beautiful benefits of Ashwagandha, He Shu Wu, Maca and Cordyceps. Like most, I get spells of major anxiety. Sometimes it would be over the silliest things too, like a slightly off-putting email that made me feel uneasy. I’ve noticed incorporating adaptogens into my morning smoothie or tea routine has leveled out my nerves and makes me feel more calm and level-headed, and better suited to handle less comfortable situations. I’ve been using powders from Moon Juice, but Sun Potion has nice options too! You can also take these in the pill form if that’s more conducive to your lifestyle.

3. Crystal Healing

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, one thing I’ve learned most people agree on are the laws of energy. About two years ago I discovered the powers of crystal healing and I’ve not looked back since! Now I’m not saying to go all Spencer Pratt and spend your life savings on crystals (because weirdly, it’s possible–they aren’t cheap!) but I do encourage you to find a store that sells them and see if and what speaks to you. I personally like perusing the isles at House of Intuition. You’ll notice that some crystals stand out to you, and I encourage you to read the captions of what the crystals that speak to you help with or represent. You’ll be surprised just how accurate your instincts are. I like to have little bowls of crystals all around the house. I love green calcite and clear quartz, amethyst and rose quartz. I also carry around a black tourmaline stone to help ward off bad energy. 

4. Bath + Candle Nights

Sometimes we forget that some of the most relaxing, luxurious things are right at home! Never underestimate the power and calming capabilities of a good soak. There are a few things that make bath time even better. First, a good Spotify station (I like Tycho and The XX because they are so calm and play some of my favorite songs. Second, delicious bath oils and salts. I like to sprinkle Herbivore CALM bath salts in the tub along with my favorite essential oils, like lavender (which promotes restful sleep) and bergamot (which helps us relax and destress.) And three, a yummy candle! There’s something about bathing in candle light that feels like the most luxurious thing in the world to me, and my signature candle scent is Pommes Frites Teakwood and Tobacco candle.  I swear a bath a week is good for the soul. 

5. Infared Saunas

I recently got to go to Sweat by Skintuition in Woodland Hills, CA and I was instantly hooked. I did my first 60 minute session inside the infrared sauna and it was life changing! As someone who works out 4-5 times a week, I’m no stranger to sweating, but this is a different type of sweat. You don’t get all sweaty right away either, it takes a minute because this type of heat heats up the inside of your body. At Sweat, you get your own private sauna too and it has chromotherapy too! I might do a whole post on that next… The sessions are $45 and the benefits include skin rejuvenation, detoxification, relaxation, weight loss, stress relief, improved circulation and lower blood pressure. Sounds fab right? Definitely see if there is one near you!

Dress by Storets

Sandals by Zara similar ones here

Vintage bag, similar one here

Photos by Elaine Torres

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10 Things I Love About LA

I call myself an LA native, but in reality, I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and made the coastal move at the youthful age of 5. I grew up in a beautiful bedroom community on the outskirts of Los Angeles called Palos Verdes.

I now reside in the Hollywood Hills. To kick off my travel section, I thought I’d share 10 things I love about the city I call home.

1. Driving down the Esplanade in the South Bay.

My go to way to de-stress is to take a scenic drive. A favorite route of mine is to drive south of the Redondo Beach Pier down the Esplanade, heading towards Palos Verdes at dusk. The way the light catches the Peninsula reminds me why I adore LA, and knowing you’re at the very point where the land meets the sea on the West Coast feels quite humbling and special.

2. The Getty.

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This is one that tops many people’s lists, I’m sure. But The Getty has been a source of inspiration for me, I’m a sucker for a museum. The views, the massive stone structure, and the incredible collection of work is the perfect weekend activity. Plus, it’s free ––only $15 to park. The current photo exhibit, Josef Koudelka, is a real treat.

3. Paradise Cove, Malibu.

I’m not much of a beach person. In fact, I really don’t like being in the water, avoid the sun at all costs, and have a perpetual vendetta against sand. That aside, I’ll make the trek down to Paradise Cove… because nothing really beats a cabana and a cocktail. If you’re ever there and see a really pale woman with a sun hat and a rash guard, it’s probably me, come say hi.

4. Pingtung on Melrose.

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Photo courtesy Instagram @PingtungMelrose

Happy hour is great, but happy hour comes with a time constraint. Enter: Pintung, the eternally inexpensive, Asian eat-in-market. This little joint is nestled on Melrose next to my favorite bar, Melrose Umbrella. With beer, saki, and a belly full of food, you’re sure not to spend more than $40 a person. My favorite dishes: Beef Roll, Pea Shoots, Spicy Miso Soup, Shrimp Potstickers, and a pitcher of Kirin.

5. Chateau Marmont.

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God, I freaking love the Chateau Marmont. Hollywood hot spots manage to lose luster quarterly, but the Chateau Marmont has mastered the impossible –– perpetual coolness. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t care what event / dinner / gathering is there, when I see Chateau listed as the locale, consider me there! Not even kidding. I had my 25th birthday party at Bungalow 1… holding hotel keys has never felt so glamorous. They are thick golden keys with heavy burgundy tassels that perfectly convey the mantra of the hotel, Old Hollywood glamour. Oh, and if you eat there, always get the salmon.

6. Temescal Canyon.

If you live in LA and you don’t take advantage of the many hikes that surround us, you’re really missing out on some free and fun exercise. There are the usual suspects — Runyon (which smells like dog piss) and Griffith (which is nice). But my top pick? Temescal Canyon. It’s a little bit of a drive, but worth it. The views are great, the hike is scenic, and you get a diverse range of nature — ocean, waterfalls, and trellised trees that make you feel like your eons away from LA. Plus, it makes my puppy tired and that’s always a plus.

7. Coachella.

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Obviously had to include my favorite festival, Coachella. Yeah I know, it’s not in LA — but living here means Palm Springs is a mere 2 hour drive. It’s lost it’s intimacy over the years, but it’s still one of my favorite weekends of the year. I mean, if you’re sweltering hot, have walked so much your feet burn and your back hurts, are covered in dust, and can’t get a ride home, but you still come out having a blast … it must be one hell of a festival! Right? I only do VIP now (sounds silly, I know) but it’s a real game changer. No bathroom lines, easy uber access, and a front row view to the main stage are enough reasons for me.

8. The Theater at the Ace Hotel

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Photo courtesy of Instagram @ckaedingcolor

I see a lot of concerts, but this new spot in downtown beats out every other venue by a lot. The Theater at the Ace Hotel is the actual foundation for the hotel, dating back to 1925. This restored, 1,600 seat theater has a Gaudi-esque lobby that ushers you into a pitched, stoic space. Lofted balconies and detail for days, your eyes and ears can get lost here. I got to see Blood Orange perform here and I’m counting down the minutes until I get to go back. Expert advice — make a dinner reservation at the hotel’s restaurant, L.A. Chapter prior.

9. Yamashiro Farmer’s Market.

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The Yamashiro Farmer’s Market is seasonal — it makes me so sad! It’s every Thursday until 9pm from May 22 to Sept 6. They provide a free shuttle service from a parking lot on La Brea and Franklin, and it moves pretty fast. You’re greeted by a variety of produce stands and my personal favorite, the hummus guy, along with live music. Free samples galore! But don’t get carried away because there are lots of dinner options. I typically get a bottle of wine and watch the sunset because it’s the best view in LA. I like to head over to the bar above the Magic Castle after the sun sets and the wine runs out for one last night cap.

10. Sleepy Hollow

Talk about keeping up with the Jones’s! Sleepy Hollow also known as Candy Cane Lane is a community in Redondo Beach that goes ALL OUT when it comes to festive lighting. Each house is more magical than the last. The most delightful part are the children selling hot cocoa and holiday flair. Prepare for traffic, it does take a minute, but the light displays are worth the bumper to bumper wait.