Q: “What advice do you have for going vegan?” – Melrose
A: Finding a diet and a lifestyle that works for you is wonderful but takes a bit of work to adjust to. Self-discipline, mindfulness, and strength are imperative in adopting a new way of life. I tried going vegan not too long ago as a weight loss tactic, and while it was incredibly effective and made me feel clean and nourished, it was a tough one to stick to. I’ve learned that surrounding yourself with healthy options will give you no choice but to eat healthily. By that logic, making sure you only purchase vegan snacks and ingredients will certainly help. Find some tasty, simple snacks and meals free of animal products that you can whip up when you’re hungry. There’s a vegan alternative for nearly anything these days, so don’t feel as if you have to completely deprive yourself of tasty dishes. Many of the substitutes are almost indistinguishable from the real thing, and you can feel better knowing that no critters were harmed in the making of your meals. Remember, if going 90% vegan is all you can handle, that’s better than not at all. Don’t be too hard on yourself for slip-ups, and maybe even allow a cheat day every week if you find the cold-turkey approach impossible.
Q: “What skincare advice do you stand by?” – Bertha
A: Moisturize! I’m by no means a dermatologist or esthetician, but I firmly believe that every person in the world can benefit from a good facial moisturizer. People always tell me that their skin is too oily to need a moisturizer – not the case! No matter what type of skin you have, there is a facial lotion for it. Oily skin included. Moisturizers provide a dry-to-oily balancing barrier from the outside world and even reduce acne. I also stand by little to no exfoliation. A daily scrub for your skin is far too abrasive; once a week is okay, and less than that is even better. I use a gentle foaming Aveeno cleanser, and once a month, if that, I’ll use a peeling face mask to rid my skin of the dead and dull skin cells. I’ve found that my skin is softer, less prone to acne breakouts, and considerably less red. Again, I’m no professional, but these are tips which I’ve found to be absolutely true!
Q: “I feel weird using dating apps. What advice do you have for helping me feel comfortable meeting someone online?” – Rebecca
A: You can meet people in whatever way you feel comfortable. For many, dating apps are too materialistic or too much of a game. It can also be a way to meet the perfect partner. My best friend met her boyfriend on Bumble, and they are such a good couple! However, unfortunately, she’s also talked to a dozen terrible guys on the same medium. It’s a matter of trusting yourself to show your honest self, being open to talking to people who may not be your regular type, and giving it a genuine chance. As a few rules of thumb, you should travel in separate cars and meet somewhere public for the first meeting. This should help you determine their intentions and whether or not you can find trust in them. Always, always let a friend or family member know where you’ll be and who you’re meeting with. It is so, so essential that you do this when you meet anyone for the first time. There are several safety apps for your smartphone that can help ensure a safe meeting and alert the authorities if you don’t respond to a prompt by a selected time. Maybe try video chatting before meeting up to see if that chemistry is there at all and to ensure that it’s really the person you saw in their profile before you end up featured on MTV’s Catfish. Breaching your comfort zone and putting yourself out there on a dating app can be horrifying and seem superficial, but it can be greatly rewarding if you put your best foot forward and approach the whole thing with honesty and good intentions. Many people are on those apps for one thing (I don’t think I need to mention what that is!), and it is important to make what you’re looking for obvious from the start. While scary, great good can come of using dating apps. Never do anything you’re uncomfortable with and be true to yourself. The right person can certainly be found through a dating app.