Nut Free Fat Balls by lee tilghman

My coconut fat ball recipe was born almost 1 year ago to the week (my, how they grow so quickly!) It is one of my most popular recipes, and not least because they are fun to say.

They are low in sugar, easy to make, and delicious AF! Fat balls come in handy right before an afternoon yoga class, post dinner as a sweet treat, or even mid-morning as a I-can't-wait-till-lunch snack. They are portable, popable, and the flavor varieties you can make with the basic recipe are endless. I even made a pumpkin rendition. These first 2 recipes are full of nuts, and that's why I am super pumped to share a nut free version with all of you today. 

 Seen here topped with coconut yogurt and tahini. 

Seen here topped with coconut yogurt and tahini. 

These nut free fat balls are just as delicious, high in fat, and low in sugar as their nut-filled cousins. However, they are safe for those who are allergic to some of the main nuts in the original recipe (cashews, almonds).

It should also be pointed out that because they are nut free, they are also a bit more budget friendly. Can you say win-win?

Note: nut free fat balls are NOT tree nut free as they still contain coconut. If you have a severe nut allergy, please check the labels of the products you use to make sure they are not processed in the same facility as nuts!

Let's get to it!


Nut Free Fat Balls

Yields ~17 balls (depending on size)


  • 1 1/2 cup coconut shreds
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed (if you can't find them already ground, you can grind them yourself in a blender, mortar and pestle, or spice grinder)
  • 2 TBSP cacao nibs
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened hemp milk (or any other seed milk)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted first then measured
  • 3/4 cup coconut butter, melted first then measured


  1. Add all of your ingredients to a food processor EXCEPT cocoa nibs. 
  2. Melt your coconut butter and coconut oil. To melt, leave it in the sun for a few hours, on top of a warm oven, in a bowl of steaming hot water, or scoop some out and melt it in a saucepan over low heat on the stove. 
  3. Process ingredients in a food processor for 1 minute. You may need to stop every now and then to scrape down ingredients.
  4. The last 10-15 seconds, add cacao nibs. This will ensure they stay chunky and whole!


  • You can use a high speed blender like a Vitamix for this, but I use a Food Processor. This is the food processor I use. 
  • When measuring out the coconut oil and coconut butter, make sure that it is melted first before measuring and adding to the food processor. Solid coconut butters/oils will not work in this recipe. To melt, leave it in the sun for a few hours, on top of a warm oven, in a bowl of steaming hot water, or scoop some out and melt it in a saucepan over low heat on the stove. 
  • The longer you blend them, the darker they get. If you want a lighter, creamier-colored ball, try not to over-process.
  • Switch it up! Add your own flavors like vanilla, cacao, cardamom, matcha, etc. to get different flavors.
  • Add 4 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to get a protein boost
  • Keep them in a closed, airtight container in your freezer. They can last a good few months this way.
  • Traveling with fat balls: I find that I can keep my fat balls in a Stasher bag or glass container without refrigeration for up to 8 hours and it still tastes delicious. After 8 hours they get kind of mushy and weird.
  • I will never include the nutritional content/calorie counting in my recipes because that can trigger some people into counting/obsessing over foods. If you want the calorie contents, you can do the math yourself but please do not share on here, this is safe, count-free zone!

Qualities of a Healthy Friendship by lee tilghman

Friendships are one of the most gratifying parts of a full, rich life. 


There's no doubt friends are special - they help us get through life. Moreover, a study by Harvard showed that friends can help us decrease anxiety, bounce back from sickness and disease more quickly, and may even extend our life by 15%! I mean, if spending more time with your bestie wasn't already justified enough, this article will definitely help you.

When I moved across the country from NYC to LA, I knew nobody here. I left all my besties and safe friends in New York and ventured to a new part of the world. It was frightening, gratifying, and confidence-boosting all at once. 

Today I'm going to share 4 important aspects of a healthy friendship with you, using my friendship with Alison Wu as an example. 


Me & Ali's Story 

Nowadays, its not odd to make friends through Instagram. I remember seeing Alison Wu's smoothies on Instagram in January 2016. Yes, I was drawn to her work and aesthetic, but that was not all. There was something more to Alison that I was instantly drawn to. As we began direct messaging, I found we had a lot more in common. We had similar senses of humor and the same goofy, positive outlook on life. Soon, we were face-timing weekly. Then, we made the "big step" and decided to meet in person in March 2017. I wasn't even nervous, I knew that we'd get along just fine. Ali flew into LA to stay with me and we decided to meet at Whole Foods. We spotted each other for the first time, screaming and running towards each other in the citrus aisle. To say there was an instant connection is an understatement. It felt like we had known each other for years!

 Our first time meeting IRL! March 2017

Our first time meeting IRL! March 2017

 Hangin' in J Tree - February 2018

Hangin' in J Tree - February 2018

2 years later, and our friendship is as strong as ever. We've done events, worked on projects, celebrated holidays and birthdays together. Though Alison and I live in 2 separate states, we try to see each other 4-5x a year, alternating trips between California and Portland. We write letters, text, FaceTime weekly, and DM on instagram throughout the day to stay in touch. We cheer each other on, collaborate on projects, and talk about work stuff that only we can understand. It's really nice to have a friend in the sphere who I really connect with IRL.  I can really be my true 100% authentic self with her all the time, and man, is that a nice thing to be. 

All friendships are different and beautiful in their own way. But the sentiment is still the same: as I go through life, I realize how my friendships hold me up in ways nothing else in the world can. My friends offer me unwavering support, honesty, and call out me out when I am at fault. Most importantly, they make me laugh and feel loved when I'm in my darkest moments.

There are many aspects to a healthy friendship.  Below are just a few that Alison and I contemplated together that we believe to be helpful and beneficial in keeping up a healthy friendship. 


Every good friendship needs a solid base of communication. Just like romantic relationships, it takes clear communication on both parts in order to express the needs, desires, and boundaries. Checking in, reaching out. It can be so easy to lose touch with friends in the digital age, as sometimes we consider "following" someone on social media a way to stay in touch. But there really is nothing like a phone call, a deep Friday night FaceTime session, text, or even hand written letter to let your friend know that you are thinking of them and there for them. 

And with every friendship, there will come the inevitable disagreements. I can't stress how important communication is when it comes to getting over those (sometimes difficult) hurdles! Hurt feelings, overstepping boundaries, and disagreeing on things can sometimes be solved just by letting the other person know how you feel. It can be hard to have those conversations, but it's important if you want the friendship to last. Alison and I have had our disagreements and fights, and looking back, they came from a place when we were not properly communicating to one another. It's a process!


I think vulnerability is another huge part of cultivating healthy friendships. It's not feeling the need to seem 'strong' and like you have your sh!t together everyday. Most of us already brave the world 99% of the time trying to seem like we have all of our stuff together. It's important to have a friend that you can just cuddle up with and be like, "I need you to know I'm struggling right now, it's tough, and that's ok". Whenever I talk to Ali, I know I can be my truest self, and say, "Hey. I'm not doing that great right now", or "Yeah, life's been tough lately and here's why." I've told Alison some really deep and personal stuff that I haven't told many because I am not afraid of her judging me. I know she has an open heart and the truest of intentions, so I do not feel scared or judged. That's a gem of a friend right there. 

Quality Time

Life changes, people move, we get new jobs, new relationships. But a good friendship involves both parties putting in quality time. Luckily in 2018, our best friend can live across the world and we can still keep in contact through channels like FaceTime and instagram.

What really builds up our friendship though is the in person time. We try to take a few trips a year together, just us 2, usually involving lots of matcha and nature. I always leave our weekends together feeling like a new person: revitalized, energized, inspired and confident. That's how every friend should make you feel. 

 my girl!

my girl!


Oh gosh, this one is so important. What is a friend if you can't trust them? My closest friends are on my team, no matter what. I know that they would never do anything catty or say mean things behind my back. This level of deep trust and knowing is incredibly enlightening and makes me feel warm and eternally loved. And at the end of the day, that's really all we can ask for. 

To read the rest of the post and hear Alison's thoughts on our friendship, head over to Wu's blog!

What are your favorite ways of maintaining healthy friendships? I'd love to learn and hear from you guys. 

Introduction to Face Oils by lee tilghman

Note: this is not a sponsored post, I am just sharing some of my favorite brands and info about these products. If a post is ever sponsored, it will explicitly state so in the post, blog, or story due to FTC regulations.

 My holy MV shelf.

My holy MV shelf.

Welcome to the beginner's guide to facial oils! This post will go over what facial oils are, what they do, and which ones I recommend. I even enlisted the help of Marie Veronique herself to answer some of the key question. Marie is a chemist and master at natural skincare. It's safe to say her products have changed my life. Head here to learn more information about Marie.

When I first heard about face oils, I thought, "Ha! Not for me". Growing up in the '90s, I was raised on "fat free" and "oil free" everything. From cream cheese to cleansers, the oil and fat free movement was extremely prevalent in everything from foods to skincare.  I grew up using oil free everything. 

I thought oils would clog pores and contribute to more acne. I even vividly remember Neutrogena commercials stating how 'oily cleansers can clog your pores!' and believing every word.

But just as your body thrives on healthy fats, your skin can too.

Facial oils are blends of oils that can fight the aging process, banish acne, moisturize skin, even complexion, protect your skin, and shrink pores.  I want to make a note that they are not the same as plain essential oils. 

Facial oils work by maintaining the lipid barrier function and diminishing dryness by preventing TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) and providing micronutrients and antioxidants in their natural form. 

A good face oil will contain Omega-3's and Omega-6's that are essential fatty acids. "Remember, essential fatty acids are called essential because we do not make them; we must get them from our diets. When it comes to skin, we need to choose a good oil blend that we can apply daily" Marie says. 

Oils can also be used for exfoliation since they can deep clean pores and remove dead skin without environmentally-damaging plastic "microbreads" or microscopic tears (which is caused by some of those microbes face washes Neutrogena sells). For some, an oil blend is enough of a moisturizer. But if you live in a extreme weather climate and your skin is dry or exposed to a lot of sun exposure, then additional moisturizers on top of oils can be helpful. Shea butter (below in the products section) is a fantastic natural moisturizer if your skin needs extra lovin'. 

My Experience With Scarring + How Face Oils Healed Me

I first started using oils in July 2017 after my facialist at Cap Beauty Daily used Marie Veronique Protective Day and Night oils on me. The first thing I was attracted to was their scent. I literally stopped my facialist in her tracks and said, "WHAT WAS THAT. WHAT DID YOU PUT ON ME. I NEED IT NOW". When I left, I felt like I had a filter on my face for the next few days - I literally could see my skin glowing. I was instantly hooked.

 A swollen red upper lip from a really bad electrolysis session on September 4, 2017. 

A swollen red upper lip from a really bad electrolysis session on September 4, 2017. 

I know how scarring, redness, and uneven skin can effect self esteem. I continued using Marie's oils after a skin problem I encountered in September of last year. I went in for my routine follow up electrolysis appointment and to my surprise, my previous electrolysist was gone and a new one was in her place. The company had also put in a new, stronger electrolysis machine in the former one's place. I had my upper lip worked on and it ended in severe redness, chapped skin, and puffiness that lasted for days. The electrolysist had over done it and my skin couldn't handle it. (Luckily, I found a better LA-based electrolysist, and a full electrolysis 101 blog post will be coming soon)

 You can see the scarring from my electrolysis, this was 10 days after the appointment and it was still red. 

You can see the scarring from my electrolysis, this was 10 days after the appointment and it was still red. 

My skin was subsequently red and scarred for months. I freaked out. I read forums online from people who have had lifetime scarring from electrolysis, and I remember thinking, "what have I done?" It was like I had to choose between having a beard or having red scarring. I was slightly traumatized.

My friends told me, "aw, it's not so bad! what matters is on the INSIDE!" and I thought to myself, that saying is so much easier said than done. Please no one ever say that to me again.

I continued to use the Marie Veronique oils and slowly but surely, my skin discoloration went down and the scarring cleared up. Through diligent application (2x/day for 3 months), minimum sun exposure, and healthy diet, my complexion *finally* evened out.

I went into the face oil game because I was drawn to the way it made my skin look and feel. I never loved the idea of putting on face moisturizer, no matter how clean the brand was my skin still felt greasy and I never knew how it was made and what was *actually* in it,

6 months into using the Marie Veronique face oils consistently, my skin has never looked better. My pores are smaller, I rarely get breakouts, and my complexion is even. As an unexpected result, the scarring from my PCOS hormonal acne days faded too.

Now, I use the Barrier Lipid Complex like makeup. I put it on and head out the door. It makes my skin super dew-y and glowy as you can see below.  I rarely find the need to wear foundation anymore, just sometimes if I'm feelin' extra. I think there's something to be said about feeling more confident in our skin, in whatever which way makes you feel better. It doesn't matter what other people say about your skin, it's what you believe to be true about your skin. 

 No filter. Taken on February 28, 2018- clear skin, even tone, no scarring, but most importantly, really feeling good in my skin. 

No filter. Taken on February 28, 2018- clear skin, even tone, no scarring, but most importantly, really feeling good in my skin. 

My Routine

Before going into the basics, I will quickly run down my skincare regime and what I use. I use all Marie Veronique products, and below is how I do it. At the bottom of the page you'll find a complete list of all the products mentioned in this post. 

When using the Barrier Lipid Complex, make sure you are not going ANYWHERE near your eye contour area. I cannot tell you how many times I put it near my eye and then an hour later my eyes started to burn.

According to Marie, the burning is from the cholesterol. I take special care in making sure I am not applying the Barrier Lipid Complex anywhere near my eye or eyebrows. 

My Marie Veronique AM routine: Splash with alternating cold and hot water, then apply serums, followed by oils. Soothing B3 Serum, Vitamins C+ E+ Ferulic Serum, Barrier Lipid Complex.

My Marie Veronique PM routine: Wash with Replenishing Oil Cleanser. If I'm wearing makeup, I use Lilfox Chamomilla Infusion makeup remover, and then apply serums, followed by oils. Vitamins C+ E+ Ferulic SerumGentle Retinol Night SerumBarrier Restore Serum, Intensive Repair Serum (once weekly or if I have a blemish), and the Barrier Lipid Complex.

Facial Oils for Acne

Face oils can actually be used in the treatment of acne and clearing up skin. Oils like krill, kiwi seed, flax seed and sunflower seed oil can help improve the barrier function and dissolve congestion below the surface. Less congestion means less acne formation, inflammation, and even some age-delaying effects. 

"If you have acne, breakout prone skin wants oils high in Omega-6 EFAs, because sebum (an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands) deficient in linoleic acid can clog pores. Good examples of oils for acne-prone skin are sunflower and safflower oil. Marie Veronique's Treatment Oil acid (Omega-3 EFA), especially oils with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) type Omega-3 fatty acids. Topical application of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly those of the EPA type, attenuate UV-induced photo-damage, extrinsic signs of aging, and inflammatory skin responses. It is great for adults with acne who have aging concerns," according Marie Veronique. 

What You Should Look For

Look for multi-oil blends. Just as you can't expect one food to meet all your nutritional needs, one type of oil cannot meet all of your essential fatty acid needs.

Oils rich in essential fats acid of the Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 type.

  • Omega 3 oils – kiwi seed, hemp seed, flax seed
  • Omega 6 oils – safflower, sunflower
  • Omega 9 oils – olive oil, macadamia nut oil, emu oil
  • Nutrient rich oils: high in A, C, E
  • Examples of oils to look for are argan oils, blackberry seed oil, rosehip seed oil. 

You can buy these products separately from qualified cosmetic retailers (Mountain Rose Herbs is a good one) to make your own blends, or you can buy them pre-blended from some of the other product recommendations I share below. 

Who Should Use Them

Aging adults, people who suffer from dermatitis, acne prone skin, dry skin, or uneven skin tone. Children need not use. :)

When To Apply them

I use oils in the AM and in the PM, occasionally by themselves but normally paired with a serum beforehand. Always apply oils before you apply your daily SPF. 

How to Apply

Put half of a dropper into your palm, and rub them together to warm the oil up. Using your palms and starting at your cheek bones, spread the oil upwards towards your hairline. Continue this motion all over your face until all of your skin is covered, except your eyes. And don't forget your neck! Apply the oil in an upward motion on it. 

So, there you have it. An intro's guide to face oils. Now that we have conquered our fear of "fat" in our foods, I think it's time we conquered our fear of putting "fats" on our face.

 Do you guys use face oils? If so, which ones do you use and what do you like about them?

Products mentioned


Marie Veronique + Kristina Holey Soothing B3 Serum



Marie Veronique Vitamins C + E + Ferulic Serum



Marie Veronique + Kristina Holey Barrier Lipid Complex



Marie Veronique + Kristina Holey Barrier Restore Serum



Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum



Marie Veronique + Kristina Holey Intensive Repair Serum



Marie Veronique Treatment Oil



Marie Veronique Replenishing Oil Cleanser


Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 1.13.18 PM.png

Wildcare Melon Facial Oil


mrh sunflower.jpg

Mountain Rose Herbs Sunflower Oil



LILFOX Chamomilla Infusion Make Up Remover


Shea Butter.jpg

Sun Potion Shea Butter


Seed Milk Recipes You Don't Need to Strain by lee tilghman

Making your own milk is easier than you think.

Let me give you some backstory on my relationship with DIY milks. I started making nut milk in high school at my job at the local raw vegan smoothie bar in my hometown. We made a lot of nut milk for our smoothies. Quarts and quarts of it a day.  Almond, Brazil, you name it. And I was in charge of it all. I felt like I was always either soaking, peeling, blending or straining. But the benefits of my childish labor paid off. The milk was freakin' delicious (and honestly enjoyed best warm out of the blender, plain) but the most tedious step was having to strain endless bags of almond milk pulp a day, squeezing until every last drop was out and my fingers were numb. 

 Seed milk party. 21+, please.

Seed milk party. 21+, please.

A few years ago, I was out of homemade almond milk and in my determination to make a quick smoothie on the go, I had to think on my feet. I had some hemp seeds on hand and had recently heard about hemp milk, so I popped a cup of hemp seeds into the blender with a a few cups of filtered water. I got my nut milk bag out, ready to strain the milk like I was used to, but the hemp seeds had completely blended into the milk. There was nothing to strain! I realized you don't need a nut bag. It was a miracle moment for me.

Luckily, there are many different seeds you can make milks with without the straining. So I wanted to show 3 different easy 1 step recipes for making seed milks. The below recipes can be used in anything from morning matcha to afternoon smoothies, or even as a base for a night time adaptogenic potion. I also encourage you to play around with the different flavors- try adding cinnamon to one, cacao powder to another, turmeric, matcha, or even blend the two and make a sunflower-pumpkin seed milk. 

No soaking or straining needed, so you are one less step away from achieving your seed milk dreams. They all last in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just give 'em a nice shake right before you enjoy. More benefits of homemade seed milks below!

Cost Friendly

Buying nut milk at the store can get expensive. Especially if you are trying to go to for the higher quality, organic and unsweetened ones. When buying nut milks, you are paying for the shipping, production, and packaging. Cut out the middle man and do it yourself! Some of the ingredients I use below are significantly cheaper than other nuts, with sunflower seeds averaging out at about $2.99/LBS and pumpkin seeds at $7.99/LBS.

Nutritional Value

Keeping seed fiber in your milks increases the nutritional value and fiber content of your milks. Also, when you make your own milks you'll know exactly what's going in it. No weird additives, stabilizers, or funky sweeteners. 

Less Wasteful

Keeping the pulp and not straining is less wasteful.  You don't have to discard the "pulp" or frantically search online for a "nut milk pulp recipe". We've all been there. 😂

Better for the Environment

There is a pretty big debate going about almond milk and just how sustainable it is for our planet. 80% of almonds come from California, and because California has drought-like tendencies, almond milk is not always the most sustainable choice, though it seems to be the most common non-dairy alternative. If you are not living in California, and want to be more conscious of your carbon footprint, keep in mind you're drinking something that comes from pretty far away and takes up a LOT of water to grow. You could argue the same for other ingredients (do hemp seeds grow in NYC?) but the almond industry is under much more distress. Did you know that it takes 384 liters of water to make 1 liter of almond milk (source). LISTEN, I'm not saying to stop eating almond butter and almond milk just this instant (because I sure as heck am not!) but I do encourage you to try the below milk alternatives, which will save you time, money, and stress.

Why I Don't Soak 

You are more than welcome to soak your seeds in filtered water for 8 hours or overnight before making the below recipes. However, I don't soak mine. Soaking nuts and seeds prior to consumption can help in removing phytic acid, which in excess can cause intestinal distress. I don't have a problem with nuts and seeds, but if your tummy or gut is especially sensitive to them, I would recommend soaking them. Just be sure to leave yourself enough prep time if you will be soaking. 

 Pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds make amazing nut milks without the straining step. 

Pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds make amazing nut milks without the straining step. 

Sunflower Seed Milk

     Seperation is totally normal  AND  encouraged! It means the fiber is still in tact, making your milks more filling and upping their nutritional value. 

    Seperation is totally normal AND encouraged! It means the fiber is still in tact, making your milks more filling and upping their nutritional value. 

    • 1 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    Hemp Milk

     Check that foam though!!

    Check that foam though!!

    • 1 cup hemp seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    Pumpkin Seed Milk

     the prettiest of the 3, pumpkin seeds offers a sea foam green tint

    the prettiest of the 3, pumpkin seeds offers a sea foam green tint

    • 1 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    What are some of your favorite seed milk recipes and flavors?

    Lee From America's Guide to Stockholm by lee tilghman

    BD304EC0-3246-4BC9-9CF1-0576CF1A903F 3.jpg

    Stockholm, Sweden is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen in Europe. From the waterscape views to the medieval cobblestone streets, it's a sure sight for the eyes. Think: quiet, windy roads, picturesque parks, steeplechase buildings, boats, cozy cafes and beautiful, clean parks!

    Stockholm is known for their keen sense of minimalism, fashion, design, and some bada$$ businesses that we are familiar with such as Spotify, Skype, Ericsson, and IKEA. Their cafe culture is unmatchable to any other city I've ever traveled to, so without a doubt below you will find plenty of delicious little healthyish cafes to check out. But first, some culture for ya!

    Getting Around

    The public transportation is really easy to navigate. I found it super easy to get around both by bus and by subway. I also felt safe while traveling solo during the day. Download the "SL" app from the Apple App Store, buy a day pass and you can use it for up to 75 minutes. The app also has a navigation page so you can type in your current location and where you want to go to find the quickest, easiest, and most efficient route! Also, dont be afraid to ask the public transportation staff for questions! Just make sure they are authorized and properly uniformed before asking. And always keep your wits about you while using public transportation, in any city!


    I loved my time in Stockholm (I've been in both late summer and winter) but did find the dark winter a little hard to deal with.  I come from the land of sunshine so this shouldn't come as a surprise. But I'd recommend going in the spring or summer months where more people are outside and Stockholm is blessed with light pretty much all day long! How cool is that?

    Another thing: as a Los Angeleno, I'm also used to saying hi and acknowledging runners when they run by, and fellow hikers as we weave through the trails.  In my observation, that doesn't happen very much in Stockholm 😂 Just a bit different from here in LA! This was just my observation, not a fact.

    One thing I LOVED about Swedish culture is their philosophy of Lagom. Not too much, not too little.  My mom actually got this book for me for Christmas, so I read it on the plane. It goes into detail about Lagom and I highly recommend it if you are into Scandinavian living!

    This sentiment of balance really stuck with me because as an American, I am used to the go-go-go all the time. In Sweden, they really embrace the "in between," not going too fast or too slow. They also practice Lagom in all things: relationships, work, finances, friendships, food, and exercise. Something we in the US could probably learn a thing or two from!

    Undoubtedly, one of my favorite aspects of Swedish living is Fika. Fika is the art of taking a work break in the middle of the day, either with a friend or coworker, and grabbing a cup of coffee, tea, or other non-alcohol related beverage. Oftentimes, it is paired with food, like a croissant or kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon bun...more on those later). For me, this tradition has translated into a cup of herbal tea and a fat ball in the afternoon. Just taking 5 or so minutes to sit and relax helps me be more present and productive when I get back to work.  

    I definitely ate my fair share of sugary treats while in Sweden because I love to indulge in the local cuisine while I travel. And when I get home, I just hop back up on the bandwagon and pick up where I left off. Below is your guide to Stockholm including some of my favorite stores, cafes, museums, and parks. I hope you find it helpful! 

    The Guide

     Hanging at Pomflora. 

    Hanging at Pomflora. 

    Pom & Flora (cafe, $$) - Great spot for healthy-ish breakfast and yummy coffee! I loved it here. Very cozy vibes and a really nice oat milk matcha. Think: avocado toasts on rye, banana split yogurt bowls, chia seed pudding, acai bowls, and an assortment of pastries! They also have gluten-free options. Head in early to skip the line and snag a table. 

    Snickarbacken7 (cafe, $$) - Another favorite healthyish cafe in Stockholm, this spot is much bigger so there is usually ample room for groups. The food is amazing. It's a bit hard to find (it's kind of underground/in a dungeon) underneath a large city staircase.  I got a salad (pictured below) and I thought it used really high quality, fresh ingredients. They also have oat milk matcha lattes which are delicious. Check out their store within the cafe for beautiful blankets, ceramic mugs, bamboo charcoal toothbrushes and local art. 

     Salad with salmon, edamame, nori and lingonberries from Snickerbacken7

    Salad with salmon, edamame, nori and lingonberries from Snickerbacken7

    Paradiset (grocery store, $$$) - This is Stockholm's version of Whole Foods or Erewhon. They have the widest selection of healthy foods that I could find in Sweden. Gluten-free breads, granolas, coconut yogurt, oat milk, teas, lentil pastas, hummus. They also have a great clean beauty section!

    Vasa Museum (public museum, $)  - This museum is seriously cool. Head here for an afternoon of history and culture and to get some knowledge dropped upon you. The Vasa museum holds the oldest ship to ever have been rescued - and it is seriously COOL. Even if you are not into ships, I think you'll find this boat extremely interesting!

    Gamla Stan (neighborhood, FREE) - Really cute stoney streets hosting a plethora of shops, cafes, and bakeries, this little neighborhood's street is a must see. 

    Petrus Bakery $$ - How could I do a review on Stockholm without mentioning kanelbullar!? The best kanelbullar I ever did have was here at Petrus. We went here almost weekly, and one time we went in the early afternoon, and they had just come out of the oven. We got a cinnamon bun and a cardamom bun, and we ate in silence because they were THAT good. I distinctly remember thinking, "Is this the meaning of life?" LOL, but seriously go on and get yourself a bun from here.

     the epic Petrus cinnamon (top) and cardamom (bottom) buns

    the epic Petrus cinnamon (top) and cardamom (bottom) buns

    Amida Kolgrill (restaurant, $) - Come here for some really tasty, high-quality Turkish food. You really get a bang for your buck here! The meat was some of the most flavorful I've ever tasted, and the vegetables were so fresh and pickled with love! I swear they spiced the meat with like 100 spices. And they use a real charcoal grill so you get that smokey flavor. Oh man, my mouth is watering writing this review. Anyways, I need to go get a napkin. But highly recommend it if you're into Turkish food. 

     Saturn Cafe buns are the size of your face.

    Saturn Cafe buns are the size of your face.

    Saturn Cafe $$ - Adorable little French and Swedish cafe/restaurant near the Park Humlegården. It's very sweet inside and they are famous for their larger-than-life cinnamon buns. But save your buns for Petrus Bakery, which I mentioned above. For me, I recommend trying their lentil coconut curry soup! Head to the park down the street afterwards for some fresh air. 

    Falafelbaren (restaurant, $) - Amazing falafel joint that serves fresh falafel and kombucha (kind of hard to find in Stockholm) in one of my favorite neighborhoods of Södermalm. Their falafel plate with hummus and the works is amazing. Highly recommend it!

    Mariatorget Park (public space, free) - Nestled in Soldermalm (my favorite hood in Stockholm), this is a gorgeous park for people watching and noshing on a kanelbullar while taking in all the sights and sounds of Sweden. Gorgeous in the spring, summer, and fall, though quite empty in the wintertime. 

    So, there you have it! The LFA guide to Stockholm. I hope you enjoyed, and find it helpful! Please leave your tips/favorite spots for Stockholm below in the comments, I'd LOVE to hear from you!

    15 Ways to Self Love Print by lee tilghman

    Since it's Valentine's Day, and we could all use a little reminder in all the ways we can show ourselves a little more love and appreciation, I couldn't be more excited to share this news with you all.  I worked with Philadelphia-based illustrator Monica Lynch to create a "15 Ways to Self Love" print for your home. The poster offers 15 different ways to show yourself some love. Hang it on your wall, above your bed, on the fridge, or even in a frame on your desk. 

     a closeup of the poster!

    a closeup of the poster!

    The poster comes framed or unframed, and in a variety of sizes so you can really make it your own. 


    The poster reads:


    1. go for a walk

    2. assert your needs in all situations

    3. dry brush

    4. take a yoga class

    5. water a plant

    6. practice financial stability

    7. rub coconut oil all over your hair and body

    8. add a bundle of fresh eucalyptus to your shower head

    9. develop a morning routine and stick to it

    10. indulge in regular digital detoxes

    11. laugh with someone

    12. breathe deep for 3 rounds, inhaling and exhaling all the way

    13. clean out your closet and sell or donate unused items

    14. take days off from the gym

    15. learn to trust your gut - it always leads the way

     I have one in my kitchen too. 

    I have one in my kitchen too. 

    The print (above) includes 15 ways to express love for yourself. Most of them (12 out of the 15 to be exact) cost no money. Self love and self care doesn't have to be pricey- sometimes it can be just a little walk around the block or a few deep breaths after reading a stressful email. All these little actions truly add up to make a big difference in my healing journey.  They are habits I incorporate into my own life on a daily basis. I am excited to be sharing them with you so you can take them into your own home and make them your own practices. 

    All prints are sold through Society6

     in the entryway section of #LFAHome

    in the entryway section of #LFAHome

    My Bingeing Story by lee tilghman

    Trigger warning: this post discusses my experience with binge eating, eating disorders, low self esteem and topics of the like. It also uses some explicit language. It is a personal post and though it is not my intention to trigger someone, I want to warn those who are especially sensitive to these subjects. I am not a professional or a medical expert. My intention with this post is to share my story and help others who seek it. 


    I’ve struggled with nearly every eating disorder under the sun.

    When I was 18, I went to an inpatient eating disorder recovery center for 5 months during my senior year of high school for anorexia. They took our phones, media, and TV rights away, and taught us all about nutrition, how to maintain a healthy weight, and we underwent hours and hours of cognitive behavioral and hypnosis therapy. It was one of the most transformative times in my life. I was so deeply in touch with myself and my health and I consider myself fortunate my parents supported me through it all and allowed me to get this treatment I so badly needed. I learned a lot during this time, and while I'd say I pretty much tackled my anorexic habits, my eating disorder had really only just begun. 

    Binge eating disorder is more common than anorexia, plaguing about 5.6 million women in the US alone. I get a lot of questions about binge eating, but have never really gone into it until now. First: I want to define the terms emotional eating and binge eating.

    Emotional eating is when one uses foods to suppress an emotion - such as sadness, loneliness, anxiousness, or even happiness. Emotional eaters are not necessarily binge eaters.

    Binge eating is defined by frequent and recurrent binge eating episodes with associated negative psychological problems. It usually involves a large amount of food in a short amount of time. It does not matter the person's weight, size, gender, race or general happiness: binge eating can happen to anyone. Many emotional eaters can be binge eaters, too. 

    There's a difference between the two, yet they both normally leave the person feeling worse off than before, and use food to cope with (usually uncomfortable) emotions or feelings. 


    When I struggled with anorexia, I had no sense of food freedom or how to properly fuel myself. I was so restrictive with my diet that I'd be deprived of basic nutrients. In order to find equilibrium, I'd binge on foods I had previously eliminated from my diet. I would overeat, like an animal about to hibernate, without control or a touch of mindfulness. It felt good to do something private, without inhibition, and to let myself eat these foods that I had deemed off limits. But I'd eat to the point of discomfort and lethargy.

    Not soon after the binge was over, the guilt and self-loathing would set in. I felt shame for having no control, and I'd just pray and wish that my actions could undo themselves.  It was a vicious cycle, and I was full of despair, low self esteem and complete and utter helplessness.

    Though I was never obese (and even if I was- the sentiment is still the same) I was still in deep despair and extremely uncomfortable in my body. The most important thing here is that it doesn’t matter what you weigh, but how you feel. This is a huge part of understanding eating disorders, and what makes them so hard to tackle and diagnose- it literally does not matter your age, race, sex, weight, or appearance- anyone can struggle with an ED.

    Yes, I had gone to treatment to tackle anorexia, but the eating disorder habits morphed into something else.I was not aware of my own binge eating habits that lay dormant inside me, so they were not addressed in therapy. My treatment for anorexia nervosa was helpful and life changing, but it did not solve everything. As I avoided anorexic behaviors I picked up other binge-eating ones, just as harmful. 

    My weight would go on to fluctuate 2-3 sizes for years. I was sending my body, hormones and heart on a rollercoaster ride. My body and soul were under intense distress. First I’d lose a bunch of weight and restrict myself to the point of concern, then swing the pendulum the other way by overeating. I never felt in control. I blamed this on myself, of course.

    “How come you can't control yourself, Lee?”

    “You are a pig," my thoughts would say.

    My First Binge

    I remember my first time binging. It is a vivid memory. I was 16 and had just gotten my driver’s license which granted me all sorts of freedom. I had just snapped out of my “anorexic” habits and my gut told me I had to gain weight back but I didn’t know how.

    I wanted M&M’s for breakfast. I purchased a big, huge family-size bag of peanut m&m’s from a store at 7am on the way to school. This sort of food was always off limits to me while I was struggling with my ED. It was a trigger food. Sugar, chocolate, candy. All the things my ED despised.

    I cannot remember if I planned to eat the whole bag or if I was fooling myself and thinking I'd only eat a handful, but my hunger was ravenous.

    It was not just physical hunger.

    It was emotional hunger.

    Distressed hunger.

    I drove to school and started eating the M&M’s on my drive. One by one, at first. I then started eating them quicker. I stopped tasting them and started practically swallowing them whole. I would shove tens of them into my mouth at once, in a robotic, out-of-control motion. It felt like I was in a trance state. I went into some sort of blind black hole. My body was asking me to stop eating, I was full now. But I ignored the signals. I don’t remember what happened, but pretty soon, the entire bag was gone.  A 1 lb. bag of M&Ms was gone. 

    I arrived at my school’s parking lot. The loathing set in. My belly was so full, I felt so sick like I might puke. I could barely move.

    Throughout the rest of that day, I felt so low and so dark, and so embarrassed of my secret binge.

    But the cycle continued. 

    I flip flopped between bulimia and binge eating for 7 long years.

    Fed Up

    Over the next few years: I swung like a pendulum between too restrictive and too relaxed with my eating habits. Either way, I was using food to control and sedate my emotions. Whether through strict diets or eating a whole plate of cookies, it was all just a way for me to feel calm and in control. 

    During these months of binge eating, I relied on food as my safety net. I had a “f#ck it” attitude. “Whatever, you already ate the cookie at lunch, might as well finish off the ice cream tonight.” 

    I would eat mindlessly, standing up in the kitchen, over the sink. 

    Once the ice cream was done, I’d reach for the peanut butter and begin eating that by the spoonful.

    Looking back, a pivotal moment in my life that helped me in my quest to stop bingeing is a promise to an ex-boyfriend I made one night when we were out to dinner. It was November of 2013 in New York City. I had just had a binge/purge episode, and I had told him everything. He looked me in the eyes and asked me to please stop my bulimic habits. I saw genuine concern in his eyes, and reality snapped in.

    It suddenly dawned on me that if I wanted to be in a healthy relationship with someone, I'd have to be in a healthy relationship with myself.

    I'm happy to say that I've kept this promise and have been binge/purge free for over 4 years. It was hard for me to open up to someone about my bulimia, but if I hadn't shared this experience with someone I trusted, I don't think I would be where I am now. Opening up made it less scary, and almost immediately lifted some of the shame I had been carrying with me. Though we are no longer together, his genuine care and concern helped me see that I was hurting not just myself, but those around me as well. 


    After that promise was made, around age 23, I set out to make this recovery work for me this time. I had to learn how to stop bingeing, since purging was no longer an option. It was like learning how to eat and honor my body all over again.

    After 8+ years of struggling with anorexia, binge eating and bulimia, my hunger cues and signals were all sorts of messed up. I never knew what or how much to eat. My eyes always seemed way too big for my plate. Meal time was still stressful, and I never felt totally at peace. I was at my limit. I knew I could not live like this forever. I knew there was more to life then this horribly depressive cycle, and I set out on a personal quest to find out what that was. I stopped the drinking, the late nights and the partying. I got out of a relationship that wasn't so healthy. I had always been genuinely interested in eating healthy but had never really stuck with it. I decided to start exercising consistently and signed up for a half marathon. I put my health and my body first. I spent less time on the weekends at parties and more time working on building cooking skills and saving money for my future. All these small changes led me here, to where I am now. 

    How Did I Overcome Binging?

    Though there is not one thing that helped me overcome my binge eating, there are many tactics I used and still use to this day in my recovery. After some time, I realized that all the time I spent ruminating on what I should not have eaten was taking up precious time and energy I could be spending on dear relationships, myself, my career, and other goals and things I wanted to accomplish. Food, though important, is only one small part of my life. I didn't want it to rule over me anymore, so I made it a point to do my best work on other aspects of my life so there was not such emphasis on diet and aesthetics. 

    The below tips are other ways I recovered from bingeing. I am not a doctor or health care professional and if you are struggling with an ED I definitely suggest seeking professional helpThis is just what worked for me. These tips are not meant to substitute professional therapy or treatment.

    • Dedicating time and energy into recovery: The biggest thing that worked for me was, and I believe this had to do with age and maturity, dedicating energy and time to self improvement and self help. I did some therapy in my 20’s which helped immensely and, if it's within budget or your health care network, I highly suggest it. Therapy is an an amazing opportunity for personal ground, not something to be ashamed of. We can help remove the stigma of mental health by talking more about it and supporting those who do it.
    • Identify triggers: a trigger is something that brings up a flashback or an old memory. A trigger can be a person, a word, even a smell. They are different for everyone, but all evoke the same unpleasant feeling of anxiety. A trigger can even evoke a physical response like rapid heart rate and sweaty palms. The holidays are a good example of a common trigger for people with eating disorders. Identifying triggers helps you become more prepared and better equipped to handle difficult situations.
    • Awareness of media consumption: This goes along with triggers, but being a conscious consumer and recognizing what you are letting yourself see and take in is huge. I don't support magazines that have a emphasis on weight loss as the key to health and I don't subscribe or look at magazines with idealized or unrealistic models because this is what works for me. Many magazines geared towards women have such an emphasis on our looks. It makes me upset, so I don't read them. 
    • Cultivating healthier coping mechanisms: I knew I had a problem with stress and anxiety and I no longer wanted to depend on food to heal those things. I wanted to work on them myself. So I began doing more yoga, taking walks, shunning alcohol for a while, focusing on my career not my social life, being in nature, journaling, talking to friends and opening up to my parents about my issues. 
    • Support system: as Drake would say, “I can't do this on my own, no” having a solid support system like family, a partner, a close knit group of friends or a medical professional to heal you on your journey is extremely helpful in a long lasting recovery. People who love you unconditionally and want you to be happy are the people worth fighting for. 
    • Balanced diet: of course, re-learning how to eat when struggling with an eating disorder is a different journey for everyone, and working with dietitians or nutritionists can be extremely helpful in your recovery plan. I find that eating a balanced diet with plenty of healthy fats, quality proteins and carbohydrates can help me from binging or eating something I don't necessarily want to eat. Snacking on quality fats and protein (carrots/hummus, fat balls, toast with avocado) and eating at regular hours helps to ensure my blood sugar levels never dip too low. Have you ever found that if you don't eat all day, and then get home around 4pm, it may be more tempting to reach for foods that won't make you feel so good or overeating in a frenzy? Womancode has a lot of good tips for eating in a way that supports healthy blood sugar levels. 
    • Mindfulness: also known as the practice of staying present, mindfulness can come in handy when it comes to bingeing. A friend of mine told me that in her recovery, her therapist said it was OK to binge ONLY if she was 100% present in her binges. She was told to sit down, turn relaxing music on, make herself comfortable. She announced aloud that she was about to binge. She smelled the food. Tasted the food. Chewed it well. This helped her bring it back down to earth and out of the binge trance.
    • Journaling: I've been journaling since I was 12! There is something so therapeutic about writing down all of your thoughts and feelings on paper. It's also incredible to go back and look at how far you have come in your journey. I also love referencing patterns and behaviors. 
    • Affirming, "I don't need to be perfect": NOBODY is perfect and that is a fact. We are all deeply complex beings. It's absurd to expect perfection from ourselves. We are not robots. Affirming to myself that I don't need to be perfect helps me break down some unrealistic expectations I may have set for myself. 
    • Self forgiveness: a key part of recovery. If you mess up, it's okay. Understand it's part of the human experience. Pack your bags, and move onto the next thing. Stay in the present. 

    All these things may sound small, but I truly believe making these lifestyle changes helped me get to know myself better. I cultivated a stronger sense of self and therefore was kinder and more able to listen to my own wants and needs. 

    I sometimes feel that emotional eating is nearly impossible to avoid. We all have emotions, and we have to eat everyday, so of course there are going to be times where we eat because we are stressed, sad, angry, bored, lonely. Experts say you have to be eating high caloric, processed, or high sugar foods to be an emotional eater, and I totally have to disagree with that statement. It is possible to binge, emotional eat, or soothe yourself with healthy foods too. I myself used to binge on nut butter, almond butter, pineapple, even omelets. It doesn't have to be crappy food to be a binge, and this is super important to recognize. The key thing for me is just being cognizant of my behavior. Mindfulness goes a long way. If I overeat sometimes, that is okay. The key component is forgiving yourself, packing your bags, and moving on with life. 


    If you feel like you need more help, please check out the resources listed below. 

    1. Watch this free "Befriending your Binge" online class:
    2. Text NEDA 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to to be connected with a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line: text "NEDA" to 741741 
    3. Speak with a trained volunteer on NEDA phone line, M-F, 9A-9P EST: (800) 931-2237
    4. Explore the National Eating Disorder Association Website

    I'd love to hear from you guys below on how you've overcome binge eating and what has helped you. Let's keep this a safe space, so please do not give unsolicited advice, and keep all comments loving and supportive. As always, please keep all numbers and weight/kilos out of your comments so we don't trigger anyone. Love to all!

    My Experience Taking CBD by lee tilghman

    Disclaimers: (1) I am not a medical professional, nor a CBD expert. The goal of this post is to share information about CBD and my personal experience with it. I did my best research and fact-checking for accuracy.  (2) I was not monetarily compensated for these brands nor do I receive affiliate dollars if you buy them. They are honest opinions and reviews. I received the CAP Beauty Daily Hit, CBD Bath Bomb, and Care by Design Oil for free to test from Medmen, but purchased the rest of the products with my own money.

    Intro to CBD Oil

    I have been obsessed with researching CBD and testing products on myself the past few months. 

     CBD Baths 4 Life

    CBD Baths 4 Life

    CBD has been popping up everywhere in the health world, boasting benefits like pain relief, diminished anxiety, better sleep and reduced inflammation. Who doesn't want that? I've even read testimonies saying it has helped lessen chemo symptoms in some patients. I knew I had to test it out for myself.

    Before we get started, I want to include a quick little vocabulary session below, so that we are all understanding some of the terms used in this blog post.. 


    Cannabis: The marijuana plant.

    CBD: Cannabidiol (CBD), the major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa (marijuana plant).

    Canniboid: any of a group of closely related compounds which include cannabinoland the active constituents of cannabis.

    THC: tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis that gets users "high".

     A few drops under the tongue.

    A few drops under the tongue.

    CBD. It's everywhere. Your sister, grandma, and even holistic doctor talks about it. It's in lattes, baths, bites and creams.

    First things first: CBD alone will not get you high. It is important to note that most CBD is non-psychoactive and will not give you a "high" or euphoric feeling. Just want to put that out there. 

    People have been using CBD for thousands of years.

     CBD Bath Bomb ingredients!

    CBD Bath Bomb ingredients!

    In some countries, people apply the marijuana leaf on injuries/areas of pain to help reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. 

    It seems like everyone can benefit from CBD. CBD oil has a long list of benefits, including (source):

    • reducing chronic pain
    • limiting epileptic seizures
    • reducing inflammation
    • reducing anxiety
    • aiding in rheumatoid arthritis treatment
    • reducing nausea 
    • depression treatment
    • lessening inflammatory bowel disease symptoms
    • helping with insomnia 
    • reducing psoriasis 
    • lower risk of diabetes

    What Is CBD?

    CBD, or cannibulia, is a component of the marijuana plant that contains healing properties of the plant. With most CBD products, users can experience some of the medicinal qualities of marijuana while still operating day to day, going to work, driving a car, etc.

    CBD products come in many forms: pills, creams, tinctures, oils, lip balms, cooking oils, adaptogenic blends, topical oils, and more. 

    There is still differing evidence on the effects of CBD and if it works. Most of the information out there is anecdotal due to the lack of factual-based scientific research. Again, I am not a doctor or a CBD expert by any means! I did my best to research it based off what I could find. 

    Hemp Derived vs. Cannabis Derived

    There isn't much information about this, but this is what I gathered: There are 2 types of CBD products. Every CBD product is either hemp derived or cannabis derived. Hemp CBD is made from industrial hemp (yes, the kind you put on top of smoothie bowls!). Cannabis CBD is derived from the medical marijuana plant. Hemp CBD products are available widely online whereas cannabis derived CBD products are only available in some states at medical dispensaries. 

    From Wikipedia: "Although most states restrict the use of CBD products to certain medical conditions, manufacturers of CBD claim their products are derived from industrial hemp, and therefore legal for anyone to use.[66] A number of these manufacturers ship CBD products to all 50 states, which the federal government has so far not intervened in.[67][68] CBD is also openly sold in head shops and health food stores in some states where such sales have not been explicitly legalized." Source:

    Where Can I Get It?

    CBD is still unavailable in many parts of the US. Depending on where you live, it can be harder to find. Living in California, it's a bit easier to get my hands on CBD products since we have some pretty relaxed marijuana regulations.

    I purchased my CBD products at Erewhon Market here in Los Angeles.  I received CBD Oil from Cap Beauty Daily (which you can buy by calling them) and a few different products from Medmen. They do not sell online but they do sell in their stores. You do not need a medical marijuana card to purchase Medmen products in California but you do need a medical marijuana card to purchase products from their store in New York.

    Some of the products I tried (linked below) can be purchased online and shipped to you. Do some research to see if CBD is available at your local health food stores or if it's better to buy online. 

    Quick CBD Q+A

    Did you try taking CBD with adaptogens? Yes, I put Cap Beauty's Daily Hit in my matcha a few times. You can mix your own CBD oil with adaptogens to see if that heightens its effects.

     The Daily Hit. 

    The Daily Hit. 

    What do you look for when buying CBD? It totally depends on your budget, needs, and symptoms. In general, make sure you are buying local CBD (whenever possible), and from a trusted, authorized source. There are many small businesses that sell CBD products online and in stores, so I'd go with that. 

    Did it help you with stress? I think because I do a lot of things in my everyday (yoga, meditation, daily adaptogens, exercise) to relieve and lessen my anxiety, it can be hard to tell which one makes the most difference. Save for the Care by Design droplets (more on that below), maybe some nights I felt a TINY bit more relaxed, but I can't tell if it was placebo effect or not!

    Can I fly with it? I haven't tried flying with CBD oil. I'm too scared to. It looks like hemp-derived CBD products are okay to fly with but there is still a grey area and vague responses coming from TSA. If you have tried without issue, let me know in the comments below! See this article from High Times on bringing CBD products on planes. 

    My Experience with CBD

    There are HUNDREDS of different CBD products on the market. Some more expensive than others. Some with more CBD than others. I tried as many products as I could get my hands on to give you guys some honest reviews. 1 type of CBD product would not be sufficient for a conclusive experience. I even kept a CBD journal for a few weeks reporting how much of each product I took, when I took it, and how it made me feel. I took the recommended doses and instructions for all the below products.

    CBD Products + My Reviews

     The ingredients in CAP's The Daily Hit

    The ingredients in CAP's The Daily Hit

    1. Cap Beauty Daily "The Daily Hit," $96.00 USD

      • INITIAL THOUGHTS: Okay, so this product was the first one I received. I tried putting in my matcha one morning and I didn't care for the taste much. It tasted minty which overpowered my normal sweet and creamy matcha. Moving forward I just took a spoonful at night. I did this for 3 weeks straight.
      • ANXIETY: Did I notice a difference? No...not really.
      • PERIOD CRAMPS: I didn't notice a decrease in cramps after taking this.
      • BLOAT: It didn't make me bloat like some of the other products below, so I'd continue using it if an injury arose or during a high anxiety time period in my life.  I definitely foresee a CBD latte in my near future. 
      • WOULD I BUY AGAIN? Perhaps. Because I'm a huge fan of Cap Beauty's products and could definitely see myself using this in some recipes. Because it has Astragalus and Mucuna Pruriens in it too, it has many other benefits.
    2. Ojai Energetics Full Spectrum CBD, $80.00 USD

      • INITIAL THOUGHTS: I bought this one at Erewhon. Yes, 80 bucks... but the herbalist said it was the best one, so I decided to buy it. Plus, it was from a local Ojai farmer so I thought, "I'm supporting a local farm!" The reason it's $80 is because it is some of the fastest acting CBD on the market, so if you are in pain and need a fix, this product may be your best bet. 
      • ANXIETY: No noticeable difference.
      • PERIOD CRAMPS: I didn't notice a decrease in cramps after taking this.
      • BLOAT: On the nights I took this before bed, I'd wake up with stomach pains, discomfort, and some bloat. In turn, the bloat made me more agitated than anything. I didn't feel any strong beneficial effects even after taking it consistently for 7 days. 
      • Would I buy again? No. It tastes better than the CAP Beauty Daily one, but it made me bloated, so I'm gonna say nay.  It's also too pricey for me to buy it without actually feeling anything. 
    3. Green Mountain CBD, $30.00 USD

      • INITIAL THOUGHTS: Weed toast, anyone? This is a spreadable coconut oil-based CBD product. I bought this one because the herbalist at Erewhon recommended it as a budget-friendly option. It can be taken topically (AKA rubbed on your skin where you have pain/inflammation) or spread on a rice cracker.  The website says do not heat over 300 F. so I don't recommend baking with this one or the CBD may be jeopardized. It smells a LOT like weed, so if that bothers you this product is DEFINITELY not for you. 
      • ANXIETY: did not notice any remarkable difference
      • PERIOD CRAMPS: I didn't notice a decrease in cramps after taking this.
      • BLOAT: Again, this product made me bloated and gave me some tummy issues. I tried it 5 nights in a row (sometimes mixed with food, sometimes by itself) and I didn't really see a big difference in my anxiety. 
      • Note: my assistant Olivia suffers from chronic wrist pain and applied this to her wrist one day while we worked together. She did notice a reduction in her pain and felt that this topical oil was sufficient enough she didn't need to take her usual Advil.
      • Would I buy again? No, but I think if I experienced pain or got injured I would try this again. 
    4. De La Beuh CBD Bath Bomb, $14.00 USD

      • INITAL THOUGHTS: Ok, this was fun. I've never done a bath bomb before and I had my period, so I was excited to see if this one helped my cramps and low back pain. 
      • ANXIETY: Did I feel relaxed? Absolutely. The bath made me feel calm, collected, and relieved some pain.
      • PERIOD CRAMPS: The warm bath and this bath ball helped to subside my cramps. 
      • Would I buy again? I'd definitely buy a CBD bath bomb again. Open to different brands, too. 
      • Note: There are some artificial colors in some of these bath bombs, so I wouldn't use them on the DAILY. But it's up to you of course.
    5. Care by Design CBD-Rich Drops, $40.00 USD

      • INITIAL THOUGHTS: This is the only CBD product I tried that has a small amount of THC (8:1 ratio) There is 16.3 mg/mL CBD and 2.04 mg/mL THC in this product. The box says It is not safe to operate a car after taking this stuff.  You can buy it in California without a medical marijuana card. Mine is from Medmen. 
      • PERIOD CRAMPS: I did notice a slight reduce in cramps, or maybe my mind just wasn't focusing on it. 
      • ANXIETY: This was the only product that I actually felt something from. I took 2 droplets below my tongue and an hour later I felt more clear-minded, energized, positive and calm.
      • Would I buy again? Probably. I would, yes. 

    Overall, Do I Think CBD worked for me?

    First off, I do not suffer from chronic pain, inflamed joints, or intrusive stress/anxiety, which are the main reasons people take CBD. In many of the CBD products I tried, I did not notice a significant enough change in my physical, emotional, or mental state (except the THC one, Care by Design) to say that CBD worked WONDERS for me. 

    I 100% support those who take CBD products and would definitely recommend it for my friends, family, or readers who suffer from any symptom CBD could help with.

    I don't see myself taking CBD daily. I have my other daily routines Sun Potion ashwagandha, daily meditation, exercise, collagen, yoga, eating well, and self introspection (journaling and intention setting) that work great for me now. I can see myself every now and using a CBD bath bomb or the Care by Design droplets after an extra tough day, but in general, I don't see this becoming a steady part of my every day routine for medicinal/anxiety relief. 

    That doesn't mean I am not going to try out some CBD-inspired recipes with some of these tinctures!

    In closing, I think CBD is FANTASTIC and am so glad it has helped so many people who swear by it. Maybe I am just not the getting correct dosage or need to try a different strain? I am going to keep my eyes and heart open for CBD because I believe it can help a lot of people. But for now, I'm going to keep doing my normal routine while sometimes incorporating CBD in!

    Do you take CBD Oil? If so, what kind? What does it help you with? I want to hear from you!

      How to Fly Healthy by lee tilghman

      You're about to take a big trip, and can't wait. Whether you are seeing a new place for the first time or going on a work trip, you're packing your bags and you're ready to go! 

      Being able to see different parts of the world is a gift.

      But the flying aspect of traveling? It can be very tough and stressful on our bodies. As a routine-oriented person, flying throws me and my healthy-schedule-at-home off. 

      After any flight over 1 hour, I'm usually bloated, tired, cranky, and EXTREMELY constipated when I land. It's not rare for me to go 3 days without a bowel movement when I arrive in a new place. Talk about backed up!

      And on longer flights (8+ hours), forget about it. It takes me WEEKS to adjust! Extremely tired, jet lagged, irritable, anxious, swollen feet, lethargic, and dependent upon caffeine to get through the day. 

      BUT...I just returned from a 5 week trip last week. And this time, it took me 0 days to get back on track. I had no jet lag, tiredness or trouble acclimating. The secret?

      I fasted for the entire 13 hour flight, going a total of 15 hours without food. 

      It's called intermittent fasting! It helps the body with a ton of things: increased energy, better circulation, gives your detoxifying organs support, reduces oxidative stress, and stabilizes your metabolism. It's also known to prevent jet lag. More on that later though. 

      Flying makes a lot of people uncomfortable. From the dehydration, high cabin pressure, to the sparser amounts of oxygen, it's takes a big toll on our bodies.

      I googled the question, "why does flying make you"..and the top 5 responses are below.

       Apparently flying makes a lot of people feel like crud.

      Apparently flying makes a lot of people feel like crud.

      Pretty telling, huh? Apparently flying makes a lot of people feel pretty bleh. Below are my tried and true tips for making the flying process as healthy as possible!


      I started fasting on flights in spring of 2016, but I had never tried fasting on an international flight.  It seemed scary and I didn't think I could do it. Eating on planes is a big source of joy for many people. It's easy to get bored (you are sitting in a seat for a uncontrolled amount of time, after all) and food is an easy and pleasurable thing to partake in and look forward to. But even my healthy salads and macro bowls I'd take on planes with me caused gas and constipation.

      But on my flight last week from Stockholm to LA, I decided to fast, and boy, did it change things for me. I landed in Los Angeles after a 13 hour flight feeling light, refreshed, and immediately back on track. I slept that night for 9 hours, no waking up. I had a full load of energy the next day.

      Eating on flights can cause our system to back up. Our bodies are under a lot of stress in the air and the added food creates that much more work for your body to do. (Drinking water is fine and recommended!)

      According to Ayurveda, "When we are in travel-- on planes, trains, cars, etc-- our bodies are in motion and disconnected from Earth. Earth is like our home-base always telling us where we are. Every time we step outside, we receive feedback from the Earth telling us where we are, what season it is, what time it is. This helps our digestion, nutrient absorbtion and elimination."

      "When we are in motion and disconnected from Earth, our bodies have no idea where we are or what is going on. Our Vata (air + space energy) goes out of balance, which makes us cold, dry and airy from within. Think bloating, gas, constipation, dry skin, IBS and other Vata-related imbalances caused by excess air + space." says Sahara Rose, LA-based Ayurvedic practitioner and author of "The Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda".

      Fasting is also known to help jet lag. Why?

      Researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center suggest that, “because food is as essential for survival as sleep is, hunger can influence circadian rhythms as much as changes in light/dark patterns do.” (HuffPost) Try fasting on your next flight. My suggestion is to bring a lot of herbal tea and a reusable eco-friendly water bottle. Don't bring snacks on the plane as you might be tempted to eat them when you get hungry. Keep yourself occupied with books, movies, work, emails, journals, or even catch up on some ZZZ's! Also, don't forget to introduce yourself to your neighbor. If you are checking a bag, keep a little healthy nosh in there like fat balls for you to eat when you break the fast. 

      Compression Socks

       I wore my compression socks from Nike that are meant for running and they worked great!

      I wore my compression socks from Nike that are meant for running and they worked great!

      Okay, this one's pretty nuts but it works. On flights longer than 6 hours, I recommend wearing compression socks. Not only will they keep your feet warm, but the light compression will help increase circulation, decrease the chances of blood clots and will help your feet from getting super swollen while up in the air. 

      I struggle with RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) and usually struggle on planes to keep my legs still. If you have RLS you know that horrible creepy crawly feeling you get in your legs! It feels like there is a spider crawling up your muscles and bones and the only way to shake it off is by literally shaking your leg. It's just the worst! Well, on top of sufficient sleep and proper stretching before and after flights, compression socks helped me a ton with my flight. (Feel free to leave further RLS tips below in the comment section.. I am interested!)

      essential oils

      I apply these topically. Clary sage, lavender, and peppermint oil are favorites for traveling. Peppermint on the temples helps reduce headaches,  lavender on the wrists and neck  lulls you into a sleepy dream space, and a few drops of clary sage rubbed into my belly is a great way to beat bloat. I get my oils from Saje Wellness and Mountain Rose Herbs. 

      Water, water, water, water.

      Did I mention water? Drink as much as you can. Drink it even when you are not thirsty. And then, drink some more. Water is an essential aspect of staying healthy: it helps you concentrate better, balances hunger cues, hydrates skin, and regulates digestion. When traveling, it is even more essential. It's easy to drink a lot of water when you are home or sitting at your desk. But we often forget to drink water while flying (or traveling, in general) 

      While flying, I was always bring a nice big aluminum water bottle with me. I fill it up at the airport and always ask the flight attendants to refill it while in the air. Sometimes they get annoyed at me for asking for so much water. But hey, this girl's got to drink!

      choose the Aisle seat

      So you can get up and walk around at your leisure without disturbing your neighbor too much. But of course, if you are window or middle, don't have any shame if you have to get up to pee and walk around. Respect your needs and you know whats best for you! No shame in the self care game. 

      Get Up and Walk Around

      Set a timer on your phone for every 30 minutes to remind yourself to get up and walk around. Walk up and down the aisle a few times, slowly and then quickly. Do a little yoga stretching. Raise your arms over your head to stretch your waist. Do a calf stretch against the wall. Grab your foot behind your butt to lengthen the quads. You can also even do yoga in your airplane seat! Yoga with Adriene has a cool video about it. 

      JPEG image-B84183DC909B-1.jpeg

      Herbal Tea

      I love drinking herbal, non caffeinated teas while traveling. It brings me a sense of calm and routine. It also reminds me of home, since I sip herbal teas throughout my days.Some favorite herbal tea blends:

      Detox by Pukka Herbs,

      Kava by Yogi Tea

      Self Oil

      Oil up, baby! There's nothing like a little self-oil massage right before a trip. Lather yourself up in some love and give your skin some extra TLC.  Sahara recommends using sesame oil as a way of balancing Vata while traveling. 

      Coco Bun

      Never met a coco bun in the air I didn't like. Here is my coconut oil hair mask tutorial:

      Face Masks


      On a plane! Make your neighbors jealous and whip out a face mask for your flight. Hey, if you're going to be stuck somewhere for that long, might as well make it worth it! I love the Marie Veronique Hydromask for flights. Super nourishing and it's the one I am wearing above. I put a little bit in a re-sealable container so I'm not bringing my whole jar on the plane. These containers are a good example. 

      Eye Pads

      Definitely not a necessary part of traveling healthy, but one of my favorite self-care tricks. These Cactus Collagen Eye Pads from Honest Hazel help reduce puffiness, redness, and dryness around the eyes that flying can exasperate. 

      Noise-Cancelling Headphones

      If you can swing them, noise-cancelling headphones will help reduce the constant drones of an airplane engine. They won't completely mute the screaming baby next to you, but they definitely help me fall asleep better. Bose makes the highest quality ones around.


      As much as all the stuff above with help you flying, at the end of the day, there is only so much coconut oil will do to make your travels smooth sailing. One thing that helps make travel a bit more manageable is lowering expectations and cultivating patience. Patience for the delays, the screaming babies, the taxi-d airplane. The airline lost my bags in Sweden, and it took 7 days for them to successfully return it. If I weren't practicing patience during that time I think I would have gone mad. Traveling always finds a way to teach us lessons. And in the end, patience will only help yourself. 

      What are your favorite traveling healthy tips? Share them below!

      Head over to blog post from last year on more tips for staying healthy while traveling.


      January Playlist by lee tilghman

      Happy New Year Everybody!

      It's 2018- and I'm real excited to be sharing my first playlist of the year with ya'll. 

      It's a good one... I've been building it over my past weeks traveling so it brings about all sorts of feels. I'm still in Stockholm right now working remotely and doing some exploring in this beautiful city. Lots of growing and learning and self discovery happening. Especially when traveling. More on that later though. 

       Back to the playlist...It's got new stuff from Billie Eilish, new discoveries of mine like Mia Todd, SOHN, Lido and Jack Grace. It's a good mixture of upbeat stuff as well as some more mellow tunes to relax to. I made fat balls to it last night.  I hope you like it!

      JPEG image-4B1EAC80D69E-1.jpeg



      Travel Friendly Matcha Latte by lee tilghman


      My matcha mornings are incredibly important to me. 

      They set the tone for the entire day. 

      Making matcha each morning at home has become such a staple part of my routine, and a morning doesn’t even really feel complete without it anymore.

      When I travel, a lot of my schedule is already up in the air, so it's really important for me to be able to carry that little part of my routine with me wherever I go. Bringing along my makings for a matcha latte when I travel brings a little piece of home with me. And it doesn't require bringing tons of equipment. Other benefits of making your own matcha on the road? It is more cost effective as I don't have to go out and buy matcha. It saves me time so I'm not spending hours on my phone hunting down matcha lattes at nearby restaurants. And, it's healthier, since a lot of cafes use pre sweetened matcha or even sugar-y almond milk. 


      Matcha gives me steady energy and focus without the crash, anxiety and jitters that coffee can give me. I gave up coffee (read the full story here) because of my health issues and matcha became my caffeinated beverage of choice. 

      Matcha is a powder made from the whole green tea leaf. It is known to give drinkers a ‘calm euphoria’, thanks to the high levels of L-theanine. L-theanine alters the effects of caffeine, promoting alertness and helping avoid the crash in energy levels that can follow caffeine consumption (Source). Matcha is also beneficial for the skin due to its high levels of antioxidants and liver-protecting qualities. 



      2-1-1 COLLAGEN AND MATCHA Vital Protein's new Matcha Collagen product combines 2 key ingredients of my matcha lattes in one, matcha and collagen. Before this product came out, I would bring little jars of matcha, single use packets of collagen, and whisks with me. Now, I just bring a few servings of their matcha collagen in a stasher bag or the whole container if I am going away for an extended period of time. This product contains 10g of collagen per serving which helps support healthy hair, skin, nails, and leaky gut. Read more about collagen on my Collagen Blog Post

      COCONUT BUTTER Bring some with you or purchase a local health food store, up to you. Just make sure if you are flying with it, you are checking your coconut butter when traveling or the TSA may deem it a liquid and confiscate it. Sad.

      CINNAMON I usually purchase a little cinnamon at a local grocery store when I arrive to my destination. If unavailable, bring some with you in its original jar.  Make sure it is sealed tightly so it does not explode!

      BLENDER If there is a blender at my Airbnb or hotel I'll make the matcha latte in that. Always ask your Airbnb host if there is a blender available to your use. If not, I'll use an aerolatte whisk (which you can purchase on Amazon) and make it in my hotel room. These are small, compact, and super easy to travel with. 

      NO NUT MILK I don’t need to use almond or nut milk because the coconut butter adds a nice thick and creamy taste without having to go out and buy almond or another nut milk. I'm all about the convenience factor. 

      HOT WATER Most hotels will bring up a thermos of hot water free of charge to your room. Just call and ask. If staying in an Airbnb or home, use their stovetop and kettle or a saucepan to heat water.

      ADAPTOGENS bring with! I like to bring a few different jars of adaptogens with me when I go away. Ashwagandha or yin power are favorites. 


      The addition of collagen and coconut butter adds protein and fat, which help to prepare the stomach lining. Green tea and plain matcha on an empty stomach can cause digestive irritation, nausea or other stomach issues which you may have noticed. Adding collagen and coconut help make this problem go away. 

      I drink my matcha collagen latte in conjunction to food. This does not replace food for me. I usually wait until after my workout to drink my matcha unless my workout is later on in the morning.

      I follow the 12-hour window in which I wait 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. This helps give my digestive system a break.


      • 1 scoop Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen
      • 1-2 tbsp coconut butter
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1 tsp adaptogens of choice (ashwagandha and chaga are a favorite of mine for travel)
      • 14 oz. hot water


      1. Blend matcha, coconut butter, cinnamon, yin and water together in a high speed blender.
      2. Blend for 2 minutes so as to get the most froth possible.
      3. Drink immediately or store in an airtight container to drink cold over ice within 24 hours.

      This post is sponsored by my favorite collagen brand, Vital Proteins. THANK YOU Vital Proteins for supporting me and making Lee From America possible. 

      Chewy Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF) (Egg Free) by lee tilghman

      Tis the season.


      The holiday season. And with that (for me at least) comes a huge desire to bake. I want my house to smell like a French bakery, with notes of sugar and butter and spices. Yeah, the candles are nice, but sometimes I just want the real deal.

      And same goes for diet. Usually I like to adhere to a pretty low sugar lifestyle, but I like to treat myself and if there's one time of year to do that- it's absolutely the holiday season.

      So chewy gooey chocolate chip cookies. The answer to your "I want a gluten free cookie but I don't want to eat cardboard" prayers.

      They contain a secret ingredient..almond milk cream cheese. This makes them soft and gooey without the crunchy stale taste many gluten free cookies have. 

      I used this this recipe as a foundation and adapted to make it a little more #LFA friendly. My recipe uses no refined sugars and I halved the butter and added some almond butter in there for a nice nutty texture. My recipe is also egg free so it's perfect for those with egg allergies or sensitivities. 

      It is a little step intensive so make sure you follow each step carefully for the best possible results- and watch the cookies to make sure they don't burn! Happy baking, ya'll!

      Loosely adapted from My Gluten-Free Kitchen

      Chewy Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Makes 20 cookies


      • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (I use Trader Joe's or Cup4Cup)
      • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if gluten-free flour blend has xanthan or guar gum already)
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 1 tsp salt (I used pink Himalayan)
      • 2 ounces almond milk cream cheese, room temp (sub with vegan or dairy cream cheese if you'd like!)
      • 8 tbsp unsalted butter (sub vegan if dairy-free)
      • 4 tbsp almond butter, room temp
      • 1  1/2 cup packed maple sugar
      • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder (or extract)
      • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax seed, 4 tbsp water. mix in bowl, let sit five minutes)
      • 3.3 oz of chopped up no added sugar Eating Evolved chocolate bars, or chocolate chips!


      1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk gluten free flour, xanthum gum (only if your GF flour doesn't have it already in the mix), salt and baking soda. Set aside.
      2. Melt butter
      3. Place cream cheese into the stand mixer bowl. Add butter and almond butter over cream cheese. Add maple sugar and mix on medium to for 2 minutes.
      4. Add vanilla bean powder and flax eggs. Mix low until well combined.
      5. Add flour to mixture and beat on low until well mixed.
      6. Add the chocolate chips and continue to mix. 
      7. Cover the bowl with a cloth and place in fridge for 1 hour.
      8. Preheat oven to 375F.
      9. Remove from fridge and let sit for 20 minutes.
      10. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (do not use cooking spray!)
      11. Using your hands or a cookie scooper, scoop mounds of cookie dough to the parchment paper. 10 cookies per sheet works great.
      12. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes. Remove. They will still be super soft and undercooked but they harden within minutes. 
      13. Eat and enjoy within 2 days (but definitely best enjoyed immediately with a tall glass of hemp milk)


      Lee From America Guide to Los Angeles by lee tilghman


      Los Angeles.

      It's got the ocean, the mountains, the sunshine, the city. It's filled with diverse communities, amazing culture, delicious restaurants, museums, and yes, countless juice bars.

      Los Angeles is awesome. But it's big and sometimes hard to navigate. So to help, I've compiled my favorites spots into a blog post for you guys to help take over the city. So whether you are visiting for a long weekend or just moved to town, this healthy guide to Los Angeles is a perfect place to start, no matter which side of town you're in!

      Note: The dollar signs next to each establishment reflect the cost associated with each outting. 

       The inside of Botanica Restaurant

      The inside of Botanica Restaurant

      Botanica $$ - One of my favorite spots for brunch or dinner, this seasonal, gorgeously decorated cafe offers a delicious selection of vegetable centric dishes with a Mediterranean-Cali flair. Think Turkish eggs, smoked salmon with salsa verde, or romanesco and grilled seasonal vegetables. The most difficult decision will be picking out which item to eat. The banana bread with ghee dip is a MUST though. 

      Guisado’s Tacos $ - this local taco chain makes the freshest, most flavorful tacos in LA. They really care about their ingredients and you can taste it. Make sure to check out their daily veggie taco special.

      Sunset Nursery $$ - the place to go to for all of your plant needs! They carry such a wide variety of plants that are all extremely healthy and thriving. Their staff is really knowledgeable and can help you answer any questions you may have regarding plants. Plus, when you purchase a plant from here you can always bring it back for TLC if it's having problems. Many stores don't have this kind of mom and pop policy. 

      Honey Hi $$ - the perfect destination spot for breakfast, brunch, or lunch, Honey Hi offers a variety of bowls filled with grass fed meats, organic seasonal vegetables, delicious dips and to-die-for pestos. Their iced coconut milk matcha is divine! Nestled in the center of Echo Park, its a cafe you won't want to miss. 

      Color Camp $$$- Where I get all my manicures done! This female-owned highly-customized manicure bar does the sickest manicures in the game. You can get non toxic "safe gel" manicures that last for a month and are cruelty-free, free of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP and Camphor (all harmless to the nails). Select a seasonal design from their design board for inspiration or just a basic color. The choice is yours!

      Kinship Yoga $ - Lovely, supportive yoga studio in Highland Park, offering a unique space, affordable classes, a wonderful atmosphere. It's a gem! 

       So much love for LA hiking!

      So much love for LA hiking!

      Griffith Park (free) - best view of LA, period. This gorgeous hike offers stunning, 360 views of Los Angeles and there are many different ways of getting up and down the mountain, you'll never get bored. 

      Erewhon $$$ - An LA institution. Check this place out for delicious smoothies, amazing sushi takeaway, raw vegan desserts, adaptogenic bulletproof coffees, grain-free granolas, paleo bread, and real talk, some overpriced produce. Warning, you may see Usher or Jake Gyllenhaal inside- it's a celebrity sighting spot. Keep your cool.

       THE best matcha in town, at Eightfold coffee

      THE best matcha in town, at Eightfold coffee

       The Getty grounds

      The Getty grounds

      Eightfold Coffee $$ - best matcha latte in town! Located on Sunset Blvd halfway between Echo Park and downtown LA, their almond milk matchas are out of this world. It's because they use Ippodo Tea!

      The Getty (free) - get your dose of culture at the beautiful Getty museum, the most beautiful museum grounds in LA! And the only thing that makes art more beautiful is when it's free. From Van Gogh to Monet to the succulent garden and Japanese garden, there's so much to discover here- you can even bring your own picnic to eat on the lawn. 

      Belcampo Meat Co $$ -  my go-to spot for bone broth, burgers, grassfed meats and free-range eggs. Belcampo is doing the whole sustainable meat thing right. They have a meat market and a butcher shop. 

      Moon Juice $$$- Their adaptogenic matcha latte with pearl powder is pretty much out of this world. It's on the pricier side, so I save it for special occasions. They have a few locations sprinkled throughout LA.  

      Hope you enjoy the guide to Los Angeles. This city holds a special place in my heart and I hope you all enjoy your time here. Happy traveling!

      Intro to House Plants by lee tilghman

      It's no secret that I am a plant addict.


      Not only do these big green beautiful things look good, but they also have incredible health benefits.

      Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 9.01.01 AM.png

      Studies show, putting just one plant in your environment can:

      • lower cortisol/stress levels
      • reduce airborne toxins and dust particles
      • regulate temperature
      • reduce carbon dioxide levels
      • calm the mind by making you feel you are in nature (a known relaxant)

      On top of that, plants in your home are a wonderful interior design hack. They can turn any dark and dreary corner into a beautiful oasis. They are the perfect complement to a shelf, piece of furniture, empty space or bathroom nook. 


      Lastly, plants are fun- they are something to take care of, watch grow, and change with the seasons.

      When I first moved to California from NYC in 2015, I used my more spacious living space as an opportunity to fill it up with plants. I didn't really know what I was doing but I just went for it. 

      Now, almost three years later, I consider myself a plant lady. I have plants next to my bed, in my kitchen, crawling up my bathroom wall, and hanging over my studio office. 

      They're like pets, but without the commitment.

      Waking up every morning and seeing their green leaves definitely starts my day on the right foot.

      Caring for plants can seem overwhelming, but it's actually quite easy! Below are some of my favorite types, tricks, and routines for my plant babies. 

      Favorite Plants for around the home

       Maranta. These guys like high humidity. 

      Maranta. These guys like high humidity. 

      • Monstera
      • Rubber Trees
      • Snake Plants
      • ZZ Plants
      • Devil's Ivy
      • Lipstick Plants
      • Philodendren
      • Maranta
      • Cacti varieties

      Plant Care

       Shower time, kids!

      Shower time, kids!

      • One day a week, I walk around to all of my plants to see if the soil is dry by sticking my finger in the dirt one inch. If it's dry, I give them a soak. You can also look to see if the plant needs water by their leaves. Perky leaves means the plant's happy, flimsy soft leaves means it's thirsty. 
      • Once a month I bathe all my plants (except the cacti). This gives them a nice "rainstorm". Room temp water is best. I pick them up, place them in the tub, and turn on the shower until each plant has about an inch of water on the soil. Then I let them drain there for as long as they need. The bigger plants obviously take longer, so a rotation is always a good idea. 
      • When it comes to cacti and succulents, my trick is "mindful neglection". You have to play hard to get with these guys, but don't forget about them. Once a month is usually a fair estimate for how often. A good way of remembering is to always water them every time you have your period.  :-)
      • Every few months, I walk around with a wet cotton cloth and gently dust off the leaves of the bigger plants (monstera and rubber) it's crazy how dust accumulates on plants, too! Give your plants a nice cleaning by doing this every few months. 
      • Light: every plant needs light. Make sure you are giving your plant adequate light. If you notice your plant is looking sad, try shifting it to a different area of the home. Plants like to move around. You'll know when the plant is happy. 
      • Yellow leaves: this is normal sometimes. Leaves grow and leaves go, it's like a lesson of life. I like to go around and remove the leaves once it's all the way yellow. Don't remove them until they are fully yellow, though as sometimes they are just changing colors!
      • Housekeeping: go into the soil a few times a year and remove dead and shredded leaves and other weeds. Makes the plant look brand spankin' new!
      • Watering globes are fantastic for those who travel. They slowly drip water into your soil while you are away. 
        *Please keep in mind each individual plant has different needs, so google is a great resource for finding out the individual water/humidity/sunlight levels for each type of plant you purchase.

      Where I get my plants

      I buy my plants from local nurseries here in LA, but my favorite go-to for find a new one is actually Craiglist! People are so often having to move or relocate really quickly and just want to find good homes for their plants, so they sell them for cheap! It's a gold mine, seriously. I don't recommend purchasing plants from Ikea, they are normally in rough shape and don't last long. 

       Saturdays with my kids

      Saturdays with my kids

      Other tips

      • If you are interested in training your ivy to climb the walls, I give them a fair amount of sun and let them grow long. As the branches get longer, I stick a nail or tack into a wall, and place it on top. This helps move the direction the ivy grows. 
      • Propagating (or, breaking off a piece of a plant to let it grow its own roots) is also a wonderful way to double your plants. You can propagate most plants and succulents with a little bit of time and patience. Great way to split a plant with a friend! 

      I hope these tips help you all get inspired to bring some plants into your home! I love mine, and I'm never looking back. If you already care for some, what are your favorites?

      Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 12.07.31 PM.png

      Plastic Free Week: The What, The Why, The How by lee tilghman

      Starting tomorrow, I'm going going to consciously reduce my plastic use for a week. Today's blog post is all about the What, the Why, and The How of #LFAplasticFreeWeek.


      Plastic. It's everywhere.  I'm not kidding. Just peep into your local grocery store, US Post Office, bodega or toy store and you will plastic everywhere. We bottle our water in it, wrap our sandwiches in it, store our crackers in it.

      I like to think I am pretty aware of my own plastic consumption. This began at age 18 when I worked on organic farms for 2 years. I learned all about the magic of bulk items, reducing, up cycling and recycling. In California, we have a ban on plastic bags. I bring my cloth totes with me to the farmer's market. I use a period cup. I bring a S’well water bottle with me wherever I go. I use cloth bags to store vegetables in. But there is always room for improvement. And I am definitely not perfect. 

      This will be an experiment of sort, and a difficult one, I know.

      Yes, doing things like buying groceries in bulk is great and all, but they offer plastic bags to put those items into. The thing is, using plastic is convenient. And cheap. But let's be real - it’s killing our earth, which I'll get into later. 

      Consciously trying to live a plastic free life is difficult is an privilege.

      Running around worrying how I’ll get my cacao nibs home in my glass mason jar is indeed a first world problem. But as someone who has a job in the wellness space, I feel like it’s my duty to draw more attention to this issue and make more of an effort in this area.

      This is not just an environmental problem. It is a class, race, and social justice issue. Many people don’t have the luxury of worrying about their plastic use. But I recognize my privilege, and the next step for me is to reduce my own consumption of plastic. So I'm doing an #LFAPlasticFreeWeek. 

      Especially during the holiday season, it’s a very difficult thing thing to avoid. Our wrapping paper is even covered in plastic wrap. This is the month of consumption, after all: material items, wrapping gifts, it’s a lot. Because of this, I wanted to try to live 7 days without using plastic. 

      The What

      Here are my guidelines:

      No single-use plastic. 

      • No plastic straws
      • No plastic tea bags (you know, the “luxury ones”) 
      • No plastic water bottles
      • No plastic tupperware
      • No makeup wipes
      • No takeout (unless I bring my own glass tupperware to the restaurant)
      • No single use tea bags (favoring loose leaf in a tea steeper)
      • No plastic period materials (no tampons or pads)- silicone cups only!
      • No plastic utensils
      • No plastic USPS bags/Fedex bags - cardboard only
      • No bubble wrap
      • No plastic cups
      • No plastic floss (some floss is made from endocrine disrupting plastic)
      • No zip lock bags
      • No plastic bags at the grocery store (that includes not buying any items that are wrapped in plastic or transporting them in plastic)
      • No plastic stirrers for coffee
      • No single-use plastic items (coffee cups and lids, juice bottles, etc.)
      • Making an effort not to purchase items in plastic (new makeup, deodorant, plastic floss, food in plastic bags) 
      • No vegetables in plastic wrap (no baby carrots- only the loose carrots instead and washing them myself)
      • No leafy greens wrapped in plastic or in plastic containers-  only the loose leaf lettuce and wash them yourself at home. 
      • No saran wrap

      What’s okay:

      • Utilizing items in my home that I already own that contain plastic
        • Cell phone
        • Fridge
        • Containers for food: protein powder/coconut butter/collagen, yogurt, etc. 
        • Library or credit cards and things of the like
        • Kombucha (with a plastic top)
        • Reading glasses
        • Toothpaste, deodorant, etc. (but if you want to make your own - go ahead!)

      I will be collecting all of my plastic usage in a mason jar so I can see how much plastic I used at the end of the week. 

      Items I will be using in place of plastic

      The Why

      1. 91% of plastic isn’t recycled - 

      2. Plastic takes 400+ years to biodegrade -

      3. Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. - 

      4. The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year. -

      5. In fact, more than half of all bottled water comes from the tap. -

      6. Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest marine trash vortex, but there are many more in existence, and it's far from being the only one. - 

      7. Plastic is an endocrine (or hormone) disruptor. Plastics are xenoestrogens, meaning they mimic estrogens in the body. And an excess of estrogen can cause hormonal imbalance. This can effect weight, mood, energy levels, sleep, fertility, sex drive and appetite. Read more about plastic and hormonal imbalances and plastic here. 

      8. You eat much fewer processed foods.
        • Going plastic free is a great way to ensure that you will be eating much fewer processed foods- which is better for our bodies, AND the planet. 
        • Many of your favorite snacks in plastic are things you can easily make yourself (hummus, crackers). The benefits of making this stuff yourself is that you’ll learn how to make it, it will be healthier since you will be making it yourself and you’ll get a huge boost of confidence knowing that you can indeed make your favorite ready-made snacks at home. 

      The How

      • Be prepared. The night before leaving for work in the morning, pack your bag with your necessities: glass jar for coffee/tea, utensils, a cloth napkin, tote bags in case you go shopping. 
      • Meal prep - prep your food in the beginning of the week to prepare for plastic free week. 
      • Give yourself extra time.
        • Plastic free week requires extra time! Make sure you give this to yourself. Take into account that grocery shopping with take a few extra minutes since you’ll be taring out the items beforehand and wont have the convenience of grabbing plastic items. This mean you can bring your container first to the customer service clerk to weigh it, and then when you go to check out - they'll reduce that weight.
        • You’ll be doing a lot of cooking this week as take out items often contain plastic so give yourself plenty of time to cook breakfast and dinner. 

      Good plastic free week recipe ideas:

      • Fat balls
      • Overnight oats
      • Chia pudding
      • Homemade granola
      • Homemade nut milks (sunflower, hemp)

      It sometimes feels like as a country we are more concerned with being efficient, price-friendly, and immediately gratified than worrying about the future of our planet for us and our children. Fact is, most people don’t care about their plastic use. It's much easier using a to-go cup from your local coffee shop then bringing a mason jar with you in the morning and everywhere you go. 

      Should we raise taxes on plastic items? Or ban plastic all together? What if Starbucks required people to start bringing in their own cups? What if we made it a requirement for students to bring their own reusable utensils, plates and cups to school? If just like homework, it was a requirement? What would happen then?

      I think we have the capacity do this. And it starts small. With everyday actions.

      We are smart enough to make an iPhone. We’ve been to space. We’ve created the internet.

      I believe we can reduce our plastic waste. 

      Join me in all your plastic-free glory by tagging #LFAPlasticFreeWeek. I can't wait to see what you're doing to reduce your plastic. Let's start a movement!