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Wellness Wednesday: My Personal French Diet {Guest Writer}

Rue Cler Market

Many of you know that I am a big believer of health and wellness. I believe beauty starts on the inside and no matter what product you buy it won’t look good on dehydrated skin and skin that needs internal repair. Wellness Wednesdays are here to promote beauty as a lifestyle and not just a product. I love a good workout, but wanted to write about wellness more and I have asked my good friend Xina to contribute to a few posts to help you on your beauty and wellness journey.

Guest Writer: Xina
Wellness Wednesday: My Personal French Diet

Over the past three years, since returning from my first visit in Paris, France in November 2012, I’ve been thinking about starting a new blog on the adventures of my life. Friends, family, and colleagues tell me that I really have great stories to share, especially about my life as a PR strategist living in D.C.  Although I agree that I work with some of the most amazing clients in the world, there is a greater message that I want to share with everyone – good health.

My work as a PR strategist includes not only projects with nonprofits, government, and corporate clients but also businesses and organizations that focus on health. I’ve worked on national large-scale campaigns such as HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, flu vaccination, cancer, diabetes and many others. While working on these campaigns, two common threads I see as I travel all over the United States – deteriorating health in African Americans, Hispanics and other disenfranchised communities and obesity among children and teens.

Americans enjoy one of the most luxurious lifestyles on earth: Our food is plentiful. Our work is automated. Our leisure is effortless. And it’s killing us.

I went to Paris with a group of friends who are fashion and beauty bloggers to visit a few beauty houses around the city. My friend Julia Coney, creator of this blog suggested I go even though I wasn’t a blogger.  It was supposed to be a five-day excursion but due to Hurricane Sandy, I was there for an extra four days.  It was the first time I had ever been out of the country, except for trips to the Caribbean and Mexico.

While I was in Paris, I became fascinated with the culture of the city and the food. I couldn’t get enough of the rich foods the French eat. Food is a very important part of the French culture. The French are notoriously chic, especially when it comes to cuisine. They eat lots of rich foods, creamy cheeses, decadent desserts and drink full-bodied wines.

{Market bounty. Fresh, local, and healthy.}

Biarritz Farmer's Market

{Exceptional food and normal size portions.}

French Food

Before I arrived in France, I was at least 15 lbs heavier even though I am pretty athletic and a healthy eater.  Like most people on vacation, I decided not to worry about my weight and indulged on the French cuisine without worry or guilt. The end result: I lost at least 5-7 lbs when I returned to the U.S.

So how, then, did this weight loss happen? Why did I come to Paris weighing more than I ever have in my entire life and lost the pounds that I was struggling to shed in the U.S. in the “City of Lights?”

Subconsciously, I started living as if I were a Parisian. I took in everything I saw them do, including how they eat.

While I was standing in the crepe line, yes I said the crepe line, I asked a French woman how do the French stay so skinny and they don’t deprive themselves of food. She gave me a few answers: watch food portions, eat locally-grown produce, walk or take stairs as much as possible, drink more than eight ounces of water and finally no in-between snacking; only eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.

With that said, she went on to tell me that her teenage daughter lived on the U.S. West Coast for a summer and gained 10 pounds. She said that she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw her daughter the first time after she returned to Paris.

{Stuck in Paris for a few more days in Paris. I’ll take it.}

Additional days in Paris

Once I returned home, many of my friends commented on my weight loss. I had no idea of what they were talking about. To me, I looked the same but it wasn’t until my girlfriend showed me the difference in the before and after pictures did I notice how much weight I took off in such a short amount of time.

I was on the French diet without realizing it. Now, I want to share those adventures with you.

My blog posts aren’t about dieting; it’s more about changing your lifestyle. I will share with you trips to farmers markets and discussing the different fruits and vegetables I buy to make my meals at home.  I’ve stopped eating out as much unless it is for business. I will also be about talk about my runs, workout classes and other methods I try to keep the weight off.

You will also learn about my weak moments with food such as whenever I go home to Detroit to visit with friends and family I eat more than I ever have in months.  It will be about how I fall back into old habits that sometimes take me days to get back on the healthy track.

Welcome to “La vie de Xina.” I hope you enjoy!!!

{Living the French lifestyle in Miami}

August 2015

ESCADA Turquoise Summer Fragrance


I’m not letting summer go. Yes, I know everyone is saying summer is almost over. Well, in my mind summer isn’t over until September 23 which is the first day of fall and the equinox. I’m going to be kicking and screaming when fall arrives, but until then I’m going to embrace the sun, pools, rose wine spritzers, flowly maxi dresses, and limited-edition summer scents such as Escada Turquoise Summer.

Turquoise Summer represents everything I love in a summer fragrance – it’s light with notes of berry, violet, orange and sandalwood. I have been spritzing and loved it so much I bought the travel size because I need to always be reminded of summer even during my fall travels.

The beautiful turquoise and blue bottle reminds me of the beach and is perfectly captured in the scent.

Dove Go Fresh

Dove Go FreshIt’s been hot and humid here in DC and I love every single minute of it. I know so many people hate the humidity and what it does to their hair, but my goodness it’s good for your skin. I detest winter and since I can’t move back to Texas just yet I have to endure them for a few more years. In the meantime I am soaking up all that summer has to offer – fresh fruit, long hot days and nights, and being able to wash the day away with Dove Go Fresh.

The mandarin and tiare flower scents are perfect after my morning workouts when I’m a hot and sweaty mess. Another good thing about summer is not having to be inside to workout. As Outkast would say “so fresh and so clean, clean.”


Nuxe Prodigieux® Shower Oil 2

One of my favorite French beauty lines Nuxe has just come out with their shower oil. I’ve been obsessed with shower oils for awhile and now to have a new one to add to the collection makes me a very happy girl. I also pair it post-shower with their multi-purpose oil and it’s making me smile this week. I have the regular and the shimmer oil and both are just simply divine. I’m always about being bronzed beyond belief and this trifecta is perfect for the summer heat. If you really want to up the beauty ante, I suggest purchasing the perfume as well. You will not be disappointed.

Get involved beauty girls. Get involved.

Simple Skincare Micellar Cleansing Water Should Be in Your Gym Bag


I have been working out four mornings a week and it’s been great. I realized I needed a little more cardio in my life and it has been great. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still all about yoga and sometimes that means two workouts a day. What hasn’t been so great is trying to figure out my gym bag situation. I wash my face every morning and night, but after sweating it out with my workout buddy, I really don’t want to “re-wash” my face, but I know I have to get the sweat off. I decided to try Simple Skincare’s Micellar Cleansing Water.

Cleansing waters have become very popular in the U.S., but they have been used in other countries for years. Most makeup artists believe in them and I’ve been a fan since I first discovered them in Paris years ago. I normally use them to take my makeup off before I actually wash my face at night.

I really love the feel, the smell, and everything about this cleansing water.It gets all the sweaty, salty mess off your skin and keeps it soft and supple.  I’m on my second bottle for my gym bag and I think it will be a great compliment to your beauty routine in your gym bag and your beauty shelf.

Wellness Wednesday: Wanderlust 108, a Mindful Triathlon

In my never ending quest to stay healthy and fit, I have decided to start trying different fitness events to challenge me and get me out of my comfort zone. As a yogi, we are reminded often the only thing constant is change. It’s not always the easiest concept to grasp and as I get older it really hard to accept so much change I can’t control. Instead of going with the flow and being mad, I have decided to go with the flow and have fun. Smile, laugh, and wear a hot pink lipstick in the process.

One way I’m getting through the changes in life is to embrace fun. I mean the things that inspire and motivate me. I have been loving the concept of Wanderlust from a music and yoga festival to mini events all over the country. It takes yoga outside of the studio and into the world, literally. Wanderlust 108 is touted as the world’s kindest triathlon. What exactly does that mean? “This ‘mindful triathlon’ brings three events together in your favorite local park: a 5k run, an outdoor yoga experience, and a guided meditation — but with a twist.”

I know this is going to be a fun event and I hope this ankle injury I’m dealing with is healed by that time. I hope to see you there. I know this is going to give me the Wanderlust bug because I already have my eyes on the Wanderlust festival in Oahu in February.

Wanderlust 3 Wanderlust 4 Wanderlust 2 Wanderlust 1


Beauty in a Beat: DC’s On Demand Beauty Service



Beauty in a Beat is the DMV’s answer to beauty on call. Most on call services in the area only service DC. If you don’t live in the district you are basically left to your own beauty devices. Beauty in a Beat is different because it services areas up to 15 miles outside of the district.

Let’s discuss. Imagine it’s been one of those weeks. Your patience has been tested and it took all your strength to get through the week. But, you have a party on the weekend and you really don’t want to drive to one place to get your hair done, nails, and makeup in party condition. Beauty in a Beat delivers all the above via an app (thank you technology) right to your door. Let’s say you don’t have anything going on, but you want to treat yourself to an in home manicure just because. With the tap of a few buttons on the app your nails are pretty and you are relaxed.

The prices are not bad at all ($25 for manicures and $75 for makeup application). I love the convenience and efficiency of the app.  Ladies, if you are always saying “I don’t have time to do my nails or learn proper makeup application” you can stop the excuses now. DMV ladies, get involved.

Download the Beauty in a Beat app and save 20% off your first service with the code “TRYBIAB.”

{The before}


{The after}


Global Wellness Day with Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC


I hope everyone had a glorious weekend. It was hot here in the DMV and I loved every single minute of it. On Saturday, I spent time at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC to celebrate Global Wellness Day. Global Wellness Day is just what it says – a day to celebrate wellness in various forms. It was also great to meet new local bloggers in real life instead of just on the Internet. For me, wellness is sleep, great food, and working out.

The Four Seasons Washington, DC is a true luxury destination and as a one of the invited media it was great to see the hotel participate in making wellness global. The hotel is situated in Georgetown, a popular area in DC and perfect for runners. The hotel’s spa is one of the best in the area for relaxation and rejuvenation.

The morning started with yoga (my personal favorite) outside with local instructor Christina Popescu. I normally practice in a studio and outside can always present challenges. Bugs, heat, uneven terrain, but the best thing about it is I have to focus on my breath and each posture.

{Yoga outside. I could get used to this.}


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By the time, we sweated it out and finished with savasana I was so relaxed. Savasana takes on a different meaning outside listening to the birds and babbling canal water. After yoga is was a post-yoga green juice (Green Goddess) and superfood muffins (I need the recipe).

{Green Goddess Juice & Superfood Muffins}


The snack was a great preparation for breakfast. The hotel created the Green Machine omelette in honor of Global Wellness Day. I never have delicious Huevos Rancheros therefore I did my Texas duty and devoured mine. After lunch, it was time to relax in the spa area and because I never met a sauna or steam room I didn’t like I treated my body to a sweaty detox session.

{Green Machine Omelette}


{Huevos Rancheros}


{Spa treatment room}

Four Seasons Spa

I finished the day with a makeup session with local makeup artist Gavin Hebert using Jane Iredale products which I loved. I’m usually not a mineral makeup fan, but Gavin changed my mind.

{My before and after. My face felt light all day.}


If you want to see how other Four Seasons around the world celebrated Global Wellness Day search the hashtag #FSWellness. Thank you to everyone at the Four Seasons for such a lovely day. Ladies, let’s make wellness an everyday event.

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