Wednesday, July 24, 2019

My Experience with the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet

Last November a colleague of B's introduced us to a 5-day plant-based program called ProLon. He was really excited and spoke about how he lost weight and had more energy, but we didn't need to take his word for it, the proof was obvious with his clearer, more glowing skin along with his obvious weight loss. We were inspired to learn more about this program that offered such amazing benefits in just 5 short days.  I'm not one to jump onto the bandwagon of a new diet or eating program until I've fully researched the benefits and read/heard testimonials. This program is a bit of an investment into your health, so that's just what we did. I loved the fact that everything was made with plant-based ingredients which automatically helps detox and cleanse the body, so we figured we had nothing to lose.

Shortly thereafter my sweetie and I decided to order the ProLon program to give it a try together. We had been planning an upcoming trip during the Christmas holidays to New Zealand and wanted a bit of a jump start on our diet as we had been fairly relaxed with regards to snacking, finding ourselves eating out more than usual and it was all starting to catch up with us! Once our boxes arrived we decided to do the program together and we both noted weight loss (I lost 5 lbs, B lost an incredible 12 lbs!). What we noticed and valued most though wasn't seeing a smaller number on the scale, it was the increased energy levels we both had on far few calories than we were accustomed to, this sparked in us a new appreciation for just how little the human body actually needs to not only survive but thrive! The instructions called for laying low and not adding workouts to an already lower calorie diet so we followed it exactly as it stated (we later learned that workouts on the program were completely okay for us and in fact we preferred that to keep our strength up).

ProLon may appear to be some kind of weight loss magic, however what they pride themselves in most is the science behind longevity-detoxification and keeping body cells healthy to prevent premature aging, promote healthy cell replication as well as provide increased energy which can in turn offer clearer skin and an overall sense of greater wellness. Once we finished our 5 days, we gently transitioned back to regular food the next, this time being more mindful about what we were putting into our bodies and more specifically how much we consumed. I eat a mostly plant-based diet already with some meat and fish, but a goal was to reduce my sugar intake. We also began working out regularly again.

Once we arrived home from our winter vacation we immediately began unpacking moving boxes and getting settled into our new place in San Francisco and found ourselves eating out quite a bit our first week home. We knew we needed to make some changes again. For a couple weeks I would implement a few similar 'ProLon' days involving soups, crackers and lower calories but nothing worked exactly like the program itself, so we decided to order another box. I reached out to ProLon as I was planning to order another box (as was my sweetie) and they generously agreed to sponsor my second round by providing me with a full box and they are offering you a sweet deal also with a coupon code below. Because of the amazing results we both had, I wanted to document it all in greater detail and share my experience with you all. After all, it was in casual conversation with B's colleague that we ended up trying it, and sometimes we discover the greatest products by word of mouth, my hope is that you will find it to be the incredible addition to your healthy lifestyle goals or catalyst for change that it has been for us!

As I'm writing this, we have just returned from Europe where we spent everyday of our summer vacation indulging in everything from croissants in Paris, gelato in Florence to homemade pizza and pasta in Tuscany. While we still incorporated workouts into our time away to compensate for our treats and were mindful of what we ate overall making calculated splurges, the scale doesn't lie and we both still ended up gaining a few pounds so it's Prolon to the rescue again! We're halfway though and just like the very first time trying it we are back to feeling vibrant and lighter. B has already lost an incredible 6.5 pounds after just 2 days and I have lost the 3 that I gained in total. It has now become our secret weapon for bouncing back from vacation and when we've splurged during a weekend getaway trip to Napa.

If you follow along on my instagram stories, you may have seen me posting daily updates of my weigh-in as well as what I was eating and sharing how I felt. If you want to take a peek back at that, even my sweet 5-year-old Lily makes a little appearance. I've shared it in the Instagram Highlights labeled Prolon Fasting right here. Let me break it down for you below...

My 5-Day Experience with Prolon

Day 1: I just want to reiterate that I didn't do this program to lose weight specifically although it is a nice side benefit. However, I will share with you what my 5 days looked like because I don't know anyone who has used this system and has not lost some weight, so perhaps it can provide a reference point. The first day of the program I weighed in at 126.8 lbs. This first day allows for the most calories to transition you to the next few days. I didn't find it challenging because the delicious L-bars are nut-based and very filling as a snack/breakfast for the day. The carefully proportioned fats, fiber and proteins provided through delicious seasoned olives, soups and their yummy kale crackers keep you feeling full, you do not feel deprived. If you're drinking the organic teas provided throughout the day along with water, your brain will naturally receive the message that your body is hydrated and properly nourished and therefore 'full'.

Day 2: I weighted myself in the morning and was 125 lbs which is a bit on the light side for me. I woke up the second day feeling light, full of energy, my tummy felt flatter and my mind was clearer. It may not seem like a lot (especially if you consume about 2,000-2,500 calories per day as I sometimes do including snacks and fancy coffee drinks at times), but today was an 800 calorie day. What makes it sustainable is that the diet includes fat and encourages lots of liquids. Our bodies need either fat or carbohydrates for fuel and this has a nice plant-based balance of both.

Day 3: This day felt harder because we had done a difficult workout routine with a concentration on abdominals (so this may be why they suggest omitting workouts!) Because I wasn't looking to lose weight and had hit where I was comfortable with I did have some cucumber slices and cashews as a supplement as I felt hungrier this day. Had my goal have been seeing a lower number on the scale, I would have been more disciplined and pushed through. That's the great thing about this plan, you can still make minor tweaks  (they even recommend cucumber slices per their email encouragement if needed) which I definitely incorporated.

Day 4: My favorite thing today was sipping hot tea and enjoying the choco-crisp L-bar for dessert. A little bit of chocolate and palette change in the evening goes a long way for me, it satisfies my chocolate craving without needing an entire slice of cake!

Day 5: Today was the final day and I reached my goal which was not weight loss but my body feeling lighter, cleaner, my mind is clear and my food cravings have gone way down. When your stomach shrinks back to a more healthy way of eating, this helps prevent overeating.

Day 6 (Transition Day): The day after the cleanse I worked in smoothies, fruit and baked salmon for dinner which kept our meal light so we didn't create a sudden shock to our body like meat would have.

On the 7th day we were back to eating normally once again as our diet is already fairly clean but with the new intention of not overeating. For example, our acai smoothies we used to drink daily were double the size and calories they really needed to be, filled with way too much natural sugars from fruit such as banana, so we instead started to substitute coconut oil and other healthy fats to help prevent us from overeating later on in the day. We were also mindful of portion sizes and committed to sharing entrees while dining out while each having a small appetizer and omitting desserts which are just unnecessary calories.

It's been great, we choose really well and it saves us money too! An interesting side benefit was that while we didn't give up coffee afterwards, we both decided to give up alcohol and we love a good Napa Cabernet! Alcohol slows down the metabolism as your body now puts all of its effort into removing the toxins from your bloodstream instead of burning fat and assimilating nutrients, we figured it was worth a shot and B has gone 2.5 months without any! I have a glass of wine now and then but one thing we both share in common is that we don't crave it and can totally live without it.

The most life-changing aspect of the Prolon Fasting was revealed to me pretty early into the program and that was just how many times I was reaching for a snack, handful of nuts, fruit or even a piece of chocolate not out of hunger but out of boredom or because it had become a habit (such as my late night snacking between dinner and bedtime which was always chocolate or chips and guac). This  also really demonstrated to me how we as a society have used food as a form of entertainment and to make us 'feel good' vs. actually using food for fuel, our nutritional needs and to satisfy real hunger. Letting myself become hungry in moments also reminded me to be grateful for all the food I have as I recognize there are people all over the globe who experience true hunger daily. I found myself trusting my body and the program and realized I was eating way too many calories, we can live off less than we think we can. This program was the catalyst to something new B and I are both making part of our daily regimen long after this 5-day experiment that we keep returning to, and that is intermittent fasting. We finish dinner earlier and essentially skip breakfast (we still drink coffee or hot water with lemon) creating a 12-16 hour window where our organs have the time to properly assimilate and digest food and cleanse themselves. You know what? It only took a few days to adjust and my body just feels better, my abs are more visible and I get so much more out of workouts early in the morning with a coffee or two and the absence of a breakfast that usually just makes me feel ill when I run or work out intensely so it's been a win-win.


PRADA MARFA ART: (smaller version) //  BLOUSE: Karl Lagerfeld (old)  // JEANS: Express


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If you'd like to experience transformational results too, Prolon is offering Classy Woman readers the following discount codes to use at checkout:

Karla10 for 10% off single orders
Karla10Sub for 10% off subscription orders (3 boxes or more)

Have any of you tried Prolon? What was your favorite result from the program?

This was a long post, thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

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Every Valentine's Day I look forward to showering my loved ones with sweet treats and special gifts. I also feel it's a great reminder to pamper ourselves too! Sometimes as women we can get so caught up with the day-to-day necessities that it's nice to splurge a little on a favorite new lipstick shade, a playful pair of sunglasses or a lacy robe that will make us feel ultra feminine and sexy just to switch things up a bit.

I'm sharing some of my favorite Valentine's Day gift giving ideas for the ladies in your life that can also double as wonderful indulgences for yourself. I received this over-sized Jo Malone candle in peony & blush suede scent over a year ago as a gift from my sweetie (it's also the signature perfume scent I wear daily!) and can't get enough-it really is the perfect gift. Pearl stud earrings are a staple in my jewelry box as well, I probably wear them every other day. This red lace dress is so pretty that I couldn't resist gifting it to myself (I ordered it in black as well), I'm a huge lover of lace and the cut of this dress is oh-so-classy covering in all of the right places. I can't wait for it to arrive so I can wear it on an upcoming date night with my love.


Let's Socialize!

What are your favorite Valentine's Day gifts to give and receive? What ways do you show yourself some extra love on this special day?


Sunday, February 3, 2019

My Favorite Stylish Workout Leggings

I can still remember a time when yoga pants and workout leggings offered fairly limited options- basic plain black in a full or capri length only, with one particular brand leading the way which also happened to be the most expensive! Thankfully the term athleisure was coined and those days are long behind us now as we have a variety of brands, colors and patterns to choose from now when it comes to activewear. While I do love a perfect-fitting pair of simple black leggings, over the past few years I've 'upped my game' so to speak in the workout department and have opted for more interesting options such as cutouts or textures and incorporating a pop of color with my sneakers or a cute tank or zip up, making getting sweaty much more fun. I snagged this blue Nike zip-up top on sale while we were loading up on hiking gear before heading to New Zealand at Christmas and it has become one of my favorites, I'm already planning to buy it in a few more colors as it's become a layering wardrobe staple lately.

I recently purchased these Alo High Waist Moto Leggings that I've been seeing all over instagram, which are equal parts fashion and function. I love how they are stylish enough to wear with a cute sweater layered over a tank top to provide an edgy vibe but can take you straight to the gym afterwards and there is zero compromise when it comes to comfort, as they offer full stretch and they don't ride up or slide down nor are they see-through at all as some leggings can be-especially important when bending over! I'm excited that they have 7 other color choices because the white version is so pretty and perfect with spring just around the corner!


LEGGINGS:  Alo   //   TOP: Nike  // 
 SNEAKERS: Nike (color sold out-same style here, similar color here)  
SPORTS BRA: LuLulemon    //  WATER BOTTLE:  Life Factory


When it comes to workouts, while I do wear shorts at times; whether I'm hiking, running, doing a boot camp workout or flexing my ballet muscles in barre class, I'm almost always in a high-waisted yoga pant because they are just so comfortable and cover all the right places properly. They also come in handy when chasing little ones at the park. Lily likes it when I we take a mommy-daughter approach to climbing gyms so they come in handy for playground days too and the design looks like I put in just a little bit more effort into my overall look.


I hope you're having a great weekend so far and are able to squeeze in a workout however you can! Sometimes all I have time for is a few sets of simple kettlebell exercises in my living room, a quick 15 minute run on the treadmill or a few multi-targeting ab moves such as planking or mountain climbers. Every little bit counts and keeps our momentum going even on the days we aren't able to get in a 'proper' workout. I don't know about you but when I take more than 2 days off to rest in between sweat sessions I personally find it to be SOOO much harder to get back at it again, it's also when I feel my muscles start to stiffen up or become less toned and firm which makes it even more challenging to find the motivation to get moving. For that reason, it's important to do something active for a minimum of 15-20 minutes every single day, even if it's as simple as a brisk walk through your neighborhood.

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I'm always on the hunt for great active wear, so I'd love to hear what your favorite leggings are! Do you have a favorite pair you can't live without? Please share with us in the comments below.


Friday, December 14, 2018

How to Inspire Chivalry in Men

One of the biggest complaints I hear from single women navigating our modern day dating world is that they feel there are no quality men left, all the good ones are taken and they have resigned to the fact that chivalry is dead.  In some ways, I feel as though this lack of gallantry we so desire is because over time women have, without realizing it, settled for less. Perhaps they haven't received the love, attention and gentlemanly actions or mindfulness from men that they so desire, and as a result they've just bought into the lie that those kinds of men don't exist, and if they do, are very hard to find. While there is no blame here, it's important for both men and women to take responsibility of their own contributions.

As a woman who was raised to be self-sufficient, independent and capable, I have to remind myself daily to lean back into my feminine energy and allow it to shine though. It almost feels like an undoing of what many of us have been taught especially female business professionals who are expected to negotiate, take charge and be a leader. What is feminine energy exactly? It is an allowing, receiving, gentleness and relaxed sense of being  vs. the more control-oriented role of masculine energy which is focused on doing, planning, protecting, solving and power. It doesn't mean that women are or should be passive. However, a masculine man by nature will want to please the woman of his affection, he has an innate drive to do so. You can imagine then that if what he offers is rejected, he'll feel as if he cannot make her happy or she doesn't want, need or value his desire to be a gentleman. The more we behave in a loving, gentle and feminine way, the more it will encourage a man to act in his own loving, protective and masculine ways which we women crave. This does not diminish our level of competence, intelligence or strength to essentially be the capable ladies we are, it simply gives him space to be the man he needs to be who desires to love, protect, appreciate, respect and take care of his lady.

It should be every lady's goal to find and align herself with her equal counterpart- a gentleman. I believe there are 4 key ways we as women can encourage the men in our life to act more gentlemanly and I'm going to break them down for you today.


1. Be a Lady- There is no greater motivation for a man to be a gentleman than when he is in the company of a true lady. While many men go out of their way to impress women during the first few dates and in the beginning of a relationship only to see that diminish over time once he's comfortable, a true gentleman does it from the heart and will continue to do so such as opening the car door for his wife decades into their marriage. He feels a sense of pride in treating women in this way when they are soft, delicate and little-girl-like in moments, speak with a gentle tone, smile, put an effort into their appearance and use good manners.

2. Create Opportunities for Him to Be a Gentleman- Sometimes the best thing in life is to remain silent and quietly observe, step back and wait to see his next move. Allow him the opportunity to take your coat, help you zip up your dress, offer to pump gas at the gas station instead of leaping to do it on your own. We know we're capable of doing such things for ourselves, however there is a joy in experiencing our man doing these things for us, it feels good to be cared for.

3. Be an Encouragement- When we compliment him on what he does that makes us feel good, special or feminine or what is such a huge help ultimately making our life easier (such as cleaning your car or giving you a neck massage), he will naturally want to do more. Positive feedback is what lets your man know what is important to you and where he should spend his efforts. Also a word about comparing him to others (the opposite of sharing your gratitude), avoid ever making him feel that he has to live up to expectations of another. Citing all the wonderful things your best friend's husband does will not motivate him, it will irritate him. Nobody likes to be compared to someone else.

4. Raise Young Ladies & Gentleman-Just as important as it is to teach boys 'ladies first', to hold the door, open a car door or to take a coat from a girl, likewise we must also encourage and remind our little girls to be receptive and thankful to those boys who are little gentlemen in training. I'm not suggesting that we focus on male and female roles where boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls, but in how we treat one another, how we dress, how we receive gifts or someone's kind gestures.

There is a lot to be said about allowing a man to lead.  I love my sweetie to feel like a man because it's sexy and allowing him to take charge makes him feel good about himself also, whether it's choosing the restaurant or setting up plans for a date, offering up his seat in a crowded space (to me or another such a pregnant or elderly woman), and just trusting his judgement and expertise in certain areas such as leaning back and letting him negotiate with the sales people while purchasing a new car. Even though we know we're capable, when we go back in history, it's important to recall that men have always been hunter-gatherers, it is in their DNA. I don't know about you but I enjoy the differences and ways men and women can compliment one another.


In what ways do you inspire chivalry in men?  Have you found that your praise and gratitude towards his gentlemanly behavior has made your man want to own that role even more?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Rose Embroidered Top for Fall


TOP:  Romwe  c/o  //   JEANS: Express ( currently BOGO 75% OFF)
  SHOES: Vince Camuto (old -similar here and here | also in pretty olive suede)     
CLUTCH: Local Shop (similar here, here and here)
SUNGLASSES: Target old (similar hereTom Ford)   //  EARRINGS:  Majorca

There is something so cozy and nostalgic about the fall season, it has always been my favorite. Hearing a football game on in the background, sipping mulled apple cider, seeing all of the beautiful colors on the trees, curling up under a fluffy blanket or hearing the sounds of leaves rustle and crunch under my feet as I head out for an evening walk all just remind me how grateful I am to experience this beautiful time of year, a season I missed for nearly a decade while living in the southeast before moving to California 2 years ago.

While many of us gravitate towards lighter and brighter colors during summer, I have to say that as a lover of classic style, black is a staple that I just love wearing year round, and there is nothing better than great fitting black jeans paired with heels, flats or boots during fall! They're easy to dress up or make more casual-a staple in every lady's wardrobe! What I love about this pair is that they hold their shape due to having a bit of stretch and have retained their color really well compared with other black denim I've owned in the past. I recently purchased a second pair on sale and also own 2 pairs in the dark denim wash, both colors are essentials for my fall casual wardrobe. I wear a size 4 long for reference (the long size is awesome for all of us tall girls!) these also come in regular and short lengths.

This rose embroidered ruffle sleeve top has just enough pattern and a pop of color and the best part is it's just under $20! While I could have paired this outfit with a solid black clutch, I find the pattern play against my top along with a red mani adds a playful twist which is perfect for date night or casual Friday at the office.

What's your favorite thing about fall? What pieces are you most excited about wearing this season?

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Thanks for stopping by!


*This post is brought to you by Romwe. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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