Mood Boost

Mood Boost

Keep These 9 Things in Mind to Combat SAD

The days are growing shorter — and you might find your temper doing the same. Irritability is often the first sign of depression, and if your mood grows as dark as the days, you might feel touchy.

How can you combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? Here are nine things to keep in mind as we approach what poet Robert Frost called “the darkest evening of the year.”

1. Eat More Nuts

Why should you go a little nutty to keep from growing melancholy as the days shorten? Nuts are high in three vital nutrients — zinc, magnesium and selenium — that may help combat the seasonal blues.

Healthy young women given a zinc supplement showed fewer depressive signs than those on a multivitamin alone. A rodent study revealed that rats low in selenium had decreased levels of BDNF, an indicator of major depressive disorder. Magnesium supplementation works as well as antidepressants in reversing mild to moderate depression.

Don’t pass by that holiday nut tin. A single Brazil nut contains a full day’s serving of selenium, and if you eat a handful, you’ll get other vital antidepressant nutrients, too.

2. Watch Your Simple Starch Consumption

When the days grow short and cold, your cravings for sweets and starchy foods intensify. Think of the traditional Thanksgiving feast laden with yams and various stuffings. Unfortunately, these foods can stick to your waistline and result in unwanted pounds.

When this happens, the scale numbers add to your depression, which makes you want to eat more and stuff down negative emotions. Instead, look at your plate as a clock, and fill 30 minutes of it with cooked vegetables, raw salad or both.

3. Schedule Your Mealtimes

If you don’t follow structured mealtimes, you could fight the urge to snack all day. This behavior likewise packs on unwanted pounds.

Instead, schedule your mealtimes — write them in your planner if you must. Make your work desk a snack-free zone. As a bonus, you won’t get crumbs stuck in your keyboard.

4. Keep Your Body Moving

Exercise is one of the best ways to combat SAD or any depression form. Physical activity releases endorphins, natural feel-good chemicals that ease pain and give you a mood boost.

Working out when temperatures drop below freezing can prove challenging. Find something that you look forward to doing. Instead of forcing yourself to run two miles on icy sidewalks, take a Zumba class or work your whole body while getting more flexible in an Ashtanga yoga studio.

5. Get Outdoors

If possible, get outside every day. Your body can produce excess melatonin in winter, and this sleep hormone can make you feel like, well, hibernating.

Exposure to direct sunlight also increases your serotonin levels. This neurotransmitter plays a vital role in depression and a lack of it can increase the severity of SAD symptoms. Take a stroll on your coffee break or volunteer to walk to the office supply store one block down when your employer runs out of ink.

6. Light It Up

In their infinite mercy, the gods made UV therapy lamps available without a prescription — you can invest in one even if you lack health care coverage. While the real reason you can buy them OTC probably has something to do with patents, market shares and other legal-financial mumbo-jumbo, take advantage.

Let’s face it, if you commute to work and home in the dark and occupy a cubicle, you wither like a houseplant with insufficient sunlight. Buy one for home and work — it’s the next best thing to a stroll in the park.

7. Maintain Your Hobbies

As the days grow shorter, you might find you come home, collapse on the couch, then head to bed early without doing much else. Please try to muster the energy to keep up with your hobbies.

Why? These activities remind you that there is more to life than working, eating and sleeping. They restore your sense of passion and imagination — two powerful characteristics to fall back upon when it feels like life consists of nothing but drudging through the cold.

8. Accept Invitations

Likewise, your company’s office party invitation might fall on unwilling shoulders. However, you know it will benefit your career to go — plus, it might result in a mood-boost.

Loneliness and isolation can increase feelings of depression. If you want to combat SAD, please consider accepting invitations as often as possible. While you don’t have to RSVP “yes” to every invite and overexert yourself, you should select two or three events that matter most to attend.

9. Set a Regular Bedtime

Both a lack of sleep and too many Zzz’s can influence feelings of depression. Too much sleep can make it as challenging to get out of bed and start your day as too little.

When it seems dark more often than light, your sleep schedule and circadian rhythms become disrupted. Try to stick to your regular bedtime. If you awaken during the night, do a quiet activity like sipping chamomile or reading until you fall back asleep.

Combat SAD by Keeping These 9 Things in Mind

If you have SAD, combat it by using the nine tips above. By approaching the oncoming battle with your arsenals stocked with healthy habits, you can survive when Ned Stark declares, “Winter is coming,” again.


For more information on the importance of good sleep take a look here:



Brightline Health Launches COBI to Give Kids and Families Mental Ease

Brightline Health Launches COBI to Give Kids and Families Mental Ease

Life may be rough, but to be fair, 2020 feels like it’s been an entire lifetime of rough! We’re all going through something, especially with the pandemic caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. Where is your sanity level at these days — including your family, and kids? Even more importantly, how can parents know what effects these troubling times are having on their kids?

We’re happy to introduce you to COVID-19 Behavioral Health Indicator (COBI) from Brightline Health, a free online tool that just launched to help indicate the pandemic’s impact on kids’ mental health. The best part: This tool can help the whole family!

The initiative comes at a time when one in three children living under Covid-19 lockdowns are dealing with feelings of loneliness, nervousness, and irritability (
United Nations). A recent study by Save The Children found that fifty percent of children say they were worried, and more than sixty five percent struggled with boredom or feelings of isolation. Brightline Health CEO and Co-founder, 
Naomi Allen, says, “As a mom of three young kids, these past months there have been so many times I have wondered if my kids are weathering this pandemic okay. We wanted families everywhere to have a way to learn about their children’s well-being and have practical tools to help if their kids are being impacted by all the stressors surrounding Covid-19.” COBI is not only just a tool for the moment, either. In the below Q&A with Allen, the CEO breaks down how future-proof the free tool is, the ways that it can help strengthen the family bond, and what their coming goals are.

A Q&A With Brightline Health CEO & Co-founder Naomi Allen

Q: What sparked the idea for Brightline Health, and how does it operate?

A: I’m the mom of three young kids, five-year-old twins and an eight year-old. A few years ago, we noticed things my oldest son was experiencing that concerned us—for example, he wasn’t tracking against a number of dimensions, like handwriting or ability to hold utensils, and he was developing strong sensitivities to things he perceived as scary. My husband and I kept asking ourselves, “Is this normal?” As a mom, I felt terrified and lost. Consequently, I then started a time-consuming and expensive journey to get him support, full of dead-ends, disorganization, lack of resources, and a whole lot of frustration.

These are just a few of the immense barriers that parents across the country face when they’re worried about their child’s emotional and behavioral health or their developmental progress. It simply isn’t acceptable, not for parents, and not for our society as a whole. We started Brightline to change all of this, to build the first technology-enabled behavioral health home where children, teens, and their families have the support of collaborative care teams, virtual care that supports the kids and their parents, and a radically great experience of care for the whole family.  

Q: This year’s pandemic is undoubtedly stressful for everyone, and the contributing factors to that stress in this new way of life will likely last beyond just this year. What does Brightline intend to do, and is this goal time-proof — effectively helping families for a long-term benefit? 

A: Even before the pandemic, we were in the middle of a behavioral health crisis in this country. One in five kids have a diagnosed behavioral health condition, yet 80% don’t get the care they need (CDC). Now, with Covid-19, we’re seeing a tsunami of need—76% of parents are worried about their kids’ mental health (The New York Times), and half of kids say they feel worried (Save the Children). 

The way we’ve always done things—private practice, wait lists, parents running around to multiple appointments—it doesn’t support how much and how fast families need support. And it certainly doesn’t give them all the support they need when they’re still dealing with distance learning, staying home, not seeing friends, and everything else that’s weird and difficult about this year. 

What we’re doing is sustainable because we’re building both the technology and the family systems approach that is needed to support the already overwhelming (and now growing) need. We’re using evidence-based programs, we’re giving parents coaching and additional support like group classes, we’re tracking progress together—it’s all so that we can move kids forward and help the whole family thrive. We’re also launching timely initiatives to tackle what’s actually affecting families in real-time—for example, we built the first-ever tool, called the Covid-19 Behavioral Health Indicator or “COBI,” to help parents learn about the potential impact of the pandemic on kids’ mental health.

Q: What about being situation-proof? In other words, COVID-19 has been devastating for so many, but this will eventually pass. Can Brightline provide the same help and support tool for families impacted by gun violence, natural disasters, poverty, and other hardships or tragic events we face in more normal times?

A: Yes, absolutely! This is one of the great and important reasons we’re using evidence-based programs, like Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), that have been proven to move kids forward across many different concerns—be that anxiety, depression, and trauma, including around the events you mention like natural disasters. 

We’re working with kids to build skills and coping tools that they can use well beyond initial treatment, even into their adult life (seriously, many of us adults are using CBT techniques to get through all that this year has thrown our way, it works!). It’s all about forward motion, giving kids and their parents tools to continue this at home and in their lives beyond Brightline.

Q: How can Brightline help strengthen the family bond? 

A: We’re the only company with a full family support system in how we deliver care. So while the child or teen is in care with us, we’re also supporting the parents or caregivers along the way. That includes pairing them with a designated coach to help them navigate care, parent training tools, group classes, app-based treatment exercises they can use with their kids between appointments, and progress tracking so they know how their child is actually doing over time.

By engaging parents in their child’s care, we’re able to bridge the divide that can often come up when families are dealing with this tough stuff. Our supportive system is really aimed at providing a positive experience for the child and the parents, so we can foster communication and growth at home.   

Q: While mental health has long carried a stigma with nearly any supportive tool or help-seeking person, in the U.S., there is a shift happening. How does Brightline’s tool differ from going to see a therapist or counselor, and does it work in conjunction with other ways that families may receive mental help?

A: These are really common challenges that families face—and we provide uncommon solutions, if you will, to support them in getting to a better place. In addition to the evidence-based programs, technology, and family-focused approach, one of the differences is our collaborative care teams. We bring together care for a range of needs that typically happens in a really disconnected way—behavior therapy, evaluation and medication support when needed, speech and occupational therapy to support overall developmental health and well-being. 

Until now, parents would have to run all over town, juggling many different providers and appointments and trying to make sense of it all. I’ve been there, and it’s a mess. With us, families have the support they need all in one place, with one team, working together towards shared goals for their child. And by providing a really warm and inclusive experience for families—including opening up conversations about these challenges, bringing together the community in group classes, celebrating progress and wins together—we really aim to to eliminate the scary factor and celebrate therapy instead. 

Q: In terms of Brightline’s goals, where do you hope to see the company in 5 to 10 years?

A: There is a need for this kind of care everywhere—parents in every corner of this country are facing limited options, wait lists, and the many other barriers we’ve discussed. We aim to reach and support as many kids, teens and adolescents, and their families as we can—and we’re building in a way that will allow us to do so in creative and effective ways. For example, we’ll explore different levels of care for different conditions or symptom acuity. We’ll continue to build partnerships with health plans and national employers so we can increase both access and affordability. We’ll continue to build on our technology product to extend care across the country and reach families where they are. We’re building fast, but in the right and sustainable ways, so that we can bring exceptional support to families across the country.


La Brea Bakery Café Gets Festive For Halloween and Holidays with Special Offers

La Brea Bakery Café Gets Festive For Halloween and Holidays with Special Offers

Just in time for spooky season, Los Angeles favorite, La Brea Bakery Café is offering a sweet, limited time only, offer for Halloween — a perfect treat for kids and adults, alike! If you needed a place to pick up some decadent sweets, then here’s the perfect spot!

The artisan bakery will be selling Halloween-themed cookies every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 31st. The cookies, decorated as pumpkins and ghosts, are available at La Brea Bakery’s flagship location on S. La Brea Avenue for $3.50 each. No tricks — all treats!


And that’s not all: Following Halloween, La Brea Bakery Café will continue to sell special holiday cookies each weekend, through the holiday season. Now itsn’t that the perfect way to transition the holidays and get into the festive spirit?

Del Taco Enlists CRYS///P TYGER For Their Limited-Time Cholula Menu

Del Taco Enlists CRYS///P TYGER For Their Limited-Time Cholula Menu

Del Taco Rocks Your World with New Cholula® Hot Sauce Crispy Chicken Tacos

& Burritos, Loaded Fries & Breakfast Rollers

Lake Forest, CA – October 6, 2020 – The heat is on! Earlier this month, Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ: TACO), the nation’s second largest Mexican quick service restaurant*, introduced a slate of new menu items featuring Cholula® Hot Sauce — one of America’s most popular and authentic hot sauce brands. Taking the main stage is the cost-effective $1 Crispy Chicken Cholula Taco and the $5 Epic Cholula Crispy Chicken Burrito, with both building on Del Taco’s successful crispy chicken items launched earlier this year.

To promote the new Cholula menu items, Del Taco enlisted the hair metal band they discovered with enough passion for hairspray, leopard print spandex and Cholula Crispy Chicken Tacos to fuel its rise to stardom, CRYS///P TYGER. Though they made their debut on debut Monday, October 12, their presence will be felt long after! You can follow Del Taco on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for some spicy guitar licks from the band to promote the new Cholula menu items.

“We’ve received an incredible response and strong customer demand for our Crispy Chicken since introducing it to our permanent menu this summer. We want to build on that momentum by giving our fans even more crave-worthy flavor options, and what better way to do so than with an iconic hot sauce brand collaboration,” said Tim Hackbardt, Del Taco’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Cholula and tacos are made for each other, but it is amazing poured on just about everything else and that’s why we have it in a burrito, on loaded fries, and in our breakfast rollers with eggs and cheese.”

Known for its bottle with the iconic wooden cap, representing the craftsmanship behind the product, Cholula is among the most loved and fastest growing hot sauce brands in the U.S. Each of the Del Taco menu items incorporates Cholula to complement the flavor profiles, ranging from Crispy Chicken to loaded crinkle cut fries to the egg and cheese roller. Del Taco is offering multiple options to treat Cholula fans during different eating occasions.

“We are excited to add Cholula’s unique spices and flavor to Del Taco’s successful Crispy Chicken lineup!” said Miguel Leal, Cholula Food Company’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Del Taco’s fantastic new menu items are a perfect extension of the Cholula flavor that our loyal consumers have come to know and love.”

The new Del Taco Cholula menu is available at participating locations starting October 8, and includes the following items — two of which are on Del’s Dollar Deals value menu:

  • Cholula Crispy Chicken Taco: Crispy chicken strip, crisp lettuce, freshly grated cheddar cheese, spicy Cholula Original Hot Sauce, in a warm flour tortilla.
  • Epic Cholula Crispy Chicken Burrito: Loaded with crispy chicken strips, fresh romaine and iceberg lettuce blend, sour cream, fresh diced tomatoes, crispy tortilla strips, and spicy Cholula Original Hot Sauce wrapped in a warm, oversized flour tortilla.
  • Cholula Loaded Fries: Crinkle-Cut Fries topped with spicy Cholula Original Hot Sauce, seasoned beef, freshly hand-grated cheese, sour cream, diced onions, and chopped cilantro.
  • Cholula Egg & Cheese Breakfast Roller: Scrambled eggs, freshly grated cheddar cheese, spicy Cholula Original Hot Sauce, in a warm flour tortilla.
  • Cholula Chorizo Breakfast Roller: Scrambled eggs, freshly grated cheddar cheese, spicy Cholula Original Hot Sauce and chorizo sausage, in a warm flour tortilla.
  • Cholula Bacon Breakfast Roller: Scrambled eggs, freshly grated cheddar cheese, spicy Cholula Original Hot Sauce and crispy bacon, in a warm flour tortilla.

About Cholula Hot Sauce

Cholula Hot Sauce is the delicious result of a recipe using a blend of arbol and piquin peppers along with a creative mix of spices and inspired by its rich Mexican heritage. The iconic wooden cap represents the true commitment to craftsmanship behind every product. In addition to the Original recipe, the product line includes five additional varieties – Chipotle, Green Pepper, Chili Garlic, Chili Lime and Sweet Habanero, which can be found at retail and in food service establishments nationwide. For more information about Cholula Hot Sauce, check out 


About Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.

Del Taco (NASDAQ: TACO) offers a unique variety of both Mexican and American favorites such as burritos and fries, prepared fresh in every restaurant’s working kitchen with the value and convenience of a drive-thru. Del Taco’s menu items taste better because they are made with quality ingredients like fresh grilled chicken and carne asada steak, sliced avocado, freshly grated cheddar cheese, slow-cooked beans made from scratch, and creamy Queso Blanco.

Founded in 1964, today Del Taco serves more than three million guests each week at its approximately 600 restaurants across 15 states. Del Taco’s commitment to providing guests with the best quality and value for their money originates from cooking, chopping, shredding and grilling menu items from scratch. For more information, visit

*By number of units

Hold On To Summer with FUNBOY Fine Art Prints

Hold On To Summer with FUNBOY Fine Art Prints

Summer is long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hold onto the warmer moods throughout the Fall and Winter months. With Winter just around the corner — and with travel plans on hiatus, we’re all yearning for a little piece of paradise. That’s why FUNBOY is launching its first-ever line of Fine Art Prints, designed to bring the joy of summer directly to your walls! This limited-edition photography collection will transport you to a happy place, bring travel and adventure into the comfort of your own home.


The upscale collection was created in partnership with the up and coming photographer, Brecht Van’t Hoff, as well as Max Samis — the creator of House of Spoils. House of Spoils, located walking distance from FUNBOY’s Venice, CA headquarters, supports a collective of emerging artists to bring their works to life. Both brands believe in elevating the community and bringing fun and art to everyone’s home — whether floating in your pool or hanging out indoors. 


Each museum-quality art print is available in 5 sizes and 3 free frame options, starting at $165. All orders are shipped straight to your home with everything you need to seamlessly hang on your walls and transport your spirit this winter. Expertly printed and framed in the USA, all artwork is made to order just for you! Go ahead and hang on to Summer!

Love is the Air

Love is the Air

On Saturday, October 24 2020, the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) will host its 5th annual Fundraising Gala. The event will take place in an exciting and immersive online environment hosted by award-winning actress Lisa Edelstein. LACP will honor Douglas Kirkland & Francoise Kirkland with the 2020 Stieglitz Award, as well as LA photographer Estevan Oriol, and the Los Angeles Times photographers. The evening will include special guests, a showcase of photographs from our juried competition, “The Connected World” and an online post-gala cocktail party.

Guests will also be invited to peruse a virtual gallery of over 100 extraordinary photographs from artists, galleries and institutions and can hear audio clips of artists talking about their work. Bidding to support LACP will be available around the world via Artsy from October 15th – October 29th  at

Notable artists include: Douglas Kirkland, Melanie Pullen, Ellen Von Unwerth, Andrew MacPherson, Art Streiber, Aline Smithson, Alix Malka, Andrew Macpherson, Baron Wolman, Bill Owens, Dana Gluckstein, David Burnett, David Hume Kennerly, David Carol, Elinor Carucci, Elizabeth Opalenik, Gerd Ludwig, Graham Nash, Gray Malin, Greg Gorman, Hank O’Neal, Herb Ritts, Jeff Bridges, Jill Enfield, Jim McHugh, Joel Sartore, Josephine Sacabo, Julia Dean, Kevin Scanlon, Lori Vrba, Lynn Goldsmith, Marjorie Salvaterra, Matthew Rolston, Michael Shulman, Michael Grecco, Mick Rock, Mitch Dobrowner, Norman Reedus, Randee St. Nicholas, Rania Matar, Ruth Orkin, Sam Abell, Sandro Miller, Stephen Wilkes, Sylvia Plachy just to name a few!   

Tickets available for purchase here:

ARTSY Benefit Auction photographs can be seen here:

To learn more about LACP, please visit 

Follow LACP:

Facebook @losangelescenterofphotography

Instagram @la_centerofphoto

Twitter @lacenterofphoto

Attached images by

Dennis Hopper by Douglas Kirkland

Grace Jones by Greg Gorman

Rascal in the 47 by Estevan Oriol

I’m Watching (Voyeur Series) by Melanie Pullen

Hollywood (Evan Rachel Wood) by Ellen Von Unwerth

Pulp Culture Wants You to Have the Better-For-You Booze

Pulp Culture Wants You to Have the Better-For-You Booze

Summer is over, but that doesnt mean booze is over! And with Mercury entering retrograde (again) until November 3rd, we’re going to need to keep the booze chilled and ready to go. That’s why it’s the perfect opportunity to learn about a new company who puts the “B” in “booze,” where “B” means “best!” This past Spring, Pulp Culture launched the healthiest booze on the planet. Seriously!
Boasting four function-first blends — THINK, HUSTLE, RESTORE, and RELAX — Pulp Culture was designed by high performers, for high performers, to enhance our everyday lives and take the edge off with a health-conscious alcohol. Not only is Pulp Culture not bad for you — it’s actually good for you — packed with probiotics, adaptogens, immune boosters, and all ingredients transparently listed on the front of the can. Pulp Culture’s “hard pressed juice” features a wide array of fruity flavors, like guava, passionfruit, and strawberry, backed by nature’s health food warriors, including turmeric, milk thistle, and even superfood mushrooms! Each flavorful blend suits any of your life’s needs, whether you’re knocking out that after-work report, or setting the mood for that long overdue vacation… but there’s something else.


Yeah, yeah, those are all great, but what about the mushy stuff? Well, that fiery, can’t-stop-won’t-stop feeling (and flavor) is here too. Besides, what’s anything without a little love thrown in? During these trying times, love is what fuels our fire, along with love for ourselves, each other, and our environment. In creating their first limited-edition blend, Pulp Culture’s goal was to bring light to love, enhancing the unrivaled feeling in the form of a guilt-free libation. 
Mark McTavish, CEO & Co-Founder says, “A true labor of love, this is a seasonal release with serious superfood sex appeal! When adding a new function-based formulation to our lineup, we felt it was appropriate to bring the world something that we could all use more of… LOVE. Juicy pineapple and pomegranate bring pleasure to your palate, while maca and damiana will leave you feeling frisky. Last but not least, cordyceps is a powerful adaptogenic aphrodisiac that boosts stamina and vitality.” 

Pulp Culture’s LOVE blend launched on September 8th, and won’t be around too long, so indulge while you can!

Better For You Facts to Take Away:

  • ALL ingredients on the front of the can
  • Immunity boosting
  • Botanical adaptogens
  • 6 billion CFUs probiotics/can
  • Zero sugar
  • 99 calories
  • Full spectrum fermentation – 100% mother nature
  • 4.9% ABV
  • 4-packs available at Pulp Culture for $14.99

About Pulp Culture

Pulp Culture is the epitome of a “better for you” beverage. Pulp Culture uses fresh, source-verified ingredients, resulting in a zero sugar, low calorie, “better for you” alcohol. Every blend contains only the ingredients seen on the front label of the can. It is naturally fermented, raw pressed juice that’s sourced from local farms, and fermented for three months, yielding a naturally alcoholic and certified probiotic beverage. This drink ensures you are getting all of the benefits that Mother Nature intended: billions of live probiotic cultures, and a vast array of beneficial vitamins and nutrients found in the plants used for fermentation. Cold-pressed juice just got healthier and hangovers have officially left the building. Enjoy a drink with mother nature and get to know her wild side.

About Mark McTavish (CEO & Co-Founder):

Raised in the apple growing region of southwest Ontario, Mark began his career in the craft beverage industry at the age of 19. Soon after earning his Bachelor of Commerce at Canada’s top beverage management school, Mark established his foothold in the marketplace by opening one of the first craft bars in Canada in 2003.

After helping to pioneer the craft beer industry in Canada, Mark followed his other passion and built a successful career in the commercial fitness business.  With a focus on product design and brand development, Mark spent nearly a decade working with fitness professionals across North America. Mark’s career path came full circle when he realized his dream to craft the healthiest alcoholic beverages on the planet; a convergence of two industries that had previously seemed to be an impossible pairing.


A devout vegan since the age of 14, Brendan is the formulator and cofounder of Vega (an industry leader in plant based nutrition). He is also the bestselling author of the Thrive book series, as well as  Editor-in-Chief of Alive Magazine. As a former professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon champion, Brendan is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on plant-based performance nutrition.

Brendan invests in and works with socially responsible food and tech companies, whose mandate is to fix our food system and reduce the environmental strain of food production. As of July 2018, Brendan had not enjoyed an alcoholic beverage in 14 years. This all changed when he discovered 101 Cider House at his local Whole Foods Market, learned about the unrivaled production process, and felt motivated to join the team.

Spore Launches to Deliver Health-Boosting Mushroom Supplements

Spore Launches to Deliver Health-Boosting Mushroom Supplements

These days, our health and wellbeing is more thought about probably ever before. The good thing is you can never take too many measures to protect yourself from illness — including the current pandemic we’re all facing right now. With perfect timing, Spore has entered the scene! This new consumer wellness supplement company just launched in September, and they aim to transform our health through the use of functional mushrooms. Spore separates itself from competitors by pioneering a holistic approach to modern medicine with the use of mushrooms, its unique founder story, and helping people regain control of their health from the inside out with their breakthrough line of science-based nutritional supplements. We know, you’re probably thinking, “What’s so special about mushrooms?” Well, it turns out a whole lot! We’re happy to fill you in on what could be the next big health trend with a special Q&A with Spore’s co-founder, Michael Zavet.

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), Michael was determined to find a holistic and all-natural solution, which led him to discover that functional mushrooms are a potent and effective treatment. In conjunction with their launch, Spore is committed to partnering with and donating a percentage of all revenues to organizations that are dedicated to researching and discovering transformative treatments for MS. Spore’s supplements effectively improve immunity, increase energy, balance blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and improve sleep and are ideal for those who want to gain lasting control over their overall quality of life.

Spore is available in five different powerful varieties:

  • Mike’s Mushroom Mix – Looking for an everyday, well-rounded mushroom blend that gives your body the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to support your overall health? Mike’s got you covered. This powerful blend of 10 functional mushrooms will keep your body balanced and optimized to perform all day, every day. This blend is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and keeps harmful pathogens in check and your body in an optimal state of balance. Take this daily to feel the lasting effects and benefits. 

  • Chill Out – Combines the power of the Reishi mushroom with natural herbs like Chamomile, Lemon Balm, and Valerian Root. Enjoy this blend in the evening and flood your body with tranquility to enjoy deep, restorative sleep every night.

  • Protect + Defend – Mix of Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi, and Maitake mushrooms designed for supercharged immune function and longevity. Take it daily to support your overall health and keep your body’s defense operating at its full capacity.

  • Energy Performance – Powered by the Cordyceps and maitake mushrooms and enhanced with a potent mix of all-natural energy-boosting ingredients. This blend provides you with increased endurance and energy whenever you need it.

  • Focus Performance – Combines the cognitive boosting power of Lion’s Mane, the sustained energy from Cordyceps, and supported by Ashwagandhaand Gingko Biloba to provide increased cognitive enhancement and a mood-stabilizing effect. Helps to improve memory, expand creativity, and complete support for your brain’s neurological functioning.

Spore’s proprietary blends are sold for $49.99 for a monthly subscription at, and on Amazon beginning this month. Read on below for our Q&A where we get answers to burning questions, and learn some of the science behind Spore’s supplements.


Q & A With Spore Co-Founder, Michael Zavet

Q: Hi, Michael, and congratulations on the launch of Spore! I hear that you have a very unique story that helped contribute to the creation of Spore — and I’m sure it’s undoubtedly the core of why you do what you do. Can you tell us about your experience with MS, and how it helped to make Spore what it is today?

A: I think, like many people eventually diagnosed with the disease, MS had begun to affect me long before my diagnosis. I experienced chronic fatigue and illness, muscle soreness and stiffness, lack of focus or brain fog, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms are what drove me to look for a solution. I wanted to avoid the world of pharmaceuticals and find something all-natural. This is what ultimately led to my research, discovering functional mushrooms, and the creation and foundation of Spore.

Q: MS is an immense challenge on its own, and quite possibly the largest one you faced. With that said, what are some of the other uphill battles you and your team faced while breathing life into Spore?

Starting any business is an immense challenge, as any entrepreneur will tell you. I mean, everything from financing to creating formulations, down to logistics, needed to be aligned and thought out, and nothing ever goes as you planned. But arguably the most important and biggest challenge has been creating and continuing to build a brand that people can relate to and trust. I hope we’ve done a good job at that so far, and we will continue to refine and improve things as we get more feedback from our customers, partners and advisors.

Q: I’ve heard of a company that uses mushrooms to make elixirs and teas — essentially being pushed as a healthy replacement for coffee and soda due to its health benefits. The mushrooms-for-health market is one that has yet to really turn into a trend, and it’s only a matter of time before it does catch popularity. Can you explain to readers what Spore is, and what the many benefits are to taking your supplements?

A: Spore, at its root, is a wellness company focused on intelligent-thought out-functional mushroom-based formulations. We source and use over 10 species of functional mushrooms and combine them with proven all-natural supporting ingredients to give our customers the best desired effect. The end result was five all-natural formulations, powered by functional mushrooms, that aim to tackle everyday issues we and the broader population face. Whether it’s a supplement for overall health, a natural sleep aid, a clean energy boost, a way to improve cognitive function, or a functional mushroom supplement to strengthen your immune system, Spore has you covered.

Q: Is it possible that mushrooms are a superfood that have been sitting in front of us all along?

A: It is not only possible, it is a fact. People are sort of just waking up to all the benefits mushrooms can offer us, but mushrooms have been used as medicine and superfoods for literally millennia. They have been in a staple in both traditional and modern medicine. In fact, penicillin was derived from mushrooms. As was rapamycin which allowed for doctors to perform organ transplants.

Q: We live in an increasingly eco-conscious world. Where and how are your mushrooms and herbs sourced, and does Spore have a sustainable practice?

A: In order to get the best quality ingredients, Spore sources from all over the world, from the mountains of Tibet to the interior woods of the pacific northwest and everywhere in between.  Our chaga is Scandinavian, our Maitake is from maple trees in Japan, and so on. We ensure all of our ingredients are carefully selected from our trusted partners, that meet the highest quality standards like cGMP, etc. All Spore ingredients are eco-friendly and ethically sourced from our specialized partners. Going “green” in all aspects of our business is extremely important to our team.

Q: Mushrooms come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and apparently flavors! Can you provide just a little insight into a couple of lesser-known mushrooms and herbs that go into your products, and why people should be consuming them more often? (What is Turkey Tail?!)

A: Absolutely. Turkey Tail is a common species found throughout the world. It grows on logs or decaying trees. The reason you haven’t heard of it is because it is not prized for its flavor or texture, but rather its potent immune boosting properties. Another more obscure species is Agarikon, a fairly rare fungus that only grows in the wild and has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Lastly, you may or may not be familiar with Antrodia, also known as the fungus of fortune – prized for its hepaprotective qualities – or in other words, it’s known to support blood and liver health.

Q: What are your dreams for where you’d like to take Spore in the next year or two? Do you plan on remaining a supplemental company, or possibly venturing into the food market?

A: I think the biggest dream for Spore is to provide a supplement that genuinely helps people with ailments that affect everyone. We’ve all experienced that lack of focus or the mid-day crash and the hope is that with Spore, we may be able to curb or beat these challenges with an all-natural supplement. Further to that, we will be looking to expand our product line. Look out for our Vegan functional mushroom and adaptogen infused Protein powders early 2021.

Q: Some people are picky eaters, and refuse to eat mushrooms. Spore is a great alternative for anyone who may want the health benefits without having to chew on the beneficial fungi. Do you recommend a mix of a few different blend varieties, or is just sticking to one good enough?

A: Spore products can be taken in conjunction with each other, and I’d definitely recommend it. I’d start with Mike’s mix, since it provides a great base with 10 different functional mushroom ingredients, then I’d layer in some energy and focus performance to get through a busy day. Chill out is a perfect nighttime supplement to help you do just that, unwind after a long day and ease into a restful night of sleep. And protect and defend speaks for itself in these uncertain times where strengthening your immune system and general health are top of mind.

Q: Finally, you told us what the benefits are to taking Spore supplements, but are there any indirect or unintended advantages, like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) relief or stopping migraines? Is it safe to say that taking your supplements is comparable to just eating well on a daily basis, leading to overall wellness?

A: Definitely. Beyond achieving the desired effects of each product, functional mushrooms are nutrient dense, packed with antioxidants, improve gut health and liver function, have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, and support immune health, they’re a super food, and pair perfectly with a healthy lifestyle. The way we approach our products is that eating well is a great start to overall wellness, but it’s often tough for most to cover every segment of the food chain in their day-to-day diet with a hectic life or work schedule. That’s why the ease of a supplement like ours is really a helpful way to aid someone in going from a good to great diet as they strive for overall wellness.

Sweet Reason Launches with a Sweet Reason to Ditch Alcohol

Sweet Reason Launches with a Sweet Reason to Ditch Alcohol

What a year it’s been — and if all that’s happened has been enough for you to exclaim, “I need a drink,” then it’s a great time to explore the alcohol alternatives. Apparently Mercury is once again going into retrograde (whatever that means in 2020), so we’re in for some even wilder news this week. Just in time to get us through, beloved beverage brand Sweet Reason (with fans of everyone from Erin Foster to Jen Atkin) is introducing one of the highest CBD beverages on the market with an all-natural powerful combo of soothing herbs, adaptogens and 30 mg of CBD. 

Officially launched TODAY, October 13th, their Evening Blend encourages people to take that extra edge off naturally, after a long day — and in 2020 let’s admit it — we’re all having a lot of those days. Best experienced at night, Evening Blend is a powerful blend of calming herbs including ashwagandha, ginseng, l-theanine, chamomile, sceletium, lemon balm and limonene, all in effective, therapeutic dosages. Adaptogens, plus 30mg of broad spectrum hemp extract make this concoction the perfect antidote to your nightly glass (or bottle) of wine for when you need a break.

We’re all looking for calm, these days, and not much else sounds more promising than this alternative to alcohol. When life gets rough, you’ve now got a way to indulge without all the negative effects of alcohol.

Sweet Reason’s Evening Blend collection is available in three unique flavors: Citrus Spice, Plum Blush, and Peach Jasmine. How delectable!

Sweet Blend can be purchased for $45.99 per 6-pack, or $7.50 per bottle, and is also available in 12 and 24-packs. The cherry on top? Same day delivery is available in Manhattan, Brooklyn and LA! 

Intelligentsia Coffee Celebrates Their 25 Year Anniversary

Intelligentsia Coffee Celebrates Their 25 Year Anniversary

It’s Fall, and you know what that means: hot cocoa, pumpkin spice everything, apple cider, and most importantly, hot coffee! This mood is just in time, too, as it’s the 25th anniversary of Intelligentsia Coffee! It’s a notable anniversary for third wave coffee as a whole, as the Chicago-based Intelligentsia is the first of the “big four” specialty coffee pioneers to reach a quarter century, and definitely a marking moment for Los Angeles’ coffee scene with their Silver Lake location back in 2007. 

In the years since they became part of the city, the influence they have had on LA coffee can be seen through an impressive “family tree” of folks who have passed through Intelligentsia and played a role in defining LA’s specialty coffee culture as one of the top/most unique in the world. To name a few — Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville of Go Get Em’ Tiger, Tony Konecny of YesPLZdotcoffee, Michael Phillips of Blue Bottle Coffee (former co-founder of Handsome Coffee) and Tyler Wells of Nice Coffee (former co-founder of Handsome Coffee) have all indulged. 
Intelligentsia is doing several things to help celebrate with their customers. From October 2nd through October 8th, they will host an online warehouse sale, selling merchandise, one-off collaboration items and brewing equipment from their training labs. This includes, bikes from Heritage Bicycles, holiday sweaters, logo tees, Bonavita brewers, and LA-specific items like the Silver Lake 10-year anniversary t-shirt, and the Hollywood coffeebar mug.

On their actual anniversary — Friday, October 9th — they will sell a $25 coffee and mug bundle online and at their Silver Lake and Pasadena coffeebar locations. While only available on that day, both the mug and coffee bag will feature a limited-edition design that showcases old iterations of the Intelligentsia logo and hand drawn sketches from old Intelligentsia advertisements. Limited amounts are available, so get them while you can! Finally, Intelligentsia will also be giving away a free year of coffee; and, customers can enter to win at any Intelligentsia coffeebar on Oct. 9th! What a way to celebrate the cooler weather and holiday vibes!

Orbitz Teams Up with LGBTQIA+ Influencers & Stars to Highlight Top Queer-Friendly Destinations In Their Hometowns

Orbitz Teams Up with LGBTQIA+ Influencers & Stars to Highlight Top Queer-Friendly Destinations In Their Hometowns

This year has been a whirlwind, with many of the things we’re used to being cancelled, delayed, and still up in the air as we move nearer to a year since the pandemic began. One of the big yearly in-person events that many people in Los Angeles look forward to every June, PRIDE, never really happened this year. Thankfully, in honor of October’s LGBTQIA+ History Month, Orbitz alongside leading LGBTQIA+ Influencers, including Lance Bass, Todrick Hall, and 5 others — are highlighting the best queer-friendly destinations and businesses in their hometowns via Orbitz’s new LGBTQIA Microsite. Unlocking hidden hometown gems, these creators take us on a journey from boutique hotels to LGBTQ+-friendly churches, and everywhere in between. 

While we are still at home, navigating travel’s new normal, these local tours will inspire new places to fall in love with in your backyard, and help support LGBTQIA-friendly business. Finding new ways to celebrate this community during the month and throughout the year, Orbtiz’s #HappyPlace works to transport people to destinations, businesses and important points of interest that rally the community and remind us what’s at stake this year.

Feeling inspired? In honor of customers who refer a friend to book future travel on Orbitz during the month of October, Orbitz will make a donation of $5,000 to support The Trevor Project’s life-saving work. “There’s something really uplifting in sharing your ‘happy place’ with the world and reminding us all what’s at stake this year – now more than ever,” says Marketing Director, Carey Malloy. “Despite these unsettling times, Orbitz remains committed to finding new ways to celebrate this community, during LGBTQ History month and throughout the year.”

Below, are some of the most unique LGBTQIA+ favorites from Orbitz’s partners’ must-visit lists, to check off your bucket list. For Orbitz’s and their partners’ full lists and city itineraries, visit Orbitz’s new LGBTQIA Microsite!

Must-Visit List

  • Lance Bass, Los Angeles, California

    • Vanderpump Dogs –  There is nothing that I love more than dogs. My favorite place to get my puppy fix is at Vanderpump Dogs. They have rescued well over 1,000 dogs including my own two Chip and Dale!

    • Mondrian Los Angeles –  It has been my go-to place to host friends and family that visit for years. My husband Michael and I are regulars at the open air SkyBar which has the most amazing views of the city. If you need an oasis in this big city, this is definitely it.

    • Rocco’s WeHoRocco’s WeHo is the newest and most popular edition to the neighborhood. What I love about it is the most inclusive bar and restaurant on the planet!

  • Toddrick Hall, Dallas, Texas

    • Cathedral of Hope – A vibrant, inclusive and progressive congregation, it is the largest predominantly LGBTQ church in the world. Everyone is welcomed and greeted with warmth and acceptance. 

    • Round Up Saloon – Round up saloon is the epitome of Texas and was the first place I saw gay men line dancing. 

    • Pink Dolphin Monument – Located in R.A. Apffel Park/East Beach on Galveston Island, Pink Dolphin Monument is dedicated to celebrating gender and sexuality minority communities. 

  • Chris Rhodes, Austin, Texas

    • Austin Motel – Queer-woman owned, this is a super cute boutique hotel with rainbow photo-ops at their shop, neon lights in the carport driveway area, iconic signs and a retro pool area. 

    • Cheer Up Charlies – Cheer Up is not located off of 4th street, but it’s still one of the most fun and most queer spaces in town. If you ever happen to be in Austin on a night that they’re having their Neon Rainbows event run by DJ Boi Orbison (a local queer/trans DJ), you are in for a 90’s country night you didn’t know you always needed. 

    • Pennybacker Bridge (360 Bridge) – Also known as the 360 bridge, this landmark is located atop a short hike with an overlook that is breathtaking. This is a very Austin-y place to get outdoors, take your pup, and snag a photo to show all your friends the endless Texas skies. 

  • Allie + Sam, Miami. Florida 

    • A Drag Show at The PalaceA Drag Show at the Palace is a must-see! You’ll be laughing until you cry! We loved going for dinner, too.

    • Biscayne Bay – There’s nothing like sailing along the waters, cruising by all the fancy homes, and sipping on some rosé at sunset! The perfect activity to relax and get a totally unique view of Miami. 

    • Holi Vegan Kitchen – This is a must-stop spot for any plant based travellers out there! Get ready to have the best lunch ever that could fool any meat-eater; I wish we could have ordered one of everything on the menu.

PAIR Eyewear Launches New Looks For Halloween + MARVEL Collaboration

PAIR Eyewear Launches New Looks For Halloween + MARVEL Collaboration


PAIR Eyewear keeps the designs rolling! In their biggest scoop of news yet, the company has released new designs for their MARVEL collaboration, as well new Halloween designs! All around, these new looks are great for pairing with your kids’ Halloween costumes — whether celebrating at home, or while safely trick-or-treating. To make matters even better, kids’ eye health has received new focus, as PAIR now offers blue light glasses, protecting the eye from longterm harmful effects of cell phone and computer usage.

Did you know that The American Psychological Association reports that approximately 53% of children (ages 8-12) have their own cell phone? Moreover, a recent study by OnePoll found that more than half of Americans are suffering from “screen fatigue” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, the average American was getting about four hours of screen time per day. That number has since jumped up to more than six hours. 

Here to save the day just in time for the added effects of virtual schooling across the country is the latest collaboration between PAIR Eyewear – the first DTC customizable kids’ eyewear brand – and Marvel. As many schools nationwide are not opening this year, this collaboration helps kiddos who are spending double (if not triple) the amount of time on screens with prescription and blue light glasses.

PAIR’s MARVEL COLLECTION is the answer to parents’ concerns about their children’s eye health. With toppers to fit all five frame shapes featuring icons like Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Panther, each pair allows for blue light lenses with prescription lenses, a common pain point among other brands offering only one or the other.  Spider-Man and Hulk styles will be released first, followed by some other favorite heroes. The collection will be available exclusively on

Founded on the pillars that eyeglasses should be a fun experience for kiddos while being accessible to all, PAIR launched the Pair For A Pair Program. In a partnership with The Eyelliance, this program provides glasses to children in-need in the developing world, and highlights the importance of eye health. For every pair sold, a pair is donated.

Marvel Collection

  • Spider-Man + Hulk: 10/5

  • Captain America + Captain Marvel: 10/7

  • Black Panther + Iron Man: 10/9


  • Spider-Man

  • Hulk

  • Captain America

  • Captain Marvel

  • Black Panther 

  • Iron Man


Say Hello to Halloween designs

While this year might look a little different, it also gives us the time to take our kiddos’ costumes to the next level. Get into the spooky spirit and help complete their costume this year with a little help from PAIR Eyewear – the only customizable children’s glasses brand with options for every occasion

PAIR Eyewear has hundreds of toppers for glasses that will match every character; whether they want to dress up as an underwater creature, their favorite NBA star, or someone totally groovy. Base frames start at $60 and come with interchangeable toppers that start at $25 each! With PAIR, not only are your kids in control, but they have endless options to satisfy even the pickiest fashionista. PAIR can also double as the blue light glasses your children need to protect their eyes from the endless screen time thanks to the new virtual school year.