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Americans and Europeans are abandoning parenthood at an alarming rate, profoundly changing the nature of our societies, our politics and our cultures.

Last year, women in the U.S. had children at the lowest rate ever recorded. There were just 60.2 births for every 1,000 girls and women ages 15 to 44 in our country. As a result, there were fewer births in America last year – 3.85 million babies – than at any time since 1987. This was a 2 percent drop from 2016.

In addition, those having the most children are least able to pay for their upbringing. American women became mothers last year at rates that were inversely proportional to family income. The birth rate was almost 50 percent higher for those with less than $10,000 in family income than for those with family incomes of $200,000 or more.

There are many wonderful mothers in impoverished families. And a good income is no guarantee of good parenting. But in general, children being raised in very low-income families will struggle, while children being raised in middle- and upper-income families will do better without relying on taxpayers to finance their upbringing.

The lack of commitment of middle-class and wealthy Americans to having and parenting their own children goes hand in hand with our elite’s casual approach to other issues – in particular, mass immigration.

The notion that we can simply import foreigners to make up for the child-rearing job we have refused to do ourselves completely ignores the cultural, civic and economic impacts of immigration – as well as the impacts to ourselves when we bring in foreign adults as a substitute for raising our own children.

While I would be the last person to insist that large families like ours be the American model, an America where only the poorest have large families and most people choose to have small families – or no children at all – is not economically or culturally sustainable.

While selective immigration in conjunction with a naturally growing population and economy can be a healthy phenomenon, using immigration as a substitute for having enough of our own children leads us down an  easy and comfortable but ultimately perilous route without precedent in American history.

People having fewer or no children at all may seem at first blush to be simply making a personal choice, of consequence only to themselves. However, this decision is actually one with profound political implications.

No matter where on Earth a person lives, parenthood is a lifelong investment. The willingness to make that investment is a critical indicator and determinant of a person’s political viewpoint.

In the U.S., parents with more children are embracing a more traditional lifestyle and also are more likely to vote Republican. In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won all 10 of the states with the highest fertility rates – as well as 16 of 17 states with the highest fertility rates. And the bottom 10 states in fertility were all carried by Hillary Clinton.

The most family-friendly element of the tax cuts Congress approved and President Trump signed into law was increasing the child tax credit from $2,000 from $1,000 (where it had been stuck since 2003) and substantially raising the phase-out threshold from $110,000 in family income to $400,000. It’s a change that puts real money in the pockets of taxpaying American families.

Still, even under the new tax regime, the fertility of women of childbearing age in households paying no federal income taxes is almost 25 percent higher than the fertility of those paying income taxes. To say this demographic trend is incompatible with the long-term viability of a welfare state is understating matters considerably.

But for all the challenges we face in the U.S., the problem is far worse in Europe, where the current attitude was summarized in a recent report by Population Europe titled  “No Kids, No Problem!”

European women of child-bearing age had an average of 1.56 children each over their lifetimes – far fewer than the 2.1 necessary to even keep their population stable. The comparable figure in the U.S. is 1.76 children per woman. And both the numbers in the U.S. and in Europe would be far worse were it not for higher immigrant fertility.

In Europe, it’s not just that they are having fewer children – more and more people aren’t having any children at all.

The Europeans who are declining to become parents are only following the example of their leaders. Of the six founding members of the European Union (Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) today only one of them (Belgium) is led by someone who has had children.

Britain and the European Commission are also headed by childless leaders. Amazingly, these eight core leaders of modern Europe have a total of only two children among them.

Contrast this demographic collapse to the situation of the leaders of this same group of countries in 1951, when they founded what became the European Union. At that time, the eight leaders of these countries had 32 children.

If you wanted to summarize the forthcoming demographic and cultural collapse of Europe in one statistic, the decline in children among Europe’s core leaders from 32 to 2 in a little more than a generation would be an ideal place to start.

At an individual level, each of today’s European leaders may have had compelling or even tragic reasons for not becoming a parent – perhaps at great personal sorrow. Yet while we cannot judge any one particular situation, we can almost certainly say that such a dramatic pattern is not coincidental. Nor is it harmless.

In both Europe and the U.S., the decline in motherhood – and the increased decline in the number of men accepting the responsibilities of fatherhood (40 percent of births in the U.S and Europe  occur out of wedlock) are indicative of a materialistic, pleasure-seeking, live-for-today ethos. This attitude minimizes or denies the obligations we have toward future generations.

It is a sign of our crisis of parenthood that to even raise such issues publicly is uncomfortable. Certainly, maximum childbearing is not an outcome we seek – countries with the world’s highest fertility rates are mired in poverty and face many challenges. But with so many of the West’s citizens and leaders abandoning parenthood and responsibility, some response is needed.

I say all this not as an academic observer but as the father of five young children, with a wife who works part-time at night. We have taken no paid maternity or paternity leaves and utilized only very limited outside child care. So I know from my personal experience every day the sort of social, emotional and financial sacrifices that parenting requires.

While I would be the last person to insist that large families like ours be the American model, an America where only the poorest have large families and most people choose to have small families – or no children at all – is not economically or culturally sustainable.

In his book, “The Disappearance of Childhood,” the late cultural critic Neil Postman wrote: “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”

We need to keep sending those messages, not just because it is our responsibility or because of the profound love and joy children bring into our lives, but because we realize that a society that abandons parenthood is a society that forfeits its future.

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Photo: Ainsley Joseph

Vitiligo seems like a hidden disease with limited awareness, but for the over 200,000 patients in the United States (and almost 2 percent internationally) who suffer from vitiligo, the lack of knowledge and information can be frustrating. Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin loses pigment, resulting in patches of lighter or white skin spreading diffusely throughout the body. While the cause is debated and treatment options continue to develop, managing vitiligo can have both physical and psychological repercussions. Recently, though, models with vitiligo have been featured prominently in marketing campaigns—including Amy Deanna, starring in a foundation campaign with CoverGirl—to raise awareness of the skin condition in a more positive light.

Vitiligo causes.

For most of the population, however, vitiligo is currently perceived as an abnormal skin condition in which the skin starts to lose melanin, the pigment that essentially gives skin its trademark color. The way it works is that melanocytes—cells that create melanin—in the skin die off, no longer protecting the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. A vitiligo patient may suffer from patches of depigmented or white skin anywhere, including visible areas like the face and hands. Premature graying of hair and discoloration of mucus membranes are also telltale signs of vitiligo.

There is uncertainty around the causes of vitiligo, although there is a known genetic component. Recent studies show that changes in the genes that regulate glutathione, a potent antioxidant, play a role in vitiligo. Vitiligo is historically thought to be an autoimmune disorder, or a condition where the immune system reacts on itself.

I have had the opportunity to work with many patients with vitiligo over the years in my integrative medical practice. Many of these patients present with patches of depigmented white skin in prominent areas of their face, hands, back, or legs. As we work on the chemistry of vitiligo, or the “why” of this disease, the psychological implications can be equally devastating. Many vitiligo patients become self-conscious about the visibility of this disease, retreating from social occasions or trying to find ways to camouflage their appearance. For the majority of vitiligo patients, the disease began in childhood, spreading through the years. But thanks to efforts being made on Instagram, mainstream beauty advertising campaigns, and the buzzy skin positivity conversation—it’s starting to get better.

Vitiligo treatment.

Currently the treatment for vitiligo focuses on using sunscreen to cover up areas where the skin has depigmented; phototherapy with UVB or UVA light, typically done in a clinic setting; or in some extreme cases, depigmentation, where the “normal” skin is depigmented to match the white patches. Additionally, dermatologists recommend a one-month trial of topical corticosteroids to stop the depigmentation or the spread of vitiligo, or use of a topical vitamin D cream (Dovonex).

Psoralens are also used in combination with UVA and UVB therapy, slowly returning pigment to the skin over six to 12 months. Psoralensare light-sensitive compounds that work to absorb UV radiation, essentially acting like UV light.

Vitiligo cure?

Photo: Pablo Anton

These treatments have some success in treating vitiligo but often work best to control the spread, if desired, and to work on self-confidence rather than full reversal of this disease. More cutting-edge treatments include using pseudocatalase, an enzyme that helps repigment the skin. A drug that mimics the melanocyte-stimulating hormone, MSH, is also being used more frequently in the treatment of vitiligo.

While these treatments offer patients options, rethinking vitiligo opens additional avenues for treatment. Like many autoimmune diseases, vitiligo is a manifestation of an immune system disorder, triggered by any of a number of factors. Thinking about vitiligo from the inside out expands the toolbox with which to approach this disease.

Natural vitiligo treatment.

There are increasing reports that vitiligo can be caused by a trifecta of multiple factors: genetics, exposure to chemicals, oxidative stress, viral triggers, and stress. I have also seen hormone imbalances trigger vitiligo in practice. Approaching vitiligo with this whole-systems approach may ultimately be of more benefit than a single-treatment approach. Managing inflammation, oxidative stress, your toxic load, your immune system, and even hormone balance can influence the spread of this disease.

Vitiligo and inflammation.

Inflammation begins in the gut, so following a diet that reduces inflammation is important in the management of all autoimmune diseases, including vitiligo. Lowering gluten and dairy intake while limiting sugar are central tenets of this diet. Increasing healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-9 fats, further helps to lower the inflammatory load.

Oxidative stress is caused by natural wear and tear, environmental toxins, or stress. It is the process where the body begins to produce more free radicals, damaging and changing our DNA. A diet high in antioxidants from brightly colored fruits and vegetables can prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress and melanocyte survival may be influenced by glutathione, the antioxidant released when greens are blended or juiced.

Vitiligo and thyroid function.

In practice, I have also seen vitiligo connected to imbalances in thyroid function. Optimizing hormone balance, which I discuss in my mindbodygreen class on hormone balance, and thyroid function can be helpful as well. Lastly, understanding your toxic load and the role of toxins in the expression of vitiligo is an evolving field. Taking steps to minimize exposure to environmental toxins in household products, personal body care, cosmetics, and food is important.

A number of herbal products and natural products have been recommended for treatment of vitiligo with varying levels of success. In ayurveda, herbal formulas that mimic the activity of psoralens are often used to treat vitiligo. The herbs Katuki and Bakuchi show psoralen and antioxidant activity respectively, repigmenting the skin. Turmeric has been used as well for skin repigmentation. Many of these herbs and natural products are used both topically and internally.

Replacing B vitamins and silica have shown some promise in the treatment of vitiligo while Ginkgo biloba has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and to be useful in treating vitiligo. The recommended dose is 120 milligrams per day. In Chinese medicine, the plant Psoralea cordyfolia is a natural source of psoralens. The seeds were used in combination with other herbs to repigment the skin.

Vitiligo and stress.

Stress management is also a factor in vitiligo. Some studies point to the use of St. John’s wort in controlling stress and helping to manage depression and anxiety.

As treatment options continue to evolve, understanding the complexities of vitiligo is critical to its resolution. From focused treatment options to underlying causes, shifting thinking about vitiligo to a whole-systems approach can bring greater success at repigmentation and prevention. Helping patients and family members through the psychological and self-esteem issues associated with vitiligo should also be a priority.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/vitiligo-causes-treatment-and-cures-for-the-rare-skin-condition

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Photo: Darren Muir

Despite what conventional medicine may tell you, autoimmunity is not a black-and-white issue. Instead, there’s what I call “the autoimmune spectrum,” and how much inflammation you have determines where you fall on that spectrum. I coined this term back when I first began writing about autoimmunity, and now it’s become the established term in functional medicine to explain how autoimmune conditions develop and, more importantly, how to reverse them.

I myself struggled with autoimmunity during my second year as a medical student. Despite experiencing rapid weight loss, tremors, a racing heart, and a number of other frightening symptoms, my doctor brushed it off as “medical school stress.” However, I knew my body and was certain that something wasn’t right, and so I insisted on a complete work-up and lab testing. Sure enough, I was not going crazy: I had Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is a condition in which the thyroid overperforms. It enlarges to up to twice its normal size, producing all the symptoms I had been suffering from: racing heart, tremors, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep, and excessive weight loss.

The treatments conventional medicine offered for Graves’ were almost as scary as the disease itself, and after a brief stint with the drug propylthiouracil (PTU), which caused me to develop toxic hepatitis, I resorted to radioactive thyroid ablation and a lifetime of supplemental thyroid hormone. I only wish I had known then what I know now—that having an autoimmune disease does not mean you are destined to a life of painful symptoms and harsh medications.

The good news is that by reducing inflammation, you CAN work your way down the autoimmune spectrum and reverse your condition! By understanding the factors that are contributing to your inflammation, you can get to the root cause of your autoimmunity and start leading your best life.

Autoimmunity: your immune system gone rogue

Autoimmune disease is a disease of the immune system. Aside from the nervous system, the immune system is the body’s most complex system, made up of your digestive system, skin, tonsils, bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, and the thin skin on the inside of your nose, throat, and genitals. All of these tissues, organs, and cells work together to keep your entire body healthy.

Under our current medical system, autoimmune diseases are not recognized as diseases of the immune system as a whole; rather, they are treated as diseases of particular organs. However, when you have autoimmunity, it means that somewhere along the way your immune system went rogue and began attacking your own tissues. It could be your thyroid under attack, your intestines, your skin, your brain, your pancreas, or another organ. No matter what part of your body is under siege, the underlying problem is within your immune system. In order to treat, prevent, and reverse your autoimmune disease, you’ll need to get your immune system back under control.

Inflammation and the autoimmune spectrum.

So what caused your immune system to go rogue in the first place? One word: inflammation. And unfortunately, nearly everyone has at least some inflammation thanks to our modern lifestyles. The five factors that I’ve identified in my patients that contribute to chronic inflammation are diet, leaky gut, toxin exposure, infections, and chronic stress—or a combination of these factors.

For many people, diet is their primary source of inflammation. Gluten and dairy are two of the most inflammatory foods, along with corn, soy, grains, and legumes. Even those of us with a clean diet are exposed to thousands of environmental toxins that contribute to inflammation every day in the form of plastics; pesticides, herbicides, and hormones in our food; heavy metal exposure from fish and dental fillings; and air and water pollution—the list goes on.

Family history can also affect where you fall on the spectrum. The more relatives you have with an autoimmune condition, the higher your risk is, especially when it’s a first-degree relative such as a parent or sibling. Even so, genetics account for only about 25 percent of the chance you’ll develop an autoimmune disorder. The remaining 75 percent of the picture is environmental and, therefore, up to you. I find that an incredibly empowering statistic.

Once you figure out where you fall on the spectrum, you can assess your risk for developing autoimmunity. Or if you’ve already been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, take the proper steps to reduce inflammatory factors in your life to work your way back down the spectrum.

At the low end of the autoimmune spectrum are those of you who are only moderately inflamed. You may get occasional symptoms such as acne, digestive issues, and fatigue, although these tend to come and go, and you haven’t begun to show signs of illness.

Toward the middle of the spectrum are those of you who experience symptoms of chronic inflammation that have not yet turned into full-blown autoimmune disorders. These symptoms might include joint pain, obesity, allergies, muscle aches, fatigue, and digestive issues. Although you don’t have an autoimmune condition at this point, you are at significant risk to develop one if you don’t address your inflammation.

Finally, at the high end of the spectrum are those who can officially be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. While conventional doctors would have you believe that you need to be on medications for life or take other drastic measures to control your autoimmunity, there are simple lifestyle changes you can adopt to live a long, healthy, and symptom-free life.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/natural-remedies-for-autoimmune-disease

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Photo: Michela Ravasio

By now, it’s clear how important getting enough sleep is—but a new study published in Lancet Psychiatry indicates that when you sleep can have huge implications for mood, cognitive function, and even risk of developing major depression or bipolar disorder.

For the study, researchers tracked the circadian rhythms of 91,000 adults in the United Kingdom to see what kind of impact their daily rhythms had on their mental health. They found that the study participants with more disrupted sleep-wake cycles (meaning they were less active during the day and more active at night) were at a greater risk for developing a mental health issue compared with those who were active during the day and slept soundly through the night.

“What comes out of this work is that not only is a good night’s sleep important, but having a regular rhythm of being active in daylight and inactive in darkness over time is important for mental well-being,” said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Smith.

While this research is certainly enlightening, keeping a regular daily rhythm is often easier said than done. One great place to start is practicing good sleep hygiene. Experts suggest limiting screen-time before bed, creating a sleep ritual, and getting in bed at the same time every night. It doesn’t hurt to get exercise during the day and avoid caffeine after noon!

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-maintain-a-regular-daily-rhythm

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Photo: Jovo Jovanovic

If anyone has ever suggested you might be a defensive person and you listened to this criticism out of curiosity and then began to observe your behavior to see if the accusation had any truth to it, it is likely that you are not a highly defensive individual. If, on the other hand, you accused the person of being offensive, denied it, or thought about all the problems that they themselves had, then you might want to read this article carefully.

Being highly defensive does not mean you are somehow deficient or a bad person. It most likely means that you are harder on yourself than others are. You are your own worst critic and will find any evidence of your mistakes long before others have noticed them. It might also mean that you are highly skilled at blaming others, finding reasons that the “offenders” are wrong, and believing that they are the real problem, not you. Most likely, it may suggest you are confused about who you are and what you do—perhaps your self-esteem could use some upgrading.

Self-worth is not earned; it is our birthright. However, self-esteem—how we judge or value ourselves—is a choice we make based on how we talk to ourselves about who we are. People who are highly defensive believe that when they make a mistake, they are a mistake.

The ability to receive feedback of all kinds, including criticism, is an essential communication skill for work and love. A highly critical person reacts very poorly to what they perceive as unjust criticism (meaning practically any feedback that is not wholly positive), and it can cost them in several ways. People may find it hard to be around them. Others tell them only what they want to hear and go underground with their complaints. They may feel it when friendships or loved ones are withdrawn or when they make small jabs or wisecracks, saying they are “just kidding.”

Most importantly, being defensive keeps our relationships locked in an unhealthy pattern and stunts their growth. Lacking the ability to accept criticism also affects our work life; we know that the most successful and desirable employees are those with good emotional literacy, which includes being able to manage others’ negative perceptions. Listening with an open heart is the ultimate spiritual act. It is the greatest gift we can give to our partner, and ultimately to ourselves. And we can’t listen when we are defensive. It causes our alarms to go off, our protections to fixate, and our fight-or-flight mechanisms to go into full alarm.

Here are four strategies to help reduce your defensiveness:

1. Practice the pause.

“Practice the pause,” says Lori Deschene. “Pause before judging. Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly, and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.” Practice this throughout your day. Take a moment from whatever you are doing, relax your shoulders, look out the window at the sky, and imagine letting go of whatever you are thinking about, reacting to, or in the middle of.

In many retreats, it is common to ring a bell at intermittent times during the day. Whenever people hear the bell, they stop what they are doing, just for a moment, and pause. We can all learn to do this throughout our day for a moment, and this helps us draw on “the pause” when we need it. It is the most important tool we have to move ourselves from a reaction to a response.

2. Breathe.

Use your breath to counteract the tension in your body. When we feel threatened, stress and danger chemicals are sent out, which make us tense and unable to take in new information and increase our certainty that our own viewpoint is right and others are wrong. So slow down your breathing, soften your belly and shoulder muscles, and remind yourself that you are not in danger.

3. Acknowledge your reactivity.

It is important to tell others that you understand their criticisms and encourage them to share their feelings. If you let them know that you struggle with being too defensive, they may deliver their opinion in a softer tone. If you feel yourself shutting down, say so, and promise that you will get back to the conversation within 24 hours.

4. Look for a grain of truth.

Often a criticism is more about the giver than the recipient. Perhaps they are simply tired or have misunderstood something—or perhaps you have unwittingly triggered a response in them that is really about someone else. One of the best strategies I know is to imagine that the criticism has 100 grains in it and 99 of them are false, if you can discern one tiny speck of truth, it often helps the person speaking to realize that the criticism is more about them than you. Master the art of apology for that grain of truth and develop the capacity to acknowledge their point of view, even when you do not agree with them.

Like many other aspects of our physiological and psychological makeup, defensiveness has always been an important part of our survival. When used too much, however, it can actually do the opposite of what it was intended for and cause us harm. Most of all, remember that the more defensive you are, the more you become your own harshest critic. Practice talking to yourself like someone you love.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-stop-being-defensive

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Although some women may try acupuncture hoping it will help them conceive, new research suggests it won’t.

The study compared outcomes for more than 800 Australian and New Zealand women who underwent either real or “sham” acupuncture along with their in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments.

The women ranged in age from 18 to 42 and underwent IVF cycles using fresh embryos, according to an Australian team led by Caroline Smith, of the NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University.

In the sham acupuncture group, needles were placed away from true acupuncture points.

Nevertheless, the study found that live birth rates really didn’t differ depending on whether a woman got the real or the sham acupuncture.

Rates for live births were 18.3 percent in the real acupuncture group and 17.8 percent for those who got the fake treatment — a statistically non-significant difference, the researchers said.

However, Smith said further study might still be needed, especially when looking at outcomes for women who received acupuncture more frequently.

And she said that the powerful “placebo” effect of acupuncture can’t be ignored. “Some studies suggest reproductive outcomes may be improved when acupuncture is compared with no treatment,” Smith noted in a university news release.

Two U.S. experts said the ancient therapy might have other benefits for stressed-out women undergoing fertility treatments.

“I believe that any method that promotes relaxation and lowers the stress levels of patients undergoing fertility treatment is blessed — whether it is acupuncture, massage, physical and sexual activity [when permitted] or seeing a professional to discuss and treat anxiety and stress,” said Dr. Tomer Singer. He directs reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Singer also noted that acupuncture may help women deal “with bloating and nausea, which are sometimes associated with fertility drugs.”

Dr. Avner Hershlag is chief of Northwell Health Fertility in Manhasset, N.Y. The jury might still be out on acupuncture’s role in boosting fertility, because the live birth rates in the new study were too low and the study groups differed in “many important ways,” he said.

“At this point, acupuncture’s validity and how it relates to female physiology is still unknown,” Hershlag said.

The findings were published May 14 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: https://consumer.healthday.com/infertility-information-22/infertility-news-412/no-evidence-acupuncture-boosts-fertility-treatment-733895.html

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Photo: Max Mumby

It’s no secret that Meghan Markle, aside from being an actress, dedicated philanthropist, and talented calligrapher, is also a wellness enthusiast. Very much embedded in her lifestyle, she takes care of what she eats, moves daily, meditates, and sets aside time for self-care. With her upcoming wedding to Prince Harry just a few days away, she’ll soon be embarking on a new journey, enjoying married life in London. As a wellness expert and journalist based in London, I’ve spent some time researching which wellness hot spots Meghan has been visiting as she gets acquainted with her new city, and judging by what she’s into, I’ve also recommended several others that I think she’d love based on her current favorites.

Triyoga, Camden

Meghan has been practicing yoga since she was a child, having been brought up with it as her mother is an instructor. Listing its benefits in an interview with Best Health magazine, she credits “increased flexibility and muscle strength, greater happiness, increased mental focus, a greater ability to relax, decreased anxiety and better sleep” all to yoga. With various studios around London, Triyoga offers pretty much every kind of flow including hot yoga and candlelit evening classes—both of which Meghan adores. I think she’d particularly like the charming Camden studio, which also has a plant-based eatery called The Nectar Cafe, run by sisters Nadia and Katia Narain who recently published a book on self-care.

Hyde Park, Kensington

Meghan loves running for body and mind—she once told Shape that it’s her form of “moving meditation.” Luckily for her, London’s most famous royal park, Hyde Park, is on the doorstep of her new home at Kensington Palace, so she could start her day off by running around with her beloved dog.

Studio Lagree, Shoreditch

Meghan is a huge fan of Metaformer Pilates, telling Harper’s Bazaar that it’s “the best thing for your body” and that she sees results after just two sessions. She’s a longtime Platinum Pilates attendee, so I think Studio Lagree would be the spot to keep up her practice in London. They have four studios, the most luxurious of which is in the Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch. If Meghan’s after a private Pilates instructor to train her at home, Zoe Jarchevska of Maia Well Co and Lottie Murphy are two of the best in the city.

Define London, Fitzrovia

As she is a big fan of cardio and strength training workouts, I’m betting that recently opened Define Studio in Fitzrovia will be on Meghan’s radar. It’s a killer barre workout that is super toning and high energy but gives the same attention to detail, posture, and breathwork as Pilates.

F45 Training, Paddington

Meghan likes to balance her Pilates and yoga with a good, heart-pumping workout and Craig McNamee, her trainer in Canada of three years told The Cut that their sessions involved TRX and circuits. F45 Training studios incorporate this full-body approach in their classes, which I think would be the perfect answer for when she’s craving a killer sweat session. After all, Meghan once said that her workout mantra is “You’ve got to sweat it to get it.”

KX Life, Chelsea

Prince Harry has ramped up his fitness routine ahead of the wedding with more sessions at KX Life, a boutique gym that also has a spa, treatment rooms, a restaurant, and pretty much the most luxurious changing rooms ever. Seeing as her husband-to-be is a regular, perhaps the pair will be working out together now that she’s in London permanently.

Re:Mind Studio, Belgravia

Meditation expert and mbg class instructor Light Watkins told InStylethat Meghan meditates “twice a day, every day” and finds it “wonderful.” In London, Meghan might like to visit Re:Mind, a blissful drop-in meditation studio and eco shop. They have many classes, which vary in style and focus, ranging from Reiki to sound healing.

111Cryo, Knightsbridge

Prince Harry has reportedly been indulging in full-body cryotherapy sessions ahead of the big day, and Meghan’s facialist Nichola Joss has also previously praised this deep-freezing treatment, which sees you standing in a -80°C chamber for three minutes. Known to reduce inflammation and speed up muscle recovery between workouts, some see it as an ideal way to supplement an active lifestyle. 111Cryo at luxury department store Harvey Nichols was applauded by British Vogue as “pioneers” in cryotherapy, and as it’s just a short stroll away through Hyde Park, Meghan might be keen to try out her new local cryo clinic.

Grace Belgravia, Belgravia

This ladies’ only health, medical, and lifestyle club is a one-stop shop for all things well-being. POPSugar told how Pippa Middleton had enrolled in a three-month “strict bridal body boot camp” ahead of her wedding last year. With stunningly elegant surroundings fit for a princess, Grace Belgravia is flooded with light and home to an amazing gym, spa, integrated medical clinic, and vibrant, healthy restaurant. I think Meghan would enjoy the menu, which includes buckwheat pancakes, kale, and seaweed salad and her favorite, avo toast—served with goat cheese, parsley, tomato, cucumber ribbons, and arugula.

The Aman Spa at The Connaught Hotel, Mayfair

Noted in Chalkboard mag as being a “longtime believer in acupuncture and cupping,” Meghan looks to traditional, holistic medicine and ancient techniques to help her reduce stress and encourage her body’s energy flow. If she fancies an acupuncture session in London, she could head to The Connaught Hotel’s Aman Spa. This dreamy spa, which lies just beneath the hotel’s Edwardian lobby, has been praised by British society magazine Tatler.

PÜR Wellness, Notting Hill

Meghan raved about the detoxifying benefits of infrared saunas on her now-defunct lifestyle website The Tig, saying she liked to treat herself to this once a week. I think she’d love PÜR Wellness in London, where you can receive head-to-toe benefits such as alleviation from back and joint pain, glowing skin, better energy, and a strengthened immune system.

Nicholas Joss, Covent Garden

Meghan previously sang the praises of celebrity facialist Nichola Joss’ Bespoke Sculpting Inner Facial, telling Birchbox that her “cheekbones and jawline are waaaay more sculpted” after incorporating the techniques used in the treatment. Marie Claire says that she’s booked in for another of these facials, which use deep lymphatic massage and contouring techniques (including massaging inside the mouth), ahead of her wedding day and will no doubt remain a regular of Joss’ now she calls London home.

Skinesis clinic, Sloane Square

Another lady responsible for Meghan’s glowing complexion is Sarah Chapman, owner of Skinesis Clinic in Chelsea’s Sloane Square. The Skinesis facial was awarded “Best Anti-Aging Facial” by Harper’s Bazaar and is a winner with other celebrities including Victoria Beckham.

Nails and Brows, Mayfair

Meghan’s perfectly groomed brows have been picked up on by many, and she enjoys heading to Nails and Brows for a full pampering session with founder Sherrille Riley when in London. She opts for “The Audrey Brow” treatment, which is inspired by Audrey Hepburn and includes Beauty Edit Mayfair products in dark dahlia pencil, the Brow Setter gel, and Brow Muse Highlighter.

Content Beauty Wellbeing, Marylebone

Meghan’s former makeup artist Lydia Sellers told Hello! that she’s a big fan of eco-friendly, nontoxic products, and one of her go-to brands is RMS beauty. If Meghan wanted to stock up, Content is a charming little natural beauty haven tucked away on a quiet street in Marylebone. They have a plethora of skin care brands including Tata Harper and Josh Rosebrook and organic supplements such as The Nue Co. The store also offers nutritional consultations and facial and body treatments.

Hemsley + Hemsley Café at Selfridges, Oxford Street

Meghan praised the benefits of a plant-based diet to Best Health magazine, saying she sticks to mainly veggies during the week and come weekends is a bit more flexible, enjoying fish, meat, and good wine. I’d say the Hemsley + Hemsley Cafe at Selfridges would be just up her street. They serve brunch classics with healthy twists like avocado on quinoa toast, and the entire menu is grain-, gluten-, and refined-sugar-free. It even includes a healthy take on high tea complete with quinoa scones, organic and biodynamic wines, and zero-dosage Champagne.

The Detox Kitchen, Soho

Starting out as a nutritious food-delivery service, The Detox Kitchenhas two delis in the city, both of which serve delicious, seasonal, and creative salads, juices, smoothie bowls, and superfood lattes, which I think Meghan would be into. She loves cooking and is predominantly plant-based, so she might even like to try out some of the recipes from founder Lily Simpson’s new cookbook, Detox Kitchen Vegetables.

Bodyism, Notting Hill

One of Meghan’s favorite breakfasts is an acai bowl, according to Chalkboard mag, so if she doesn’t fancy whipping one up herself, she may like to know that Bodyism, a beautiful boutique gym in Notting Hill, serves up the best bowl in town at their cafe, and it’s blended with their own superfood powders. With cozy outdoor seating (they have blankets—it gets nippy in London) and ever-changing inspirational mantras adorning their windows, it’s the perfect place to work out, refuel, and catch up with friends while watching the world go by.

Juice Baby, Notting Hill

Meghan is partial to a green juice (aren’t we all?!) so there’s no doubt she’ll be looking for a healthy, cold-pressed dispensary to frequent. Juice Baby would be a great option for her. It’s just across the road from Bodyism on Westbourne Grove, which is a boutique-lined street that’s London’s answer to Abbot Kinney—ideal for the Cali girl.

Violet Bakery, Hackney

OK, so buttercream and sponge cakes don’t exactly scream “wellness,” but this quaint East London bakery has been given the monumental task of creating Meghan and Harry’s wedding cake, which is said to be a lemon elderflower cake that will somehow “incorporate the bright flavors of spring” according to Kensington Palace. Meghan interviewed Violet’s owner and fellow Californian Claire Ptak a while back for The Tig and found they both share a passion for seasonal, organic ingredients.

Le Pain Quotidien, Covent Garden

Meghan pinned a photo of her Le Pain breakfast on The Tig’s Pinterest account back in the day, and this French-inspired chain, in Covent Garden and throughout the rest of has a menu full of her favorites, such as chia pudding.

Malibu Kitchen at The Ned, Bank

Bright and beautiful Malibu Kitchen at the Ned serves a California-inspired rainbow menu of fresh, healthy dishes such as forbidden rice bowls and chia seed flatbreads, as well as delicious, Instagram-worthy breakfast bowls topped with Qnola, a gluten-free granola made from one of Meghan’s favorite ingredients, quinoa.

Planet Organic, Westbourne Grove

Health food mecca Erewhon hasn’t made its way to London just yet, but in the meantime, Meghan can pick up her daily essentials from Planet Organic. Tackling waste reduction and promoting sustainable shopping, most branches have dried goods counters where you can fill your own bags or containers. The Westbourne Grove location is just a stone’s throw from her new Hyde Park home.

Soho House, Soho

Meghan and Harry have close ties with the Soho House Group as they shared their first date at Soho House on Dean Street and Meghan celebrated her bridal shower at Soho Farmhouse in The Cotswolds. The newest of venues for these private members clubs is in West London’s White City and boasts a 2,100-square-meter gym and rooftop pool, which would be the perfect place for the couple to enjoy the sunshine and hang out with friends.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/meghan-markle-london-wellness-favorites

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