OPTIMIZATION

11 Parsley-Approved Must-Haves to Start 2021 Off Well

by
Sara Angle
Author
December 23, 2020

Ready to turn the page on your healthiest year ever? These products and services can help.

As we round the corner to January, it’s no surprise that goal-setting messages are all around us, and for many, that means goals around health. A 2016 study in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that 55 percent of resolutions were health-related. Novel? Maybe not. But as we come out of a year that exposed the health of the most vulnerable—those who are older or with pre-existing conditions—and drove many of us to move less, drink more, carry chronic stress, and lean into convenience foods, radical self-care seems both novel and necessary.

Answer the call to recommit to your health this year (we’re here for you if you need it.) For some extra motivation, these Parsley-vetted products and services can help you along the way, whether you’re looking to sleep sounder, refine your workouts, tune-up your health routine, or just make it through the winter.

A mask (no, not that kind).

We’ve all gotten pretty used to wearing masks (and they’re probably sticking around for a while,) but we’re calling out sleep masks as the hot mask of 2021. Eye masks help to block out artificial light that can disrupt your circadian rhythm, your body’s natural clock that signals sleep and wake times, and we know that a good night’s sleep is key for all areas of your health . Lunya’s Washable Silk Sleep Mask is soft, secure, and feels like a hug for your tired eyes after all-day Zooming. The thick wrap-around design helps to block light from all angles but also muffles any noises (like your partner’s snoring.) A 2017 review in the Journal of Sleep Research of eye masks and earplugs on ICU patients found they had a positive effect on subjective sleep quality.

A light to fight SAD.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is marked by symptoms similar to depression, impacts an estimated 10 million Americans . That number could be even higher this winter with stay-at-home orders because SAD is attributed to the decrease in light experienced during winter months. Even if you’re able to spend more time outside to get in sunlight, adding a light therapy box, like the Verilux HappyLight Luxe can help decrease symptoms of SAD or fend them off to begin with. Verilux’s model is a favorite of Parsley health coaches for its slim design intensity of 10,000 lux, which has been clinically shown to improve mood in those with SAD.

A sober sip.

If you’ve decided to go all-in for Dry January, or have a goal of cutting back on the booze, Seedlip may be your new go-to for a Friday night. Seedlip’s distilled non-alcoholic spirits are sugar-free and sweetener-free and contain no calories. Instead, they’re made by distilling different botanicals and extracts, making them a great base for mocktails. Our health coaches recommend Seedlip for those who are trying to cut back on alcohol but still want a fun cocktail-inspired drink now and then.

Immune-supportive supplements.

Head into 2021 strong by focusing on supporting your immune system . Parsley’s Immunity Bundle includes Body Guard, which boosts immune defenses with key nutrients like L-lysine, zinc, and vitamin A, and Vitamin D3/K2, which helps regulate your immune system . An estimated one billion people have low vitamin D , and winter months can make it harder to get a proper dose of vitamin D, as your body uses sunlight to help produce it in your skin cells. An observational study in JAMA Network Open also found that odds of COVID-19 infection were 1.77 times greater for patients likely deficient in vitamin D. A second observational study that looked at both asymptomatic and critically ill COVID-19 patients found that vitamin D levels were markedly low in the severely ill. Those deficient in vitamin D had higher levels of inflammatory markers and an 18% higher fatality rate than those not deficient. How much does our team love the sunshine vitamin? Parsley Health founder and CEO Robin Berzin, MD sent a bottle to every Parsley employee before the holidays.

Workouts you can stream.

If you haven’t hopped on the streaming workout bandwagon yet, this is your year. While the return to a gym may still be a while off, you can get the community and accountability that make gyms and fitness studios a healthy haven through online platforms. Parsley Health members can snag deals in their member portal from some of our favorites, including these brands that offer both on-demand and live options:

The Sculpt Society

Trainer Megan Roup uses dance, bodyweight exercises, and low-impact sculpting moves in her high-energy workouts with The Sculpt Society . Perfect when you need a motivational, feel-good boost, with workouts ranging from 5-50 minutes.

The Class

If you’re in a let it out, sweat it out mood, The Class by Taryn Toomey is the emotional and physical release you need. Classes are live-streamed seven days a week, multiple times a day, with no props needed, so you can find something to fit your schedule and keep you accountable to your workouts.

Kula Yoga

Get grounded and tap into your mindfulness practice with a class from Kula Yoga . Their tight-knit in-person community has taken their mats online and the energy is just as welcoming and thoughtful. Don’t miss class with studio director Schuyler Grant.

Forte

Forte offers a variety of workouts from different modalities, including barre, boxing, cycling, stretching, HIIT, strength training, and more, so you’ll never get bored. If your current routine is feeling stale, this is a good way to switch it up.

Body Conceptions

For the dancers out there, trainer Mahri Rehlin’s Body Conception classes are not to be missed. She breaks down choreography in easy-to-learn video tutorials along with targeted sculpting exercises for a full-body workout.

Meditation class from anywhere.

Parsley Health prescribes a mindfulness practice to every member, because it’s been shown to lower inflammation , improve mood, reduce stress, and benefit digestion—things everyone could use some help with. During times of crisis, researchers have found meditation and mindfulness practices may help with anxiety . If you’ve struggled to commit to a mindfulness practice in the past, guided meditations might be for you. MNDFL Video includes over a hundred 1-30 minutes videos that help anchor you to let go and be still as if you’d popped into the studio and sat down for a group meditation class. The video classes may be particularly helpful for those who are more visual learners and have struggled with audio-only apps. (Parsley members get 1 month free.)

A sleek supplement case.

Credit: Port + Polish

You know the old tie a string around your finger phrase? There’s truth to it. You can create reminders through association by correlating an intention (like taking your daily supps) with a distinct reminder (your fun pill case). Researchers found these distinctive reminders can be more effective than written or electronic reminders. The supplement cases from Port + Polish fit a week of pills in a streamlined design around the size of your cell phone. The friendly visual reminder can help you stick with taking your doctor-recommend supplements .

A clean skincare routine.

OSEA

If you want to start off with a clean slate this year, having a non-toxic skincare routine is a must. Many of the personal care products you use on a daily basis may contain chemicals like BPA, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Parabens, and diethylstilbestrol (DES). These chemicals are shown to disrupt hormones that regulate systems and processes in our bodies like our breathing, metabolism, and reproduction, leading to everything from thyroid dysfunction to PCOS and depression . OSEA’s products are plant-based, gluten -free, vegan, synthetic-free, and completely free of chemicals known to cause cancer, mutation, or birth defects. The Ocean Cleanser is your gateway—you’ll be transported to a spa day (remember those?) with gentle exfoliation, hydration, and overall ahh.

A book that makes you think.

Exercise your mind and dig in deeper on a topic you’ve been wanting to learn more about. Better yet, recruit some friends and turn it into the first book club of the year.

On our bookshelf:

Extra social support.

Credit: WMN Circle

Now more than ever it’s clear how important community is to our health and wellbeing. During the initial COVID-19 lockdown, researchers in the UK found extremely high rates of loneliness and feelings of isolation, which have been linked to a number of negative physical and mental health outcomes such as high blood pressure , heart disease , poor cognitive function , and anxiety and depression . So, intentionally connecting with others regularly is one of the best things you can do for your health this year. What’s more, friendships among women are key to overcoming times of stress. WMN Space—now connecting virtually—is a space for women to support one another through any stage of their journey, whether you’re looking for career mentorship, advice on motherhood, or just a place to express yourself. This January, reserve a space in the WMN Circle to connect with and learn from other women. (Parsley members receive 20 percent off.)

A rugged layering piece.

The phrase “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes,” has never hit harder than during the pandemic, when it’s easy to stay inside 24/7. But spending time outside is an easy way to reap health benefits, from improving symptoms of anxiety and depression to lowering blood pressure. A new study in the journal PLOS One found that 26 percent of people visiting parks during the early months of COVID-19 had rarely or never spent time in nature the year before. Keeping up the outdoor time is crucial through the winter months. With that, you’ll need a lightweight, insulated, and breathable jacket for layering. The North Face’s AT Arque Futurelight Ventrix Jacket comes in a women’s and men’s version. A hood and waterproofing ensure you can get out, no matter the weather.

A care team to lean on.

No matter what you’re going through on your health journey this year, having a team to support you can help. Parsley Health’s clinicians and health coaches can work with you on resolving ongoing symptoms, managing chronic illness, or optimizing your health. Parsley Health members get a dedicated clinician and health coach that they build a relationship with and partner with on their holistic treatment plan. 97 percent of members see an improvement in their symptoms. If you’ve been thinking about joining Parsley, try for free for 3 weeks , or schedule a free call to learn more about plans.

by
Sara Angle
Author

Sara is a content creator who has worked with outlets such as Outside Magazine, Well + Good, Healthline, and Men's Journal, and as a journalist at Shape and Self and publications in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Rome. She is also an ACE-certified personal trainer. She has a degree in communication with concentrated studies in journalism from Villanova University.

Outside of office hours, you can usually find her taking a dance class, trying out the latest fitness craze, or teaching and performing synchronized swimming with The Brooklyn Peaches.

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