Real Talk With Dana Patterson

Today, #AerieREAL girl Dana Patterson’s strength and confidence shine. But it took work to get here! She opened up to us about her journey to self-love and body positivity, an amazing story that she now shares on social media and in her work as a NEDA partner. Read on for all the inspiration!

Real Talk With Dana Patterson

Aerie loves NEDA and we know you do too! How did you decide to get involved with the non-profit?

DP: I wanted to get involved with NEDA to be able to share my recovery story, how I handle my mental health, and connect with more men and women in the ED community. This community has helped ME so much in my recovery and journey to self love, and I want to help others the same way. The work that NEDA is doing to save and improve lives is so incredibly important.

You’ve been so open about your story with your followers. How do you allow your past struggles to influence and motivate your future?

DP: I think we need more and more honesty on social media! People need to see what’s really real. I have allowed my past to shape me positively, my struggles and the adversity I have faced have shaped me to be the strong, humorous, honest, understanding person I am today. My past has allowed me to push through many difficult times where I wanted to give in and give up. I’m extremely grateful for all I’ve been through and it will continue to push me to share my much needed message to women, men, and children who need to hear it.

What advice do you have for any girls who are struggling with similar issues you’ve faced?

DP:

  1. First step is to stop identifying your body as your only value. You are SO much more than your body. Once you take the emphasis off of our physical appearances it’s so much easier to love ourselves.
  2. STOP COMPARING TO OTHERS! My dad always says comparison is the thief of joy, and it’s so true! Start celebrating your unique qualities as well as the others around you.
  3. Do not let the opinions of others affect you, and do not let your value lie in others opinions of you i.e. Boys, bullies etc. Your value comes from your amazing qualities, NOT other people’s opinions of you!
  4. Stay diligent about how you allow yourself to think. My parents always talk to me about “standing porter at the door of thought” aka watch how you think about yourself and what you allow into your thought. Negative thinking begets negative results. Stay diligent about you how you speak about yourself and others. You do not have to fall victim to BDD or your ED, you are stronger than your disorder. Your thought is such a powerful tool in the battle against ED.

What is your mantra or the most important thing you tell yourself every day?

DP: BE GRATEFUL. My dad always made me write gratitude lists every day growing up, and I never really understood why until I got older. It’s so important to be grateful for everything we have and the opportunities we are blessed with. I start my gratitude lists with things as simple as being grateful for clean water to drink, a roof over my head and my bed to sleep in. It truly gives important perspective to our way of thinking.

What makes you #AerieREAL?

DP: My honesty, my humor , and my ability to embrace my mixed Latina/Spanish/and Scottish heritage is what makes me #AerieREAL. I used to be so insecure about some of my physical attributes growing up looking very differently than other kids at my school. People would make fun of everything from my weight, to my skin color, my eyebrows, my butt and my full hair. I want to give a voice to any girl or boy who’s ever been made fun of or bullied for being different, and let them know they are loved and accepted. That is what makes me #AerieREAL.

Real Talk With Dana Patterson

How To Style The Band Tee With Daily Mister

Graphic tees are an easy way to inject unique #AEOSTYLE into your look. This season, we’re seeing an emphasis on fun, elevated graphics that speak to everything from your favorite band (inspired by vintage rock tees) to modern block lettering. Band tees are super of-the-moment and look great with just about anything. Menswear blogger Mac Joseph from Daily Mister styled one of our Guns ‘N’ Roses tees with an ultra-cool, edgy vibe. (Sound familiar? Check out our other post featuring a vintage band tee here). See Mac’s full look below and let us know what vintage trends you’re loving right now in the comments.

Daily Mister styles the AEO Band Tee for a vintage, 90s-inspired rocker look.

Meet Mac:
Mac is a Brooklyn based blogger and DJ, when not working full time at a digital communications agency. With his blog, Daily Mister, Mac aims to make menswear fun again with his eclectic fashion sense and irrelevant writing style. His love of fashion, pop culture, music, art, and New York City come together to create a unique social media presence.”

Daily Mister styles the AEO Band Tee for a vintage, 90s-inspired rocker look.

What Inspired Mac’s Look:
“Since I’m wearing band tee of one of my favorite groups I decided to pay homage to classic rock style with some modern upgrades. (Think The Ramones, The Clash, Sex Pistols,etc.) You can never go wrong with all black. When wearing a shirt like this, all you need is a great pair of fitted black jeans and your favorite pair of boots. (Bonus points if they’re worn in!) To take my look to the next level I paired the tee with a leather jacket and a mix of accessories including a wide brim hat and a mix of jewelry. What I love about a good band tee is it’s a great staple piece that can be styled up or down and worn all year round with the right layers.”

Daily Mister styles the AEO Band Tee for a vintage, 90s-inspired rocker look.

Shop the Look: Band T-Shirt | 360 Extreme Flex Slim Jean (Similar) | Reversible Leather Belt (Similar)
Bandana (Similar) | Sunglasses (Similar) | Plain Toe Lug Sole Boot (Similar)

Show us how you’re styling the AEO Band Tee using #AEOSTYLE on Instagram & Twitter for a chance to be featured in our Style Gallery.

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How to Detox: 12 Healthy, Easy Ways to Refresh Your System

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Aaah, the cleanse.

By now, most of us have either attempted one or at least dealt with the hanger-induced rage of a mid-cleanse friend. Perhaps that friend was Beyonce circa 2006*, when she did the so-called “Master Cleanse” in preparation for her role in Dream Girls, drinking only a lemon-cayenne-syrup mixture, a saltwater drink, and herbal tea for a week straight.

Sounds pleasant, right? Yeah, not really. And while these more extreme versions will likely result in immediate weight loss, they can be dangerous if not done properly, and you’ll likely gain the weight back pretty quickly after returning to a normal diet.

Luckily, it IS possible to detox in a way that won’t make you want to throw things at strangers. A healthy detox is more gradual, and will leave you feeling energized, rather than depleted.

*Okay, so it was probably not Beyonce. You get the picture.

yogurt

So, what is a detox?

A detox, simply put, is a method of eliminating toxins. Though the body naturally detoxes on its own, you can lessen its workload and improve the detoxification process by 1) decreasing the toxins you put into your body and 2) supporting the systems that work to remove those toxins.

This is where a detox comes in! Benefits include restoring balance in your body, increasing energy, speeding up metabolism and strengthening immunity, just to name a few.

yoga

How to detox the right way

Instead of extreme, short-term cleanses with short-term results, aim for a gradual approach with long-term benefits. To get you started, we put together a list of 12 simple ways you can start incorporating detoxifying habits into your everyday routine.

Now, you do NOT need to try all of these at once. Choose a few (maybe even just one for starters!) that seem most achievable to you and go from there. (And, of course, consult your doctor if you have any questions about which kind of detox is right for you.)

lemon-water

  1. Start your day with lemon water or tea – Lemons are full of citric acid and pectin, which support digestion. Tea is tasty, makes you feel kinda fancy, and it’s ALSO rich in antioxidants.
  2. Avoid processed foods, refined sugar and alcohol – Don’t make your liver work any harder than it needs to by filling yourself with processed junk, refined sugar or alcohol. Reach for healthier alternatives instead. Which leads us to…
  3. Smoothies! – It’s surprisingly easy to throw together a great-tasting smoothie that’s also full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to keep you full longer and aid your digestive system. (Tip: the sweetness of pineapple totally cancels out the flavor of spinach in a smoothie, so you can reap all the benefits without feeling like you’re drinking a salad! Because, gross.)

lettuce

  1. Hydrate, a LOT – Duh. Water helps your kidneys and digestive system function properly by flushing out toxins. The Institute of Medicine suggests that women drink 2.7 liters per day (make that 3.7 liters for men). And no, alcohol does not count! Nice try, though.
  2. Incorporate superfoods into your diet  – Superfoods like spinach and kale are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and many specifically enhance liver function (cranberries, for example).
  3. Eat more fiber – A high-fiber diet means healthier bowel movements, which means fewer toxins. The Mayo Clinic recommends that women eat 25 grams of fiber a day and men eat 38 grams. Some awesome sources of fiber include whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.

workout

  1. Try probiotics – Probiotics are good bacteria that help the digestive tract and boost the immune system. Natural probiotics can be found in things like yogurt, kombucha, and miso. They’re also available in supplement form.
  2. Work it out – Yoga in particular is great for increasing circulation, which brings more nutrients to the liver. And regular aerobic exercise breaks down fat tissue that toxins are stored in, helping remove those toxins. Aim to exercise 20-30 minutes a few times a week, and don’t forget the tunes!
  3. Treat yourself to a massage – Massages stimulate the lymph system, making it filter waste faster and more efficiently. The perfect excuse to treat yourself.

sleep

  1. Get more sleep – Sleep lets your body rest and recharge, so that processes like digestion and detoxification can function smoothly during the day. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Get your zen on – Detoxing can be challenging or stressful at times, especially if you’re trying to give up vices like alcohol or sugar. You can improve your willpower by meditating, according to Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal. Brain changes in the prefrontal cortex (which controls decisions and behavior), have been seen after just eight weeks of short, daily meditations.
  3. De-stress – Stress can take a toll on the digestive system, causing it to function below its full potential. Try to limit stressors and unwind in healthy ways, like exercise and meditation.

Detox Foods

Since healthy detoxing is largely about putting the right things into your body, here are some foods that will cleanse your system naturally and make you feel great! (Find even more detox food ideas here.)

  • Ginger – Ginger aids in digestion and can even help relieve an upset stomach. Some say it also helps you feel fuller longer. Try it in tea form, too!
  • Beets – Beets are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help improve liver function.
  • Artichokes – The cynarin in artichokes stimulate bile flow, which aids digestion.
  • Milk thistle – Milk thistle is commonly associated with detoxing because it aids the liver in removing toxins from the blood.
  • Garlic – Garlic stimulates the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps facilitate the natural detoxification process. It’s also good for your immune system!
  • Dark, leafy greens – Superfoods like kale and collard greens are rich in chlorophyll, which has enzymes that aid in cleansing the blood.
  • Broccoli – Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage boost detoxifying enzymes, which help your body excrete toxins.
  • Raspberries – Raspberries are high in fiber, which is good for digestion. (Apples, blackberries, and bananas are also good sources of fiber!)
  • Kimchi – Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt and sauerkraut are natural probiotics that improve digestive function.
  • Oats – Like raspberries, oats are rich in fiber, which is good for your digestive system and leaves you feeling full longer.

Remember: detoxing isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s about giving your body more of the nutrients it needs in order to function at its best (and make YOU feel your best). So stock up on those superfoods, start planning your new workout routine (in style, of course), and tell Beyonce she can have that saltwater all to herself.

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Sources
www.nourishholisticnutrition.com  |  www.people.cornellcollege.edu  |  www.dailyhealthpost.com  |  www.livestrong.com  |  www.articles.mercola.com  |  www.draxe.com  |  www.shape.com 1, 2  |  www.mensfitness.com  |  www.mayoclinic.org  |  www.health.com 1, 2  |  www.oregonlive.com  |  www.scopeblog.stanford.edu  |  www.everydayhealth.com  |  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 1, 2 |  www.livestrong.com  |  www.womenshealthmag.com  |  www.nutritionfacts.org

How To: Spring Break Hair

Heading to a pool party or a day on the beach? This no-fuss look will stay in place all day so you don’t have to!

Step 1: Brush all of your hair to the back.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 2: Separate two side pieces from the front and twist both of them inward.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 3: Tie the two strands together in a knot, keeping them separate from the rest of your hair.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 4: Starting with either the left or right section, take a small strand of hair from one of the outer edges, and cross it over the opposite section of hair. Once you’ve added this strand to the other section, forget about it! You will always be working with just two sections, not three.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 5: Keep repeating this process from side to side until you reach the end.  As you work down, you can take smaller sections of hair if you want a tighter braid. Make sure you’re always taking strands from the outer edges.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 6: Tie an elastic band around the bottom, then gently pull the hair from the braid to make it a little wider.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 7: Give it a spritz of hairspray to set everything in place.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 8: Add flowers, starting from the outside and working in. Secure them by pulling the stems through your braid.

How To: Spring Break Hair

How To: Spring Break Hair

How To: Spring Break Hair

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 9: Go rock it!

How To: Spring Break Hair

How To: Spring Break Hair

Show us your spring break style on Instagram or Twitter with #AerieREAL

Want more hair inspo? Try learning a waterfall braid!

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Mardi Gras Treats

Treat yourself this Tuesday– no need to be in NOLA to celebrate Mardi Gras!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 6 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows
  • Purple candy melts
  • Star shaped silicone mold (optional)
  • Green, gold and purple sugar pearls
  • Green, gold and purple sprinkles

Mardi Gras Treats

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until they’re melted and combined.
  3. Remove mixture from heat and add it to cereal until it’s evenly coated.
  4. Coat a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray, pressing mixture evenly into pan.
  5. Let cool and cut into small rectangles.
  6. Melt purple candy according to instructions and pour into molds.
  7. Reserving half, dip the treats into the melted candy, as much or as little as you’d like.
  8. Decorate using the cooled star candies, sugar pearls and sprinkles.

Mardi Gras Treats

 

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ERIN’S OUTFIT OF THE WEEK: STRONG. BEAUTIFUL. YOU!

Happy #NEDAwareness week! Celebrate your strong & beautiful self with OUR stylist’s outfit of the week.

ERIN’S OUTFIT OF THE WEEK: STRONG. BEAUTIFUL. YOU!Shop Erin’s Look: Limited-Edition NEDA Tee | Fleece Crew Sweatshirt | Chill Hi-Rise Legging | Happy Unlined Plunge Bra | Aerie Shine Boybrief | Round Sunglasses | Baseball Hat | Court Sneaker

This week’s look features our Limited-Edition NEDA Tee: shop it and we’ll donate 100% of sales to the National Eating Disorders Association, a non-profit that supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders. If you’re staying active with a NEDA walk this week, wear your Chill Hi-Rise Legging and layer with our Fleece Crew Sweatshirt.

As always, love the REAL you!

 

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