Recovering From Post Holiday Weight + Inflammation

There’s nothing wrong with a little fluctuation during a holiday or vacation. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t indulge when celebrating with our family and friends. Over the holidays I gained 4 pounds, which may not seem a lot to you but, on my barely 5’2 petite frame, I felt it. Along with the little weight gain was temporary inflammation, breakouts, water retention, bloat, and brain fog. I have zero regrets for any of the food or drinks I consumed. It’s life, you guys. Getting back on track doesn’t have to be drastic or difficult.

Here are my tips on getting back on track and how I lost the 4 pounds:

Photographer:  Soda Fountain Photo

Photographer: Soda Fountain Photo


    A lot of the holidays are eating, traveling, more drinking, eating, sitting, more eating, more drinking and more sitting. Balance it out with some physical activity that you enjoy. Don’t waste your energy, money, or time on a workout you don’t like. This is NOT a punishment for the food you ate. Take your favorite group fitness class and ask a friend to join you. Take a walk outside for some fresh air or walk around your favorite museum. I love a good sweat session that combines cardio and weights like a Barry’s Bootcamp class or CorePower Yoga’s Yoga Sculpt.


    I booked an appointment at Leah Chavie Skincare for a 45 minute Thermojet Infrared Body Wrap Session. During the treatment, flexible wide silicone wraps are used for targeting specific areas of the body: arms, waist, hips, and legs. BENEFITS: soothe tight muscles and joints, aids in detoxification (you’ll sweat your butt off), aids in lymphatic drainage, cellulite reduction over time, improves circulation, and infrared reduces inflammation in the body. I prefer an Infrared Body Wrap over a steam room or sauna because I can lay down for a nap while breathing in room temperature air. A treat for my Chicagoans: Leah is offering my readers Thermojet Infrared Body Wrap for $75 until the end of Febuary (2/28/19). Mention CARLA JIAN when you call to book your appointment.

    SIDE NOTE: When you book your wrap at Leah’s, go ahead and treat yourself to one of her infamous facials. If you’ve watched my Instagram stories you know how much I LOVE Leah and it’s not a basic facial. She has changed the texture of my skin and has lightened my old acne scars. Mention CARLA JIAN for 30% off your FIRST facial.

    Follow Leah on Instagram for her latest and greatest on skincare.


    The following day(s) after a great holiday feast I give my digestive system a break with Intermittent Fasting. My sweet spot is 14-15 hours. I start my morning with water, on a good day - warm water with, apple cider vinegar, and lemon, then Four Sigmatic Coffee with inulin fiber. I usually have breakfast around 10am and have my last meal by 7pm. Research Intermittent Fasting on your own to see what method works best for your lifestyle. For me, even 1 day of IF decreases a lot of the bloat. I prefer to IF 3-5 days a week and find that it increases my energy and clears my thinking.


    Some of my favorite inflammation fighting foods are turmeric, celery, dark leafy greens, ginger, green tea, salmon, bone broth, blueberries, and flaxseed to name a few. Basically colorful foods that are high in omega-3s, fiber, good fats, antioxidants, and lean protein.

  5. WATER

    HYDRATE! When consuming holiday cocktails and foods those salty/savory dishes are unfortunately high in sugar or sodium, which make you want them more, so the last thing you’re reaching for is water. Not enough water = dehydration. Dehydration signals are similar to hunger, so it may cause you to eat more when you’re really just thirsty. I prefer to drink my body weight (in ounces) because I sweat a lot from working out. So if you’re an active 125 pound person, aim close to 125 ounces.


    If you aren’t on a regular probiotic, get on one. Probiotics help balance the good bacteria in your digestive system. When my gut is out of whack I end up having acne breakouts and crazy bloating. Probiotics really help with my healthy glow and ease my digestion. Speak with your doctor to decide what probiotic is best for you.


    Add more vegetables in to your meals. Enjoy them raw or cooked. The earth harvests what our bodies need so eat what’s in season, preferably organic or organic frozen veggies.


    It’s pretty clear what foods made me feel puffy, cause acne, and brain fog. I avoid those for at least a week. Having these foods cause havoc in my system so I’m okay with giving them up for a bit.

Notice how this is NOT about restriction or deprivation. I didn’t go on a juice cleanse or diet. It’s just about mindful eating and listening to your body. Your body is meant to feel amazing. Be good to it.

Hope these simple tips help you to get back on track! Let me know how these work for you.

Happy New Year!

Carla Jian

Skincare steps you don't want to skip!


If you know me, you know my obsession with skincare.  I'll do everything I can to maintain a youthful glow.  Taking care of my skin is like a ritual for me.  My skincare regimen is 4-6 steps in the AM and 6-8 in the PM.  They change based on what my skin needs.  Along with the obvious SPF and a med spa facial here and there, I’m sharing my top 3 skincare practices I can’t live without:

1.  Double cleanse in the PM

With all the sweating from workouts, pollutants in the air, and makeup products, you want to make sure that your skin is completely clean.  This way your skincare products get the chance to work deep into the skin.

My evening regimen always begins with a cleansing oil.  I use Scratch Goods Tea Tree Cleansing Oil or Boscia Cleansing Oil.  It's slick consistency picks up all the makeup and any build up from the day off my face and neck.  After the cleansing oil, I finish with a second cleanser for another deep clean with Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser.  With the warming effect it feels totally clean without drying.  You want a clean canvas for your skincare products to really do its job.

2.  Hyaluronic Acid

I love the Glo Daily Hydration.  It’s hyaluronic acid serum with vitamin B locks in moisture like crazy.  It creates a perfect base for my other moisturizers, sunscreen and makeup.  Chicago weather can do a number on your skin so I need this all year around!  In order to take advantage of ever single drop, I apply the serum right to my face rather than waste it in my palms.  Thanks for the tip Pamela!


3.  Lymphatic Drainage Tools
Tools like the jade roller and facial dry brush stimulate the lymphatic system.  This extra self care step will assist in moving the lymphatic fluid that may be stagnant and drain out built-up toxins or other blockages that can create puffiness.  It's a fantastic holistic way to boost circulation and rejuvenates skin too!  Oh, and get these tools from legit sources.  I buy mine from Scratch Goods, a local Chicago (woman owned, woot woot!) skincare shop.

How to jade roll:
I place mine in the fridge or freezer to increase the de-puffing benefits.  The chilled jade roll is like a shot of espresso for your face. SO GOOD!  After my entire skincare routine (cleansing and moisturizing), I firmly roll upward and outward.  Start from your chin, and don't forget to include your neck.  Use the smaller end around the eyes.  For best results, jade roll daily.


How to dry brush:
The facial dry brush is not the same as the body dry brush so the bristles should be softer and the tool itself is smaller.  I like to begin with clean naked skin.  Start with soft strokes from the chin moving outward to the hairline.  Don't forget your chest and neck moving upward.  After dry brushing, I will apply a mask (only if I have the time), rinse, then apply my moisturizers.  You can go straight into applying moisturizers but I like to rinse before.  Do what works best for your skin.  Dry brushing only needs to be done 1-2 times a week.

I hope this gives you some SKINspiration.  Are these steps new to you or is something you've always done?  What are your go-to skincare tips or tricks?  Let me know in the comments!