Hi there, welcome to my blog! I’m Bahynah, a 20-something girl currently living in New York. I recently graduated from University and I am currently navigating the (often overwhelming) wellness world while having a full time job. Not only will this blog be focused on nutrition and exercise, this is the space where I get to be creative and share my findings and tips on travel, style and everything in between! Thanks for stopping by!
As a fan of matcha and banana bread, I was excited to try making this treat. Although my recipe is very similar to the banana bread recipe that is already on my blog, matcha is known it add a bitter element to baked goods so I had to make some slight adjustments. Although I am still tweaking around with the recipe and trying to get the right amount of sweetness from the banana and earthy taste from the matcha, the gluten-free loaf I made last week has been approved by my family and some of my followers on IG already!
- 2 overripe bananas
- 1 c almond flour
- 1/4 c of coconut flour
- 2 eggs/flax eggs
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp on baking soda
- 2 tsp of vanilla
- 3 tbsp of maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp of ceremonial grade matcha
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
2) Spray your loaf tray with some cooking oil and line with parchment paper
3) Mash bananas until they are smooth
4) Mix in the wet ingredients – egg, vanilla, coconut oil, syrup
5) In a separate bowl, mix the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and matcha. Make sure that there are no lumps in the mixture.
6) Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until the batter is uniform
7) Pour the batter into your loaf tray and bake for 45-55 mins. Use a cake tester or knife to see if it is ready.
Let me know in the comments if you try the recipe and like it! Thanks for reading!
Despite popular belief, You don’t need 10,000 or more followers to get started with gifted or even paid collaborations with brands! Companies are now acknowledging that nano-influencers have a lot of value in the social media marketing world. Many accounts with less than 2k followers are participating in great campaigns. However, getting noticed by the right brands — excluding the shady bikini or sunglasses accounts that want to “collab” by offering lackluster discounts– is not always easy. I’m here to share my whole experience with how I’ve worked with 40+ brands (gifted and paid) in less than 1 year. I have received free products in exchange for social posts, participated in PAID sponsorships, and have been featured on a few Instagram profiles with larger audiences! I have done this without sending a single pitch to any brand and I hope this post is helpful for anyone testing the waters.
Before I tell you my tips & tricks, here is some background about my experience and how I started this less than a year ago! Ever since the middle of college, I was all about taking aesthetic pictures and creating content. Whether it was selfies, outfit looks, or going places, I always loved capturing these moments to share with my friends.
One day I went to an event after work at a jewelry store and snapped a picture of one of their rings. The company that hosted the event reposted my photo to IG and a week after the brand offered to send me a necklace in exchange for a social media post. Eventually, the jewelry company asked me to officially work with them and the rest is history. Since then, I have worked with various clothing, skincare, hair and makeup companies such as Olehenriksen, Marc Jacobs, Mejuri, Revlon, Goop, Shea Moisture, Carol’s Daughter, Vital Proteins and more!
#1 – Know Your Niche and Set Up Your Profile
Defining your niche is very important. This lets companies know what your Instagram and content are all about. Whether you want to create content for fashion, beauty, lifestyle, fitness, health, food, cars, etc you want to make that very clear. I personally can’t stick to one niche so I’m running two accounts – one is focused on Wellness and the other is focused on Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle.
Once you know your niche, you want to make sure your profile meets certain standards to be able to catch the eye of brands. Here is a list of profile must-haves:
- Public Profile that is a Creator/Business Account
- Only business accounts have access to user analytics and many companies require that you send over screenshots of your analytics, especially for their paid campaigns.
- IG Name Format that is SEO friendly
- Name + Niche or just Niche
- Examples: Bahynah | Fashion & Lifestyle or Holistic Wellness
- Professional Email in Bio – Not just the button!
- Most Influencer Partnership Teams are using a desktop at their office to search for you, so having it in your bio is just as important as having the email button enabled! Your email should be professional for obvious reasons.
- Uniform Highlight Covers
- This ties your profile together and makes it look professional.
- TIP: Have a highlight for every topic you discuss on your page, and if you want, have a highlight for PR/Collabs too.
#2 – Post Quality Content + Use Hashtags
In the influencer world content is king and without great content on your profile, you will be overlooked by brands. Your Instagram profile is basically your portfolio + resume to brands. For anyone starting out, post high-quality pictures of products you already own with great captions. Be sure to tag the brand and use appropriate hashtags. Make sure that your feed is curated and cohesive. You want your profile to look good at first glance to draw in someone’s attention. Doing this lead to my first major gifted campaign. Also, I will be coming out with a hashtag cheatsheet (hashtags help brands find you and grow your following) soon so stay tuned!
Overall, having an aesthetic feed does give you an advantage. The first thing that brands tell me when they reach out is how they love my content and feed. You don’t need to have a specific theme (branded colors, logos, etc.) or use the same exact filter every time. Just make sure that your pictures look good together.
#3 – Be Consistent
Consistency is key! It is important to show brands that you post regularly and have an engaged audience. I try to post at least every other day. Being consistent is important for growing your audience too keeping your followers interested in what you have to say. The truth is, IG favors accounts that post more so if you cannot upload an infeed post, make sure you post something in your story that day.
#4 – Create a Media Kit + Know Your Rates
When a brand reaches out to me via email, I always send them a copy of my media kit (if I accept the collab). Not only does it look more professional to have a media kit, media kits also are a way for the brand to remember you and keep you in mind for future campaigns.
Canva is a great tool for beginners, but I made my own custom media kit in Photoshop. There is no correct format for a media kit, but it should have:
- Quick Bio
- Demographic/Audience Info
- Stats (Engagement Rate, Follower Count)
- Links to All Your Social Media
#5 – Join Influencer Networks
Influencer networks are a great way to land deals. The Agency/Network does the work of pairing you with potential campaigns and when I was starting out it helped me understand the types of brands and partnerships I was attracting. Some great networks are:
- Influenster – You get free beauty products in exchange for completing social media posts, reviews, and surveys. The more campaigns you participate in, the higher the likely hood of being chosen for another! Totally recommend this for beginners.
- InfluenceHer Collective – You can make about $200-300 per post! I recommend having your profiles buttoned up before applying, it is a little harder to get into this network. I applied twice and did not get in until I had at least 1k followers, a business account, and a blog.
- Fohr – Has paid and gifted campaigns that are matched to your profile. Fohr provides stats, demographic data, and engagement rates. Fohr has a one-sheet that you can download send to brands. Please note- Fohr recently has come under scrutiny for their unfair payment rates.
- Trend: You can make about $30-70 per post. Its Invite Only so DM me for the referral code to get in!
Hopefully, this information is helpful for anyone just starting out! By doing all of these steps I was able to passively get brand deals offered to me. I have recently started pitching to brands myself and will be sharing how I do that soon so be on the lookout!
Do you have any other social media tips for newbies? If so share them in the comments!
Like a lot of women, I used to dread getting my period every month. During what I would consider a normal cycle, I was in pain because of cramps for hours on end, always exhausted, and had heavy bleeding. I noticed that right before my period started I was unable to focus and needed to take a nap right before my cycle started. During some of my worst periods, I remember vomiting in public because I suddenly felt a sharp pain everywhere from the waist down. I also recall bleeding through my super tampon, my clothes, and onto a chair in my 8:40 am lecture (I remember putting my tampon in 20 mins before class).
I always assumed that my periods were just going to be difficult for as long as I had them and that there was nothing I could do about it. My life revolved around my cycle — I would avoid social outings and in college, I often would skip lectures because I physically could not get up in the morning. It wasn’t until I really started to research my symptoms and read about the experiences of others who made efforts to improve their periods that I realized things were not normal I should try to prevent my symptoms instead of accepting them.
Through trial and error and several lifestyle changes, I can now say that I have a much more manageable cycle– I am no longer a slave to “Aunt Flo” and do not have anxiety about her anymore. Here are 5 things I believe made a big difference in helping alleviate my period symptoms:
- Using the Cycle Tracking feature on the Health app — Although this might seem obvious to some, actually having an idea of when your cycle is about to start is the first step to managing your symptoms. That meant I knew when to buy feminine care products and check to see if I had run out of Aleve before my period started. That meant making sure I had the right foods in my pantry and my “period friendly clothes” washed and ready to wear. Having a sense of control in some way also helped me keep my stress levels down.
- Eating a balanced diet that focuses on anti-inflammatory foods – Studies show that eating foods that decrease inflammation in the body can help to tame menstrual cramps overtime. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Research has shown that due to the high level of antioxidant rich foods, both vegan and plant-based eating patterns can work to decrease inflammation in the body. I try to always meal prep before my period and keep foods like kale, lentils and quinoa in mind when choosing what to eat. Of course, I still have a treat every once in a while!
- Choosing my feminine care products wisely — Although I am a fan of tampons over pads (who really wants to feel like they are wearing a diaper), when I commited to wearing pads for the majority of my cycle, I noticed that the intensity of my period cramps significantly decreased. Please note: Tampons do not necessarily cause period cramps, but they can make the cramps that you have feel worse if you get inflammation during your cycle. Personally, I wear pads to sleep and while I am at home, and tampons when I am out and about. I recently made the switch to organic tampons and reusable pads because I am trying to be more conscious of what I put in my body. Things are going well so far, but are plenty of other options available and I recommend everyone explore them.
- Eliminating caffeine during my cycle — This was tough because I love having a matcha in the morning. I learned that for me, drinking caffeine during my period can actually make my cramps worse. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it makes the blood vessels in your body constrict. This can cause the vessels in your uterus to tighten, making your period cramps even more painful than they already are. While this may not help everyone, once I switched to caffeine free tea blends during the day, I noticed that my cramps were less severe.
- Staying active – Honestly I still have trouble with this, but exercising during your cycle is so beneficial. Personally for me, I feel my mood shift after a workout and my energy levels are so much higher. This Healthline article outline some of the benefits of exercising during your period and I also used this Sweats and the City blog post as a guide when I first decided to be more active during my period. That being said, I recommend you pace yourself, do what works for you or consult a medical professional if you are not sure.
And there you have it! These 5 things really helped me change my life for the better and I hope this helps someone out there in some way. Please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments or through DM on Instagram.
If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen me make a matcha latte at least once a week. Matcha, like the traditional green tea that you get in a tea bag, is filled with antioxidants and very beneficial for you. Matcha powder however, is more bio-available than green tea, meaning you can absorb it better. Although this powder is good for you, it gets kind of pricey overtime and it is best for me personally to make matcha lattes at home. Here is how to make a latte:
- 1 1/4 tsp matcha powder (I like Townshend’s and Organic Matcha)
- 1/4 cup of hot water
- 3/4 cup of non dairy milk – heat or leave chilled if you want a hot or iced latte
- Add the matcha powder to the hot water and stir with a wooden matcha whisk or in a blender. If you used a blender, remove the matcha and water mitxure and keep it in a separate container.
- For iced lattes – add the cold milk to the blender and blend until it is frothy. For hot lattes, heat on a stove top gradually until the milk becomes frothy.
- Add the milk to a glass or mug (with ice if you want an iced latte).
- Pour the matcha and water mixture over the almond milk.
It’s officially fall and the beachy and floral decorations in storefronts have all been swapped out for pumpkins and colorful autumn leaves. The autumn season is not only known for changes in fashion and temperatures in NY, it also starts a shift in how we eat as well. Fall (and winter) are notorious for causing weight gain as people decrease their level of physical activity and consume heavier foods. While I love a good piece of pumpkin bread, I have found some alternative foods that are hearty but also healthier from Trader Joe’s. Here are my three favorites:
Autumnal Harvest Soup
The Autumnal Harvest Soup from Trader Joe’s has been a life saver for me this season. This soup comes in a resealable jar and has about three servings. It is a tomato based dish but the butternut squash and other flavors add a sweetness that tones down the acidity of a traditional tomato soup. The Autumnal Harvest Soup can be warmed up on the stove and in the microwave. I recommend taking a jar to the office and keeping it in the fridge for when you forget your lunch or having a jar handy for an easy yet filling meal.
Butternut Squash Pizza Crust
I actually found this Butternut Squash Pizza Crust when I was looking for the usual gluten free pizza crust I grab. I recently made a pizza with this crust and it tasted like fall– without the stereotypical apple or pumpkin flavors. I definitely recommend building your own pizza with this crust. I made a pizza with organic tomato sauce, vegan cheese, spinach and cherry tomatoes that was super comforting and delicious.
Riced Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Risotto
This lower carb risotto is not only perfect for those watching their carb or gluten intake, but also for anyone wanting to eat more vegetables. This can be eaten as a side dish or all on its own. I am keeping a few bags of this in my freezer for a rainy day. Please note that this does have dairy– if you are sensitive I would avoid this.
And there you have it! Three healthy Trader Joe’s find that are hearty for autumn. Let me know if you try and enjoy these dishes!
While I have made it clear in one of my previous posts that I am not really looking to necessarily lose weight, its no secret that I do want to lean out and have more definition in my arms, core and legs. My overall goal is to be more compact without out bulking up. I started seriously working on leaning out in December 2018 and have made a lot of progress recently. Here are a few tips I can pass along to those that have similar goals:
No matter what you do, you cannot out work a bad eating habits and it will be impossible to lean out while not following a balanced diet. I recommend eating whole foods (fruits, vegetables and protein from animal or plant sources) in place of processed foods high in salt or sugar. While I do not completely cut out carbs that come from wheat, rice and other grains, I do limit eating them to 1 time a day while I lean out. I will do a more detailed post on how I eat in the future but I typically eat a protein and 1-2 vegetables for dinner and eat my grains earlier in the day for breakfast or lunch.
I am aware that there is a lot of buzz on social media and in magazines that building muscle via weight lifting is the best way to lose fat. To some extent, I agree that’s a good strategy. However, losing fat is really about being in a calorie deficit — if you burn more calories than you eat, your body will burn fat for fuel. Cardio is simply the better way to get into calorie deficit in a shorter amount of time. It’s hard to burn 1,300 500+ calories, like I did during my 20 min HIIT workout today doing weights for the same amount of time. Even the amount your metabolism is boosted by having extra muscle is negligible when compared to these high amounts of calories burned by cardio. If you get injured easily running and moving around too rapidly, there are so many options. Cardio does not have to be stressful or high impact– you can do it passively by walking everyday.
Incorporate Strength and Resistance Training
Although cardio is necessary for leaning out, strength and resistance training is necessary to define your physique and build muscle. Like cardio, there are so many options to chose from. You can lift traditional weights or use resistance equipment such as arm and ankle bands. I typically do resistance training like this 3-4 times a week via P.volve, which is a low impact program that that uses bands and smalls hand weights.
Try Pilates or Yoga
Not only is yoga relaxing, depending on how much you practice, yoga has the ability to increase fat loss, develop muscle tone, and build flexibility, leading to a more lean-looking physique. Pilates has a similar effect– though it is more strenuous and is considered a type of resistance training.
Optional – Fasted Workouts
Working out while fasted means that you exercise while you are on an empty stomach (please still drink water). Though there is a lot of controversy surrounding fasted workouts, I find that doing them a few times a week does help me lean out and burn more calories.
Required – Stay Consistent
Ultimately all of these tips will not really amount to much unless you are consistent. Truthfully though I started eating healthy years ago, I did not see results until I kept track of whether or not I was eating clean or doing enough physical activity. My suggestion is to keep a planner for your workouts and create a grocery list before you head to the store to buy your food.
There you have it! Four things that have helped me lean out in the past 9 months. Hope this helps!
Pancakes are a stable for breakfast that I used to love eating as a kid. Although I have cut down on eating the traditional version of pancakes made with flour, milk and butter, I eat a gluten-free version regularly that brings all the nostalgic memories back. Here’s how to make these pancakes:
- 2 bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of gluten free oats
- 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
- Mash your bananas into a thick paste
- Add in the eggs, oats and cinnamon and whisk until smooth.
- Add in the blueberries and stir until they are distributed evenly throughout the batter.
- Heat a tablespoon or so of coconut oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, until set. You’ll want to make sure the heat isn’t too high so they don’t burn. Cook on the other side for another 30 seconds.
- Remove from the pan and top with maple syrup and your toppings of choice– I love peanut butter, coconut flakes and bananas on top of mine!
Vacations are usually relaxing and a great way to recenter yourself, but I find that the re-adjustment time after a trip is stressful because we fall out of our routines so much. To combat this issue, here is what I have been doing while traveling so that coming back home after a great trip is not too difficult:
- Always stay hydrated – This is very important. Always have a reusable water bottle in your bag and refill it whenever possible. You never know how your day is going to go and overall your body will thank you!
- Have healthy non-perishable snacks on hand – Similar to always having water on hand, having snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated like granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit means that you won’t have to eat any processed food (like at the airport) if you don’t want to. Honestly, from security to the gate at the airport we pass several overpriced fast food restaurants. Bringing snacks helps me save money and save the unhealthy eating for the actual trip. I am a tea junkie too – so I always have a few bags of my favorite tea in my bag to sip on when I get to the hotel.
- Buy travel sized versions of your go-to beauty products – When I was a teen I would go on trips and rely on the hotel amenities and it would reek havoc on my skin. Now that I know better, I either buy travel sized versions of my favorite products or fill up a TSA approved container before I hit the road. I always bring my own facial cleanser, mask, toner, lotion, body wash, hair moisturizer, and body oil. This usually covers it for me but everyone should adjust as needed.
- Try to exercise in your hotel room – While doing 2 hour workouts at 6 am on vacation is a little much for me, I like to pack gliders and arm/ankle bands in my bag so I can ensure I get some movement in. I love to bring these items on trips because they are light weight and don’t require much space to use. If you are going on a more leisurely vacation, I recommend at least 30 mins of exercise. If you are doing more physical activity during the day, only stretching or doing yoga is great.
- Pack your vitamins – This will have you feeling your best while you are on vacation and after you get back. I usually carry my women’s multivitamin and some Vital Proteins Collagen Powder packets to mix in my hot beverages.
- Bring wet wipes and hand sanitizer – Since we come in contact with different surfaces all the time, having these handy is helpful when a public restroom is not available. Keep your wet wipes and hand sanitizer in your bag to clean your hands before eating any street food or when you sit down to have lunch at a local spot. This will keep germs at bay so you don’t get sick on or after your trip.
- Get sleep – My rule is try to get a full night of sleep the day/night before your flight to and from your vacation. If you are taking a red eye, try to be as relaxed as possible so you actually sleep on the plane. It is not fun spending the first few days of your vacation exhausted so this helps tremendously in my experience.
Required: Let loose and have fun! – Staying healthy is ideal, but vacations are supposed to be a time to laugh and create new memories. Don’t worry too much about keeping up with your established routine and enjoy the moment!
I first learned about P.volve when I was scrolling through Instagram during the 2018 holiday season. The minimal aesthetic of the ads caught my eye, but Stephen Pasterino (a.k.a. P)’s explanation of his unique program is what drew me in. I decided to follow the official P.volve Instagram account to do more research on the program. The account features testimonials, previews and more. After having a rough December fitness and diet-wise, on December 30th 2018, I finally decided to test out the 14-day trial and I was hooked!
P.volve is a low-impact fitness method that blends physical therapy, functional science and hip-opening movements to sculpt hard-to-target areas with ease. It reminds me a lot of pilates, barre and yoga but with a different twist. I personally steam the workouts using the app on my tablet but there are a few studios in select cities. The supposed results: you tone and lengthen your body by doing natural movements you would do in your everyday life (with the help of their unique equipment).
After about 9 months doing the program I can say that P.volve is different from other methods that I have tried and works well for me for two main reasons:
- It changes the muscle tone and shape of my body while not contributing too much to weight loss.
- It’s a low impact program that is easy on the joints.
Here’s some background—While I am a petite woman that has always been on the smaller side, any changes in my diet and exercise routine are very noticeable and it was hard to find a good balance in the past. For example, I would do HIIT, weight lifting and a lot of squats and noticed that my legs were getting too bulky for my liking. Then I would shy away from working out and lose my progress. This cycle would continue on because I wanted to maintain my glutes but not gain any more mass on my legs or arms. I also have scoliosis, which can cause aches and pain during exercises like crunches and sit ups. Basically I wanted to have my cake and eat it too– there were some parts of my physique that needed fine tuning and others that did not.
P.volve solved both of these personal issues overtime. It has helped me lean out my legs and arms, which is amazing for someone as short as me (5’0″). Also, I am finally seeing definition in my core which I struggled with because of my scoliosis. Most importantly, I got to keep my butt (lol).
I want to note that P.volve is not a weight loss program on its own. If weight loss is one of your goals too, it is best in my opinion to lose weight with another method then switch to P.volve to help fine tune your overall appearance.
Utimately, I think anyone that has similar goals to mine should definitely give P.volve a go. Not only is there a 14-day trial, there are also so many workout options. There are varying levels or difficultly and you can workout with or without equipment. The beginner programs usually give new users a little leeway– they either require easy to find equipment like gliders and ankle bands or no equipment or at all. In my experience, to get the most out of the program you should buy at least the P.ball and the P.band. Personally I see myself sticking to this program for a while. Overtime I will share my progress and photos to give you guys a more in-depth look.
If you like what you have read so far, click here to check out P.volve!