wellness theories

Lo Bosworth Has Bad News for You About Sriracha

Lo Bosworth.
Lo Bosworth. Photo: LAN/Corbis

Remember Lo Bosworth? Sure you do. Lo sprang into our lives when reality television was just a baby, when she was a bubbly teen from Laguna Beach. Ten years later she traded the West Coast for the East, graduated from culinary school, and, in true millennial fashion, started a blog. The Cut recently caught up with Lo while she made the rounds promoting her partnership with Arm & Hammer. She told us about her love of working out with Madonna’s trainer, Nicole Winhoffer, how meditation cured her insomnia, and what’s really going on with hot sauce.

How I start my day: I typically wake up around seven, 7:30 — generally, before my alarm. I have a cup of chamomile tea and I do some emails and then I go work out. My favorite class is Nicole Winhoffer’s at 9 a.m. I’m generally up and out the door by 8:30. I don’t normally eat breakfast until I get back home. If anything, I’ll have an apple on the way to the workout class to have a little bit of fuel.

What I eat for breakfast: I either eat some kind of oatmeal with almond butter and a little bit of fruit on top, or I will have some eggs with vegetables. I try to cook seasonally. I get CSA boxes, so whatever I get in the CSA box goes in the eggs.

How I like to sweat: Nicole’s classes are strength-training-based for the first 30 or 40 minutes. You do it to dance music, so it’s really fun and really hard. She focuses on toning your whole body. The last 20 minutes is always a fun, cardio-dance section. I do it probably three days a week, and then a couple days a week I try to go to the gym. I was a huge SoulCycle-r for a long, long time. I still go, but I decided that I needed to switch it up.

What wellness means to me: It encompasses food, nutrition, beauty, fitness, and I think more than anything else, emotional well-being. Everyone in New York is so stressed and since living here for a couple of years, I understand and have developed my own anxieties. Just being able to take some time for yourself to be calm, to watch some TV, to have dinner with your friends — is very important. I try to take time out of my day every day to take care of myself in those ways. I try to eat really clean, I try to meditate every day, exercise, and spend a little bit of time with the people I love. That helps me balance, and to me that’s what wellness is all about.

How I get Zen: I do transcendental meditation, it’s called TM. You do it for 20 minutes in the morning, and then 20 minutes in the evening. It’s an interesting type of meditation. You have a word that you say to yourself over and over again, but the word holds no meaning, so it’s easier for your mind to go to a clear, focused place. It really helps. Since I started meditating, my stress and anxiety have totally gotten under control. I have terrible insomnia, and about a year ago I started doing TM. After four days of doing TM I could suddenly sleep. It was crazy. You don’t need the Ambien! You can sleep magically all of a sudden! I do TM primarily for stress management, though. Stress long term in your body is terrible for your health. It’s the No. 1 cause of heart disease in women. Taking care of myself now, I realize, is really important for my long-term health and wellness.

How I feel about fad diets: I’m a chef. I went to an international culinary school and I’m also working on a graduate-studies program in nutrition at Tufts right now. My personal opinion, based off of what I’ve learned, is that so much of [fad diets] is sensationalism and it’s driven by a diet industry that is just trying to sell you products and a lifestyle. Like it turns out that your body prefers carbohydrates as energy, above protein and fat! As long as those carbohydrates are whole grains, you’re not going to be overweight.

There are all these crazy fad diets out there and new studies and all of this stuff, but unless a study has been proven over and over and over again and published in scientific journals and validated by the community, there’s simply not a lot of weight behind them. At the end of the day, it’s about buying your food locally (and that’s grown without pesticides) and making food for yourself at home.

Preservatives are really bad for you. Chips are bad for you! The USDA doesn’t even require the amount of sugar that’s on a nutritional label to tell you your daily percentage. Even if you’re eating Sriracha, you’re getting like ten grams of sugar and that’s way too much for one day. It’s crazy. People just don’t have enough information to make educated decisions about what they’re eating, so it’s easy to grab onto a fad diet or study and go down that path. It’s important to use your sound judgment above everything else.

How I like to eat when I’m alone: I love pizza. I’m crazy for pizza. I love Italian food. Anything with tomato sauce on it, I’m dead.

My wellness shortcut: It’s as easy as going to the grocery store and buying the majority of your food in the produce department. Honestly. I find myself sometimes going into the pattern of ordering most meals from Seamless, and that’s when you know you’re in trouble. A lot of people don’t cook for themselves, ever. If you can prepare your own food, you know exactly what’s going into it. Just taking your diet back from restaurants and to-go places is probably the easiest way to get back on track.

More than anything, if you’re trying to get toned really quickly, you should focus on a plant-based diet. That’s the easiest way to do it quickly. It’s not something that you should do for the long term because you need healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats and lean animal protein. But if you’re going on vacation soon, eat a lot of vegetables and you’ll be set.

My favorite products: I’m really into DIY. I make my own face wash. It’s literally Arm & Hammer either mixed with water or Cetaphil, and you make a little paste in your hand, and it is the best exfoliator. Don’t get it in your eyes. You can use it on your entire body and your skin will feel so much better after. I also like to make a vegan face wash. It’s a combination of castile soap with a little bit of grapeseed oil and some chamomile tea that’s been steeped, and lemon essential oil. It’s a really nice, soothing facial wash.

This interview has been edited and condensed.