E10: The Lowdown on your Backside🍑

Plus: Exercise snacks, hibiscus tea Rx, digital detox

Happy June!

Today, some time travel: Rewind to the summer of your childhood. Coppertone applied, crew assembled…now you hear the sound of the ice cream truck. Grab your piggy bank money and get in line but…what are you ordering?

Let us know your favorite ice cream truck treat by hitting reply! 

(Jill: Strawberry shortcake crunch bar; Nicole: Lemon or watermelon Italian ice.)

Let’s get to today’s diet of healthy, snackable news: as always, The Skinny provides valuable (and entertaining) need-to-know items to improve your mood/mind/mojo. What we’re covering today:

  • Hibiscus tea: your chic new summer companion

  • Pretend you’re French with two fresh, flavorful (and très simple) homemade vinaigrettes   

  • Our favorite kind of snack is the ‘exercise snack’  

  • Why bidet sales are on the rise (and why you need one) 

  • Beverage report: Poppi “prebiotic” soda hit with lawsuit, Lionel Messi launches Más+ hydration drink

If you have friends who would love The Skinny or some of this week’s edition, you can share the love by forwarding this email. And if someone already in the know sent this, you can subscribe here.

A cup a day

It’s time for hibiscus tea

Image by Jbigallery for Pexels

The Skinny: With its stylish red hue and sweet flavor, we’re placing all bets on hibiscus tea this summer. Is there anything it can’t do? Per the Cleveland Clinic, here are seven benefits to drinking it everyday, as explained by a dietician.   

  • Antioxidants

  • Fights inflammation

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • Promotes weight loss

  • Fights bacteria

  • Supports liver health

Our non-scientific reasons we say to drink it everyday: it’s delicious, has zero calories, could help with weight loss/maintenance (there is an entire book devoted to tea and weight loss) and is aesthetically pleasing. 

That being said, swap your soda for tea and you won’t regret it! Look to Queen Elizabeth, who made it to 96, and reportedly drank two cuppa a day. Or the fact that tea is full of flavonoids (antioxidants), which are compounds that help fight off inflammation. Further reading and inspiration comes, as always, from a great Reddit thread sharing: “why does tea make me feel so good”?

Hibiscus Tea Time in Telluride

Our commitment? Enjoy Hibiscus Tea every day this summer. To try it with us, these are our faves (and you can learn how to make iced tea three ways here): 

PS: The tip-off for this item came from a reader, as this week we have been recovering from a cold that felt like the plague. Michael P., from Florida, directed us to try hibiscus tea to clear out the lungs. We appreciate you! And if anyone has any tips/hacks/news/ideas for us, please reply to this email…we would love to hear them all. 

Crème de la Skinny  

The most nutritious snack of all

Exercise snacks—a concept we can’t stop eating up. We’ve reported on this before, but as they continue to be in the news and supported by studies (“can extend your life for two years”), this is a no-brainer. The idea is simple: short bursts of activity/working out throughout the day are as beneficial, if not more, than your traditional 30-45 minute workout. With routines that are only one minute long for weight loss, find one that works for you and that’s it…no more excuses.

Bums, butts & bidets

The lowdown on your backside

Photo by Victorino for Pexels

The Skinny: The year was 2019 (?), and, after reading about “perineum sunning” (aka, exposing your butt to sunlight for supposed wellness benefits), we spent the whole night cry-laughing about it. That “trend” seemed to die not long after, perhaps officially with an Allure editor stating quite simply: “I am begging you to stop tanning your taint.” 

But now we’re hearing about a renewed interest in, and concern for, the beauty and wellness of your butthole. We’ve had our eye on this since earlier this year, when one of our favorite newsletter writers (from “The Review of Beauty”) predicted “an emergence of asshole care” in 2024. And it turns out, her crystal ball was spot on. So when we saw this news ahem,  spreading wider on the internet, we had to take another look.  

‘Bum-Bum Cream’ hype continues to spread

Sol de Janiero’’s hero product, Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, absolutely killed it in prestige and the product was even named “the biggest-ever seller in body care” at Sephora. It’s easy to see why: starting with the name, but from the packaging to the scent and overall vibe, the brand lives and breathes its roots in Brazilian culture. It is a joy to use. Do you feel its “firming” effects after use? Kind of, yes. Or at least you think you do. Doesn’t matter. Sold. 

Going, going, gone…your butt

Known as “ghost ass” or “Ozempic butt,” a disappearing backside is a downside for some  semaglutide injections users—who are figuring out how to approach the problem in time for beach season.

If you can relate, here are 9 great tips to keep your booty an actual booty.   

Spotted in Brooklyn

Specialty cleansing “for your b-hole” 

You didn’t hear it from us, but here’s the news straight from the mouth of the Megababe founder, who launched “Bidet Bar” earlier this year. Like our POV on “whole body” deodorant, you can file under: Don’t buy, save your $$. 

The bidets of our lives 

Are Americans finally ready to embrace the bidet? Mysterious to most Americans, but beloved by Europeans, have we finally “discovered the brilliance of the bidet?” That article was straight from pandemic times, where purchases were led by toilet paper shortages, but we learned that Americans are still flush with excitement over bidets today because they can reduce reliance on toilet paper. 

If you’re worried that a bidet would replace wasted paper resources with wasted water…this Brondell blog post wipes that notion clean—in fact, 473 billion gallons of water are used annually for toilet paper production (way more H2O than “even the most devoted bidet enthusiast” could dream of using).

For the down and dirty, we tapped our source at Brondell, President Steve Scheer. Brondell  makes bidets ranging from a simple toilet attachment (for bidet noobs) to the more luxe Swash S1200-RW (for those who want self-cleaning nozzles and a toilet cool enough to potentially rival those found in Japan). 

Steve also let us in on the biggest mistake new users’ face: Not having a travel bidet – he claims they are a lifesaver while on the road and “away from your bidet.”  

In terms of what’s new for bidets, the answer is…a lot, but mostly an eye towards design, slimmer profiles,” and Brondell also has a fully integrated bidet/toilet combo (the Brondell Sutro) in the works. We can also look forward to “fully featured seats” that include premium functions like deodorizing and nozzle adjustments.  

The bottom line: Stop flushing natural resources (184 BILLION rolls of toilet paper are used annually, worldwide) down the toilet and check out the $30 SimpleSpa thinline, which is super easy to install (about 15-20 minutes).

Once you get used to washing with water there literally is no going back to dry scratchy toilet paper.  Bidets are more hygienic, more eco-friendly, and simply more comfortable to use.

— Brondell President Steve Scheer
Pantry raid

Yes, you can [make your own salad dressing]

Photo by the Lazy Artist Gallery for Pexels

The Skinny: Taking a bold stand here: Homemade salad dressing is easier than you think, and made with things you probably already have on hand. These two vinaigrette recipes are 14 years old for Jill and still going strong.

Hot tip: Use an old jam jar (or an empty salad dressing bottle) and shake the sh--t out of it to emulsify. Or, if you need a dedicated kitchen implement, we own two of these guys and love them

You can change up the acid, the fat, the spices (again, we go back to the book Salt Fat Acid Heat), but the basics are here, and these tips are a  guaranteed game changer heading into “Salad Season” 

Try this, and we guarantee you’ll stop buying grocery store varieties (unless it’s “Garlic Expressions”...for that, we make an exception).

Finally, we present cottage cheese once again, which makes our favorite protein-packed Homemade Ranch Dressing. 

A container of cottage cheese, a spoonful of sour cream or greek yogurt, a package of HVR Dip Ranch, and a little milk to let it blend, makes the BEST (and much healthier) ranch dressing.

OHM, THERE'S MORE

This week’s newsfeed

  • If “sourdough immersion in the Cotswalds” grabs your attention, you may be a great candidate for culinary travel.

  • News about Lionel Messi’s hydration drink dropped yesterday, and some are saying it looks a little too familiar to influencer-led brand Prime, which is reported to be on the decline. We haven’t tried, but like that Mas+ has low sugar and, as lovers of the game, we also appreciate the flavor names based on his accomplishments. 

  • Is it better to drink cold or warm water? The jury is still out, but honestly, do we care? Water = good. 

  • We hear there’s a new, slimmer iPhone on the horizon (yes, it’s still $1200) but also…this paradoxical “Light Phone,” which uses technology that enables you to embrace your inner luddite. It is “designed to be used as little as possible” (spoiler: not a flip phone) and doesn’t allow social media apps, email or anything else “anxiety inducing.” 

  • Has the ‘prebiotic soda’ bubble already popped? Poppi, the trendy soda brand with a “gut healthy” positioning, is facing a lawsuit. In question are its marketing claims to promote gut health, and we kind of saw this wave coming—as reported in Edition 4: 4/24—but truly foreseen by journalist (and newsletter-writer) Rina Raphael in this piece, “Why Science-Washing is Surging in Wellness.”

  • Do we all scream for ice cream? In terms of the “state of the ice cream truck” in 2024, they’ve really leveled up, and this story outlines some of the “coolest” in the U.S.

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