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I knew something was seriously wrong with my GI tract when I finished an entire bottle of OTC laxatives over the course of a few days while on vacation with my boyfriend, and nothing happened. It defied logic. We canceled our day plans, sat on the roof, and waited. I’m sorry, but this is how my Top Shelf Made Me Do It begins.

That was in February. After six months of visits to the gastroenterologist, acupuncturist, and nutritionist, as well as multiple elimination diets, two prescriptions, and a handy tincture of CBD oil, my stomach is feeling better. As a result, every part of my routine—beauty, wellness, and exercise—is different.

It’s the exercise bit that really stood out to me. You can take all the probiotics in the world, but they might not make a damn bit a difference if your other habits are in the toilet. My doctors told me if wanted to feel better on a day-to-day basis, I would have to work out. A lot. Reason being: exercise helps to release stress and anxiety, which can back up your poops. If you’re me, being backed-up stresses me out even more, which makes my stomach hurt, which makes me even more stressed out. Keeping up?

Maybe that’s why I thought briefly, while reading Kirsty Godso’s Top Shelf, that I too, could become a person who wears sneakers unironically—people use them for “fitness,” I hear. Kristy’s advice on working out was just what I needed, and the timing was nearly perfect.

It would take a little time for me to build enough strength to do something like this. So, I also bought Sun Potion’s Anandamide blend. Kristy said she added it to her smoothies, and hey! I like smoothies. From the Sun Potion site: “May help treat stress-induced anxiety, may promote a higher thought process, and a messenger molecule that plays a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory, and fertility.” I wanted to try it.

The instructions were simple: add to water or tea. Also great with milk, smoothies, coffee, elixirs, etc. I was surprised to read just how much was in the blend: raw Cacao, Tocos, Mucuna Pruriens (whatever that is), Ashwagandha, Reishi Mushroom, Astragalus (???), Maca, Moringa, Rose Petals, Cardamom, Turmeric, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Himalayan Salt Crystals, and love. This made me skeptical. Pepper? In a smoothie? Suspicious.

With water, it tastes chocolatey (bonus), but not too sweet (super bonus), and a little earthy. It’s harder to taste in my shakes, but it makes the texture a little grittier, which I like. Mixed with a non-dairy milk alternative and CAP Coconut Butter, it tastes silky and rich. This is the winning combo.

When I drink it, I notice that I’m a little more positive, a little more focused, and very relaxed. It’s like I breathe deeper, even if it’s all in my head. Finding what helps is a process. I’m learning to lean into things that make me feel happier, stronger, calmer, and more in control. If an adaptogen blend mixed into boiled Lactaid is going to help, why wait? Just drink it. Swoosh.

—Elizabeth Sochko

Elizabeth Sochko is a gTEAM Supervisor at Glossier.

Photo by Tom Newton.

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