Intermittent Fasting

What On Earth Is Intermittent Fasting?

Fasting. It is considered one of the most ancient healing techniques dating back to 400 BC. Hippocrates, widely recognized as the very first “medicine man”, had prescribed fasting as one of the only cures for most illnesses. His theory was that to eat when you are sick is to feed your illness. Today, many of us even dabble in one of his other well known treatments: the daily consumption of apple cider vinegar.

However, intermittent fasting requires that you consume nothing at all for specific intervals of time. One of the more popular ways to do this is the 5:2 method: 5 non-fasting days, eating your normal calorie intake and 2 fasting days limiting yourself to only 500-600 calories per day. This “diet” was made popular by doctor and journalist Michael Mosley and is typically referred to as The Fast Diet.

But is this really a diet or is it something completely different? How do you do this without starving yourself to death? It certainly sounds risky but rather than call it a diet, many “fasters” consider it a healthy eating pattern, which seems more appropriate.

We have all fallen victim to the fad diets: Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers or painfully choking down glasses of lemon water mixed with blackstrap molasses two weeks before Memorial Day, only to eventually become sick of it and gain the weight back by Labor Day.

Intermittent fasting is different: you are not spiraling into starvation, you are voluntarily withholding food to control or to schedule your calorie intake which has many health benefits.

Here are just a few of the health benefits :

  1. You’ll have more energy and higher cognitive function.
  2. You’ll lose the bad fat and keep the good.
  3. You’ll be more informed of what you eat and more likely to choose healthier options.
  4. You’ll be more aware of when you eat and less likely to eat at the wrong hours of the day.
  5. You’ll build more muscle as you’ll have more energy for working out and exercise.
  6. You’ll keep weight off while still enjoying the foods you love.

There are many methods for intermittent fasting, like the 16:8 method or the Eat-Stop-Eat method in which you fast for 24 hours every other day from dinner to dinner. There is even the 14:10 method which is specifically recommended for women.

So, if you had a hot chocolate addiction over Christmas and you put on an additional 5 pounds like I did, you may want to try intermittent fasting and find the right method that suits you. Let’s ditch the fad diets altogether and move into the future of dieting…or not dieting, but rather a new way of life.


Some Like it Hot: The Miami Housing Market Is Ablaze

With its white sand beaches, ethnically diverse neighborhoods and art deco architecture, Miami’s real estate market is showing no signs of cooling off anytime soon. Stunning new properties are being built all along Florida’s shorelines, including some of our favorite new development projects offered exclusively for sale through Douglas Elliman:

1 Hotel and Homes


Eighty Seven Park


One River Point (still under construction)


Visit this link to learn more about this Pritzker Prize–winning architect’s oceanfront property.

So besides the gorgeous architecture and incredible amenities, what are the benefits of purchasing a home in this South Florida gem?

1. Tax Breaks. Florida has zero state income tax and better yet if you are a Florida resident, they offer Homestead Exemptions where you could be eligible for an exemption of up to $50,000. Plus, compared to most major cities, Miami has the most reasonably priced luxury condos.

2. Diversity. Miami is incredibly diverse and ethnically-rich, it is also quite youthful. The convergence of so many different cultures flourishing harmoniously with one another is what makes this city truly unique.

3. Art. Speaking of culture, Miami hosts one of the largest international art festivals in the world, Art Basel.

4. Fashion. Style is vibrant and bold in Miami and heavily influenced by Latin culture. Consequentially, Miami Fashion week is the world’s largest fashion week for Latin American and Caribbean fashion designers.

5. Food. Even for the most discerning epicurean palettes, Miami never fails to deliver. And it’s not just the Cuban food that aims to please. Peruvian, Argentinian and Spanish foods are just a few cuisines you would be grateful to dine on in Miami.

6. Nightlife. A day spent lounging at the beach is pure bliss. Top that off with a disco nap and a mojito and you’re all set for a night on the town. South Beach is known for its elite nocturnal playgrounds. Nightclubs, bars and a sultry after hour scene keep things caliente until the sun comes up.

7. Weather. It’s no wonder Miami has world class beaches, the sun shines year-round. There will be no shortage of opportunities to be outdoors working on your tan or staying fit.

Ready to move to Miami? Douglas Elliman has exclusive listings with many developments in Florida and we can help you find your Miami home. Click here to view Douglas Elliman’s current Florida properties for sale.

With Douglas Elliman’s reputation as a new development expert, we also know about upcoming projects not-yet announced to the public. Contact us to find out more about upcoming projects and to learn more about buying luxury real estate in Miami.

Photo Courtesy of Kin Travel.

Kin Travel — Conscientious Expeditions

Imagine going on a fab holiday and finding out it was also helping the environment and inhabitants that you were visiting. Anyone who knows me know I LOVE to travel as my saying goes “Holidays, Handbags and Houses!” Enter Kin Travel. Kin Travel disrupts and redefines the notion of “vacation.”

Kin Travel is a company inspired by safari and committed to sustainability. Every trip is built around the country and local community you are visiting. And every trip’s focus is on building up the local economy, education system, and ecology.

Activists Abroad

Photo Courtesy of Kin Travel.

Photo Courtesy of Kin Travel.

Kin Travel makes vacationing more of an ethical adventure, a form of activism via exploring the world. For example, 15% of profits earned by Kin Travel experiences are invested in social enterprises — the ones needed most by each community Kin Travel focuses on.

When you book a vacation with Kin Travel, you are embarking on a journey. You aren’t simply boarding a plane, going to another place, and setting your bags in a hotel that could be anywhere. No. Kin Travel offers highly specific and curated adventures. And each adventure is a week-long all-inclusive exploration.

Kin Travel’s current itinerary focuses on Haiti for its “Winter Trips 2018.” This specific adventure is called “Sailing Safari Haiti” and there are two trips available: February 14th through the 19th, and the 22nd through the 27th.

Let’s look at Kin Travel’s current getaway to Haiti to get a taste of what this is all about.

Sailing Safari Haiti

Photo Courtesy of Balance Haiti.

Photo Courtesy of Balance Haiti.

Kin Travel’s current Sailing Safari is, “a journey to the hidden paradise of Haiti’s north coast in a candle-lit safari camp on a 150-acre beach property with a 62′ sailboat called Balance.”
It all begins when you touch down at the Cap-Haïtien International Airport, Haiti. You will be greeted by local musicians serenading you on the tarmac. Upon leaving the airport you will be met by the Kin team with some local Prestige brand beer in-hand. And then a taxi-boat will bring you on your way to paradise.

This is when you will begin to fully appreciate how breathtakingly beautiful Haiti really is.

The next five days will see you camping in luxurious tents, sailing on the Balance, and exploring various islands and coves off the coast of Cap-Haïtien.

But this voyage is more than a vacation. You will meet the local people. You will get to know them. You will see their struggles. You will learn about their hardships. And you will discover that despite all that, the people there hold such joy and happiness in their hearts.

This is where the true magic of Kin Travel comes into play.

A New Kind of Vacation

Photo Courtesy of Kin Travel.

Photo Courtesy of Kin Travel.

You aren’t just on holiday here. You are expanding your horizons. You are learning about different ways of life. And, most importantly, your money is going directly to the community you are visiting. This is done through Kin Travel’s “Kin Impact Fund.”

As said earlier, 15% of Kin Travel profit goes back to the local community in various ways.

This current trip supports three key aspects of Haiti: Economy, education, and ecology.

Economy: This trip will help foster Haitian artisan entrepreneurship by donating funds to the Haiti Design Co.

Education: Proceeds will also go to school improvement and teacher training with funds being donated to ProDev Haiti.

Ecology: Your money will go toward preserving Port Français by establishing solar power energy and ensuring the water remains clean.

This is why Kin Travel resonates with me.

So if you’re trying to decide where to vacation next and want to have a meaningful adventure while exploring a new land, check out Kin Travel. This is your chance to expand your appreciation for life through exploration. And in doing so you will be giving back directly to the local community. That is what being a citizen of the world is all about.

Check out Kin Travel and book your next trip on their website, and follow them on Instagram.


A Look into Manifesting + Lacy Phillips’ Free and Native

We manifest every day. We just don’t always do it mindfully — we don’t always do it with purpose. This may sound esoteric, but maybe it really isn’t. Think about it. “Manifesting” hinges on some concepts you’re most likely already familiar with, for example: energies and attitudes attract like energies and attitudes. Carrying around predominantly negative thoughts will negatively impact your performance at work/necessary tasks, the way you receive communication from others, and how you present yourself to others.

But true manifesting is more than just checking in with yourself. True manifesting is more than merely visualizing success and hoping for wish-fulfillment. And it is more than just making a mood board of the things you want. Manifesting is a process that begins with internal excavation. People who seek to leverage the benefits of manifesting need to go through a process of clearing the self of your disbelief and negative energies.

This process of clearing the self is called “unblocking” by manifesting expert, Lacy Phillips. Phillips is a Manifestation Expert, a woman with a vision and a method for unlocking the benefits of manifesting.

Lacy Phillips, Free and Native, and Unblocked Manifesting

Lacy Phillips. Photo Courtesy of Free and Native.

Lacy Phillips. Photo Courtesy of Free and Native.

Lacy Phillips is an herbalist and manifestation advisor based in Echo Park Los Angeles. Phillips led an eclectic and busy life, working as both a fashion model and a preschool teacher before manifesting her own path to becoming her own boss. It was around this time when Phillips discovered a blog she fell in love with: My New Roots. The MNR blog was more than just vegetarian recipes, it was a website that spoke to the zeitgeist. Phillips knew she had wisdom to share, and she now had an idea of how to share it.

And so, Phillips created as a culture and lifestyle blog where she shares her tools and methods for manifesting along with product reviews, guides, and other sage advice.

Unblocking Doubt in the Self And Reparenting

Photo Courtesy of Free and Native.

Photo Courtesy of Free and Native.

There is a lot written about manifesting. A simple Google search will show you that. But few manifesting advisors have broken down the process and codified it as well as Lacy Phillips has. Phillips’ process begins with unblocking. She defines “unblocking” as a process that goes “into the depths of your subconscious in order to unblock your limiting beliefs and expand your structure of beliefs to clear space for your manifested subjects to connect with you.”

After “unblocking,” Lacy Phillips’ process moves to the “reparent” phase. When you enter “reparent” you have a cleansed and unblocked self, this allows the “reprogramming” of your beliefs and attitudes to occur. Phillips asserts that our structure of beliefs is built between the ages of 0 through 14 — potentially rather chaotic, turbulent, and emotionally traumatic years. This is why the reprogramming of the “reparent” phase is so essential. We learn to do away with the limiting belief structure that causes us to judge ourselves and stand in our own way.

Manifesting: The Shadow, Money, No, Partnership, and Beyond

Photo Courtesy of Free and Native.

Photo Courtesy of Free and Native.

After the “unblocking” and “reparenting” is completed you are ready to begin working toward actual manifesting.

In the “shadow” phase you learn how to not be controlled by what you feel is “missing” within you. This is part of full acceptance of the self, and working toward self-love. This helps with the idea of “projecting magnetism” which touches on the attractive powers of energies, mindfulness, and manifesting.

In “money,” “no,” and “partnership” we learn the tools to directly manifest what we need in our lives. These phases unlock the true power of manifesting. In these areas of focus, Phillips’ students learn how everything is, essentially, energy. And whether you are trying to create financial/material change (money), redefine relationships (partnership), or cut the negative aspects out of your life (no) you learn there is an energetic “formula” to decode and take advantage of.

Manifesting is a powerful tool. And we could all benefit from purposeful and productive positive thought. Check out her work to learn her method for “attaining your intent” with manifesting.

You can follow up with Lacy Phillips and learn how to manifest on the Free and Native website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.


The Tax Bill Broken Down with A Focus on Real Estate

The final GOP tax bill is complex and complicated. There’s a lot to it, and it’s hard to decode. With that in mind, we wanted to offer some insight. We wanted to create a sort of primer for the tax bill.

We conducted research, culled essential facts, and broke down the information for you. We begin our analysis with a basic overview to provide some context. We then highlight simple facts that everyone should be aware of. We round this piece out with a focus on points of interest and concern for the real estate market.

We leave you with some closing thoughts, and tools and resources to help you move forward and plan ahead.

Basic Overview:

The bill is mainly a massive corporate tax cut which drops the rate from 35% to 21% (that’s the largest and most significant cut in the bill). That cut and most of the corporate tax cuts are permanent. Individuals also get an across-the-board cut, albeit relatively small, but those cuts expire after 2025.

You will most likely get a tax cut in 2018. The new law lowers rates across all seven tax brackets, but lowers the threshold for each bracket. This is for taxpayers who file individually and jointly.

Because the individual cuts expire on December 31, 2025, we face another potential “fiscal cliff.” Republicans have said they intend and expect to extend these tax breaks when the time comes.

[Reference: Curbed]

And that is as close as close as we get to editorializing. As stated, the bill is complex, it is polarizing, and has myriad ramifications. We believe the best approach is to present you with unadulterated facts and our sources. We encourage you to continue your own research, as the nuances and complexities of this bill mean its impacts will be varied.

So let’s begin to break it down.

Some Simple Facts:

The below insights were collected and organized to give you a bird’s eye view of the tax bill.

  • The new tax bill was signed into law at the end of December and is in effect as of the beginning of 2018. A piece by John Patrick Pullen states, “when you file your 2017 taxes in April, you’ll already be getting some benefits like lower tax withholding, but other perks won’t show until you file your tax return in April 2019.” We recommend reviewing the piece for quick advice on getting your finances ready to take advantage of the new tax plan.
  • Income tax brackets have been changed under the new law, but there are still seven tax brackets with the top bracket changing to 37% down from 39.6% for 2017. Income ranges, however, have been changed.
  • The personal exemption has been eliminated. To offset this, the standard deduction has been increased. In 2017, the standard deduction for a single taxpayer is $6,500, plus one personal exemption of $4,150 per taxpayer and dependent. The new law, which eliminates the personal exemption, gives us a larger standard deduction for 2018: $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers.

[Reference: Business Insider]

  • The bill doubles the exemption amount for estate taxes from $5 million to $10 million ($11.2 million when indexed for inflation).
  • The largest tax cut in the bill is for corporations and it is permanent (the 35% to 21% rate drop), as are other corporate tax changes.
  • Changes affecting individual and joint taxpayers expire after 2025.

[Reference: New York Times]

Points of Interest and Concern for Real Estate

Points of Interest:

The bill introduces concepts that can act as a boon to property owners. Specifically, taxes have been lowered for pass-through businesses. Pass-through businesses — partnerships, S-corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs) — are corporate entities that allow business income to “pass-through” to the owner, thereby paying a personal income rate, as opposed to a business rate.

The final bill also contains various deductions and breaks that would help real estate developers. According to a Washington Post analysis, tax reform would allow developers to deduct interest expenses for a variety of real estate activities. These activities include construction, management, and property development.

[Reference: Curbed]

Another provision would maintain the Like-Kind Exchange, also known as a 1031 Exchange. This is an exemption that enables property owners to sell at a large capital gain but defer any tax as long as they use the proceeds to buy some other property, but it must be a similar type of property, i.e. “like-kind.”

[Reference: New York Times]

A Bisnow piece written by Lara O’Keefe details 7 key items in the tax bill that could positively affect the real estate industry. The Like-Kind Exchange is among those items.

Points of Concern:

State and local tax deductions (SALT) have been capped at $10,000. Taxpayers can currently deduct what they pay in state and local property, income, and sales taxes from their federal returns.

But the new law caps these deductions — which can be any combination of property, income, and sales taxes — at $10,000.

If you live in a coastal city with high local and state taxes — and particularly if you own a home on which you pay property taxes — this could have a huge impact on your final tax bill, even with the lower rates and doubled standard deduction.

The cap on mortgage-interest deduction (MID) is down to $750,000 from the $1 million previously allowed.

The new cap doesn’t apply to existing mortgages, only new ones. And because of the doubled standard deduction, this may not affect you if you forgo itemizing. A Zillow study estimated that roughly 44 percent of U.S. homes are worth enough for it to make sense for a homeowner to itemize and take the MID under current law. Taking into account the new standard deduction, SALT changes, and MID cap into account, that number drops to 14.4 percent under the new law.

Moody’s Analytics estimates that home prices will drop 4% nationwide compared to projections without the new tax law.

[Reference: Curbed]

A Forbes piece echoed these concerns with an article dedicated to how The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is warning that the bill will cause housing prices to drop.

Closing Thoughts

As we said in the beginning, use this as a jumping off point. It is essential that you conduct your own research. Consult your financial advisor. Be prepared to take advantage of this bill in the ways you can, but be cautious, be wary, and plan for the future. You will find tools and resources below to help you get an understanding of what may lie ahead for you and your family.


Tools and Resources:

Tax Bill Calculators

National Association of Realtors

DISCLAIMER: All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While, this information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. All property information, including, but not limited to square footage, room count, number of bedrooms and the school district in property listings are deemed reliable, but should be verified by your own attorney, architect or zoning expert. If your property is currently listed with another real estate broker, please disregard this offer. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. We cooperate with them fully. Equal Housing Opportunity.