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Five “Beauty Food” Tips

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Inspiration, Miscellaneous, Stories, Tools | No Comments

Five “Beauty Food” Tips

(that you don’t already know)

1. Lemon water in the morning is great… for some, but not great for others.

This “trick” of starting the day with lemon water is really popular and said to help detoxify your system (meaning it gets your digestion going). But, lemon first thing is way too acidic for some constitutions, according to a conversation I had with Dr. Taz when I did a 360 degree physical assessment in 2017.

So, as always, listen to your body: you can try to start your day with lemon water but check in with how you feel.

2. Stay hydrated (from the outside in).

This is kind of random, but it works very well to stay hydrated and prevent the sniffles: use a humidifier year-round.

A tip shared with me by my all-time favorite dermatologist, use a humidifier at night right by your face when you sleep. I use this one. The mist really hydrates your sinuses, and moist sinuses are a much better defense against common colds and irritants than dry ones. You inhale moisture all night long which hydrates your skin. Bonus: really helps me stay asleep at night.

3. “Batch.”

If you follow any foodie person on social media, especially people trying to help moms get kids to eat healthy food throughout the week, they suggest you “batch.”

“Batching” means baking off a boatload of food – usually big baking sheets full of sliced veggies – to roast all at once and then use in various dishes throughout the week.

Personally, I cannot commit to eating any one item that many meals in a row, so batching on Sunday in this way leaves me with leftovers that I throw out by Wednesday.

But, I can commit to batching either a juice or a milkshake. I make a big pitcher and freeze the rest. I pull one out of the freezer the night before and this is my first morning meal or to go snack. Specifically, I batch green juice (I have a cheat for making green juice easily) and I always batch smoothies and nut milks.

How to batch nut milks easily is a whole other post because nut milks can be tricky and if making something is too difficult, I won’t do it. I always have shortcuts. Remind me to talk about that someday?

4. Dust your coffee/tea.

To back up a second, because you’re smart, and the reason behind this tip’s frequent success could help you in a lot of aspects of your life…

This tip could also be titled: “Add just one thing that’s really good to your already-existing routine – rather than trying to change your routine.”

Adding something to what you’re already doing is a proven way to better your habits. There is SO much out there around changing habits, and I have read an obscene number of books on changing habits. Hands-down, the experts say that the most effective way to create better habits is TO NOT try and change habits. Instead, create better habits by add onto existing ones.

Specific suggestion: Add a teaspoon of chaga to your morning concoction of choice whether it’s a latte, coffee, tea, or morning shake. Chaga has tons of wellness benefits, it’s incredible for your skin’s cell turnover, so the experts tell us, plus it’s earthy flavor goes well with lattes and black teas and anything chocolatey.

5. It rhymes with “nest.”

Can you guess?? What rhymes with nest that is THE BEST thing for your digestion, your skin, your organs, and your mental health?

It is rest. Maybe not a beauty “food” but definitely a beauty practice, rest is a practice that I, personally, have been trying to learn how to do ever since I left my law firm in 2010. To suggest that you “rest more” may sound like a boring suggestion and kind of vague, but there’s so much more to rest than most of us suspect.

The reason rest is a panacea for so many issues is many-layered. Basically, your body needs a serious pause in your day to be able to switch from your parasympathetic nervous system (THINK: laser-focus, multi-tasking, juggling multiple mental to-do’s) to sympathetic nervous system (THINK: breathing slows, feel curious about stuff rather than hurried, shoulders drop/relax).

I’m going to be honest with you: my money is on the fact that none of us really are willing to explore how to rest daily, but even if we did try to rest, say, 10 minutes after lunch each day, we would do it incorrectly. And by “incorrectly,” I mean unsuccessfully. We just don’t know how to relax. We forget we even have bodies, most of the day, let alone check in with our bodies and see if we can help our bodies rest.

When we rest, we can detox, rejuvenate our cells, release held tension. All good stuff. So – why is it so freaking hard to do?

We’re so bewildered on how to rest because we physically get stuck in fight-or-flight mode as a result of everything flying at us. Whether it’s flashing screens, driving among other cars, hyper-focusing on work or our kids, our freaking kidneys stay terrified and tucked way up behind our lower ribs, rather than dropping and operating on full cylinders. (Maybe this is TMI to bring up but if your bathroom schedule is not regular, this is a sign that you’re stuck in fight-or-flight too much of the time.)

I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not a holistic-healer – I’m honestly just speaking from my own experience.

You’re of above-average intelligence, I have no doubt. And I believe you can reach back into your memories, as I can, to those moments when we experienced terrible health during stressful times. And maybe we can remember other times when we hardly needed sleep to have energy and great health. Rest has that giant of an impact on our wellbeing physically, emotionally and mentally.

I’m gong on and on, I know. Sorry! But I this is something I’ve come to believe strongly in. I personally believe that resting, really, learning how to rest, is the single best skill we can learn for our physical wellbeing, and teach our children, spouses and eventually maybe even our culture, to heal in every sense of that word.

Like I said: Rest, while not a “beauty food,” is definitely a beauty practice for inner and outer beauty, wellbeing of our families… world peace, even?? I mean, possibly.

Here’s the easiest way I know to start resting:

  • Copy your pet. Whether it’s your cat, your dog, your horse or your goldfish (or, a memory of a pet or even someone else’s pet), literally do what they are doing. It may be napping, staring at the fire, or playing, but the majority of a healthy animal’s lifetime is spent in rest mode. Rest doesn’t always mean sitting still. Our pets eat, roam, and explore. Just watch and learn.

One of my favorite workshops I ever offered was on Deep Rest for Busy Moms.

We should do that one again sometime! Maybe online so all of us can show up for some deep rest…

Take one of these tips that resonates for you, try it out, and see what you think.

Don’t like how it feels?? Toss it back.

You are the authority on you. And anyone who tells you otherwise is not the right teacher for you.


Breaking My Heart Forward

Posted by | Inspiration, Motherhood, Stories | No Comments

•MLK Jr. Day, 2019 •

Here’s a question that I don’t know the answer to:

• How do you explain the Civil Rights movement to a four year old? …Especially when she differentiates between kids – and grown ups – solely based on who’s “bigger.” (Bigger, to my four year old daughter, means taller.) She never mentions skin color.

Segregation, racism, Civil Rights… it’s a lot to cover when all she asked is:

  1. Who is MLK? and
  2. Can I dance ballet after my snack?

What I ended up saying…

“MLK worked hard his whole life to be sure every person was kind to every other person no matter what.”

Lame, right? Sanitized, inadequate explanation for my bright girl. It’s best I had on the spot. I thought to myself, “Kindness is an important value for our family, maybe I can tie MLK into that…” Still, I felt how I’d stripped the life and fire out of the American martyr, Martin Luther King.


Later, I googled,

“How to explain civil rights to small children?”

And, this picture came up.

Instantly I started crying because I look at her and see my daughter.

All of our daughters.

Can you imagine being her parent? Being her mother, whose body offered itself like clay so that the invisible hand of life could form tiny cells into a person, a human baby, her baby? The mother who, for the past six years, washes her soup bowls, can always find her favorite sweater, and knows everything she’s thinking just by the look in her eyes?

This first black girl to go to a white elementary school in segregated 1960, requires police escort so that she isn’t physically attacked has a mom like I’m a mom. And I think, the escort can’t stop the words, the verbal violence that penetrates her small ears. She still moves through a sea of fury that won’t part for her, not even an inch, not even for a child.

Her mom, with the faith of Abraham, sent her baby girl to school.

How terrifying does the whole world look to you, when you’re so little in the face of so much hate?

How terrified do you have to be to hate this little girl?

For many of us the world looks way better today. That’s real. And what’s also real is that my world as a white American cannot compare to the world of every minority in America, the disenfranchised and hungry and oppressed, all around the world. Those of us who are privileged are very few, and we are born into responsibility. What are we going to do about all of it? All of the suffering? It’s been 60 years since this picture was taken, and I wonder if we are remotely on the path toward love. Toward healing. Toward kindness. It’s almost too much to contemplate. (And we don’t get a choice; we have to do more than just contemplate.)

But you know what else this picture showed me?

That I can also share with my four year old?

• One person *really and truly* can change the world from {how it is} to —> how it should be.

Even when – especially when – you’re just one person, even just a little girl. •

Who else wants a peaceful day?

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Inspiration, Stories, Tools | No Comments

It’s been a while since I have posted due to a very busy spring and early summer, full of work commitments (more than I expected), travel (much more than I’d planned for), and lots of family time (more than typical, for me). These are all great things. All of the changes in my life these days bring me great joy and also bring with them the sadness of letting go of old routines in my home life and work life. It’s the end of a season, and the beginning of a new era.

And since last we spoke, I’ve been contemplating one concept, in particular, through all of these new epochs:
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How I maintain high energy without over-caffeinating

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Inspiration, Stories | No Comments

A little over one year ago, my husband came to me with an idea.

“I might do a cleanse. Want to do it together?”

“Sure.” I said.

As much as I geek out about juices and smoothies and super foods, I’d never done a cleanse. I truly bristle against food rules in any form be they under the guise of Whole30 or Paleo or whatever. Like, I don’t Read More

The Heart of Belonging

Posted by | Inspiration, Stories | No Comments

I noticed something that I’d never felt before, about one year ago. It was a feeling. I think? Maybe? I couldn’t be sure, since it was wholly new to me.

It felt very unfamiliar to me: like excitement, mixed with need or hunger. It felt good, and strong, but I couldn’t catch what caused this sensation, exactly. It’s like I was standing in the shadow of something truly great, and experienced that cool twilight in the atmosphere, but couldn’t turn my head to see what giant cast this intriguing silhouette.

I first noticed this intrigue when Meadow began teaching yoga coaching classes on Thursdays. I planned my entire week around these classes. When I sat down onto my yoga mat, I awaited this new, magical visitor, and replayed the video recording of the class every morning before my baby woke up, to feel this way, again.

I concluded that this strange pull that captivated me must derive from Meadow’s yoga coaching classes. This conclusion really didn’t satisfy me. But, I failed to witness any other source.

Now, many months later, I finally can name this emotion.

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Fitting In

Posted by | Inspiration | No Comments

I am a world-class expert at fitting in. I can walk into a new situation, look around the room, and match my attitude on politics, parenting and religion to the culture of that particular group. At the law firm in New York, I can put on the appropriate mask: a Democrat who works hard and doesn’t luxuriate around family or friends – I don’t have time, I have to work. I can wear the self-development mask: put a positive spin on every single life event, (over)share my feelings, and “be accepting” of all people, no matter how I really feel about them. I can put on the church-mask: family comes first, I’m a good person who does the right thing, and praise Jesus.

Why do I bother with this fitting in?

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