I met Christine a few years ago, through Ryan, and I've always been so enamored with her dedication and knowledge toward alternative lifestyle. It is impossible to spend time with this bank of knowledge without learning something new. Such as, did you know that the traditional way to prepare and consume maca is after it has been gelatinized? I had no clue, either! She just informed me of this two weeks ago. Then we got onto the subject of herbs—which she is quite conversed in—where she extended an invite to an herbal class at her masters program where she is studying Traditional Chinese Medicine. You can’t imagine how much more informed I was after just that ONE class. Without further adieu, I introduce you to Christine Della Cioppa.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE WITH HERBS
I have always had a passion for herbs. I worked the herb department at a little health food store in Savannah, GA while I was in college and got to know a lot of them that way. From there I started studying and reading about them mostly for my own personal use.
When I moved out to LA, as a makeup artist, I started working at Erewhon Natural Food market to supplement my income and just became immersed in that world. I was soon running the tonic bar there, and learning all there is to know about the Chinese tonic herbs and some Ayruvedic and American herbs as well. I was there for three years and got to train with some of the industries best herbalists. Now I am getting my masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine just to further my knowledge. It is amazing to me that ancient cultures were able to connect to nature in such a way that they could actually tell what plant was good for what—thousands of years before lab results and FDA testing.
WHAT DOES A DAILY HERBAL REGIME LOOK LIKE FOR YOU
Well right now, I am 6.5 months pregnant, so my herb routine has changed a bit. I am currently taking Reishi Mushroom to help with our immune systems, He Shou Wu from Jing Herbs, and Goji Berries from Dragon Herbs to help build blood. I also am taking Chlorella since I have read that it can help reduce toxic exposure to the fetus by over eighty percent—although that is more of a superfood than an herb.
NOW THAT YOU’RE EXPECTING YOUR FIRST SON WHAT NUTRTIONAL CHANGES HAVE YOU MADE
My diet hasn’t changed too much except now I just eat more of it! I try and get in a superfood smoothie everyday. I love Camu berry and Acai, fresh blueberries and blackberries, Hemp seeds, Bee pollen, Spirulina, Grass Fed Whey Protein, Tocotrienals, avocado, walnuts and BioK. And I am also following fairly closely to the Body Ecology diet as far as food combining and eating lots of cultured veggies. I feel amazing!
FAVORITE BEAUTY TONIC
My favorite beauty tonic... I guess I would have to say the Beauty Elixer drink at the tonic bar at Erewhon. It’s my recipe. I’m not sure who is making the drinks now but when I used to make it, it was super tasty and really effective. It has pearl powder, and MSM which make skin glow.
MOST INSPIRING PERSON YOU’VE WORKED WITH IN THE HOLISTIC WORLD AND WHY
Gosh, this is a hard one to answer because I have been fortunate to have worked with so many amazing people over the past several years. I’ll narrow it down to three. Most recently I guess it would be Donna Gates, creator of The Body Ecology Diet. She is so motherly and wise and I really believe in her philosophy. I think the rest of the world is just starting to wise up about how important our inner ecosystem and bacterial balance is—something she has been talking about for twenty-five years. As far as herbalists go, I absolutely adore George Lamoureux, the creator of Jing herbs, and I love his products as well. He has a lot of integrity with his line and is currently working on his Phd in Chinese medicine so he really knows his stuff. Viana Muller of Whole World Botanicals is also wonderful and is doing amazing things in the world of Peruvian herbs and for the farmers that she works with. She has set up a social mission to not only help the farmers but to help preserve the rainforests of Peru. I could go on and on. I have learned from so many wonderful people.
SNACK TO KEEP YOU GOING THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Hmmmm.... Sometimes it’s an organic apple with some walnut butter. Sometimes it’s some cultured cottage cheese, avocado, drizzled with EVOO, a little sea salt and some cultured veggies on top. I’m hungry just thinking about it!
TOP FIVE PRODUCTS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Oh boy, another hard one. Ok here goes. I cannot live with out my ZuZu Organics pressed faced powder and Mascara. Love the way the powder makes my skin glow. And I swear my eyelashes have grown since using their mascara. I also love Simply Divine Botanicals “Amazing Face” face cream. Ojio Coconut oil, I wear it, clean my face with it and use it to cook with it. You can’t get much better than that! I also adore my Rosewater and Glycerine spray from the Heritage Store and my Giovanni Eco Hair Care Smooth as Silk Hair Conditioner.
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