M | I can't remember before the age of 13 what the term holistic meant to me, but I do know that it is the exact age in which health, particularly as it pertains to consumption, holistic treatments/diet and exercise, became incredibly important to me. I come from a very Southern family, so inherently their ideas on dietary nutrition, namely the concept of meat, a starch and a vegetable for meals, comes very naturally to them. That never really jived with me. I was also a very sickly kid with chronic asthma and allergies and a very low immune system, but I was a dancer, since the age of 3. I had a persevering spirit, and I somehow instinctively knew that going above and beyond and learning as well as applying all I could about health was the key to overcoming what plagued me.
At age 14, my parents took me to a holistic doctor who practices Vega Testing, which combines homeopathic and acupuncture theories. (Major props to them, as non-Western medicine was not remotely widely accepted at the time in our area of the country). All “prescriptions” from this testing are high-grade vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and after some time of visiting him semi regularly my health changed dramatically. Eventually, I was able to run without having asthma attacks, quit weekly allergy shots, and my body felt balanced. Diving into holistic practices and utilizing them in my health routine has been a massive part of my life ever since.
My lifestyle today is still very active and features consumption of a strong mixture of herbs, adaptogens and a pretty alkaline diet. I’ve noticed major negative changes to my body when my stress levels are high, even when I feel rather calm, so I am constantly refining my diet and natural medicines and stepping up my game. It’s amazing how much we can shift our health by tweaking our mind-body balance in seemingly minute ways. I now dance again (ballet and modern), practice yoga and hike very often. I once was an avid spinner but found the taxation on my adrenals from going full throttle wasn’t worth it. Someday, I hope that I can blend that practice back in a bit more.
On my dad’s side of the family they are absolute meat and potatoes folks who take little medicines and particularly few holistic vitamins. They are just naturally rather healthy. But my mom taught me at an early age that our skin is well worth investing. She’s always been very practical with money but is willing to spend on protecting and behaving lovingly towards her skin – through strong SPFs, covering her face in sun, strong night creams and sleep. They’ve also really supported me in all my natural and holistic practices.
Those elements are practically everything. Beauty, inside or out, is one of the most subjective concepts there is. When we women feel emotionally balanced, sated and are deeply connected with our femininity as well as our spirituality, beauty emanates from us. Last summer I committed to devoting my full-time attention to building The MiA Project as well as going through an intensive NLP practitioner program. I gave up a lucrative marketing consultancy, picked up meditating and an alkaline diet after finding out I was very allergic to a lot of foods, and I gave my all towards mind/body balance. A recommitment if you will. Almost everywhere I went people committed on how different I looked. I hadn’t changed my wardrobe, or hair or really anything external, but people could see the harmony coming from within me. Inner beauty, femininity and spirituality are a mighty strong mix!
I positively love apothecary-type beauty products and sometimes feel like I must try them all, but sometimes I am lax on my actual routine. I cleanse with Earth tu Face face wash, use Isun Rhassoul Refining Exfoliant - Rhassoul Clay & Silica Crystal Skin Smoothing Exfoliant and Isun Intense Exfoliant from time to time. I usually moisturize with Egyptian Magic and Coconut Oil, actually! I use some products from Marble & Milkweed, Mullein & Sparrow and LOVE the aspirin bath by Water Music. I drink a lot of green drinks and eat some avocado every day.
For my hair, I’ve been seeing my dear friend Felicia Howe, owner of Primrose Organics Salon in Los Feliz, for years, and use some of the products she sells in her salon such as John Masters and Oneida. I’m really excited to try her own line she just put out.
J | Thanks to a mother who loved growing her own fruits and vegetables, making baby food, and cooking with pure proteins, I grew up with whole, all-natural foods as the norm. I still remember so distinctly the smell and taste of sugar snap peas picked fresh from my Aunt’s garden - more enticing and lovely than Cheetohs, even to a 2nd grader (bold statement, I know)! A lack of Oreos in my packed school lunch and no nacho cheese Doritos at sleepovers didn’t win me any “cool” points, but it did train my body and mind to crave fresh produce and proteins as an adult. I’ll never underestimate the impact of healthy eating and lifestyle habits on children, albeit at the sacrifice of grade school popularity...
I put my ballet and tap shoes on in preschool, and haven’t taken them off since. I gave my heart to ballet, and was a ballerina with Ballet Arizona. As a professional athlete, every day your body is your own personal science experiment - you see its performance output with different fuel input! Incredibly interesting. This taught me how important proper food and rest is to perform your best, no matter what your “performance” is.
My current lifestyle involves a lot of physical activity, and I try to change up my routine every year or so. Currently, I jog, spin, do yoga, and take hip-hop classes. I do my best to avoid processed foods day to day, although baking is certainly a passion of mine! A little baked good treat here and there makes my heart smile.
My British grandmother that lived in humid Hawaii taught me to “honor” my European and Swedish skin - don’t try to keep up with your tan friends, because you’re going to lose. Not a big secret there, but this saved me from ten more colonies of freckles. Learn your body and honor its personal needs - everyone is different.
The most beautiful women, in my mind, are those that are in touch with their bodies and true to their souls. There is so much beauty in diversity, and there are no hard fast rules for what modern femininity is. I’ve encountered strong, professional female athletes that don’t fall into the dated, cliche definition of executed femininity, but that are so in touch with their souls and bodies as women that they seize every minute life, and are open to possibilities. A secure, healthy, open-minded woman is a force of beauty to be reckoned with!
I try and do something active everyday- it really helps me mentally just as much as physically. I go through phases with my workouts, and try to change it up every year or so to keep my muscles on their toes!
I’m a sucker for super moisturizing products on my face and body, and absolutely love Beecology during the summertime. Beecology’s Orange Ginger Lip Balm and Cucumber and Green Tea Cream are perfect hot weather pick-me-ups. Other favorites: Water Music Bath & Body Oil in Fig or Grapefruit and Marble & Milkweed’s Rose Chamomile Body Butter.