Sunday, November 29, 2015

FARMACY: GENTLE CLEARING + CLEANSING


Although according to Chinese Medicine, the optimal time for detoxification or cleansing is springtime with its focus on liver function, I find a medium in between. I focus on nourishing the Liver during the increased Ayurvedic Medicine's Vata season of Autumn/early-Winter to cleanse the system + make space for more grounding, earthly, + warm energies. Both the Vata dosha and the liver are aggravated by the cold or wind energies—either from the external environment or internal conditions created through organ function, nutrition, or excess and sometimes both. When these systems are clogged, sluggish, or working improperly, we can experience lack of daily elimination, dry skin, acne, brain fog, fatigue, irritability, accumulation of toxins—both physical + energetic—and/or cravings. 

Here is a guide to cleanse + clear our physical and emotional bodies of the toxins that blow in on late autumnal winds . . . 

F A R M A C Y   |  G E N T L E   C L E A R I N G   +  C L E AN S I N G

I N  T H E   K I T C H E N 
S P I C E S   +  S O U R S |  spices not only heighten the flavour and aromas of a meal, but infuse in medicinal qualities that often increase the nutritional uptake of foods. Some herbs I take in daily are fresh and dried turmeric, ginger, oregano, mint, thyme, and cinnamon. Cinnamon is especially warming to the system and is a biohacking ingredient to balance out blood sugar levels that can teeter with the seasonal cravings for sweets. Lemons and limes are also essential for optimal liver function as not only do they alkalise the body but they also nurture the liver's need for pungent or sour tastes. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, or kvass and enzymatic additions such as raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar are also daily sour staples.

t u r m e r i c  +  g i n g e r  | these two are considered the "universal medicine" to target most of any ailments as they're anti-inflammatory, expectorating, energising and warming, and stimulating yet soothing. Their astringent and bitter properties are also a great aid in digesting odd food combinations or indulgences that are difficult on our systems during the holidays and out of our regular schedules. 

a s t r a g a l u s   r o o t  | a root that can be spotted in some health food and more often in Asian markets, astragalus is an adaptogen that allows our bodies to combat the oxidative effects of tension and illness by restoring them to equilibrium. It can be added to soups, stews, and broths or consumed as a tea or tincture. 

T E A  | 
in addition to simple teas made from a mixture of the above ingredients,  bags of chamomile, turmeric, ginger, pukka relax, vpk vata tea, dandelion root, burdock rootashitaba, marshmallow root, slippery elm, + tulsi are a cleansing and warming way to hydrate during the season. Dandelion and burdock root are especially detoxifying, acting as a gentle broom for the digestive tract. Both marshmallow root + slippery elm provide the necessary lubrication for proper assimilation, movement, and elimination for cleansing of accumulated toxins. Ashitaba is a supportive addition to build blood when the season pools it away from our extremities. Tulsi or Holy Basil is one my favourite teas to unwind both during the day and night. It releases tension without the drowsy effects most other herbs induce by providing a mellow and content state of mind that is conducive for both work and sleep. 

R A D I S H E S  +  B I T T E R S | radishes are called "the little ginseng" in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are touted to be the equivalent of "an apple a day" with a prescription of radishes in the winter and ginger in the summer for homeostatic balance. Although radishes are "cooler" foods, they provide hydration for the body and aid in elimination that can become stagnant in the cooler and indulgent seasons. They provide the body with pungency and bitterness for liver function that can be heightened with  the inclusion of other foods such as dandelion greens, arugula, jerusalem artichokes [this syrup is also a great addition to holiday sweets], kale, dill, bulletproof or mycotoxin-free coffee [if tolerated], medicinal mushrooms, and Urban Moonshine herbal bitters


If it permits, please make sure that you source the produce you consume when doing a gentle cleanse from a local farmer to reduce toxic impact of mass-produced and non-organic foods on your body. I love local health food stores, but truly admire the work that From the Farmer is doing for our local farmers in the DMV area.

G H E E  +  C O C O N U T   O I L  | it goes without saying, these two oils are necessary for heightened + clear digestive, brain, + overall systemic function. Ghee is called for in Ayurvedic medicine for internal lubrication and elimination of toxins or ama from the body. Its increases the benefits of herbs tenfold when mixed with raw, unfiltered honey, allowing for a deeper penetration of medicinal effects by acting as a carrier to the cells. Coconut oil's anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and brain-feeding effects provide the necessary fuel to curb cravings and optimise energy levels required to cleanse the system. 

T R I P H A L A  | this Ayurvedic digestive tonic of three fruits—amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki—is a potent antioxidant and mild laxative aid for the season. Unlike other cleansing or expectorating agents, triphala nourishes the supportive elements already in place while aiding in the elimination of toxins from our bodies. If you have a sensitive or already compromised system, however, take triphala with caution and, with any other herbal agent, with the direction of a health professional as it can be too heavy for some bodies. 



O U T S I D E   O F  T H E   K I T C H E N
D R Y   B R U S H  | daily brushing is not only a routine addition to jumpstart the day but also to rev up the metabolism and lymphatic system. It removes dead skin cells that can create blockages for our skin cells and allows for the stoking of digestive fire or agni. Practise this in the morning before your shower and, if you can, alternate the temperature from as hot as you can handle to as cold as you can handle three times from head-to-toe. Women should avoid allowing the cold water to hit the body directly around the pelvic area as it can be too shocking for the reproductive organs.  

A B H Y A N G A  | I make time for this ritual every night to reconnect with my body. Abhyanga is a time-honoured Ayurvedic tradition of daily self-massage with warm oil. The oil most suitable for the individual's constitution or dosha is selected—sesame for vata, coconut for pitta, and almond or olive for kapha—and is applied warmed to the entire body from the scalp right down to the toes. It pushes for the release of toxic ama from the tissues and aids in elimination by activating the lymphatic system. Please advise against this practise if you are menstruating, have mass-like inflammation, acutely ill or recovering, pregnant, or have a thick, white coating on your tongue that is indicative of high levels of ama

T O N G U E   S C R A P I N G   | this is one of the easiest practises to include in your daily routine to remove toxins from the body. Using a metal tongue scraper and stroking the tongue clean [seven to 14 times], especially in the morning, clears out undigested ama from the body. 

M A G N E S I U M  F L A K E S /  S P R A Y  /  T E A  | any addition of magnesium is a gentle way to aid in elimination as it has a mild laxative effect and allows for the release of muscles. Tension accumulates toxins in the body, so a meditative state is an essential part of cleansing. Either drink a cup of magnesium as tea, spray it on your body, or take a bath before sleep.

T W I S T S  +  H I P   O P E N E R S  | we hold intense emotions in our hips + shoulders—we store some dark shit in there, to put it lightly. As Seane Corn put it,  hips are where we "give away our power in regards to the seductive forces like money, sex, drugs, or power—where we negotiate or sell ourselves." It's also where we're taught to love ourselves, which is a shame when its stored amidst trauma. Our hips relate to our second chakra sexuality, creativity, pleasure, desire, + need. Feelings of abandonment, denial, jealousy, + obsession naturally hovers in this area when our relationships are not confronted or healed. Opening the hips are about opening our heart—they're about moving energy into a kinder, softer space. Practise daily hip openers and twists to release negativity stored within the crevices of your body and within your muscles. 

 J O U R N A L I N G  | one of the hardest practises to pick up, journaling can often seem elusive or intimidating in a society where we're taught to suppress our voice. Take this ritual up to release toxic energies from your emotional and spiritual bodies . . . 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

SPIRITUAL SMACK: MAMA MOON GATHERING

T A N G L E D   I N   T H O U G H T   |  F U L L   M O O O N  I N   G E M I N I 


This Full Moon is spinning towards us with the rapid-fire onslaught of information and energy characteristic of Gemini, illuminating the opposing Scorpio and Taurus. The vibrations of this Full Moon can pool in and drown us in a lack of clarity in regards to external versus internal information. In its rise, you might have huffed and rubbed eyes over many sleepless nights, tossing around thoughts like crinkled bed sheets. 

This is a process of processing. Standing in the glimmer of the Information Age, we can experience the emotional elements of Scorpio through comparison and abandon our sense of self, brought about by the stable heart of Taurus. If we merely look around for external validation, we will eventually spin ourselves into a web of thoughts out of the stories we assume people are weaving about us. We must see ourselves, must communicate and face our egos, and untangle the untruths we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to communicate with our external world. We often hide aspects of ourselves that surface through assumed thoughts that others have about us or through reinterpreting their words. We take these emotionally and as personal precisely because they are. 

Under the light of this Full Moon, rather than allowing ego to drive us towards our defenses with our Shadow, may we take the wheel in allowing to open up to allowing ourselves to see the state of our minds exactly as they are. Riding, flowing, and dancing beyond the ego into a process of merging with the Universe—you . . . 

Friday, November 20, 2015

BEAUTY BITES: GREENS WITH CULTURED COCONUT YOGHURT




B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |   G R E E N S   W I T H   C U L T U R E D   C O C O N U T   Y O G H U R T
r a w  |  v e g a n  |  p a l e o

I am incredibly smitten + honoured to share with you that I will be regularly contributing to the beautifully-curated Thou Swell by Kevin O'Gara—a site to feast your eyes upon. Today up on the site is a cultured coconut yoghurt recipe paired with crispy greens, watermelon radishes, + buttery olive oil to compliment the more seasonal, substantial dishes. Head on over to Thou Swell for the post . . . and follow him along on tumblr, twitter, + instagram!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

THE GUIDE: IN MY BAG



A few scraps, staples, + sides that I stash into my bag to elevate my presence + hack into my day . . .

T H E   G U I D E   |   I N   M Y   B A G

C R Y S T A L | Charging my crystals through the lunar cycle always is a challenge because I have little crystals tucked away in every single pocket + purse. Keep a small crystal in your bag whose vibrational properties will assist you in your daily internal + external adventures. I have been carrying citrine for confidence lately, but usually have fluorite with me at work for focused concentration + clarity. Pick whatever crystal that resonates with you—let your intuition be your guide . . .

F L O W E R   R E M E D Y  | My father used to give me flower remedies as a child for anything ranging from toothache to anxiety. I now keep a little vial primarily for tension release. My favourite is Lotus Wei's Inner Peace as just a few squeezes allow me to drop into a sweeter spot.

B I T T E R S | We don't consume nearly as much bitters as we used to. I always have packets of mushroom tea in my bag. In addition to my daily consumption of bitter greens, mushrooms, tinctures, + ferments, I recently started adding herbal bitters from Urban Moonshine into my regimen. I keep it in my purse to spray after meals to optimise my digestion + the invigorating taste provides a nice cleansing for the palate.

L I P   L O T I O N | Whose bag is ever complete without a lip potion of sorts? My favourite is Peacock Apothecary, but I also enjoy Badger Balm, EiR, + Jao.

F R A G R A N C E | My only vice, which recently I've been saved from thanks to Susannah of Florescent Perfume. I had the honour of joining  Kit & Ace for a highly sensory experience at their event last week. We sampled her line, learned more about essential oils, + created our own signature scents. I obsessively have been applying her Sundays during weekday daydreams . . . I also smell my little travel-sized dhoop sticks for a sensory zap into balancing the two hemispheres.

L I P S T I C K  | I'm not caught often without my signature lip crayon lining my pouts. Tarte makes the safest, long-listing, + vibrantly-hued lip crayons.

S A L T | I'm a salt snob and would rather eat a dish plain than use table salt. In order to pack in higher dose of minerals + replenish electrolytes, it's handy to have a little container like this one from Jacobsen Salt Co. to carry around for a dash on any dish . . .

A R O MA T H E R A P Y | I always have a bottle of Vitruvi oil for Focus to polish off my posture, brighten my vision, + ease my shoulders down from tension at work. If I'm in any way overwhelmed by stress, I dap lavender oil on the base of my neck + bottoms of my feet for immediate herbal dose of medication.

Monday, November 16, 2015

FARMACY: MEDICINAL + MINDFUL EATS


On the subject of my eyes too often glossing over screens, I will shamefully yet honestly raise my hand. Most of us are scrolling, typing, zooming, tapping beyond the nine-to-five necessity to do so for work. Sure, digital socialisation is undoubtedly a staple of our lives and I'm always in awe of all that it has given me—from online connexions to real-life friendships.

Yet, it has also led to deep disconnexions—namely, from our food and our bodies. How many bites are chewed and sips are imbibed in over bytes? How do we break our fast and fill our stomachs while simultaneously filling our minds with digital information? How often is this information toxic, draining, or unfulfilling? Eating dinner with a side of comparative stories + disheartening world news. We chew and digest them all—information is food for our brain that drains our bodies from the energy it could be pooling for digesting our meals . . .



F A R M A C Y   | M E D I C I N A L   +   M I N D F U L   E A T S 

REST | Many of us are guilty of eating sad desk lunches, still surrounded by our often stressful work environment when lunch time comes around. If you do eat at your desk, make sure to rest your eyes + mind before your meal. Step away from the screen, get up, and stretch your body out. I love side-stretches and backbends to optimise + release my muscles for digestion. I close my eyes during these short stretches to rest my eyes in the meantime. Only then can I truly feel present in my hunger, body, + surroundings, allowing my lunch to be my focus rather than my sad desk . . .

PAUSE |
We aren't designed to multitask amidst eating. There was an anthropological and primal need beyond fueling and nomadism that kept us together around the fire—it was kinship and the pause in recognising the sacredness of food. The wash of a thousand waves is contained within a grain of sea salt, the touch of a labouring farmer, or the heart of a mother. Energy is infused into our food that must be acknowledged and equally digested. If we cook in anger, we eat in anger—chemicals react and shift from our food to our bodies. Have a conversation, release your anger or sadness, pause before you prepare and eat.

PLEASURE AS MEDICINE | We have moved away from listening to and honouring our cravings. Here is a handy tool to guide you into understanding the possible deficiency issues that may factor into your cravings as well as how to feed them in a medicinal, nutrient-dense manner. I used to crave completely unsweetened dark chocolate every single day and, it turns out, my magnesium levels were slightly lower than before. A friend of mine also experienced odd cravings for orange juice until they detected very low vitamin c levels. Our bodies are wiser than we give them credit for and much more intuitive than our calculations. Happiness out of moments like these can re-wire our physiology out of habitual reactions into newfound vibrant perspectives . . .


R E A DS |  For further reads in mindful eating, sip on the words of Thich Naht Hanh in "How to Eat" and Charles Eisenstein in "The Yoga of Eating: Transcending Diets and Dogma to Nourish the Natural Self"

Friday, November 13, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: BENSHEN JOURNAL


B E N S H E N   J O U R N A L


The tables have turned: I have had the high honour of sharing the threads that weave my physical to my etheric bodies—from my rituals to regimes—with Desirée Pais of Benshen's journal. I am humbled to take a seat amongst and raise my glass to the crowning glories of women makers + movers. Drink it up here . . . 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

SPIRITUAL SMACK: MAMA MOON GATHERING



S L E E P I N G   S E R P E N T   |  N E W  M O O O N  I N   S C O R P I O


We welcome this New Moon with praying hands as it rises on the numerological night of 11.11. Its energy slithers in the awakening powers of the serpent. Scorpio's archetypal symbol of the intertwining snakes of Caduceus calls in the message of healing and energy. It's a gravitational pull towards going beyond scratching the services that nudge our subconscious—sexuality; birth, death, and rebirth; power; and the identity through which we form accordingly. 

As this New Moon rises, we can choose to keep its transformative energy dormant—stagnating that of our own—or call on it for a simultaneous rise into awakening. The serpent is a representation of Kundalini energy inherent within the base of all beings, coiled up in our root etheric body at the base of the spine. Kundalini itself means the coiled one in sanskrit and is represented through the chakras like so. The serpent lies dormant until the day that the soul or atman takes charge of uncoiling it out of its recesses. A moment of destruction and creation, death and rebirth, but at your own watch

This is a step into awakening in the grace of time within your own astral being. The serpent doesn't uncoil to strike us into reality of our powers—it moults, shedding its sleepy skin curling away from stagnancy. It is your choice tonight to tighten the seal of this sacred container or release its ethers . . . 




You've got to go at the rate you can go. You wake up at the rate you wake up. You're finished with your desires at the rate you finish with your desires. The d i s e q u i l i b r i u m  comes into h a r m o n y . You can't rip the skin off the snake. The snake must moult the skin. That's the rate it happens — RAM DASS



M A N T R A
Where am I?
HERE
What time is it?
NOW
Repeat  until you can hear it, on your own time . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: POPPY & SEED


This feature is one that has particularly shook up the walls of my heart. Not only is it on women whose work I'm in eyes-wide awe of—Nikisa, Danielle, Meredith, Marielena, Rachel. It's also told through one whose path is treaded with similar skidmarks as that of mine—immigration and trauma, recovery from disservice to the body, and adapting to shifting needs. 

This lifestyle guide hands slivers of tigernut bread alongside deep sips over often unspoken conversations on eating disorders, the death card, and delicate dance of friendship. It’s a guide for which the voices of most women and men have been chiming.


Here is Nikisa of Poppy & Seed sharing her nutritional transitions, holistic cabinet, + loveline of family . . .


N I K I S A   H O N A R K A R  |  P O P P Y   &   S E E D  


Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create Poppy & Seed.
I am a seeker—I love to learn. I am so grateful for the luxury of investing so much time in learning about different elements of health and wellness. During and after receiving my BS in Business Entrepreneurship, I became certified as a yoga instructor, raw culinary chef, and reiki practitioner. Most of all, however, my biggest inspiration and what keeps me passionate is my own personal journey. As a first generation Iranian-American (I was born here in Southern California), my family really trusted western medicine. 


Through my childhood and teenage years—I was put on medications ranging from rounds of antibiotics, Acctutane (for my skin), to birth control pills, and Adderall. Birth control pills entered my life as soon as I started my moon cycle and did my body a disservice because I never learned to regulate my hormones without assistance. After college, I decided to stop taking any medication and help my ADD through my already healthy lifestyle—yoga, exercise, and a plant-based diet. 

The more I read about nutrition, the more passionate I grew. I started going to David Wolfe’s Longevity Now conferences and the Women’s Wellness Conference, I read more and more, and kept learning, kept tweaking my lifestyle. Although it all started with my devotion to a vegan diet, I recently realized healing is about keeping an open mind. With low cholesterol levels due to a plant-based diet, my body was unable to regulate the hormone imbalance, and low iron levels left me depleted, filled with lactic acid, and high levels of inflammation. 

I chose to start Poppy & Seed because of this journey that I'm still on. It’s a community, a platform for education, a lifestyle, and a commitment to nurturing our minds, our bodies, and mother nature. Living as your best self, never giving up, and elevating the world through your presence.

Q: What inspired the name?
The name Poppy & Seed is symbolic in many ways. I’m Persian, and the Poppy flower is the national flower for Iran as well as the state flower for California (where we are based). It represents getting back in touch with our roots on every level—using age-old methods of making things from fermentation to DIY beauty to medicine. It's important to stay connected as we grow in this new world of instant gratification. Don't get me wrong—I love technology (hence an online start-up) and Google is my super-smart best friend that I take with me everywhere, but there’s something to be said about slowing down, being patient, and going within. This is where the “Seed” comes in. Seeds need love, they need the basic elements of air, water and sunlight to grow—and when you are truly connected, when you have that clear mind, the possibilities are endless.

Q: When you are not working on Poppy & Seed, what else do you like to do?
I love to travel—I usually end up in tropical places and have made a commitment to myself to go on 2 yoga retreats/year. I live near the beach so I also love to take my super magical Siberian Husky, Cessna, down to the beach with my fiancé, Eric. I love hosting people at my house. I have been thinking about starting a pop-up breakfast at my house—because paleo pancakes are too good not to share with others!

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine, ritual, or a mantra?
Movement-—I like to move every day whether it’s strength training, yoga, or walking my dog. Recently I’ve been meditating on the idea of the other person is you. I feel their pain and suffering through compassion, but I also understand my boundaries—this really reminds me to take responsibility for my perception of others and understand there’s no need for judgement.

Q: What are some of your favorite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
Herbed, Pitted and Sun Dried Botija Olives—these are the best olives you will ever have!

I love Tahini—I make my own dressing with lemon, spring water, sea salt and fresh ginger. My favorite snack for when I'm in the office is sliced Persian cucumbers with my tahini dressing. It cools me down in the summertime and keeps me going.

Chocolate—I love chocolate! And the fact that dark chocolate contains iron is even more satisfying. My favorite chocolates are Zenbunni, Sacred Chocolate, and Lulus.

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Spring Water // SWEATING // Elemental Wizdom Human Strain Probiotics

Q: What would be an ideal day for you?
I love Saturdays because I wake up and walk over to the Farmers Market with Eric and Cessna. We like to walk down to the beach really early in the morning so Cessna can run off leash and go in the water. Running after her and playing around in the sand is just the best! Not to mention, it's so healing—digging my toes into the sand releases any tension, grounds me, and clears my mind. 

I love going out on the water in our boat or renting an Electric Duffy and enjoying hor’dourves with friends—water and food are a big part of our lives! Ending the day with a small dinner party with friends or family at my house with the food from the farmers market + and a deep, full-bodied cab is the cherry on top! I feel lucky to live so close to my parents. 

Family is everything to me. Eric and I started to build our own family with Cessna and it’s important to me that we prioritize that as we continue building our lives together. My immediate family is also a big part of my life—it brings me so much joy knowing I can just call them up and have tea in the morning or lunch or dinner with them anytime because we live in the same town.

Q: Who are some sources of inspiration for you?
My family! My mom experienced a great deal of trauma in her life—her dad was executed in the Iranian Revolution when she was 12. Her family lost everything because the new government took it all away from them, except a tiny apartment that was purchased under my grandmother’s maiden name. 

My grandmother was left a widow at age 35 with 4 kids to raise and no income. They were such warriors working together to make ends meet—saving up money to eventually build above and below the apartment so they could rent the top and bottom units out for a steady income. Tears still stream down my face as I listen to or retell her story—almost as if it has affected my life through intergenerational trauma and suffering. 

My mother is so brave—she was very close with her dad, the same way I am with mine. They had such a strong bond and at a young age she accepted the reality of life + death, something our society struggles with. My mother and my father were engaged when she was 16, married when she was 17! She was so young when she moved to the U.S., leaving her family behind to be with my dad and his family. Thirty years later, and my grandmother recently moved to the US for good, and the youngest of the siblings is now moving here in the next 2 weeks with her family! My mother is such a kind, loving woman—teaching me to find joy in the essence of life rather than material things. She is so kind, loving, and generous. Growing up, if there was anyone working on our house, cleaning, or gardening, she would invite them in to have lunch with us. She feeds anyone that walks into her home and can whip anything up in 10 minutes. Her energy amazes me!

My father is a true source of inspiration for me as well. He has also gone through a lot in life. He moved to the US in his twenties, before the revolution. He came here to go to college, barely speaking any English. While he was here, he dealt with a lot of hate crime—signs on the restaurants saying “no dogs, no Iranians." 

He doesn't like to talk about it, but I couldn't imagine living here during that time. He kept his head down and focused on getting an education and a job—he worked as a bus driver, in an ice cream shop, and as a bartender. He inspires me to work hard every day of my life. He brought his entire family over to the U.S., and at one point 12 of them lived in a small house together, with my dad supporting everyone. He helped them get on their feet—he started his own clothing company and his parents, my mother, and his siblings all had a role in the business.

He grew that business until I was about 8 years old when he decided to get into the wireless industry. Watching him build his business from scratch and creating jobs for everyone in his family and supporting them as the business developed has been a big eye opener for me. He has instilled in my sister and I at a young age that family is everything, never get upset over anything monetary, the more you give the more life gives you back, and education is king—no one can take knowledge away from you. Hard work, dedication, and generosity are 3 amazing qualities of his and I admire him so much. I strive to build my life based on the principles he has taught me.

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
Oregano Oil for when I feel a sore throat coming on  // NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) This stuff is the best! I tend to bruise easily and my bruises can last for weeks, so any time I have a fall I take NAC morning and evening, and the bruising either never shows up or goes away within days! It's a powerful anti-oxidant that is a good idea to take regularly // Turmeric Whether it's cold pressed turmeric juice, or cut up and placed directly on a certain inflamed spot, or eaten as a snack (my mom makes the best turmeric chips), I can't get enough of this orange super-herb in my daily regiment.

Q: What moves you through fear + brings you into bliss?
Kundalini Yoga. Before working with my teacher, I felt I had a pretty good understanding and awareness of my fears and anxiety—I could manage and communicate, but it was an after-thought. Kundalini enables me to work through my fears at a different level. To rise above and start moving deeper into those fears to release the thoughts preventing me from being in the present moment. Learning to manage my own energy brings me closer to a constant state of bliss.

Q: What’s on your reading list currently?
The Fear Cure by Lissa Rankin—about to take her workshop at Esalen in October!

Q: What is your next big vision for Poppy & Seed?
Poppy & Seed is a lifestyle editorial that will expand into events, product collaborations, beauty, and clothing. The editorial is the main component of the site, but we are looking to go beyond that, to connect with our readers on every level. What you read, how you choose to exercise, what you eat and cook, where you purchase your food+household products, the music you listen to, what you wear, what goes on your face—they are all connected. We are interested in empowering our readers to create a life that feeds their soul on all levels—it's possible to have high standards to live by, there's no need to compromise integrity.