Category Archives: Healthy Diet

Stephanie Gailing and Seeking Beauty

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I’ve always been interested in astrology and how it affects us. So when I got the chance to meet Stephanie Gailing, I was all ears. Our mutual good friend Melissa Lanman (of JNSQ) introduced us and thought we’d hit it off. She was right. It was actually through Skype I got to converse with Stephanie to learn more about what it was that she does. The first thing that caught my attention was how she presented herself, with her words and passion. She had an energy that was positive and deeply intriguing. Soon after our Internet connection (ha!) I learned she was a woman after my own heart, a woman seeking uniqueness and beauty. And someone who could tell me a thing or three about astrology.

Stephanie, a wellness astrologer, opened up by explaining how she finds a thrill and purpose through weaving together astrological insights, flower essence therapy, dreamwork, and compassion-based coaching. More information and her works can be found at her home site (Planetary Apothecary).

Below you can find our interview with Stephanie! Took a look:

What are your must-have beauty products?

Organic coconut oil and filtered water. I love coconut oil; it’s so nourishing and so versatile. I use it all over: on my face, as a body moisturizer, to soften my cuticles, and to nourish my feet. Sometimes, I’ll use it as a scalp treatment and add a bit on the ends of my hair to control fly-aways. As you can see, it’s my #1 go-to. I also consider filtered water an important beauty “product.” After all, the difference in the way I look (and feel) when I’m well-hydrated and when I’m not is world’s apart.

How would you define beauty?

I don’t have a definition of beauty per se but rather a way that I recognize it. When I connect to beauty, I feel a sense of inner peace. It inspires this feeling that’s a mixture of quietude and vitality; I feel at once still and centered while also feeling really alert and engaged. It’s like everything lights up inside of me, which creates a sense of still peace and clarity.

I have this experience regardless of the source of beauty, whether it’s something visual, a gorgeous song, someone’s expression of heartfelt emotion, or something that someone does or says that reflects—and connects me to—a sense of deep-seated humanity.

What are some of your daily rituals?

I love rituals. They give me a sense of order and peace. They feel like a great touchstone to instill some constancy into life that can otherwise be non-constant.

As far as my daily rituals, there are several things that I find myself engaging in each day: focusing on recalling my dreams and recording them, drinking water upon waking, slathering myself with coconut oil (see above), and enjoying a cup of yerba mate or coffee when reading morning emails. And of course, brushing my teeth and taking a hot shower (the latter being one of my favorite experiences of the day).

What led you to Astrology and how did you decide to make a career out of it?

About 20 years ago, I had an astrology session that changed my life. I remember being amazed that by just giving the astrologer my birth information, she knew me in a way like no one else had ever before. For the first time in my life, I felt seen, understood, and validated. It was the most remarkable experience and one that shifted my life trajectory. I felt that I could live into my life in a way that I hadn’t yet been able to and in that moment I felt this call: that I MUST learn the language of astrology.

I needed to know it to better understand myself and the world around me. And I needed to know it so that I could use it as a tool to be of service to others. My career had been (and continues to be) dedicated to helping others achieve a greater sense of well-being, and I saw how astrology could play a very significant role in meeting this aim since it was a tool for awareness, empowerment and self-compassion, which I believed to be at the root of well-being.

While I began studying astrology fiercely at that time, it was in 2009, with the publication of my book Planetary Apothecary, that I began to focus my career on weaving together astrology, self-care tips, and wellness lifestyle strategies.

Who has been most inspirational to you in your work and life?

While there are so many who have been inspirational to me along my path—family, friends, partners, mentors, colleagues, et al.—as I continued to reflect upon your question, who has been most inspirational to me, here is what came to mind: Poets.

I adore poetry. I think part of my affinity towards it is that helps me to identify thoughts and feelings that oftentimes feel so obscure, gossamer, or dispersive that I can’t always find the words for them. When I read poetry, it’s oftentimes like a mirror into my heart and mind, as well as a connection to understanding humanity a bit more.

Rainier Marie Rilke is one of my favorites. As a question-lover, someone who is quite curious and inspired by inquiry, I’m especially fond of this passage:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

What advice would you give to other women you wish someone would have told you?

You are unique and that is beautiful. Don’t hide your individuality; instead radiate it. Not only is it your right to be who you are but it’s a gift that you can offer others. It’s important to be yourself, not just for yourself, but a.so because of how it may light up and inspire others’ lives in a very deep and transformative way.

BIO

As a wellness astrologer, Stephanie Gailing weaves together astrological insights, flower essence therapy, dreamwork, and compassion-based coaching. Author of Planetary Apothecary: An Astrological Approach to Health and Wellness and Stellar Kids, Stephanie counsels clients, teaches workshops, writes about holistic well-being, and crafts custom-designed flower essence elixirs. Based in Seattle, she frequently travels to New York City, and works with clients all over the world. You can find more about her and her work at her website Planetary Apothecary (www.PlanetaryApothecary.com).

Erin Feniger: Founder and Creative Director

Last year in New York, I had the privilege of meeting Erin Feniger at a January Labs event. I quickly learned about her innovative and profound work with Rialto Jean Project. As a founder and creative director she leads the project that seeks to benefit children through art, with proceeds going to support innovative art therapy programs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and New York. I was honored to continue a conversation with her and below you can see how I got to know her a little bit more beyond her work.

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January Labs: What are your must-have beauty products?

Erin Feniger: Go and Glow Power Peel Exfoliant. The perfect quick fix to feel and look refreshed when my schedule is non stop!

JL: Do you have any daily rituals that you can’t live without?

EF: Funny enough I think the one daily ritual I never miss is at night when I put Nivea head to toe! [Laughs] It’s really funny because my sister-in-law finds this to be funny and fascinating as I am obsessed with products and the drug store lotion is what I cant live without

JL: How would you describe your style?

EF: Classic … I love a white t-shirt, a great pair of jeans, my leather jacket and my accessories are everything. Shoes can make or break an outfit, a collection of purses and incredible pieces of jewelry

JL: What lead you to start Rialto Jean Project?

EF: Two years ago, I got sick with an autoimmune disease, which is a chronic pain disorder. I had made the decision to close the doors to my event company that helped non-profits raise their annual revenue to focus on my health.

I was living in Venice Beach, California, and I would go to Gjelina for my morning coffee and I would see this girl—think Erin Wasson—who literally got out of the water from surfing and threw on her paint clothes, because she’s an artist. She was wearing her boyfriend’s old Levi’s that had paint everywhere, a white tank top, no bra, and her hair had that perfect beachy wave. Being that I have been collecting vintage Levis for years and was denim obsessed since a little girl I was focused on the jeans and how cool they looked with the paint. I knew if someone made those jeans to look authentic to a painter in her studio wiping the brushes on her pants … people would buy them.

Next thing you knew I was buying dozens of vintage Levis from good will and bought every kind of paint at the art store and I spent several weeks in a studio with an artist friend watching the process from canvas to pant. This was important as the last time I has really done art was in the 3rd grade.

Before I knew it I had turned my garage into an art studio, my laundry room into a washhouse and had a pop up store on Abbot Kinney.

JL: What has been the most exciting part of career so far?

EF: To watch how people all over the world have fallen in love with the jeans!

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JL: Who has been most inspirational to you in your work and life?

EF: Without a doubt my father; he taught me to never give up and that there will always be hurdles but they will make you smarter and stronger. He also taught me that hard work pays off, how important it was to network (truly meet different people every where you go and always follow up with a call or note afterwards) and most importantly to always treat people kind and fair!

JL: Tell us about your incredible charity work …

EF: Rialto Jean Project benefits children through art; with proceeds going to support innovative art therapy programs at Children’s Hospital’s. Proceeds from each pair of Rialto Jean Project denim benefits Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and New York Presbyterian Child Life Services. RJP supports their longstanding work incorporating art therapy to aid the healing process and benefit the lives of patients being treated at the hospital.

Art therapy helps young patients find a sense of hope, self-esteem, autonomy and competence in their healing process The Rialto Jean Project charitable platform ‘Denim Doing Good’ exemplifies our work and dedication to this cause

JL: What advice would you give to other women you wish someone would have told you?

EF: Working hard is a key ingredient but stepping back and thinking smart is the real answer. So think that just cause you work hard your going to be successful, taking breaks and thinking through things is the real answer.

Photo by: Pieter Henket

Local Rose in Bloom

One of my go-to blogs for holistic lifestyle tips can be found at thelocalrose.com—by Shiva Rose. Her quest for natural, eco-friendly and sustainable goods and ideas are perfectly displayed and executed on her creative platform. Her passion is set apart from most things I come across because she’s more than an interesting woman, she’s an interesting woman whose present passion is formed from her upbringing, her journey through life with her two daughters and her innate spirit of positivity and wellness. Good health and a sustainable lifestyle not only are important to Shiva, but it’s what fulfills her days and she shares such fullness with her audience. She curates her rich and deep journey of discovery and wonder all  through The Local Rose.

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I am so excited to share my recent interview I had with this beautiful soul. Here’s what we talked about; learn more at @localrose

January Labs: What are your must have beauty products?

Shiva Rose: I use my own beauty products, oils, balms and serums that I create in my studio using various essential oils and beeswax. For makeup I use RMS products, and I also like your lovely ones January! I also use Egyptian magic for a glowing look.

 

JL: How would you describe your style?

SR: My style is probably eclectic bohemian with a touch of classic. I love to mix new shoes and bags with a vintage dress. I also like to dress in terms of telling story or how I am feeling. Lately it’s been a new age crystal goddess look with crystals and wither white or pale rose Grecian dresses.

 

JL: What are your daily rituals?

SR: Upon waking I mist my face with rose water that I have made or the kind I sell on my site. Then before I take care of my daughters and animals, I make a pot of Living tea, which is from old growth teas. I drink a cup in silence and reflect on what my day will bring. Later in the day I have a tea and raw cacao chocolate around 4pm. If time permits I will do a Kundalini yoga set and chant some mantras. I close each evening with a bath that has some of my sea salts that I make. Rituals, I feel are so vital for a balanced and peaceful life. Thank you for asking.

 

JL: Do you have any natural skincare remedies you can’t live without?

SR: Oatmeal baths for any skin rashes or bug bites!

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JL: I love your blog. Your recipes are scrumptious, what is your favorite simple go to dish?

SR: I like to cook. I just got myself a slow cooker and that has been a dream! Yesterday I made a pot of black bean soup and it was so easy. Just fry up some onions, garlic, tomatoes and chili powder, smoked paprika and cumin and place all in the pot with broth and in three hours there is an amazing soup! I also make a lot of kale, cabbage salads with an almond, cilantro, bragg, olive oil dressing!

 

JL: You epitomize natural beauty. What led you to create your lovely rose oil products?

SR: As I was reviewing products for my blog my desire to learn about the properties of flowers and plants began to expand. I also was so worried about the toxic content of regular conventional products. I wanted to create something luxurious and safe! 

 

JL: Who has been most inspirational to you in your work and life?

SR: I was an actress for many, many years and I think reading classic books and watching classic films shaped me for those chapters. I am now so inspired by the incredible community of women and sisters that I see creating beauty in this world, and in a way that is bringing healing to our planet. I am also so moved and inspired by organic farmers who choose to grow real, wholesome food in the face of corrupt big agro companies. Vandana Shiva and Robyn O’Brien who are fighting for our seeds inspire me as well. They have taught me that to be an activist can go hand in hand with being a feminine woman.

 

JL: What advice would you give to other women you wish someone would have given you early in your life?

SR: Don’t take things personally and take chances life is too short to wonder, “what if?”

 

The Most Versatile Beauty Product Is Already in Your Cabinet: Baking Soda

january_real_simple4When Real Simple Magazine asked me for some DIY tips for skincare my first thought was Baking Soda. I am completely obsessed with it.

Here are some of its many uses……
 

Glow & Go with baking soda

Exfoliant

Baking soda is an excellent gentle exfoliator. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to your January Labs Pure and Gentle Cleansing Gel then massage face gently to slough off dead skin cells. Whenever I use the Glow & Go I remove it with baking soda. It makes the skin feel soft and squeaky clean without feeling stripped.

BAth tubBathing soda

Baking soda makes for a great detox bath. Indulging in a detox bath every once in a while helps purge your body of toxins. I use this recipe after an intense workout….

2 Cups of Baking Soda
2 Cups of Epsom Salt
1 Cups of Sea Salt
2 Cups of Peroxide

Soothe a sunburn
Relieve irritated, itchy and sun burnt skin with baking soda. Soak a clean cloth in baking soda and water to make a cool compress or run a lukewarm bath with half a cup baking soda to soothe irritated.

take this out… skin especially when there’s no aloe Vera on hand.

Mason jar with baking soda

Acne pack

If you have acness issues, wash face clean, then apply a mask of baking soda and water. Let sit for five to 10 minutes then wash with warm water. Also gets treats blackheads and serves as a preventative.

Gynostemma…“Power House” of teas

TeaI recently incorporated Gynostemma into my diet and I was amazed by how quickly I was able to feel the benefits. Gynostemma tea also known as Jiaogulan tea is commonly referred to as “magical grass” in Asia. According to Ron Teegaurden, founder of Dragon Herbs, the word magical refers to it’s incredible number of health promoting benefits. Gynostemma is known to be invigorating, calming, anti-aging, anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory, immune regulating, improves respiratory efficiency, and is also a digestive aid. With all those incredible properties it can be a powerful addition at any anti-aging regimen. Celebrity make-up artist, Nathan Johnson, says it is the most reliable, and affordable alternative to Botox. No wonder it’s described as the “Power House” of teas!

 

The herb on branch

Gynostemma is also very soothing to the body. Gynostemma has the ability to bring balance to the body’s systems under a wide range of stressors. Japanese studies have found that Gynostemma has a double direction regulation adaptogenic effect on the central nervous system. It’s calming when you’re over excited and invigorating when you’re fatigued. The power of an adaptogen lies in increasing the adaptability of on organism to stressors both physically and psycologically while at the same time keeping homeostasis within the body. By protecting and strengthening Qi, or a person’s physical vitality, Gynostemma also produces a “spirit lifting” effect psycologically. The best part is there are no side effects unlike those found in stimulating caffeinated beverages! The adrenal glands are actually exhausted after caffeine consumption, whereas their functions are not impaired, but supported, after adaptogenic herbs are taken.

 

Tea BoxThe most common way is to consume Gynostemma, like almost any other dietary supplement, is through capsules. You may also find dried gynostemma, gynostemma powder, and gynostemma powder extract to incorporate in your recipes. However, I prefer a tea that I picked up from Dragon Herbs (http://www.dragonherbs.com/) called Spring Dragon Longevity Tea. I brew it first and then I refrigerate a large pitcher so it is readily available to drink throughout the day. Below you will find an energizing drink I love to treat myself to…..

Recipe…courtesy of Cafe Gratitude (my favorite place to eat)

Cacao-ElixirEnergy Drink with Gynostemma

2.5 cups Tea base – Longevity Tea Gynostemma
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
Small handful Goji Berries (soaked in water or almond milk prior)
1/2 Tablespoon Maca Root Powder
1/2 Tablespoon Raw Cacao Powder or Cacao Paste
1/2 Vanilla Bean seeds
Sweetener of choice to taste (Raw Manuka honey or Stevia or dates)
Almonds or Cashews (Soaked for substance if a meal or with water can add for milk like consistency)
1/3 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (Raw Extra Virgin Organic)

Why Chocolate is good for you….And your skin!

Chocolate-for-glowing-skinHere’s one recommendation that few people will have difficulty following: for beautiful skin, be sure to eat chocolate often. Research says that chocolate increases protection from UV damage. In addition, chocolate dilates blood vessels, which increases blood flow and brings nutrients to the surface and deeper layers of the skin.

 

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Antioxidant compounds called flavanols are responsible for the skin-beautifying benefits. Researchers also found that chocolate increases skin hydration, thickness, and smoothness. To provide sufficient flavanols, most experts recommend consuming only very dark chocolate, with at least 70 percent cacao. My favorite is Zenbunni http://www.zenbunni.com/kathmandu.html. Who knew being healthy could taste so good!

 

imagesChocolate comes from the bean of cacao fruit. Cacao beans have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Fresh cacao beans are super-rich in antioxidants — molecules that protect skin from environmental damage — containing 10,000 milligrams of flavanol antioxidants for every 100 grams of cacao. Compared to other foods, they’re among the best sources of antioxidants.

Why is Chocolate anti aging? loaded with antioxidants and free radical scavengers.

Just a few benefits…

  • Raw chocolate has 723% more (or about 7 times more) antioxidants gram-per-gram than typical dark chocolate
  • Tryptophan is found naturally in Raw chocolate, which enhances relaxation and promotes better sleep
  • phenylethylamine (PEA) has a positive effect in enhancing feelings of love, and Raw chocolate has been proven to be an excellent source of PEA.
  • Raw chocolate is the richest food source of magnesium of any common food. Magnesium is the number one mineral that assists and supports healthy heart functioning.
  • Raw chocolate has a high level of Arginine, the aphrodisiac-like amino acid believed by body builders to build muscle and aid in recovery.

Recipe…courtesy of Cafe Gratitude (my favorite place to eat)

images-1RAW CACAO FUDGE (makes 25 squares/35 balls)

1 cup raw cacao butter. (If asking for this at Whole Foods earns you a blank stare, head for the body care aisle and substitute a tub of 100% pure food grade cocoa butter.)
3 vanilla beans. (Individually boxed in the spice section.)
1 cup light agave syrup.
1/2 cup raw cacao nibs, finely ground.
8 1/2 oz raw cacao powder. (Cacao powder tends to be sold in 8 oz packages, so I added more nibs.)
3/4 cup raw almond butter.
1/2 tsp salt.

Melt cacao butter by placing jar in a bowl of warm water. Slice the vanilla beans in half lengthwise; thoroughly scrape insides and add to blender. Add melted cacao butter to the blender and blend until vanilla is broken down and feels warm. Pour into large mixing bowl; stir in salt, agave, and almond butter by hand. Grind cacao in clean coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle), add to bowl with cacao powder and stir by hand until smooth. (I also added about 1/2 cup dried tart cherries.)

Transfer mixture to an 8×8 pan lined with waxpaper, using a spatula to smooth the top. (The batter was very thick for me, so I shaped it into 1″ balls instead.) Refrigerate about 20 minutes or until hard.