Goddess of the Month: Lauren Kleban creator of LEKfit

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know by now that I am in love with LEKFit. LEKfit is a fitness modality created by Lauren Kleban. I came across this movement when I started following Busy Philips on Instagram. Every day she would post her #sweatyselfie and would be dripping sweat and happy as can be. I googled it and saw that they offered streaming and the rest is history.

First off, let me tell you why I love LEKfit. For starters, it is SO fun. Lauren doesn't tell you how many times you should work out a week, for how long or to do this workout on this and day and this one on that day. She just teaches you to move you body and to LISTEN. Listen when you need to rest, listen when to take it easier, listen when to push hard. Her philosophy aligned perfectly with mine. I also love that you feel like you are in the class with them. When you stream the studio classes there are women of all different shapes and sizes bouncing to their hearts content. It's nice to do a workout video that isn't just women and men with perfect bodies. Last, but not least, I LOVE the way it makes me feel. I feel happier, more content in my body and stronger when I do it regularly and that makes me very happy.

This was the first in-person interview I have done. I attended Lauren's class on a very hot Friday morning in LA and after, we chatted. We talked about movement, what bring her bliss, how she achieves her goals and kids. It was a really beautiful experience and I am so grateful that she took the time to sit down and talk to me. Lauren, thank you so much for creating a safe space for women to move their bodies, for making us all feel beautiful and worthy and for kicking my ass!

If you are interested in trying out LEKfit, you can get a free 7 day trial by clicking here.

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What inspired you to create your own business?

I was a dancer my whole life and I always knew that fitness would be a natural transition. Even as far back as high school I was teaching some sort of fitness, dance class. Then I taught all over LA. I lived in Vegas prior to LA where I was in a show and taught at UNLV and a studio very similar to S factor, so I did pole stuff also, which was really fun. Now if you told me to go upside down on a pole I would say you are out of your mind, but in my twenties I was like "sure, I'll swing my legs and crawl down." There was an x-stripper who started right around the time Sheila (the creator of S Factor did) and she would take strippers and regular dancers and teach us. So I did that and then taught a Jazz, cardio type thing at UNLV and then I moved to LA and taught at different dance studios, boutique fitness studios and an old school gym where I trained clients, all while dancing professionally. It was always a side thing. I don't think I really knew until I had my son, my first child who is now 5 1/2, that that's what I wanted to do. There are so many avenues now that X-dancers can take, but I knew I didn't want to travel. I didn't want to live out of a suitcase. I knew that someday I wanted to get married and have children and being from the mid-west, that was just not my mindset. I needed something to keep me wherever I was going to settle down, which ended up being LA. From there it organically progressed. I taught a ballet class, very similar to my Sculpt now, but less mat and more barre. I would teach that daily, but still go for a run and that was my best body. That was the body that felt strongest and healthiest, but then with Miles (my oldest) I couldn't just teach an hour and then go for a run. I couldn't do 2 hours plus to workout every day. The rebounder had been in my life before and I just started playing around. I did not start LEKfit with the rebounder. I started without, but I knew that I had to create a less than one hour interval workout that gave me the same results as an hour barre class and running Runyon. After years of trial and error this is where we ended up. 

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why?

Oh my god! I mean there are so many for different reasons. That is a really hard question. It's gonna sound so lame because she's like my number one, but Busy! She is the best. So inspiring! I'm not kidding, when she was filling in for Kelly on "Regis and Kelly Live" I was like "you're the next Kelly Ripa, you are gonna have a talk show." She said she wanted it and she made it happen. That is crazy to me!

What is your current favorite song to move to?

Oh my God! That's like harder than the last question. I'm very into R&B. Gallant, Neo, Leon Bridges, Maxwell the list goes on and on and on.

What is your process in manifesting your dreams and your goals?

I think I just figure out what I want, focus on it and make it happen. I'm not into mood boards, I don't burn things. I just think I am really strategic about it. I'm also very practical, which sometimes I think is to a fault. I also try to stay in my lane, I'm not really phased by anyone else, which I am really happy about because I think that can make you crazy. 

What is your morning ritual?

It changes because I have children, so my mornings are not my own. I used to teach the 7 am class, so it used to be I would see nobody in the morning until I saw my clients. As my kids got older and started going to school, I wanted to be around, so now I teach the 9:30 and I usually get up, check my email, social media. Usually I've cleared everything the night before so I don't have anything important that I need to get to right away. I do breakfast and get my kids ready for school and then I am here for the studio. Sometimes my meditation is going into the studio when nobody is there, lock the door and just dance.

How do you honor your feminine body?

By keeping it healthy! Staying out of the sun. I used to be a sun worshipper. 

Where do you find Bliss in your life?

My kids! Most of the time, not all of the time (laughs).

What does self-care mean to you?

Whatever feels good to you. It's not something you can go outward for because it is a head spin. I can remember days where I would force myself to go to a yoga class or even a dance class that I just didn't want to go to and I would be like "Why am I doing this? Why am I spending the money and wasting my time?" When I would rather be on a hike or in the studio, to me that is the opposite of self care. 

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be?

The first thing that comes to mind is that our moms and grandmothers, for sure, relied on each other, but they relied on who was immediately near them so they all had a similar mindset. In the age of social media there is an ability as moms and as women to rely on each other as well, but in a much bigger way. We are getting so much more info and I think it's too much. We need to find those core people that you really trust. We definitely still need each other, but because of social media and because the world is so big now there is too much and it's so overwhelming. It's all a mind-fuck. Don't limit it, but find your group or community that you can hold on to and trust. 

BIO: 

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BIO: 

Lauren Kleban is a celebrity fitness instructor and founder of LEKfit, a dance-inspired fitness method designed to create long and lean muscles by using intervals of low impact, high intensity, fat burning cardio with muscle sculpting techniques created to strengthen and tone.  

LEKfit takes a musically driven approach to fitness with Lauren consistently drawing inspiration from her ballet, jazz, burlesque and yoga training to create fun and effective workouts that empower and promote body love and acceptance. 

LEKfit has developed a constant following of devotees, both in the LA studio and LEKfit on demand online, that come for Lauren and her team’s unique approach to dance inspired fitness.

Goddess of the Month: Holly Tristan of Holly's Keeping it Real

This month's Goddess is a super inspiring woman who is a mother, entrepreneur and business professor. She has created a simple, yet effective product that we all need in our lives: Natural deodorant. I think that her interview speaks for itself so without further adieu, here is Holly!

What inspired you to create your own business?

"I had tried so many brands of natural deodorant that did not work. So I created my own! I shared my Deodorant with family and friends, and since they loved it so much, I decided to start selling it."

Why deodorant?

There are only 4 ingredients - coconut oil, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and therapeutic grade essential oil."

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

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"This is a tough one. There are so many women who inspire me, but I don’t look to one in particular. I’m all about supporting each other, lifting each other up, and staying out of the comparison game."

What is your favorite meal?

"Simple simple simple! Ha! I’d have to say that my favorite meal is salmon (crispy outside and tender inside), with lots of veggies and some sweet potato. And always avocado!"

What is your process in manifesting your dreams and your goals? 

"I’m big on lists. Writing out steps, and executing. I am making a conscious effort to spent more time dreaming and manifesting, but I’m also in the thick of raising young boys (which is my priority most of my 24 hours in the day)."

What is your morning ritual? 

"Kids! Haha! I love coffee before they wake. And a workout! I love to workout in the morning - it sets the tone for my day!"

How do you honor your feminine body? 

"By always being true to myself, and prioritizing self care - mentally, physically, and spiritually."

Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

"Usually in the small things. A moment with my family. A hot cup of coffee. On my yoga mat."

What does self-care mean to you? 

"Everything haha. I make it a point on the daily to do something nice for myself. Sometimes it’s just a hot shower and my nighttime skin care routine, others times it’s my favorite chocolate, or time away alone or with a girlfriend."

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

"Learn who you are, what you want, and how to be confident in all that you do." 

About Holly: 

Holly Tristan is a wife, mama, business professor, and owner of an all natural deodorant company - Holly's Keeping it Real. She loves sharing her passion for food as medicine, and tips for a holistic lifestyle.

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Goddess of the Month: Chelsea of Juniper and The Sea

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A couple months ago I won a photoshoot with a local company called Juniper and the Sea. If you are unfamiliar with them, you should definitely check out their work. They are working to create a safe space for women to strip down (literally and figuratively) and have the most beautiful boudoir photos taken. These are boudoir photos like you have never seen before: They are for you and nobody else! Organic, raw and sensual without being overtly sexual. Chelsea and Simone have a gift of seeing your essence and capturing it in that moment. 

I didn't know exactly what to expect. I was told to show up with a clean face and dry hair. When I walked into the space I was welcomed with herbal tea, warm and inviting lighting, hugs and a team of amazingly talented women who transformed me into a woodland nymph. With Kendrick Lamar as my soundtrack (um, yes please) I worked with Chelsea and Simone to pick from the outfits I brought. I changed and we got started. Now, I teach women how to feel comfortable in their bodies; how to love the skin they are in. Full transparency, this is so challenging for me, at times. With Chelsea and Simone, I felt natural and comfortable to just be me in their presence. They gave suggestion of directions for me to turn my head, but pretty much gave me free range to move as my body loves to move. The last few photos I shot topless. I have never done a nude photo shoot before and have always been curious. I never once felt insecure about my body or felt like I needed to be a different size or a different shape. They made me feel safe and comfortable. Before I knew it, it was over and they sent me on my way feeling lit up and totally empowered!

When I got the photos back, I have to admit that I had a moment of wishing my body looked a little different. Wishing that I hasn't put so much weight on in the last couple of years. When I was showing them to a friend and she was saying how gorgeous they are, I realized that my body is beautiful exactly as it is. It doesn't mean I can't work to make it more fit or to lose weight, but that it is also just as valuable now as it would be if I lost 10 lbs. It took someone else looking at me and telling me I was beautiful to fully accept it. And you know what? That is ok. Sometimes we need the reflection of another to recognize the beauty within ourselves. 

I am counting down the days when I can do another shoot with these Goddesses. If you feel called to do this. DO IT!!! It is honestly one of the most beautiful and lasting gifts you can give to yourself. Without further ado, here is the beautiful interview with Chelsea.

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What inspired you to create your own business?

"We worked together and had previously shot weddings, but we wanted to give a different experience and capture something different. Both dealing with health and body image issues we thought it was important to document and make women feel good in their bodies without it needing to be sexualized."

Why boudoir photos?

"We wanted to tap into something that wasn’t being done in Portland and give women a space to feel liberated about themselves and their bodies and what they’ve gone through or what they are going through rather than just creating sexy photos that weren't for them or doing it for someone else to look a certain way. We wanted a space for women to feel comfortable and tap into that vulnerability or to celebrate whatever was going on. " 

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why?

"My Grandmother. She was such a tough person. She had 6 siblings all from different fathers and she raised all of them. She dropped out of high school and worked as a cleaning lady and she still does and she is 72."

What is your favorite meal?

"I feel if I say for Simone and I, it’s definitely steak."

What is your process in manifesting your dreams and your goals?

"I think it’s finding a balance so that we give ourselves time to give everybody else everything we can. A lot of this is a journey for us as well and I feel like if we ever feel burnt out or down on ourselves then we can’t give this business everything we want to. So I think its finding that balance and continuing to feed off the women we photograph. its a mutual back and forth."

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What is your morning ritual?

"For me, I wake up and, recently, I have been making a latte or tea. I usually stretch or hang out for a minutes. Especially now, I enjoy sitting outside. I give myself an hour or so to do that before I go to work. "

How do you honor your feminine body?

"I know I have struggled a lot with body image. For a long time I was tom-boyish and didn’t feel womanly. I played sports and didn’t feel feminine in the way that society feels so. I feel honored in expressing myself in anything that feels good. Whether that is doing typical girly things like going to get a massage or my nails done, but also just going outside if I’m feeling stagnant or wearing things that show off things that I like about myself. Just taking care of myself, staying in-tune and listening to what my body wants rather than just tapping into what you’re “supposed” to do to feel good."

Where do you find bliss in your life?

"I find bliss from just disconnecting from social media. Uncapping from the normal day: Getting outside, in nature and spending time with my partner. Mostly just getting outside and working in the ground."

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What does self-care mean to you?

"Self-care for me is taking a break. Just doing things that can shut my brain off from being inline with everything that is going on on around us. Just to chill and recharge. Walks, a bath, turning phone and computer off, not feeling like I need to reply instantly and giving my brain a rest."

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be?

"We are all in this together. Things are going to be ok. What you are going through, the person next to you is probably going through. Whatever we are going through is valid and to just be kind to each other."

Meet Chelsea:

She loves embroidery. In fact, she's super talented at it. You can find her crafting and thrifting in almost all of her free time. She also totally understands dietary restrictions, and would prefer to bike everywhere. She dreams of living on a lot of land and growing her own food. She tans really easily, loves folk music, and may or may not have a ton of house plants.

Goddess of the Month: Barrett Prendergast of Valleybrink Road

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I feel like Barrett was one of the first Instagram accounts that I truly connected with. No matter what I messaged her, she should always respond with such kindness. I am always inspired by the beautiful she brings to this world. From food to the most beautiful floralr arrangements you can imagine, she has definitely made her mark. She creates recipes that are simple and easy to follow, yet so incredibly delicious. I dream of one day receiving one of her gift baskets just to have an experience of her artistic touch. We have yet to meet in person, but I can't wait for the day when we can sit and have tea and talk about life.

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To top it all off she has the most beautiful family (and one on the way). I am so grateful to Barrett for taking the time to do this interview and become part of the Body Bliss Family.

While doing this interview, tears came to my eyes. Barrett's authenticity and truth are so beautiful. I could go on and on, but I will let the interview speak for itself:

What inspired you to create your own business?

I was almost 30 and in the process of closing down the handbag line I had started with my husband, Andre. I was at a crossroads and needed to figure out if I was going to stay in fashion or take a chance on doing something else. I thought about it a lot and kept coming back to food, cooking, and entertaining…I was just uncertain on how to translate that into a career. So, I started working in a restaurant, then for some catering companies, and a few months later Valleybrink Road was born. It has now been 5 years and the business has grown in such a beautiful and organic way. I am so grateful I took a risk to create something of my own.

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What drew you to food styling and floral arrangements? 

I have always been pretty creative, making my own clothes and jewelry when I was younger. Cooking and flowers started more in my twenties and really stemmed from my love of having people over and entertaining. Everything about creating the entire experience has always brought me such happiness and fulfillment.

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

My mom. Single mom who raised three kids all on her own, despite the fact that everything was stacked against her. Now being a mother myself and experiencing how challenging even raising and providing for one child is, I am just blown away how she did it for three with such grace and always with a smile on her face.

What is your favorite meal?

Does there have to be just one!?! I would probably say breakfast/brunch…I love the fact I can have sweet dishes like pancakes paired with things like crispy potatoes and sautéed kale. It is the best of both worlds.

What is your process in manifesting your dreams and your goals? 

I believe in saying yes. And, then figuring it out. I think that has really been a determining factor in the success of Valleybrink Road. Believe me, I didn’t have much figured out in the beginning but I had enough confidence in myself to know I could figure it out. Say yes first, and then problem solve to get it done. 

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What is your morning ritual?

I think the better question would be, what is my son’s morning ritual? Ha! It starts with Costa telling me its “wake up time” even though it is probably still dark out. He demands a quick piggy back right to the kitchen where we make tea and breakfast together. Mornings are my special mama time with costa so I really try to just focus on him and giving him my full attention. It is always a mad dash to finally get dressed and out the door so I can drop him at school and head to the office. 

How do you honor your feminine body? 

I think self care is so important…and probably realized this much more once I had a child. If I am taking a little time to care for myself, then I am not only a better mother but also, a better wife and overall human. I try to make time for simple things like a quiet bath soak, and once this next baby arrives, I will get back into my yoga and long walks routine.

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Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

I think bliss is everywhere we choose to see it. It is so easy to get caught up in the stress and exhaustion of it all….I am really trying to stay in the moment and remind myself that this all will pass sooner than we can imagine, so we better soak up all the goodness right now.

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

Confidence is key. Believe in yourself first and so much will follow that simple action. 

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Bio:

Valleybrink Road is a floral design and luxury gifting company based in Los Angeles, CA. The vision of Barrett Prendergast, a florist, gifter, and lifestyle curator, Valleybrink Road is a natural extension of her love of entertaining and her passion for creating the perfect gift.

February Goddess of the Month: Sasha Mayer of My Willows

Another month and another amazing Goddess. Sasha is an absolute rock star. She is a single mother who has beat the odds. Her story is inspiring and beautiful. I originally heard about MyWillows through my friend Sophie. She told me she has created these amazing sunglasses that have crystals instead of arms. I, of course, had to buy a pair immediately. I loved them so much and was intrigued by the women who designed them. I reached out to Sasha to see if she would be a Body Bliss Goddess of the Month and she said YES! So grateful you took the time to do this, Sasha! It was lovely to get to know you a little more. 

What inspired you to create your own business?

 I left an unhealthy marriage without any income and a 2 1/2 year old.  I really took a leap of faith and trusted that the universe would take care of me. I quickly got a job but realized the hours were incredibly challenging and inflexible when it came to school hours, sick days, holidays.  I knew I needed to create something of my own so that I could be home for my little boy and have a flexible schedule. 

Why sunglasses and crystals?

The seed of this idea was planted many many years ago but at the time, I honestly had a lot of fear surrounding starting a business on my own.  I love accessories, used to work as a sales rep for accessories brands and so, I had a very strong sense of what building a brand looked like. I think having a son and seeing how strong I was to leave my marriage, gave me the confidence boost I needed to start MyWillows!  

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life?

My mom!  She raised me alone as my father was out of the picture.  She also took care of my sick grandmother so it was us three girls living in one small 1 bedroom apartment in NYC.  She worked SO HARD and put her life aside to ensure that I had a great education and that my grandma was taken care of properly.  She raised me to share, love, be honest and kind and loving.  She is my number one supporter and honestly my hero. 

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two things with you, which two would you choose and why?

Things or people?  Number 1 would be Gavin (my son) but if we are only doing material things…probably a pocket knife and some sort of lighter or water purifier.  I think for me, making a home/shelter would make me feel safe so anything that would assist me in doing that! 

What is your Morning Ritual?

My morning ritual is usually - wake up, make a cup of coffee, spend 15 minutes trying to get a sleepy boy out of bed, dressed, fed and out the door to school.  It’s always a bit jarring which is why I tend to come back from his school and do yoga if my schedule permits.  

How do you honor your feminine body?

When you are a mom, your feminine body honestly takes the last seat…but I don’t think I could do anything without hot yoga. For my soul and body…I just need it!  I eat a clean diet and most nights I pass out close to my sons bedtime so I get plenty of sleep which I also need!  Occasionally I like to the Korean Spa and pamper myself.

Where do you find bliss in your life?

I find bliss when my son and I spend quality time together, when I travel, when I do yoga, when I have friends over for dinner and we laugh until we cry.  I find bliss in my work, in the product i’ve created and when I receive validation for my creation.  

If you could give one piece of advice to women, what would it be?

Love yourself.  Hard.  And know that it’s okay to be alone instead of in the wrong relationship.  Whether that’s a friendship or a lover.  It’s never to late to let go of things that aren’t serving you and you will see that amazing things will unfold if you do. Trust it.  When I got divorced, everyone told me “we aren’t worried about you - you’ll be ok” but with no money, no job and a toddler I really was doubting it. But it was okay and it is okay. In fact, it’s better than ok! So, whatever that voice inside your head is telling you, listen and do it.  I promise, it’s worth it. The answers are already inside you :) 
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January Goddess of the Month: Tricia of Your Joyologist

This Month's Goddess has a special place in my heart. Growing up in the Sikh community, mantra is in my blood. There is a technology behind repeating something over and over again. It sneaks into your subconscious and you start to believe it. This also goes for negative mantras. This is the exact reason I chose Tricia as the January Goddess. She makes beautiful mantras for you to carry with you, drink from and hang on your wall. Not only are they positive and uplifting, but empowering. She remind people to LIVE their lives, to find their passion and to take each breath with intention and meaning. 

What inspired you to create your own business?

The sudden loss of my father was a big wake up call to me as to how many people are just existing and not truly living and how short life really is.  I knew that I wanted to do more to make a difference but didn’t know how, so I started in the world I knew, which was the touring concert world.

Why affirmations and mantras?

I have personally seen a huge transformation in my life from using affirmations.  When you choose to truly use them powerfully by actually working to believe what you are saying you will start to be woken up to all that truly lies within you.  Also, they are quick to the point turn around to get out of any negative thought patterns that surface!

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why?

Oh that is a tough one! If we are talking in my direct personal life, I have to say my mom and this is something I am recognizing more and more now that I am a mom.  She has always always always been there for me, even when she questioned my choices. She has been so hard working my entire life, something that growing up I didn’t appreciate because I wanted her around more, but she was working so hard for us as a family to support us. 

For as long as I can remember, even back as a trouble making teen I could tell her anything, and call her at anytime and she would be there for me.

Also honorable mentions to Sophie Jaffe, Robyn Youkilis, and Tristan Prettyman all badass heart conscious ladies who are doing their best to raise babies AND have a meaningful career serving others and themselves. 

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two things with you, which two would you choose and why?

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I’m not going to lie…this question drives me crazy!  I need more details! What exists on the island?  Are these food items, personal items, any item period?!?!  ha!  So I will just go with the first two things I think of. My vitamix to make creative meals from what I find (but is there power there?).  Any device that could play pandora music stations as I like music to change up my days and shift my moods but I need variety. 

What is your morning ritual?

HA! feed my infant (breastfeeding a four month old) then feed my toddler.  Life with a new baby hasn’t afforded me much space for a ritual….but we are just this week working on getting her on the 7-7 sleep schedule and once I have a week or so to try to catch up on the last almost 5 months of little sleep, my goal is to wake up at 6am before the kids and have a little time to handwrite out an intention for the day, perhaps do some morning pages in and get a little 20-30 minute workout in!

How do you honor your feminine body?

By loving it wholly no matter what state it is.  Yes, my intention is to get exercise in the am but that is because I feel more alive that way, not because I need to lose weight or be a certain size.  I will no longer stand for shaming my own body!

Where do you find Bliss in your life?

Where don’t I find it?! Honesty I find it in making a home cooked meal, in singing out loud with the radio while driving, while going to be before 10pm, in watching my daughter learn something new.  So often it is in the little moments. 

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

Cut the word Should out of your life!  It is so ingrained in us and we don’t even realize how much that word controls our choices.  Try taking it out and most of the time you will find the word that replaces it is WANT which is such a more powerful word that puts you in control of your life. 

Bio:

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My name is Tricia.  I am 32 years old.  I am 5’10”.  I love green juice and yoga, and wine, and gluten free pizza, and laughing a lot.  I am a rock and roll roadie at heart, and by first career.  I speak wise words, deep thoughts, and cuss like a sailor.   I believe food is medicine.   I have lived/am living a freaking amazing life full of breakdowns and holy shits of the good and bad kind (well really they are all good as breakdowns lead to breakthroughs).  I create my life moment to moment.  I believe it is all possible.  I savor life.  I love being alive.  I love you.  I believe in you.

Goddess of the Month: Coco Kislinger of Coco Bakes LA

Happy December beauties (yes, I realize it's almost over). First off, I am way behind on my blogging schedule because I slipped on my stairs a week and a half back which resulted in a concussion and whiplash. I was instructed to stay off all screens, but I am officially back!

I couldn't be more excited about this Goddess of the Month. We have actually never met in person, but I feel like we are soul sisters from another life. Coco is kind, down to earth and keeps it real. She is a fellow Scorpio and it was so lovely to get to know her a bit more through this interview. If you have not checked out her website yet, click HERE. She makes the most delicious (and totally healthy) treats you can imagine. I am grateful to officially call this beauty my friend. Welcome to the Body Bliss Tribe, Coco.

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What inspired you to create your own company?

When I quit my jobs at Huckleberry I knew I had to create a few great recipes when gluten free wasn't too mainstream. It just felt like the right move and people picked up on it. The idea that I could give back a delicious, flavorful, not blindingly sweet, properly textured baked good to people who couldn't and maybe hadn't had any in years, had me sold. 

Why baked goods?

After I graduated from College I thought I would just take a year off and go study at the Cordon Bleu and ended up coming back to the states and working in the bakery. Because pastries or baked goods are very very close to my heart. When I was little my mom made sure that when my brother and sister and I all got home from school there was some sort of snack; be it cookies, gingerbread, brownies or any variety of cake. Baked goods and food in general have a way of making people very happy and that makes me happy. 

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

My mom started her jewelry company when I was one year old. That means she had a five-year-old a three-year-old and basically a newborn, yet found a way to make sure she was the most loving and supportive mom she could possibly be. My mama is incredibly inspiring and not just to me. She is a real life super woman. 

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two food items with you, which two would you choose and why?  

I don't love this question because I don't like limiting myself (ha!). I think I'd have to say coconut as long as I had the proper tools to open them all and they didn't already exist on the island. Second runner up, corn. I could eat corn in ALL of it's various states everyday (if it didn't hurt my tummy). 

What is your morning ritual? 

My morning ritual is trying to continue my rituals. If we're being completely transparent, I wake up and whisper to Beau that I'm the luckiest girl in the world.  Without forcing it, I list the things I'm grateful for and manifest the things I want for that day and the immediate future. I also have a habit of checking my phone. I'm working very hard to disconnect more.  It's not working. Still trying. 

How do you honor your feminine body? 

Wow. 3 weeks ago I couldn't have answered this question but today I can say that I listen to myself to my body. I am constantly checking in with myself. If I get outside of my window of tolerance, I check in, if I crave a certain food, I listen and eat that food. The best decision I ever made was to start listening to what I need, don't need and how I feel. 
I also have meaningful, powerful, beautiful love making time with my man. 

Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

I am a person who loves a partnership. It's in my birthdate. 11/2/88. I feel best when I'm in a partnership, when I can love and care for my partner and myself so I'd say that cooking for Beau and myself is my ultimate bliss, next to laying with him in bed listening to music. 

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

Take care of you. 

Goddess of the Month: Sophie Jaffe of The Philosophie

I have been so incredibly excited about this Goddess of the Month. Body Bliss Lifers meet Sophie Jaffe of The Philosophie!* I first discovered Philosophie Superfoods while staying with a friend in LA. She showed me her smoothie cupboard and pulled out three brown envelopes with bright labels. She said they were created by a local mom and vegan/raw chef. I used them every day for the remainder of my trip. When I got home, I immediately placed an order and I have not been without since.

Not only does this beauty make amazing superfoods blends, but Sophie is a true inspiration. She teaches to believe in magic, to be the best you, you can be and to work your ass off to live the life YOU want to live. I am beyond grateful to have her as a friend and support system in this life. Without further adieu, let's hear what this Goddess has to share:

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What inspired you to create your own company?

I wanted superfoods to be accessible to anyone and everyone. I also wanted it to be easy to get a nourishing boost of superfoods, all rolled into one bag. I know for myself personally, I was so sick of running out of a certain product, mid way during my smoothie, having to run over all of LA to find the right Maca, hence philosophie was born!

My husband was a big push behind starting philosophie superfoods! We were floating in the sea in Israel, realizing I was starting to really wear myself down with meal planning and cooking for so many different people all through out LA.  I knew creating my own personal blends for people to use on their own, was the natural and organic next step. 

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Why superfoods?

Because I fully believe in them, and the impact and power they have on our bodies!

What is your morning routine?

If the kiddos actually end up sleeping in their own bed (which rarely happens ;) ) I'll try and get a few extra minutes of sleep! If they are with me, its major snuggle time, then brekkie! We love to make superfood smoothies or waffles together, depending on what everyone is craving! In our house, we REALLY listen to our bodies! 

Once we get them out the door to their school (a Waldorf, obsessed with it!) i try to find some beautiful morning light to stretch a bit. Next up, its time for a sweat! Hot8 yoga, Soul Cycle, or the Culver city stairs are my main go to's lately! I'll rush home for a quick shower then its time to check my ever growing email, and get to work!

My favorite Superfood Coffee recipe found here:

So easy, I throw these ingredients into my Vitamix Blender:

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by so many incredible women, from friends to family. My incredible, beautiful, inspiring mother Phyllis, is also a huge impact on my life and philosophie. She also braved a huge battle with Stage 4 Breast Cancer, and was one of the most terrifying experiences of our lives. I was so inspired by this that I created the Cacao Magic Mushroom superfood blend which includes 3 medicinal mushrooms: ReishiChaga and Cordyceps. These 3 mushrooms have been used for centuries to heal people and are known as “the ultimate herbal substances”. I began to do more research than ever during the time she had cancer to get to know the magical herbs of the world and using them myself.

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two adaptogens with you, which two would you choose and why?  

Reishi and Chaga for their incredible healing benefits! Truly foods you can live off of.

How do you honor your feminine body? 

By speaking kindly to it and allowing my self to be authentic and free!

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Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

Through my kids, husband, work, workouts, helping others, laughing, a great meal! A sweaty yoga flow does wonders for the soul and mood. Making time to move your body is key in maintaining Bliss for me!

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

Don't listen to the noise, trust in yourself and your authentic being! only YOU know whats best for you, and don't hesitate to say NO to something that doesn't serve you!

 

*To receive 15% off your total purchase with The Philosophie, use code "bodybliss"

Goddess of the Month: Amy Colville of aMYLK

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Amy is a beautiful soul inside and out. She has created a company out of her passion for living a healthy and whole life. When she agreed to be a Goddess of the Month I was thrilled. I knew that my readers would love to hear her story and how she started a delicious nut milk company. She is down to earth and has so much wisdom to offer. Amy, thank you for sharing your truth and for being a part of the Body Bliss Life Family! <3

 

INTERVIEW:

What inspired you to create your own company?

I’ve always had a creative mind when it came to business.  Even as a small child I loved coming up with “inventions” with my dad.  We came up with a lot of original concepts that actually eventually ended up being brought to market by others.  That’s the thing with ideas, you have to act on it right away, or someone else will!  I find the creative process really fulfilling, I love business, I love learning and I love self directing my life. I think if you interviewed most entrepreneurs you’d find they share similar traits.

Why nutmilk?

My family and friends have all asked the same thing!  Nut milk?  The simple answer is that I found something I’m passionate about that I LOVE enjoying and producing AND there was a hole in the market!  Globally, no one is producing and selling nut milk (soon to expand to seeds and possibly grains) that compares in taste, quality and nutrient density to aMYLK.  People love it and that lights me up inside!

It all boils down to LOVE.  I felt guided to this place.  I spent a lot of time soul searching, connecting with Source and seeking joy.  Many years ago I experienced some heart break and consequently some health issues that lingered for many years. Through the process of trying to heal, I explored a lot of dietary changes and life and mindset changes. I introduced daily smoothies, elixirs and protein shakes to my diet. When I learned that the nut milks that I was using were filled with synthetic vitamins and stabilizers and very few actual nuts I started to think about making my own.  One day, it all just came together and I knew. I thought, THIS IS IT!  One week later I had formed a company.  I LOVE what I’m doing.  This is my passion and I[‘m so excited, hopeful and happy to share it with others.  Finding and passing on what works for me brings me more joy than I can express.

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

My mother. She is giving, graceful and kind to her bones. It is hard not to admire my mom for her elegance, sophistication, intelligence and beauty.  She’s got all these hidden talents and is incredibly hard working.  The most wonderful thing about my mother is that she has never faltered in her faith in me.  I have always felt supported. She has made home making and child rearing an art form. Her life is art to me.

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two adaptogens with you, which two would you choose and why?  

Pine Pollen and Mucuna Pruriens.  Amen. I am in love with Pine Pollen and I imagine pine trees would be hard to come by on a tropical island.  Pine pollen is gold. It makes me feel like my body is humming.  A simple sniff of it and I feel all tingly. I love it. It can act as an aphrodisiac, but I find that it is highly energizing for me.  It can help balance hormones which is especially important for both men & women as they approach middle age. 

Mucuna Pruriens is my second choice because of it’s ability to help elevate one’s mood. If I were stranded on an island I think I might feel a lot of tension from fear and loneliness. Macuna Pruriens can soothe the nervous system and elevate your mood. It takes the edge off and supports your overall well being.  I can just see myself now, cracking open some coconuts and making aMYLK elixirs with a big smile on my face sitting on a sandy beach somewhere. Yes.  I would be just fine.

What is your morning ritual? 

Journaling.  My life is very full.  With four children ages 8-16 and a start-up company the ONLY me time is very early in the morning and this is sacred time for me. My children all know that if they wake up and mommy is writing, they need to let me be.  It is in this space that I remember who I am and connect with my soul and decode all the daily occurrences that life presents to me as opportunities for growth.  This is where I speak to God.

How do you honor your feminine body? 

I have a lot of Venus in me and I don’t diminish it for anyone.  We are really funny in America about our attitudes toward sexuality and sensuality. On the one hand we are bombarded by media to be sexy and to look amazing, and then on the other hand we are not supposed to “show off” or be too sensual or we might give people the wrong idea.  What if we could just BE without SEEMING to be anything at all? I have come to love, cherish and celebrate my femininity. I let my hips sway when I walk because I am a woman! I’m proud of my curves and how I feel when I own them.  In a world of Yang, it feels good to let myself be Yin. 

Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

I am a joy seeker. “Seek Joy” is the number one tenet of my life. In everything I do, I aim to feel joyful.  I have found that happiness isn’t the destination, it is the journey. It is following the trail of breadcrumbs which are the tiny sparkles of joy in life that lights me up. I try to follow the tiny sparkles every day. I smell the flowers. I read. I hike. I make aMYLK smoothies. I swim in waterfalls & I travel as often as I can. I do these things for the simple reason that they bring me joy.  When I feel joyful, I light myself up and I radiate the world with my happiness.  I have designed my life so that even the things I have to do, I feel pretty happy to do.  At a minimum, I aim to feel grateful, because even things that seem hard, painful and challenging have purpose in our lives. It has taken some time for me to realize this. LOL.  

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

Let love lead.  

About Amy:

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Amy Colville is the Owner and Chief Joy Seeker at aMYLK, a plant-based mylk company located in Portland Oregon. A  mama of four, former collegiate soccer player and lifetime entrepreneur, Amy now finds her bliss making and delivering the world's best plant mylk.

Goddess of the Month: Alyssa Melody of Root & Bones

When I was pondering the idea of starting a blog, one of the things I knew I wanted to do was honor kick-ass women. A huge part of my platform is honoring and uplifting women, giving tools to help them live their best lives and feel good in their bodies. So here marks the first monthly "Goddess of the Month." I could not be more thrilled about this interview:

On a super hot Summer afternoon I sat down with my iced cold brew to interview Alyssa Melody of Root & Bones. I was drawn to her and her company for so many different reasons. Her high quality herbs and mushrooms are truly some of the best I have come across. They are high vibration and affordable. Since discovering Root & Bones, I have used them every single day and sometimes multiple times a day :). Alyssa is truly an amazing woman. She knows her stuff, she has passion for what she does, she is connected, conscious, grounded and is unapologetically herself.  I could have talked with her all afternoon. Check out what she had to say below and don't forget to hop on over to my instagram @bodyblisslife for a fun giveaway!

What inspired you to start your company?

I was truly inspired by the herbs themselves. I started using them during acupuncture school to help deal with the stress of a 3 1/2 yr Masters program. I was really focused on finding things that were going to keep me sane, healthy and keep my mind at ease. I dove right into tonic herbs. It was love at first sip. I've been taking them for over a decade now, and am so grateful to them for transforming me. What made me want to offer them as a product is that it is a way of reaching more people than I can just reach my my acupuncture practice. Its a simple, and effective way to increase your daily routine into something that can benefit body, mind and soul. 

Why tonic herbs/adaptogens/mushrooms?

Society is stressed out beyond belief. We have the fight or flight instinct for a historical reason, but we react the same way whether we are thinking about our 401k or if we are in a traffic jam and someone is honking at us. We are deteriorating because there is such a host of symptoms that come from stress. In Chinese medicine when we give herbs they are very specific to the person and condition, whereas these adaptogens are good for everyone.

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why?

My Grandma. She is a kick ass little lady. She  just lives her life the way she wants to. She is a no-apologies kind of lady. 

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two adaptogens with you, which two would you choose and why?

I would take Reishi. It is the first one I tried and is the most well known for calming the nervous system down. He Shou Wu to keep my skin moist on this hot island. 

What is your morning ritual?

I do lemon water, chlorophyll, stretching, breathing and then make a bomb-ass coffee adaptogen drink. I try to drink it outside no matter what the weather is to have that time in nature and get started with my day. I try to do most of movement in the morning: Walk in the woods, weight lifting or stretching. I love doing that in the morning.

How do you honor your feminine body?

Movement and dancing around. It doesn’t have to be a certain kind of music. I could get down to Enya or Rihanna. Giving myself acupuncture every week is something that really helps me reconnect with my body and get out of my mind. I also think its really important to masturbate, even if it’s not even a sexual drive, its more just loving on the yoni. 

Where do you find Bliss in your life?

Nature!  I grew up in Oakland in a cement warehouse. My brother and I shared a room with no window to the outside. I feel like my childhood was deeply deprived of nature. I feel so invigorated and inspired by nature which is one of the reasons I live in Arcata. Being around thousand year old redwood trees is incredibly humbling. Any stressful day I can go into the woods and feel like better. Almost everything starts to feel trivial when you are in nature. It puts things into perspective I love it and I love being alone in it. It is where I get some of my best thinking done. 

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Iced Root & Bone Rooibos Latte

  • 1 cup strongly brewed rooibos tea
  • 1/2 cup nut milk
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 T coconut butter
  • 1 tsp R&B Reishi
  • 1 tsp R&B Cordyceps
  • 1 tsp R&B He Shou Wu
  • 1 tsp local honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Blend in a high speed blender and pour over ice.

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Don't forget to use "bodybliss" at www.rootandbones.com for 15% off your order