self care

Interview: Lindsey Wilson of Owl Venice

Happy Monday! This interview is long overdue. I reached out to Lindsey of Owl Venice several months ago asking if she would be interested in doing an interview for the blog. I feel like what her and her partner are doing in the wellness world is long overdue and so needed. In an industry that prides itself in empowering women in honoring and loving their bodies all the while telling us we constantly need this pill, this cleanse, this powder and this cream, it can be very confusing and intimidating. Lindsey has created a food based cleanse that is all about deeply nourishing your body, listening to what it needs and loading it up with nutrients. Its a bone broth and smoothie based cleanse with adaptogens and superfoods that help to heal your gut, nourish your body and leave you feeling connected to yourself. The best part about it? They have a completely vegan option (no need for the vegs to feel left out on all the nutrients a broth based cleanse can offer). This is a “cleanse” this holistic health coach can get on board with. If you are intrigued by this concept, use code BODYBLISS for a discount HERE.

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Lindsey, thank you for taking the time to so truthfully answer these questions. Welcome to the Body Bliss Family!

What inspired you to create your own business?

I've always wanted to start my own business, and this wasn't my first. My other attempts, I lost interest before it caught on. The broth really came to me, while I was on my own healing journey, and the business really created itself. It helped me so much that my friends and family took notice. I made a big batch for a friend of a friend, and had some left over jars, so I put up a post on Facebook and got 100 orders in a week. I went and bought some big pots and just went with it. It's been a challenge ever since, making sure that I'm dictating the tempo, and not the business.


Why Cleanses?

I created the cleanse to help heal my own digestive issues. I was inspired by the all liquid concept of a cleanse, but wanted to create something that would be nourishing, and not depleting, and also void of sugar and any common allergens. I was inspired to create something colorful and flavorful, despite all the restrictions. I was inspired by Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, as well as chronobiology. It really is a research-based program I designed to reboot the digestive system. 

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

My grandmother! She is the epitome of grace. I always felt like I could share anything with her without judgement, and that's how I hope people feel with me. 

What is your current favorite song to move to?

Matt Simmons, Catch & Release. Andre and I both love dancing to this song! 

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

Having a clear vision, and an action oriented plan to achieve is so important! To get clear on my vision, I do a lot of feeling into the way I want to feel, journaling, and getting in touch with my ultimate desires. I envision my ideal life and put myself in it. Then, I research how to make it happen, how much do these things cost, what will I need to get there, find other people doing it, ask them questions, and put it out into the universe that this is what I desire and I will find a way to make it happen! I write things down over and over again, make to-do lists, and to-contact lists, and remain open to my plans changing, and things looking differently than I envisioned at the same time.

What is your morning ritual?

My fiance, Andre, usually wakes up before I do and prepares hot water with lemon while I meditate. I usually meditate for 11 minutes, then I stretch a little bit, and drink my lemon water while I slowly start moving. Then, prepare food for the dogs and make myself a morning coffee or tonic before I prepare my workspace for the day. I usually dive right into emails, get into the flow, and save my workout for 4pm when we typically wind down the work day. 

How do you honor your feminine body?

I move slowly in the mornings. I get manicures and take baths. I stick to light workouts when I'm on my moon cycle. I try to get my heart rate up every day. I allow myself to feel whatever I'm feeling. 

Where do you find Bliss in your life?

I find bliss in my relationship (we're currently planning our wedding and it is so fun!), also in growing this business (so rewarding growing this community and fostering healing and connection), in cuddling & adventuring with our sweet pups (kismet & karma), the days I'm able to make it to a yoga class, and spending time in nature!

What does self-care mean to you?

Self care means loving yourself! It means taking the time to honor your body and get quiet enough to listen to your intuition. It means putting your needs first, and creating healthy boundaries for yourself and the people you choose to keep in your life.

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

You're stronger than you think! Too often I see women second guess themselves, especially in business and relationships. Just move forward, and you're bound to figure it out. Don't assume anyone knows better than you, and also know that there's opportunity to learn from everyone.

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Bio:

Founder, Lindsey Erin’s journey to health began 6 years ago, when her mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Despite the challenge of supporting a sick loved one, the event inspired Lindsey to take control of her own health and began research how to minimize the risk of disease through good dietary choices.

After years of experimenting with organic, vegetable rich regimens that strictly limited meat and processed foods, she found herself still struggling with constant allergy symptoms, digestive issues, and acne. Inspired by her research and peers, Lindsey began a diet geared to treat GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) which largely incorporated bone broth. Lindsey began making her own bone broth at home that was void of common allergens and instead highlighted a vast array of herbs, refining the recipe to one that taste more like a tea than a traditional stock, which would become OWL’s signature flagship product.

One year after launching OWL, Lindsey met fellow health enthusiast and fitness expert, Andre Bolourchi. This dynamic duo joined forces upon meeting, and are now growing OWL together.

OWL currently offers chicken, turkey, beef, and vegan mineral broth elixirs that are sold throughout LA county (see locations here), as well as 4, 6, and 8 day cleanse experiences that work to heal and seal the gut, as well as meal prep, holistic catering, and physical training services. 

As more people discover the benefits of using OWL products, Lindsey & Andre will continue innovating, exploring and sharing new ways to live better with those looking to transform.

How I've learned to cope with anxiety

This post has been a long time coming. I often get messages from people via instagram asking me if I deal with anxiety and if so, how do I cope. I thought it would be most beneficial to write it all down in one place. 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am speaking from my own experience and providing tips in hopes that it will help someone. If you deal with severe anxiety and anxiety attacks and feel it is interfering with your life, please reach out to a mental health professional. 

The short answer is, YES! I do have anxiety. Is it all the time? No. Is it more than the average person? Maybe. I remember being a very young child, maybe 2 or 3 and telling my mom I had a "funny feeling in my tummy." Looking back, I realize that was anxiety. The way it manifests may have changed throughout the years, but I have lived with anxiety most of my life. As a result, I have collected different tools and ways to cope that have helped immensely. I still deal with anxiety: Some days are better than others and sometimes I am freaking out inside when I look like I have it together on the outside. It's not about perfection, but progress and helping yourself to feel grounded and safe. 

Anxiety comes in so many forms and with so many different names. It can range from butterflies in your stomach to being doubled over, not being able to breath and feeling like you're having a heart attack and everywhere in between.

Figuring out the why can be helpful, but it can also engage the mind and make things worse. For me, if I can track the trigger, then I immediately know the why. This doesn't come as easy for everyone. If you find your mind racing to find the why, then maybe that doesn't matter in the moment. That is when I will start with my first suggestion...

Meditation and Breathwork:

For me, my anxiety is the worst when I am not in my body. When my mind goes to worst case scenario and I start to future trip like I'm getting paid. This is where I use my yogic training to get back into my body and bring me into the present. The first thing I do is either sit in a chair with my feet flat on the floor or in a crosslegged position on the floor. Place your palms face down on your thighs. I take 5 deep breaths (as deep as I can get). The intention is to make each breath longer then the previous. I then do a body scan from my toes to the top of my head. Checking in with each part of my body and bringing myself fully into the present moment in my body. If I'm still feeling anxious after this, I will do some spine circles or cat cows and I will mentally chant the words "Sat" (pronounced saht) on the inhale and "nam" (pronounced nahm) on the exhale. "Sat" means truth and "nam" means name or identity so you are connecting with your true identity. It is impossible for your mind to focus on more than one thought at a time so focusing on a simple mantra (you could even use "let" on inhale and "go" on exhale) will keep you focused just on that and hopefully help to relieve some of the anxiety

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Move your body and get outside:

For me, exercise has been one of the biggest components in helping me to cope with my anxiety. Hard cardio works best for me, but sometimes just getting outside for a walk, breathing the fresh air and feeling the circulation moving in my body does the trick as well. When I get a good sweat in 3-5 times a week, overall my anxiety is significantly better the on weeks when I just don't get it in. It really doesn't matter how you move your body, it's just important that you move. On days when I just don't have the time, I will get out for just a 10 minute walk or hop on my rebounder for a few minutes just to move the stuff around. When endorphins are released, it interacts with receptors in your brain that reduce pain and trigger a positive feeling in your body that is similar to morphine. Have you have done a really hard workout and halfway through start crying for no reason? Its because your body is moving emotion that has been stuck. I find that stuck emotion causes anxiety so get your body moving and move it regularly!

Journaling:

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Having a place to put your anxious thoughts is powerful. There are three ways we move emotion through out body: breath, sound and movement. Journaling is considered movement as you are moving your hand to get the words out. When our minds get the best of us, sometimes the best thing, for me, is to sit down and let it ALL out on paper. Without judging myself or editing myself. All the dirty, ugly, neurotic, catastrophic thoughts. There is nobody there to judge you or tell you you're wrong. There is nobody there to tell you you are too much or that you need to "calm down." It can all come out on those pieces of paper and when you are done you can close it up, put it somewhere safe and move on. If those thoughts come back, you go back and write some more. You write until you have nothing more to write.

Journaling has always been one of my most powerful tools. One of my favorite exercises to do it to grab 4-5 different colors pens and start writing on one page. I then write horizontally, diagonally, words over other words. When you're done you are left with a beautiful mess of colors and I always feel lighter. 

Products that help:

For me, managing my anxiety has been a lifestyle change. One of self care, checking in with myself, meditating, exercising and listening to what my body needs. I am going to share a few supplement and products that I have found to be very helpful. 

Ashwagandha: 

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic adaptogen (an herb that helps the body adapt to stress) used to strengthen the adrenal and nervous system. It has a wonderful calming effect. In a study, ashwagandha was used in place of lorazepam and found to be just as effective as the prescriptions drug. My favorite brand of ashwagandha is Sun Potion. This company tests three times throughout the process for toxins and heavy metals (which are common in things grown in India and China). They are also certified organic and has been most effective, for me. I simply put it into my morning drink and enjoy. 

Reishi:

Reishi is a functional mushroom and is also an adaptogen. It is known as the Queen of Plants. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. When used regularly, the mushrooms effects build in the body and can be quite effective. My husband says that he feels the effects of reishi immediately and that it works better than anything else he has tried. In studies it has been shown to effectively reduce anxiety with 4 to 6 weeks of regular use. It can also combat depression and fatigue. The only reishi I use is from Root and Bones. Use code "bodyblisslife" for a discount. 

Rescue Remedy:

This is a product I have been using as long as I can remember. My mom always had a vial (or 5) of it. It's a homeopathic remedy and it truly works. If you feel an anxiety attack coming on or just have that low grumble of butterflies in your stomach, you take a few droppers full and within a few minutes start to feel the calming effects. Since then, the company has released several other Rescue Remedy infused products. If you can't do alcohol (as it is alcohol based), the pastilles are a good alternative. They even have a sleep formula. 

Integrative Therapeutics Lavela:

These little lavender pills have changed the game for me. I keep a strip of them in my purse and as soon as i feel anything come on, I pop one in my mouth. Within 20 minutes, I feel a sense of calm wash over me. When I'm having a hard time, I will take one each morning preventatively. I am so grateful I found these and that they have made their way into my life. I have recommended them to several clients and they all report back that they work. They also give you a lovely essence of lavender in your mouth. :)

Plant Therapy "Worry Free":

This lovely essential oil blend has all the properties to relax the body and mind. I love to use it before meditating, before bed, in the morning or whenever I am feeling a little anxious. I place several drops in the palm of my hand, run my hands together to warm it up and then cup my hands around my nose taking several deep inhales. I take the remaining oil and rub it on the back of my neck, my chest and inside my wrists. 

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Anxiety is different for everybody. Learning to cope with or live with it is a journey and may look different from person to person. These are just a few things I have found to be effective and lasting. I still deal with anxiety, but I have found a good self care system that works for me. Recognizing when it's coming on and knowing what will be best for me to help calm and ground myself. Sometimes I do all of these things and sometimes a simple walk in the fresh air helps. I hope that you find these suggestions helpful and, as always, if you have any questions please leave a comment or email me. 

 

Oil Pulling 101: What is it and why you should be doing it

Lets talk oil pulling! One of my favorite Ayurvedic practices.

Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique used to cure many ailments and to disinfect the mouth. It is between 3000-5000 years old. I have been oil pulling for about 6 years now and it has made a huge difference. In fact, the last time I went to my dentist he asked me what I was doing and told me not to tell anybody about it because it would put him out of business (can I get an amen!)

Like many Ayurvedic and Eastern philosophies and traditions, they have come to the west and been modified. This isn't always a bad things, but part of what makes these ancient techniques so effective is because they have been practiced for centuries in the same way. There is a science behind them that can't be argued with. 

I wanted to provide breakdown of exactly what oil pulling is, how to do it and the benefits. Like many eastern traditions that comes to the west, there seems to be a lot of incorrect information out there. People who have read about it once and decided they are going to change it (which is fine, but there is a lack of understanding on why it is done a certain way). 

What the heck is it?:

Oil pulling is the process of taking a tablespoon of oil in your mouth (traditionally un-toasted and unrefined sesame oil, but you can also use unrefined coconut oil) and swishing (or "pulling" the oil between your teeth) for 15 to 20 minutes (yes, you HAVE to do it for this long, I will explain in a bit). Spitting the oil out and then brushing your teeth. In Ayurveda (as well as most eastern philosophies) a lot of what is going on with our health reflects in our mouth and on our tongue. Good oral health=good overall health.

Things you need to know:

  • Needs to be done on an empty stomach (best done first thing in the morning before your brush your teeth)
  • DO NOT swallow the oil as once it is swished it is loaded with toxins from your body. 
  • Rinsing and brushing your teeth after pulling will help to remove any remnants
  • 20 minutes seems like a really long time, but I make it a part of my morning practice. When I wake up, its the first thing I do. I hop in the shower and get dressed all while pulling. By the time I'm dressed and start to do my face it is time to spit.
  • If your jaw is hurting while you are swishing, you are swishing too vigorously. You want it to be a gentle and slow swish.

Why 20 minutes?

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The technology behind oil pulling is that it mixes with the enzymes in your saliva to pull the toxins our of your blood. It takes the 20 minutes for this to happen. So if you only swish for 10 minutes you are probably getting the benefit of whiter teeth (which I understand, is one of the reasons people do it), but you are missing out on so many other amazing benefits!

What's the Point?

There are A LOT of health claims behind oil pulling. While I cannot attest to it "curing" anything, I can tell you what it has done for me. I originally began oil pulling because my teeth had become extremely and increasingly sensitive due to receding gums caused by grinding my teeth. It was to the point that I was using a prescription toothpaste (which was so gross and loaded with all sorts of chemicals that are not good for you). My teeth were so sensitive that it hurt when I smiled and cool breeze touched them. A friend of mine mentioned oil pulling so I went home and began my research. I started  every day for 20 minutes. I made it part of my morning sadhana (practice). Within 3 days, the sensitivity in my teeth had gone down significantly. I also started to notice my skin becoming clearer, some digestive issues being resolved and, overall, feeling more energized. An added bonus is that people were asking if I had my teeth professionally whitened! While I truly don't believe in a quick fix, I was seriously impressed with the outcome. While I no longer oil pull every day (usually 3-4 times a week), it is still a part of my regular routine and I am very grateful for it. Below is a list of benefits oil pulling claims:

  • Promotes oral hygene
  • Reduce Headaches
  • Increase Energy
  • Decrease teeth senstivity
  • Promotes Healthy Skin
  • Helps with digestive issues
  • Detoxes the body

Since I began oil pulling regularly, I have noticed some pretty amazing shifts in my body. Honestly, if the only thing it did was make my teeth sensitivity go away, I was sold. This is not to say that everybody will have the same experience. This was mine and I wanted to share it as it has been a really great tool for continuing to learn new things about my body. If you haven't tried it and are curious, check it out. You've got nothing to lose. If you have tried it and have a success story, please share. I believe in creating a community where we can share our successes and discuss our different opinions. Happy pulling!

Resources:

  • I like to use Napa Valley Organics Sesame Oil which is cheapest from Thrive Market
  • This is the website I have referred people to for years. Its a great resource for oil pulling- http://www.oilpulling.com/

Self Care During the Holiday Season

Self Care can be challenging any time of year, but it can be extra challenging around the holidays. Holidays are not particularly easy for a lot of people. They bring up core issues, sadness and depression. There is also a pressure to buy the right gifts, make the right meals and to look a certain way. It is, sometimes, all too much.  I personally, love the holidays but also feel the stress of the season so here is my guide for self-care from now through January 1st.

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Meditate:

was given the gift of mediation at a very young age. I realize that it does not come as easy for everybody. Even if it is just a quick 3 minutes meditation every day. Take a moment to sit in a quite place, close your eyes and breathe deeply. If you have more time, that is wonderful, but 3 minutes is just long enough to connect and reset. I like to practice the alternating nostril breath. To do this plug your right nostril with the middle finger of your left hand and inhale to the count of 8. Hold for a few moments and then plug your left nostril with your thumb and exhale. For more information on this meditation click HERE.

 

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Make good food choices:

This can be tricky as the "right" foods are different for everyone. What I mean by this, is to eat as much of a whole food diet as you can. Especially this time of year our bodies crave warming foods like winter squash, root vegetables, dark leafy greens, whole grains, beans etc. I like to batch cook roasted vegetable and grains so that I can throw together a quick bowl when I'm hungry instead of going to those convenience foods that don't make me feel very good (let's be real, I have an addiction to boxed macaroni and cheese). These foods will not only make your body feel good, but will also keep you grounded and balanced around all the chaos of the season. Learning to listen to your body is a learning curve. For example; usually when  you are craving sugar (yes, you may have a sugar addiction, but that's a conversation for another time), your body is actually craving protein. Try eating a slice of organic cheese, an egg or some baked tofu. It will typically curb the craving. When that doesn't do the trick I will eat a date with almond butter, a piece of organic dark chocolate or a homemade goodie made without refined sugar. My philosophy this time of year is to eat really well 85% of the time and to indulge the other 15%. The reality is that there is no point in completely restricting yourself from all the things you love, but the constant over indulgence isn't healthy either. There is a balance and it's important to find which balance is for you. The whole mentality of "the diet starts Monday" is not healthy. It creates an anxiety around your food with effects your digestion and the way your body takes it in. Try to give yourself permission to enjoy what you eat and not guilt trip yourself. At the end of the date, eat the pie, have some roasted vegetables and go to sleep, you're gonna be ok!

 

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Attitude of Gratitude:

No matter how busy I am, I always take time to write down 5 things I am grateful for each day. Not only does this put life into perspective, but it also makes you stop and think about how much you actually have. We can get so caught up in all the things we want and not have appreciation for what we already have in front of us. It's powerful to recognize those things and send out grateful energy. Not only does it feel good to do this, but it also cultivates more positive energy in your life.  Why is this in my self-care for the holidays post? Because self-care isn't always about taking a bath or eating a cookie, it's also about connecting with yourself, honoring your body and creating an awareness of what you need. On the flip side, it is also ok to journal about all the things that are effecting you. Journal it out. Write about your frustration and your stresses and then set intention to surrender or release (if you're ready) and if you're not that is ok too. Self-compassion is a hard thing to learn, but it is of utmost importance. Learning to not be so hard on yourself will truly have a huge impact on your life. 

 
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Move Your Body: 

 

Whether it is getting outside for a walk, doing 15 minutes of yoga, getting some cardio in or just putting on a song and dancing your heart out, MOVE YOUR BODY! There is so much science and research about the effects exercise not only has on the body but on the brain. It is an incredible anti-depressant, lifts your spirit, strengthens your body and releases toxins. On an energetic level it also shakes all the shit off. So if you're feeling super low, get that body moving and sweat it out. You don't have to run 3 miles for it to be effective, just do something that gets your blood circulating and your heart rate up. Most importantly, don't beat yourself up if a day goes by and you don't move. Just start again tomorrow. 

 

 

The Holiday season should be something that in enjoyed. It should be spent with the people you love and enjoy spending time with. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. This is the time of year when you really need to put your mental health before anything else. Take a bath at the end of the day, read a book that brings your joy, eat foods that nourish your body, but that also taste delicious. It's so important to take time each day to connect with yourself. Connect with what is stressing you out and causing you anxiety and see if there is something you can do about it. Try to stay present in the moment, BE IN YOUR BODY and breathe. If this post does nothing more then give women the permission to take care of themselves and be a little selfish,  then I have done my job. 

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