I meditated every day for a month… here’s what happened.

I meditated for a month.. Here's what happened | The Organic Beauty Blog

About 6 years ago, after many failed attempts, I decided I was finally going to learn to meditate.  I had tried so many times before, with no success (or so I thought).  I was convinced that I just wasn’t the type of person that could meditate.  But being a generally anxious person, prone to a heightened stress response, I knew I had to give it another go.  So I signed up for a free online 28 day meditation series led by two people I loved (from a distance, at least): Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey.  Not too shabby a combo, right?

After much a frustrating first two weeks, which felt like me “meditating” meant sitting there trying not to think about all the shit on my mind, but then thinking about it anyway, and realizing that I just spent 10 minutes thinking about my to-do list…. le sigh.  But then, suddenly, I turned a corner.  A little over two weeks in, I suddenly realized that had turned a corner. I was able focus on my breath and the mantra for longer, bring myself back from distractions faster, and finally reap the benefits of meditation.

Though I’ve done several Meditation Challenges since then, and meditated on my own sporadically, I have not had a solid one month streak in many years, certainly not since becoming a mama. So with the mounting stressors over the last few months of being a work-from-home mom with a strong-willed, precocious toddler, starting an intensive year-long Ayurvedic practitioner program, and starting a new business with my husband (more on that later), I was starting to feel my meditation practice calling to me again.

My neck and shoulders were perpetually tight, I was feeling bouts of anxiety, my patience with my kid and husband was dwindling, and I felt like I was developing much more of a temper than I would like.  Something had to change.

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How to get through the rest of winter

How to get through the rest of winter | The Organic Beauty BlogAs we head into this final stretch of winter, we all seem to be getting a little fed up with the cold and the havoc it can wreak on our bodies and minds.  I moved all the way across the country from New York to sunny Santa Monica to escape winter, and even here, in the temperate 60 degree winter temperature range, my feet are cold, I’m sipping hot tea all day long, and I’m pretty much living in my long, chunky knits.

Cold weather, even Santa Monica-style cold weather, can dry us out, stress us out, make us feel depressed and unmotivated, and majorly hamper our glow factor.  But with a few Ayurvedic tips and tricks, we can heat things up, boost our mood and immunity, and get through the rest of winter with our glow on!

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The perfect oil for all your skin glazing needs

The Perfect Oil for Skin Glazing | The Organic Beauty BlogSPONSORED POST

Ok, confession time.  I am a lazy beauty addict.  As in, if a beauty routine is going to take me more than 5 minutes, I’m out.  So when skin glazing hit the world of beauty trends this last year, you know I was first in line to get on board.

For the uninitiated, skin glazing is the ultimate in effortless, lit-from-within, glowing beauty.  And best of all, it doesn’t involve contouring, caking on layer upon layer of makeup, sparkly pearlescent highlighters, or an hour of primping.  It’s basically the anti-makeup.. and guess what? You leave the house looking healthy, glowing, youthful, effortless, and decidedly UN-Kardashian.

Skin glazing is a simple, 2-3 step process:

  1. After cleansing and toning your skin, spritz with a natural face mist

  2. While skin is still wet, mix your moisturizer (preferably one with SPF) with an awesome natural face oil and press firmly onto your skin (don’t rub!)

  3. For added dewiness, add another spritz of your face mist before heading out.

Et voila.  You’re done.  No makeup, no highlighters, just gorgeous, glowing, healthy skin.  Amazing, right?  I haven’t worn a spot of makeup on my face (except for mascara, cuz girl you know I’m never leaving the house without that) in weeks.

The key to this magical formula, however, is a really good face oil.  Since you’re wearing so few products on your face, your face oil should do double (or triple!) duty as a antioxidant serum, anti-aging hydrator, and mega glow-inducer.  Luckily for us all, I’ve found just the thing!

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Food Labeling Guide: Organic, Grass-Fed, Free-Range, or Cage-Free?

Food Labeling Guide | The Organic Beauty BlogWhether or not to consume animal protein is a very personal decision.  We need to take into account out individual bodies, lifestyles, and ethics when deciding where we stand.  In my mid-20’s, I made the choice to become mostly vegetarian (or pescatarian, as it were– I ate fish every once in a while).  There were many factors that led to my decision — I was dating a vegan chef at the time who really opened my eyes to the ethics and health factors involved in my meat-eating lifestyle.  When I cut out animal protein, I felt so much healthier, lighter, even possibly happier. After about 6 years of my pescatarian lifestyle, I made the decision to start eating some animal protein again when I was pregnant.  I was craving it, and found that my pregnant body responded really well to some chicken once a week and a grass-fed burger once a month.  Obviously, being pregnant, I put a huge emphasis on only eating fresh, organic, non-GMO foods, and that applied even stronger to my animal protein choices.   But I was startled to discover that food labeling isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

One of the most common questions I get from my clients is about food labeling, especially when it comes to consuming animal products.  By now, we all know the problems with conventionally farmed meat and dairy (the hormones, antibiotics, inhumane practices, etc.), but with all the different varieties of “happy meat” out there, how do you know which is best?  Most people think that many common food labels are interchangeable — free-range is just another word for cage-free, right?  All that really matters is that it’s organic, right??  If I buy my meat or eggs at Whole Foods, it has to be ok, righhhht???  Turns out, wrong.

There are substantial differences in the stringency of regulations regarding all the common food labels.  For example, I was shocked to discover that “free-range” chickens need only have access to the outdoors, but there is no guarantee that they will actually spend any time free-ranging at all.  And did you know that wild-caught seafood is not always better than farmed?

To make the healthiest choices for our selves, our families, and our planet, we need to be armed with knowledge about what exactly we are putting in our bodies.  Below is my simple, straight-forward food labeling guide to help you pick the best foods to put on your table.

So what do I choose for myself and my family?

Always organic and non-GMO everything, especially animal protein.  We eat free-range organic chicken a few times a week, wild caught Alaskan salmon or Pacific Dover Sole once or twice a week, and pasture-raised eggs maybe 2-3 times a week.  The majority of our diet is still plant-based.  I’m not going to lie, I still struggle with eating animal protein and feeding it to our kid (we decided to include some animal protein in her diet due to some growth issues and food sensitivities that limited her protein options).  I imagine once our little one is a bit older, we’ll all go back to our old pescatarian ways.  But for now, I can feel confident that I am minimizing the impact our choices are having on our health and the planet by picking the healthiest and cleanest foods we can.

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What you can do in your 30’s to look (and feel) better in your 40’s


They say 40 is the new 30, and we think it’s by design; with a slew of new health and beauty boosters available that are backed by science and nature, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t look and feel your best as you get older. If you’re savvy about it — which you are, since you’re reading this! — you can take a few simple steps in your 30s to ensure that you feel like you’re in your prime at age 40 and beyond. Here’s what you can do to look and feel great in your 40s.

What you can do in your 30's to look (and feel) better in your 40's | The Organic Beauty Blog

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Toddler Travel Must-Have’s and Tips

Toddler Travel Must-Haves | The Organic Beauty Blog

Traveling with a toddler is definitely no picnic (sometimes even bordering on a downright horror show), but with some solid planning and the right gear, the experience can be somewhat enjoyable (or at least not harrowing). We’ve traveled a ton with our munchkin, pretty much since she was a few months old (for my tips on traveling with babies, check out Must-Have’s and Tips for Airplane Travel with Baby), and I feel like we have toddler travel down to a science by now.  Granted, every kid is different, but most toddlers need the same basic stuff to stay happy and engaged during a long flight — food, lots of fun activities, and yes, a screen (if you’re willing to go there).  Hopefully our extensive list of toddler travel tips and must-have’s will help you keep your little occupied and happy (not to mention healthy!), and will help keep YOU sane!

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The Organic Beauty Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 | The Organic Beauty Blog

Without being too heavy handed and preachy, I like to give gifts that inspire happiness and health, that stay true to my values of sustainability, social consciousness, and wellness.  Kind of a tall order, eh? Well if you share any of those values, or just want to give your friends and family gifts that will help them live their best lives in the coming year, I’ve done all the work for you.  From the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the play mat, our holiday gift guide features my top picks for gifts that will inspire, simplify, and bring joy to those you love!

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Why I’m Embracing Minimalism This Holiday Season.. And Beyond

Embracing Minimalism This Holiday Season  |  The Organic Beauty BlogAnyone who knows me know that, at my core, I am anything but a minimalist.  Historically, I keep everything —  I have clothes, jewelry, notebooks, diaries, and trinkets dating as far back as elementary school.  I love stuff — I have stockpiles of unopened journals, stacks of books I’ve never read, and storage boxes full of trinkets, decorative items and pillow covers for seasonally swapping out.  I love to shop, I love presents, I love information, and I love options.  Needless to say, embracing minimalism does not come naturally to me.

But as I’ve gotten older (or, shall we say, more mature), and more tuned deeper into the wants and needs of my soul, I’ve begun to realize that not only does more stuff not lead to more happiness, but quite to the contrary, it leads to more anxiety, more distraction, and more physical and mental clutter.

Those of us with kids know that parenthood only exacerbates this phenomena.  Having children seems to mean an endless accumulation of clutter — physical, mental, emotional. I felt this keenly shortly after little M was born, and I slowly began the process of KonMari-ing my life (for the uninitiated, that is the Japanese art of decluttering your life and paring down your possessions to simply things that bring you joy.. It’s the best thing ever.  Even GOOP says so).  I’ve donated and sold mountains of clothes, books and jewelry that didn’t bring me joy; I’ve thrown away stacks of old papers and notebooks; I’ve allowed my (super minimalist) husband to throw away long-kept household items that were broken, old, or otherwise no longer useful.  It has felt great.  Liberating.  Clarifying.

But then the holidays roll around.  Between the shopping, wish list creating, decorating, cooking, and celebrating, it’s so easy to forget why less stuff equals more happiness, more calm, and a happier family.  So I am pausing my perusal of 12 Days of Deals on Amazon to remind myself (and hopefully inspire one or two of you!) of why I’m embracing minimalism, especially at this time of year.

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The Easiest, Prettiest Holiday Photos You’ve Ever Done

Minted Holiday Photo | The Organic Beauty Blog

Growing up, we were never a holiday photo card family.  With the exception of school photos, we never had any professional photos taken — as a Russian-Jewish family, it just wasn’t something that was done.  Secretly, I always envied our American family friends around the holidays — those adorable family photo cards that we received, with the little updates on the goings-on of the year just seemed like such a special way to celebrate family milestones and share holiday cheer with friends.

Now that we have our own little family, I finally have the opportunity to partake in this distinctly American holiday tradition, and every year since our little one was born, we’ve created our holiday cards with Minted. I love their beautiful designs, ranging from minimal and modern to traditional and glitzy; I love how easy the cards are to customize; and I especially love the awesome perks, like free address labeling and maintaining a digital address book.

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How to Fight Dry Skin This Fall

How to Fight Dry Skin This Fall | The Organic Beauty Blog

This time of year, a natural drying out tends to take place.  The air is dryer and cooler, we sweat less, and our skin is more sensitive to the temperature fluctuations indoors as well.  I, personally, go from having dewy, glowing summer skin to having dull, dry skin in a matter of weeks once fall hits (that is, if I don’t follow my own advice below!).

Even though many of us on the coasts have been enjoying an autumnal heat wave, it’s not too soon to autumn and winter-proof your skincare routine, to prevent and treat dry skin before it get’s bad.

Here are my 5 steps and fave products to fight dry skin and keep it hydrated, glowing, and gorgeous, even as the temperature drops!

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