Rituals - Medea Juhasz

 

Founder of Catalyst Gold

 

 
 
 
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My last ritual of the day is...

"I love to nourish my skin applying one of my favorite Leahlani face masks before I go to bed. I usually read for 20-30 minutes and sip on roasted dandelion tea. A 5-minute reflection and meditation right before I go to sleep always helps me to wind down."

 
 

Learn More

Catalyst Gold

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Kids in the Kitchen

Written by Erika Bloom | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

 
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When Erika Bloom offers to cook, we drop everything and go. The wellness expert and founder of Erika Bloom Pilates knows a thing or two about making delicious, nutritious meals, and like everything she does, executes her recipes in a way that is as fun as it is inspiring. Callum joined Erika’s children to make a family friendly meal featuring fresh vegetables and yummy superfoods. In her own words, she details how to encourage healthy eating in a way that kids will understand and enjoy.

 
 

Like all of my wellness practices, healthy eating is integrated into my life. I believe that part of why my kids find joy in healthy eating is because I they see my passion about finding nourishment from delicious and healing food. 

My son and daughter take even more pleasure in what we’re eating when they get to help create the menus, prepare and cook our meals. It’s a time for us to connect, share stories, and laugh — and it’s also about making and eating beautiful fresh organic living foods that vitalize us. Whether your family is already eating healthy, or is desiring to establish more conscious habits, here are a few simple ideas for guiding your kids toward healthy choices in the kitchen.

 
 
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Teach Them Young

I believed my kids were never too young to be exposed to whole, delicious foods. Food awareness from a young age sets them up for a lifetime of making good decisions on their own when the time comes. As parents, we help set up the pattern for the rest of their lives.

Understand "The Why"

My kids are aware that healthy delicious foods sustain them. They know their brains and bodies are happier and better functioning as a result. Their moods stay stable because we’re making better choices, and their rewards are not based around food, but feeling good.

Make Healthy Food Available

I feel peace when I open my refrigerator and see a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. When the kids are hungry for a snack, they know to look in the fridge for cut up veggies and fruit. I know that whatever their choice is, it’s going to be a good one. 

 
 

Be Their Role Model

They see me meditating, using essential oils and eating well. I’m living it — and they naturally desire it. Your values are their values.

Involve Them

What happens in our kitchen is a family affair, as well as a sensory experience. They love washing, chopping, touching and tasting the bounty that nature has provided. They set out bowls, which we fill with an array of colorful, fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices. When everything is ready they design their plates. It’s like a painting for them.

 
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Go to the Source

My kids love picking out our produce at the market or the farm stand. In the summer, they put their hands in the earth and help me tend to the garden. We know where our food comes from, and talk about who else might have helped to bring it to us. All this, before it even enters our mouths. This connection and gratitude for what we’re eating increases our ability to digest and enjoy it.

 
 
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Give Them Choices

Kids love to feel like they have a say in the decision. Do you want snow peas or English peas? Carrots or broccoli? Parsley or cilantro? When they feel ownership they are more likely to participate. It also saves me from taking multiple dinners and everyone gets what they want.

Don't Give Up

The more exposure kids have to healthy foods, the more likely they are to try them. Always include new healthy options at meal times alongside some of their favorite foods. Sometimes my daughter says she’s not interested in a particular vegetable, but I keep it as an option and she always comes back around to it.

 
 
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Here’s a typical evening in our house, where my kids and I designed the menu. It’s based on our favorite healthy foods and letting them choose their own ingredients.

Menu

  • Organic Fruit Infused Water
  • Cauliflower Rice Bowls
  • Banana N’Ice Cream
  • Healthy Candy Bars
 

Organic Fruit Infused Water

 
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Ingredients

  • Filtered Water 
  • Oranges 
  • Lemons 
  • Strawberries 
  • Lemongrass 
  • Rosemary 
  • Mint
  • Ginger

Instructions

Let the kids choose ingredients to infuse in their water and have them help you cut them up. The kids can fill small water carafes with filtered water and add their own chosen fruit slices, herbs, and spices. Place the infused water in the fridge overnight or even just for 45 minutes while you’re cooking.

My daughter Anabella wanted strawberries and mint. My son Alexander preferred oranges and rosemary. Callum chose strawberries. They all made delicious choices and loved drinking them.

 

Cauliflower Rice Veggies Bowls

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Ingredients

  • 1 Head of cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut or sunflower oil
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup bone broth or vegetable stock 
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Add veggies according to preference: 

  • 1/2 head broccoli
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 cup English peas

Spices

  • Garam Masala 
  • Cumin 
  • Turmeric

Fresh herbs 

  • Cilantro 
  • Parsley 
  • Carrot Leaves

Seeds 

  • Pumpkin
  • Sunflower
  • Hemp hearts
     
 
 
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Instructions

Have the kids help to chop the cauliflower into tiny pieces after you remove stem and leaves. Let the kids crush the garlic cloves. Dice the shallot. Put the garlic and shallot in a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium low. Have the kids pour the bowl of shallots and garlic in the pan carefully and then stir until tender, about 6 minutes. Let the kids add the chopped cauliflower and season with salt. Mine love to use the salt grinder! They can then measure out, pour in and stir in the broth (Epic Artisanal is one of my favorites); steam covered until broth has evaporated and cauliflower is tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

 
 
 
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Let the children choose which combination of vegetables they want in their ‘rice’ and put them in a small bow. Make a pan for each child. In each pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium. Add remaining shallot; cook stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining garlic, ginger; cook 1 minute. Let the children pour their veggie bowl in to the pan and stir. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer cauliflower mixture to bowls and add vegetable mixture. Let the kids season with salt and then mix in their favorite toppings of herbs, spices, and seeds. My daughter loves cumin. My son loves garam masala. I use raw organic seeds. Lately my son and I have been adding radishes to finish as well. They’re delicious, as well as prebiotic.

 
 
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Banana N’Ice Cream

 

When I was young, my family spent summers in Mexico and we always drank ‘banana milkshakes’ which was just very ripe bananas in the blender. If you freeze the bananas in glass first, the Vitamix turns it into ice cream – then you don’t waste ripe fruit. Then we sometimes used coconut milk or goat milk, but now with my kids, we use almond milk (other non-dairy milk options work great too, depending on allergies and preference).

 
 
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Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas cut into chunks, frozen
  • splash of almond milk (or non dairy milk of choice)

Instructions

Let the children place the frozen bananas in the Vitamix and blend until texture of ice cream. You can eat it just like this or add a splash of almond milk.

You can also make gelato by using frozen berries with no milk. The kids choose a mix of blackberries, blueberries. My favorite is cherries.

Making your own almond milk is easy but an extra step. When purchasing almond milk, look for brands that don’t use gums, sugar and other additives. I personally love the unsweetened versions of New Barns organic almond milk.

 
 
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Healthy Candy Bar

I make these as a treat or to add in to the Banana ‘Ice Cream’ for variety.

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Ingredients

  • 100% cacao bar
  • 75-80% chocolate bar 
  • Pure ground almond butter
  • Choose among the following for add ins: 
  • Hemp hearts
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Raw chopped pumpkin seeds
  • Cacao nibs
  • Coconut flakes 
  • Unsweetened goji berries
 

Instructions

Melt the chocolate. Let the kids stir until smooth (they love this)! Let each child have their own small glass pan. Have them pour a thin layer of chocolate in. Everyone gets to choose their additional ingredients. Add a layer of seeds followed by a layer of almond butter, followed by another layer of toppings. Add a final layer of chocolate. Place in freezer until hardened and keep chilled until you’re ready to serve.

We break up the cacao bark and put it on top of the ice cream. I love Bonajuto 100 percent cacao bars for my version of the Healthy Candy Bar. For the kids I use 75-80 percent chocolate.

I find that the natural sweetness of almonds makes the chocolate bark taste sweet even though there’s little to no added sugar.

When purchasing nut butters, look for pure ground butters with no extra oils or sugar. MaraNatha Organic Raw Almond Butter is one that I love.

 
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Thank you Wild Dove, for documenting an evening of meal time at our house. I love watching the smiles on my kids faces from the time we start making the meal to the time their tummies are filled and calm. I can rest easy at the end of a long day, knowing that I’m nourishing them and myself with beautiful food, and we all get to enjoy the process.

 
 
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Rituals - Amy Shapiro

 

Founder of Real Nutrition

 
 
 
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My first ritual of the morning is...

"I ALWAYS wake up before the rest of my family to get my day started.  I need that time to myself to organize my thoughts and to get ready for the day ahead.  Mornings either consist of organizing and working OR heading out for a seriously early workout while everyone is still asleep at about 5:15 AM. Being outside in NYC at this hour is honestly one of my favorite things in the world. But, prior to either, I make my warm lemon water before I even change my clothes. I boil water, squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lemon into a large mug, add a dash of cayenne pepper and during allergy season (currently) I add a dropper full of Nettle Leaf. If I’m working at home I’ll drink it at my kitchen table while typing away in silence or I’ll put it in a Swell bottle (currently obsessed with the new wide mouth version) and I’ll take it to go.  Sometimes I’ll have two mugs but often I’ll change to black coffee post kid wake up or post workout. I’ve been known to travel with my own lemons too!"

 
 

Learn More

Real Nutrition

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For women especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Mama Doves

Written by A Wild Dove 

 
 
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One of the things we hope to build at A Wild Dove is a sense of community for both mamas and their children. The mamas we feature on the site all inspire us in one way or another, whether it’s their sense of humor, authenticity, or a no-holds-barred approach to their career or to wellness. These are mamas who roll up their sleeves and Get. It. Done. They walk the walk and talk the talk. To them, it isn’t  an effort, it’s part of life, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. These women embody everything we are about, living honest, enriching and well-lived lives. So in honor of Mother’s Day, we took a moment to ask some of our favorite mamas a question about motherhood and anything they wanted to share to help inspire all of us. They are truly our visions of rockstars and we are so proud of them, and all the mamas for doing it every single day.

 
 
 

Melissa Wood - Founder of Melissa Wood Health

 
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How has your son and now being pregnant for the second time, inspired your work?

This time around I've become less of a multitasker. When I'm with my son, I try to focus on being with him. When I'm in the office working, I focus on getting my work done. Being pregnant with a toddler has really taught me that less is more. I avoid over scheduling myself at all costs and find I'm so much more at peace when I don't have a chaotic schedule.

What is a piece of advice you’d give to new mamas?

Don’t pack too much in a day, pace it and enjoy fewer activities MORE.

 
 

Erika Bloom - Founder of Erika Bloom Pilates

 
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How have your children children inspired your work?

Some say that being a mom makes us expert multitaskers; but for me it has inspired the opposite. My children inspire me to be deeply present and truly focus on doing just what I am doing and being just where I am. This makes me a better more engaged mom as well as a better decision maker at work. I used to be always working but never getting it all done. Since having children this lesson of ‘mono tasking’ with clear and present focus has made me phenomenally efficient and productive; and it has increased my enjoyment in my job, in my personal life, and as a mom. 

 
 

Lynn Levoy - Founder of A Wild Dove

 
 
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How has Callum inspired A Wild Dove?

Having a child has shifted and taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I know it is our role as mamas to teach our children, but the reality is, Callum has taught me just as much. I am a better person in every way because of him. 

After he was born, my priorities changed. I always worked in fashion, and truthfully couldn’t have imagined I would have ever done anything else. But when I look back, I wasn’t REALLY happy...even though I thought I was. That wasn’t my true calling, but it was certainly part of the path that led me to the now. 

I started working on A Wild Dove, 3 years ago and launched it about a year and half ago. I had felt like something was missing from the market. Wellness had always been a huge part of my life, but more than ever it was my passion.  And then I started to ask WHY wasn’t anyone instigating this wellness conversation between mamas and their children.

Of course we are women with our own identities, but more than ever, we are so intertwined with our children. Our flexible jobs allow us to have more and different time with our kids than ever before. We can bring them with us to meetings, lunches, workouts and they get to experience all these very adult things at a young age. So I began to wonder  why isn’t anyone to speaking that? And how can we help our children to have the tools to better themselves, that we are so diligently working on for ourselves? If I HAD KNOWN something as simple as breathing when feeling overwhelmed at Callum’s age, I would have been in a very different place as a teenager and certainly as an adult.  And with this revelation... A Wild Dove was born. It has allowed me to combine all the things I love, but with a very new focus and different meaning. 

I feel beyond grateful and fortunate to have this opportunity to do something I love. And the best part is Callum is a huge part of this journey and I get to learn and be inspired by him everyday...

 
 

Bee Shapiro - Founder of Ellis Brooklyn, & New Your Times Writer & Author

 
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How have your daughters played a role in developing your line ?

I'm so much better at figuring out what really matters now. Before kids, I might get mired in the nitty gritty of everything, but since having my girls I'm much better at not letting my doubts get the better of me. That's something having kids really teaches you - that honestly, there are so many other things worth worrying about that if something doesn't meet your expectations absolutely, totally 100%, you're not going to obsess over it. That's not to say I don't still strive for lofty goals, but just that I'm much better at figuring out what is worth fighting for. 

What is a piece of advice you would give to new mamas?

Stop trying to micromanage details and have confidence in some imperfections.

 
 
 

Robyn Youkilis - Health Coach & Author

 
 
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How has a becoming a mama changed your perspective on your body and philosophy towards food and working out?

When my husband and I began talking about starting a family, I shifted my focus from “How skinny can I be?” to “How can I create the most ideal ‘home’ for my future baby to live in?” And then I had an aha moment - Our bodies are our homes, this is where we live. Shouldn’t we treat them right? I let go of trying to look a certain way. I slowed down even more at meal times and chewed my food completely before swallowing. I began to focus on the foods (and the activities) that made me feel my best. And guess what? The foods that made me feel and look my best were those deeply nourishing foods, the foods that pack the most bang for the nutritional buck, the foods that feed and balance the microbiome (aka your gut). Almost three years later I’m still thinking and eating this way.

 
 
 

Larissa Thompson - Co-Founder of ONDA Beauty

 
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Running one store in and of itself is a tremendous amount of hard work. Now with multiple locations opening, how do you balance it all with family?

It’s not always easy but I try to remind myself that I’m setting a good example of what you can achieve when you commit to something you believe in. Starting your own business, believing in yourself and taking risks are all important values I’d like to instill in my son. That all being said, I’m a big believer in balance and I’m always trying to find new ways to create the proper work and home life balance. It’s been a struggle for me to watch my husband filling in with things I used to do with Van more regularly. But I just can’t do everything I used to do. So I try to remind myself how lucky I am to know that my son has such a great father who is so engaged and I know he’s being looked after in the best ways possible. And I can’t forget that I have a genius business partner who is always working on the business and currently looking after everything in Sag Harbor while I’m here, so the fact that we can divide and conquer DEFINITELY  helps. Listening is so important. I make sure to always listen when Van is telling me something, really focus on what he’s saying instead of being five steps ahead. I do a dead halt and put all my energy into what he’s saying. As a tween there’s a lot of silence sometimes so when he does open up about anything, I don’t want to miss it! 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new mamas?

Aim for balance. Use the pockets of time wisely. Find subjects the kids truly love and learn about those. And when you fail, move on and don’t give up.

 

Rituals - Dr. Lamees Hamdan

 

Founder of Shiffa

 
 
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My first ritual of the morning is...

"the breath of fire followed by jade rolling. Breath of fire is a Kundalini type of breathing with equal emphasis on the inhale and exhale.  It is said if you master the breath of fire it is the key to higher consciousness and while I have yet to experience that, I feel this type of breathing helps purify my body and energizes me in a very positive way, it is also said to stimulate the solar plexus to generate heat and release natural energy.  After that, I enjoy the calming ritual of jade rolling with my Jade Facial Massage Roller.  The jade is nice and cool on my skin and it helps give my face (and neck and under eyes) a great lymphatic massage.  Most of my day is work related, so I love taking time in the morning to just focus on me."

 
 

Learn More

Shiffa

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For women especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Rituals - Savannah King

 

Savannah King Founder of Third Eye Jewelry

 
 
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My first ritual of the morning is...

"sitting with tea. I fill my kettle with fresh water, whispering words of love and gratitude into it. I then open a tin from Global Tea Hut ("Spirit" a shou puerh tea) and inhale the scent of the leaves.

I sit on a meditation cushion and sheepskin from WMN Space and create a chaxi (tea stage) with a slab of petrified wood, a stone, and a flower.

I steep the tea leaves in a handmade pot from Peter Kuo and serve myself several bowls in silence.

This morning practice centers me for the day and leaves me feeling calm, awake and connected."

 
 
 
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Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For women especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Rituals - Nadine Abramcyk

 

Co-Founder of tenoverten

 
 
 
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My favorite ritual alone is...

"taking a bath. I am only able to find time to take a luxurious bath 1-2 times a week but it is the ultimate form of self care for me. I sage my bathroom and dry brush my skin to release some toxins and help with blood circulation. I then put Dr Singha's Mustard bath into a warm tub. I light a candle, I am obsessed with from the 1 Hotels which smells divine and grab a book to read or sometimes meditate while I soak for 20 min. I then immediately take a 5 min cold shower after emerging from the tub and wrap myself in a robe and hop in bed. It is so indulgent but I love this ritual more than anything."

 
 

Learn More

Tenoverten

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Electric Slide

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

 
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Megan Roup wanted to make exercise fun again. As a college-trained dancer who went onto become a Brooklynette for the Brooklyn Nets, Megan understood how good music and a great time can get the heart going more than a lifetime spent on the treadmill. So as she began pursuing the fitness space on a professional level, she decided to have a go at it by creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere while giving clients a kick in the you-know-what. Thus, The Sculpt Society was born. We can tell you firsthand, with one class in under an hour, we were burning it up and sculpting it OUT. The method to her madness? Sliders. Yes, those little discs that when used correctly can sizzle up the abs, glutes and entire body. We sat down with Megan to talk sculpting, wellness and why sometimes, a good beat is all you need.

 
 
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So, sliders...we’re obsessed. Why do they work and how did you discover them?

So much of my class focuses on hip mobility - so it was super important for me to add functional training into my class for a well rounded workout. I love using sliders in conjunction with functional training because they create instability in the movement, requiring balance and the use of small stabilizing muscles. I created my Sculpt Society Sliders (that come with 3 workouts when purchased on my website) because I wanted one that was dual sided and  because so many of my clients travel. I love that they are lightweight and small and an effective workout on their own. 

 
 
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Our glutes are still burning. So yes. Can you tell us about some of The Sculpt Society’s new initiatives?

I just hired my first trainer to teach. We are introducing a low-impact MAT class. It’s the same fast paced, upbeat workout, without the dance cardio. I have also joined a new online fitness platform called Obé. Obé brings the best workouts anywhere your phone takes you. I am so excited to be able to reach people across the country

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That sounds amazing and so convenient. So why do you think health and wellness is having such a moment?

I don’t think this is a moment but rather a movement. Investing in your health is the new norm thanks to the strong communities that have been built around it. You don’t just workout now, you go to a fitness class with your girlfriends and then spend quality time after catching up. Community is so important, something I am very focused on developing within my classes. When people feel included and supported within a fitness space, it can be very powerful.

 
 
 
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We love that we are in and out less than an hour! How does the workout benefit busy mamas in particular?

I was seeing so many women spending hours in the gym. Who’s got time for that?
I really wanted to deliver a class that was under an hour and gave clients everything they needed from cardio to sculpting exercises. My class is 50 minutes and truly delivers a killer workout with positive vibes.

 

Do you miss dancing professionally with the Brooklynettes and performing in theater?

I do miss dancing professionally. Often in dance, you’re on your own, but dancing with a team and belonging to group of women, like the Brooklynettes, was really special. Luckily with The Sculpt Society, I am physically doing most of the class with my clients, so I still get that same rush every time a beat drops and the whole class is dancing with me as I lead them. There is no better feeling.

 
 
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How does music play a role in both creating content for your method and in the actual work outs? What are you listening to now? Playlist welcome!

My class is beat based, so music is a HUGE part the experience. The workout can be killer, but if it’s not done to the right tunes, it can ruin a class for me. I use a lot of hip hop, current pop music and I love an 90’s r&b or hip hop throwback. For the dance cardio sections, I have to hunt for remixes and that can be the most time-consuming part. 

 
 
 
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Most women mix up the type of workouts they do. What do you suggest as a good workout to compliment The Sculpt Society and how often should women come to the workout?

I am a big advocate to do what makes you and your body feel good. If that means mixing up your workouts, by all means, go for it. I think a reformer Pilates is a great compliment to TSS or a yoga flow class. If you’re a mom and you’re coming 3-4 times a week, you’re a rockstar. I think if everyone can move their bodies in some way 4-5 times a week, you’ll feel stronger in your body and mind.

 
 
 

What's your therapy?

Movement is my therapy. Putting a great song on and moving my body empowers my day. I’ve also started meditating, which has been very helpful. Even five minutes can turn around my day.

 

What makes you fly?

I feel like I am flying every day. I am beyond grateful to get to be doing what I love and hopefully positively affecting other women.

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Rituals - Joanna Vargas

 

Founder of Joanna Vargas Salon & Skincare Collection

 
 
 
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My first ritual of the morning is...

"I wake up and spend a half hour reading through the beauty news of the day, articles I bookmarked, and emails I may have gotten in the middle of the night. 
 
Beauty wise, my morning ritual is dry brushing my whole body before getting into the shower. It's invigorating and makes my skin so soft! 
 
My favorite juice that I drink absolutely without fail every day is the Daily Detox from Juice Generation. I usually don’t eat breakfast and I have that in the morning. It’s great for my skin and when I am on my program and doing it every day, clients comment on my skin. Daily Detox has carrot for energy, cucumber for detoxing and for hydrating, apple, lemon and ginger. Green juices are automatically very depuffing, oxygenating and antioxidants so they help strengthen the skin, strengthen the capillary walls and they help hydrate from the inside out."

 
 

Learn More

Joanna Vargas

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Floral Notes and Freaky Health Chocolate - Our Latest Kids Learning Workshop

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Conrado Veliz 

 
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It was a winter-meets-spring day when we gathered our lil’ doves for one of our signature learning workshops with a favorite of ours, Freaky Health Chocolate, a purveyor of organic chocolate whose benefits range from natural energy to beauty to immunity thanks to adaptogenic herbs like Maca, Chlorella, Gogi Berries and Ashwagandha. The subject of the day? Cooking deliciously healthy desserts using nutrient-dense chocolate. We set up shop at Freshmade NYC, the amazing kitchen and event space in Soho, to teach the kids the joys of making a sweet snack that packs a healthy dose of superfoods to boot.

 
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As our little ones gathered around a long table, their cooking utensils at the ready, Freaky Health Chocolate founder, Karolina Palmer opened the workshop by introducing the idea of healthy eating, in particular using flowers as a surprising ingredient to many foods. “We realized many of us had already eaten them.” Karolina says. “Some examples we shared were chamomile tea, hibiscus ice pops, and rose jam.” The group then went on to try the two flowers they would be working with - borage and pansy. They shared the reactions and the nuances of the fragrant notes in each, like mint, cucumber, grass, and pepper. Each child then came up to the stove and dropped their Freaky Health Chocolate bar into a bowl of a double boiler to melt it down. Everyone received a piping hot bag filled with melted chocolate and that’s when things got freakishly fun. The kids had a blast filling the lollipop molds, pressing in the sticks, and decorating with their edible flowers. “It was magical watching them work and seeing the beautiful work they created with just two ingredients,” says Karolina. 

 
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While enjoying their high vibe cocoa snacks, the kids learned that historically flowers have been eaten medicinally and they discussed what that meant. They discovered that one of the flowers, borage, was associated with summoning courage when eaten. The kids shared what their understanding of courage meant and appreciated the idea that eating this sweet blue flower could make them feel brave. As the afternoon sun peaked in over Soho, the kids licked up the last of their lolly's, feeling a little more courageous and proud of the magic treats they created. 

 
 
 
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And so you can make these magical Fairy Lollipops at home, here’s the recipe below -

 
 

Chocolate Fairy Pops

Ingredients

  • Freaky Health Chocolate
  • Edible flowers (pictured are borage and pansies)
  • Lollipop/candy molds
  • Lollipop sticks
  1. Create a double boiler by inserting a metal bowl over a gently boiling pot of water.
  2. Break up chocolate bar into metal bowl. Mix frequently until bar is melted and chocolate is smooth. An alternative is melting chocolate in the microwave for 10 seconds, giving it a mix and microwaving for 10 more seconds, if needed.
  3. Pour melted chocolate into piping bag or zip top bag with a small corner cut off. Let cool for a few minutes.
  4. While you wait, place edible flowers into each candy cavity. Do not overfill.
  5. Pipe melted chocolate into molds.
  6. Place sticks in appropriate slot.
  7. Let chocolate harden in the molds for 30 minutes before you release them.
  8. Gently pop out each lollipop and ENJOY!!!
 
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We are committed to bringing one of a kind experiences to mamas and children. Learn more about our unique upcoming events.

 
 

Rituals - Malia Mills

 

Founder of Malia Mills

 
 
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Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

 
 

My last ritual of the day is...

"wine, chocolate and candles. It's more addiction, less romance novel. (Plus, it's more glamorous than admitting I don't wash my face at night - I like to let the natural oils do their thing). Ritter Sport dark chocolate with marzipan. Washed down with some version of a grassy white or a spicy red. Our apartment is essentially an open space and at night we always light candles scattered here and there. A ritual begun with my friend Sarah Meikle when we were roommates in my first apartment/office in NNYC. In addition to a lifetime supply of Ikea tea lights we have a collection of Fornasetti candles - the first time I experienced their magic was on the house boat of our friend Paul. He's docked on the Seine in Paris near Place de la Concorde (I promise I'm not making this up) so the scent reminds us of this insanely amazing time and place."

 
 

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Malia Mills

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Ellis Brooklyn Takes Flight

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

 
 
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She made her name as a beauty columnist at the New York Times and author of Skin Deep, but Bee Shapiro is spreading her wings in many ways, most recently as the creator of Ellis Brooklyn, our favorite sustainable fragrance and skincare brand. To say that her writing has served her passion would be an understatement. “I'm always trying product, which is a lot of the fun of the job, but it's also made me very conscious of what I'm putting on,” says Bee. About four years ago, she noticed a change in the industry, where skincare, haircare and cosmetic companies were becoming more aware of clean ingredients, but this exciting transformation wasn’t taking place in fragrance. That’s where Bee saw an opening. As a huge fragrance fan, and mama-to-be, she leapt at the opportunity to make a positive impact, and thus Ellis Brooklyn (and, in the process, two girls) were born. Some of our favorite scents include the illustrious Myth and seductive Rrose and the velvety Verb Excellent Body Milk is oh-so good post bath. Read on for Bee’s take on sustainability, “balance,” and her penchant for religious masking.

 
 
 
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We are huge fans of Ellis Brooklyn. Tell us, how has the brand evolved since the beginning and where do you see it going?

It's definitely evolved! At the beginning, we didn't set out necessarily to be a sustainable company. But if you're talking about naturals, this is stuff that is growing from the earth. There are real people and locations involved. As I started working with my perfumer and packaging companies, I realized that you can't be for naturals and safety and responsibility in formulation and not also be sustainable. We're planning on making more pushes in the industry for sustainable sourcing going forward.

 
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We love that. Can you speak to the idea of growing a business from scratch? What have been some of the pitfalls? Surprises?

I bootstrapped the business which is not for the faint of heart. I knew it wasn't the easiest way to do things but I also knew, being a long time beauty writer, I didn't want to compromise on our products. This allowed me unfettered control. The pitfalls were packaging. Packaging can be so tough! I had no idea you could literally be researching packaging for years.

 
 
 
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Who knew?!? What is the ingredient and fragrance process like? Do you have any favorite notes or scents?

I have so many favorite notes. I love the notes that surprise you like Tuberose, Patchouli and Oud. They can almost be repelling but there's also something so intriguing, beautiful and, as the French perfumers like to say, "carnal" about them. When I'm creating a fragrance with the perfumer, I actually tailor the process to who I'm working with. Each person works differently so I want to be able to get the best work I can. For example, with Jerome Epinette, it's starting with very specific references and comparisons and then taking it to a different level. With Pascal Gaurin, who I worked with on our Fawn fragrance coming out in April, he's very into music so I sent him a description plus a song to listen to.

 
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So cool..and how do you balance the business with your writing?

I'm not sure there is a thing in life as balance. I instead think of it as making the most of every day I have. That could mean working intensely for 8 hours straight or that could also mean taking an hour out to take my 1 year old to gym class and picking up my 3 year old from school. If we're talking about straight hours worked, I'd say my writing takes about 30% of my time now and Ellis Brooklyn about 70%. The company has grown a tremendous amount in the last year.

 
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What's your therapy?

Masks and baths! I truly do a ton of masks. I fit them in whenever I can. Sleeping masks, in shower masks, masks right before bed—you name it. I also make time for exercise because I find I'm a better person when I workout at least 3 times a week. If I'm really spoiling myself, I'll go take a tennis lesson. I played tennis in high school and it's my favorite activity.

 
 
 
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How has having children informed your work ethic? Values?

It's made me ask for more at work. Before, I was not a good negotiator. I didn't have that confidence to ask for more so I always low-balled my own asks. Now I always think, well if this is going to take time away from my kids, this better be worth it. It's really paid off. My career has been infinitely better since having kids.

 
 
 
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And we always have to ask, what makes you fly?

Fly off the handle or just fly? Ha! Though I have a pretty settled existence with my family and work, I am a nomad by heart. I love planning vacations—especially those that are just my husband and me! They come very rarely, but the whole process from planning to going is delicious and exciting.

 
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Ellis Brooklyn

Rituals - Jaycee Gossett

 

Founding Teacher and Director of Training & Development of The Class By Taryn Toomey

 

 
 
 
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My first ritual of the morning is...

"water...lots and lots of water! I add WelleCo green powder to my water and I also love E3 live algae with lemon. But before I get out of bed Adam and I have a good morning ritual where whomever is the first to get up and out of bed, MUST kiss and hug the other person. He gets really mad when I forget! Which is often :-)"

 
 

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Rituals - Jamie Graber

 

Founder of Organically Jamie

 

 
 
 
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My favorite ritual when I am alone...

"whenever I am traveling, whether I am staying at a hotel or with friends and family, the first thing I do is set up a sacred space for my mediation. It starts with my traveling altar, that I ALWAYS have with me. An altar is different for everyone. For me, it's about my crystals, crystal jewelry, Palo Santo, a candle and a leather pouch they travel in - all which has special meanings to me. By having these things close by, it helps keep me feeling grounded and connected..."

 
 
 
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Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Robyn Youkilis Talks Weight Loss, Self-Love and a New Book

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

 
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When Robyn Youkilis was growing up, no one had taught her how to have a healthy relationship with food, or with her body, even as it began to change. “There I was with hips, thighs and a generous tush at 13 years old, and was constantly comparing myself to other thinner women,” Robyn said. “I rode the diet roller coaster for years - hoping to get that ‘perfect figure’ and labeling everything I ate ‘good’ or ‘bad.’” After one too many roller coaster rides, Robyn finally got off the cycle by enrolling in nutrition school and becoming pregnant with her daughter. Throughout her studies, she realized the foods and activities that made her feel her absolute best and put the scale off to the side. Now, a mother and wellness coach, Robyn has her own vision of health that she’s imparting to others through a new book and a booming business. We sat down with this rockstar mama to chat nutrition, the all important gut and when she’s flying high.

 
 
 
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Can you start by sharing your philosophy and how it differs from other health coaching....

I explain digestive health in a way that allows people to connect with their gut instincts, learn to make food choices from a place of wisdom, banish bloat, and leverage the power of the act of chewing. I have women all over the world making more home-cooked meals, slowing down and discovering the foods and practices that help them feel their best. My approach looks at all areas of your life. Your body wants you to feel good, and the best way to reach your natural weight is to keep your gut flora happy and balance the other parts of life that “weigh” you down. Together, these two forces will have you looking and feeling fabulous.

 
 
 
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What was your personal "trigger moment" in starting this journey and helping others?

A love of cooking and food led me to enroll in nutrition school. Through my studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), I realized that every person needs different foods to feel their best and thrive. I re-learned the art of eating, and the specific foods and activities that were right for my unique body. And while I was healthier, my biggest transformation came when I became pregnant and then a mother. Not only did I have a whole other level of understanding of my body, I had this beautiful, incredible little human that I was now responsible for. I stepped up my self care game not because I wanted to lose weight or have toned abs, but because I wanted to be the best example that I could be for my little girl.

 
 
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What are a few tips for us busy mamas that we can put into place asap?

First, meal prep is your friend! For many of my mama clients, meal prep has been the difference between eating the healthy food they know they want to be eating, and ordering in. I teach my totally doable (and delicious) way of meal prep in my new book, “Thin From Within.” Second, take time for yourself. Maybe that means you get a babysitter once a week so you can get to your favorite yoga class, or you get your groceries delivered so that you can have one less errand on your to-do list, or maybe that means you tell your partner that you need 20 minutes to yourself in the morning. When you take that time for you, you’re better able to show up for your family, your co-workers, your dog – everyone in your life!

 
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We LOVE that. Why is wellness more important now than ever and how do you view wellness within the context of what you do?

I see wellness as the health of both your body and your mind – it’s not a perfect formula or number on a scale but rather a delicate balance of all parts of our lives. You can’t be fully “well” if a part of you is out of sync, which is why in my coaching and teaching I address both physical and what I call emotional weight.

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How has having a child changed or impacted your vision on healthy living?

When my husband and I began talking about starting a family, I shifted my focus from “How skinny can I be?” to “How can I create the most ideal ‘home’ for my future baby to live in?” And then I had an aha moment - Our bodies are our homes—this is where we live. Shouldn’t we treat them right? I let go of trying to look a certain way. I slowed down even more at meal times and chewed my food completely before swallowing. I began to focus on the foods (and the activities) that made me feel my best. And guess what? The foods that made me feel (and eventually look) my best were those deeply nourishing foods, the foods that pack the most bang for the nutritional buck, the foods that feed and balance the microbiome (aka your gut).

 

Yes! So how do you put your beliefs into place at home with your daughter and what are some easy ways others can extend that healthy lifestyle towards their children?

I try to lead by example when it comes to food, how I talk to my body, and my attitude towards life. I’m constantly asking myself what would be supportive for myself, and for my daughter, rather than following someone else’s “should.” I have conversations with her too and give her the space to express herself, to communicate her needs and feelings. We loosely follow the RIE method of parenting and it’s taught me so much, not only as a parent, but as a person. I’m much more aware of honoring and validating someone else’s feelings as well as my own.

 
 
 
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How do you find balance in your own life?

Ah, that tricky word -  balance. We all strive for it, right? Some days are definitely easier than others! Sometimes when I feel like I’m being pulled in all different directions, I just have to take a moment to breathe. Just close my eyes and take a few breaths. I try to have my family time that I hold very dear. It’s my time to put the phone down and tune into my daughter and her needs. I always find my center when I’m with my daughter!

 
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Can you talk about the inspiration for your new book?

I didn’t want to write this book – my publisher was the one who wanted a weight loss book! But the more that I thought about it, the more I realized that this book needed to be written. My clients wanted a way to think about and approach weight loss that felt sane, that felt in alignment with their spiritual selves. Here’s the truth -  you can love and appreciate your body as it is right now and still want to lose weight. Your body is your business, and if you want to look and/or feel different and that desire comes from you—not from the media, your mom, or your boyfriend—it’s alright to take action to make your dream body your real body.

 
 
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What is your therapy?

My “therapy” is any way that I’m able to connect to my body, my gut, my intuition. On a daily basis that looks like meditation, journaling, and just spending a few minutes each morning to be with self. Movement is an essential part of my life - not only does it connect me to my body and my breath, but it’s often on a run or in a spin class where I work out the things that are swirling  in my head. Spending time with my daughter is also so grounding - she reminds me what a pure joy it is to be alive, and that magic exists in the world around us. Taking time to connect with my friends and family is also important to me.

 
 

What makes you fly?

Right now I’m fired up (in the best way possible) about my new book, “Thin From Within” . The incredible messages I’ve received from readers are proving that what I’m sharing is resonating, this work is changing lives and perceptions. The biggest win for me as a coach is when someone can shift the conversation they’re having with themselves about their body. I can talk about self love for days, but when that actually lands with someone in a way that feels real and true in their life, that’s the real point of it all. 

 
 
 
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Robyn Youkilis