Rituals - Robyn Youkilis

 

Health Coach and Author

 
 
 
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My favorite ritual alone is...

"I have to say it’s a tie between journaling and meditation. I love journaling because it gets all my thoughts about work, life, myself..whatever it may be, down on paper and OUT of my head! Sometimes what I write doesn’t even completely make sense to me if I go back and read it, but that’s not really the point of it. I just feel better after I journal because I know all those thoughts are somewhere.

 
 
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Meditation just really grounds me. It’s that time that I set aside to really focus on my inner calm and serenity. As a mother, wife, friend and business owner (amongst other things), I’ve got a lot on my metaphorical plate and sometimes it’s a challenge to prioritize. Meditation is my chance to just stop, breathe, and clear my head for the day to come."

 
 

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Robyn Youkilis

 
 

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.

 

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! "

 
 

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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.

 

Miracle Cure

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

 

 
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Do you wish your skincare would do more for you? Beyond looking great or feeling hydrated, of course, but maybe add a higher vibration to your day? Enter Prestidge Beauté, the incredible skincare brand founded by Shawnelle Prestidge, longtime makeup artist for Jane Fonda and a wealth of global brands and beauty giants. Her path to Prestidge Beauté wasn’t an easy one. Following the birth of her daughter, her husband suffered a near fatal accident where suddenly, Shawnelle found herself in her kitchen stirring up calming cannabis elixirs to help with his nerve pain. She then decided it was finally time to try her hand at creating that "miracle" serum a curated line of extremely effective, highly active, deeply healing-small batch organic skin care products. The result is high quality, all natural products made with ingredients from conscious growers all over the world, complete with a healing form of reiki. To say we are obsessed is an understatement, so we sat down  with Shawnelle to talk reiki, serums and the calming spirit of a great skincare product.

 
 
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1. Can you tell us how Prestidge Beauté came to be? Was there one “trigger moment?”

Prestidge Beauté was a dream of mine for many years, but it was suddenly realized after working on a cannabis salve to help quell my husband’s nerve pain following a swimming accident. It was the catalyst from which Prestidge Beauté was born.

 

2. We love that you combine Reiki techniques into the crafting of the products. Can you tell us about the process? 

I summon my angels and spirit guides, archangels and the reiki masters while  listening to kundalini music to raise the vibration of the space. I enter a sort of active meditation as the wisdom of alchemy comes together, then seal each product by drawing the reiki symbols into the products while I combine all the ingredients.

 
 
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3. You totally get that energy when using the products. And the line is so well edited, everything has a purpose. Can you tell us more and how the components work individually and together?

I wanted each one to satisfy all my personal and professional needs. I’ve been working 25-plus years as a makeup artist. I wanted the serum to be a high vibrating multitasking supernova of a serum that everyone could use and benefit from.  That, in concert with the Healing Salve, addresses a myriad of ailments from acne to cuts to bug bite to eczema. Plus a tonic that could be used before the serum to add moisture or after makeup application to set you, or after a workout to refresh, or to use on your kids when they need a little time to work through big feelings. But especially to invite a moment of calm to reset one’s mood. A deodorant that smells amazing, yet is mild and works hard at diminishing odor, for men and women and kids. And a lip balm that truly heals damaged weatherworn lips and moisturizes without feeling too glossy.

 
 
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4. In creating your products, you use organic ingredients and produce small batches. Can you explain the significance of only sourcing from conscious growers? How do you find them? 

I find them through referrals, friends and research. I look for a valid GC/MS report, which is the fingerprint of any particular batch of essential oil. The report is like a blood test for a human. It shows the unique identity and properties of an oil, and I let my intuition guide me.  I look for particular colors and aroma and order in small sizes when first ordering with a new supplier.

 
 
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5. Is the line safe for kids to use? 

YES! For ages two and older. My daughter, who’s eight, uses everything except the Under Amour Deodorant, but I think that is just around the corner!

 
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6.  You’ve had quite the make up artist career. Can you share that journey and one or two milestones?

I think the first awe inspiring experience was being invited to the Shriver compound and being greeted to homemade cookie fresh from the oven by Eunice Shriver.  It was a shoot with Norman Jean Roy for Vanity Fair with Sarge, Eunice and Maria Shriver.  Maria told us not to be overwhelmed when Sarge asks you, “What did you do today to make the world a better place?” It was truly humbling and made a lasting impression on me to strive to do better-for all!  And I don’t think Jane Fonda’s long presence in my life has been by accident either. I think being around great people influence you to be your best self, and to me, being your best self means aligning with your purpose to service others earnestly.

 
 
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7. We’re not even going to ask you how you balance being a mama, an entrepreneur, wife and all the other amazing things you do, but can you tell us a bit about your day to day and how you make it work for you and your family?

I honestly don’t know. Most day it’s kind of a crap shoot. To tell you otherwise would be completely dishonest, but I wake up with the intention of doing my best, to get what needs doing done, and hopefully to squeeze some fun and giggles into the mix too!

 
 
 
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8. We totally related to a comment you made recently about being “a uniform kind of girl” fashion-wise. You said that you like simple silhouettes, like a black utilitarian jumpsuit in high quality fabrics. Same here! Is that because you prefer to express your creativity via makeup and beauty care?

I definitely believe so! When I was young, it was not the case but as I developed further into my career, I just wanted to be physically and emotionally comfortable doing what I loved. There is something so self-loving about making sure you are experiencing comfort-when you know there are so many uncertainties out there. I really find it luxurious to be under the radar, but you only seem to realize that with age.

 
 
 
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9. What is your therapy?

Oh so many things. Mantras, snuggles, kisses, actual therapy, moving my body, sharing, connecting, making my Prestidge Beauté line, sleeping, eating, laughing and loving.

 

10. Lastly, what makes you fly?

Being aligned and getting those vibrating signs that you are exactly where you are supposed to be!

 
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Rituals - Bee Shapiro

 

Founder of Ellis Brooklyn

 
 
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My favorite ritual with my children is...

"reading books in the morning. I love that moment before the TV goes on and before the whole morning routine goes full tilt. I've started reading books to my girls then. It's one of my favorite times of the day."

 
 

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Ellis Brooklyn

 
 

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.

 

Just My Type

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

 
 
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Did you ever wonder why certain events might cause you to overeat? Or why you might forget to eat in times of stress? According to Dana James, cognitive behavioral therapist, certified nutritionist and founder of Food Coach NYC, it’s due to your childhood imprints and how you developed your sense of self worth. Her philosophy is that women are divided into four female archetypes based on these ideas - each affect our eating patterns and diet. And that we can change our diet and relationship with food by examining our archetype and then plan productive menus and recipes around it. She outlines this exciting vision in a new book,  The Archetype Diet: Reclaim Your Self-Worth and Change the Shape of Your Body that seemed to hit us head on. Her rare approach to women’s weight loss - by putting self-worth at the center of the conversation - is enlightening, inspiring and pretty genius. We sat down with Dana to talk the tangible, the intangible and the quest for a healthy lifestyle.

 
 
 
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I love your philosophy around the "modern women." I think we all are that woman at some point in our lives. Can you discuss this concept and how we can feel "at peace?"

That’s my Martin Luther King speech. Haha. "I have a dream that we live in a world free from the tyranny of diet dogma and self-doubt. That we live in a world where we instinctively know how to rebalance ourselves with food, nutrients, elixirs, mantras, movement, and scents. A world where food is nourishment, not punishment. A world where we trust ourselves, not shame ourselves. A world where we amplify beauty, love and magnetism. This is my dream for the modern woman."

To find peace we must unlearn our conditioning. We've trained ourselves to use food as a reward, comfort, a distraction or pacifier. It’s much easier to eat a muffin than admit that your life is chaotic because you struggle to say no to people. Learning how to say no and not feel guilty requires inward looking. Why do I people-please? Why are my boundaries porous? Why have I placed a value on not disappointing people? This is an example of my Nurturer archetype. Finding your peace is dependent on where you source your self-worth from. The answer is hidden in that.
 

 
 

I am fascinated by your navigation system for the friction between food and feelings, science and spirituality, conscious thought and subconscious thought. Can you share the lifecycle of this inner “conflict?” How young are we when this starts?

It’s less of a conflict but rather an inclusion of both the tangible and intangible. Just because we can’t see it or measure it doesn’t mean it is invalid. Your feelings can’t be seen but they are valid. Equally so, your subconscious thoughts are drivers of your behavior, more than your conscious thought. I created the four female archetypes to bring to light our subconscious thoughts and change the repetitive behavior that stops us from seeing continued success.

 
 
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Can you describe your four archetype approach and how we can become our own muse?

The archetypes are based on where a woman sources her self-worth as this will influence her behaviors, including her eating behaviors and intimate relationships.

Wonder Woman - If you need a glass of wine to wind down most evenings, you’re probably a Wonder Woman who sources her self-worth from achievement and recognition and this gives you permission to switch off.

Nurturer - If you find yourself comfort eating or secret eating, then you’re probably a Nurturer, who sources her self-worth from always being there for others but this comes at a cost to you. You often de-prioritize your own needs in favor of others and you’ll eat this way because you’re exhausted and no one is taking care of you.

Femme Fatale - If you’re scared to gain weight or that you’ll never lose the weight you’ve gained, then you’re likely to be a Femme Fatale who sources her self-worth from her physical body and you’ll find yourself constantly on a diet because you believe that a leaner body is better. It’s not but that’s your belief.

Ethereal - If you’re highly sensitive to emotions – yours and other people’s – then you’re probably an Ethereal, who sources her self-worth from being intuitive and different but this can feel lonely, like no one understands you. You’ll often forget to eat or numb this sensitivity with carbs because you don't know how to release these feelings.

 

How does Functional Medicine play a role in your unique approach?

Functional medicine is the core of my practice. It’s finding the root of the issue. For instance, if your hormones are out of balance, the answer isn’t adding more hormones, it's understanding that stress, the gut microbiome and the liver play a key role in hormonal balance and it’s rebalancing these inputs. It’s the same with the mind. Where do your perceptions come from? When in childhood did you develop this view and why? What needs to be reinterpreted so you can move forward? Whether it is the mind or physical body, the answer lies in the seed that created it.

 
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Your practice offers so much! Can you tell us the philosophy and goals for your clients around your meal plans, one-one programs and of course your amazing retreats?

The end goal is always my client's goal - weight loss, body confidence, digestive ease, stress reduction or an improvement in mood or brain function. To get there a lot of insight and self-awareness is required and we spend most of our time looking into erroneous beliefs and reprogramming them. Knowing what to eat is easy, the harder part is understanding why your life is structured in a way that has you fall off time and time again.

 

What are five must haves that mamas and kids can both eat and find satisfying?

Make  something they can get involved in. They are more likely to eat it when they’ve been part of it.

Berry smoothie - equal parts nut milk and frozen berries with 2 tablespoons of collagen protein powder with a hint of raw honey.

Avocado smash - have them smash the avocado then drizzled on some fresh lemon juice. Let them dip crackers in it and you can have vegetable crudités.

Chia seed pudding - kids love making this. Put two tablespoons of chia seed into a mason jar then add 8 ounces of nut milk. Add the lid and shake vigorously. Get your kids to shake the mason jar for 20 seconds. Let it rest for ten minutes and you have a very nutrient dense snack with fiber, omega 3’s and protein. Add fresh fruit if desired.

 
 
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If you were on a desert island, which three supplements would you want with you?

Probably none because stress wouldn’t be robbing me of my nutrients! The reason I add supplements in to someone’s program is to correct imbalances, which are principally stress-driven. But I do love a good probiotic and an activated B complex is vital for replenishing our energy and mood.

 

What is your therapy?

Touch. There is no more powerful therapy. You can give a baby sugared water and she will stop crying but will start up again once it is removed or you can touch her and she will be soothed and her crying will stop. We’re just older versions of a baby but far too many of us blindly use sugar to appease an uncomfortable emotion. Connect with others, hug someone tight, get a massage, a foot rub or play fight with someone. Touch is a profound mood-rebalancer. 

 
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What are your favorite restaurants where the entire family can eat in NYC and LA?

In NYC it’s Cafe Clover and Quartino. Cafe Clover has the best flax crackers and sweet potato hummus. It’s better than any bread basket! I go to Quartino when I want a home-cooked meal - fish from Montauk Harbor and lightly roasted vegetables with a hint of olive oil. Mmmm delicious! In LA it’s my own kitchen! There’s nothing better than picking fresh greens and herbs from your garden and transforming them into a colorful salad that makes your mouth pop!

 
 
 

Can you tell us a few highlights from your new book ?

I’d encourage all women to take the female archetype test which they can find on www.danajames.com. This will help them identify their core beliefs and why they are struggling in certain areas of their life; be it a physical imbalance or habits they don't like. The Archetype Diet also gives a ten-day meal to follow for each archetype. As each archetype has different hormonal influences the diet is also different. I bust many pervasive food myths that make women scared of food. And finally, I take the reader through a 6-R reprogramming process so they can break the erroneous belief that their self-worth is based on an external factor like their success, looks, helping others or their intuition. 

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What makes you fly?

Seeing women awaken and transform their life. One of my greatest success stories is a woman, who within six weeks of us working together, increased her income by 300% and found the man of her dreams on a last minute trip to Nepal. She is 47 and froze her eggs five years before. They are now talking about having a child together -  her ultimate dream! Her erroneous belief was that she wasn’t worthy enough to have it all. Once she cracked that, everything she desired came to her. Just magical. 

 
 
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FoodCoach NYC

Rituals - Malia Mills

 

Founder of Malia Mills

 
 
 
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My favorite ritual alone is...

"something my friend Sarah taught me...the weekend genius of rolling out of bed and into our neighborhood deli without changing out of her pajamas. So on Sundays I'll fetch a cortado, pretzel croissant with raspberry jam (quite possibly the best sweet salty combo on earth) and the New York Times. It's my official pjs, glasses, no make-up, dirty hair dial it down time. Sometimes sitting at our table by the window overlooking the street. Sometimes on the couch. Sometimes in the park near our apartment."

 
 

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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.

 

Lotions & Potions

Written by A Wild Dove

 
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A Traveling Shop-in-Shop

Launching Summer 2018
 The Hamptons

A Wild Dove Founder, Lynn Levoy is always on the hunt for unique treasures to introduce to her community. The Lotions & Potions retail concept brings to each partnering retailer, a mini shop featuring Lynn’s favorite products in an unexpected mix (from Adaptogens to Mediation Books to Magical Serums to Crystals). The Creators of the chosen brands will partner with A Wild Dove and offer in-store workshops, panels and custom programs to share stories, unify the community and bring the products alive.

 

First Stop 

Malia Mills
53 Jobs Lane
Southampton, NY 11968
Launching July 1st

 
 

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 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!"

 
 

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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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