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Self-Care Interview Series: Lauren Haynes

January 1 2018 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Lauren Haynes Lauren Haynes is a folk herbalist, medicine maker, plant enthusiast, and the founder of Wooden Spoon Herbs, a small apothecary line based in the Appalachian mountains. Take a look at Lauren’s shop offerings, and you’ll be immersed in a world of plant-powered tinctures, salves, oxymels, and teas, each one more magical than the other. In this interview, Lauren tells us about self-care as a form of self-respect, kindness as a form of beauty, her favorite plants for stress, beauty, and colds (and more!), the importance of sourcing her ingredients locally and working with what’s available, as well as exercise, sustenance, inspiration, procrastination, and much more. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? Oh, open and free, absolutely. Since I work from home, things end up being pretty routine: tea, emails, breakfast. But if I have my way I love to see how the day unfolds uninhibited. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning. Most mornings start with a hot tea or something creamy with raw milk and occasionally marshmallows. I check and return emails first thing, then Ill meditate and make some breakfast and get to work. On lazier mornings well go into the small town nearby and eat eggs benedict and read the paper. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? My new favorite nighttime tool is the Flux app for my computer. It gradually turns your screen from blue light to orange with the arc of the day, so the blue light doesnt deter melatonin production come bedtime. Other than that, just reading a great book until my eyes get tired. Living out in the county where its dark and quiet helps me sleep soundly every night. Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast – smoked salmon omelette with sauteéd greens Lunch – egg salad sandwich with a bowl of good soup Snack – fruit or hummus or a little chocolate Dinner – soul food: pinto beans, cornbread, a baked sweet potato and collard greens, topped with hot sauce and ferments and a slice of blue cheese -- Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? I drink tea most mornings. Sometimes matcha or Earl Grey, or sometimes just ginger and lemon balm, to ground and calm myself before a hectic day. -- Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check? Um... yes, check. I have a major sweet tooth and Lilys stevia-sweetened chocolate bars save my life. -- Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/­­tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness? Right now my regimen includes fish oil, Mothers Best beef liver pills, a tincture of medicinal mushrooms, and evening primrose oil. I also love using lymphatic herbs steeped in vinegar throughout the year. Every spring I steep whatever edible herbs are coming up naturally in raw apple cider vinegar: plantain, violet leaf, dead nettle, dandelion greens, chickweed and cleavers. That lasts me all year and keeps me feeling vital, just a spoonful a day. Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly? I try to exercise but if I have a full schedule its the first thing I cut out. I live on a tract of wilderness, so walking a few miles a day is super easy and I do that interspersed with yoga when Im feeling too tired to get outside. -- Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it? A little bit of both! Its definitely hard to make the time for it since I work from home and just go, go, go. I definitely find walking in the woods pleasurable, so that keeps me motivated to exercise. I cant even imagine going to a gym... Maybe someday. Exercise is something Im starting to get excited about. Beauty -- What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? True beauty is when someone makes you feel like your soul is illuminated by the way that they treat you. Thats what is beautiful to me. If I want external beauty, Ill just scroll Instagram for a bit, you know? But true kindness is actual beauty. -- What is your skincare approach – face and body? Laidback is how I would describe my skincare routine. See also: erratic. I use a rosewater and witch hazel toner daily (Poppy & Someday), followed by a blend of rosehip and carrot seed oil (Zizia Botanicals). Sometimes I use a gentle rose quartz scrub on my face (Aquarian Soul), followed by oil cleansing, but usually Im pretty lowkey. -- Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? Yes! Nettle and alfalfa infusions, and also evening primrose oil internally. -- Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Family heirlooms are very much welcome. Drink tons of water, sleep as much as you can, and wear red lipstick. Stress, etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress? Consistent routines are hard for me, but I am constantly checking in to make sure I dont get overwhelmed by stress, even if that means five minutes of yoga in the middle of the day. -- If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it? I really love regular acupuncture treatments and massage, as well as daily meditation and moxibustion. Calming teas that ease tension, like ginger and chamomile. Also just goofing off as much as I can get away with. You cant be silly and stressed at the same time. -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? My first line of defense is a few dropperfuls of fire cider. I make one called Sunshine Cider with turmeric and rosehips, but my friend Gretchen made me some with habanero peppers and that always helps me stay on the right side of health. Fire cider, a shot of elderberry syrup and then some red root tincture, an amazing lymphatic herb that relieves a sore throat. -- Do you strive to maintain a healthy work/­­life balance or do those things overlap for you? What is your approach? They definitely bleed together, as I work from home and run my business with my partner. I try to take the weekends off and get out of the house daily to break up the work mode, even if its just a drive to the post office. Luckily, I love my work because its a huge part of my life. Motivation -- Describe the actions you take or mindset you try to tap into in order to stay on track with your self-care practice and being nice to yourself? Honestly, mindfulness is key. Just checking in with myself constantly to see how Im feeling, why Im feeling that way and what I need. I just take little tea or chocolate breaks or go put some sun on my face or make a nourishing meal. A hot shower if Im feeling cold. Self massage if Im feeling anxious. Shutting the computer if Im getting tired. And making time for the little things that make me happy, like reading a book. -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? Cleaning up my diet was key for me in resolving a lot of health issues. In college I was just eating garbage and drinking alcohol and doing all the teenage things. Once I realized that youre literally what you eat, and started treating my body with respect, a lot shifted for me. I really feel like that small change helped align me with the path Im on now, which is 100% what Im supposed to be doing. -- How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination? Im usually brimming with ideas and running myself ragged trying to make them all happen, so if I struggle with anything its occasional procrastination. Usually this looks like doing the easier things on my to-do list before the hard-hitting work chores, which isnt such a bad thing. I just kind of let myself have some slower times, because I work really hard. I may sip tea and pull tarot cards and then eventually get a burst of energy. Or sometimes I do nothing for like two full days. -- A book/­­movie/­­class that influenced your view of self-nourishment or self-care. So, so many. I love The Gift of Healing Herbs by Robin Rose Bennett and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz, as well as so many books from the 70s by obscure hippies and natural living advocates. Living on the Earth by Alicia Bay Laurel, for example. Knowledge -- What was your path to studying herbology and founding Wooden Spoon Herbs? I came to herbs when looking for a path to self-sufficiency. I romanticized living off the land, providing all that I would need for myself through my connection to the earth. And thats basically how it happened. I got all the books I could find about herbalism, read them, and started making herbal remedies. I started selling them slowly and it just kind of took off. Then I got to put my business hat on and thats been such a rewarding challenge. -- Can you talk a little bit about your decision to work only with herbs native to your home region of Appalachia? Theres so much to say about this. When I started opening my eyes to the bounty that surrounded me, it struck me as absurd to order herbs from suppliers that sourced from the far corners of the earth, when we had so many of the same herbs that could be sourced from the bioregion of Appalachia. For example, why am I going to order nettle that comes from Croatia when my friend has an acre of it on her farm? And no offense to Croatia or the herbalists that use those sources, but it just wasnt for me. I saw the opportunity to create a righteous supply chain and source from local farmers and forage my materials. To this day I still source directly from small organic farms around the country. Appalachias medicinal herbs are legendary: ginseng, goldenseal, bloodroot. People from all over the world use these herbs exclusively. And many of the herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine grow in Appalachia, because when the continents were Pangea parts of what is now China and parts of Appalachia were the same land. The geography of these regions is still very similar, and that is really special. So I wanted to learn about these plants for myself, because they are my neighbors and we share the same space. Not to mention that my family has been on this land for at least five generations, probably more. Its my most recent ancestral tradition, and I think its really important to learn about the traditions of your own ancestors so that youre not co-opting someone elses. Our pasts are precious. Finally, I believe in slow, local medicine for the same reasons I believe in slow, local foods – because theyre more potent and they taste better. -- What are some of your best-selling products and what herbs is your customer most excited about at the moment? My bestsellers are the Anxiety Ally, Brain Tonic, Moontime Magic and Migraine Melter tinctures. Elderberry Sumac Syrup is always a hit, as well as the Golden Cocoa (adaptogenic golden milk meets hot chocolate). I also have some new, more esoteric offerings based on the elements, and the Spirit one has been selling really well. I think my customers are just always after herbs that ground and expand the spirit, which is super beautiful. That and herbs for stress, always. Fun and Inspiration -- What is something you are particularly excited about at the moment?  Podcasts! All the podcasts: Medicine Stories, Thats So Retrograde, So You Wanna Be A Witch, Being Boss. That and the color cobalt blue. -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? I love seeking out hot springs, getting massages and acupuncture, going to the movies with my partner and eating at good restaurants. In the summer, swimming in the river behind my house and lying in the sun. -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book – The Caravan by Stephen Gaskin Song/­­Album – Tried So Hard by Gene Clark Piece of art – the entire Motherpeace tarot deck -- We are captivated by Joan Didion’s compact travel packing list. What are some essential objects that would be in yours? My favorite mohair cardigan, a striped shirt, high-waisted leggings and denim, Poppy & Somedays Gypsy Rose Toner, whatever books Im reading, a notebook and Uniball pen, magazines, calming tinctures, bagged tea, thermos, Ricardo Medina botines, charcoal toothbrush -- Is there anyone you would like to hear from next in this interview series? Jess Fuery, Beatrice Valenzuela, Shiva Rose, the founders of Cap Beauty, Ashley Neese, Connie Matisse of East Fork Pottery, jeweler Annika Kaplan, Erica Chidi Cohen, Rachel Craven, Beth Kirby of Local Milk, Rachel Budde of Fat and the Moon, Kristen Dilley of Nightingale Acupuncture, and, naturally, Ilana Glazer Photos by Beth Kirby and Lauren Haynes You might also like... Self-Care Interview Series: Pauline Chardin Self-Care Interview Series: Tonya Papanikolov Self-Care Interview Series: Sarah Britton Self-Care Interview Series: Chi San Wan .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Self-Care Interview Series: Lauren Haynes appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Travel Notes: Italy

November 6 2014 Golubka Kitchen 

Travel Notes: Italy It’s been a long time since we’ve done the last Travel Notes! This one is very special and close to my heart. Recently, I was invited to TBDI 2014, a travel and blogging related conference in Italy. I’m not normally the conference type, but couldn’t refuse this opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful places on earth. I left Paloma and her papa at home, promising to send photos of my every step. I had no idea what to expect, but luckily it turned out to be an amazing experience, and I am very grateful to the hosts for the invitation. The conference hosts put us up in a beautiful historic hotel in Cesenatico, an Adriatic sea side town in the Emilia-Romagna region, right next to a charming port canal surveyed and drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. The organization of the conference was great, I met many interesting people and the energy of the whole event (which was gigantic) was truly contagious. We were very well fed – I was generally amazed at the consistent freshness of the food anywhere we visited. It seemed as if I was the only attendee who wasn’t fluent in Italian, even the Americans I met were completely Italianised. My lack of language skills didn’t prevent me from enjoying every minute of the time spent there. The conference presented many business and personal opportunities, but best of all, I met the wonderful ladies who introduced me to the region of Abruzzo. Anna and our food and wine cluster leader Emiliana both live in Abruzzo and promote local food and traditions. I was so taken by their stories that I decided to spend a few days in the mountains of Abruzzo after the conference. After much strategizing, a friend of mine and I worked out quite an extensive travel plan, which involved several train rides, renting a car and hiking in the mountains. I decided to leave my camera in the safety of home and let my phone do all the work. We had a brief visit to Venice first, where we stayed in a great airbnb, right off campo San Polo, in a very green and quiet cul-de-sac. We followed Valentina’s recommendation and had the most amazing lunch at Paradiso Perduto in Cannaregio. From Venice, we took a train down south to Pescara and then drove our rental Fiat to the town of Sulmona in the region of Abruzzo. It was love at first sight. Sulmona didnt resemble any other place that Ive been to before – it was all like a dream. It combines the charm of a small, historic town with an innate kind of sophistication. It felt very homey and relaxed, but being there was very exciting at the same time – there is definitely an energy running through the streets. I felt like a very dear guest to all of its hospitable inhabitants – there were no other tourists in sight. It was surprising to see that this true gem of a town, as well as the whole region of Abruzzo, is still completely off the beaten path and hugely undiscovered. Its the place to see the true Italy, unencumbered, in all its glory. We couldn’t pick a better season to visit and enjoyed perfect weather and delicious fall mountain air even in the most narrow old streets of town. The locals, all of them unbelievably elegant, gave us the feeling of home when so far away from home. All that combined with the architecture and food, made me never want to leave. Every morning, we woke up to the cathedral bells ringing right across the street from our charming b&b and delicious cappuccino made by Oscar, our host. We were eager to visit the big farmers market which is held every Wednesday on Piazza Garibaldi. All the produce photos in this post are from that market. The local produce was breathtaking, it was peak season for local persimmons, apples, figs, citrus and grapes. It felt so incredibly romantic to stroll through the colorful market stalls in the middle of the most poetic Piazza Garibaldi surrounded by the mountains, in the gentle October sun. We didnt see anyone but the locals, and the vendors were a great pleasure to converse with. I dont think Ive ever bought or eaten as many persimmons in such a short period of time. We also sampled a variety of pastries, and I even snuck some leftover potato focaccia on the plane ride home. If you’re ever in Sulmona, make sure to have lunch at La Locanda di Gino at Piazza Plebiscito for the best fresh, local food. From Sulmona, we drove higher up the mountains to visit several medieval villages – Pacentro and Santo Stefano di Sessanio are the most well known of them. The overlook of Pacentro in the soft afternoon sun put us into a sort of trance. The air was still and sweet, and there was a feeling of complete happiness radiating from the village. We climbed its ancient streets up and down, witnessing signs of everyday life of the locals who seemed perfectly content. Among the others, we saw a lady who must have been in her 60s, in shape and dressed up elegantly, sitting in a tiny rocking chair right by her front door. The street was quite narrow, so her view was pretty much limited to the neighbor’s wall. “Buon giorno!” – she greeted us with the most welcoming smile, leaving us to wonder why she didn’t feel the need to rush anywhere and whom she was dressed up for. Of course, we realized that we got a glimpse at a slice of her daily life just as it is, no special occasions. Our next destination is located on the territory of one of the three national parks in Abruzzo. The narrow road to Santo Stefano di Sessanio kept climbing higher and higher between olive groves, and we were glad that we didn’t come across any cars on the entire stretch. We stopped often for the most picturesque views or for foraging wild flowers and rosehips, which were everywhere. Santo Stefano has been named one of Italy’s most beautiful villages and impressed us as a little heaven on Earth. We wandered through the never-changing streets, lively with beautiful dogs and well fed cats. A memorable meal there was homemade fettuccine with zafferano (saffron) from the nearby fields of Navelli, local olive oil and zucchini from the host’s back yard. The area is most famous for their lenticchie (lentils), of course we tried them too. We both noticed that after enjoying homemade pasta, we never felt too full, sometimes not even full enough, nothing like after eating pasta back home. I actually lost quite a few pounds after eating that food and running around in the fresh air. From there we made our way to Rocca Calascio, the highest fortress in the Apennines, then to Campo Imperatore, an alpine meadow that lies next to the Apennines’ highest peak, Corno Grande. By the time we reached the vast pastures of Campo Imperatore, we realized that our car navigator had died, and we only had about an hour of daylight left. We were in for an adventure, facing a very realistic possibility of spending the night in the mountains, right in our tiny rental Fiat. If you’ve ever driven in that area, you know what I mean. On top of being pitch dark at night, the road signs are rare and not very clear for newbies like us, the roads are narrow and winding. To make things even more interesting, it’s the season for thick night mountain fogs, and cattle often wander onto the roads. Throw in the lack of any cellular or internet connection, cold temperatures and all kinds of wild animals residing in the national parks and you’ll get the picture. We had no choice but try to find our way back to Sulmona on our own. Miraculously, by the time our eyes caught the view of the village of Santa Lucia, our GPS decided to come back to us. It directed us down a serpentine road between olive trees – we would have never guessed to take that road on our own! The sunset we saw then was especially memorable, with soft silhouettes of cypress tress down in the valley and shady layers of the mountains surrounding us. We got back in Sulmona safely, right in time for dinner. Our last destination was Bologna – sadly I did not get to spend much time there, as it was time to go home to my family. As I learned from the locals in Abruzzo, I only got a very brief glimpse of the area in the few days I was there, and it may very well take years to explore all of it. From what I saw, Abruzzo is incredibly diverse – from beach resorts on the Adriatic coast to green pastures, lakes and breathtaking mountain views, from lively towns to remote, medieval villages. There is no question as to why Abruzzo holds the title of “Greenest Region in Europe,” with one third of its territory being set aside as national parks. Diverse topography leads to diverse food traditions, there is lots of variety in the form of fresh seafood, delicious local saffron, truffles and unique kinds of pasta, to only name a few. The local cuisine is centered around sustainable agriculture and seasonality, which always leads to delicious meals. From this visit arose an opportunity to organize a retreat centered around exploring the culinary beauty of Abruzzo. We’ve been thinking about bringing very small groups of guests to stay in places like Sulmona, Pacentro and Santo Stefano di Sessanio, to forage wild herbs, asparagus and mushrooms, to hunt for truffles with truffle growers and to harvest saffron. To learn from locals how to make true Abruzzian dishes while incorporating our findings into our own meals. We’ll be photographing our every step and learning how to style beautiful plates of food. And of course we won’t forget to sample the region’s famous wine – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. I left my heart in Abruzzo and would like to see if there is any desire for such culinary retreats. Please email me at hello@golubkakitchen.com if you would be interested in participating.


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