7 Clean Beauty Picks for the Holidays from Rebecca Casciano

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By Rebecca Casciano

This year at the W.E.L.L Summit, I had the honor of presenting two breakout Sessions around the idea of self-love through beauty. We explored the potential of our daily thoughts, rituals and the cosmetics we use to show ourselves more love. I think we all agreed, when we can love ourselves more deeply, we can truly love others, show up for our families, communities and the world in much more powerful ways! We shared what may be holding us back from fully expressing self-love and selected personal mantras to remind us of our infinite beauty. While skin care and makeup may seem like a superficial part of this process, when infused with positive intentions, it is actually a sacred act of self-care.

As a makeup artist, beauty coach and woman, I am so inspired and grateful to all the clean beauty brands that dedicate their lives to creating safe, healthy and effective skincare and makeup. I was fortunate to partner with several of them for Sacred Beauty Salon at the W.E.L.L. Summit this year. They generously provided samples and full-sized products for our gift bags, so that guests could begin their Sacred Beauty rituals right away! I even got emails from a couple of guests saying they were thrilled to replace their not-so clean beauty products as soon as they got home. Love that!

Whether you’re treating yourself, a friend or family member this season, choosing cosmetics that are created with love, plants and natural ingredients is a gift that keeps on giving. Clean beauty nourishes us in more ways than one: our skin, body and Mother Earth are all better for it. We are able to make a difference with our dollars by supporting small, mostly women-owned businesses that truly care about our health and well-being. As we are all very aware, this is more important now, more than ever.

I’m so excited to share my consciously curated Holiday Clean Beauty Picks with you! I’m confident that anyone on your shopping list will love and cherish these gifts of beauty as much as I do.

EcoDiva Gift Card - EcoDiva Beauty is your one-stop online shop for all the best in natural beauty. Opt for a gift card and they can choose from luxurious eco skincare, makeup, haircare, candles and other healthy lifestyle goodies. Also, look out for Eco Diva's once a year sale and get up to 50% off specially selected luxury green beauty from November 25 to 27 (shop in CAN; shop in the USA + internationally. And on Cyber Monday, EcoDiva registered users will get 10% off all full-priced items with code EcoDivaInsider (join in CAN; join in the USA + internationally).

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Hynt Beauty Tuxedo Holiday Gift Collection - Great limited edition set for makeup lovers, featuring Hynt’s new matte eyeshadow palette Suite Tuxedo, best-selling Nocturne Mascara and Radiance Boosting Powder in cute canvas bag. From November 25-28th, get 30% off your purchases with code BLACK30.

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Max and Me Circle of Protection Body Oil - Don’t we all want to wrap our loved ones in a Circle of Protection? One of my most beloved body oils by highly vibrant, artisanal skincare line, Max and Me. The intoxicating scent and deeply nourishing ingredients will envelop them with warmth and goodness.

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Fitglow Beauty Good Gloss Trio - My new lippie obsession! These glosses feel so good going on you will want to keep them close at all times. Filled with nourishing coconut oil and shea butter, they create a protective barrier against winter weather. Grab a Good Gloss Trio for you and a friend at 20% off with code GIVEGLOW.

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Essence of Vali Love and Passion Soothing Sleep Box - Aromatherapy is healing on every level; mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. And we can all benefit from more healing right about now! Inspire love, passion and soothing, restful sleep with these luscious combinations of pure essential oils. Receive 25% off with code HOPE17 until the end of December.

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KPS Essentials Renu Vitality Collection - Perfect treat for the skincare devotees or anyone suffering from skin issues. This set includes KPS Hydralux SPF 15 Primer, Renū C+ Serum, Renū Face Cream and Renū Vitamin C Lip Treatment. It’s unique combination of clinically tested, organic, food-grade ingredients helps heal scarring, boost collagen, hydrate and protect skin. From November 25-28th, receive 20% off your order with code VC20.

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Clean Beauty Makeup Lesson or Consultation - Do you have a “special someone” you know would benefit from personalized product recommendations and one-on-one beauty support? it would be my honor and pleasure to be their guide! My offerings include in-person makeup lessons in the NYC area, as well as virtual consultations from anywhere in the world. Through the week of November 27-December 3rd, I would like to extend an exclusive 20% off my lesson and/or consultation services with code WELLTRIBE!

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Wishing you and your loved ones a holiday season full of beauty, peace, health and happiness.

XO, Rebecca

W.E.L.L. Summit Holiday Gift Guide + Holiday Sale Roundup

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Tis the season for giving and why not select some of the best in natural health, wellness and beauty for all your gift-giving needs? We’ve got a perfect gift guide round-up, complete with the best sales of the seaons from W.E.L.L. Summit approved vendors, all in one convenient place. Gift on, Tribe!

Violets Are Blue: 20% off from November 23 to December 16 with code holiday16.

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Tutti del Monte Photography: 15% discount in photo and video shoots booked using code THANKWELL (applicable to both With Love Tutti and Boudoir by Tutti shoots) between November 23 and December 2, 2016. To redeem, simply get in touch with Sara at tuttiphotography@gmail.com and reference the code in the email!
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True Moringa: 25% off from November 23 through December 16 using code WELL.

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Organic Gemini: Get 10% off your purchase of Organic Gemini on Amazon using code 1LoyalOG code through December 16.
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Simply Chickie Clothing20% discount when using the code Well until December 16, 2016.
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Shift Eco-Boutique20% off all orders using code WELLSUMMIT through December 2016.
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The Optimist Co.$5 off your next purchase of $35 or more all holiday season with code WELL. New gift sets are now available.

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Thorn & Bloom PerfumeSave 10% on any order over $50 with code 2016WS through December 12, 2016.

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LifeIce20% of all LifeIce orders with promo code WELL now through December 31, 2016.

Organic Bath Co.: 20% off of all orders with discount code WELL, now through December 16, 2016.

Nantucket Yoga Festival: Save $75 on a full festival pass with code WELL. Available December 17 to January

The Simply Co.10% off all orders using code WELLSUMMIT2016 until December 16 for The Simply Co. organic laundry detergent.

Conscious Maker’s Pop-Up Shop (All codes good through December 16, 2016)

  • Casa&Co (handmade pillows): 20% off with code WELL
  • Ash & Rose (sustainable fashion and accessories): 15% off with code WS15.
  • SYLK USA: 15% off with code WELLSUMMIT16.
  • Seaduced Sea Glass: Free Shipping using the code WELLSUMMIT16.
  • TPY Marketplace: 15% off anything in the marketplace with code BEWELL.

Rishi Tea15% off of your entire order through December 14, 2016 with code Tealove15.

Exclusive Deals for W.E.L.L. Summit Attendees

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We’re just about a week away from our amazing 2016 event and we are so thankful to all our attendees, sponsors and vendors for a great, healing time. As part of the W.E.L.L. Summit, we want to make sure our attendees have access to wellness brands even after the event is over—so we’re bringing you an online marketplace with exclusive discounts for W.E.L.L. Summit followers!

Thank you to all our vendors who participated in our LIVE W.E.L.L. party on Friday night, and to all our attendees who made the party so great!

Exclusive Deals for W.E.L.L. Summit Attendees

Tutti del Monte Photography (www.withlovetutti.com and www.boudoirbytutti.com): 20% off photo and video shoots booked using code LOVEWELL (applicable to both With Love Tutti and Boudoir by Tutti shoots) between now and October 31, 2016. To redeem, simply get in touch with Sara at tuttiphotography@gmail.com and reference the code in the email!

Violets Are Blue15% from now through December 16, 2016 with code holiday16.

Nantucket Yoga FestivalSave $75 on a full festival pass with code WELL from now through October 31, 2016.

Rishi Tea15% off of your entire order through December 14, 2016 with code Tealove15.

The Optimist Co.$5 off all order over $35 for the remainder of the year to stock up for holidays with discount code WELL.

True Moringa25% discount from now through December 16, 2016 using code WELL.

Shift Eco-Boutique20% off all orders using code WELLSUMMIT through December 2016.

Satya Jewelry25% off sitewide (excluding sale items, gift cards, fine and charity pieces) from October 27 until November 23, 2016, using code WELLSUMMIT25.

Simply Chickie Clothing20% discount when using the code Well until December 16, 2016.

Organic Gemini20% off with code WELL from now through December 16, 2016.

LifeIce20% of all LifeIce orders with promo code WELL now through December 16, 2016.

Organic Bath Co.: 20% off of all orders with discount code WELL, now through December 16, 2016.

The Perpetual Yous Conscious Maker’s Pop-Up Shop (All codes good through December 16, 2016)

  • Casa&Co (handmade pillows): 20% off with code WELL
  • Ash & Rose (sustainable fashion and accessories): 15% off with code WS15.
  • SYLK USA: 15% off with code WELLSUMMIT16.
  • Seaduced Sea Glass: Free Shipping using the code WELLSUMMIT16.
  • TPY Marketplace: 15% off anything in the marketplace with code BEWELL.

Inside the W.E.L.L. Summit: Meet LaKay Cornell and Lee Lee Thompson

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Hi! We’re LaKay Cornell & Lee Lee Thompson: dreamers, entrepreneurs, fanatic shoppers, and—yes—sisters.

Last year, we co-founded the online magazine for women, The Perpetual You, which catapulted us on a journey toward intentional living and conscious consumerism. While we’ve since parted ways (professionally speaking!), we remain united in our desire to promote conscious makers with products that make a positive impact on the world.

To that end, we’re excited to be hosting the W.E.L.L. Summit’s very first Conscious Maker Pop-Up Shop! We hand selected products from our very favorite makers to bring with us to the summit, and we can’t wait to share them with you there.

We want to take this opportunity to introduce you to each of the five brands we’re representing so that you can know exactly what to expect when you see us at the summit.

First, Seaduced Sea Glass is a handmade jewelry line that transforms beach-found treasures into wearable jewelry. Owner/designer, Jenn Skiba, is guided by her passion to connect humanity with the magnetic vibrations of the ocean, which pretty much makes her a rockstar in our eyes. We’ve no doubt her stunning sea-sliced glass creations will excite and energize your soul.

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Photo courtesy of Becca Olcott.

Next up is the boutique Ash & Rose. With their desire to beautify the world without losing their eco-conscious aesthetic, this mother-daughter team has our utmost respect. We share their values of sustainability, fair labor, and empowerment for women, and we love-love-love their beautiful designer label clothes.

Our third maker is Mariessa, owner of SYLK®—the only natural lubricant made with New Zealand kiwifruit vine extract. Slippery and smooth, this “wonder ingredient” moisturizes and supplements the body’s natural lubrication. We love that SYLK® cares deeply about women’s health, and has made it their mission to mainstream all-natural lubricant.

We discovered Casa & Co. this past summer, and immediately connected with founder Ashley Gries’ “perfect imperfect” design philosophy. Ashley has a passion for the wellness community and an eagerness to explore the unknown.  Her pillows are completely handcrafted, from start to finish, and made from all-natural materials and eco-friendly dyes—which is why we know you’ll love her too!

Last but not least, we’re super stoked to have included the small batch goods from the TPY Marketplace with our other radical makers. Each of the four makers from the marketplace are women who we greatly admire, and their products own the intersection of elegance and eco-friendliness. Prepare to be amazed by the loveliness we have to share.

Not only is this our first year hosting a pop-up shop at the W.E.L.L. Summit, this is our first year attending the summit at all! To say that we’re “excited” completely under-represents the mixture of thrill and honor we’re feeling. We can’t wait for the workshops (mala necklaces!!) and LaKay is particularly looking forward to the tea time chats (a.k.a. wine and convo!!). As for Lee Lee, she just wants to absorb the healthy, positive, and feel-good vibes.

See you soon!

LaKay & Lee Lee

PS: All of our makers have created special discounts and/or gifts just for the W.E.L.L. Summit tribe. We are also giving away a gift basket with one item from each maker—stop by our booth for details!

Exploring Self-Love Through Beauty & Makeup with Rebecca Casciano

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Have you transitioned to clean eating, but are wondering about your personal care products? Does it really matter what you put on your skin and can it actually impact your health? We, and W.E.L.L. Summit speaker Rebecca Casciano, say YES. We first met natural beauty expert and green makeup artists Rebecca in our Inside the W.E.L.L. Summit series, but she’s here today to demystify the world of green beauty, and give you an inside peek into her two jam-packed (and totally different!) sessions.

You have two sessions on the W.E.L.L. Summit schedule. Are they different? Could we attend both?

Yes, the sessions are different and I’d welcome attendees to come to both! They are based on the 2 aspects we cover in Sacred Beauty Salon, inner and outer beauty. You may have noticed that I recently changed the name of the sessions, in hopes of making their differences clearer! My 11 a.m. session, “Exploring Beauty Through Self-Love,” is dedicated to cultivating beauty from within. My 1:40 p.m. session, “Learn How to Use Makeup as a Tool For Self-Love,” features a makeup demo and the opportunity for guests to sample some of my favorite natural skincare and makeup.

What, tangibly, will attendees take away from your session?

In both sessions, attendees will take home gift bags stuffed with amazing skincare and makeup from 8 different clean beauty brands!

In the first session, you’ll leave with a personalized beauty ritual to help promote daily self-love—I don’t want to give away too much! I have found with Sacred Beauty Salons, it’s best to experience them in the moment. In the second session, you’ll get my product recommendations and makeup application tips to create easy, fresh looks for day and night, with a nod to the upcoming holidays!

What brands are you working with to showcase green, natural beauty?

I’m honored to be working with some truly wonderful, inspiring brands and founders. In my makeup demo, I’m excited to showcase: Eco Diva Beauty, KPS Essentials, Fitglow Beauty, Hynt Beauty, Max and Me, Red Apple Lipstick, Essence of Vali, NU EVOLUTION and Ecco Bella. Guests of my 2nd session, “Learn How to Use Makeup as a Tool For Self-Love,” will be learning how I apply my top picks from each brand, plus have an opportunity to experience them hands-on.

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Why is natural beauty so important to you? Why should consumers care?

It’s so important to me because I truly believe in a holistic approach to beauty. Our skin is our largest organ and can absorb up to 70% of what we apply to it. Unfortunately, most commercial cosmetics are filled with ingredients that are toxic to our health and environment. As a makeup artist, it was a shock to learn that the multi-billion dollar beauty industry is pretty much unregulated in the United States. Once I realized the potential dangers in our cosmetics, I became committed to finding safe, effective alternatives. Now more than ever, we need to be conscious about what goes into our precious bodies and Earth. If you care about wellness and the environment, you should care about natural beauty.

What would you like WS attendees to know about you?

I’m really passionate about finding ways to use my gifts to serve and empower women. We have been through so much and although we have made tremendous progress, we continue to struggle in many ways. While I have been in the beauty industry for many years, my true calling has been unfolding more than ever over the past few years. My goals are not only to help women feel beautiful, which is very important, but to help create positive, meaningful change in the world. I would love for WS attendees to join me in this healthy beauty movement by sharing anything they have learned or experienced in my sessions with someone they love.

Thanks for sharing, Rebecca! Make sure to check out her sessions, both on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the W.E.L.L. Summit.

Inside the W.E.L.L. Summit: An Interview With Violets Are Blue Founder Cynthia Besteman

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Welcome back to Inside the W.E.L.L. Summit, where we let you in on what happens behind the scenes with our speakers and vendors, before the event. Today, we’re chatting with Cynthia Besteman, founder of Violets Are Blue SkincareOriginally from Seattle, Cynthia came to New York to work as a broadway actress and successfully transitioned to a career in Real Estate where she was a top broker in her firm, all before starting Violets Are Blue in 2013. Read on for Cynthia’s story of being a breast cancer survivor and why pinkwashing something we can all prevent during this Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Tell us the origin story of your Violets Are Blue. What brought you to where you are today?

In 2011 I, received a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. I believed I had led a healthful life, so I sought the truth about toxins in our environment. After learning about the way our bodies can manifest problems as a result of our lifestyles and the products we use, I cleared my household of any possible pollutants and switched to a purely organic lifestyle. I was shocked by the mislabeling of skincare and beauty products that were classified as “organic” or “natural,” as they typically contained parabens, sulfates and other chemicals known to work as endocrine disruptors linked to cancer and reproductive concerns.

After undergoing treatment, I drew upon my newfound love of crafting skincare products for myself, my family, and friends to establish Violets Are Blue in 2013. I used my new knowledge and passion for naturally derived skincare ingredients to formulate a consciously produced line of products, each one a labor of love. Violets Are Blue operates under the philosophy that skincare does not have to be complicated; in fact, keeping it simple is best.

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This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as a breast cancer survivor, what do consumers need to know about supporting research?

Think before you pink is my favorite saying. We are all “aware” of breast cancer, but what we need, in particular the women with stage IV breast cancer, is more research and treatments. When you buy something pink, make sure you know where that money is going! I would prefer people donate to local charities or hospitals, bring food to a friend, or offer rides to to people going to and from chemo. Small things to help make treatment time easier goes a long way.

What changes and trends have you seen in the wellness/beauty movement over the last few years?

Many more companies that are green are coming to the market every year. What is great now is the trend in makeup. I’ve just seen postings about children’s Halloween makeup being toxic and parents need to be aware of safer alternatives. In the cancer community, more things like meditation, Reiki, massage, acupuncture and yoga are being implemented into treatments. This is so huge and so important!

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If you could share one piece of advice for holistic living, what would it be?

Read labels!!! It will be overwhelming at first but then it all starts to make sense. Read labels on food, skin care, makeup, clothing EVERYTHING! Just because something says it’s natural or made with coconut oil, doesn’t mean there aren’t a whole host of other nasty things in there!

Great advice, Cynthia! We’re so lucky to have you at the W.E.L.L. Summit on Oct. 21 in New York City. For more info about Violets Are Blue, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Being a Conscious Consumer: Why Fair Trade Matters to Steaz and Why It Should Matter to You

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The W.E.L.L. Summit is about more than just a weekend: It’s about helping you to live a happier, healthier, more luxurious life every day! That’s why conscious consumerism is so important to us. We want you to know what you’re buying, why it matters and who benefits. So, we asked Steaz CEO Linda Barron about why Fair Trade matters to the beverage company—and why it should matter to you too.

How does Steaz ensure they use only the best ingredients?

Our foundation of organic and fair trade ingredients, sourced globally and sustainably, are at the core of our company. When we source ingredients for our beverages we are able to provide not only the highest quality ingredients to consumers but also work to ensure that we are getting all of our ingredients from farmers who are being paid a fair wage.

Why is Fair Trade important to Steaz? And why should consumers care about that certification?

Consumers are becoming more savvy to what they put in their body, and in turn are demanding clean labeling and sustainable business practices. Here at Steaz we make sure that all of our products are certified organic and Fair Trade because we want to ensure that we are supporting families and their livelihoods as we source our ingredients from across the globe. The Fair Trade logo on our cans means that the farmers and workers are being justly compensated and that their businesses remain sustainable and positively influence their larger communities. Working with people and farmers in this way is important to us and we hope that our consumers have those same values when they choose to drink Steaz.

What about certified organic green tea? Why is that an important ingredient to Steaz?

Having certified organic green tea is the base of all of our Steaz beverages. In addition to the health benefits of green tea, we believe that it distinguishes us in the category and adds to the clean, refreshing and delicious taste of all of our beverages. Using organic green tea is hugely important to us and we hope that consumers see the value of the ingredient as both beneficial to their health and delicious and as a way to differentiate Steaz from other beverages on shelves.

By sourcing organic, we support sustainable agriculture, using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare. This form of agriculture enables us to produce healthful food without compromising future generations’ ability to do the same.

What does it take to build a thriving wellness business that is focused on being a conscious company while also providing superior products?

Steaz has been a labor of love since 2002, and everything we do aligns with the DNA of our company, which is to make organic and fair trade and great tasting beverages. We are also a leader and an innovator in the industry, which continues to drive Steaz forward in the wellness space, and we partner with likeminded companies and individuals, such as the W.E.L.L. Summit, to continue the message of doing things that are good for the mind, body and soul.

Thank you, Linda! Linda will be joining the W.E.L.L. Summit on our Fair Trade panel, but don’t forget to check out our interview with her on why cactus water is the hottest ingredient in the beverage world, and stay tuned for a healthy cocktail recipe from Steaz, coming to the blog next week!

Inside the W.E.L.L. Summit: An Interview With Dr. Drew Ramsey

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Dr. Drew Ramsey broke onto the healthcare and wellness scene with with his first book The Happiness Diet, and then solidified his place as an expert with his second book, 50 Shades of Kale. The psychiatrist is a leading proponent of using dietary change to help balance moods, sharpen brain function and improve mental health. During his “day job,” Dr. Drew is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and in active clinical practice in New York City where his work focuses on the clinical treatment of depression and anxiety. Using the latest brain science and nutritional research, modern treatments and an array of delicious food he aims to help people live to their happiest, healthiest lives—and he’s one of our W.E.L.L. Summit keynote speakers on Friday evening! To give you a glimpse into his work and what he hopes to share at the W.E.L.L. Summit, we chatted with Dr. Drew about everything from milking goats to why the American diet may be responsible for a global health crisis. Read on for the inside scoop!

How would you introduce yourself to the W.E.L.L. Summit tribe?

I’m an Indiana farm boy turned NYC psychiatrist. But most importantly, I’m a husband and father.

My main professional identity is a physician and I’m ultimately here to serve. My life revolves around the brain and mental health, and I want to help us get into a conversation about mental wellness and how our everyday decisions impact brain health and happiness.

I grew up in poor, rural Indiana on a small farm with my parents. They were part of the homesteaders movement in the 1970s, and we moved to Indiana to connect with nature, each other and to foster self-sufficiency. I’m weaving all of that into my psychiatry background (where I’ve been practicing for 15 years), and hoping to change how we think about mental health and food. I’m coming from the perspective of your brain, taking the latest science on the brain and using it to guide us to a different set of food. I’m cutting through the diet fads and the controversy around food to narrow down what we should eat for optimal brain health and happiness.

How would you describe the connection between food and mental health?

Food is fundamental to mental health. The structure of your brain is literally determined by what you eat. Making a set of choices about food is the same as making a set of choices about mental wellness.

It’s partially about helping people move away from the damaging messages of fear around food, and replacing that with a state of fun and joy with food. I want to fill your plate with the rainbow, literally, with more colorful plants, for better brain health. But we also need to discuss the importance of controversial foods like meat and seafood—they have a place in our overall diet.

Brain health is about personalized nutrition; my job is to serve you where your diet is at in a non-judgmental way, and to tailor your food plan to YOU. I always tell people that there’s only one food plan on the planet, and it’s YOUR food plan. That’s the most fulfilling part of my career, working with individuals to see how we can positively impact their mental health by adjusting their food plan to fit them best.

Now, we can get into lots of “battles” about food choices, vegan vs. paleo, and the like, but my concern is more with how, as a country, we’re still eating excessive amounts of cheap meat and processed foods that are causing damage to our selves, our society and our planet.

I feel certain that the healthcare crisis our country is facing has been caused by diet—and the average American diet is responsible for our global epidemic of depression, heart disease and obesity. Food is the root cause because our healthcare system never asks about food or diet when patients come in. Our healthcare system and its practitioners don’t see how it has a role in embracing dietary changes to sustain health. I’m trying to change that.

I work with physicians around the country to incorporate food into their treatment plans, and between teaching brain nutrition at the annual American Psychiatric Association’s meeting for the last four years and my work with groups of physicians, I feel that we’re seeing a sea change. Ten years ago, my position was seen as risky, and I thought pushing nutrition might get me fired from my teaching position at Columbia University. But what we’re scared of is often the door we must walk through, and Columbia, as well as the APA, have embraced my work and helped to further the message.

I used to think of my background as a farm boy as separate from my work as a psychiatrist, but I was wrong. When those worlds come together, I find joy and contentment and gratitude. Who knew a kale plant could have so much power?

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Dr. Drew with one of the 4H Champion lactating goats he, his wife and his two kids leased in summer 2016. “We spent weeks understanding dairy through taking care of our goats, milking them every morning,” he says. “It made me appreciate the simple brilliance of communing with animals, and it was really profound, going from the science of grassfed animals to the reality of spending time with goats—with a five-year-old and a three-year-old too!”

What can the W.E.L.L. Summit tribe do today to promote a healthy, happy brain?

The first step to finding contentment with food is to increase mindfulness. Sit in front of your meal for a few minutes and find curiosity and gratitude about it. Be present with the flavors and smells; ask, where did this come from? That gratitude, not a mindless, rushed consumption can create a foundation for health and wellness. On-the-go food = an out of balance life. Instead, try to be in deliberate, mindful communion with your meals.

Tell us about your new book, Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight, and Transform Your Health.

It’s my third book and I consider it the capstone of my work over the last decade. It’s meant to translate scientific research about mental health info a core set of food and recipes, and it’s about transforming your health through food by feeding your brain first. Your brain consumes more than any other part of your body, so that leads us to a different set of foods and food guidelines to support it.

There’s a self-assessment in the book to help each person understand the particular challenges they face related to food, and then I recommend delicious, colorful, sustainable solutions. The recipes start with core foods, and a simple way of cooking and eating. I understand the need for efficiency and economy—I’m a simple cook myself, and I want the authentic flavors of the fresh food to come through.

My personal journey of nutrition is that I was a low-fat vegetarian or vegan for 15 years, but now I eat beef and seafood. I still don’t eat chicken and I’ll only eat goat’s cheese, not goat meat, but I add in meat, seafood and other foods because I know the significance they have for brain and mental health. My hope isn’t that people eat like I eat, but that they find foods that represent a combination of common sense and cutting-edge science, and can then feel confident in what they eat.

What can we expect from your keynote at the W.E.L.L. Summit?

Kale cocktails. Hahah!

I want to share a global perspective on how your fork is a tool for worldwide happiness. You as an eater play a tremendous role in spreading respect and thoughtfulness around the challenge of finding space and contentment when it comes to food and mental health, and we’ll talk about that in my keynote.

I’ll also bring concrete tips about the science of eating food for brain health, so attendees can implement my strategies right away. I want you to be inspired to find joy in your food, and to be able to ask the right questions about food for your future.

One last thing… you’re the co-founder of National Kale Day, happening on October 5. Tell us more, as we’ll definitely be celebrating with you!

What started as a simple idea to translate knowledge from 50 Shades of Kale has kind of grown into a national movement! On October 5, millions of students across the country, as well as military commissaries (thanks to the Department of Defense) across the world, will be served kale as part of their daily lunch. It’s a testament to the power of veggies—if you focus in and find creativity and joy in food, you can change the world. Kale eaters, you did that!

I’ve been around to see the explosion of kale and the backlash to it, and I think it speaks to the pathological way we think of food and fads. It’s dangerous and unhealthy. I want to help change that. And I’ll be eating kale forever because I enjoy it and, most importantly, I feel better when I eat it regularly.

Join in on the National Kale Day festivities on October 5 and then make sure to mark your W.E.L.L. Summit calendar for Dr. Drew’s keynote session on Friday evening. Yay kale!

 

Putting a Wellness Plan in Place for Your Career Change—And Sticking to It

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Welcome back speaker Jill Ozovek to the blog! Jill (CPC, ACC, ELI-MP)  is a Certified Professional Coach who works with millennial women on finding their dream job when all signs point to the impossible. Through highly tailored group work and one-on-one coaching sessions, Jill focuses on helping clients uncover what it is they want to do with the rest of their career, even when they walk into their first session with no earthly idea. She then helps them craft a plan to transition to the new career while keeping wellness and sanity top of mind.

She first shared her knowledge with us in her blog, “Why Wellness Is The Critical Component For A Career Change.” Today, she’s back with more practical tips for getting started. For more info on your own career change, click here, or read on for her four tips on how to include wellness in your plans for a career change.

Last time on the WELL Summit blog, we talked about why keeping mindfulness top of mind during your career change is KEY. Without the physical, mental and emotional benefits of a solid wellness plan, it can be tempting to give up on your goal before you even get started.

And that’s all well and good, but how do you actually implement a wellness plan that you can stick to? This question can be especially daunting for those of us who don’t have anything in place or those of us who tend to get overwhelmed by a wellness regimen, so I’d like to offer you some suggestions that have worked for me and/or my clients. Remember, it’s important to find what works for you and there really is no one size fits all solution.

Schedule It In. Wellness isn’t at the top of a lot of our minds. So how do we make it more routine, especially at first? Make a date with yourself! I make a meeting with myself to attend a class and put it on my calendar. This means I can’t be booked by clients or other meetings. It is JUST as important, if not more so, than any other appointment I have. I also make sure to sign up in advance for classes I’m going to take so it’s ‘official.’ Plus most studios have a cancellation penalty of $10 or more if you cancel too close to class time, so that added sting can help hold you accountable. OR, better yet, schedule it with a buddy so you hold each other accountable for going! You don’t need to start going 7 days per week from the get-go; instead, try first for 2-3 times per week if you haven’t done much up til now. If you go Saturday and Sunday, then that means just once during the busy work week! You can adjust and increase the intensity and/or the frequency as you get more into it.

Don’t Force Uninteresting Exercise. Maybe everyone you know is doing Crossfit, but you don’t quite get the appeal. Or maybe you’re not meant for certain types of exercise. For me, if someone told me I had to run, I would never do it. Why not try a couple of different types of exercise a few times and see what you like? One of my clients tried running and the regular ol’ gym and found herself bored. It was only after trying Zumba that she became hooked, and she never looked back. Bottom line: Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ to the types of exercise that don’t work for you.

Batch Your Cookin’: Many of my clients have adopted this hack I have been doing for a while now to save me time and money. I got a slow cooker (and yes, I use it in the summer too) and I plan two simple meals per week that I can take to work. I make it minimal to prep and Google things like “healthy and easy slow cooker lunches,” “low salt slow cooker meals easy,” or “slow cooker vegetarian meals” (if I’m trying to cut back on the meat). Keep track of ones you like by posting them to Pinterest and run out to the grocery store once weekly, meals needs in hand. I spend Sundays with the slow cooker and get the meals done while I’m doing other things and then I’ve got healthy lunches for the week! Voila! Making a commitment to scheduling it in is important. Since I’ve made the decision to do this rather than buy out all the time, I’ve started doing a little less running around on weekends so I don’t feel so scrunched for time. At first it was an adjustment- I love seeing friends! – but now I wouldn’t go back. Plus there are other times and ways to catch up with loved ones.

Clear Your Mind: This one, especially for those of us living in big cities with lots of hustle and bustle, can feel fleeting. But rampant thoughts and frenetic thinking and checking of social media and email can ultimately derail us from our goals, either because we can’t focus or because of the FOMO and feelings of “less than” that checking social media like a maniac can elicit. Try to cultivate some sort of daily habit in the mindfulness department. This could be meditating 5-10 minutes a day with an app like calm.com or Insight Timer (which ties you to others meditating around the world), it could involve writing daily in a journal or on a site like 750words.com (that keeps you accountable), or it could be starting a daily gratitude and daily intention diary. Or it could be a combo of any and all of the above or something completely different that helps YOU clear YOUR head. Remember, this is all for naught if it doesn’t work for you, but I urge you to try something more than a couple of times to really decide that. Anything you do for the first time will feel foreign and can be difficult to really see the benefit, so try it for a week or so and then decide.

These are some ideas to get you started on your career change journey! We’ll be talking more about this at the W.E.L.L. Summit in October. In the meantime, what other techniques have you been wanting to try but aren’t sure of? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn even more about Jill and her tips during her W.E.L.L. Summit session, Working W.E.L.L: How do you know it’s time for a career change?