Lavender Iced Matcha Lattes

 

I grew up attending the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival each June with my grandmother, mother, and aunt. It was a day I so looked forward to - taking workshops on how to use lavender and other herbs + flowers in the kitchen, roaming the fields to pick our own lavender, eating calendula cookies and sipping lavender lemonade, and picnicking on the farm for lunch. It was always the dreamiest summer day, and fills my heart just thinking back on it. My memories of this tradition are marked by my great love + reverence for my late grandmother, Jean, with whom I was incredibly close. 

Today's recipe is very much inspired by my summer days spent on the lavender farm. Each time I prep this recipe, the scent of the lavender brings me back to these happy, sunny summer days spent alongside my grandmother. It's seriously wild how powerfully our sense of smell is linked to memory! To this day, I cannot smell fresh lavender without lovingly thinking of her. My grandmother was also an avid tea drinker, and living with her for a number of my younger years was where I first picked up the habit to reach for tea over coffee in the morning. Though we certainly weren't drinking matcha together, this recipe is an ode to her legacy.

Aside from my very personal love for lavender, it's one of my favorite flavors to use in the kitchen for its subtly sweet floral notes. It's undeniably summer-y. And also a potent mood booster. Lavender essential oil is revered for it's ability to promote calm, reduce anxiety, alleviate depression, and elevate mood via transdermal + nasal passageways - ingesting lavender has the same positive effect on the brain and body. 

The recipe actually infuses the milk with lavender, which is then combined with your matcha to create a latte. You could of course do this with coffee or any variety of tea you prefer. I've also been in the habit of sipping warmed lavender milk in the evening as a calming, brain-nourishing tonic. 

A note of choosing a variety of matcha: Quality is of the upmost importance. There's a million and one brands selling matcha now, but many are super poor quality (depriving you of matcha's many benefits) and contain fillers and sugars. Keep in mind, matcha is expensive to harvest and create, so a quality product should and will cost you much more than your average green tea. I am religious about using PANATEA (not sponsored, they truly are just the best).


LAVENDER ICED MATCHA LATTES

TO MAKE: Using a mortar and pestle (or the flat side of a chef knife), gently press down on the lavender to release their aromatic oils. 

In a small saucepan, bring your milk to a simmer. Remove from heat, add in the lavender, and cover. Allow to steep for at least 10 minutes before straining lavender from the milk. 

Add your matcha to a small bowl and, using a bamboo matcha whisk, repeatedly press down on the matcha to break up the powder. Add in about 4 oz. hot water (not boiling) and whisk the mixture together. Pour matcha over ice and top with lavender milk. You could also combine your matcha, hot water, and milk into a blender, blending on high for about 30 seconds.

Makes 1-2 servings. 

I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any questions + comments below, and be sure to follow along on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #SOLFULhealth so I can see! xx

 

5 Foods to Elevate Your Spiritual Practice | with Free + Native

 
photo by coco prop shop

It's a true honor today to be featured on the journal of a woman I admire so greatly, Lacy Phillips of Free + Native. Based in L.A., Lacy is my manifestation advisor, serving as the go-to consult for anyone looking for guidance in this realm. Having developed her own genius method around manifestation, Lacy has become the leading force in the industry of intuitive guidance + coaching. She is wise, sweet, and generous beyond measure, and a total queen when it comes to holistic living. Today, I am honored to share with Lacy, her F+N community, and all of you the science behind eating for an elevated spiritual + intuition practice. 


What we eat is so intimately connected to how we feel - on every level and in every realm. Though modern medicine denotes otherwise, what we put into our bodies affects far more than just our physical health + appearance. Because the gut is constantly in contact with our nervous + endocrine systems, what ends up in our digestive system fuels not just the body, but also the mind (and beyond). Each time we sit down (or more realistically, stand/walk/drive/work) and eat something, we are contributing to how we will feel in the coming minutes, hours, and days on yes, a physical level, but also just as directly + powerfully in our emotional, cognitive, hormonal, and spiritual realms. 

Chances are, if you’re reading this beautifully modern yet cosmic + esoteric Journal, you have a firm grasp on the whole mind-body connection as it relates to diet. Yet so many of us fall short in our understanding and implementation of this connection as it relates to our spirituality. Because spirituality is viewed as intangible, conceptual, and beyond the physical realm, it can appear to “function” independently of the body + mind. And while I agree with that to a degree, we have to understand that our souls are currently housed in these physical forms and how we feel in our mind + body when we sit down to meditate, practice yoga, pray, breathe, and/or manifest will affect our ability to tap into our Higher Selves and connect with our spiritual practice. 


To read the rest of this article, head over to the dreamy Free + Native Journal! xx

 

SOL SISTER: Bee Ham of H is for Love

 
photo c/o H is for love

photo c/o H is for love

Those of you who know me and follow along here regularly know I'm a total sucker for natural skincare and beauty. Lavishing myself in botanical oils and cleansers and creams makes me feel like a straight up goddess queen - even at the end of a hellish, way-too-long day. My morning and evening skincare routines - each spanning about 20 minutes - have become a non-negotiable part of my self-care routine for both my skin and mental wellbeing.

What you may not know is that this self-care regime and mentality was very much inspired by Bee Ham and her line of luxurious natural skincare, H is for Love. I was first introduced to Bee and H by my friend Allison, who had actually posted an interview with Bee on her blog along with a corresponding giveaway of product. As fate would have it, I was gifted what would become the only lip balm I insist on using (it's next level), and just sort of fell in love with the entire line. Each of the products feel simple yet sacred, ethereal yet deeply grounded, and luxurious in a way that invites you to elevate your day to day. 

Then you meet Bee, and it all makes sense. She's a total wealth of knowledge on all things holistic + natural, and an ethereal wellness goddess if I've ever seen one. Her story and journey are incredibly inspiring, and I am so pleased to share our recent chat with all of you here. As of late, H's NECTAR facial oil is my go-to serum for glowy, hydrated, and clear skin, finished with a spritz of the POLLEN illuminating toner. And of course, the aforementioned LIP CONDITIONER that also comes as a GLACE, tinted red by berries, roots, and flowers (I know... I can't). The ingredients are as pure, clean, and close to nature as it gets, artfully infused, distilled, and combined to deliver serious healing power. Swoon. The only thing more beautiful than these products is the intention + maker behind them. Thank you, SOL SISTER Bee for spreading your magic our way.

photo c/o h is for love

photo c/o h is for love


Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Bee Ham and I’m the creator of a natural skincare line H IS FOR LOVE.

What was your journey that led to the creation of H is for Love?

A number of years ago my husband was diagnosed with an illness that the doctors said was incurable. We chose not to believe that and spent the next few years learning as much as we could about nutrition and wellness. What we learned was that toxins were everywhere, so we took that time to purge them from our lives.

We started with food, then moved to our cleaning products, the fibers in our home, and eventually to our personal care products. What I thought were natural products turned out to be what many of us now call ‘greenwashed.’ This basically means that they’re branded to seem natural, but upon further investigation, they don’t always measure up. Because my standard for purity had become so high, instead of continuing to buy skincare products made by someone else, I chose to make what I needed myself.

This happened to be right around the time I was finishing cosmetology school. While I’d been learning about toxins on my own, I had been surrounded by them in the actual “beauty” industry. I knew there had to be a better way. 

I threw out everything I was using and found myself without anything. I spent the next year experimenting and educating myself in an intensive period of learning, from the way skin works and what it needs, to what plants and oils are best suited to meet those needs across the board. H works for every skin type. The question is how much and how often.

What is the intention behind your work + creation?

One of our core philosophies is to share the freedom that comes when you rid your life of unnecessary things. The line contains only active ingredients. Every single element is there for a reason that benefits skin and enhances the experience of using our products. True wellness causes freedom; which means body, mind, and soul.

The human machine is amazingly designed, and we shouldn’t be in the dark about our health. Our hope is that there will be a domino effect that takes place when you start to think differently about self-care. Once you start down the road to this kind of freedom from toxicity and sickness, it’s hard to unlearn what you’ve learned. You might start looking at the ingredients in your food; you might start asking questions about how food, especially in the West, can be as inexpensive as it is and still be nourishing and have high standards in terms of quality. You might start noticing a difference in your overall wellness once the dots begin to connect and you make some changes. It’s wonderful! Skincare is only a piece of the puzzle - the body must be nourished from the inside out as well. The soul and spirit must be tended to. 

What role does the concept of 'balance' play in your life?

I have two very young kids, an insane workload, and an even more insane schedule. I also have a soul that needs filling and babes who need a mama that sits down on the ground and is just PRESENT. Every day I fall short of what I would have hoped in terms of my patience level both with myself and others, and of course in terms of my list of ‘things to accomplish.’

Balance is coming, though - I’m completely on for a given amount of time and then I have to be self-aware enough to know when to hit the off switch. I just started treating myself to a solo movie excursion once a week. Owning a business means working a lot of evenings, so making the choice to leave the family and the work behind and have my own thoughts, choose my own movie, zone out if I want to, just be in my own space for awhile - that’s what balance looks like in my life right now. I imagine it will continue to evolve as I need more relaxation and rest to pull the tension from the busyness of life back into balance.

Do you have any personal wellness rituals or daily ceremonies you swear by?

I basically live for my morning beverage. I mix raw milk and grass-fed butter, mineral salt, coconut butter and oil, organic vanilla extract, grass-fed collagen peptides, raw cacao, ashwagandha, chlorophyll, reishi, cordyceps, astragalus, bee pollen, and maybe a few other things. I make the dry mix a month in advance and just scoop it into my blender with gently warmed raw milk and voila! Dessert for breakfast.

photo c/o h is for love

photo c/o h is for love

Are there any specific mindset practices that help you to feel more centered, aligned, and inspired?

The only thing that has ever helped me is prayer. Praying to my creator and just asking for grace both for myself, and for me to give to others; that’s what keeps me grateful and gracious.

What are five things you couldn’t (or at least, highly prefer not to) live without?

RAPHA, chocolate, POLLEN, tacos, 100% Lithuanian linen - everywhere for all things, linen. 

Are there any holistic lifestyle and/or dietary practices you try to live by?

I try to learn something new every day about herbs and their healing benefits. I believe in whole food supplements, so I drink a lot of raw greens powder, take immune boosting tinctures, a lot of herbal decoctions full of minerals and vitamins; nettles, liposomal vitamin C, homemade elderberry syrup, etc.

Rosemary Gladstar’s recipe for raw local honey with onions and garlic has been a regular. I believe each home should have someone with herbal knowledge to help keep the family well and shorten duration of sickness. Health and healing are right outside our door, we just have to learn a little about nature.

What is a standout piece of advice you received that helped shape who you are as a female entrepreneur?

I used to frequent a really chic vegetarian restaurant for years. The owner was this beautiful and super talented woman named Sylvia. In the last couple of years I’ve started working with her in another business she owns. Shortly before I launched H we went to coffee and I shared with her that I was worried I didn’t know what I was doing. She told me a story: years before, when she opened her restaurant and on the very day of the grand opening, her friend and business partner (who was the chef) came out of the kitchen in a panic, grabbed Sylvia and said “I don’t know what I’m doing! I’m not a cook I don’t know how to cook! We can’t open a restaurant!” I mean, if that isn’t the epitome of how it feels when you first open your doors as a new business, I don’t know what is! The comic relief was exactly what I needed. Sylvia looked at me and said “You may not know in the beginning of the day, but by the end of each day you will have figured it out.” Best advice ever.


You can connect with Bee and shop the H is for Love line at their Instagram and online shop.

 

SOL FOOD, No. 6

 
photo c/o manufactory  co.

photo c/o manufactory  co.

SOL FOOD is a bi-monthly series detailing all the things, events, people, places, reads, and (of course) foods that are inspiring + fueling me at the moment. This short + sweet series was created in response to the enormous list of topics I never get the chance to post about and share with you all. Stop by every other Friday for a quick dose of inspiration and sol-food.


Quality olive oil is not easy to come by, so I was beyond thrilled to discover this Miami-based company sourcing and packaging craft (and extremely high quality) blends.

The new toy my boyfriend and I can't stop obsessing over for at-home acupressure and reflexology. 

The painful and beautiful truth of entrepreneurship, as described by my dear friend (and women's health goddess) Allison Walton. 

The oldie but goodie book I'm revisiting.

Leading this workshop next Sunday, 5/21 in Jupiter and I'm so excited to dive into the transformative inner + outer work required for us to really truly release what we don't need (in body, mind, and heart). Space is filling up quickly so I recommend signing up soon if you're interested in joining us. Side note: there will be smoothies and aromatherapy and massages so you don't want to miss this one. 

Speaking of workshops, just signed up for this 4-day meditation + breath work immersion for anxiety and stress.

The coconut MCT oil I've been adding to everything for better brain health + elevated energy levels. 

The new (non-toxic) nail polish I've coveting. 

On my summer wardrobe wish list: this gorgeous piece from recently-launched sustainable brand Bayou With Love

Heading back to NYC in a few weeks and hoping to make it into this sweet Brooklyn spot. 

In other news, I've decided to let go of my nutritional counseling practice to better focus on teaching yoga + meditation and growing as a chef, recipe developer, and journalist. You can read about my journey towards this decision here