Having a Healthy Hair Moment

If you've been struggling with your hair, or unhappy with its appearance, let's talk. Hair health is impacted by so many factors, both internal and external. Damage to your hair can come from styling, overexposure to salt and sun, and even hair products. But so many of us forget that stress and a diet lacking in healthy hair beauty foods (see below!) take a major toll too, leading to thinning or brittle strands.

This month, my subscription Beauty Heroes Discovery Box inspired me to have a healthy hair moment. Inside my mailbox was a gorgeous trio of Innersense Organic Beauty hair products (complete with redesigned, minimalist packaging) that has led me to slow down and enjoy my hair care time a bit more (Innersense calls this a 'hair ceremony'— don't you love that?).  So I wanted to share some of my favorite new natural hair products with you, as well as arm you with my favorite healthy hair foods list so that you, too, can have a healthy hair moment this spring. (And seriously, if you havent already, join Beauty Heroes. I consider it a self-care strategy. It is such a treat to receive this carefully-curated box every month, with a full-size natural or organic beauty product—this month it was three full size products, plus a beautiful sidekick hair oil—for less than $40).

This spring, I'm using the Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrate Collection for shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner— all from my Beauty Heroes delivery. I love the subtle scents of the shampoo (called hairbath) and conditioner, and so far I think I'm seeing less frizz when I air-dry, and slightly more defined, piecey waves overall. My hair is fine and naturally a bit wavy, and these hydration-heavy products haven't overwhelmed it. I don't think I've used spray-in conditioner/detangler since I was a tween, so I plan to use the Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner a bit more during the summer months; I can see it being a beach and pool staple for hair protection. I'm also loving Captain Blankenship's Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray for extra definition and waviness (and a gorgeous rose smell). I am so glad I finally purchased it and highly recommend it for wavy types!

But that's just half of my current hair routine. Here's my inside look at beauty foods for hair:

HAIR NUTRITION

To address lackluster, brittle, or thinning hair from the inside out (which is key for long-term hair health!), here's a list of nutrients, and corresponding beauty foods, to get more of in your diet:

  • ZINC. So many of us are deficient in zinc. A lack of this mineral can lead to an itchy scalp, hair loss (even eyelash loss...) and create the conditions for splits to readily form. It's best to get zinc from your diet, not from a pill, so try eating more oysters, whole grains, eggs, and nuts like pecans and walnuts.
  • OMEGA-3s. Just as you might imagine, omega-3s keep your strands elastic and shiny. Take a high-quality fish/algae oil supplement or get your omega-3s from wild salmon, flax, sardines, and pumpkin seeds.
  • PROTEIN. Protein is a building block of healthy hair and its main component keratin, so you absolutely MUST get enough in your diet for optimal hair health. But, you definitely dont need to go out and eat a steak—try plant-based protein sources like pastured eggs, wild salmon, quinoa, tempeh, and spirulina.
Click for a 5-minute healthy hair smoothie...

Click for a 5-minute healthy hair smoothie...

...for the rest of this hair-boosting lineup, read my COMPLETE LIST OF HAIR-STRENGTHENING FOODS HERE. And find out why SEAWEED may be an overlooked hair nutrition secret.

Banana Breakfast Smoothie

If you're hungry, you can whip up a 5-minute, 5-ingredient healthy hair breakfast with many of the foods in my above list. Get this hair-building Banana Breakfast Smoothie recipe.

Put these hair-supporting ingredients on your grocery list to make the smoothie:

  • unsweetened almond milk
  • banana
  • gluten free whole oats
  • shelled hemp seeds
  • ground cinnamon

What are your favorite natural hair products? How about hair-strengthening foods?

Build a Better Beauty Sleep Ritual

Osmia Night Body Oil— relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin.

Osmia Night Body Oil— relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin.

I absolutely love sleep.

I've said many times that good sleep is even more valuable than the most expensive night cream you can buy. It's so important for skin, energy, weight, moods—you name it—that I devoted a whole chapter to beauty sleep in my book Eat Pretty. Did you know that when you sleep your body secretes anti-aging hormones that boost skin cell production, increase collagen synthesis, and speed up damage repair? And that lack of sleep contributes to collagen breakdown, immune suppression, as well as slowed metabolism and cravings for sugar and simple carbs? Good sleep is a beauty MUST HAVE.

One key to getting the kind of sleep that's most restorative to your skin and balancing to your hormones is regularity. Your body, and nature, loves a regular cycle. Maintaining a similar schedule of sleep and wake times goes a long way toward optimizing your restorative pillow time. And the time you turn out the light and go to sleep is also key. I strongly believe that there is an ideal bedtime window (which varies in individuals but is between 9 and 11pm in general) for falling asleep to prevent a nighttime surge in cortisol, the stress hormone that has many negative effects on your beauty and sleep if it remains high. Find your ideal lights-out time (mine is 10:30) and try not to stay up past it.

And there's really so much more you can do to get fabulous beauty sleep. Ahead, I share some of the most effective strategies for optimizing your precious hours of beauty rest...

My top 5 beauty sleep rituals—practice them to look & feel better in the morning!

1. Shut off your devices at a reasonable time. When I'm on my computer or phone late, my sleep is noticeably worse. Blue light from screens is partially to blame, but your brain being keyed-up with work or social media plays a part too. I try to set a nightly shut-off time for my devices (say, 9pm) and stick to that as often as I can to protect my sleep health.

2. Sip something warm and calming. I keep a stash of herbal teas and reach for them when I want snacks, sweets, or chocolate late at night—which I know will disturb my sleep. Many herbal teas actually help relax you. Nighttime favorites include a digestive blend (see p 309 in Eat Pretty Every Day for ingredients), tulsi, or a Natural Calm magnesium drink, which further relaxes the body and prepares it for restful sleep.

3. Take a bath. You already know that baths feel amazing, but do you know why they're especially sleep-inducing? Baths raise your body temperature and then lower it when you exit the bath, signaling to your body that it's time for sleep. Add some salts and essential oils like lavender and sandalwood for even greater chill factor. I'd take one every night if I could, but I settle for days when I've been especially busy or stressed, and it helps me wind down.

4. Set aside nightly self-care time. Yes, washing your face counts as self-care. But I challenge you to do more. If you bathe or shower at night, definitely opt for a dry brushing ritual, followed by a head-to-toe natural or organic body oil or lotion. Your skin and body will be so relaxed, and you'll get the best sleep. Right now I am using the incredibly lovely Osmia Night body oil from the latest Beauty Heroes Discovery Box, and it's the best pre-sleep oil I've ever used. It combines more than a half-dozen organic oils (think evening primrose, hemp, kukui nut, avocado...) with organic French lavender and Roman chamomile, two classic calming botanicals that are ideal for nighttime. Overall, this particular oil is relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin. After this ritual, you'll feel so luxurious you'll want to sleep in silk sheets!

5. Clear your mind. Taking 3 minutes to write a quick to-do list for the next day helps me feel less stressed and more organized before getting into bed. Nothing keeps me up more than a racing mind. I also love journaling my thoughts, or even taking time to express gratitude, in my head or in writing, for the gifts of the day.

What's your must-do ritual for beautifying sleep? You can read more in-depth about the foods and habits that support great sleep in Eat Pretty!

Watch the Eat Pretty Every Day Trailer!

Welcome to my house! A few weeks ago, I welcomed cameras into my kitchen to shoot this video peek into Eat Pretty Every Day. If you're wondering what's inside, how this book complements Eat Pretty, or what you'll receive if you bring Eat Pretty Every Day into your life, here's the perfect place to start—in one minute and forty seconds!

You can read more about Eat Pretty Every Day and get even more info here, as well as find links to preorder.

if you do preorder Eat Pretty Every Day, don't miss this SPECIAL bonus:

The first 100 US-based readers who preorder Eat Pretty Every Day and enter their info at http://budurl.com/eatprettyeveryday will receive a lovely package with a limited edition Eat Pretty Every Day print, a special dessert recipe, and a sachet of one of my favorite tulsi teas for beauty!

Eat Pretty Every Day is Here!

Meet Eat Pretty Every Day.

This incredibly info-packed volume offers hundreds of beautifying ideas for you to incorporate into your life—one for each day of the year. The inspiration behind the book was you—the readers who have asked me for more ideas, more guidance, and more real-life beauty nutrition strategies since Eat Pretty debuted! I wanted to put as many beautifying ideas as I could into a book that would motivate you every time you picked it up and flipped through its pages. I believe that, even though we all lead busy lives, we can all do one thing every day to nourish our best selves. And I tested that belief—to its core—while I was writing this book, trying to juggle clients, writing 1000+ words a day, and caring for my then-one year-old. It was HARD. I was depleted. But I used my own advice to nourish and build myself back up during an intense time. The ideas that made the cut for this book are the real-life strategies that I use myself, and recommend to my clients.

The message: do one thing every day to make yourself glow, as the book challenges you!

Inside you'll find more than a simple page-a-day book. Eat Pretty Every Day is organized seasonally, so the ideas you read will more closely match the spirit, intentions, and your personal beauty needs of that season.

There's really something for everyone here. I know from working with clients around the world that we all learn, absorb, and get inspired in different ways. So the entries in Eat Pretty Every Day incorporate beautifying recipes, kitchen tips, self-care practices, mantras to bring mindfulness to mealtime, physical activities, weekly challenges, hands-on projects, food profiles, and so many other varied approaches to bringing more beauty into your body and your life. Every entry and approach may not suit you, but since there is so much variety you are sure to find many ideas that will be a great fit for your lifestyle. THOSE entries are the ones that will stick with you, and help you build more beauty into your daily routine!

Check out some more visuals of what you'll find inside:

I hope that you'll check out Eat Pretty Every Day, and let me know if you're inspired by what you find inside. Eat Pretty Every Day will be released on October 25th, but you can preorder today on Indiebound, Amazon.comBarnesandnoble.com, and Chronicle Books.

And don't miss this preorder bonus:

The first 100 US-based readers who preorder Eat Pretty Every Day and enter their info at http://budurl.com/eatprettyeveryday will receive a lovely package with a limited edition Eat Pretty Every Day print, a special dessert recipe, and a sachet of one of my favorite tulsi teas for beauty!

Meet the New 'Eat Pretty, Live Well' Journal!

I'm so thrilled to share the news that the Eat Pretty, Live Well guided journal is only a few days from hitting shelves—or making it into your hands! April 5th is launch day. I've been waiting a full year for you to be able to use the tools compiled within its pages (seriously, I remember writing the text on sunny spring days just like this one last year!).

Because this book is quite different from Eat Pretty, but very much complementary, I wanted to answer a few FAQs that I thought you might have. To preorder the journal so it lands on your doorstep on April 5, you can visit Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

What's a 'guided journal?'

Eat Pretty, Live Well is a compilation of essential beauty nutrition info, new strategies, trackers, self-assessments, and time-tested tools that I use one-on-one with my clients—all with a focus on food and mindfulness for beauty and health. It's a companion to Eat Pretty that also stands on its own as an interactive book to help jumpstart a new lifestyle, set, track, and meet beauty goals, or reset when you're feeling out of balance.  Reading and writing in it helps you tune into your body, track habits and foods, and build more moments of beauty into your everyday life.

What can I use it for?

I'll let this little excerpt from the journal intro give you some ideas...

What will I be writing about in the journal?

You'll be able to pick and choose which pages are most helpful to you, or follow the journal from page 1 to page 156. Some tools you may want to start with: the Beauty Profile and the Food Relationship and Self-Love Q&As, or the Seasonal Challenge pages for the current season you're in. The latter portion of the book provides Daily Food Diary pages that help you record daily intentions, check off nutrition and self-care musts for beauty, and record your meals and the way they make you feel. You can use these pages daily, or return to them whenever you need a reset.

Do I have to own, or have read, Eat Pretty in order to use Eat Pretty, Live Well?

Definitely not, although if you have read Eat Pretty, you'll see right away just how the two books work together. Eat Pretty, Live Well puts the info in Eat Pretty into practice, and it builds on it, with new information, action plans, grocery lists, and visuals (like the Eat Pretty Plate illustration, below). Whether or not you've read Eat Pretty, you can pick up the journal and explore the concept of beauty nutrition with tools that can be used to jumpstart beautifying habits immediately.

I can't wait to see all of the ways you use this journal in your beautiful life! For even more info, visit my Eat Pretty, Live Well page. If you have more questions, please leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to address them.

Thank you for your support and, above all, your constant inspiration!

In beauty and health,

Jolene

2016 Beauty, In One Word

Resolutions come, and resolutions go. They never quite seemed to work for me. So I shelved my old New Year's resolutions three years ago in order to take a new approach: a word of the year. Instead of a particular goal, in anticipation of every new year I choose a single word that sums up how I want to feel that year, or how I want the year's events to feel to me. Almost like a year-long affirmation.

Here's an earlier post I wrote on the idea.

The year I had a baby and released my book Eat Pretty, my word was VITAL, “having remarkable energy, liveliness or force of personality.” It was a lively, energetic, busy time! The year before that, while I was in preparation mode, my word was RELAXED. I needed some major down time in my life at that moment.

This year, my word is 'MAGICAL.'

I've encountered the word 'magical' over and over recently, and I'm taking it as a sign that, rather unexpectedly, it's going to be my word this year. I feel ready to stop trying to micromanage my life and allow more magic to happen organically. I want 2016 to be a year of magical moments and memories personally, at home with my son and husband, and professionally, as I launch two more books and dream up new ideas. So far, I've loved the result of tweaking my mindset as I approach the new year, and I love the creation process of finding that one perfect word much more than coming up with a traditional goal. It's a much better fit for a writer like me!

So, could you change your approach to resolutions this year too? Spend some time thinking about the word that sums up the way you'd like 2016 to feel. One of my clients chose the word 'joyful.' Another gravitated toward 'patient.' There is so much wisdom in your personal word of the year. Display it somewhere where you'll see it regularly, to have it guide your feelings and decisions in the year to come.

I wish you a year of beauty, health, and your best self in 2016!

xo, Jolene

1, 2, 3: Your Fall Beauty Focus List

I’m always amazed that this time of the year— the transition between summer and fall— has its own unique look, feel and smell. The sun and air are changing, ever so slowly, but for a time we’re smack in between two distinct seasons, “living at the instant where the pendulum reverses its swing,” describes nutrition researcher Paul Pitchford his book Healing with Whole Foods. My body and skin feel that difference!

While you savor the unique energy of this transitioning moment of the year, I wanted to share some of the best areas of focus for your beauty and body this fall. If you could keep just three ideas in mind for the fall season, make them: digestion, connection, & repair.

I explain why (and how) ahead.

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Preserving Your Summer Herbs

Now that the cool morning air has me pulling the covers a little closer, I can no longer deny it— summer is waning.  And while the sun still feels hot at noon, plants now get fewer hours of sunshine. This month, leaves begin to turn and our gardens start their seasonal decline. The garden plants that I miss most when the growing season ends are herbs. I love stuffing handfuls of fresh parsley, basil and mint into my blender for morning smoothies. I depend on a library of fresh thyme, oregano, dill, rosemary, sage and chives to season my meals. I also adore their beauty benefits.

Many of us don’t consider the incredibly beautifying properties of fresh herbs. Basil protects cells from oxidative (pro-aging) damage, parsley is rich in the beauty mineral iron, while thyme is a powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory (bye-bye blemishes), and sage helps regulate bile flow for healthy digestion. Mint and cilantro are powerful detoxifiers.

Every fall, I hatch plans to extend the life of my herb garden so that I can continue the flavorful, beauty-boosting harvest into the winter. After years of trial and error, here are my favorite ways to preserve your herbs:

Dry them.  This seems to work best with more potent herbs like oregano and thyme, two varieties that retain their flavor when dried. I like to cut their stems near the soil, wash them and leave them to dry on the counter for several days. When they’re fully dried, slide your fingers over the stems to remove the leaves and transfer them into a jar.

Freeze flat. Freezing the leaves of some herbs (basil, for example), retains the delicate flavor better than drying. Freeze clean, dry leaves flat on a baking sheet first, then transfer to a freezer bag or container. When you need basil for a winter recipe, pull it out, chop it and toss it into your meal.

Freeze cubes. Fill empty ice cube trays with fresh herbs (chopped or whole), cover with a little water and freeze them into cubes. When a soup, stew or baked dish calls for herbs, pop out the ones you need and add them to your creation. You can freeze measured amounts (eg: 1 tbsp chopped parsley), or base quantities on taste.

 Make pesto. Pesto is a delicious way to preserve the flavor of your basil, though basil isn’t the only herb that works well in this style. Try making pesto with fresh parsley, thyme or cilantro as well. Add olive oil and raw nuts (walnuts, cashews or pine nuts work well), season, and freeze to preserve the flavor.

Bring them indoors. This is the hardest, and least foolproof, method of extending your herb season. I’ve had healthy green herbs wither as soon as the indoor heat switches on in November, and turn a pitiful shade of yellow without the strong midday sun. For the best results, give your indoor herbs the sunniest spot in the house, and water them consistently (but don’t over-water, especially herbs like rosemary and sage that like drier, sandier soil).

What’s your favorite method of preserving herbs?

Eat Pretty & My Summer Snack Picks in InStyle!

Ever have one of those moments that really makes you stop and reflect? Maybe you run into an old friend or come across a photograph (er...digital photo?), and suddenly you're aware of the passage of time. It hits you that dozens and dozens of tiny changes have taken you from point A to point Z in your life— so far away from where you've been!

I'm feeling that right now.

The May 2014 issue of InStyle features my new book Eat Pretty in the What's Now! section (I think that means it's a must-have!). This would be exciting for anyone, but it's especially meaningful to me, since I spent years working at InStyle, both in the fashion closet and the beauty department. InStyle is where I nurtured my love of fashion and catapulted my career in beauty, among a team of writers, editors and design pros who are simply the best in the biz. To see my own book in its pages really makes my journey from staff writer to health coach and entrepreneur come full circle for me.

Thank you InStyle!

Check out the issue (I also contributed to the awesome 2014 Best Beauty Buys story!) and get a head start on summer snacking to stay slim, glowing and protected from the sun's rays in the season ahead. I personally can't wait to read the interview with Cameron Diaz (her new title The Body Book is on my wish list!).

Here's the story...

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Look Slimmer and Age Better by Correcting This

beauty-wellness-posture.png

In the past I'd given barely any conscious thought to posture. But when it goes awry, when someone slouches or arches in a way that's uncomfortable and unflattering, it's hard not to notice.

Why am I so hung up on posture up now? I think I need to work on my own! Looking and feeling your best includes the way you present yourself, so when you schlump around you don't just lack poise and grace— you age yourself and add perceived pounds.

Here's my situation:

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