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Self-Care Series: Lauren Nixon, Food & Wellness Educator

Lauren Nixon is a Food & Wellness Educator based out of Washington, D.C, who who guides people in cultivating spirit-filled lives through self-care practices and real, healthy food. The attention and care that she devotes to eating and living well are palpable, and it’s an honor and joy to have the opportunity to share our conversation here. In Part 1 of this two part series, we chat about her self-care practices. In Part 2, we’ll be talking about intuitive eating. Enjoy! – xx K

Hi, Lauren! Tell us about your self-care practices. How did you arrive at this point of your self-care journey? 

Although I’ve always woven various self-care practices into my life, after 6 years of living in New York, I realized that my self-care practices were not enough and that I was living in a city that just wasn’t the right environment for me.

Leaving New York was the first step in revamping my self-care practice. I needed someplace quieter, with more nature, with more space. I needed to feel like I could breathe. After bopping around for a few years to farm and garden and teach and have my quarter life crisis outside of New York, I moved to Washington, D.C. I’m originally from Silver Spring, MD, a metropolitan area that’s right outside of the city, so being back feels like I’m bringing my self-care practice full circle and returning to my home space to gather certain parts of myself from my youth and to have a chat with those parts. It’s nice. And rigorous. For me, physical environment plays a huge role in my internal self-care practice.

Right now, my self-care practice involves gobbling up library books, spending time with my friends, dating, riding my bike, cooking, spending lots of time alone in nature, avoiding drama and low vibrations, and stepping into my authentic self. I also have an asana and pranayama practice and an affinity for journaling that really nourishes me.

How do you keep yourself on the path of self-care? 

I keep my self-care practice going because it feels really good. It feels really good to take care of myself and to have energy and to feel healthy, and alert, and strong. It feels good to feel emotionally, intellectually, and physically ready for your day, your week, your month ahead. I also remind myself of what burnout feels like. I’ve been there. It’s not a cute place to be.

My self-care practice doesn’t necessarily require much discipline because I feel so good on a daily basis and I want to maintain that delicious feeling. Of course, there are days when I don’t feel so hot. But that’s when my self-care practice shifts a bit. Sometimes I let myself cry in bed or watch really terrible Netflix movies for a few days. But then I remember that I have a divine purpose and that I need to be an active participant in my self-care practice and that my moping has an expiration date.

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It feels good to feel emotionally, intellectually, and physically ready for your day, your week, your month ahead.

What are some of your inspirations? 

I’m really influenced by ancestral and feminine knowledge. I’m interested in how people lived, what they ate, and how they sustained themselves before happiness became a commodity. I’m influenced by the knowledge and stories that are passed down by women. I’m influenced by my body. I listen to its cravings, its impulses, its gut feelings. I’m influenced by nature. I’m influenced by my friends. They are good listeners and smart people and forces to be reckoned with.

Are there any resources you turn to?

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a classic. When I was 26, I read it in bed and sobbed like a baby and I’ve been meaning to revisit it. It’s a really powerful call for women to step into their power.

BlackGirlInOm is doing important work. It’s important for women of color to have a space to talk about their lives and experiences.

I’m really keen on a lot of healthy food blogs. It inspires me to see how other people nourish themselves. Right now, I love Will Frolic For Food, Earthsprout, My New Roots, and a handful of others.

Reading my horoscope is a really great way to set he tone for my week and to think about how I can best take care of myself and avoid self-induced nonsense and foolishenss. I really like astrobarry, Chani Nicholas, and Susan Miller at Astrology Zone. They keep me on track. I also really appreciate a good tarot reading every few months. I had an awesome reading by Mecca Woods of mylifecreated.com and it was insane how much perspective I received from someone who hasn’t even met me.

Books play a big role in my life and remind me that I’m never alone. This year, I’ve read a lot by really great female authors. I’ve read Danzy Senna, Alice Walker, Jeanette Winterson, Helen Oyeyemi and many others. Books remind me that I am a powerful little speck in a big, big world.

Photo of Lauren by Chelsea Keat.

Lauren Nixon is a Food and Wellness Educator who guides youth and adults in creating healthy, nourishing relationships with local, sustainable food through cooking instruction and educational workshops. She has had the pleasure of working with sustainable food and environmental education organizations including FoodCorps, Urban Nutrition Initiative, Raices Eco Culture Micro Farm, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, Hidden Villa, and many more. Follow Lauren on Twitter @LaurenNNixon or at www.laurennixon.com

Eating Well Wellness

This feels amazing: lemon water

Lemon Water

A lukewarm glass of lemon water every morning, to be precise. (Along with drawing a card a day in the morning with my beloved The Wild Unknown tarot deck.)

I decided to try this simple addition to my diet because I wanted a way to kickstart my mornings well, and I just didn’t want to spring for a juice cleanse, after a couple weeks of eating and sleeping badly. And mostly because I’m just unable to wrap my mind around the fact that cold pressed juices can cost THIS MUCH. My moment of shame was in purchasing a $10 bottle of juice from Dean & Deluca. Yes I know, what was I expecting from D&D? In NYC no less? But in my defense, there was no price tag and I thought, surely it can’t cost more than $5 right?

Wrong.

The upside: It really was a pretty damn delicious glass of juice.

Still, the Virgo in me was aghast. What would that $10 have bought me? A bowl from Chipotle that I can consume for 3 straight meals (yes, really), and change. A book. 3 coffees to get me through 3 work days. Juice cleanses cost upwards of $40 or more, A LOT MORE, for a 3-day program. I just can’t justify it to myself. And believe me, I’m pretty good at justifying purchases to myself.

Plus, not eating anything and just drinking juice would make me a really ANGRY PERSON. I’d rather aim for moderation – attempting to eat healthily on the daily instead of subjecting oneself to torturous regimens once in a blue moon. For example, see: “Excavation Cleanse” from BluePrint Cleanse: “This option unearths those crayons and other art class delicacies you chowed down in first grade. We’re digging deep.” 

Yikes. It all sounds both terrifying and intriguing, all at once.

So being a relatively health-conscious person on a budget (other than the times I give myself permission to snack on chocolate, instant noodles and chips, like those two weeks I mentioned up there when I indulged more often than I should have…), I was immediately taken by the benefits of lemon water:

Freshen Your Skin
Thanks to all the vitamin C within lemons, your skin reaps the benefits of you drinking the fruit as well. According to FitDay, vitamin C assists in the production of collagen, so having more in your diet can prevent wrinkles from forming. And of course, drinking lots of water is great for skin in general.

Pump Up The Immune System
There’s a reason you’re always drawn to oranges when you’re sick — once again, the power of vitamin C at play. Consuming the vitamin daily (via lemon water) can help keep you healthy and stave off infection, notes The World’s Healthiest Foods.

Strengthens The Brain
Lemon may be known best for its vitamin C, but it also contains potassium, which helps with brain and nerve function. So for a quick natural way to feel more alert, lemon water is a great bet.

Cleanses The Liver
As reported by LiverSupport.com, in Dr. Alexander F. Beddoe’s Biological Ionization in Human Nutrition, he notes the liver can make more enzymes out of lemon juice than any other food. While we aren’t advocating for an intensive cleanse (we know those are unnecessarily), this can help give your organ a boost.

There are a ton of resources out there about lemon water in the morning, but the bits above are just some of many health benefits listed from a Huffington Post article. Bonus: I bought 4 lemons from Whole Foods for just $3, which is a total score, and can last me for two weeks.

I can say for sure that my skin has never looked clearer. And I can also confirm the benefits with regards to… ahem, bowel and bladder movements. Oversharing much, but my point is – it totally works!

P.S. There was also a deal going on at Whole Foods for Evolution cold-pressed juice, 2 for $5 – the Defense Up (orange, mango, acerola) was tasty, but the Apple & Carrot one? Not so much.

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