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Witches, Psychics, Shamans and Mystics You Should be Following On Instagram Right Now

Forget everything you think you know about witches, psychics or shamans. Society, films and even the media, have brainwashed us to fear the unknown, but social platforms are slowly changing the way we view spirituality and old religions though individual stories. It might surprise you to know that people accused of being a witch were simply herbalists, healers and midwives. Today’s witches feel no need to hide, although some still choose to keep their practice private, making connecting with a likeminded coven a breeze. Instagram is one of the best places to highlight your work through photography and videos, network, and even get tips on becoming a witch or shaman yourself. When seeking a shaman or psychic nothing compares to one-on-one meetings, but social media allows us to cast a wider net. Whatever type of spiritual fulfillment or answers you seek, these Instagram accounts happily provide. We highlight accounts that help us get inspired, celebrate our differences and teach us to keep an open mind.

We present our list of Witches, Psychics, Shamans and Mystics to follow right now.

Mystic Mama

Mystic, artist and writer, Mijanou Montealegre is your number one source for astrology reporting. Every full moon we cannot wait for her and her collaborators take on what the universe has in store for us. Not only is Mijanou Montealegre a talented writer, her incredible collage artwork inspires us to dig deeper and live an authentic life.

Enter the Mystic Mama Shop for limited edition prints of digital art collages by Mijanou Montealegre.

The HoodWitch

Bruja, artist, storyteller, Bri Luna, is the mastermind behind The HoodWitch. The HoodWitch grew into a brand that stands out and often gets recognized for creating an online community where there was none. As a Black and Mexican woman, Bri Luna did not see herself represented and decided to do something about it.

“Being a Black and Mexican woman, I always want to feel like I’m being represented, but that was missing. Classes and workshops that were available were primarily focused on Eurocentric forms of spirituality and Pagan traditions. Not so much African or Indigenous or Mexican.” — Bri Luna

Shop smudging sticks or book a reading with The HoodWitch.

The Lioness Oracle

Tarot reader, artist, and occult aficionado, Alejandra Luisa Leon, followed her dreams in search of genuine living and spirituality. She is succeeding in more away than one. Alejandra’s love of tarot prompted her to create gorgeous tarot decks that will make you swoon. Follow her to see what else she can do.

To purchase tarot decks, visit The Lioness Oracle.

HausWitch

Witch and feminist Erica Feldmann, managed to create a one-of-a kind healing space in Salem Massachusetts, America’s number one Halloween destination. If you find yourself in Salem, HausWitch sells home, skincare, and healing products. Erica Fedlmann has attracted a community that collaborates with brands, covens and artists. The shop is a safe space to gather and get inspired.

We make sure to stop by HausWitch for Spell Kits, witchy decor and to discover new skincare brands.

Bill Crisafi

Artist and co-creator/owner of Burial Ground, Bill Crisafi, will bless your feed with fun artwork and creativity of someone nostalgic for the victorian style of old New England. If you fancy yourself to be an occult-student and enjoy a break from the usual follow both accounts for daily inspiration.

Bill Crisafi THE MOON’S GARDEN FINE ART PRINT

Halloween is almost around the corner, shop Bill Crisafi’s art and accessories or Burial Ground jewelry for your fellow witchy life enthusiast.

Anima Mundi Herbals / Adriana Ayales

Herbalism is its own form of witch craft. Herbalist, Adriana Ayales Boom, created Anima Mundi Herbals, bridging ancient remedies with the modern world. The results speak for themselves. Anima Mundi Herbals has a large following because the apothecary brings self-healing to individuals and brands alike. The herbs are sustainably sourced and with a simply click of a website you can start taking charge of your body and your mood.

To shop follow Anima Mundi Herbals, and to gain insight into the life of a Costa Rican seer follow Anima Mundi Herbal’s head bruja, Adriana Ayales Boom.

Mama Medicine

If you have yet to acquaint yourself with Deborah Hanekamp (aka: Mama Medicine), do yourself a favor and follow her now. The renowned shaman shares our belief in being your own healer. Mama Medicine reads, teaches and heals in her New York space, on retreats, and with take-home tools. If you like what you see on Instagram, we highly recommend booking a Medicine Reading.

Join Mama Medicine in-person for an intensive immersion into the empowerment of Being Your Own Healer in Miami on October 20.

Thoughtful Bear

Vegan Recipe and Content Creator and self-described Eclectic Brujo, Joseph Cuevas, has been a lifelong witch (I should know, we met in High School). He introduced me to culinary magic and how important it is to celebrate holidays with the right ingredients at your table. Joseph Cuevas lives authentically every day, infusing magic into every day life. You do not want to miss his recipes and thoughts on all things occult.

Thoughtful Bear Hibiscus Mojo recipe

Visit Thoughtful Bear and learn how to make vegan magic.

Annabel Margaret

Green witch, YouTuber and aspiring herbalist, Annabel Margaret, actively seeks nature and shares her journey through beautiful videos. Annabel’s videos are addictive because her voice is calming and transports you into another world. The videographer shares recipes, magic and moments from her private life, including her struggle with a chronic illness (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome). This talented witch does not let the disorder define her. In fact, she enjoys making food even though she cannot eat it.

Follow Annabel’s videos of the natural world on YouTube or Patrean.

Madame Pamita

Reader, teacher, author, rootworker, and the proprietress of Madame Pamita’s Parlour of Wonders, Madame Pamita highlights folk magic (more specifically slavic magic). Madame Pamita’s online emporium helps beginners learn about tarot reading and gain insight into doing shellwork.

Madame Pamita’s latest book (coming April 2022), Baba Yaga Book of Witchcraft promises to be filled with storytelling and tools to help you understand Baba Yaga’s craft. We cannot wait to discover the Baba Yaga within.

Powerful Mushroom Supplements, Tinctures and Skincare To Try Right Now

Foraging for mushrooms is not exactly art – it is a cultural pastime and a culinary adventure. In most Central and Eastern European countries, foraging was not only a skill pased down by our caregivers, it was at times a necessity. When I close my eyes I can still remember the earthy scent of drying mushrooms in our attic. The precious trophies were sliced and laid out on newspapers in the hottest and driest place in the house. It was a bounty any forager would be proud of and a promise of warm winter soups and a special cabbage dish for Christmas dinner. Among europeans mushroom picking can get quite competitive, and you never reveal the locations of your finds. Certain fungi typically grow in the same spot where you found them the year before. Immigrants brought this hobby with them to the US and never gave it up. Every fall my father still seeks out mushrooms and promptly makes a soup unlike any you will find at a fine restaurant. Foraging in the US has been on the rise. Today it is the communing with nature, exercise and technology-free time with loved ones that draws us into the woods. The discovery of fungi takes smarts, luck and when mushroom picking you better know your poisonous mushrooms. If you find yourself tempted by this new hobby, October is the best time for mushroom picking.

Evgeni Tcherkasski Photography

The world of fungi has grown to new innovative heights. The science is not there yet, but some of us always knew how special mushrooms can be. We know the mental health community could benefit greatly. In the meantime, we give you our favorite finds on the market right now. Whether you seek calm, gut healing, better skin, or a memory boost, there is something on the list for everyone.  

FUNGI TO THE RESCUE – MUSHROOM PRODUCTS WE LOVE

Moon Juice Acid Potion Liquid Exfoliator

Your Super Magic Mushroom Superfood Powder

Hanacure Nano Emulsion

Rainbo Lion’s Mane Brain Power Super-Mushroom

Good Flower Farm Magic Mushroom Facial Toner

MUD\WTR™ Coffee Alternative

Quaint ‘Land in the Sky’: The Best Upstate New York Getaways For All Budgets

The vastness of New York State beckons travelers to choose their own adventure. It is no secret, Upstate New York has a lot to offer. The recently renewed popularity of the Catskills is undeniable. The young and old alike go upstate in search of natural tranquility, lake cabins, fishing, hiking, historical site tours, art fairs, laid-back summer bungalows, Woodstock site concerts, and who can forget about nostalgia of the Borscht Belt resorts. The state has a history of being enjoyed as a vacation destination since the early 1920s, but it was not until the 1940s when the State Division of Commerce made it a part of their mission to attract even more tourism. The 1939 New York World Fair, held in New York City, took the opportunity to promote upstate with the help of the Barlow Advertising Agency. They suggested visitors to the city take a tour of the Catskills on their way to and from the fair. Their catch phrase described the Catskills as the “Quaint ‘Land in the Sky’ where Rip Van Winkle used to hunt”. Okay so these are not the same Catskills you enjoy today, but the concept is the same – relax right in your back yard. We did, and not only did it rejuvenate the body and mind, it got our creative juices flowing.

Ready to escape the city? Here is our list of places to consider for your next country getaway.

Windham NY is a two hour and 46 minutes drive from New York City.

Eastwind Hotel & Bar – Glamping Adventure

Pack for your fall adventure! If the mountains call but camping scares you, we highly recommend you try Eastwind’s version of glamping. Windham New York was easily our favorite getaway this summer. Choose to stay in one of Eastwind’s almost-camping stand alone cabins, or opt for a room in the main house. Either way, you will still appreciate the open starry skies, making your own food above a fire, hikes to waterfalls, outdoor saunas and a specialty cocktail, or two, at their cozy bar. You get served a complimentary welcome drink upon arrival and they even let you keep the Eastwind cup. You can have as little or as much contact with others. There are no social distancing worries here. The owner and manager communicate through text, making check-in and check-out a breeze.

A short drive and hike to Westkill Mountain Trailhead was well worth it. We enjoyed cooling off on a hot day in the cold, but refreshing water, and took in waterfall views.

While we highly recommend going with the flow here (you are still almost-camping after all), the staff goes above and beyond to help you have a relaxing experience. Eastwind submerges you into a place where you want to unplug from all electronics and just be.

Mirbeau Inn & Spa is the jewel of Rhinebeck. There is plenty of parking and the town is walkable.

Mirbeau Inn & Spa The French Escape

European style couples escape! Mirbeau has three upstate locations, and while we have personally only tried the newest location in Rhinebeck, we have no doubt they are all equally excellent. Our experience was enriched by the hotel’s refined concept. Mirbeau invokes European style hotels and spas. There is nothing else like it in New York. Rhinebeck’s chateau architecture houses a restaurant, bar and a spa. If you find yourself in need of rekindling the spark with your partner but can’t make it to Europe, this is the place to do it. All rooms come with a fireplace, soaking tub, Eucalyptus shower mist and a sound machine. Whether you’re the breakfast in bed type, or early morning hike type, Rhinebeck is happy to provide.

Heated pool and bar at Mirbeau Rhinebeck reflects European hospitality

We chose this place for its European flair and spa. The pool area is easily the jewel of this hotel, and it is never crowded (a must while we fight the pandemic.) For our treatment we chose Monet’s favorite fragrance massage, and afterwards enjoyed quiet moments in the tranquil meditation room. The elegance of Mirbeau, plus special attention from customer service makes this getaway worth the drive. Mirbeau is two hours away from the city. Make sure to stop in Kingston for more sight seeing and shopping. Finding a local beauty shop is always on our travel checklist. Flora Beauty Wellness Apothecary on Kingston’s John Street helped us discover an in-house line, 58Flora. In Rhinebeck we stubbled upon the very fashionable Zephyr boutique.

The Crooked Cabana pool is a popular place to relax, You can choose to book your time at the pool in advance.

The Roxbury Contemporary Catskill Lodging – Inspiring Refresher

Step into your fantasy! The Roxbury Experience lives up to its name. It is a feast for the eyes with plenty of artistry, history, relaxation, and inspiration. First, you should know The Roxbury has two locations. The original Motel location is right in the downtown area of Roxbury and has its own spa, Stratton Falls is two miles away and is known for its impressive property, with a pool and a waterfall. The mansion and property comes with intriguing history, giving the hotel a mysterious aura. Stratton Falls opened right before the pandemic and with this in mind, we went with the flow and made sure to book our spa/pool time in advance. At Stratton Falls you can book a room in the mansion house or choose one of their themed tower cottages. In case you’re worried about missing out, The Roxbury Experience allows you to enjoy both properties. We made sure to book some time at both spas and were not disappointed. Spending time in the spa library almost made us forget about the stress of the last two years.

The Brother’s Stratton Room was inspired by two brothers who lived on the property and fought in the Revolutionary War.

The owners are very hands on and there to make sure you have an excellent time. One cannot talk about The Roxbury Experience without mentioning the interiors. Our first night was spent at the Mill of the Frozen Falls. This room comes with an outdoor porch and rocking chairs. This is where you really get to take in the property while enjoying your morning coffee (complimentary in the main lobby). As a beauty editor I could not help but admire the room’s large and sparkly bathroom vanity. Our second night we were wowed by the craftsmanship of The Brother’s Stratton Room. For our next adventure we aim to stay in one of the Tower Cottages. This place is a must-see in person.

Resorts World Catskills – Country Fun

Visiting the Catskills is not always a rustic affair. You can have your country fun in a luxury setting. Resorts World Catskills in Monticello aims to please with spacious rooms, oversized bathrooms and sit down vanity, Molton Brown toiletries, renowned restaurant options, free entertainment and best of all, the Crystal Life Spa. If your partner prefers table games, but you prefer relaxation, Crystal Life Spa is truly an oasis away from the busy casino floor. The spa has its own pool and a full treatment menu. We highly recommend the C’ The Difference Antioxidant Facial and a Deep Sleep Massage.

Crystal Life Spa pool reserved for spa goers

If you do want to leave the hotel, Monticello is 7 minutes away from the Bethel Woods Arts Center – the original site of Woodstock. For a full review of this hotel and spa read “My Experience at Resorts World Catskills New Crystal Life Spa”.

Hotel Dylan – Artist’s Hideaway

Peace. Love. Stay. While the Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 took place in Bethel Woods (40 miles southwest of Woodstock New York), this upstate town was always known for attracting talent. If you are looking to get inspired and let the music guide you, visit Woodstock and stay at Hotel Dylan. The remodel of this hotel is magazine spread worthy. It feels like a hippie chic home away from home. The modern interiors still feel laid back enough to be cozy. We love the personal touches, such as vinyl record players in every room, hidden speakers and Lather toiletries. The property offers relaxing activities, like pool time, hard cider tasting room, outdoor fire pit, and there are plenty of books at your disposal.

Hotel Dylan has done an impeccable job capturing the spirit of Woodstock. It is no wonder that guests cannot get enough and keep coming back for more. Get cozy and feel the spirit of Woodstock, one of New York’s most famous towns.

Celebrating National Lipstick Day: Cheer Up Your Lips With These Brands

The ritual of humans coloring their lips has been around for thousands of years. Lip colors, their source, and the vessels they came in have changed throughout the years – thankfully in 2021 we have the option of transparency on ingredients and even design. Considering we ingest some of the lip color throughout the day, that is a very good thing. Lipstick is not going anyplace, in fact it the one stable product which sells no matter the economy.

Even if you love lipstick due to mask wearing we have had to do without. Let’s change that today and put on a bright color to cheer up your day.

Here Are Our All Time Favorite Clean Brands For Lipsticks That Stick Out In the Crowd.

La Bouche Rouge Refillable Lipstick, Elsa Hosk x La bouche rouge collection

Aveda Feed My Lips Collection of lipsticks, pencils and liquid color balms

W3LL PEOPLE Optimist Lipstick, Brave

Kjaer Weis Lipstick

Glossier Ultra Lip hydrating shine + color

Kosas Weightless Lipstick

Rituel de Fille Devil’s Claw, Bright Red

rms beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick

Ilia Color Block High Impact Lipstick, Flame

Axiology Multi-use Balmie Set, Super Fan Pack

How To Cool Off This Summer: Take a Cold Plunge In Style And Beat The Heat

It’s a heat wave! No matter how you choose to celebrate the longer hours of summer, do it with the right tools in hand. Presenting ways to stay cool and safe this summer.

At-Home Cold Plunge

Don’t have access to a pool? On a particular hot day, cool down with a cold bath. Yes, a cold bath is a real way to bring the temperature down, improve circulation, relieve depression, and improve deep breathing. If you are afraid to take the plunge, cold showers are a great way to help you ease into a cold bath. When it’s truly hot and humid, you likely won’t mind getting in. Limit your time until you cool down, physically and mentally. The trick to tolerating a cold shower or bath is to take deep breaths, with slow exhales. If that still seems like too much for you, try the contrast shower. First shower as normal, then at the end switch between cool and warm, 20 seconds each. End your shower with cool. This therapeutic shower will improve your blood flow and boost your energy.

Special Product Tip: As bath soak aficionados (with our own shop, The Soak Club, to open soon) we are forever on the look out for bath accessories. We recently tried the Bath Bean, and honestly, where has this product been all our lives? Slipping in the bath makes for an uncomfortable experience, the bath bean solves that, and more. The suction at the bottom of the bath bean keeps you in place and reclined. This means your hands are free to do other things, and wait for it..you don’t have to get your hair wet.

Mylle inflatable pool in green

Setting yourself up with a blowup pool in your very own back yard is no problem, but if you live in the city, space is always a dilemma. Have access to your rooftop and a nice landlord? Get creative with inflatable accessories. Kiddie pools are, well for kids, so set yourself up in style.

Special Product Tip: We recently stumbled upon these stylish inflatable pools by Mylle. In fact, they are so chic, most styles sold out during the pandemic.

Skincare Cool Off

The heat can exhausting. On an extra hot day we swear by Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Liquid Soap. It cools the skin, tingles for all the right reasons, helps clear sinuses and boosts energy.

Face feeling hot? Rael Moisture Melt Snowball is one of the more interesting ways to cool your skin and get much-needed hyaluronic acid. Made with freeze-dried technology this serum provides you with an instant surge of moisture that is clinically proven to last for 100 hours.  

Get Back To Nature

If flying still feels too risky (or too expensive), try a road trip to a lake or hike to a swimming hole. This is the perfect time to get out there and appreciate nature. Cooling off under a waterfall makes for a great story. Hiking, camping, renting a beach house, and becoming one with America’s landscapes is a great way to spend your summer and practice social distancing. Make sure to practice caution and abide by warning signs.

Taking a short road trip, or a weekend getaway to the beach means bringing some essentials.

Special Product Tip: The Founder of Go Dash Dot, Hannah Fastov, solved the space problem with her carryall bags. As soon as Hannah graduated from George Washington University and started working in fashion, she realized the need for a bag that lets you go from morning to night with ease. If you’re looking for a sleek backpack or a stylish duffle for a weekend trip, Go Dash Dot has you covered. Our personal favorites are the summer white backpacks, the Easy Denim Tote and the Puffle White Iridescent duffle. You’ll love the endless space, waterproof design, various attachments and ways to use the bags. We just can’t wait to use ours.

wellinsulated heat-proof cosmetics case

Speaking of packing. This one is for all the beauty lovers out there. We know the beach or campsite can be a hot place. We always wondered how to keep the sunscreen cool and our phone from melting. Introducing, wellinsulated. Wellinsulated makes stylish cases and pouches to protect your expensive skincare and electronics, both at home and outdoors. How smart is that? We’re loving the futuristic silver design and appreciate not having to worry about those vulnerable small items, when all we really want to do is have fun.

Au Natural Skinfood Foundation With Sunscreen

SKIN PROTECTION

It can’t be said enough times – wear sunscreen! All of your expensive skincare is useless if you lay in the sun without proper protection. We even go as far as making sure our makeup has SPF protection. When it comes to sunscreens, look for labels like: reef safe, no parabens, no artificial colors or fragrance, go up to 50 spf, and make sure to re-apply when you get out of water.

Special Product Tips: Au Natural Skinfood On The Go Brush On Foundation With Sunscreen is likely to be a fast favorite. Its natural and mineral formula makes it ideal for the summer. The light texture and controlled coverage is perfect for when you have to go outdoors, and especially when you wear a mask. The brush application and stick design makes it easy to use, and throw in the bag for touch-ups. Au Natural Skinfood is an eco and natural New Zealand brand, created by Tracy Ahern – a well-respected serial entrepreneur in the skincare industry. This product is a keeper.

We’ve been loving MyChelle sun care for years, and their sunscreen is back with new packaging. The entire line contains 100% Zinc Oxide, which is much-needed to help prevent premature aging. Any product that can help re-establish the skin’s moisture balance should be your best friend. This is our go-to sun care because it never feels greasy, feels hydrating, and we trust the brand ingredients.

Cultivated Magazine tips are not medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before practicing any new wellness therapies.

Healthy New York: Best Vegan and Plant-Based Restaurants To Try in 2021

This story was written for Hobnobmag.com.

New York is back and eating healthier. 

New Yorkers are having a love affair with meatless options, and the trend is likely to continue. We have no doubt that 2021 will be a year of more plant-based restaurant openings. In fact, one of the city’s most renowned and upscale restaurants, Eleven Madison Park, re-opened this June with a shocking announcement. They will serve an all plant-based menu. Owner and Chef Daniel Humm said on Instagram: “When we began to think about reopening EMP, we realized that not only has the world changed, but so have we.” 

Consuming less meat is better for our health and the health of the planet and it seems the hospitality industry is getting the message. As we get back out there this summer, we will continue to discover fun places with vegan-friendly menus. Thinking of giving it a try yourself? Discover our list of must-try restaurants we love and continue to frequent. 

Jajaja

Jajaja will make you forget meat ever existed. With four Jajaja locations, Raise Hospitality Group knows how to reel you in with tranquil vacation decor by Clear Studios, fun times, and satisfying Mexican dishes. We visited their original location on the Lower East Side. If you love Mexican food and cocktails, Jajaja’s menu will not disappoint. 

We started with drinks, and Cilantro y Mezcal Cocktail, plus Cucumber y Basil were the clear winners. As an appetizer the plentiful nachos at Jajaja were a great start to our satisfying plant-based lunch. Mexican corn is always a must. For main dishes we ordered the Dinosaur Kale Salad and the Crispy Chayote Fish. Service, atmosphere and interiors matter to us as much as the food. Jajaja on the Lower East Side has done a great job of making this location feel like a cool downtown restaurant and a holiday getaway at the same time. They did it with the help of Clearstudios.nyc.

Jajaja, 162 E Broadway (corner Essex St )

image courtesy of https://www.overthrowhospitality.com

Lady Bird / Soda Club / Cadence

Soda Club serves a selection of over 200 natural and organic wines, curated by Wine Director, Drew Brady, while Cadence focuses on soul food by chef Shenarri Freeman. Overthrow Hospitality continues to grow their portfolio with a list of modern vegan restaurants, mainly all located in the East Village. Among them Lady Bird, Avant Garden, and the newly opened Soda Club and Cadence. Ravi DeRossi’s secret to success might be his aesthetic vision. Vegan and non-vegan New Yorkers alike flock to eat and drink in an environment that serves healthy eats with tasteful decor that elevates the experience.

Our favorite location so far is Lady Bird. We recommend the Buffalo Maitake Buns and PO Boy Buns. Order both because each has a special flavor and we dare you to pick a favorite. If you and your other dinner guests feel extra hungry order the eggplant marinara and then split the chocolate fondue.

Lady Bird, 111 E 7th Street (betw First Avenue/Avenue A)

Caravan of Dreams

Caravan of Dreams has been serving New Yorkers truly vegan, kosher, and organic food since the 90s. This restaurant continues to have a loyal following for a reason, they pride themselves on serving truly healthy meals and drinks in a no frills environment. The funky decor and consistent live music entertainment makes this place a gem, and it is our go-to place for raw superfood smoothies or custom juices. Since the pandemic, Caravan of Dreams has created a fun outdoor seating area, perfect for dining out with your family, vegans from out of town, or a date. 

When eating at Caravan of Dreams make sure to order our favorites: the Nachos, Spanish Paella, Creamy Sesame Miso Ramen, and a custom juice or smoothie. 

Caravan of Dreams, 405 E 6th St (betw First Avenue/Avenue A)

Pop’s Eat-Rite

Pop’s Eat-Rite belongs to Endless Hospitality Group, which owns some of the most popular bars in New York City, like Wayland and Goodnight Sonny. The group recognized the change in the restaurant industry and opened Pop’s Eat-Right when the city needed it the most—during the pandemic. The concept made space for plant-based fast food. 

image courtesy of https://www.popseatrite.com

Pop’s Eat-Rite serves the classic smashburger, made of Impossible Meat, vegan donuts and ice cream, and sides like french fries, plus veggies. We enjoy the Classic plus a Cup of Kale (comes with vegan ranch dressing and sunflower seeds). Order, then sit back and enjoy the downtown atmosphere.

Pop’s Eat-Rite, 123 St Marks Place (betw First Avenue/Avenue A)

image courtesy of https://lebotaniste.us

Le Botaniste

Le Botaniste was created by the owner of Le Pain Quotidien. A sign above their Soho locations reads “Let Food Be The Medicine,” and it is clear that a lot of thought has been put into the nutritional value of each dish. Le Botaniste has four New York locations and three in Belgium. The concept of putting more plants instead of meat on our plates is catching on. The menu aims to keep the body energized while caring about planet health. Wondering what to order? Tibetan Mama and Vegetable Tajine always speak to us. Le Botaniste interiors resemble an upscale apothecary or a french cafe. Grab a friend for a healthy lunch after shopping in Soho or working out. 

Le Botaniste, 127 Grand St (betw Broadway/Crosby Street)

image courtesy of https://divyaskitchen.com

Divya’s Kitchen

Divya’s Kitchen remained strong during the pandemic, with easy take-out, delivery, pick up and products for sale, like Cultured Ghee and Mung Soup. Then they created a stylish outdoor dining area to match the interior. Today the restaurant is as busy as ever. If you find yourself in need of vegetarian cuisine that is largely gluten-free and follows the principles of ayurvedic medicine, look no further than Divya’s Kitchen. Chef Divya Alter takes a global approach to ayurvedic cuisine and even helps run a cultural center, Bhakti Center, right next door to the restaurant. There is much to learn from eating at Divya’s. It is an inspiring experience and an ideal place to impress a veggie loving date.

Divya’s Kitchen, 25 First Avenue (betw 1st/2nd Street)

10 Best Natural & Organic Sunscreens for Healthy Summer 2021

Today’s sunscreen is not your grandmother’s sunscreen, which likely meant not using any. When I first started writing about natural and organic products the options for better sunscreen were limited. Then brands like COOLA came along. Those in-the-know already used organic and natural brands, but you had seek them out in stores that carried green beauty. Today we have many options to choose from, and I hope you choose well. Our tip to understanding skincare is learning to read labels and knowing what ingredients have all the benefits you look for. In the US the word natural has no concrete definition but when it comes to sunscreens the good news is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated its definition of what is deemed safe and effective sun protection.

Dr. Mullans recommends Lola Hats

Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., Board-Certified Dermatologist at Uptown Dermatology provides helpful summer skincare tips for all skin types.

The sun’s peak UV hours are between 10am to 4pm, so make sure to avoid extended time in the sun during this window. If you find yourself out there longer than usual, make sure to hide under a tree or hide away in a chic sun hat.

“If you’re concerned that you might not be getting enough vitamin D since you’re limiting hours in the sun, try a supplement like vitafusion D3 gummy vitamins to help provide the recommended daily intake. Vitamin D helps with bone, teeth, and immune support, so make sure to get at least 600 IU.”

10 Best Natural & Organic Sunscreens to Keep You Safe and Healthy This Summer and All Year Long.

Soleil Toujours Clean Conscious Antioxidant Sunscreen Mist SPF 50

COOLA Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 50 – Fragrance Free

Cornelia SPF 45 Ultra-Invisible Protection & Daily Hydration

Solara Clean Freak Nutrient Boosted Daily Sunscreen

Badger Protect Land & Sea Sunscreen Cream – SPF 40

Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer, Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

Mad Hippie Facial SPF 30

Eczema Honey Gentle Hydrating Sunscreen

World Bathing Day: Celebrate Water With A Special Bath Soak

Water deserves a celebration. World Bathing Day highlights the many ways cultures use water for wellness, but more importantly it puts a spotlight on the plight of people who do not have access to an abundance of clean drinking or bathing water.

Rooted in ancient spa culture, bathing, soaking, washing, floating and showering can take on many forms, each personal to the individual. Bathing represents history, community, health, healing, and life. We could not live without water. When you take a bath or a drink of water, remember that you are fortunate, remember to save water, and remember that it takes a united effort to keep our water source clean.

On this World Bathing Day we honor the tranquil healing water brings with a soak, and we savor the soak with special products that add to our wellbeing.

Easy ways you can respect and celebrate water:

  1. Do not let your faucet water run while brushing your teeth or shaving your beard.
  2. Use your bath water to water house plants.
  3. Take a bath. Showers waste more water.
  4. Do not use your dishwasher or washing machine for a few items, wait until they get full.

Cultivate Wellness With Special Bath Soaks

Daughter of The Land CBD Lavender + Vetiver Bath Soak

Laguna Herbals Love – Pink Himalayan Bath Salt

Salt Live Energized Tangerine Sage Salt Soak

Lola’s Apothecary Queen of Roses Bath Milk

Rituals Magnesium Bath Crystals

Naturacentric Apothecary Love N’ Roses Bath Salt

Celebrating 10 Years of Global Wellness Day With Focus On Mental Health

Dreaming of experiencing a yoga class in Budapest or a meditation session in Bali? Now you can. June 12th is Global Wellness Day (GWD) and the countdown to their 12 hour live stream, filled with free wellness content, is on. Four Seasons all over the world will provide free fitness, spiritual and other stress-relieving sessions for anyone ready to say yes to better health.

What is Global Wellness Day? The social project, launched by founder Belgin Aksoy, is meant to place emphasis on healthy living for everyone. The day allows participants to learn and celebrate self-care for the body and the mind. While it is called Global Wellness Day, what you learn from it is that you can take your new wellness skills and habits, then apply them into your life 365 days a year. Their 7 Day Manifesto is proof of that. Over the last 10 years many countries have taken part in the social project and helped promote it. This year is special to us because the theme shines a bright spotlight on protecting our mental wellness. Many are coming out of the pandemic without knowing how to cope with our feelings and stress that accumulated in the last year and a half. Experts, like Cesar Tejedor, Director of Cesar Wellness and Massage Around the World, will discuss mental wellness and provide useful tips. Promoting better mental wellness is what Cultivated Magazine is all about, and we cannot wait to take part in this year’s GWD festivities.

Be Your Own Wellness Hero by Trying The 7 Day Manifesto

Conversation With Wander Beauty Founders, Divya Gugnani and Lindsay Ellingson

Shopping for clean and cruelty-free beauty at Sephora is still an impossible task – fortunately the list of brands available just got an update with Wander Beauty on the shelves. When it comes to shopping for products that go on or in your body, transparency should be a given, but is not always provided. With US clean beauty regulations being in the grey area, this brand takes a fresh and simple approach to ingredients – blending the natural with the synthetic (safely). We refuse to believe that today’s savvy and educated beauty community falls for marketing schemes, they say clean beauty is here to stay.

It was only a matter time before Wander Beauty made it into Sephora. If you had to consider just one clean brand for all your essentials, you might make it Wander Beauty for their multitasking abilities alone. Wander beauty checks off all the boxes: the packaging and colors are pretty, the ingredients healthy, and the textures non-sticky.

Let’s talk makeup. It can be hard to pick a favorite. The Liquid Foundation is light but provides perfect coverage. Little goes a long way. The On-The-Glow Blush and Illuminator will likely always stay in your bag for last minute touch-ups. Our most used product is Wander’s Lipsetter Dual Lipstick and Liner. It hydrates the lips and that’s always a welcomed bonus. While the brand has mastered the art of on-the-go multitaskers, their skincare options are just as modern and effective. The creators behind these classic makeup and skincare must-haves know a thing or two about juggling busy schedules. Divya Gugnani and Lindsay Ellingson already worked hard before Wander Beauty, creating and running a brand on top of all that makes them wonder women.

We spoke to the two founders, asking questions potential customers might want answers to.

Cultivated: How was the initial idea of partnering and creating Wander Beauty born?

D+L: We met at a party and realized that we were both time-starved, always on the go, and frustrated with our beauty products. At the time, Divya was a working mom of two and Lindsay was a jetsetting supermodel. We both had too many products with bulky, fragile packaging that wasn’t optimized for motion and too many one-trick wonders. In 2015, we launched Wander Beauty to create clean, beauty essentials you reach for every day, wherever you wander. Our multitaskers streamline your routine so you can spend more time doing what you love.

Cultivated: Starting a business, especially as women and busy moms, can be a challenge. Did you run into any snags or what did you find to be the most challenging when getting started?

Lindsay: The most challenging part of starting Wander was working with such a small team and learning to wear many hats. I had over 10 years of experience in front of the camera which helped me develop an eye for lighting and composition. It was valuable information that I was able to use as Creative Director. I also learned some new skills in order to create the content we needed to launch our brand. My sister taught me how to operate a Canon and I learned some editing skills online. That was enough to get me started. Creating content is now a passion of mine and I still shoot a lot of the content for our campaigns, although with a much bigger team to support me!

Cultivated: Your packaging color is very distinct. Is there a story behind it?

Lindsay: Last year we started a refresh of all of our packaging. We wanted our brand story to come to life more and for everything to feel fresher and more elevated. We use blush tones for all of our skincare and a mauvey tone for our color items. Everything has accents of our signature burgundy Wanderberry shade. We love how these shades look so elevated on your vanity or in your bag. Our cartons now have subtle nods to travel, including a custom Gorgeous on the Go stamp, and dreamy cloud print on the sides. Our new cartons are also all recyclable, which was another motivation for this refresh.

Cultivated: You recently launched at Sephora under their Clean at Sephora umbrella. What would you say to those who say that clean beauty is a marketing ploy?

D+L: 

I think it is more important to think about the ingredients you are formulating with and the effectiveness of those ingredients than to hyper focus on a long No-No list of ingredients you won’t use.

Clean beauty is driving a lot of growth in the beauty industry and we at Wander Beauty are huge believers in safe synthetics and clean beauty. Many customers are shifting their usage and spend on clean beauty. It’s a positive trend as customers become skintellectuals and more aware of what they are putting on their skin, their largest organ.

Cultivated: What top essentials would you recommend to a new customer in the skincare category?

D+L: A gentle cleanser and a daily SPF facial moisturizer. This is the important beginning to end approach to making sure your skin is clean and protected.

Cultivated: We are switching from spring to summer soon. What products and/or ingredients are best for the summer season?

Divya: UV protection is needed all season long but because we are outdoors more often, you should consider prevention, protection, and maintenance products. Broad spectrum SPF 30+ UV protection is most important. UV penetrates skin and damages collagen so look for Vitamin C products to prevent damage. Lastly, when skin is inflamed from UV and heat, look for soothing products with Centella Asiatica (aka Cica). It’s a super anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps to soothe.

Cultivated: What skincare advice would you give to someone in their late 30s, early 40s?

Divya : Listen to your skin in late 30s and 40s. Skin goes through cycles every month. Always have a good antioxidant (vitamin C), booster of natural skin cell turnover (vitamin A), and a SPF. These are the three elements to protect your skin barrier function which is the most critical at this age.

Cultivated: Lastly, how do you practice self-care in your personal lives?

Divya: I started practicing transcendental meditation in the 7th grade and have been doing it twice a day ever since. It’s the first thing I do every morning and It really helps me stay relaxed, calm, and focused during the day.

Lindsay: 

For me it’s so important to practice gratitude. At the end of the day, when I’m feeding my son and putting him to bed, it’s the perfect quiet time to be still and think of everything I’m grateful for. I find even on the toughest days it helps to calm my mind and boost my mood.

Earth Day 2021: This Year’s Winners of Best Sustainable Skincare Products On The Market

Earth Day began in 1970, but the ways which we celebrate, appreciate and look at planet health has changed. Big brands and publications are starting to pay a lot more attention to what we consume and how we consume it. Consumers demand transparency and healthier ways to live, not just for themselves, but for Mother Earth as well. With that said, there is a lot more work to do. Celebrate Earth by being a conscious consumer – buy less, and when you do buy, do it with planet health in mind.

Love Your Mother With Brands That Care

Aveda Shampoo Bar

Aveda’s Limited-edition Shampure™ Nurturing Shampoo Bar is just the latest example of the brand’s initiative to give us quality products but no unnecessary waste. If you need more of a push to fall in love with this gentle hair cleanser — $5 from each purchase helps charity bringing water to those in need. It is safe to say that Aveda has their finger on the pulse of sustainability in beauty, especially the state of packaging and its impact.

Recycle Your Weleda empties with TerraCycle

Weleda harnesses the power of nature and packages it using recycled materials. This brand takes recycling so seriously they partnered with TerraCycle. TerraCycle®’s mission is to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”. You can send in your used tubes and glass; they will turn it into a new product. From Weleda’s European manufacturing facilities using energy from 100% renewable sources, to their partnerships with farms that respect and foster nature, the brand does a lot to ensure a sustainable legacy. The brand products make a great gift for an eco-conscious friend.

Bamford Jasmine Bath Oil

In their own words: Bamford’s philosophy rejects the throwaway culture of modern living. Bamford products are representative of slow living, and we cannot get enough of their range of products, especially the bath oils. The spa brand is mindful of packaging, organic and sustainable farming, natural ingredients and ethical sourcing.

Dr. Hauschka skincare

Dr. Hauschka is known for being a thoughtful brand and a pioneer in the clean beauty market. Their focus has always been natural medicine and respecting Mother Nature. It is their ecologically conscious methods of growing and sourcing ingredients that makes them the perfect candidate for our list, but truthfully their products have always been at the top of our list for an effective beauty routine. If you never tried the brand – run, don’t walk, to your nearest Dr. Hauschka aisle.

Cosmydor Face Cleanser

Kosmydor is a French brand that checks off everything on our list of sustainability and quality: no plastic containers, minimum carbon footprint, natural and fresh products and soon more eco-refill availability. The 100% artisanal botanical skincare is one-of-a-kind, with exceptional focus on natural ingredients. Kosmydor’s highly-effective products will have you coming back for more.

LOLI Date Nut Brûlée

LOLI is more than mindful, they are transparent and take zero-waste seriously. Stir up your own mask from their food-grade yogurt vessels and get it delivered in certified compostable boxes. LOLI’s mission is to take beauty back to simplicity and natural effectiveness. We love the way their products and packaging looks like something you would buy in a farmers market. Their fresh approach to beauty, plus their ethical practices, is why we think this brand is worthy of exploring and celebrating.

Happy Earth Day!

Model, Anastasia Vakula, Is On A Mission Towards Environmental Activism

Even though Anastasia Vakula appears in magazines like L’officiel, Elle, Martha Stewart and The Knot, you might notice that a good portion of her social media content focuses on environmental issues. As a model with a substantial following Anastasia is in a unique position to do some good for planet health.

“I believe that there are more and more models leaving behind the standard glamour pack in order to make a difference. Being a model means having a lot of attention and it is very important to understand that we have the power to use this attention in the ‘right’ way.” – Anastasia Vakula

Vakula’s quest towards environmental activism started when she and fiancé went on a trip to the island of Kauai. Kauai opened her eyes to the environmental issues that face Hawaii. “We were surfing and I saw a longboarder hauling plastic trash out of the ocean,” said Vakula. “He paddled back and forth from the waves to the beach with trash on his surfboard.” She mentioned that the surfer said to her and her fiancé that the ocean was choking. That is when she noticed how careful and mindful native Hawaiians are about their land and the waste they produce. The state of Hawaii is 2,400 miles from the closest landmass. That makes Hawaii one of the most isolated island communities on the planet. Any trash produced stays on the island and creates a problem for the people who live there. “It forces Hawaiians to find ways to be more sustainable,” Anastasia said. “Coffee shops offer a discount if you show up with your own reusable cup, recycling stations are pretty much everywhere, and hands-on beach cleanups are happening every morning.”

Anastasia Vakula’s dog, Chukker, Miami Beach

After their Hawaii trip Anastasia really dug into research on plastic pollution and its role in climate change. The research, plus her experience, fundamentally changed her way of thinking in terms of everything – from her eating and drinking habits, to her wardrobe choices. Her experience in Hawaii made her think about the harm humanity is causing to the planet as well as how the ocean is being put in a chokehold, along with everything that lives in it and near it, including humans.

What is she doing about it? “I started talking to my close friends and family to make them aware, and to urge them to change their day-to-day habits in order to become more sustainable,” said Vakula. “I now think the most important thing you can do is start talking about the climate crisis with others and work on this issue as a team.” Becoming a climate change ambassador was Vakula’s first essential step in contributing to the cause. With the help of a friend, Alyona Kazantseva, Anastasia joined the World Bank Group Global Youth Ambassador Program. The Global Youth Climate Network is an initiative of the World Bank Youth (Y2Y) Community. The requirements consisted of being between the ages of 18 to 35 and to be a dynamic, creative, and innovative change maker who inspires and empowers others. “I wasn’t sure if others would see these qualities in me, but I felt them inside, so I applied,” expressed Vakula. “Now I am one of 153 ambassadors from around the world.”

Vakula mentioned that Global Youth Climate Network is a melting pot in terms of everyone speaking different languages and having different skills. It is a diverse group of business professionals, journalists, writers, IT specialists, models and artists. Each person is trying to contribute to efforts based on their knowledge and skills. For instance: we do Meatless Mondays, Earth Month challenges, help organize climate change fundraisers and launch websites and apps for sustainable lifestyles. Vakula says, “my favorite thing about it is the opportunity to work with young activists who are inspiring and motivating. I love our virtual meetups where we share ideas on how to help fight climate change together.”

In terms of her modeling career, she mentioned that there are a variety of ways we can all contribute. She believes models can help by working with more eco-friendly brands, speaking up on social media platforms, engaging with audiences, and promoting a healthy lifestyle for human beings and the planet. Vakula makes sustainability part of her everyday life, and you can too.

Anastasia Valuka’s Tips on Eliminating Plastic From Your Life

  • Invest in reusable water bottle and shopping bag. Keep them in your bag so you never forget.
  • Say “no” to plastic utensils and straws when ordering in.
  • Shop at local farmers markets and small shops because they will likely provide sustainable options, such as no little plastic stickers on fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose plastic-free chewing gum. Anastasia likes Simply Gum.
  • Skip the plastic lid when purchasing coffee or bring your own reusable cup with a lid.
  • Pay your bills online, eliminating unnecessary envelopes.
  • Shop less, or reduce online shopping. Frequent online purchases produce more packaging waste, and online items tend to come from different distribution centers. Both factors result in higher greenhouse gas emissions per item.

Written by Aida M.Toro, Guest Writer

Edited by Paulina Kajankova, Managing Editor

Photography: Triston Cooper