So far this year, we are on point on our self-care game. I had mentioned in some past features that I suffer from panic attacks from high stress. I never really mentioned it before cause I thought I would be embarrassed letting people know that life wasn’t always perfect. Well, it’s not, and that is ok! I have learned some powerful tools to help keep the stress down, and being able to control my attacks. Slowly but surely! One of the tools that have helped me is healing elixirs. I was introduced to By Erika Elizabeth last year, and have fallen in love with all her products and her knowledge! By Erika Elizabeth is a line of adaptogenic elixirs that bring your energy into balance, stabilize your nervous system and build up your body’s resiliency to stress. I got a chance to chat with the Erika, the amazing lady behind these healing elixirs and gain some knowledge into who she is, how she started, and a 101 course on adaptogens and how they help your body cope with life and stress. If you are looking to lower your stress, then she is your gal! I can personally speak that they help me daily.
Also, I’m sharing my favorite elixir that I drink every night. Scroll down to the bottom to get the recipe.
Talk to us about being a Holistic Nutritionist? What are some of the issues someone might come to you for healing?
Being a Holistic Nutritionist is incredible because we get to work beyond just food. We get to address the individual as a whole and work from all different angles to achieve harmony. We find the source of what might be contributing to an imbalance, taking into account one’s birth experience, childhood, past traumas, relationships, employment, stress, etc. For me, the conversation around food and the body is just the means by which we get to talk about the real stuff. The way you relate to one thing is how you relate to everything. If you’re controlling with food, you’re likely controlling in life. If you’re criticizing your body, you’re likely critical of others. I want to talk about what’s holding you back in life and what’s keeping you from feeling confident so that you can live out your full potential. THIS is what I care about as a practitioner. I work with all sorts of people – but I tend to focus on women’s health, hormone and adrenal balance and helping those with a history of poor body image and dysfunctional relationships with food to find balance and joy around eating and their body.
Can you tell us a little about the intuitive eating approach?
To me, intuitive eating is the next wave of wellness. I feel as though the diet industry has hijacked what once were intended to be healthy approaches to eating (plant-based, whole30, paleo, etc.) and turned them into the ever repeating known of diet culture. When we place limits and restrictions upon ourselves, even if they seem like “healthy restrictions,” we cut off our access to one of our most powerful tools, our intuition. Harnessing intuition with food requires trust in your body and surrendering to your inner knowingness. But again, if we can’t let go with food, we can’t let go in life. My approach consists of unwinding food beliefs and empowering women to see that our bodies really do know best. As we let go, our bodies reflect that softening, and we effortlessly embody our healthiest, most radiant version.
Can you give us a quick 101 on adaptogens and elixirs?
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that work in collaboration with your body to adapt to perceived stress. Through time, these are the herbs that have developed a high level of resiliency within their nervous system (yes, plants have nervous systems too). When we consume adaptogens, we actually infuse this same resiliency, aka adaptation energy, into our own system. When this occurs, the body shifts from sympathetic dominance into parasympathetic nervous system activity – in other words, a state of rest and rejuvenation. This is the state in which the body and mind process stress and eliminate stress chemistry from the body.
Similarly to why sleep is so important to our health, existing in the parasympathetic state is crucial for us to experience balance and harmony.
Elixir is a broad term, but I like to say that an elixir is a synergistic beverage intended to promote wellness. You can make an elixir for anything – mood, libido, energy, digestion, sleep, etc. Ultimately, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. By Erika Elizabeth is a line of 100% herbal adaptogenic elixirs that are designed to be added to a liquid or smoothie, but you can really add them to anything (oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, etc.) Do you have any advice for the mindful mamas out there, that are just starting this journey into healing and having a more balanced lifestyle?
Don’t try and overhaul your life. Start with 1-2 small things and integrate those, then build from there. Maybe it’s as simple as creating 20-30 minutes for you to have a nourishing morning routine and a healthy breakfast. Circling back to intuition, as a mama and as a woman, you have a profound sense of intuition. Only you know what is best for YOU. Don’t become a victim of comparison and guilt. Honor yourself, trust that you have all of the answers inside of you and always remember to give yourself grace.
You practice Vedic Meditation, what is that exactly and how has it impacted your life?
Vedic Meditation is a mantra-based meditation, that comes from India, grounded in the prioritization of deep rest. The mantras used are meaningless primordial sounds that effortlessly move the mind and body into transcendence. Unlike many traditions which can feel controlled and repetitive, Vedic Meditation is all about letting go of control and moving beyond. This practice has transformed my life. I knew within the first few days of learning the technique that I would someday become a teacher of it. Without it, I wouldn’t have my company nor the life that I am creating. I highly recommend this technique for anyone who is looking to revolutionize their life or anyone who has attempted meditation and felt as though they couldn’t do it. My teacher is Yashoda Devi Ma – she teaches primarily in Boulder, CO, Los Angeles, and New York. However, there are teachers available all over that you can learn from. A person that does not have any issues with food, and just wants to take a road of balance, what is your advice for them?
If you are blessed to have a healthy + joyful relationship with food, amazing!! My advice would be don’t allow the plague of social media to make you feel like you need to do everything that you see on Instagram. Again, tune into what feels good for you. I can’t emphasize enough how bio-individual each of us are. What works for one person isn’t likely to work for you. Be conscious of the information and the media that you are taking in. Be sure it is inspiring, authentic and promotes balance (so much of it doesn’t). I recommend the book the New Health Rules. It’s easy to read and outlines simple principles for eating + living well from a holistic perspective.
Can food play a role as medicine in areas of stress/anxiety, being a tired mom, looking to get that glowing skin?
Absolutely! We can heal + correct A LOT with food. And our food choices can either exasperate something we might have happening or help to relieve it. For instance, if you are someone who is prone to anxiety and elevated stress, you’re going to want to focus on eating grounding/easy to digest foods, healthy fats, and quality proteins, while limiting caffeine. In addition, you’ll probably want to supplement things like magnesium, probiotics, omega-3s and B-vitamins. This will help to calm the nervous system and bring you down from a cortisol high. Often times, imbalances in the body are simply due to an insufficiency of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Many of us grew up on nutrient-stripped diets and have existed most of our lives in a deficit. When we begin to flood the body with micronutrients and the proper balance of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), these nutrients trigger the appropriate responses in the body. In addition to food, I believe looking beyond food into the emotional components + addressing the health of the mind is also key.
You have some really cool events scheduled this year in Boulder, Colorado and Southern California, can you tell us about some of those?
Something that I love about what I do is that I have this beautiful line of products, but I also have an extensive background in functional, holistic nutrition. One of the best things is to be able to speak to my products and use them as a platform to educate people. I didn’t create a line of adaptogenic elixirs because they’re trendy, I did it because they transformed my health and the health of my clients. I love curating events that inspire a fresh approach to wellness and allow me to offer my knowledge while giving people a direct experience with the elixirs. I am a teacher and a healer first and foremost – that has always been the calling of my heart – so to be able to host these events and make personal connections is what lights me up the most!
What are your favorite elixirs that you use every day?
I am a huge proponent of rose. I think it’s the medicine of our time. It opens the heart, it eases stress and anxiety, it promotes healthy digestion, it supports radiant skin, it balances emotions, it softens rigid thought patterns and it takes the edge off. I formulated the Lunar + Bliss elixir which is a base of rose, combined with ashwagandha, Shatavari, cinnamon, and cardamom. It’s amazing for the adrenal glands and reducing cortisol (our stress hormone). I switch up my routine often, but I pretty much take Lunar + Bliss daily, in addition to my single herb Rose, from the Feminine Flow Line.
For a newbie just starting your elixirs, which one would you recommend for them?
All of the elixirs are newbie friendly! It really depends on what you feel called to. I always tell people to go with their instinct. What’s amazing about adaptogens is that they meet you where you’re at. They adapt their function to exactly what you need at the moment. But if I had to suggest one, I’d say Lunar + Bliss. I recommend it to almost all of my clients as I think we all could use a little extra-adrenal nourishment.
Lastly, a person that is interested in working with you and not in the area of Colorado, do you have any services that they might like?
Yes! These days, most of my practice consists of phone/video consults. I take a few new clients each month. I am also coming out with a group program this year called Feminine Flow, which will make my work accessible for more people. The program will be a 6-week program that includes 2 one on one sessions with me + 4 group sessions. We’ll dive deep into hormones, adrenal health, and intuitive eating. My intention with this is to give women the tools to be self-sufficient in their health and to cultivate a greater sense of trust in their bodies. To inquire about working together, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much, Erika, for taking the time to chat with us! I have personally learned so much! To learn more about adaptogens and how they help heal the nervous system to create a more stress-free life, click here.
DREAMY PINK PITAYA MOON MILK
serves: 2 SERVINGS
W H A T Y A N E E D!
2 cups almond milk
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pitaya powder/dragon fruit powder
1 tsp Rose Elixir
rose petals (optional for serving)
B U S T O U T:
I N S T R U C T I O N S
In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups of almond milk (you can use any type of milk that you desire) on medium-high heat until it starts to turn frothy, but be sure it doesn’t burn! Whisk in your other ingredients until dissolved. Finally, garnish with dried rose petals and sip away! This elixir is amazing for night time!