1. What does living holistically mean to you and how do you incorporate holistic practices into your lifestyle? What are some of your holistic practices?
For me, holistic is about having a comprehensive lifestyle. I mean, if we break down the word we’re talking about the whole. The whole body, the whole mind, the whole spirit. For me, this means that my choice of a natural, plant-based diet extends beyond my diet and into my entire lifestyle. If I don’t eat processed and chemically altered foods, I’m going to extend that into other facets of my life. I wear my hair natural, and maintain it with natural, cruelty free products. If I’m not feeling well (which is rare due to my lifestyle), I use natural and homeopathic remedies as opposed to over-the-counter drugs. Some people like to think that a natural holistic lifestyle is something new or trendy, but remember, humans existed in concert with nature. Everything we need to sustain us is all around us. A holistic lifestyle is recognizing that and giving back to the earth what it provides to us.
2. At what point in your life did you decide to embrace a holistic lifestyle and what were your initial challenges?
At 19, I decided to change my lifestyle. I felt that I wanted to have a lifestyle I could be proud of, one that enhanced living as opposed to breaking me down. I began by cutting the relaxer out of my hair and going natural. I also cut out all meats and dairy products. I’ll admit, in the beginning it was challenging. There weren’t as many options for vegan eating as there is now. But mostly it was challenging because many people close to me questioned and critiqued my natural hair and refusal to eat certain things. But here I am 20 years later feeling amazing and funny enough many of those people who initially critiqued me are now seeking my advice.
3. What lead you to start Earthcandy how do you manage to balance your passion for food, fashion and art into your business?
I always say Earthcandy is more than a brand, it’s a lifestyle. And I really mean this, Earthcandy is a reflection of how I live my everyday. From preparing food for my family, to how I maintain my home. These are the things I’m passionate about and that I want to share with the world. I would say I got my passion for cooking honest. I developed my love for cooking watching my Dominican mother and grandmother preparing traditional foods. When I became a mother, I would have to be creative in the kitchen to make vegan foods for my family that was as delicious as it was healthy. I learned to “veganize” almost any dish. In terms of fashion, I love combining patterns and styles to create new and interesting compositions. The same can be said of how I approach a interior design project. In many ways, I see these things as my “art”. I love transforming things, and beautifying the world around me. I hope Earthcandy can inspire others as well!
4. What would you say are the benefits of living holistically and what benefits have you experienced personally?
I’ve seen many of my friends and loved ones suffer from various ailments and sicknesses that are directly linked to consuming the hormones and toxins that that you find in most foods and products. I feel blessed to say that I have been able to maintain my health and I credit that directly to my lifestyle. The adage, ‘You are what you eat’ is really appropriate. We don’t often consider the implications of the ‘living to eat’, over-consumption mentality that we have here in America. My holistic lifestyle keeps me focused on life- eat only what I need, use products that build- not destroy, consume products that compliment my body.
5. Holistic Remedy Tip- Please you share one of your personal DIY holistic remedy that you use occasionally or regularly
There are many toxins that are featured in toothpastes that even traditional dentists advise we use, not paying attention to the hazardous effects it has on our body. Our gums our permeable, therefore absorbing these toxins make their way into our bodies through our mouths. Sooooo, one of my favorite alternatives is making a tooth powder. Simply mix equal parts sea salt and baking soda (about 1 tablespoon each). Next, dab your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide then dip into the powder and scrub away! This is a great way to keep your teeth white and bright, your gums healthy and it helps kill germs that cause bad breath. It is an abrasive though, so I’d advise using this no more than five consecutive days every few weeks. Otherwise, you can soften the enamel on your teeth! Yikes!
6. If you had to give an elevator speech to a young woman who was considering living a holistic lifestyle what would you say to her to encourage her to begin her journey of living holistically?
Holistic living means attaining -and more importantly- maintaining balance in all areas of your life, including health, relationships and spirituality. Living a holistic lifestyle is a proactive process that requires making conscious choices and living by them, one choice at a time. Do it for yourSELF and in doing so you set the tone for your future generations!
7. If you had to give yourself 5 titles that represented your essential self what would they be?
*Tastemaker *Style maven *Wellness Warrior *Fly Girl *Master of the Domestic Arts