Posts filed under Wellness

Everything you need to know about bone broth from my friends at NIT NOI

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I’m so excited to share today’s post with you and introduce you to my friends North and Jillian Shutsharawan. Together they launched Nit Noi Provisions, a Thai bone broth and soup company based in Norwalk, CT. I was over the moon excited when I discovered that they had decided to leave NYC and return home to Fairfield County. If you follow me in Instagram you know how much I love food and even more so how much I love discovering new local spots. Nestled just beyond a loading dock, the Nit Noi kitchen is everything you’d want it to be and more. It feels like home.

The first time I tasted Nit Noi broth I was immediately converted. My two thoughts were ONE, “How have I been living my life without this?” and TWO, “How am I going to incorporate this into my family’s weekly meals?”. Also, I knew that there were health benefits to drinking bone broth but I needed a refresher. I remembered reading this article years ago and found it to be very helpful. I also remember thinking to myself that although it looked great, I felt very overwhelmed at the thought of making it myself. In walks Nit Noi! My favorite is the Tom Kha Gai (available on Fridays only) which is a Thai coconut soup made with pasture-raised chicken bone broth, organic coconut milk, organic chicken breast, mushroom, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, and chili oil, served with a side of bone broth jasmine rice. DELICIOUS! I’m determined to order it enough that they have to call it “The Girl Guide” one day:)

XX

S


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“The real origin of Nit Noi Provisions is on the slopes of Telluride, Colorado, where Jillian and North lived after getting married. Telluride is a very special place, and endless source of inspiration and gratitude, both for the couple and the business.”

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Nit Noi FAQ


How long can I store Nit Not Broth?

One week in the fridge, 10 days maximum. Please use your best judgment after a week. It may be stored for up to one year in the freezer, but we recommend using within 6 months. 

How should I use it? 

Drink it in your favorite vessel (mug, bowl, Yeti), season with earthy spices and supplements, use it for soups, rice, stews, stir fry liquid. Please visit our website for recipes and inspiration. 


Why do you freeze it? 

We don’t use any preservatives, concentrates or whatever else is present in commercial broths. We freeze for more functional transport, freshest flavor, and sustainability of nutrient density. 


How do I thaw it? 

The best way to thaw frozen Nit Not is to let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. For faster defrosting, run the container under cool tap water to loosen the broth block and bring to a simmer in a pan on the stovetop. 


Can I refreeze it? 

Absolutely, we love freezing it in ice cube trays for easy access during future food preparation. 


Where do your bones come from? 

Pastured animals, free of hormones, antibiotics and GMOs. 


Does your broth contain gluten? Sugar? Dairy? Soy? 

No, no, no,  and no. 


When are you open? 

Our kitchen is open for broth only on Tuesdays, and for broth, noodles and daily specials Wednesday-Friday, 10:30a-3p. We are a full time vendor at the Westport Farmer’s Market in the summer (Thursdays) and a bimonthly vendor at the Westport Farmer’s Market at Gilbertie’s during the winter (Saturdays). 


How do I get into the Nit Not Kitchen? 

95 Water Street, same building as SoNo Bakery. Please park in either municipal lot and enter through the loading dock. Follow the elephant signs to the kitchen. 


Do you deliver? 

We currently offer delivery to Darien, Westport and Norwalk Wednesday-Friday. If unavailable to accept our delivery, please pre-order and leave a cooler or cooler bag at your door for Calvin. 

Where can I find Nit Not outside of the Westport Farmer’s Market or South Norwalk? 

We’re available at Double L Market in Westport, Mike’s Organic in Stamford, the Village Market in Wilton, Walter Stewart in New Canaan, Fleisher’s Craft Butchery in Westport (veg. broth only), Sport Hill Farm Stand in Easton (seasonal), New Canaan Butcher Shop. 


If you feel our product line would be a good fit for a favorite local business, please let us know! Thank you in advance! 


What does Nit Noi mean? 

Nit Noi means “a little bit” in Thai. `


How can I stay in touch? 


We send a weekly email and pre-order form via email, and/or instragram/Facebook.


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“Nit Noi finds it's heart in Bangkok, at a family gathering, surrounded by food. The recipe belongs to North's Grandmother (Khun Yai), who makes the best Guay Teow Gai: rice noodles, chicken, and savory chicken broth enhanced with Thai herbs and spices.

We developed Nit Noi Provisions to offer the highest quality, handcrafted bone broths and meals, created with the care, recipes and wisdom of Khun Yai. 

We are committed to using only local and organic ingredients, and sustainable packaging. We're inspired to cook like Khun Yai, from scratch, inherently intuitive, seasonal and delicious.”

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Photography by Julia Dags

Posted on February 11, 2019 and filed under Wellness.

WINTERIZING MY SKINCARE ROUTINE

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S T E P O N E

WASH YOUR FACE

I’ve been using this face wash on and off for ten years now. Yes, T-E-N! I first met Tata when she was just starting out and instantly fell in love with her brand. It was the only thing on the market that was that clean and I still love the smell of her products. I recently started using the Rodial C face wash and really like it. One of the things I try to do with my routine is switch things up every month or so. I find that I see better results that way.


S T E P T W O

apply face oil

This is it. Hands down my favorite face oil and I’ve tried many. The only time I take a break from it is during the very hot summer days but other than that it has been part of my ritual for some time now. During the winter my skin can get so dry and this just helps to not only moisturize but also give me a fresh dewy look. It also makes applying makeup like concealer and cream blush a breeze!


S T E P T H R E E

moisturize

In addition to the Tata moisturizer I also love this one from Voya. The brand is 100% organic and natural and their products are made of seaweed harvested by a family owned farm in Ireland. Again, they smell great and I feel really good about what I’m putting on my face. I never feel “greasy”, just moisturized.


S T E P F O U R

lips

Purchase this lip balm and your lips will thank you (and me)! I use it every night before I go to bed especially in the winter. They also make a tinted version for day but I like to use the original and layer with a tinted gloss!


O N C E A W E E K

apply a face mask


T G I F

relax


Posted on January 30, 2019 and filed under Wellness.

ACTIVEWEAR + A WELLNESS UPDATE

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There has been so much talk this month about diets, exercise, juices, a new you, etc. I feel like its ALL I SEE. While its a great reminder after a glutinous holiday season that we need to take care of ourselves, it can feel very overwhelming and it puts the pressure on. At the beginning of the year I decided to start small. In early December Green & Tonic reached out to me about doing one of their 5-day detoxes. I was very familiar with them as I used their programs after having Luke and while pregnant with Harrison. I agreed and once the time came a few weeks ago I was super excited to try it again. I love that G&T calls it a “reset” and not a cleanse because thats exactly what it was for me. After a week I was feeling so great. I drank almost no caffeine and had reduced my chocolate/cookie habit almost in half. Its only been two weeks since I finished but I find myself thinking twice about the high sugar snacks that I love and instead am reaching for a piece of fruit. The other thing I like about it was the mix of juices and real food. Well worth it!

What I realized during the second half of last year was that my mental wellness was just as important as my physical one and to be honest I’ve been spending more of my efforts this month trying to figure out how to achieve that. Now that I spend more time at home with my kids I find myself using every “free” minute (with childcare or after bedtime/during naps) working. In my previous life it was easier to schedule lunches with girlfriends, a 30-minute workout with a trainer, get a manicure, go for a walk around the block alone, etc. Now I feel this pressure to use my time much more wisely and its been a struggle to find moments to decompress. So far I’m finding joy in the little things: a face mask, a chocolate croissant (this conflicts with the above but when it brings me so much joy can it be that bad?), or a bath. As most things are its still a work in progress and I would love to hear from you on things you do to “take a break”!

XX

S

WELLNESS


BREAKFAST I’ve made this recipe a few times and its delicious! Since I can’t eat yogurt in the morning and I’m not a big cereal fan I’m always on the hunt for more interesting breakfast options. Also, if you are looking for a vegan yogurt option, this brand makes theirs with Pili nuts and Cassava fruit. It’s creamy with a little bit of a lime taste. Great with granola and fresh fruit (I don’t love it on its own).

EXERCISE I’ve been on the hunt for a great dance class. I really love dancing to hip-hop and pop/rap (LOL) so when these workout dance classes started popping up on my Instagram I knew I needed to find one in CT. To my surprise there wasn’t a Tracey Anderson-type class out here. Then I received a DM on Instagram about Megan Roup. You can livestream her classes from home and I was shocked…I actually LOVE IT! If I can do it you can. I’m the queen of getting bored while working out and these 30-min classes are great. A few times I’ve muted the TV and blasted my own tunes too:)

NIGHT ROUTINE I’ve never been a bath person. Until this month I could count on one hand the number of baths I’ve taken as an adult. I received this bath soak a few weeks ago and it is amazing. I’m totally addicted! Even if its just for 10 minutes I find the whole experience very relaxing and it doesn’t hurt that it smells amazing.

JUST BECAUSE Adding these to today’s post because its raining today in CT and I just posted these to stories. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect no-fuss rain boot and these are under $30!



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Posted on January 24, 2019 and filed under Wellness.

PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM THE SUN + SKIN CANCER

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Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US. This is unfortunately a reality that hits close to home for me. Skin cancer runs in my family. My mom grew up in Belgium and France and recalls summer after summer lathering her skin in oils and laying out with zero protection. From an early age it has always been something that she ingrained in my sister and I - wear sunscreen! But why is it a topic only discussed in the summer? What about the rest of the year? About two months ago I found something that looked suspect on my back and realized I hadn’t gone for my annual skin check in years. I was so mad at myself! I immediately reached out to Dr. Sarah Dolder, a dermatologist with a practice in both Greenwich, CT and Manhattan, for help. Dr. Dolder was born and raised in Australia which basically makes her a sun expert! We originally met at an event through a mutual friend and I instantly loved her! Her calm and reassuring demeanor is exactly what I look for in a doctor.

Fast forward two weeks to my appointment. Dr. Dolder checked my entire body, including my scalp, for anything suspicious. It was fast and painless. Getting an annual check is a crucial part of skin cancer detection. Additionally, checking yourself throughout the year is equally as important. Below you’ll find the ABC’s that Dr. Dolder outlined for me. For most this is nothing new but if you’re like me, you probably could use a refresher. I’ve never discussed a topic like this on my blog before but its something I feel very strongly about and wanted to share.

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S

Coffee break with Dr. Sarah Dolder

Coffee break with Dr. Sarah Dolder

your monthly skin check


the abc’s

a - asymmetry

b - border

c - color

d - diameter

e - evolving lesion


The best way to detect skin cancer early is to be aware of any changes in your skin, abnormalities, or growths. Dr. Dolder advises that you do not check daily because you won’t be able to notice when there is a difference. Instead, check yourself monthly and have a friend or family member check hard to see places like your back.


the essentials


In Dr. Dolder’s office waiting for my skin check

In Dr. Dolder’s office waiting for my skin check

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I am not a doctor and this article is based on my own research and opinions. If you need medical advice please contact your physician

Posted on January 10, 2019 and filed under Wellness.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019

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t w e n t y n i n e t e e n


Last year I wrote and created 152 blog posts for The Girl Guide. I was actually pretty surprised by this number and when I started counting I thought it was going to be much less. On this day last year I remember thinking, “This year is going to be IT, I’m going do it, I’m going to become a blogger.” I decided to put everything I had, EVERY single extra moment I had (and even the ones I didn’t have) into this blog. There were multiple reasons why. The biggest one was the fulfillment I got every single time I hit the “publish” button. This was MY space. it didn’t belong to my boss and it didn’t belong to my family. It was a place that I owned all on my own, a sacred space where I could share my dreams, my life, my aspirations, and most importantly a place for me to inspire. The second reason was the more practical one. I was tired of retail. I had worked in essentially the same job for 10 years and it was time for me to move on and to grow. At the beginning of 2018 I was committed to going off on my own because I felt there was no other option. It was make this work or live a life where I only saw my kids, my husband, and my friends on the weekends and we never shared the same schedule. There was only one problem. I was walking away from stability and into the unknown. It also meant taking a huge leap of faith in myself and my potential. The losses would be my own but so would the wins. I’m a dreamer by nature but over the years I’ve also become more practical ( I have my husband to thank for that!). So for the next 6 months I prepared for the next step.

July 1st was the first day of my new life. I’m going to do a blog post dedicated to the other non-blogger part of my business. Saying you’re a stylist can mean so many different things to different people. I get asked a lot about what it means and how it works, so look out for a post about that at the end of the month. For now I want to focus on this space. What I want to grow and what I want to stay the same in 2019. If I’m being honest, its tough out there! Its tough to know what you like and what you want to see more of especially on social media. I find judging my success on likes and comments on a post to be difficult and probably inaccurate. 2018 has mostly been a game of trial and error, going with my gut, and responding to direct message requests on Instagram. I can also be really tough on myself especially when it comes to photos of me. Some might say i’m in the wrong business! This year I want to focus on the small wins and not dwell on the misses. Here are a few focuses for 2019:


YouTube

I’m putting this at the top of my list because my number one dream” item on my list for the blog in 2019. That being said there are a few housekeeping items I’ll need to do first but my goal for the new year is to publish at least 4 style videos (one for each season).


Pinterest

Half way through last year I started to feel a little uninspired. I was constantly working and not taking anytime to recharge my mind. Before kids I used to flip through magazines and style sections but those days are gone. I rediscovered Pinterest and I love it! It has really helped me get the creative juices flowing when I feel like I’m in a rut. Its also a place where I organize my thoughts.


Fashion

This year I want to be more transparent about the clothes that I’m wearing. In the past year I have had to significantly change the way I look at my closet. In my pre-Instagram days I was the “investor”, still wearing pieces that I splurged on in High School and college. In Europe, clothes are so much more expensive. Every summer I would buy one or two pieces and wear them for years. Becoming a blogger changed everything. Again, I want to do a bigger post on this, but one of the ways bloggers make money is through affiliate links on our websites and through Instagram. If the clothing we’re wearing is old or no longer available you can’t sell it. This posed quite an issue for me as I wasn’t used to shopping SO much! I had to change my mindset (and my husband’s) and look at things differently. For 2019 my goal is to invest in fewer pieces at the beginning of the season and wear them longer and in more ways. Back to my roots you can say! Also there are three ways I get new clothing: purchase, gifted by a brand, or borrowed from a brand for a shoot. Look out for these mentions in every post moving forward!


Styling

As I mentioned above there will be a post on what being a stylist means to me and what I actually DO! I would like to show more of this world but it can be tough because the majority of my clients are private people. I would never betray their trust by putting their homes or lives on social media or on my blog. That being said I’m going to make it a point to ask more because I have recently had a few clients say they’d be open to it.


Lastly I want to thank you, my readers, from the bottom of my heart. Your messages, your likes, and your support means the world to me. I feel so lucky to have this space and that I get to call this my job. I love hearing from you and my mailbox is always open!

XX

S


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boots, sunglasses my own // dress, scarf, handbag C/O Theory

the gift guide - the zen friend

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good vibes only

HEALTHY EATING AND WHY I CHANGED MY DIET

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Recently I reached out to my Instagram following via Stories and asked my followers to tell me what they wanted to hear more about on The Girl Guide. I received an overwhelming amount of responses asking about my diet. What gluten free/dairy free foods I loved and what a typical day looked like. Well I have to start by telling you...I didn't always eat like this.

The year after I graduated from college I started to notice my stomach bothering me more and more. I guess looking back on it now my stomach had always been an issue but we (my parents and I) always chocked it up to normal indigestion, car sickness, etc. It wasn't until Frank and I moved in together at the age of 21 (I know CRAZY!) that he said to me, this isn't normal, I think there is something wrong with your stomach. Well he was right. After 10ish years of suffering I booked an appointment with a gastroenterologist around the corner from our apartment. I told him everything. There wasn't much he could determine from our visit and suggested we move forward with an endoscopy. I was NOT excited about the thought of having a tube stuck down my throat and almost chickened out but with some coaxing from my family I did it. The result was an extremely inflamed stomach and esophagus. The Dr. said if I continued down this road we would be looking at ulcers or even more serious, cancer. I couldn't believe it. I walked out of the office with a prescription for Nexium and that was that. The topic of food was never discussed. I was a healthy eater, salads, fresh fish, little meat, yogurt and fruit for breakfast. I remember that morning grabbing a coffee (with milk) and an egg white sandwich (with cheese) on my home from the appt. It was on multigrain bread so it couldn't be bad for me right?

Fast forward one year and I wasn't getting better...it was actually worse. I was now working in corporate America, stressed, and taking about 4 Nexium a day mixed with other over the counter antacids. And then, a miracle....my Mom who for years has been practicing meditation as a way to relive chronic migraines, suggested I set up an appointment for me to see her guru. Neither of us ever mentioned any health issues to him other than stress. By the end of the session he said to me that he saw I had a blockage in my body and that I should stop eating dairy and gluten. He made a few other suggestions too, no raw nuts, eggs but only a whole egg, and nothing too acidic. I already wasn't eating tomato sauce but his prescription for no cheese meant no more white pizza which was one of my favorites. And so the rest is history...

NOW I will preface the below menu by stating that I am not 100% gluten free/dairy free BUT I have a found a balance that works for me. In terms of dairy I haven't had yogurt, milk, sour cream, or cheeses in the last 8 years. I can eat butter in small amounts and I've probably slipped up and had a piece of cake with one of those ingredients in it. What I believe now is that I have a dairy intolerance. I have also found that when I limit my gluten intake I feel even better and after eating such limited amounts of gluten, if I do have it I get a terrible headache and feel overall malaise. I'm a big believer in the idea that medicine is not always the answer. Don't get my wrong I'll pop a couple of Motrin for a bad headache but I also believe that what you eat plays a HUGE part in your overall health. The changes in my diet have drastically changed the way I feel. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had reflux in the last 8 years (minus the third trimester of pregnancy which is almost unpreventable) and its all been pill free.  

My Monday-Friday Diet

Breakfast

Almond Milk Yogurt (Kite Hill) with Gluten Free Granola and Berries or Banana

Gluten Free Oatmeal with Apples and Dates

Chia Seed Pudding with Almond Milk and Cinnamon

Lunch

I eat a salad (like the one pictured above) almost every day for lunch. Sometimes I'll have an avocado toast on gluten free bread. If you're local I Organic Pharmer. They're also a great source for gluten free and dairy free options and they ship! I also on occasion get a super food smoothie for Lunch with protein but it doesn't really sustain me for long enough till dinner.

Dinner

Salmon with Coconut Brown Rice and a Steamed Vegetable (check this Salmon recipe)

Kale Fried Rice

Almond Milk Ravioli (Kite Hill) with Sautéed Spinach and Mushrooms

THIS Nicoise Salad

My favorite Gluten Free pasta right now

Recipe Resources - I almost exclusively get my recipes from Goop. I especially love their yearly cleanse recipes. Check out this one call the working girl detox. Although many of them require a variety of spices and condiments, once you stock up you're good to go! Also you can purchase some of the rarer ingredients on their website like this one which I use to make this when I have time!

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S

PS if you're wondering about the cookie in these pictures it represents my VERY BIG sweet tooth. Call it the Belgian blood running through my veins but I'm a dark chocolate addict...like I have to have a piece (or two) a day. I also can't resist a delicious (gluten free) cookie!

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Staying Healthy During The Winter

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If you were to ask my family they would all probably agree that I'm a borderline hypocondriac. There, I said it! When I was about seven years old and we were traveling home from the Caribbean I got really sick on the plane and I think it scarred me! Ever since I've been obsessed with trying not to get sick, washing my hands before meals (especially in the winter) and sanitizing (I only used natural based ones but more on that later). Pregnancy kicked my fear into overdrive but now with two boys and little time to obsess over it, I feel like I've developed a good routine. Some of you have asked me what I do to boost my immunity and for natural solutions to staying healthy during cold a flu season. The flu seems to be worse than ever this year and not even the flu shot is 100% effective but I've found that these things have helped me: 

I truly believe in the statement you are what you eat (drink) and that a good diet contributes to your immunity. During the winter I religiously drink a mixture of warm water, apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon and honey. Alone, each one of these ingredients are beneficial but mixed together its a powerhouse immunity booster. Check out this article from GOOP and read more on the amazing benefits of ginger!

Sambucus I use this three times a day at the slightest sign of an itchy throat or runny nose. Also if I'm feeling rundown and more vulnerable. The rest of the year I take it once a day. They also make a syrup for kids as well as lozenges. 

Wash Hands This is obvious I know but don't underestimate the power of soap and water. My sister is a nurse practitioner and recommends washing your hands for a period of one "happy birthday" song or the ABC's - I have Luke sing them to himself and it works! If you don't have access to soap and water I love this sanitizer. The ingredients are all natural and its free of synthetic detergents and preservatives. PS washing my hands all the time makes them super dry. Loving this hand cream lately!

Sleep I am NOT a morning person. It sounds crazy to say, especially for moms with young kids, but I can't operate on less than 7 hours of sleep. We've been really lucky that our boys are good sleepers and consistently clock out for an average of 12 hours a night. I have so much admiration for moms whose children wake up at 5:15am and start their day...I couldn't do it! No magical advice here - but I try to plan two nights a 

Green Juices With a busy schedule it can be so tough to make sure I'm getting the right greens every day. I almost always have a salad for lunch but I need more and its not always guaranteed in my dinner. Drinking a green juice with ginger or lemon a couple times a week is so helpful. If you're local my go-to's are Green and Tonic in and Meli Melo.   

XX

S

Check out this article: What to Cook When You Have the Flu

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You must also not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional health care provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or any other professional healthcare provider. 

Posted on January 26, 2018 and filed under Outfits, Wellness.