Welcome to Kitchn's series My Healthy Morning, where we show you how one person greets the day in a way that makes them feel their best. Each post will chronicle how that person defines healthy for themselves, and the habits and recipes that make their morning a little bit better.
Here at Kitchn, we confess to being one part bewildered, one part obsessed with all the latest wellness trends. $200 coconut butter? Totally ridiculous, but possibly worth it? (Okay, okay, probably not.) So, when we heard that a health cafe from Miami was opening outposts all over New York, we had to go check it out.
The Dr Smood cafés are everything you'd hope for if you wish upon a Goopdust star. You'll find green juices and spirulina boosters, white coffee and "health bread" in an environment that makes you feel zen, but focused. Yes, it's a little bit wooey, but it's also easy and delicious — which is exactly what Dr. Etti Ben-Zion, the brand's Senior VP of Research and Product Development, intended.
A holistic nutritionist and psychotherapist, Dr. Etti is known in South Florida as the Juice Goddess. She's also a mother of four children and one dog. Here's what healthy means to her.
What does healthy mean to you?
I am a single mother of four kids (aged 13, 16, 19, and 24) and I have a very hectic work schedule, so healthy to me means a full, balanced life — one that includes enjoying one-on-one quality moments with my kids and my boyfriend, connecting with my women tribe, doing my volunteer work, and having quality time for myself.
Healthy to me is staying calm in the midst of the storm, something I learned during my military service in Israel. As an Israeli, you are trained to be in a state of calm alertness. Calmness is a state of mind that can be achieved if you nourish your body, mind, and spirit, by eating healthfully, exercising, and meditating.
I try to eat simple and nutritious foods, and I also go on a juice cleanse four times a year. I am on a cleanse right now — it's my 20th day — but usually I go on shorter juice cleanses.
I always remind myself that I can not give what I don't have. If I don't have self love I can not give love, so extreme self care is needed at times. When I feel depleted, I remind myself to take it easy.
What does your healthy morning look like?
I like to wake up early before my girls and my dog, Booba, wake up. I sit in bed and smile and go through a list of three things I am grateful for. I take three minutes and do breath exercises; usually I do rebirthing breath because it's energizing.
Before getting dressed, I dry-brush my skin to rejuvenate my lymph system and give myself a short five-minute massage with oil.
I drink one cup of water with systemic enzymes. I also put one cup of warm water with Aloe vera gel, lemon juice, and turmeric juice in a blender and drink it on the way as I drop my kids to school.
Thank you for sharing your healthy morning with us, Dr. Etti!