Why You Should Give Yourself the Best You Deserve

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For those of you who read my newsletter, I promised that I’d write a blog post about Deepak Chopra’s Creating Affluence. And if you’re not signed up for the newsletter, sign up HERE! I write about things there that I only share on my newsletters!

You can read the first part of what I wrote on knowledge and prosperity by looking at the newsletter archive HERE. The second part that I wanted to share is the idea that we always deserve the “better and best." Deepak writes: “People with wealth consciousness settle only for the best. This is also called the principle of highest first. Go first class all the way and the universe will respond by giving you the best.”

I sometimes forget that I deserve the best. The best doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, but I see it as meaning the best that you need at that time. What it doesn’t mean is settling for something that’s mediocre. I see how I used to do this with clothing, for example. I would fill my closet with many inexpensive items that weren’t the best. The quality and styles were not ideal, and it showed! The items would either never get worn, or not complement my look. Now I try to buy one thing that I love, rather than a handful of pieces that are mediocre. We can apply this to food, too! Perhaps eating a modest amount of something delicious is preferred to eating a lot of something that’s average. With books, even though I want to get everything, I’m trying to be patient and first finish the book I’m reading before I purchase another :)

If we translate this into our homes, we are able to create more SPACE! We have less clutter and, as Deepak says, the universe will respond by giving us the best. It’s true! If you make some space in your life (and your home!) you will attract even more of the best. And we all deserve the best. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that. We deserve the best within our means. More isn’t always better!

Is there something you can let go of to create some space in you home? Can you remember to settle for only the best?

by Anjie Cho


Your Holistic Guide to the Autumn Equinox, with Jill Hoffman

I'm so excited to speak with Jill Hoffman, a Brooklyn-based Health and Lifestyle Coach, about the autumn equinox and how it affects each of us. Check out our chat below, where Jill and I talk shifting from summer to fall and three easy ways to handle the change with grace and holistic style! 

AC: As today is the fall equinox, how does the shift from summer to fall affect our bodies?

JH: During the summer months, most of us experience an accumulation of heat in the body that will turn into dryness in the fall. If we don’t work to balance out this dryness, during winter our sinuses will become irritated and can become a breeding ground for a viral or bacterial infection. Autumn is also the season to retreat. It's your time to savor the abundance of what you've harvested in the spring and summer months and to focus on the health of two of your major organs of elimination ~ the skin and the colon. Just as the leaves start to shed from the trees and reveal their inner core, the fall season beckons us to turn inward and let go of waste. It is a cleansing period and a time of transition for the earth and our bodies.

What are three lifestyle tips to help support this shift from summer to fall?

1. Transition to eating foods that are in season. Fall offers a bounty of grounding and nourishing fruits and vegetables that are important to balance out the dryness that naturally occurs in our body. These might include root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets and turnips. Eating 2-4 apples a day provides good fiber for colon health and malic acid to support your skin. Trade up your raw salads for more cooked, warming foods to help you prepare for the winter months.

2. Increase sleep. It is natural for our bodies to slow down this time of year. As our rhythm starts to bring us more inward, our need for sleep increases. Unfortunately, as our schedules tend to get busier as we move towards the winter holidays, we often ignore this craving. Now, more than ever, it’s important to be sleeping by 10pm. This is so we can stay in tune with our circadian rhythm and support detoxification. If you have a hard time winding down, dim the lights in your home after sunset and avoid using any devices after 8pm. Create a “wind-down” routine that starts at 9pm which might include yoga, meditation, warm bath or anything that makes you feel warm, cozy and nourished.

3. Dry brush your skin. Your skin is your largest organ of detoxification and is also our “face” to the world - we want it to look good! Right underneath your skin is your lymphatic system, which is essentially the garbage disposal system of your body. Waste and toxins are transported through this system so that they can be expelled through the detox organs. However, it is common for the system to get sluggish this time of year. By using a dry brush every morning, you are essentially giving your skin a “workout." It stimulates your lymphatic system and ushers the waste out of your body, thus improving the appearance and complexion of your skin. Also, using a dry skin brush will naturally boost your energy - just like regular exercise!

How have you created your own holistic space?

I love learning about energy and so the concept of Feng Shui has really resonated with me. I am currently in the process of fixing up my home office space. I have been studying the Bagua Map and am trying to apply the concepts to this space as well as my entire home. The first step was to make sure that my desk, stove and bed are in the command position. It makes so much sense how not being in command of your space can create chronic stress in the body. Reducing stress is something I am really passionate about in my work with clients, and I’m so grateful have this new tool to experiment with and to share with my community. 

by Anjie Cho


Jill A. Hoffman is a Health + Lifestyle Coach and has been working with clients since 2013. She specializes in teaching busy women how to be fully nourished so that they can experience radiant joy. Jill received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s cutting edge health coaching program. She is a board certified Holistic Health Coach and a member of the AADP (American Association of Drugless Practioners). Jill is currently working on certifications in transformational coaching and thyroid health coaching and is the founder of the Healthy Thyroid Movement. Jill lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Chris, and 7-year old rescue pup, Toby. You can learn more about Jill and her work by visiting cravehealthwithjill.com.


Jacq's Organics, All Natural Beauty

This week, I interviewed Barbara Jacques, founder of Jacq's Organics, an all-natural apothecary created with families in mind. It was so much fun to hear her take on why natural beauty products are the way to go.

Be sure to check in TUESDAY on the Holistic Spaces Facebook for a special giveaway from Holistic Spaces + Jacq's Organics!


AC: Tell me about your story starting Jacq's Organics.

BJ: In 2011, I was inspired to begin my research on all-natural bath and skincare after my husband and I learned I had an ovarian tumor during my pregnancy. I became obsessed with learning about my tumor, baby bath products, preservatives and ingredients.

At the time, the majority of the products available on the market contained the toxic ingredients I was trying to avoid, especially in baby care products. Frustrated, disappointed and irritated with what was available, I started researching; formulating and creating my own bath products for my family.

After the birth of my daughter, we launched Jacq’s Organics in the spring of 2012. 

What are 3 ingredients to watch out for in our beauty products?

3 ingredients...there are a minimum of 12, but to be honest, our skin is the largest organ. What we put on our skin has a systematic effect on your overall health. There's a list of the dirty dozen, the 12 most common ingredients used in products that are harmful. You can find the list on www.ewg.org, The Environmental Working Group site, but the 3 ingredients I'd say to avoid are:

Mineral oil - it's a byproduct from crude oil/petroleum - it clog pores, coats skin like a plastic bag and interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins.

DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) & TEA  (triethanolamine):  You can find these in many beauty products. Studies show that these ingredients, used as a preservative, cause irritation, and headaches. They're hormone-disrupting chemicals and linked to liver and kidney cancer.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): This preservative is used in many cleansing products including dishwashing detergents, degreasers, bath, hair and beauty products. It's been linked to breaking down your skin's immune system and more.

What are 3 simple tips for readers who want to go organic with their beauty products?

My first tip for readers looking to go organic with their beauty products is to start with your food. The best way to go green with beauty is from the inside out. I strongly believe that beauty radiates from the inside out, and what you eat is just as important as what you put on your skin. The rest will follow.

My second tip for readers looking to go organic with their beauty products is to Keep it Simple. On our blog, we published an article discussing the stages of going organic with your beauty products called What Shade of Green Are You? We elaborate in detail on the simple steps you can take when switching beauty products. We talk about the different stages, including light green for beginners, medium green for intermediate and dark green for individuals that are well versed on ingredients, beauty products and more. As a beginner, shop products that you are able to read the ingredients, and experiment with D.I.Y. facials and scrubs using ingredients from your pantry

My third tip is to arm yourself with tools and resources. My two favorite books for beginners include Eat Pretty Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out by Jolene Hart and Holistic Beauty from Inside Out by Julie Gabriel. Both books are jammed pack with information on food, nutrition, skin care, ingredients and even recipes. 

There are so many resources available online, like the Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org, that work to keep consumers in the know about food, household and beauty products and more. They send out articles on ingredients, laws, environmental changes and more. It's an amazing resource. There's also a cosmetic database compiled with a list of hundreds, if not thousands, of products ranks from 0 to 10 based on their ingredients, so consumers are aware of which ones to stay away from. 

What's your favorite product from Jacq's Organics? 

My favorite Jacq's Organics has to be our Carrot con Leche Cleansing Bar. It was created when a family member really needed a product to help combat breakouts. It's made with fresh, organic carrot that we grate and mash, and organic rice milk that we make in our studio. It's the only cleanser I use on my face and just love the soap bubbles and natural scent.

How have you created Holistic Spaces in your life? 

At home, I try to create a space that feels cozy, warm and inviting, which is extremely important with a toddler running and jumping around. I have throw sheets on every couch with soft pillows for jumping and throwing. Stackable wicker boxes as side tables for her toys and organization. We also have a couple of great abstract art pieces on our wall created by our little one. I really enjoy sitting on the floor with my little one. Makes for a perfect location for crafts, reading or cuddling. Come to think of it, our home is a combination of warm earth tones with pops of green, blue and yellow.

My entire family suffers from allergies, so our home is filled with plants that help purify the air. The plants, for me, are relaxing but they also give me an opportunity to teach my daughter about plants. She loves watering the plants and asking questions about the different plants and herbs we have. I also use aromatherapy in our home. In the morning, I like to light our Le Soliel Candle. The citrus scent is refreshing and a great way to start the day. I also like to light palo santo and hand-made incense from Japan to help clear the air, and the scents are soothing and calming. If I've had a long day, I like to end the night with our La Lune candle.

I've always been into Feng Shui, even more so during my college days. However, between home, work and juggling a family, trying to find a balance can sometimes feel unattainable. One way for me to create a holistic space is by avoiding clutter. This helps so much. When it comes to our home, I try to create an open, clean space that will allow room for more chi so the kiddo can run around and I can breathe and find balance.

by Anjie Cho


Barbara Jacques is a yogi, recovering beauty product junkie, Founder and Formulator at Jacq's Organics. With an uncanny drive to help and aide those in need, she has worked in the not-for-profit sector in Development at a well known national social and community based organizations. After years of juggling a full-time job and running Jacq’s Organics, an all-natural apothecary line created for a growing family, Barbara decided to take on the beauty industry full-time. The company’s mission is to be socially responsible and seek to promote and encourage healthy alternatives that everyone in your family can love and enjoy. She speaks on beauty, holistic health and enjoys all things beauty, volunteering, cooking, running, yoga, traveling and entertaining family and friends. 


Greening Your Life: Small changes that have big impact

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Normally, when we want to make improvements in our lives, it ends up costing us MORE money. Rarely do we have an opportunity to beautify our homes, protect our environment, and add to our health and wellbeing, while actually SAVING a few dollars along the way.

In this article, I will share simple, but potentially life-altering, changes that will enhance your quality of life without breaking the bank.

Composting: 

Organic materials are naturally recycled into a rich soil. Backyard composting is basically an acceleration of the same process that nature uses. The great news: Composting does not need to be complicated, and you don’t need to overthink it to make it work for you.

Composting will save you money, reduce pollution, and give you healthier plants.

Clean Green:

Switch to eco-friendly cleaning products for your home. These products are safer for the person cleaning, family members, guests, and the environment.

Common items found in your home (like lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil) can do the same job at a fraction of the cost of traditional cleaning items.

Choose Organic:

You don’t want to stop at greening your home. Go green in your body, as well. When you eat organic, you aren’t just putting healthy food into your body. You are supporting a healthy ecosystem: the farmers and workers who are safer by avoiding chemicals; the land, water, and air that is being protected; and the wildlife that is being allowed to thrive. Everyone wins!

Aromatherapy:

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils. These oils impact us emotionally and physically. 

When inhaled, aromatic oils support us on an emotional level by sending chemical messages to our brains. Our physical bodies can benefit from this emotional boost.

Essential oils also sustain our physical wellbeing by protecting us from diseases. Add some anti-microbial oils – like lemon, orange, or peppermint – to your cleaning routine. They won’t damage your health like chemical cleaners will.

See? By just making a few small changes in our lives, we can enhance our wellbeing, beautify our surroundings, and contribute to saving the planet. So what are you waiting for? Go green today!

by Anjie Cho


3 Feng Shui Tips for your Kitchen and Health!

featured last week on NancyGuberti.com, by Nancy Guberti 

Health, your Kitchen and Feng Shui Tips shared graciously by an amazing woman, expert, author and friend, Anjie Cho. Anjie is a registered Architect, Feng Shui Interior Designer and Amazon best selling author of 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces: Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes. Since 1999, she has been creating beautiful and nourishing environments throughout New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and beyond.

Granted permission to share these three tips that are straight from her book:

1. The KITCHEN as A Place to Nourish

The kitchen is the room in which we store and cook our meal and food that nourishes us. I like to think of it as a modern hearth, a place where families gather for warmth around the fire. This is especially the case now with open kitchen plans.

In feng shui it is said that white is the best color for a kitchen, because it represents cleanliness. Similarly to how white is the most ideal color for plates to show off the rainbow of colors in foods, white is also a great color for the walls, cabinets and backsplash tile of a kitchen.

...read full article

by Anjie Cho