#HNSelfCareSunday: Self Care + Herbal Mocktails with Colleen Grace

 Photo of Colleen Grace by Ashley Gabrielson

Photo of Colleen Grace by Ashley Gabrielson

Hi friends + family - we’re so excited to announce the launch of our latest series: Herb + Nectar Self Care Sunday. In this series, we’ll be exploring the realm of self care + what it looks like across the spectrum and intersections of people of all genders, colors, and status. 
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Our mission is to educate others on how accessible and available self care is - no matter who you are, what you do, and what is available to you. We're passionate about being able to spread the mindset that a self healing journey and self care journey begins with a simple change in perspective. You deserve care, and so does your body - and while sometimes, wellness may seem unattainable, anyone can develop their own definition and practice of healing.
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We're kicking off this week with our very own Colleen Grace, co-owner of Herb + Nectar.

  • A bit about Colleen: 
    Colleen is a wellness writer, energy worker, and plant medicine maker, inspired by nature, ancestry, and conscious growth. Her journey of self-healing and exploration has led her to receive her mastery certification in Usui Reiki, which she paired with an education in plant medicine to truly refine a holistic, energetic & internal healing experience for her clients.

    Her love lies with the gifts of the Earth - plants, herbs, and beautiful destinations to explore. Her passion is to raise awareness about self-healing, but also make it more accessible to diverse communities who would otherwise feel threatened, displaced, shamed, or disrespected because of societal stigmas and appropriation. As a tea enthusiast, she is confident that Herb + Nectar has become the perfect vehicle to share the abundance.

 

  • Our mission with this project is to show the world that self-care is accessible and available no matter who they are, what they look like, or what they do. What does self care mean to you and why is it important?

    Often times, when I think of self care - I automatically think of actions of "self-love" and "treating your self." And then when I visualize it, I think of all the instances I've seen where someone proclaims a self-care day as throwing on a face mask, binge-watching Netflix, and eating any food that comes their way (I've guilty of this, don't worry.) 

    But as I began to dive deeper into my wellness journey, I realized that while self care can allow for indulgence, selfishness, and spa treatments, it also can involve truly caring for the vessel that is your body.

 Photo of Colleen preparing tea by Ashley Gabrielson

Photo of Colleen preparing tea by Ashley Gabrielson


I've explored tons of healing modalities from plant medicine and Reiki to yoga and veganism - and after tapping into what is available, I've realized that, to me, self care is a practice of self-love, exploration, and conscious growth.

Why is it important? Because why wouldn't you want to better yourself, explore the capabilities of your body, or take care of the organs that subconsciously work endlessly to keep you alive? I can't stress enough how often my body will crave something - like movement, or hell, even vegetables. I couldn't stress more how good it feels to spend a morning stretching - because I NEEDED it.

 Self care, to me, is to indulge in all that truly makes you feel at your personal best. For me, that's spending time with my loved ones, listening to the calls of what my body needs, and doing things I love: yoga, dancing, playing with plants (okay, and also watching a good movie. ...Or two.) It's absolutely important to nourish both the mind and body. It's important to trust your intuition and hone in on the messages your body is trying to convey to you. 
 

  • What would your ideal self care day look like?

Honestly, it changes from day to day, but in an ideal world with no distractions my perfect self care day would look like this:

  • DRINK SOME WATER.
  • Start the morning with a juicy heated yoga session, followed by a nourishing breakfast.
  • Indulge in a face mask followed by a quick shower.
  • Pick an herb (or herbs) to ally with for the day based on the calling of my body and take that tincture or drink that tea (throughout the day as needed)
  • Water my plants, then make my favorite mocktails - recipe at the bottom! (Depending on my mood, they become cocktails.)
  • Reorganize something. Anything.
  • Prepare a healthy spread based on what my body needs, i.e. more veggies if i'm feeling depleted of nutrients, or protein if I'm feeling weak (isn't cooking so therapeutic?)
  • Wear comfy clothes (all the time).
  • Meditate (and actually commit to putting time aside to meditate).
  • Spend time with my family, my partner, and my pups.
  • ind down with a good book, good movie, good.... anything.

It could look like anything really, but if I had to pick something right now in this moment, that list would be it.

  •  ...And finally, do you have any advice for others as how to they can allow themselves to indulge in self-care, self-healing, and self-love?

As a woman of color, one of my biggest passions is to show other people of color as well as those across the LGBTQIA spectrum that self care is what you make of it. Self care isn't just for people who are privileged, isn't just for people who are experts - let's break the stigma that self care is this elusive and exclusive being.

From both my personal experience, and experience of my friends and family, I've seen so much hesitation when it comes to exploring healing modalities. What especially comes up is emotions and instances of feeling unwelcome, insecurities or issues with body confidence, and lack of mental preparation. I encourage others to take the leap out of your comfort zone, and know that any place of wellness with proper value will always accept who you are regardless of what you look like, where you come from, or how much you have to offer.

My biggest piece of advice however, is easing yourself into the mental shift that allows you to accept that your biggest priority is YOU. You are your own entity, your own vehicle, your own vessel. Self care doesn't have to pertain to working out, or eating clean, or mastering meditation - self-care can look like a quiet morning with a good book.

Self care is what you make it - so prepare to let go of ego and any stigma or premeditated idea you have of self care, and instead listen to your intuition. Do what feels good. Do what feels right.

 


COLLEEN'S FAVE HERBAL MOCKTAILS

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Rosemary Citrus Spritzer

I love this mocktail for a daily tonic! Rosemary helps to boost memory function and clarify the mind, which is great with uplifting citrus and the ever popular heal-all, Apple Cider Vinegar.

What You'll Need:

  • 1 Lemon
  • 5 4-inch Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
  • Sparkling Water of your choice
  • Honey (to taste)
  • Sugar (if you want)
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Ice

Making the Mocktail:

  1. Combine 1 Cup of Water, Honey to taste (I usually add 3 tablespoons), and 4 sprigs of Rosemary to a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. If you prefer sweeter drinks, you can add sugar. Usually, I just stick with honey. :) Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the honey. Reduce to about half the original amount of liquid. Strain and allow to cool.
  2. To serve, fill a glass with ice, and add 2-3 tablespoons of the syrup (or to taste). Fill glass with sparkling water and stir.
  3. Garnish with citrus slices + rosemary if you'd like!

Sparkling Jamu

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I first learned about Jamu from a friend who had visited Bali, Indonesia. When I finally made my way out to Bali, I had Jamu at a local cafe - and I fell in love. This traditional medicinal drink from Indonesia originated to include many components roots, bark, flower, leaves, and fruit, but I've recreated the cafe version I had for you here (with some advice of course)!

With anti-inflammatory turmeric and digestive stimulating ginger, these delicious herbs can make for a great cleanse when you're feeling low. With lime + black pepper to help activate the mixture, your body can absorb the nutrients and healing benefits with ease.

What You'll Need:

  • 2 Cups of Water
  • A finger sized piece of Ginger Root (I'm not sure how many ounces this is?)
  • 5 oz of Turmeric Root
  • 1 Lime
  • Honey
  • Black Pepper
  • Sparkling Water
  • Ice
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Making the Mocktail:

  1. Clean roots thoroughly and peel/remove any loose skin or odd spots. Combine in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, strain, and allow to cool.
  3. Add 2-4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice to a glass. Combine with 4oz of the Ginger/Turmeric water.
  4. Fill glass to top with Sparkling Water, and add honey + black pepper to taste.
Colleen Ordonio