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What Exactly Is Holistic Skincare?

A Post By Based Esthetician, Shauna

            When I think of taking a more holistic approach to skincare, I am reminded of a passage from a book I refer back to every so often, called Holistic Anatomy by Pip Waller: “In the morning, an alarm clock made in a factory across the sea wakes me. I get up and dress in clothes made somewhere else. I eat food grown by people of many countries—packed, transported, and sold to me. Before I even leave the house in the morning I have been touched by thousands of other lives. It is impossible for a human being to be separate. We are connected to each other and to all life, to the earth we live on, as intimately as our cells are part of us.”         

I love this passage because although we live our lives under this veil of “separateness”, our fates are all deeply intertwined with one another’s. We may be our own person, but we are people who are a part of our own small communities—whether that be with our family, friends, neighbors, book clubs, etc. These small communities come together to form an even larger community, such as a city. Multiple cities come together to form a state, and so on and so forth until our entire planet Earth is but one small speck in the greater universe.

When we take a look at our skin from a holistic skincare approach, the same type of thought process applies. Our skin is an organ of the integumentary system, and while this system has multiple functions that it alone carries out, it cannot perform said functions without all the other body systems performing their particular jobs. Each system is but one part of a greater operating whole, where no one system is more important than the other. Applying this to the idea of skincare, a blemish, for example, isn’t always just the result of a clogged follicle. Depending on where the blemish is located on your face, it can indicate something else going on internally. Looking at the bigger picture is a key aspect of holistic skincare.

Our skin acts as a communicator; often times the first sign of internal imbalance will show up on our faces. It is the job of a holistic esthetician, then, to investigate what your face is communicating and get to the root cause of whatever it is that’s showing up on your skin. Sometimes that may mean outsourcing to other professionals, such as our in house nutritionist or maybe an outside acupuncturist or other professional to address what’s going on internally. 

Holistic skincare isn’t about a quick fix. It’s not about simply slathering on a band aid over a problem in the form of a topical solution. It’s about digging deeper and discovering what’s really going on to create lasting results and lasting health. It’s about becoming your own investigator and recognizing patterns. It’s about not only becoming more aware of the skin you’re in, but being able to really love your skin – even if it has blemishes, or wrinkles, or hyperpigmentation; because these are simply messages from our bodies that there’s something else going on. While I am here to help guide you on your skins journey of healing in whatever way I can, ultimately, our health is in our own hands. And what an empowering idea that is.  

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How To Meal Plan For A Week

If you have worked with me in the past, we have more likely than not come up with a meal plan that suits your individual needs. If you have not yet worked with me, you can adopt some of my tips that I use when I create my own weekly meal plans for myself!

You can make your weekly plan anywhere that works for you – on your phone, on a piece of paper or on your calendar. If you are unsure where to start, take a look below at and download this template I have created!


I assess what I have on hand already so that I am not over stuffing my fridge and pantry with items that I already have.

Tip: Do you have a pantry full of shelf stable, canned or frozen items you maybe stocked up on when COVID hit? Is there food in the back of your cupboard or at the bottom of your freezer you need to use? Per the USDA, between 30-40% of the food supply in the United States is wasted.  Plan your meals around these items you’ve been storing to prevent food waste!


Making a list once a week of meals and snacks helps me tremendously throughout the week. It helps avoid stress around the question “what’s for dinner” and when I have options ready for meals and snacks, it is one less thing I have to think about. Taking 10-15 minutes to plan this out at the beginning of the week is definitely worth the time and mental space you will save during the week had you not planned ahead!

Tips: Make sure to include protein, fats and complex carbohydrates in your meals.

Plan accordingly for the specific week. Will you be ordering take out for lunch with the office or going to a restaurant for a birthday? Do you have guests coming to see you? Do not forget to account for these things when you are figuring out what you will be eating for the week. 

Some people prefer the ease in prep of eating the same meal or the same two meals all week while there are others who will not eat the same thing twice. Consider your preferences while making your plan!

Once you have your meal and snack options listed, stick to these. While you may flip flop the days of certain meals, try to stick to the meals and snacks you have planned for.


What items do you need to purchase? Resist filling your cart with things that “look good” and simply stick to the list of items you need to complete what you have planned for the week.

Tip: Going to the store with a list helps me stay on my budget and nutrition goals! I also like choosing items that I can use in multiple meals – for example I may purchase Avocado to use in a wrap and on tacos, I may purchase pineapple to grill with shrimp and to also have as a snack. Substitute items in recipes or meals where you can to avoid having to buy something just for one meal. For example, instead of buying lettuce for one salad, I may just use kale that I also planned on buying for use in a soup. Keep things simple!

4. PREP 

You may do the bulk of your prep on one day or prep a little bit each day. I like to make notes about what I am doing on what day. I may do the bulk of the prep one day, but include notes for other days about prep for an upcoming meal. For example, I may make a note in the middle of the week to defrost something from the freezer in anticipation of a meal for the next day or to chop up some vegetables.

Tip: Don’t skip this step! Prepping out full meals, parts of meals and snacks is key to staying on track. When you are tired after a long day or your stomach rumbles mid-afternoon and you need a snack, you may be tempted to swing by a convenience store or drive through to grab something quick. When you are hungry, your cravings will be even stronger and you will be more susceptible to doing this. When you know that you have a snack on hand or you are able to toss a meal together when you get home in no time, you can avoid the quick fixes to your hunger!

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My Eminence Organics Morning Skincare Routine

I usually come here to post recipes and nutrition tidbits, but today I am changing it up and talking to you guys about skincare and specifically, my favorite Eminence Organics products! While I am not a licensed esthetician and I rely on the ladies at the office for skincare and beauty advice, I have learned so much about Eminence over the last few months through wonderful trainings from the company and using these products daily. Having this knowledge about skincare products and ingredients has been really wonderful, and when working with certain clients, having this knowledge combined with the knowledge about nutrition has really helped address issues that are both above and below the surface so that they can look and feel their best!

Mid-March when everything shut down seemingly overnight in Upstate, NY seems like a lifetime ago with everything that has been happening across our world, country and within everyone’s own lives. In this new reality of life here in New York, we are wearing masks and have been for months now! As a result, I have noticed some skin troubles that I hadn’t had before, despite not wearing the makeup I would have previously when half my face was not covered. I know from numerous conversations that I am far from alone. While we are not able to offer facial services yet, we are still selling our at home facial kits online and in person at our office and many products from both lines we use at the office, Eminence and Dermalogica, are available for purchase. I am going to share my own personal skincare routine that helps keep my skin hydrated, fresh and the breakouts under control.

My Eminence Morning Routine

Cleansers: Stone Crop Gel Wash – I find that the scent is so unique and it is loved by everyone! A small amount goes a long way. I love that when I use this product, my skin doesn’t feel stripped or dry yet it still feels clean!

Exfoliators: Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzfoliant – Powdered exfoliators are amazing and these seem to last forever! I use the Strawberry Rhubarb as more of an every day exfoliator whereas the Stone Crop is more aggressive and something I may use once a week or so.

Serums: Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil, Bamboo Firming Fluid + Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum* – When I was younger I would always use the bare minimum amount of moisturizer so that my skin didn’t feel like dried paper mâché on my face because I was scared the moisturizer would make me break out. In reality and hindsight, depriving my skin of the moisture it so desperately needed was what was making me break out! Side note: I wonder how much younger I would look now had I saturated my skin in all of the hydrating goodies that I do now when I was 16?! Haha. The Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil is amazing. A couple drops of this oil is enough to reap the benefits of this product and I also use it at night time. On the rare occasions I do wear makeup, I have even blended a drop or two of this oil into my foundation and it has created a dewey, dreamy finish.

I have found that the Bamboo Firming Fluid gives my skin some extra plumpness and the product is a natural retinol alternative. Since the mask wearing commenced, I have been using the Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum particularly on the lower portion of my face that is covered by my mask! I have found that this serum is super gentle, does not over dry, does not cause red spots or blotchiness but is still effective.

Eye Cream: Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream – I am not really sure what I attribute it to, but I am definitely someone who is prone to puffy under eyes. I have also never been much of an eye cream person because I never saw them make a difference, but I really think the unique applicator for this eye cream creates an instant difference. I will put this eye cream on and let it sink in for a few minutes while I brush my teeth or do something else and THEN I decide whether or not I need to use concealer and the vast majority of the time, I don’t!

Moisturizer: Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer* – I love the scent of this. I love how refreshing it feels on my skin. I love how this product makes my skin feel like it is helping keep breakouts under control but also still so moisturizing!

SPF: Lilikoi Light Defense Face Primer SPF 23 or Sun Defense Minerals SPF 30 (Neither are Pictured) – Full disclosure, I like the Lilikoi Light Defense Face Primer, but it is hit or miss amongst those who have tried it as to whether to not they like it. Because it is not an instant love like most Eminence products are, I do not stock this product but I use it at home! The biggest complaint about this product is that it creates a white cast on the skin. I personally do not find this to be the case! I am absolutely obsessed with the Sun Defense Minerals SPF 30. This product is amazing because it is a powder so it goes on easily and evenly, is great for all ages and you don’t have to worry about it leaking all over your stuff if you have it in a beach bag.

Toner: Stone Crop Hydrating Mist – This product smells great and has a range of uses. When I am actually wearing makeup, I spray my blending sponge with this to help blend better. I also use this when I am done with my makeup, spritzing a couple times to “set” my look. Whether I am going makeup free or have makeup on, I spray my face with this to refresh my face throughout the day.

My Eminence Nighttime Routine

For Nighttime: I use many of the same products BUT I really soak my skin in the Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil, I use the Snow Mushroom Moisture Cloud Eye Cream and I use the Bamboo Age Corrective Masque! The Snow Mushroom Moisture Cloud Eye Cream really The Bamboo Age Corrective Masque really makes my face feel hydrated and I feel like my skin plumps right up when I use this.

* denotes items I have been using to help combat mask/summer heat breakouts that were too drying for me to use daily during the winter months!




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5 Tips to Building A Healthier Charcuterie Board

There are very few things that I love more than a good charcuterie board. This time of year is full of gatherings and people stopping over. A charcuterie board is a simple but elegant way to feed a crowd and allow people to pick and choose items that they want to eat. While I love charcuterie, I am a firm believer that not all charcuterie boards are created equal and I have come up with five tips to help you up your charcuterie board game to make a healthier charcuterie board for your next gathering or fun, casual meal.

  1. VARIETY: With so many people who have dietary restrictions and food sensitivities, have lots of choices for everyone. Having an assortment of meat, cheese, olives, fruits and/or veggies, dips, crackers (like my absolute favorite Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Crackers that those who do and do not eat gluten love!), nuts, pretzels, bread sticks, dark chocolate, etc.
  2. HEALTHIER CONDIMENTS: Add in healthier condiments and dips to accompany the items on the charcuterie board such as mustards, hummus, yogurt based dips, homemade pesto and raw honey.
  3. BETTER MEAT CHOICES: While cured meats are inherently salty, choose options that aren’t also loaded with preservatives! Look for organic meats, meats labeled “all natural” and meats labeled “uncured” (they’re still cured, just typically in a more natural way!) when choosing your meat for charcuterie boards. Many times, prosciutto is made with just ham and salt. While these are better choices, don’t eat tons of these cured meats as the salt content is typically pretty high!
  4. BETTER FRUIT & NUT CHOICES: Use better dried fruit and nuts! If you are adding dried fruit, check the label for added sugar, oil and preservatives. If you are buying nuts, look for ones that are raw or dry roasted (roasted but using no added oil).
  5. HAVE FUN: Be creative and don’t stress about it! You can’t mess this up!

If you follow Based Wellness on Facebook or Instagram, tag me in your next charcuterie creation so I can check it out!

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30 Healthy Nutritionist Approved Items to Buy at Costco

Costco is DANGEROUS for me and I usually end up leaving with a cart full of items I never even knew I needed.  When we moved to a different town last year, it put some distance between the two of us. For me, Costco is not a place to simply swing by for JUST one thing (yes, I’m looking at you guy in the gym shorts who casually went to Costco for a lone rotisserie chicken), but it’s an event, especially if you do something totally outlandish like go without a list. Even though there are just two of us in my house and I buy most of my fresh produce elsewhere, there are plenty of great items and deals to be had in bulk at Costco that will work for a household of just one or two!

Below, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Costco picks for you guys!

1. Kirkland Organic Greek Yogurt

Costco Kirkland Organic Greek Yogurt
I love this stuff and I use it for so many things! I use it in place of both mayo and sour cream, I use it for a snack with berries and ground flax seed and I even use it in things like tomato soup to add creaminess.

2. Kirkland Cage Free Egg Whites

Costco Kirkland Egg Whites
These are SO convenient and I am not wasting yolks when I use this product. I use these for omelets that I will eat for any meal, for make-ahead breakfast cups and for the rare times I bake and the recipe calls for egg.

3. Kirkand Organic Hummus Single Serve Cups

Costco Kirkland Organic Hummus
These are convenient and delicious. These are a lunchtime and road trip staple in our house! I love these single serve containers because you don’t have to worry about figuring out a serving size and since they are individually packaged, they stay fresh longer!

4. Kirkland Organic Hard Boiled Eggs

Costco Kirkland Organic Hard Boiled Eggs
It does not get easier than this! Use these as a quick grab and go breakfast or addition to a lunch, an addition to a quinoa and greens bowl, an addition to a ramen bowl or to make egg salad.

5. Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers

Costco Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers
THESE. These crackers are everything. They are delicious, filling and made with great ingredients. These are gluten-free but they’re still a real crowd pleaser, everyone loves them! These big boxes are way cheaper than the smaller single boxes sold at grocery stores and they make for an amazing charcuterie or lunch box addition and go great with a cup of soup!

6. Suja Organic Cold-Pressed Uber Greens

Costco Suja Organic Uber Greens
I am almost always team smoothie over team juice because juice lacks the fiber smoothies have. This juice has a reasonable amount of sugar per serving (4 grams per 8 oz whereas there are 23 grams of sugar in 8 oz of orange juice). I like to have this juice as a pick-me-up and I also really love mixing it with the Harmless Harvest Coconut Water and a pinch of sea salt to make a natural electrolyte drink.

7. Harmless Harvest Harmless Coconut Water

Costco Harmless Harvest Coconut Water
I rarely consume drinks with even natural sugars and that includes coconut water. When I do consume coconut water, this is my favorite coconut water. The taste is amazing and it is a great component to a natural electrolyte drink. While it contains 14 grams of added sugar per 8 oz serving, it also contains 15% daily value of potassium. The price of a pack of this water at Costco can’t be beat!

8. Tasty Bite Vegetable Tikka Masala/Madras Lentils

Costco Organic Tasty Bite Madras Lentils
These super flavorful vegetarian options are also gluten free and are made up of real, natural ingredients. Pair with brown rice or cauliflower rice (sometimes I mix the two!) and bulk it up with fresh or frozen veggies for the easiest lunch and dinner ever!

9. The Good Bean Organic Sea Salt Chickpea Snacks

Costco The Good Bean Organic Chickpeas Sea Salt
Use these on a salad, on top of soup or eat them plain as a great snack option for on the go. Add these in to a homemade trail mix for a satisfying salty crunch that is good for you! One serving contains 20% daily value of fiber, 12% daily value of protein and 8% daily value of iron!

10. Volupta Organic Dried Goji Berries

Costco Volupta Organic Goji Berries
Y’all know I love the facts and it is a fact that goji berries are packed with antioxidants. Add goji berries to salads, on yogurt and in oatmeal. This brand is organic and contains no added sugars.

11. Banza Chickpea Rotini

Costco Banza Rotini Chickpea
This option is great for those who may be obtaining protein from plant based sources as it contains protein rich chick peas as well as pea protein. Use this in place of tradiational pasta and you will have a hearty, filling meal. One serving of this pasta contains 14 grams of protein and 30% daily value of fiber.

12. Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti

Costco Explore Cuisine Organic Black Bean Spaghetti
Packed with even more nutrients than the Banza Rotini and made with just ONE ingredient, the Black Bean Spaghetti is an amazing choice. This spaghetti has a whopping 25 grams of protein per serving (which is 50% of the daily value!!) and also contains 48% of the daily value of calcium, 36% of the daily vale of potassium, 32% of the daily value of iron and 15% of the daily value of calcium. Use this hot with tomato sauce as you would regular spaghetti, toss it with some olive oil and cheese and broccoli or use it as a base for pasta salad or pad thai! If you want your meal to go farther, use half black bean spaghetti and half zucchini noodles!

13. Organic Deglet Noor Pitted Dates

Costco Deglet Noor Organic Dried Dates
These are an awesome snack that are full of tons of natural sugar. Eat one or two of these with a smear of nut butter, a sprinkle of chia seed and a pinch of unsweetened coconut as a sweet treat or use these in the base of a recipe such as my Cacao Bites. Add one to a smoothie for sweetness!

14. Whisps Parmesean Cheese Crisps

Costco Whisps Parmesan Cheese Crisps
These are ridiculously tasty. While you could toss them on a salad or soup, I just eat them plain. Cheese that doesn’t need to be refrigerated? Yes, please! These make a great road trip snack, boat snack or addition to a charcuterie board.

15. Skinny Pop Single Serving Bags

Costco Skinny Pop
A super simple snack with just popcorn, oil and salt these single size packs are great for on the go.

16. Driscoll’s Organic Raspberries

Costco Driscoll's Organic Raspberries
While I don’t usually buy produce at Costco unless I am feeding a crowd, I can singlehandedly take down one of their large containers of berries before they go bad! They tend to rotate deals on berries so I leave with either blueberries, blackberries, strawberries or raspberries depending on what they have a good deal on.

17. Whole Organic Chickens “Fryers”

Costco Fresh Organic Chickens
Roast one of these in the oven for dinner and use the leftover meat for shredded tacos or chicken salad (made with Greek yogurt, of course!). Boil the bones with celery, onion and carrots for super flavorful broth to use in soup or to cook your rice or quinoa in.

18. Good Foods Organic Avocado Mash 90 Calorie Packs/Good Foods Tableside Chunky Guacamole

Costco Good Foods Organic Avocado Mash Guacamole

Costco Good Foods Tableside Chunky Guacamole
This avocado mash is perfect for veggie dipping or toast smearing and this guacamole is my absolute favorite store bought brand and makes any burrito bowl or taco that much better with no effort!

19. Kirkland Signature Organic Blueberries

Costco Kirkland Signature Organic Blueberries
Defrost some of these to use in banana egg white pancakes, plain yogurt, in oatmeal or in smoothies.

20. Crepini Egg Thins

Costco Crepini Egg Thins
These are amazing to use in place of tortillas or other wraps. These are great filled with taco filling like beans and cheese, banana and peanut butter or other sandwich toppings!

21. Mini Babybel Cheese

Costco Mini Babybel Original Cheese
Single serving cheeses that are already portioned out are great for busy lives and great for portion control.

22. Imperial Garden Organic Edamame

Costco Organic Imperial Garden Edamame
Frozen edamame is a great snack or appetizer. Remove some of the soy beans from their shells and use in soups, salads or add to a side dish.

23. Tropicland Organic Riced Cauliflower

Costco Tropicland Organic Riced Cauliflower
Frozen riced cauliflower is so convenient and so much easier than making your own. Use this in place of or mixed half and half with regular rice. Use it in rice and beans or fried rice, the possibilities are honestly endless.

24. Bibigo Organic Chicken Potstickers

Costco Bibigo Organic Potstickers
A super easy meal option that combines good ingredients mixed together inside of a little dough pocket. Even as a vegetarian I keep these on hand because people love them!

25. Navitas Organics Organic Cacao Powder

Costco Navitas Organic Cacao Powder
OHMYGOD. This stuff is DELISH. Cacao powder is the raw version of cocoa powder and it is packed with way more nutrients that cocoa powder. I use this cacao powder with dates in my Cacao Bites as mentioned in number 13. I also use it to make the creamiest hot coco and in any recipe place of regular coco powder. It is so much richer than regular coco powder and it is packed with may more nutrients!

26. Nature’s Intent Organic Chia Seeds

Nature's Intent Organic Chia Seeds
These tiny little guys are full of nutrients. They contain 11 grams of fiber and are packed with magnesium and phosphorus. Use chia seeds in whatever you are eating from chia pudding, chia jam or in baked goods.

27. Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts

Costco Manitoba Organic Hemp Hearts
Hemp hearts are packed with protein, iron, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and manganese. Use these in smoothies, to top a bowl of yogurt and fruit, in scrambled eggs, on top of salads or mixed into your favorite pasta dish.

28. Kirkland Signature Organic Quinoa

Costco Kirkland Organic Quinoa
This is a great pantry staple. Use it in side dishes, main dishes, and even sweeter breakfast dishes. Freeze cooled, cooked quinoa in ziplock bags for super quick meals!

29. Kirkland Signature Organic Chicken Stock

Costco Kirkland Organic Chicken Stock
When you don’t have time to make your own, use this to make soups, risottos, and use in place of water to cook rice, savory oatmeal or quinoa.

30. Del Monte Fresh Fruit Bowl

Costco Del Monte Fruit Bowl
This is great for parties and group events but is also great to have already cut up fruit in the fridge and with the variety, it is likely there will be something everyone likes!