FP How We: Eat Pretty

FP How We: Eat Pretty

Our monthly home office wellness series turns within, as we talk all things Eat Pretty with Jolene Hart …

This post comes to you from Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Jolene Hart.

As a health coach and author, I help my readers and clients look and feel their best via the beautifying powers of food and self-care. Together we look beyond the surface of the skin, into the various ways we nourish our beauty — beginning with our meals and extending to mindset, movement, energy, sleep, and all of the unique needs of our individual bodies in each season. Beauty, as you’ve heard before, is so much more than skin deep, and I love watching my clients build a dynamic and very personal lifestyle of beauty that reflects that, supporting their lifelong beauty and wellbeing in the process.

I shared my approach to beauty with the Free People Home Office this month, amidst vases of wildflowers, linens hand-dyed to match the covers of my Eat Pretty book series, and an abundance of fresh lemons (one of my absolute favorite skin foods) for beauty food inspiration. A sunlit space, the glow of a summer afternoon, and a room filled with the magical creative energy of FP employees made this event so special!

Whenever I share my work, I also tell my personal story, almost a decade’s worth of skin issues, and my exhaustive search for a product, prescription, or treatment that would heal them. Not only did I make it my job to figure out why chronic eczema and cystic acne were taking over my skin, it actually was my job to give beauty advice, as I was working as a magazine beauty editor at the time. After several years spent seeking and testing promising skin treatments and services, my skin was unchanged. Desperate, I left my magazine post and used my journalist role to search for answers — delving into various fields of study including Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, genomics, aesthetics, dermatology, and integrative nutrition to learn more about our bodies and our skin. My own frustrating experience inspired my second career as a coach and my beauty nutrition-focused coaching practice Beauty Is Wellness, and that personal journey has kept me passionate about eating for beauty every day of my own life.

During my visit, I challenged the Free People staff to rethink their own approach to beauty, beginning with their meals and extending to the sources of energy in their lives that influence their own mindset, stress, and emotions. We named some of the qualities that describe a universally ‘beautiful’ person — vibrant, energetic, fresh, glowing — and I asked the group to use those qualities as a guide when choosing their own meals. The foods we eat break down to become our bodies on a molecular level, so choosing foods naturally high in energy, vibrancy, and freshness strongly adds to the visible beauty of our bodies, even as it supports optimal physical function.

I shared other qualities that are essential to keep in mind when choosing foods for beauty — qualities like seasonality, anti-inflammatory value, and color — and explained the vital role that blood sugar balance plays in achieving radiant, youthful skin, balanced hormones, good moods and your healthiest weight. One simple strategy that I believe all women should know to support their blood sugar balance is to eat a meal that satiates the body and provides slow-digesting energy. To achieve this, it’s ideal to include a combination of protein, healthy fats, and abundant vegetables on your plate every time you sit down to a meal. This illustration of an Eat Pretty plate, taken from my book Eat Pretty, Live Well, helps visualize what those foods might look like together.



Above all, I encouraged the FP team to listen closely to their bodies, by watching their skin as well as their energy, digestion, hormone balance, and stress levels, to find the foods and the habits that best support their beauty and body. We’re all uniquely made, so it’s important to recognize our own needs by seeing and feeling those telling manifestations in our bodies. I’ve found, as have so many of my readers and clients, that building a lifestyle that supports your beauty from the inside out not only helps you look and feel your best, it teaches you so much about your body in the process.

So many thanks to the amazing FP staff for inviting me to share this message, and for providing so much creative inspiration as always!

+ Want to learn more from Jolene Hart? Check out these articles here and start your journey to healthy living today! 

Photo by Magdalena Fountoukidis.

Free People Blog

FP Escapes: Inside Glacier Under Canvas

FP Escapes: Inside Glacier Under Canvas

Get a glimpse inside the breathtaking campground, home to our August FP Escapes retreat

Where peaks touch sky, glaciers move earth, waterfalls carve rock, and wildlife roam free… Welcome to Glacier Under Canvas, and home to our August FP Escapes retreat. Glacier Under Canvas takes camping to a whole new level, with luxury tents and endless mountain views giving you the opportunity to camp without ditching the comforts of home. Still not convinced to join us this August? Read below our conversation with Crystal McDonald from the Under Canvas team to help make the trip to Montana that much more desirable. 

We love your mission statement, “To enrich lives by enabling people to share experiences in the outdoors in comfort and style.” Could you tell us a little more on how Under Canvas continues bring this mission to life. 

Being outdoors definitely inspires, restores and connects people!  Adventuring in the wild doesn’t come easy for everyone, but experiencing the outdoors also doesn’t have to mean “roughing it.” We provide unforgettable experiences and believe that immersing yourself in nature strengthens relationships and fosters environmental consciousness. Not to mention it allows you to decompress from the daily demands of being so connected!

Can you share with us some of the things that Glacier Under Canvas guests would be privy to: tours/activities/etc.?

We offer many fun activities that our guests can enjoy, like whitewater rafting and canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, horseback riding, guided backcountry tours to Glacier Lake, even cowboy cookouts. Did I also mention Llama Trekking?  How cool is that!?  The park is nearly one million acres in size, so the list is virtually endless. You might even spot some cute bear cubs!

Under Canvas has a few other locations. Where are they located?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite because they’re all so fabulous!  Next month we are opening Under Canvas Zion, and our team has some really special things in the works!  I hear there’s going to be an amazing lobby tent with a fire pit and trees inside, a campfire-inspired restaurant AND a huge yoga platform with a meditation area! Each location is totally unique and incredible in its own way — but you guys already know that because you’ve visited our camps in Yellowstone and Moab!  Here’s some other exciting news too — we have more new locations rolling out in 2018, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

5 words that capture the essence of Glacier Under Canvas?

Adventure, relax, escape, inspire, discover.

Giving back is a huge part of who Under Canvas is. The months of May & June are blocked off specifically for hosting charitable camps. Could you tell us more about this? 

Yes, giving back is at the core of who we are!  We love sharing the gift of nature and we support organizations who work in partnership to offer that experience to children, youth and the disadvantaged.  Before our Glacier location opens each season, we host charitable camps and help provide the ultimate experience in the great outdoors — and when it comes to sleeping in a safari tent there is never a lack of excitement (or late-night laughter)!

Our mission to bridge society to the great outdoors is a priority. Organizations can always contact us for more information!

If Glacier Under Canvas had (or has) a spirit animal, what would it be?

A bear! They are wild and powerful creatures, yet beautiful and graceful.  And nothing says adventure like a bear!

What does the word free mean to you?

Not having a care in the world.  But more importantly, being confident and truly comfortable with yourself!

+ Join us in Glacier National Park this August! Book here today!! 

Want to learn more about our Glacier National Park Escape? Meet and stay up to date with our yoga teacher and holistic health coach, Maria, who will be joining us in Glacier NP!

Free People Blog

Park Visit: Denali

Park Visit: Denali

With six million acres in wild land, Denali National Park is worth the trek to the Last Frontier…

Growing up in Alaska, Denali National Park holds a special place in my heart. Its seemingly endless acreage is home to the largest peak in North America, sitting over 20,000 feet above sea level and named ‘big mountain’, or Denali, by my Athabaskan people. Long before I was born, my own father even summited this beautiful beast during a mountaineering expedition in the late 70s. Needless to say, I was pretty lucky to grow up under such a mighty force. Denali stands alone from other national parks as it has a sole road that runs throughout the whole park, a majority of which can only be accessed by designated park buses. This vast and wild land offers lively wildlife, historic glaciers, and peaks whose dominance beckon its visitors to acknowledge the immense power of the Earth. Check out my guide below:

Where to Stay:

Byers Lake Cabins — This is my favorite hidden gem, located about 90 miles south of the Denali National Park entrance. An amazing weekend getaway if you’re looking to spend some time in the great outdoors without fully committing to tent camping. There are three cabins located on Byers Lake, all easily accessible via a one-mile hike or a three-mile kayak trip across the lake. These cabins may rest on the outer limits of your Denali adventure but provide quiet nights, lake access and stunning views of Denali. Each cabin sleeps six and is close enough to be able to visit Talkeetna after your park visit.

Wonder Lake Campground — There are six campgrounds located inside the national park, each different from the last and each offering a more intense version of an off-the-grid experience are you head deeper inward. Wonder Lake is one of the six and furthest from the park’s entrance, 85 miles to be exact, and can only be accessed in the summer months. The campground is also the closest to Denali Mountain…with 26 miles standing between you and the base. Open to tent-only camping and also guaranteed bear sightings, this otherworldly location to lay your head at night is not for the faint of heart.

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge — Ok, ok so I know not all of us are ready to sleep on the Earth’s floor, let alone kayak for three miles just to drop off your pack. If this is you, however, Princess Lodges are where it’s at. Be warned — this is tourist-central and khaki shorts and selfie-sticks will be spotted. All that aside this lodge is beyond stunning and is located right outside the park’s entrance in the small town of Nenana Canyon. The lodge will set you up with guided hikes, whitewater rafting, which make adventuring Denali National Park effortless.

Where to Eat:

Prospectors Pizzeria & Alehouse — There are quite a few options within the mini “strip” of Nenana Canyon, from ice cream shops to killer Thai food. But nothing quite beats a hearty slice of pizza and cold beer after a long day of hiking and soaking in the fresh air. Prospectors Pizzeria is a must-stop for locals and tourists alike.

What to See:

I’ve come to accept, with the 6 million acres of land Denali National Park has to offer, “seeing it all” is quite daunting and unrealistic. So, to make your life a bit easier, I’ve provided some of my favorite spots to see if you have just a few days to explore. Of course, if you have a week, a month, a summer!!  TAKE IT, as every day in the park will provide you with a different view, another wild animal and endless gratitude for this beautiful life we get to live.

One full day: 

Savage River Loop Trail — This is a perfect, easy day hike for all levels. The trail is located at mile 15 and is actually the furthest point to you are allowed a private vehicle within the park. This trail provides parking for both RV’s and cars, and is a 1.7 mile loop that runs along the Savage River.

Sled Dog Kennels — Yes, sled dogs!! You will see signs throughout the entrance to “slow down for sled dogs” or “sled dogs exercising”. Nothing gets more Alaskan than that! Located three miles from the park entrance, the sled dog kennels are open year-round to visitors. No parking is available here, so please plan on using the buses or walking the 1.5 miles from the Denali Visitor Center to the kennels. Demonstrations are given three times daily in peak season — be sure to check out more on sled dogs demonstrations here!

Wild Life Viewing — The wild animals of Alaska can be seen through out the park no matter the location or time of day. Yet there are certain animals for certain locations — check out the National Park’s guide for viewing here!

Bus Tours — As the park is sprawling, with only 15 miles of its sole road accessible by private vehicle, a bus tour is the best way to get the most out of a one-day adventure. The park offers narrated and non-narrated tours that include history lessons for the full 95 miles of park road.

Two Days:

The previous four points of interest plus…

McKinley (River) Bar Trail — leading from Wonder Lake Campground to the McKinley River. It is 2.5 miles one way, with negligible elevation gain. The trail travels through spruce forest and past several small ponds, offering chance to see water fowl and terrain which differs from much of the park. It is plagued most of the summer by mosquitoes, so bring a head net.

Kantishna Experience– This is a full day (12-hour) adventure that travels the full length of Denali’s park road to the old gold town of Kantishna. Lunch and snacks are provided as you drive into the history and and role that this interior town has to offer.

Mount Healy Overlook Trail — Unlike other trails in the park, Mount Healy overlook is not a loop and provides a rugged terrain for those looking for incredible views.  A little over five miles round-trip, this is one of Denali’s steepest, gaining about 1,700 feet in elevation.

Please note: 

Seeing a wild animal in the backcountry can be an incredible experience. But knowing how to behave in an encounter scenario might make all the difference. Whether it’s a moose, a bear or smaller animal, be prepared to react accordingly.

Make noise in areas of low visibility.
Stay 300 yards away from any bear.
Stay at least 25 yards from a moose.
If a wild animal changes its behavior because of you, you’re too close.

+ Have a favorite Denali adventure to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Learn more about our partnership with the National Park Foundation here!

Follow April on Instagram.

Free People Blog

Making the Case for Minimalism, Part 4

Making the Case for Minimalism, Part 4

Sharing seven days’ worth of minimalist practices with hopes that we can all find some clarity…

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment and freedom.”- The Minimalists

Stepping back and looking at where I am in life, and how things create a few more butterflies in my chest that I’d like, I’m going to be practicing a minimalist act each day of the week, and sharing them with you. If you are feeling like your life is a bit dizzying, take a look deeper and see how much stuff you are carrying on a day-to-day basis, and join me. At the beginning of each week, I will be posting 7 days’ worth of minimalist practices with hopes of finding and maintaining some clarity.

Week Four

Monday: Barely There. Mondays can be rough. Make it easier on yourself. Sport around your basic go-to’s. Dress for comfort and calmness. For me, that’s minimal colors. Lightweight sneakers, white tee, and my best friend, my 501 Levi’s.

Tuesday: Pit Stop. When you stop to pump gas today, clean out your car. Throw out any trash, and put the clutter in your trunk. When you get home tonight, take out the excess and put it where it belongs — inside. This will make your commute to work a bit more relaxing.

Wednesday: Paperless. Go through all of your online bills today and, if you haven’t already, opt out of direct mail. This will not only help your house from collecting clutter, but will also help the environment.

Thursday: Practice Gratitude. Be mindful and appreciate both the little and big things in your life. That’s what this is all about. Write a list of everything and everyone for which you are grateful. Think about editing out what wasn’t listed.

Friday: Tackle the Fridge. The amount of condiments in your refrigerator can sometimes get to be a little much. Clean out your fridge. Toss out any items that are expired, wipe down the shelves, and prepare the space to be filled with clean healthy food going into the next week.

Saturday: Plan a Yard Sale. Look into the summer yard sales happening around your community. Pick one, and start planning. Make a list of things that you haven’t used in the last 3 months, and make a point to let go of them. Yard sales can be a fun neighborhood routine to get into during the warm months. A little bit of work can rid you of a lot of stuff.

Sunday: Morning Ritual. Wake up at 6am this morning. Give yourself a couple hours before your busy day and develop a calming ritual, whether it’s a brisk walk, a bath, or a big breakfast. Throughout this series I’ve tried to mention how important time is to a minimal lifestyle. The goal is to reclaim our time so that we can have more of it for ourselves, for relationships, for gratitude, and to simply be free.

+ Good luck this week! If you are joining in on this challenge, let me know in the comments!

+ Follow Madisyn on Instagram + take a peek at her Blog!

Free People Blog

Making the Case for Minimalism, Part 3

Making the Case for Minimalism, Part 3

Sharing seven days’ worth of minimalist practices with hopes that we can all find some clarity…

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment and freedom.” – The Minimalists

Stepping back and looking at where I am in life, and how stuff is creating a few more butterflies in my chest that I’d like, I’m going to be practicing a minimalist act each day of the week, and share them with you. If you are feeling like your life is a bit dizzying, take a look deeper and see how much stuff you are carrying on a day-to-day basis, and join me.

At the beginning of each week, I will be posting 7 days’ worth of minimalist practices with hopes of finding and maintaining some clarity.

Week Two

Monday: Practice Mindfulness. During your lunch break, take 30 minutes to practice mindfulness. Focus on your present moment, calmly accept any feelings that you are having, and allow yourself a therapeutic half-hour. This practice is so important to implement on a daily basis, as it resets your body to focus on the important things.

Tuesday: Minimal Ingredients. Consume minimal numbers of ingredients today. Try spending the day eating clean, raw, wholesome foods. If you can’t make an entire day of it, try making one tiny switch in your routine and make time to really notice the natural flavors in one of your favorite indulgences. For me, I’m a matcha girl through and through. I usually add a bit of coconut milk, collagen peptides, and a drizzle of honey each morning to sweeten it up a bit. If you’re a coffee girl, go cream- or sugar-free.

Wednesday: Declutter Your Workspace. It’s hard to be inspired if your workspace is a mess. It’s also easy to let it get out of hand when you are constantly doing your job. Take 10 minutes and do a quick sweep of your space today. Clean off surfaces, organize piles, and get rid of anything you don’t need.

Thursday: Night Ritual. Slow down your evening — develop a nighttime ritual. Gather a few things that make you happy and peaceful, and visit/use them before bed. This will allow you to refrain from over-tasking and focus on a restful night’a sleep.

Friday: Donate Box. Start a “donate box”. Put it in a corner of your home, and add something to it daily or weekly.

Saturday: Experience. Go out and try something new. Instead of spending money on a physical thing, instead consider an experience. Spending on experiences is always a yes in the world of minimalism. Need some inspiration? Here you go.

Sunday: Goodbye Plastic. Rid your kitchen of any plastic — cups, straws, bags, etc. Finding new ways to store items instead of in plastic helps reduce wasting and makes your kitchen a more minimal place.

+ Good luck this week! If you are joining in on this challenge, let me know in the comments!

Follow FP Madisyn on Instagram + take a peek at her Blog!

Free People Blog

Vagus, Baby: Why You Should Care About Your Vagus Nerve

Vagus, Baby: Why You Should Care About Your Vagus Nerve

Keeping your vagus nerve happy might be key to vibrant mind-body balance. Learn how to keep this nerve “toned” and why it matters according to Dr. Sarah Gottfried

This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with The Chalkboard Mag.

Vagus means “wanderer.” This nerve — the longest one in your body — wanders all through your body to important organs and areas such as the brain, neck, ears, tongue, heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidney, spleen and reproductive organs in women. The vagus nerve contains motor and sensory fibers. It has wide distribution throughout the body as it passes through the neck and thorax to the abdomen. Think of it as the most important nerve in your parasympathetic nervous system.

So what happens when it’s whacked? An amped-up perception of stress causes lower vagal tone (or responsiveness), which means the vagus nerve is having performance issues and operating at a lower capacity. If the vagus nerve isn’t tended to, you won’t be healthy and you’re more likely to age faster.

High vagal tone is a marker of greater altruistic behavior and closeness to others. Lower vagal tone is linked to a variety of problems:

MIND: Stress; anxiety; weakened sense of connectivity

BODY: Low stomach-acid secretion; poor absorption of B12; low or slow bile acid production, so it’s harder to clear fats and toxins; poor blood flow to kidneys; higher blood pressure; poor glucose control; poor heart rate variability and greater risk of heart disease; high resting heart rate; frequent urination; limited or absent capacity for orgasms

BOTH: Poor satiety or sense of relaxation while eating; difficulty accessing mind-body connection and flow state


These actions may trigger your stress genes to turn off, bringing a greater sense of calmness.

One: Connect positively with others.
Two: Take a cold shower (try it, but if it stresses you out, you may have the same TH gene as me!).
Three: Schedule a reflexology (foot massage) session.
Four: Sleep on your right side.
Five: Sing!
Six: Get acupuncture, especially in the ear.
Seven: Book a craniosacral session.

 + Read more collaborations with The Chalkboard Mag here

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 


Free People Blog

Office Style: Meet Kacie

Office Style: Meet Kacie

The one behind #FPWriteThisDown, meet our social media queen, Kacie…

Your position at Free People…

Social Media Assistant

How does your job influence your personal style?

Every day is different — I never know what the day will bring so I like to be prepared for anything! Since I’m always running around I’m usually in something comfy and versatile.

What is your personal style?

Casually random but sometimes over-the-top.

Go-to fashion rule or styling trick?

Contradiction is key.

Favorite part about your job?

The people! I love how collaborative my job is and the different teams I get to work with. I’ve met so many talented people who inspire me daily.

Most challenging part of your job?

Social Media never sleeps! I have to be aware of what’s going on in the world and be ready to react to it! At first I used to have nightmares about my phone dying and my being unreachable but I learned to value my time spent away from my phone and enjoy every second of it.

What’s in your Freepeople.com shopping cart?

United One Piece 

Camp Collection D-Veep Body Suit 

Stay Home Lounge Dress 

Move On Shortie 

Tonik No.2

One thing in your closet that you could not live without?

Sneakers, sneakers, sneakers!

Follow Kacie on Instagram and shop her look today!

+ Loving Office Style? Meet more of the Home Office employees here!

Follow April on Instagram.

Free People Blog

Making the Case for Minimalism

Making the Case for Minimalism

Sharing seven days’ worth of minimalist practices with hopes that we can all find some clarity…

I have entirely too much stuff. Stuff meaning: books, towels, emails, clothes, makeup, Facebook friends, 5 different hairbrushes. Not only is my tiny apartment actually overflowing with stuff, but so is my computer, my phone, my brain. I mean, honestly, why do I have an entire drawer full of dried flowers? Who do I think I am, Anne Of Green Gables? (I wish), but no, I’m not. So, because of all of the above, and more, I’m going to try and take baby steps that could lead to a more minimalist lifestyle.

But first things first, let’s clear up what that actually means. Practicing minimalism, or living a minimalist lifestyle, may mean different things to different people. Some may say it means getting rid of your car, your phone, even saying no to those silly-buddy colored mules in your shopping cart. For me, I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with material possessions — if those shoes are important to you, then that’s wonderful. With that being said, I also believe that balance is key. Moderation is our friend. A minimalist lifestyle is personal to each and every one of us, and we can all set our own rules on how big or little we would like to practice it.

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment and freedom.” – The Minimalists

Stepping back and looking at where I am in life, and how stuff is creating a few more butterflies in my chest that I’d like, I’m going to be practicing a minimalist act each day of the week, and share them with you. If you are feeling like your life is a bit dizzying, take a look deeper and see how much stuff you are carrying on a day-to-day basis, and join me.

At the beginning of each week, I will be posting 7 days’ worth of minimalist practices with hopes of finding and maintaining some clarity.


Week Two:

Monday: Evaluate Commitments. I’m the queen of overcommitting. It can be both a good and bad thing, but typically, it’s overwhelming. Take a step back at all of your commitments, and narrow them down. Cut out anything that may be adding stress. With that, don’t sell yourself short. You are capable of doing everything — just not at once. If it’s important enough to you, you’ll eventually get it done.

Tuesday: Bare Faced. Go the entire day without any makeup. There is some sort of power that comes with exposing your true and natural self to the world with complete confidence. Not only will you feel that power, but your skin will enjoy the break as well. 🙂

Wednesday: Unfollow + Unfriend. I have 2,000+ friends on Facebook. What the heck. I couldn’t even name 100 friends off the top of my head. I’m constantly exposed to content on my social media feeds that may make me feel negative, and yet I just scroll past. Sometimes I see posts from people that I don’t even know. Unfriend anyone who doesn’t add to your life’s conversation.

Thursday: No Spending. Not even a nickel! Take a break today from pulling out your wallet. Use up all of those groceries that you have and get creative. Going a day each week without spending anything is completely freeing, and will help you reflect on what is important enough for your hard earned cash.

Friday: Prune The Garden. Go snip all the dead and old out of your garden. Cutting back on blooms helps new ones grow, and the fresh cuts will add some minimal decor into your space. Place a single stem in each jar, and enjoy the beauty of single digits.

Saturday: Donate 10 Pieces of Clothing. I have jeans in my closet that don’t fit me, like, at all, and yet I refuse to part ways with them. Pick 10 items out of your closet that either you no longer fit into or simplydon’t like anymore, and donate them. You’ll feel great about the space that opens up, and even better that someone else will get the chance to love and enjoy them. Think about if you did this once every few months!

Sunday: Solitude. Spend the day with yourself. Go for a hike, read on the porch, or create something. Feel the joy that comes with the quietness of solitude.

+ Good luck this week! If you are joining in on this challenge, let me know in the comments! 

Follow FP Madisyn on Instagram + take a peek at her Blog!

Free People Blog