Wellness Encyclopedia: The Benefits of Raw Honey

Wellness Encyclopedia: The Benefits of Raw Honey

The golden wonder that is raw honey can help keep you at the top of your game this season…

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true: Cold and flu season is almost here. While I’m celebrating the arrival of fall like the best of them, it took one 30°F morning this week to remind me that along with picking pumpkins and brainstorming Halloween costumes, ensuring healthy immunity should be at the top of my to-do list. I love this time of year, so the last thing I want is to be sidetracked by a cough or sore throat. Luckily my first line of defense just happens to be delicious and all natural: Organic, locally-sourced raw honey. The cloudy variety that comes straight from happy bees tended to by a kind keeper. Why honey? The benefits are almost too numerous to list, but today I’ve tried. Read on to learn why raw honey could help keep you at the top of your game this season.

What’s the difference between raw honey and regular honey?  

Regular, commercial honey, the kind that typically comes in a bear-shaped container and runs clear and easy from the jar, is filtered and then pasteurized at a high temperature to kill off any yeast that may be present. Raw honey is unprocessed and unpasteurized to preserve the beneficial nutrients present. While commercial honey still tastes amazing and is an adequate substitute for liquid sweetener in recipes, it lacks the same incredible benefits of raw honey. To see whether or not the raw honey you’ve purchased is truly raw, take a spoonful and place it in a glass of water. If it settles to the bottom, it’s raw. However, if it dissolves easily and sticks the the edges of the glass, it could be processed and even counterfeit (yes, counterfeit honey is a thing).

Benefits of raw honey.

So, what are all these incredible nutrients available in raw, unprocessed honey? If you’re prone to seasonal allergies, local raw honey could help! Raw honey contains bee pollen, which could help your body adjust to the pollen in the air when consumed. By eating honey produced locally, you consume trace amounts of the same pollen that could be wreaking havoc via allergies, helping to regulate your body to the pollen in the air. By regularly eating raw honey, your body could build up antibodies and produce less histamine when allergy season rolls around.

Trouble sleeping? A little raw honey before bed could help you sleep by helping to promote the production of melatonin. Similar to sugar, raw honey generates a rise in insulin, which produces serotonin, which is eventually converted to melatonin. Try adding a small amount of honey to a mug of tea before bed to help you relax and ready your body for rest.

As cold and flu season fast approaches, raw honey should be at the forefront of your seasonal sickness arsenal. Soothe a sore throat and suppress a cough with a spoonful of raw honey, which not only soothes but contains antibacterial properties to shorten the lifespan of a cold. Raw honey has been found to be as effective as traditional cough syrup in treating a sore throat and reducing mucus production (gross, but true). Honey is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, meaning that not only will it not go bad (as long as it’s kept pure and free of contamination from water and other factors), but the same antibacterial and antifungal properties can benefit the body by supporting immunity and warding off minor colds and seasonal illnesses. These same antibacterial properties are incredibly beneficial for acne-prone skin and raw honey has long been used as an ingredient in masks and even as a cleanser.

How to use raw honey.

Raw honey is incredibly versatile, but in order to harness its full range of benefits, it’s best consumed straight from the jar (tough, I know). However, it makes a great substitute for processed sugar if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of its nutritional power. Sub honey for corn sugar in most recipes where it’s called for, or add a small amount to coffee or tea in place of white sugar. Tough workout ahead? Take a spoonful of raw honey beforehand to power through. Or, put some of our favorite tried and tested raw honey recipes to work:

DIY Honey Rose Lip Scrub

Apple Ginger Honey Spritzer

Honey Face Mask

Honey Ginger Throat Drops

 

+ Be sure to check out more Wellness Encyclopedia posts!

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

 

Free People Blog

Soho Pop-In: Ruby Warrington’s Aries Full Moon Workshop

Soho Pop-In: Ruby Warrington’s Aries Full Moon Workshop

Don’t miss your chance to learn more about this month’s full moon and how to selfishly navigate it to your advantage…courtesy of The Numinous’ Ruby Warrington!

In my book Material Girl, Mystical World, I talk about learning to cultivate a sense of healthy “higher selfishness.” That is, knowing when to put your own needs first for the highest good of all involved in any given situation.

Maybe it means saying “no” to bottomless mimosas at brunch Sunday when you want to be on your A-game at work the next day. Even when it’s your BFFs b’day and you know she’ll be offended that you “prioritized” work over her. Perhaps it means asking your Mom for a plant-based option at Thanksgiving. Or skipping the annual family drama fest altogether this year, and booking yourself on a silent meditation retreat.

And well, this week’s Aries Full Moon is an invitation to get super (higher) selfish, and really tap into what it is YOU want. In your deepest of hearts, in an ideal world, and if other people’s needs and opinions really didn’t matter. (Hint: this week, they really don’t). 

This Full Moon is opposite the Sun in Libra, sign of balanced negotiations and rational decision making. The message? When it comes to making the most aligned choices, and finding yourself in the healthiest relationships, a solid sense of SELF is a basic requirement. Until you can finish the sentence “I am … ” with confidence, there’s no point even trying to be anything to anyone else.

The October 5 Full Moon also closes a cycle kicked off by the corresponding March 28 Aries New Moon. Look back at your diary and see what was swirling then, and reconnect to what you were cultivating on a personal level. Can you see echoes of these situations asking to be revisited this week? Feeling deeper into this process will help you close out this chapter with the focus on YOUR personal growth. And to move swiftly forward on YOUR unique path.

Thanks to shady Pluto throwing some weight around at this Full Moon, the skies are also aligned to help you transform something you thought was fundamental to your being this week. The way through this portal? (Which might feel just a little edgy btw!) Be fearless. Take action. Start something that matters to YOU.

That way, when we reach the October 19 Libra New Moon, you’ll be ready to say YES to an exciting new collaboration or relationship that presents itself, knowing precisely what you are bringing to the table.

For some extra inspiration, use the below areas for self-enquiry as journal prompts to kick-start your intuition process. Read for both your Sun and Rising sign to get the fullest picture.

ARIES :: ARIES RISING

I feel most powerful when I…

Always acting from this place feels…

TAURUS :: TAURUS RISING

The spiritual practice I feel most called to is…

When connected to a higher power I am able to…

GEMINI :: GEMINI RISING

The people who most inspire me are…

I feel most confident in group situations when I…

CANCER :: CANCER RISING

If I spoke up more at work I could…

I feel most like a boss when I…

LEO :: LEO RISING

I am ready to learn more about…

One day I would like to teach…

VIRGO :: VIRGO RISING

The step I am most afraid to take is…

Moving beyond this will free me to…

LIBRA :: LIBRA RISING

My most empowering partnership is…

What I bring to this relationship is…

SCORPIO :: SCORPIO RISING

The biggest challenge to my own wellbeing is…

Feeling healthy and strong means I can…

SAGITTARIUS :: SAGITTARIUS RISING

I feel most creative when I…

The thing I would like to be famous for is…

CAPRICORN :: CAPRICORN RISING

My deepest emotional needs are…

Feeling emotionally secure allows me to…

AQUARIUS :: AQUARIUS RISING

I communicate most clearly when I feel…

I am ready to start a discussion about…

PISCES :: PISCES RISING

My skill that is of most value in the world is …

I feel most confident in my abilities when I …

Ruby Warrington is founder of cosmic lifestyle site The Numinous, and author of Material Girl, Mystical World: TheNow Age Guide to a High Vibe Life.

+ Sign up for Ruby’s 10/4 class at our Soho wellness pop-up here.

Free People Blog

On-the-Go Beauty & Wellness

On-the-Go Beauty & Wellness

You’ve got a trip coming up and it’s time to pack… consider some of these tried-and-true go-to’s for that overnight bag…

Whether you’re out of space in your bag (you just need that fifth pair of shoes) or you just can’t be bothered to schlep your whole beauty-and-wellness routine, we’ve rounded up some of the best on-the-go products to take with you. Happy travels!

Spending a lot of time in nature?

Ah, the great outdoors: Excellent for reconnecting with nature and getting off the grid, not so great when it comes to access to the running water you need to wash your face every night. If you want to go full primal, by all means… but if you’d rather stick to some sort of skincare routine on the trail, cleansing cloths are your best bet.

Juicy Bamboo’s Natural Facial Cleansing Cloths are ideal here because they cleanse and wipe away a day’s worth of sweat, bug spray and mountain dirt while also depositing essential oils and vitamins to keep skin nourished. (Just remember to take the used cloths and packets with you — not littering!)

Getting on a plane, train or bus?

When you’re packed into a small space with a bunch of strangers for a prolonged period of times, germs are pretty much inevitable. So if you’re flying, busing or training your way anywhere, make sure you load up on vitamins and minerals to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

Luckily, the 8 Greens tablets make it incredibly easy to treat your body right on the go. Crammed with a nourishing blend of spirulina, kale, spinach, chlorella, wheatgrass, barley grass, aloe vera and blue green algae, they pack a nourishing punch of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals — and all you have to do is drop one a day into your water bottle.

Relaxing on a beach?

First and foremost, make sure sunscreen has a place in your bag. You don’t want to fry on the first day of your trip and be miserable and burnt and peeling for the rest of the vacation. For travel purposes, opt for the ease of an SPF stick like Salt And Stone’s Face SPF 50 or Bare Republic’s Mineral SPF 50 Sport Sunscreen Stick. They’re easy to toss in a bag, take up almost no space and are a breeze to apply.

When you’re done on the sand, you’ll want to be sure you totally remove the sunscreen from your skin, which is where an oil cleanser (like the one the one in this Face the Day skincare kit from Kopari) comes in handy. The toner will also help to reduce any accidental redness and the face cream makes sure your sun-kissed skin stays well-hydrated.

Sightseeing in a big city?

Cities are great for the culture they offer, the never-ending list of possible things to do and see, and of course, the food. And while that last one is no doubt delicious, vacation eating can sometimes send your digestive system into a tailspin. So if you know you’re on your way to a food mecca, make sure to toss a few packets of The Super Elixir Alkalizing Greens Sachets in your bag. The blend of omegas, fiber, vitamins and minerals will help restore your body’s pH balance and promote digestion, even if you’re eating eight meals a day (no judgement –vacation food is the best food).

Free People Blog

Grow Your Glow, Part 2: Digestion

Grow Your Glow, Part 2: Digestion

In this 4-part series you’ll learn to amp up your baseline glow, taking your skin to the next level of healthy and gorgeous…

Your gorgeous glow: you know it’s there, but there are some days (weeks even…) when it feels like it’s playing hard to get. A stressful time, a few too many indulgences, a stretch of weather that leaves you feeling blah — these routine life situations influence the way your skin behaves, and in turn what you see in the mirror.

If you missed week 1 on nutrition that will grow your glow, check it out here. This week, we look beyond your meals into the way your body receives food.

Digest to Grow Your Glow

It’s simply not enough to eat for your beauty — if you’re serious about skin glow, you also need to support your body in digesting your food well. The population of bacteria residing in your digestive system (which outnumbers your cells 10 to 1!) has major influence over how well you can utilize the beautifying nutrients in your diet. Cultivating a healthy balance of bacteria in your digestive system is step number one toward great digestion; adding a probiotic supplement and fermented foods to your daily diet will help you do that. But there’s even more that you can do to make sure mealtime — and its after-effects — run smoothly.

First, get in the habit of sipping water about 15 minutes before you begin a meal. If you’re at a restaurant, this could simply mean drinking the water on your table while you peruse the menu. But elsewhere it could require a bit more planning and thought before diving in with your fork. A pre-meal drink of water hydrates your digestive tract and prepares your body for food, improving your assimilation without diluting the digestive acids in your stomach that work hard while you’re eating.

Next, adopt a relaxed mealtime mindset and aim to be present at mealtime. No one sets out to eat a meal under stress, but it happens often — most often as a result of multitasking at mealtime. Shut off the TV, put your phone across the room, and savor your food, alone or with company you enjoy. Take a few deep breaths before you eat, or say a mealtime mantra, like those found in Eat Pretty Every Day. Besides loving your food more (and preventing overeating), this practice gives your body the chance to enter a parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ state where it can devote the proper energy and resources to fully breaking down each bite you take.

Ready to feel and see greater glow? Incorporate these two powerful strategies into your diet, and you’ll be amazed at their glow-boosting effects. Check back next week for two more key ways to grow your glow!

BIO:

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based health coach and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. Her coaching and Eat Pretty book series teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.

Free People Blog

Drink Dope, Look Dope

Drink Dope, Look Dope

These new protein powders promise endless energy the natural way…

Sylwia Wiesenberg is one of those women who never stops moving. Her body — and mind — is constantly in an active state, whether she is doing planks or lunges as part of her underground Tonique Fitness classes in New York City or shooting workout videos at high altitudes around the world. The secret to her non-stop energy, besides incredible genes: a daily glass of beet juice, which the Polish-born beauty grew up drinking regularly in her native Warsaw. Realizing the concoction’s wellness superpowers inspired her to launch DOPE Naturally, a line of plant-based protein powders infused with beets and other star botanicals. Here, Wiesenberg stops — just for a second — to fill us in on her dope lifestyle.

Name: Sylwia Wiesenberg

Born in: Warsaw, Poland

Currently living in: West Village, New York

What inspired you to launch DOPE Naturally?

From a big picture perspective, it was inspired by my unconditional love for food and sharing it with others. For me, cooking for others is the ultimate way to show love for them, and to show gratitude that they are in my life. When I taught my underground Tonique classes in Manhattan, I brought juices, salads and raw chocolates for those who attended to be tortured for two hours or longer, to reward them with love.

I was asked one day after a workout, “What do you take to have so much energy?” I answered right away without even thinking: Oh, I dope…I mean, I dope naturally, meaning food is my natural drug for endless energy and ageless beauty. When I said that, I really meant I eat beets and other superfoods daily. I could not stop thinking about the way I said it, and the name of my brand was born. DOPE Naturally is based on principles that I believe in — that superfoods and outstanding quality ingredients are the natural way to dope, to enhance our beauty and performance; that your beauty counter starts in your kitchen.

How do you describe Tonique for those who haven’t tried your method?

I think I have been doing Tonique since I was born, as I really don’t remember a time when I didn’t work out. When I came to NYC, I was working for an investment bank. It was a great job that paid well, but it wasn’t my passion. I quit my job and started doing what I love to do daily — designing movement and cooking. I chose to continue developing the most unique, intense workout method based on the principle of never stop moving (literally you don’t take a break for two hours) to shape an ageless body, fight gravity, and help women become confident both physically and mentally.

I was teaching for free for few years to see how the method really worked. I had celebrities and many others who loved Tonique and the way I fed them with fresh and powerful superfoods. Afterward I decided to share Tonique with a wider audience, creating videos that you can take with you anywhere. The purpose of each workout is to positively torture you (hahaha) and give your body the tone that no other workout delivers, and to make the world a smaller and fitter place, by allowing people to travel with me daily on their fitness journey.

Tell us about your childhood in Poland. Was wellness even part of your lifestyle then?

I could write a book about this, but will try to be brief! Despite the fact that we had so little available when I was growing up in Communist Poland, from food to clothing (and forget about any luxury), I have really vivid and beautiful memories of my childhood. When I think of my childhood, I smile even more. Perhaps because when I was growing up, nobody had anything, and there was absolutely nothing on the shelves in stores, so you never thought that you were missing something. Springs and summers were the most fun as I spent time outdoors running, playing ball and swinging on “trzepak” it was literally a metal rack — to clean your carpet instead of vacuuming it — and when it was not occupied kids used to do acrobatic swings and hang upside down from it for hours. The best part of summers was going to orchards and collecting fruits. I still feel the sweet juice running down my chin; juice from mulberries, plums, and cherries.

Starting at three years old I was doing “rytimka” — rhythmic classes with a strict piano teacher playing classic melodies. It was all about posture, steps and rhythm — no laughing was allowed. Later I joined a gymnastics team that required 4 hours of training daily, and on top of it I was on my school running team and part of a program called Brave Like a Soldier — imagine all the skinny girls on this program climbing walls, trees, jumping obstacles. The best part was shooting at targets and throwing old grenades.

In my household, my mom was very strict about what I ate. An absolute must was a glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning, followed by eight to twelve ounces unadulterated beet juice (not diluted and no added fruit to make it sweeter). We ate three meals a day with no snacking in between (we didn’t have anything to snack on anyway). The rule was to eat small meals, which were full of nutrition. I never developed a snacking habit or a love for soda or sugar, although I do love ice cream!

What makes beets so unique as wellness food?

Beets in Poland are like oranges in Florida — everywhere! Our grandmothers, mothers and coaches educated us on the superpowers of beets! I don’t remember ever not drinking beet juice. Later, when I moved to Australia, I used to “dope” on beet juice before morning speed training and athletics at university. I added a few tropical fruits to enhance the beets’ power and to make it taste better, but beets always dominated my daily diet. I strongly believe that beets are not just a great way to enhance your performance, but they also are a miracle vegetable that works to advance your skin tone, ageless beauty and glow. Beets are definitely my secret weapon.

What was the Polish recipe and technique for making beet juice?

My mother’s way is straight like whisky without rocks!

10-15 beets peeled and cleaned

1/2 lemon

Juice beets, add a touch of fresh lemon juice — the vitamin C in lemon allows faster absorption of the nitrates in beets and other nutrients.

Drink it immediately out of the juicer — my mom and coaches used to tell me to drink it fresh and fast before it oxidizes.

Today I dope with my powders since they give me exactly what I need. I also like blended beet, using the entire beet, not wasting the pulp:

– Put two to three whole peeled and cleaned beets into a blender (Vitamix).

– Add a touch of water or coconut water and blend it to perfection.

– Drink it in the morning or at night before/after a long hard day and workouts.

DOPE Naturally makes it easy — no peeling or cleaning is required. You also get the benefit of eating awesome superfoods from around the world like dragonfruit, mangosteen and baobab.

How long did it take you to formulate DOPE Naturally’s powders? What was the biggest challenge you faced?

When I started Dope Naturally, I knew what I wanted, but I had to find the right suppliers and develop the proper formulations. It takes time and I am very picky and particular when it comes to quality. Before DOPE Naturally was released, I tested and tested and tested until I got the blend right. The next challenge was to find the right suppliers; certified organic is a must! It is important to consume organic produce — superfoods that are not destroyed by non-organic farming and chemicals. I add absolutely no sugars, no fillers and no preservatives. There are so many factors that go into making the product and all of them have to be 100 percent right, otherwise it won’t work!

Tell us about Beet Force and Beet Bliss. What are their benefits?

Beet Force is designed to elevate your stamina and wellness and allow greater oxygen flow during workouts, and also has powerful anti-aging properties. Dragonfruit promotes skin health and helps with weight management. Mangosteen has strong cellular renewal properties helping skin appear more youthful, and acts as an anti-inflammatory and potent energy booster. Mulberries are a perfect blood tonic, acting as a cleanser to improve blood circulation, and promoting skin and hair glow.

Beet Bliss is beet blend with cacao, baobab and mangosteen. Cacao supports cell rejuvenation, and is rich in magnesium, vitamin C and omega 6 fatty acids — it’s perfect for a youthful complexion. Cacao also promotes blood flow to your skin and has been known to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Baobab promotes collagen formation, protects cells from oxidative stress (free radicals), helps the absorption of iron, and is a vitamin C powerhouse.

What’s your favorite way to whip up these powders?

I love to blend Beet Force with watermelon chunks or add to cashew yogurt. Beet Bliss I often drink in the afternoon as an energy pick up…I like it with coconut meat and water and a frozen banana. In summer, peaches and Beet Bliss are a blissful way to wake up and feel fresh and not bloated at the beach.

Tell us about Melonaid — a powder that features watermelon seeds. What’s their benefit?

I love watermelons! I never understood when I moved from Poland why so many watermelons don’t have seeds in them. The seeds are actually the best part for beauty. They are full of nutrients, amino acids and rich in plant-based protein… my “babcia” was always telling me that if I eat them, I will grow a watermelon in my belly, but then she used to sprout them and eat them. She did the same with sunflower seeds, and told me about their powers.

For the past year, I have been eating mostly plant-based protein. But I also found that, after eating pea protein powders or hemp, I felt bloated and experienced a funny aftertaste that lingered for hours and made it difficult for me to work out without my belly feeling full. I started blending my own protein potions and most of them had watermelon seeds in them. I also learned more about the beauty benefits of the seeds, and how they support toned skin and muscles. They are perfect and almost flavor free, making it easy to digest and leaving no aftertaste.

Do you have any fun recipes for Melonaid?

I put it in my cashew yogurt, add it to cereals, salads, my favorite nut butters and even make pancakes with it! I love to blend it in smoothies. There are no limits to how you can enjoy it. I even add Melonaid to ice cream. It is delicious and it makes me feel less guilty!

Where do you source your ingredients from?

I work with only organic farms and farmers across the globe. Since many of the ingredients are impossible to find from local farms in US (besides beets), I work with farmers in South East Asia, South and Central America—Nicaragua, Guatamala, Mexico, and Peru—and Africa for baobab.

What other wellness habits do you swear by for staying fit?

Eat fresh (quality food).

Eat less (smaller portions, never feel like you cannot breathe)

Sleep more (I try).

Smile more (always and daily).

Sex (probably the best wellness fundamental!).

What’s next for you and the brand?

DOPE Naturally is my baby that I am going to grow organically. You will see us introduce a number of new products. For me, it is work that I love…I am workaholic and fitness-obsessed so, if I have them both, I am happy.

Free People Blog

Why This 50-year-old Supermodel Loves Being Called Handsome

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/jenny-shimizu-interview-sexuality-and-aging along with the image used.

Here, listen to 50-year-old ex-model Jenny Shimizu explain why she doesn’t care about society’s age structure and why she loves being called handsome.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

How to Read a Plant

How to Read a Plant

Homestead Brooklyn’s Summer Rayne Oakes with the first of a 4-part series on tending to your leafy best friends…

A few years ago my friend said he wanted to get a dog. He had never had an animal in his life and didn’t seem like the type of guy who was capable of caring for one.

I teased him and insisted he get a potted plant instead, as I felt it might be a lower bar. “If you don’t kill the plant,” I assured, “then you can get a dog.”

He killed the plant and got the dog. Luckily the dog’s happier than ever; seems like he and the pooch made a better pair. The incident of course got me thinking: plants don’t come easily to a lot of us, and they are by no means equivalent to caring for an animal. It’s like the two categories — pets and plants — require slightly different orientations. Of course you can develop the sensitivity and sensibilities for both plant care and pet care — and many of us do. I’d check those two boxes myself, having grown up with both plenty of pets and plants; and especially now that I’m living with a plant-pecking foster hen (not necessarily recommended for city apartments) — and an inordinate number of plants — to the tune of 700 or so. (I know, ridiculously excessive, but it’s like paradise in apartment-form).

The reality is, however, that plants don’t communicate in the same way that pets do. Plants are more introverted, whereas pets are the extroverts of the household. A dog will let you know when she needs to go out — and if you fail to do so, you’ll likely wind up with a mess on the floor. Cats are a bit more sensible when it comes to these matters, as most are potty-trained. But I had a cat that would throw mail at me in the mornings if she didn’t get fed on time. Plants do no such thing. Or when they speak to us, they do so in their own quiet way.

Over the years I’ve learned to watch out for certain signals from my plants to learn what they’re telling me. Sometimes signs like a yellowing leaf or browning around the edges can mean multiple things, but you can often use process of elimination to get to the root of the matter (every plant pun intended). Here are some of the major signs and what to do about them:

Wilted plant

Your plant is dehydrated. If it’s really flaccid, give it water immediately, but if it’s just starting to wilt, water it in the early morning hours with room temp water, as that is the best time of day to water plants.

Brown tips

Your plant is likely suffering from lack of humidity. Get the plant a humidifier, give it a pebble tray below with water, or create a plant huddle so the transpiration — or the evaporation of water from the plant’s leaves — can create a little more humidity in the surrounding atmosphere.

Leaf drop

Your plant is shocked. Leaf drop typically happens after transplanting, moving from one place to another, or taking from a high light to low light area. The plant needs to acclimatize to its current environment and sometimes this can take time.

Yellowing leaves, brown spots

Your plant is sunburned. If your plant is close to a window, particularly a window with a southern- or western-exposure, then it may be getting too much sun. Either pull the plant back from the window (even two feet can make a difference) or add a diaphanous shade to cut the light.

Yellow leaves at bottom

Yellow leaves can mean many things, but yellow leaves at the bottom of the plant can mean that it needs some fertilizer, or that the plant leaves are just getting old and dying back. Once the leaves turn brown, you can snip off; and if the leaves continue to turn yellow at a rapid rate, then give a balanced liquid fertilizer, like a 10-10-10, diluted by half while watering during the growing season (March – September).

Yellow leaves (general)

Yellowing leaves that happen throughout the plant often means that the plant has been mismanaged in the watering department. You either watered it too much or too little, so try to get a sense of what your plant’s needs are and get it on a proper watering schedule.

Of course, these are just some of the signs our plants are stressed. If you have other questions, I encourage you tune into Plant One On Me, my weekly Q&A on all things plant-related and more inspiration on HomesteadBrooklyn.com and @homesteadbrooklyn.

Lead image by Jessie Kanelos Wiener.

Free People Blog

How to Read a Plant

How to Read a Plant

Homestead Brooklyn’s Summer Rayne Oakes with the first of a 4-part series on tending to your leafy best friends…

A few years ago my friend said he wanted to get a dog. He had never had an animal in his life and didn’t seem like the type of guy who was capable of caring for one.

I teased him and insisted he get a potted plant instead, as I felt it might be a lower bar. “If you don’t kill the plant,” I assured, “then you can get a dog.”

He killed the plant and got the dog. Luckily the dog’s happier than ever; seems like he and the pooch made a better pair. The incident of course got me thinking: plants don’t come easily to a lot of us, and they are by no means equivalent to caring for an animal. It’s like the two categories — pets and plants — require slightly different orientations. Of course you can develop the sensitivity and sensibilities for both plant care and pet care — and many of us do. I’d check those two boxes myself, having grown up with both plenty of pets and plants; and especially now that I’m living with a plant-pecking foster hen (not necessarily recommended for city apartments) — and an inordinate number of plants — to the tune of 700 or so. (I know, ridiculously excessive, but it’s like paradise in apartment-form).

The reality is, however, that plants don’t communicate in the same way that pets do. Plants are more introverted, whereas pets are the extroverts of the household. A dog will let you know when she needs to go out — and if you fail to do so, you’ll likely wind up with a mess on the floor. Cats are a bit more sensible when it comes to these matters, as most are potty-trained. But I had a cat that would throw mail at me in the mornings if she didn’t get fed on time. Plants do no such thing. Or when they speak to us, they do so in their own quiet way.

Over the years I’ve learned to watch out for certain signals from my plants to learn what they’re telling me. Sometimes signs like a yellowing leaf or browning around the edges can mean multiple things, but you can often use process of elimination to get to the root of the matter (every plant pun intended). Here are some of the major signs and what to do about them:

Wilted plant

Your plant is dehydrated. If it’s really flaccid, give it water immediately, but if it’s just starting to wilt, water it in the early morning hours with room temp water, as that is the best time of day to water plants.

Brown tips

Your plant is likely suffering from lack of humidity. Get the plant a humidifier, give it a pebble tray below with water, or create a plant huddle so the transpiration — or the evaporation of water from the plant’s leaves — can create a little more humidity in the surrounding atmosphere.

Leaf drop

Your plant is shocked. Leaf drop typically happens after transplanting, moving from one place to another, or taking from a high light to low light area. The plant needs to acclimatize to its current environment and sometimes this can take time.

Yellowing leaves, brown spots

Your plant is sunburned. If your plant is close to a window, particularly a window with a southern- or western-exposure, then it may be getting too much sun. Either pull the plant back from the window (even two feet can make a difference) or add a diaphanous shade to cut the light.

Yellow leaves at bottom

Yellow leaves can mean many things, but yellow leaves at the bottom of the plant can mean that it needs some fertilizer, or that the plant leaves are just getting old and dying back. Once the leaves turn brown, you can snip off; and if the leaves continue to turn yellow at a rapid rate, then give a balanced liquid fertilizer, like a 10-10-10, diluted by half while watering during the growing season (March – September).

Yellow leaves (general)

Yellowing leaves that happen throughout the plant often means that the plant has been mismanaged in the watering department. You either watered it too much or too little, so try to get a sense of what your plant’s needs are and get it on a proper watering schedule.

Of course, these are just some of the signs our plants are stressed. If you have other questions, I encourage you tune into Plant One On Me, my weekly Q&A on all things plant-related and more inspiration on HomesteadBrooklyn.com and @homesteadbrooklyn.

Lead image by Jessie Kanelos Wiener.

Free People Blog

Moving Together: Governor’s Island Edition

Moving Together: Governor’s Island Edition

Grab a buddy or two, get in gear and get to Governor’s Island for a day of working out, working together, all in the name of a good cause!

Tickets are $25 for yourself or discounted to $20 if you sign up with a friend!

Speaking of which, go sign up HERE!

THAT TICKET INCLUDES:

10/8 EVENT SCHEDULE:

  • 10 AM: Catch the ferry to Governor’s Island Sunday Morning – the ferry leaves right at 10 so be sure to arrive early. (Ferries depart every ½ hour beginning at 10AM until 11:30AM — return trips are on the hour, all day until 7pm.) Once you arrive, follow the arrows and walk about 15 minutes until you reach “The Oval!”
  • 11 AM – 2 PM: Grab a friend and head to a yoga class with Chloe + Kumi of SKY TING or Kathryn Budig of Aim True Yoga. Then, when you’re ready to dance, join a ballet class with Alison Stroming of Dance Theatre of Harlem or shake a tail feather with the NW Method master class! While you’re in-between classes…
  • Snag your FP x Girls Inc. custom hoodie at our shoppable product tent. 100% of profits from this purchase will directly benefit Girls Inc. Shop the FP Movement collection and 25% of profits from all purchases will directly benefit Girls Inc.
  • Make time to relax (at least a little!)  in our FP Escapes tent. While you’re there, take in a one-on-one crystal mapping consultation with Maha Rose.
  • Take some time to explore the glory of Urban Farm at Governor’s Island.
  • Enjoy complimentary avocado toast from the delectable Avocaderia, as well as other food and drinks!

HOW TO PREP FOR YOUR DAY:

  • Arrive at the Battery Maritime Building ferry station before 10am! The ferry takes off every half hour on the dot. 😉
  • Wear workout clothing and comfy shoes – after all, you’ll be moving!
  • Bring water for the ride!
  • Bring a yoga mat!
  • Wear layers — it’s October in NYC and we’ll be outside!
  • Bring your best friend, because everything’s better Together.
  • Money (plastic works here, by the way) — we’ll be selling our custom Free People x Girls Inc. Move Together Tee at the event — 100% of whose profits will go to Girls Inc.!
  • Go to our Rock Center location on 10/7 and shop Movement gear to wear the day of the event! 25% of profits from all FP Movement purchases during this time will benefit Girls Inc.

+ For more info on our partnership with Girls Inc., and our other Moving Together events happening on 10/7, go here!

Free People Blog

Moving Together: Governor’s Island Edition

Moving Together: Governor’s Island Edition

Grab a buddy or two, get in gear and get to Governor’s Island for a day of working out, working together, all in the name of a good cause!

Tickets are $25 for yourself or discounted to $20 if you sign up with a friend!

Speaking of which, go sign up HERE!

THAT TICKET INCLUDES:

10/8 EVENT SCHEDULE:

  • 10 AM: Catch the ferry to Governor’s Island Sunday Morning – the ferry leaves right at 10 so be sure to arrive early. (Ferries depart every ½ hour beginning at 10AM until 11:30AM — return trips are on the hour, all day until 7pm.) Once you arrive, follow the arrows and walk about 15 minutes until you reach “The Oval!”
  • 11 AM – 2 PM: Grab a friend and head to a yoga class with Chloe + Kumi of SKY TING or Kathryn Budig of Aim True Yoga. Then, when you’re ready to dance, join a ballet class with Alison Stroming of Dance Theatre of Harlem or shake a tail feather with the NW Method master class! While you’re in-between classes…
  • Snag your FP x Girls Inc. custom hoodie at our shoppable product tent. 100% of profits from this purchase will directly benefit Girls Inc. Shop the FP Movement collection and 25% of profits from all purchases will directly benefit Girls Inc.
  • Make time to relax (at least a little!)  in our FP Escapes tent. While you’re there, take in a one-on-one crystal mapping consultation with Maha Rose.
  • Take some time to explore the glory of Urban Farm at Governor’s Island.
  • Enjoy complimentary avocado toast from the delectable Avocaderia, as well as other food and drinks!

HOW TO PREP FOR YOUR DAY:

  • Arrive at the Battery Maritime Building ferry station before 10am! The ferry takes off every half hour on the dot. 😉
  • Wear workout clothing and comfy shoes – after all, you’ll be moving!
  • Bring water for the ride!
  • Bring a yoga mat!
  • Wear layers — it’s October in NYC and we’ll be outside!
  • Bring your best friend, because everything’s better Together.
  • Money (plastic works here, by the way) — we’ll be selling our custom Free People x Girls Inc. Move Together Tee at the event — 100% of whose profits will go to Girls Inc.!
  • Go to our Rock Center location on 10/7 and shop Movement gear to wear the day of the event! 25% of profits from all FP Movement purchases during this time will benefit Girls Inc.

+ For more info on our partnership with Girls Inc., and our other Moving Together events happening on 10/7, go here!

Free People Blog