I’m Smitten With Soul Camp

Growing up in Southern California, it wasn’t a trend to ship off your kids to camp for the summer. Summer is practically a year long thing in LA after all, but when my good friend and branding guru, Allison Leipzig reached out to me to teach at her summer camp for the soul I was intrigued. Camping? For me? I’m the type of gal who has a deep intimacy with 500+ thread count sheets, a taste for foodie food, and a love affair with room service. How was I going to feel living in a bunk with 10 others in rural Pennsylvania? Turns out: just fine thank you.

5 Things I'm Smitten With
1

Bunkmates
Soul Camp founders Allison and Michelle grew up as camp junkies. Every summer for 7 weeks these ladies made the pilgrimage to Camp Towanda (the actual camp in Wet Hot American Summer) to bond with their besties, make some awesome arts and crafts, eat s’mores, play Capture the Flag, and do a little canoeing on the lake. After not seeing each other for years, the ladies reconnected one day while hollering affirmations in an IntenSati class in the city. Fate intervened and they decided to bring the magic of camp to their community of fitness, yoga, nutrition, and transformation experts they mingled with daily. When you arrive at camp, up the windy dirt road, you are greeted by a team of peppy tie-dyed covered camp counselors. Swag is everywhere. Introductions are flying. Suddenly it’s time to pick your bunk. You find your assigned cabin, a homemade wooden wigwam, that holds numerous identical twin bunk beds, nestled in between graffitied walls. The thought of sharing my most intimate space with 10 other strangers was…well, intimidating. Despite the fact that the entire bunk can hear your bowel movements like the drop of a pin, I settled in just fine. My Soul Sisters (and brother :), we had one boy in our bunk, taught me things an only child could never know without this proximity. Like a slumber party every night, having a room full of your soul mates certainly makes it easier to wake up to revelry every morning.

2

Spirit Highs
When I found out that there is no alcohol at Soul Camp, I admit I became a bit….uneasy. I’m so used to having my glass of vino at the end of my night to chill out that I thought I would feel a little out of sorts. The Soul Camp tribe had other means of intoxication planned. The first day, I visited Psychic and Intuition coach Betsy Cohen and let her lead me deep into a guided meditation. I found my sixth sense and left with a feeling of being connected to my higher self. The next period, I sat in on some Soulversations with the incomparable Nitika Chopra and Stefanie Ziev as they talked me into bliss about releasing fear and finding the people who “get” you. Then I wandered around the grounds exploring the garden, meeting the chickens (I just love chickens!), and ended my day with an impromptu bunk astrology reading by the instinctual phenom Jenn Racioppi. The next day, perfumed with healing aromatherapy oils, I began my day with David Mehler who practices Vikaz, aka Network Chiropractic. Vikaz is energy work that heals the mind, body, and soul, and David is a true healer. Even Laurel Bleadon-Maffei, who channels angels and brings divine guidance, took me places I never thought I would go. I ended that second day with a lake-side yoga class lead by the spectacular Domenic Savino, my brother from another mother. His expert adjustments and touch left me feeling the joy of Soul Camp for days afterward. If Soul camp is a drug, I never want to recover!

3

Lake Love
This Cali girl has been in the ocean more times than I could count but I’ve never dipped a toe in a real live lake. Even just thinking about the murky waters and the slimy bottom conjures visions of horror movies staring mysterious sea creatures and man-eating fish. When my fellow campers ran with abandon to jump in the lake I proceeded cautiously, fearing the unknown in it’s depths. The Camp Towanda lake is pretty damn beautiful. The sun was shining, glinting on the surface, the temperature pleasingly cool. It coaxed me to dare to dip my tippy toes into the water the first day. I watched with envy as the other campers squealed and shrieked with joy grabbing canoes, stand-up paddle boards, and slithering down the slide floating in the middle of said lake. I could never, I thought. Cut to the very next day and in true Soul Camp spirit decided to say “fuck it” and face my fear of the lake. Turns out the lake swimming is amazing and I even dared myself to try SUP and actually stood up! Things you learn at camp aren’t just arts and crafts or funny songs, but also how to be the fiercest version of you with band of loyal supporters raring to have your back.

4

Feel Good Food
I got wind of some of the foodie goodness that was on tap for camp-life, before I had even set my bag on my bunk. Gluten free and vegan fare to abound. Great! I love healthy food, but will it be tasty? Man, I had NO IDEA! The gals from Healthy Cooking Camp, Robyn Youkillis and the fancy farmer Quinn Asteak skillfully crafted a special Soul Camp menu and killed it!!!!! Meals consisted of dishes like French Lentils, THE BEST cauliflower mash of my life, and herbed quinoa. There was a heavenly salad bar with all the fix-ins ready at will. Breakfasts had gluten free french toast, baked eggs with swiss chard, and the ever present yogurt bar. The deserts were enough to make you cry: the gluten-free Blondies, pumpkin chocolate bars, peanut and jelly Chia pudding. The final day’s brunch was an ultra cool take on Israeli eggs, homemade hummus, and vegan bacon. Don’t fret if you’re a carnivore, there was even real bacon, burgers, and chicken, but I will say the other food was SO good you don’t even miss the beef!

5

Mischief
What would camp be without evening activities? The first night was the epic bonfire. Still mostly strangers, we sat around the blaze in the dark writing out what we wanted to release and what we wished to embody. After listening to a trance-like poem, we chanted and threw our issues away to burn in the fire. S’mores followed: torched in the flames by actual sticks, camp-style with (of course) gluten-free graham crackers available. The next night was the Soulymics which included soul-erized camp games like kombucha and coconut water (in lieu of coke and pepsi). Later that night DJ Tasha Blank brought some get-down to the camp ground with her sick beats and we danced until we were drenched and grinning from ear to ear. The talent show, complete with an actual stage and sets, made us laugh, cry, and scream with excitement. Final night ceremonies included a giant hug fest and the red thread ceremony. By placing the red thread around our wrists we are all still connected long after we leave camp. If we ever forget or feel lost we simply pull on the thread and know our Soul peeps are there. The next morning we said goodbye reluctantly releasing hands and already jonesin’ for next year. Is it time for camp yet?

Soul Camp 2015 registration is already open! Join me next year for all this goodness and more!

5 Things August 2014

5 Things I'm Smitten With
1

Fabletics

If you’re anything like me, you’re a little tired of certain spandex scandals in the world of workout wear. You are ready and welcome for anything that is BS free and doesn’t cost your entire next month’s rent for a pair of sub-par, see-through yoga pants. Lucky for you there’s a new kid in town, Fabletics. Lead by the beautiful and talented Kate Hudson, Fabletics is so much more than merely cute active wear, but also a community of support for women that want to get fit. Hudson believes in hip, high-quality, and affordable pieces that are for every-body and everyone. Translation: no thighs are “too big” for her label. The coolest thing about Fabletics is not the clothes, but the crew of experts assembled to help you meet your fitness and wellness goals. I’ve been one of their, Fabletics Masters now for a few months and am OBSESSED with the line. I’m also super proud to be a part of something that encourages women to look good and feel good without asking them to empty their wallets. We all know we workout harder when we like what we see in the mirror reflecting back at us. Check out the latest Fabletics collection, my Masters page, and my latest post on the Fabletics Blog.

2

The Bridge
Now in it’s second season, the TV drama, The Bridge will have you perched on the edge of your seat. Based on the Danish/Swedish series of the same name, the American Bridge follows a similar premise. A body is found on the Bridge of the Americas, half on the US side and half on the Mexican side which brings both Mexican and American police together to solve the mystery. The stunning Diane Kruger plays Sonya, a cop with Asperger Syndrome who while brilliant in solving murder puzzles has absolutely no tact or grace when dealing with other humans. Her partner in solving crime, el mucho guapo Mexican actor, Demian Bichir is her perfect counterpart. He is super sexy, sweet, with a little bit of bad boy thrown in. Blend a little corruption, a drug cartel appearance, and infidelity into this murder mystery mix and you’ve got yourself one heck of a show. First season can be found on Netflix and the second is currently airing on FX. I warn you, cancel your early meetings the next morning, because you’ll be up watching all night.

3

Rose Lotion
In typical Gemini fashion I get bored with doing anything in routine, and that includes the beauty products I use. So, when I was in the market for a new moisturizer and I just happen to read how Gwenyth Paltrow uses Dr. Hauschkah’s Rose Day Cream. What ever’s good for Gwennie is good for me! I hit up my local beauty supply store and sussed it out. They carried the regular Rose Day cream as well as a light version that I took home with me. There are so many reasons to be crazy about this moisturizer. First off the smell is like a rose garden on your face. It gives me an instant glow and isn’t too heavy for the humid NYC weather. PLUS….Dr. Haushchkah’s products are uber earth conscious. 100% natural and they use ecologically sound methods for growing and sourcing ingredients as well as employing a one-of-a-kind manufacturing process that supports international fair trade initiatives. This is the moisturizer to make you look and feel great.

4

Bruno Mars
Last month my Jr. High BFF sent me a text randomly on a Monday, “wanna go to a concert tonight at Madison Square Garden?” Danika and I used to listen to the Grateful Dead in her bedroom after school while plotting our future, so imagine my surprise when she said that we were seeing Pharrell and Bruno Mars? I’m not one to turn down a fun adventure especially one with her, but honestly I didn’t own one Bruno or Pharrell album so I declared in doubt, “isn’t that music just for teeny boppers and tweens?” Well, hilariously enough I knew most of Pharrell’s songs and EVERY ONE of Bruno’s! Looks I’m still a teenager at heart and fit right in with the crowd of kids, parents, and even one boogie-ing Grandma. The concert was non-stop entertainment and while Pharrell had backup dancers like most artists, Bruno and his band sang both back up and danced their booties off. In person all 5’5” of Bruno is pure sex and let’s just face it- this boy can siiiiing! This Moonshine Jungle Tour is worth every penny, filled with pyrotechnics, confetti, and an encore of the Mars man himself playing the drums like a maniac. Needless to say I’m a total fan now and I have a mix of all his albums set on repeat.

 

5

Liquiteria Smoothies
Hello. My name is Lindsay and I am a Liquiteria addict. Seriously, it is a problem. For those of you who don’t live in NYC, Liquiteria pioneered the cold pressed juice in their original East Village location. Now that they’ve expanded and landed not one, but two locations near my Union Square Pilates studio, I am in terrible trouble. You’ve heard of the benefits of juicing, but have you heard about the benefits of cold pressed juice? By using this method you pack your juice with easily digestible raw vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. So yes, the juice got me in the door but it’s the smoothies that keep me coming back. There’s the Hangover Cure- papaya, peaches, bananas, apple cider, vanilla almond milk, coconut, their signature liver-kidney-lymph detox for my pickled insides, and just a dollop of honey. There’s the Coffee and Cacao, to satisfy my afternoon coffee yearning with fair-trade coffee, raw cacao, almond butter, bananas, chocolate almond milk, chocolate whey protein, and raw coconut sugar. BUT my all time fav is the Mean Green packed with kale, spinach, mango, bananas, pineapple and pineapple juice. It’s vibrant green color can scare most people, but the sweetness of the pineapple masks all that’s good for you passing even the pickiest of palates. Truth. The offerings at Liquiteria aren’t cheap, you’re gonna drop at least $9 for a smoothie, but it’s worth every penny.

I’m Smitten With Being Single

5 Things I'm Smitten With
1

 

Tell most people that you’re single and they’ll get a, “poor thing” look on their face immediately. Society puts value in the power of two. Two is better than one. Find your other half. Table for two. We are programmed to fill the space next to us with that special someone from the time we start playing at the jungle gym. In the past I was just as guilty of this as the next girl. I’ve been a self-proclaimed serial monogamist since my 20s, which left me being single for the last time back in my high-school days! Sure, I’ve had pockets of alone-ness but always fraught with twitchiness and melancholia for something I was sure I was missing out on. Now I’m single again at 37, which can strike fear even in the most heroic of hearts. Never married. No children. To some my life would seem bleak and doomed, but I have found being single this time around electrifying. Here’s my 5 things I’m smitten with about being a lone wolf:

 

Being Alone and Not Lonely

I’m an only child and spent countless hours playing alone and imagining a sister to share secrets with. I won’t lie- I was lonely. My parents worked a ton and I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with. This translated into my adulthood with the fear of being left alone by a man. In short, I had abandonment issues big time. I can honestly say that I stayed in relationships longer than I wanted to just to have a plus one for so-and-so’s wedding reception. NOT a good enough rationale to stay when you should go. This time around, I’ve learned to do the solo thing comfortably, and being alone really has it’s perks. I don’t have to negotiate on my movie choice, and no one is going to tell you how much butter to put on your popcorn. I’ve gotten a reserved stool at the bar of my local haunt, DiWine. Everyone who works there knows my name, so it’s like my own personal Cheers. I’ve taken train trips to the Hudson Valley solo and enjoy creating my own private dance club in my living room. Being alone doesn’t mean lonely and I’m loving it.

 

2

 

Online dating

Part of my fear after my last breakup was, “how the hell am I going to meet someone?!?”. I own my own business and don’t want to date one of our clients so meeting someone at work is out of the question. Unlike in my 20s, I don’t spend time trolling the local bars or clubs, which always seemed like a shit-show anyway. So how does a successful, attractive, NORMAL girl like me find someone to pay for a dinner and take her out on the town once and awhile???? Enter the world of online dating. Admittedly, when I first thought of doing the online dating thing I threw up a little in my mouth. Yuck. Online dating is for creepy sex offenders and the socially awkward recluse right? Wrong. Like everything else in our world, technology is king and the dating scene is no exception. Developers and companies are taking full advantage of the market and now a days there are TONS of options to meet a Mr. Maybe right from the comfort of your couch. One of my dear friends saw me lamenting about my last heartbreak and promptly grabbed my phone to download the hip and trendy dating app Tinder. Tinder is dating simplified. Linking with your Facebook profile, it automatically adds pictures and your interests to your profile. There’s not a laundry list of questions about dogs, cats, and favorite colors, just a space to write what you want the “Tinder-sphere” to know. Swipe left if you’re not into him, right if you want to know more. If you have friends in common via Facebook, Tinder will tell you. If you both give a thumbs up you’re allowed to text through the app. It’s immediate like regular texting and not confusing like some other dating sites that have options to “wink”, “favorite”, or “email” someone. After a short text exchange you can pretty much tell if a guy is worth giving your number to, and possibly meeting for a beverage of your choice. Afraid of penis pictures and hook-up trolling slime balls? I proceeded with caution at first. While there are definitely questionable guys on there, I’ve met a handful worth more than one date. Bottom line- it’s like a dating video game where you’re in charge. I’ll tell you it’s super empowering to to say “nope” over and over again to those who will never know. Much easier than shutting down that dweeb at the neighborhood bar. Not just for snakes, Tinder is modern and easy to use plus in the end you’ll at least have some good stories to tell at your wedding.

 

3

Killer Party Stories

Just recently at one of my many 37th birthday celebrations, I was holding court in front of 8 women who were utterly transfixed by my dating anecdotes. Let me tell you I have a LOT of them. Most of the girls I tell that I’m surveying the online dating scene either roll their eyes from experience or wince in horror. Dating, like life, has it’s share of ups and downs, and in my opinion it’s all how you look at it. Living in NYC I relish in the things I see everyday on the street, on the train, next to me in the cafe. I fancy myself as a urban anthropologist and find the truth waaaay stranger and more interesting than fiction. So far I’ve had a great laugh at SO many of the ridiculous profile pictures I’ve found, accidentally been involved in a sexting exchange, and been stood up after doing my makeup and donning a dress and everything! Sure- I could get frustrated by the scene or I can instead choose to laugh and move on. Taking anything too seriously will be the death of you, plus now have enough material for a book. Making fun of what’s absurd will not only make you feel better but just may make you an accomplished author or at the very least the life of your next party!

 

4

Ego Boosts

I started dating to help heal a broken heart on advice from a dear friend. She soothed my fears by assuring me that the male attention would be like a antidote to my sadness and she was right. Getting a match, text, or email is like a little boost to my fragile damaged ego. Everyone wants to hear that they’re beautiful, smart, and amazing, especially if you’ve been deprived of the good stuff for as long as I had. You realize how awesome you are and what a catch you will be. It helps you be selective in your dating choices when you realize that others do think you’re so special. Suddenly you start dressing cuter, wearing makeup voluntarily, and strutting when you walk. Confidence is catchy and a little male attention can go a long way, so get out there and get yourself some!

 

5

Girl Time

Look, I was never the girl that would ghost her friends as soon as a new boy entered her life, but let’s state the obvious- when you have a relationship it takes up a darn lot of your time. I had girlfriends in my life, but never seemed to have the time to dedicate to growing an enduring relationship. In all honesty, I tried to make my partner be my everything. Wanna go shopping? Come on man, rally! Can’t you just let me cry it out without trying to fix it????? The truth is no man, or woman for that matter, can be someone’s everything. It’s just not humanly possible. So when I was finally footloose and fancy free the first thing I did was grab my girls and hold them tight. Spending time with my friends has resulted in some of the most fun and intense connections I’ve ever had. Just like a boyfriend, one girl doesn’t fit all. I have my BFF who lets me cry uncontrollably on her shoulder when my heart gets blown to bits. I have my spiritual sister who can turn any darkness into light. I have my no-nonsense Chica who will call me out if I’m being too wishy washy, overly emotional, or just need to get over myself. I have my lovely friend who brings me gifts every time I see her and loves to adventure to new restaurants and NYC finds. I even have the great fortune to have a married couple that I aspire to be like when I grow up. She cooks me homemade dinners and he hangs the shelves in my apartment. Being solitary has it’s benefits and some are greater than any one man can give.