[wellness elevation]

When I hear the following words I am always curious how other humans define them: health, beauty, fitness + wellness. Everyone in my social and professional circles seem to generally agree on some terms that create these words. Perhaps that is because I am in the industry, but a likelier guess is that most people surround themselves with others who agree on what these words mean. That being said, if we are all constantly surrounding ourselves with the same ideas, then we are less apt to be exposed to the vast differences in opinion of what makes a person healthy, beautiful, fit and well. I’d like to share my definitions and to also explain the tried-and-true methods and tips that help me be all of them every day (or at least most days, let’s be real).

Being well starts on the inside. Good health is a gift to to those who are in it, and a tremendous and often times inconvenient burden to those who are not. When I turned 25, I began working at an upscale health club in San Francisco and quickly prioritized my health above everything else in my life. Something that started in vain, to fit in with my peers, has resulted in progressive ambition that’s found it’s way into every single area of my life. Being well to me means: I eat foods for fuel instead of comfort, I sweat once a day, I read blogs and news and educate myself daily on the things that are important to me and the people I keep close to me, I rest my body and mind, I meditate and I pray, I spend time enveloped in nature, I wake up 3 hours before anyone requires my attention (and if I’m lucky, I’m laying next to someone who requires it right away), I don’t wear make-up everyday, I drink water between alcoholic drinks and limit those nights to once a week, and most importantly I treat and reward myself for doing all of these things. The older I get the more apparent it is to me that being healthy is ironically the best treat I can give to myself. Here are five things that help me with the occasionally difficult tasks above:

- WATER. Hot water with lemon in the morning before coffee, before food. Water during work-outs. Water 30 minutes after meals. Water throughout the day. Water between alcohol. Water before alcohol. Water after alcohol. Fizzy water. Flavored water. Water with Essential Oils to OPTIMIZE being healthy. 

- GET OUTSIDE. Living in a major metropolitan city has forced me to appreciate nature more and more. Being outside and frolicking around the lively characters that inhabit the city is also nice, but nothing truly compares to the feeling of being surrounded by gigantic redwoods, miles and miles of sand + sea, and dirt pathways that lead into the unknown. Nature fixes everything. Being aware that there is life bigger than me is everything. Nothing else comes closer to putting my troubles in clearer perspective than getting some distance from them in this way. The next best thing to being enveloped in nature is bringing nature into your home or office with the help of Essential Oils - the concentrated, in a jar version of plant power. At Sutro Lab, we have created 5 different ways to deliver essential oils into the body that optimizes each one’s awesome therapeutic powers.

- TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. You only get one. One of my early mentors said it perfectly -- Self-care is a divine responsibility. My routines are drastically centered around what is going to keep my body working, as it should, for as long as it should. This includes working out, planning my meals, choosing beauty products that are simple and do not contain chemicals, and most importantly hiring professionals to guide me in the ways that I cannot guide myself. One of my clients is 93 years old and still signing up for marathons with her grandchildren. She did not get there by not being extraordinarily cognizant of the way she treated her body throughout her life. Part of my professional practice includes designing guidelines and regimens for my clients to follow between visits, and nothing I could ever do in one session would have any lasting benefits without them being attentive to their skin and body afterwards.

- UNWIND. Many people I know consider their workouts as their time to disconnect + unwind, but in my opinion - that is not enough. When I began waking up 3 hours before I needed to be productive, I quickly noticed that my productivity throughout the day was heightened. Significantly. True relaxation and meditation can only occur when you are not obligated to anything or anyone. Including yourself. This is why I don’t agree with workouts being an authentic form of disconnection. Stop everything, turn off the technology and the music, stretch out, keep your eyes open and listen to the silence. That is unwinding. A few ways to achieve this feeling: yoga, massage therapy, hot baths (with Fizz Tabs), acupuncture, + aromatherapy. The only way I ever feel balanced is when I’m connecting with myself regularly.

- REPLACE MODERN MEDICINE. When possible. There is an entire industry that is centered around selling medicine and many conflicting theories between Eastern and Western medication. If you are active and if you are social and if you shake peoples hands every day and if you take public transportation, you’re going to get sick. There are plenty of ways to build your immune system and even remedies for the common cold that utilize Essential Oils, and in my personal experience of getting sick 5-6x a year, they not only work better than modern medicine, but MUCH quicker. Since I’ve started being more wary of antibiotics and medication - I’ve ironically stopped getting sick as often and my health has improved tremendously. I would urge anyone to do their research on the healing and therapeutic benefits of natural cold + flu remedies before just going the medication route by default. Nature fixes everything.


All that being said, I’m very interested in learning the different definitions you have for health, beauty, fitness + wellness. Out of curiosity, I am welcoming anyone who’s read this and found any of my advice helpful to e-mail me with questions or concerns about their current routines and regimens: agelessashley@gmail.com