Carrie Rubin, M.D.
Like with so many wonderful people out there, I met Carrie Rubin, M.D. on Twitter. I was fascinated by her witty repartee, thoughtful responses, and overall sweet demeanor. I’m happy to bring with you an exclusive interview with her today on the Wonderland Organics blog!
Wonderland Organics: Hi Carrie! Tell the readers about your background.
Carrie Rubin, M.D.: I’m one of those people who believes every experience is worthwhile even if our paths deviate from where we started.
After high school graduation, I spent a year as an au pair girl in Paris, France. I was young, broke, and homesick, but ahhh, I was in Paris, so none of that mattered. Upon returning home, I got a degree in French and Natural Science and then went on to med school, followed by a pediatrics residency.
Clinical pediatrics kept me busy for fifteen years, during which time I pursued a master’s degree in public health. Off and on during those years I wrote fiction, and during a transition from clinical to nonclinical medicine a few years ago, I switched to writing full-time. I keep up to date with all my medical and public health requirements—we never know what tomorrow holds—but for now I’m enjoying the life of a medical thriller author.
Wonderland Organics: I love your books! What made you want to become a pediatrician?
Carrie Rubin, M.D.: I loved the generally healthy nature of kids. Nothing compares to seeing a toddler ride a Big Wheel down the hospital corridor four days after having open-heart surgery. What adult can do that? Plus, I was drawn to the pediatric diseases—children are not just little adults; they have their own unique set of illnesses and challenges.
But mostly? I love kids. I love their smiles, their honesty, their wonder. We can learn a lot from them.
Wonderland Organics: Best of all, they’re our future. What are some baby steps that people can do to improve their health?
Carrie Rubin, M.D.: “Baby steps” is the perfect way to describe how we can improve our health. Humans are creatures of habit, and those habits are tough to break. A drastic change is doable (for example, cutting out all sugar at once or telling ourselves we’ll exercise at six am every morning), but we’re setting ourselves up for failure. On the other hand, we’re pretty good at handling small changes, things like:
- Taking stairs instead of the elevator
- Consuming one less soda a week, then two, then three, then switching completely to tea or carbonated water if we still crave those bubbles
- Adding a fruit to our evening meal one week, an extra vegetable the next
- Taking a ten minute walk every day until ten becomes fifteen becomes twenty becomes more vigorous exercise
- Gradually reducing our take-out meals and switching to homemade ones instead
- Cutting down red meat to twice a week, then once a week, and then not eating it at all
- Phasing out the purchasing of processed food found in the center aisles of the grocery store
- Going to bed fifteen minutes earlier, then thirty, and so on until eight hours becomes the norm
The list goes on and on, but the beauty of baby steps is, once we make a small change and feel the positivity that comes with our achievement, we start taking bigger and bigger steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Does that mean we have to cut out everything sinful? Of course not. But it does mean learning to enjoy these delights in moderation.
Wonderland Organics: I agree, it’s almost impossible to cut out junk food 100%– but it’s great to take small steps every day! Since it’s wintertime, do you have any tips on keeping away the cold and germs?
Carrie Rubin, M.D.: It’s easier to catch viruses in the winter because some viruses thrive in the cold and we tend to be closed in with the windows sealed, making it easier to breathe in pathogens. Also, there’s evidence cold weather suppresses our immune systems.
One of the best ways to stave off illness is through frequent handwashing. Our hands travel everywhere, including our faces. It’s easy to spread those germs. Taking that a step further, we (and those around us) should sneeze into the crook of our elbows, not our hands. Less risk of contamination that way.
We also want to make our immune systems as healthy as possible by eating nutritious food (particularly those high in antioxidants), exercising, getting adequate sleep, and limiting stress. All easier said than done, for sure.
Wonderland Organics: Yes, washing hands frequently with non-antibacterial soap is a good one. What are your recommendations for healthy lifestyles?
Carrie Rubin, M.D.: It all comes down to respecting our bodies and treating them well, from diet and exercise, to sleep and stress reduction. If it takes us baby steps to get there, so be it. We’re never too old to start.
Carrie Rubin: medical thriller author
Wonderland Organics: Although the younger that we start, the better shape our bodies will be in! What do you think about supplements? Do they truly help our diets?
Carrie Rubin, M.D.: Theoretically, a healthy diet should provide us with all the vitamins and minerals we need. But sometimes we fall short, particularly when it comes to calcium and vitamin D. Also, since animal foods are the main source of vitamin B12, vegans might have inadequate intake. As such, those are some vitamins and minerals we might need more of. But we have to be careful: we can overdo supplements and end up with side effects. Therefore, it’s best to get our vitamins and minerals from our diet and not a pill.
Wonderland Organics: Well put, Carrie! What are your top healthy foods picks?
Carrie Rubin, M.D.: We should all strive for well-balanced meals with whole grains, healthy fats, lots of fruits and veggies, and minimal red meat and added sugar.
A wide variety of fruits and vegetables tempt me: roasted vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, squash) with a bit of olive oil and garlic is an especially flavorful way to cash in on vitamins and minerals, and I love a bowl of yogurt and anti-oxidant-rich berries in the morning (but beware, some yogurts are high in sugar).
Hot tea is another good source of antioxidants, and if you’re a non-coffee drinker like me, it’s a nice way to get your caffeine fix without resorting to soda. And while we’re on the subject of antioxidants, count me in for dark chocolate!
I’m not a red-meat eater and could probably be a vegetarian were it not for raising two sons and wanting to make sure they got adequate protein. So I make a lot of meals with chicken breasts or ground turkey breast. My teenage sons joke that when they have meatloaf or spaghetti and meatballs at school, it’s with “real meat” (meaning red meat). To which I respond: “Your colons will thank me later.”
Wonderland Organics: Greek yogurt with no added sugar with fruit is usually my go-to breakfast! What’s your favorite Wonderland Organics product?
Carrie Rubin, M.D.: I’ve always been a frequent handwasher, especially working in health care, so a beautifully scented, pampering lotion is one of my favorite staples!
Thank you so much for having me on your site today, Alice. It was an honor to be here!
Wonderland Organics: Thanks so much Carrie! Where can we stay in touch with you on social media?
Carrie Rubin, M.D.:
Clean’s The New Black
Recently, I discussed healthy living and green beauty inspiration with holistic RN Jena Halman-Kincaid of Clean’s The New Black! I initally discovered Jena’s gorgeous photos on Instagram, and loved her honest reviews on her blog. Continue reading for her healthy living insights!
Wonderland Organics: Hi Jena! How did Clean’s The New Black come about?
Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I started the blog after multiple suggestions from friends and family that I should. I was getting asked on a regular basis about health, and which skincare or household items were safe to use. After much thought I decided to go for it and almost two years later here I am, feeling incredibly blessed to be a part of this exploding industry.
Wonderland Organics: So glad that you started your informative blog! Tell us a bit about your background.
Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I was raised surrounded by the holistic health field: my father is a homeopath and both parents taught me the importance of health at a young age. Honestly, it wasn’t until I was on my own in college making my own food choices day in and day out that I started to really understand just how much food affects us. For the first three years I ate a pretty typical college diet of bagels, pasta from a box, and fast food burritos. And then I got acne for the first time and freaked out. This sent me down the rabbit hole of green beauty as well as turning back to my roots of eating more non-processed foods.
I’m also an ICU RN. Every day I see how people’s lifestyle choices make or break their later years in life. I also understand how Big Pharma has come to pollute the lives of millions for the sake of the dollar. When really, what most of us need is preventative education on how to maintain the health most of us are born with. My blog, Clean’s the New Black, is a way for me to help educate, those seeking, on essentially how to stay out of the hospital, pharmacy, and doctor’s office.
Wonderland Organics: It’s great learning more about health tips from a RN. Regarding skincare, are there any regimens or routines that you would recommend?
Jena, holistic RN and blogger of Clean’s The New Black
Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I believe in letting my intuition guide my skincare (as well as food) routines. If we listen to our instincts our bodies will always know what to reach for. So, I always recommend to have multiple products from a few brands on hand so the routine can be varied day to day. Perhaps a light serum is all you will need for moisture one day and the next a more hydrating balm because of those few glasses of wine you had the night before. At least for me, I find my skin radiates more when a healthy dose of variation is thrown into the mix.
Wonderland Organics: Yes! Our skin is going to need different products depending on the seasons. What brands are you currently using for makeup? Are there any nail polish brands that you recommend?
Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: My go to for makeup is always Erzulie Cosmetics, Rhonda the owner is an amazing person and makes wonderful natural makeup for very affordable prices. At least 75% of my makeup routine consists of Erzulie products. I love her foundation, highlighter sticks, concealer, and 2-in-1 color sticks. Two of my other best loved brands are Pacifica Beauty and Glory Boon.
Nail polish is a hard one, even tough there are 5 free and 7 free companies, which are a great step in the right direction, they all still have a good dose of chemicals. Because of this I choose to not polish my nails on a regular basis. However, when I do for those special occasions I love Lillian Eve 5 free polish. They have great colors and their formula is amazing at not chipping.
Wonderland Organics: Thanks for the suggestion! What are your favorite health remedies?
Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I could probably go on and on about this topic since health is so near to my heart. However, if I had to choose I would say number one is Arnica Gel for bruising. I bruise quite easily but hate the looks of battered up legs. My go-to remedy to help bruising disappear faster is the homeopathic remedy arnica. You can find it in a gel: this is the one I use. Apply it directly to the bruise once or twice a day. It helps to work even faster if you massage it into the bruise, which hurts a bit, but helps to break up the blood. It’s also great for relieving sore muscles and aches.
Jena, Clean’s The New Black
A second favorite remedy is dried fennel seeds for an upset stomach. These are the same whole fennel seeds you may have in your spice cabinet. All you need to do is chew (to release the goodness in the oils) on a small pinch, like 3-5 seeds, and then swallow them. This helps almost immediately for belly aches, indigestion, gas, and cramping. It is safe for little ones too with no side effects.
Wonderland Organics: Arnica is amazing! Do you have any advice for people embarking on a green beauty journey?
Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: Start simple and look internally. Green beauty isn’t only about the products you place on your
skin, but also our internal health. Make sure you’re addressing any internal issues your body may be going through as well as starting out with just one or two products. Also, know that your skin often goes through a detox phase so skin issues may get worse before they are better. This is ok and good, it means you body is finally purging itself of toxins so that it can have lasting radiance.
Wonderland Organics: Wonderfully put! It’s good to be realistic about the detox phase. What is your favorite Wonderland Organics product?
Clean’s The New Black Review of Wonderland Organics
Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I am a sucker for the Indulge Lotion. The smell is so transformative and the lightness of the lotion makes it a great warm weather treat. You can read my full review here, Indulge is a great way to introduce yourself into green body care.
Wonderland Organics: Thanks so much Jena! Lastly, where can we find you on social media?
Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: Social media:
Thanks so much for talking with me about your holistic journey Jena! What are some of your favorite health remedies? Let me know in the comments below!
Freud & Fashion
Today on the blog is an interview with Dr. Vania Manipod, D.O. on the importance on mental health. I was lucky to “meet” her virtually via social media this past year, and was drawn to her sweet personality and passion for helping others.
Wonderland Organics: Hi Vania! How did Freud & Fashion come about?
Dr. Vania Manipod, D.O.: Freud & Fashion came about in 2010 as I was sitting in my lonely apartment in Oregon. Having recently moved from southern California (where I grew up) to Oregon to complete my psychiatry residency training, I initially didn’t have many close friends and felt quite isolated those first few months. As I was reading various fashion blogs, I was inspired to start my own blog for the following reasons: 1) I always enjoyed writing and needed an outlet to express my creative side; 2) I believed blogging would provide a way to connect with people and help alleviate the senses of isolation I experienced living in a new place; and 3) I wanted to give readers a glimpse of the life of a new doctor and therapy pearls that I learned throughout my psychiatry training.
Wonderland Organics: Definitely love your blog! Tell us a little about your background.
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: As the oldest grandchild in a family that consists of >30 grandchildren, I’ve always strived to be a positive influence and leader in my family. My grandfather was the biggest influence in my life — he raised 11 successful children in the Philippines on his small salary as a school principal. My parents are 1st generation since my dad joined the U.S. Air Force, but we were fortunate to not have to move around so much, so I grew up in both northern and southern California. The mentality of being a high-achiever manifests in my professional life, though becoming a physician has challenged me in various aspects of my personal life and led me to a much needed process of self-discovery (ie, self-care, balancing a busy schedule, managing priorities, learning about myself in the context of interactions with my patients, etc), which I share in my blog.
Dr. Vania Manipod, D.O. of Freud & Fashion
Wonderland Organics: Your grandfather sounds incredibly inspirational. Why did you decide to become a D.O.? What do you enjoy about it?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: I’m asked this question quite often and have contemplated how to best answer this question as concisely as possible, especially since it’s one of the more common questions I receive. I wrote a blogpost several months ago titled “What Being a D.O. Means to Me,” which has been my most viewed post to date, so in order to fully understand my perspective and do my degree justice, please check out my post! http://freudandfashion.com/2015/04/30/what-being-a-d-o-means-to-me/
Wonderland Organics: Great response! So why should we be concerned about mental health and keep ourselves healthy?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: Mental health correlates strongly with our physical health (and vice versa). In a general sense, maintaining physical and mental stability is dependent on our lifestyle. Important lifestyle components such as diet, sleep, and exercise influence both emotional and physical health. A great example is lack of sleep – not only can poor sleep lead to increased anxiety, irritable mood, poor concentration, etc, it can also contribute to physical symptoms such as increased pain, increased appetite and subsequent weight gain, and fatigue. Any time that you go to the doctor with a specific physical complaint, a psychiatric diagnosis is usually considered as a possible diagnosis, especially if the medical workup comes out normal (for example, panic attacks consist of physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc). And successful recovery from various medical conditions, including major surgical procedures, are also dependent on the person’s mental health especially since motivation and drive to follow treatment plans for rehabilitation is needed.
Wonderland Organics: Couldn’t agree more– it’s a huge part of our overall health. What common misconceptions do people have about mental health?
Dr. Vania Manipod, D.O. of Freud & Fashion
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: There are several misconceptions about mental illness such as the belief it’s a weakness and character flaw rather than being a true neurological disease, that people living with mental illness can’t live normal lives, etc. Basically, such stigmatizing beliefs can be perpetuated by negative attitudes, inappropriate use of language, and lack of willingness to look at one’s self in order to be more open to connecting and understanding what it’s like to live with mental illness. Another common misconception is that people aren’t aware of how common it is — 1 in 4 people in the United States have struggled with mental illness, so the likelihood that each individual has a connection to someone with a psychiatric diagnosis is quite high.
Wonderland Organics: Thank you for sharing! Who should see a psychiatrist?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: If anyone is experiencing impairment in their daily life as a result of a possible psychiatric issue (such as high stress, mood changes, paranoid thoughts, addiction, insomnia, etc), then seeing a psychiatrist for an evaluation would be a great step. If psychiatric medications are indicated, then psychiatrist would be able to prescribe. Primary care physicians may also feel comfortable treating and prescribing medications for certain mental illnesses, however, more complex medication regimens and symptoms would be better addressed by a psychiatrist.
Wonderland Organics: What would you recommend for relaxation?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: I practice a patient-centered approach, so I recommend that each individual discover their own preferred methods of relaxation. The most important factor for utilizing such relaxation practices on a regular basis is that it’s enjoyable, feasible and accessible to perform on a regular basis, whether it’s attending a yoga class, hiking, getting a massage, meditating, etc.
Wonderland Organics: Yoga is one of my favorites. And finally, what do you love most about Wonderland Organics?
Dr. Vania Manipod, D.O.: What I love most about Wonderland Organics is the founder, Alice! Her journey as a skincare entrepreneur who is passionate about creating and constantly refining her organic skin care line of products is inspiring! Her warm personality and connection to her customers and many followers demonstrates the pride and motivation she has to ensure they receive clean, natural, high quality products.
Thanks so much for talking to me Vania! If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out her website and social media:
Love my interviews with inspirational people? Be sure to check out Natalie of Sustainably Chic here.
What do you do personally for relaxation? Let me know in the comments below!
Plantstrong_mom key lime pie
Have you ever wondered how to make tasty snacks by using just healthy and whole ingredients? (And not just plain old yogurt with fruit). Today on the blog, I talk to Christy of Sweetened With Dates (as she’s known on Instagram) about her plant-based life. Check out her wonderful food photos: they taste as scrumptious as they look!
Wonderland Organics: Hi Christy! How did Sweetened with Dates come about?
Christy: Sweetened with Dates was created in order to have a creative outlet and showcase healthy meal ideas. I have always loved making healthy, plant-based recipes and sharing them on Instagram is a great way to connect with like-minded people. The warm reception I’ve received thus far, has motivated me to start a blog and small business.
Wonderland Organics: I know I’m always thrilled to see your food photos in my Instagram feed! Tell us a little about your background.
Christy: I have a Ph.D in clinical psychology and I thought being a psychologist was going to be my career. However, there were some unexpected bumps in the road and plans changed. When I found out my oldest son had severe and life-threatening food allergies, I decided to stay home with him. It was a blessing in disguise. I never had the passion needed to be a psychologist. I dreaded the work each day. I now home-school my children and work on my love recipe development and food photography. I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled.
Wonderland Organics: There’s always a silver lining! What inspires you?
Plantstrong_mom healthy fruit
Christy: So many people inspire me. My family for one, inspires me to continue reaching for my dreams. Also, incredible physicians like Dr. McDougall and Dr. Fuhrman live by example and inspire me to raise my family in the healthiest way possible.
Wonderland Organics: That’s great to hear! What’s your favorite recipe for dinner?
Christy: My favorite dinner recipe would have to be seasoned baked fries with a large salad and flavorful dressing.
Wonderland Organics: That sounds amazing. And of course on that note, do you have a favorite healthy dessert?
Christy: My favorite healthy dessert is Banana Ice Cream. I always have frozen bananas to whip up this one ingredient treat.
Wonderland Organics: The perfect summertime treat! What’s a common misconception about plant-based lifestyles?
Christy: I think a common misconception about eating a plant-based diet is that it won’t provide all the necessary nutrients needed to optimal health. I have read a lot of research proving that those ideas are false. I have lived this way for several years now and my health has never been better.
Wonderland Organics: I’m sure that the readers will be glad to hear this. Do you have any advice for people who want to start a plant-based food lifestyle?
Plantstrong_mom breakfast deliciousness
Christy: Some advice I can offer to those interested in living this way is to try making small changes each day. Add some fruit or vegetables to each of your meals. Focus on eating unprocessed and whole foods. And remember it’s about progress, not perfection.
Wonderland Organics: Excellent advice! And last but not least, what is your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics site/blog?
Christy: My favorite part of the Wonderland Organics site is the availability of the amazing, clean, and natural skin care line. It’s a joy to find a company that embraces the production of natural products that are good for the body and the planet.
Thank you so much for talking to me, Christy! Be sure to check out her inspiring feed here on Instagram.
For those of you who are on a plant-based diet, what are your favorite recipes? Let us know in the comments below!
What does sustainability mean to you? We ask Natalie Smith of Sustainably Chic today on Interview Friday! We first came across Natalie on Instagram as a blogger who focused on sustainability. These days, Sustainably Chic has become an online boutique, selling wonderfully handmade and sustainable products! SC is also a retailer of Wonderland Organics products, so be sure to purchase from the boutique here.
Wonderland Organics: Tell us about your background.
Natalie Smith: I have a background in Fashion Marketing and Management where I found my love for eco-friendly and ethically made clothing, and have been blogging about sustainability within fashion economics since July of 2014.
Wonderland Organics: That’s wonderful! How did Sustainably Chic come about?
Natalie Smith of Sustainably Chic
Natalie Smith: I started Sustainably Chic, initially, as a blog and platform for any businesses that had adopted sustainable practices, and used the site as a place to share their stories. I had always wanted to have my own boutique, particularly a fair trade boutique, so one thing led to another and Sustainably Chic turned into something more.
Wonderland Organics: It’s great how you showcased smaller businesses working on sustainability! What’s the best part about running Sustainably Chic?
Natalie Smith: I can do it in my pajamas! Just kidding, even though that is a nice perk. The best part about running Sustainably Chic is networking with so many amazing people and businesses around the world. I have learned so much in the past 9 months, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Wonderland Organics: (We’re with you on the sweatpants). What new things do you have planned for Sustainably Chic in 2015?
Natalie Smith: For 2015, I plan to add several new brands to the online store, possibly some pop-up shops along the way, and, of course, sharing more stories about emerging sustainable companies. This is a one person show, so I don’t want to get too overwhelmed my first ‘real’ year of being a business.
Wonderland Organics: We’re so excited for you! Where do you find inspiration?
Natalie Smith: With my own private label, La Petite N-Kay, all my inspiration comes from my love of vintage and anything dainty. I deal a lot with lace and and old buttons, which are quite feminine and lovely.
Wonderland Organics: Your organic headbands are gorgeous! What are your current sustainable obsessions?
Natalie Smith: I’m pretty obsessed with everything I carry on the site. However, I do put Wonderland Organics on EVERYDAY, so that’s a daily obsession of mine.
Wonderland Organics: So glad to hear it! What are your contributions toward sustainability? Why is it important to you?
Indulge Lotion on Sustainably Chic’s boutique
Natalie Smith: The simplest thing any of us can do when it comes to sustainability is to start talking about it. We can all make a great impact in the world of sustainability is if we change the minds around us and do less of whatever we can possible. Sustainably Chic is a conversation, and if it is helping others become more sustainable or aware of their purchasing power, then I’m happy. It is important to me to discuss positive consumerism because we, as consumers, hold all the power when it comes to buying products. Most of us like to buy new things for our wardrobe and our home, and Sustainably Chic’s boutique offers a sustainable alternative to those wants.
Wonderland Organics: This is a wonderful way of looking at it. What is a typical day like running Sustainably Chic?
Natalie Smith: I wake up at 8 am and go straight to the computer. I’m constantly updating the site, emailing businesses, and planning for the future. I swear, there are not enough hours in the day!
Wonderland Organics: There should definitely be 30 hour days! Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?
Natalie Smith: Put your whole heart into it, and never get discouraged about ANYTHING! There will always be ‘critics‘, negativity, and slow times. I’m always telling myself not to let things get to me, and to keep moving forward. Specially in the world of sustainability, there will always be someone calling you a hypocrite. I’m not perfect, nor am I completely sustainable – none of us are. I mean after all, I am selling you something you don’t really need. I love entrepreneurs because they are what promote a SUSTAINABLE economy. People forget that sustainability is not just about the earth, it’s about culture and economics as well.
La Petite N-Kay Organic Turban
Wonderland Organics: What’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog/site?
Natalie Smith: I love a blog that can give great tips and DIY tutorials, and Wonderland Organic’s blog has some wonderful information on cleaning green and skincare in some of their most recent posts. It’s definitely an area that Sustainably Chic needs to work on! Besides the blog, Wonderland Organics truly has amazing products. The scents, and the way my skin feels is lovely. Thanks so much, Alice, for being such a creative and sustainable entrepreneur.
Thank you for discussing Sustainably Chic with us Natalie! Have you checked out her wonderful boutique and blog? Be sure to do so here.