Healthy Holidays: Nails Au Natural

It’s the holiday season and we’re all aiming to stay healthy. It’s not just about the food we eat – what we put on your skin goes into our body as well. The same goes for what you put on your nails. Lately, there have been a number of articles circulating about the toxicity found in nail polish and I’ve done some research that’s worth sharing.

Red_nail_polish_in_applicationThere are various chemicals like toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor found inside standard nail polishes. These polishes can wreak havoc on your nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems. They have been linked to birth defects in babies, an increase in allergies, and the production of cancer causing agents.

Luckily, there are alternatives. There are polishes that are either 3-free, 4-free, or 5-free (of the above chemicals.) Personally, I opt for 5-free polish and acetone-free remover because I prefer to use as little chemicals in my everyday life as possible.

IMG_3256As a new mom, pre-school teacher, and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I am definitely more conscious of my health and well-being; what you put in your body daily effects the big picture. During pregnancy, I only used 5-free nail polish and that became my new normal. Here are a few of my favorite 5-free brands to seek out if you’re looking to go au natural with your nails as well:

  • RGB (my favorite because they also make a base and top coat and remover, so I can depend on the the consistency of their products)
  • Ella + Mila
  • Tenoverten
  • Uslu Airlines
  • Spa Ritual
  • Priti NYC

As for the holiday season in the Hamptons, I love going on walks and taking in the fresh air that smells like pine and firewood or cozying up by fire and drinking homemade dark chocolate hot chocolate! Here’s my go-to recipe:

Hannah’s Hot Chocolate: (makes 1 serving)

Heat one cup of almond milk on stove on low heat. Add 1/4-1/2 bar of dark chocolate (depending on desired taste – I prefer Nibmor’s 80% dark) and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Stir until melted and enjoy! You can also add vanilla, peppermint, or other flavors of choice.

*Hannah Oehl Ruppel is a pre-school teacher and graduate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She loves to follow wellness and sustainable beauty, living her life as naturally as possible. She lives in NYC with her husband Tyler, her son William, and their dog Stella. She escapes the city to Shelter Island every summer and weekends, where her family has been going since she was little.

Flourishing Through Food with Tapp Francke

It was 12:29pm when Tapp Francke (local registered nutrition counselor and founder of TappsTips.com) and I realized that our one-hour session had run a little longer than planned…by 29 minutes to be exact. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of Tapp’s wealth of knowledge on all things food.

me with breakfast shakeSkilled artist and photographer, Tapp Francke’s journey into nutrition counseling began while pregnant with baby #1. Her desire to contain baby innocence lead to a search for “pure” baby products. After examining countless labels, (at the health food store, mind you) Tapp concluded that there weren’t any “pure” baby foods on the market that met her standards. As a loving first-time mother, she wasn’t about to feed her perfectly healthy baby something she wouldn’t even eat herself. And so her journey began with making her own baby food. When her baby grew, so did her curiosity and she went back to school to learn how to empower herself, her family, and others to flourish through food. Now, Tapp balances life as a nutritionist, artist, mom of two, wife, and chef for her clients and family. While she wears many hats daily, talking to Tapp is surprisingly calming, soothing, and totally intriguing (hence those extra 29 minutes.)

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My convo with Tapp kicked off with normal bodily functions. First things first – I gave a run-down of a typical day in my diet. Though I was expecting critiques throughout, Tapp’s response was instead: “and how are you feeling?” Life’s everyday processes, as Tapp states, are the “basis of health.” If your body is running smoothly, you’re probably fueling it right. If not, you’re probably not.

How refreshingly simple is that? Tapp’s mission is to spread awareness, most of all, that we should not put up with life as we know it. Most people live day-to-day feeling mediocure, blah, tired, sick, bloated, moody, in pain, etc. Instead of putting up with it, we can find out why we feel less than perfect and change! Tapp’s mission is simply to help people feel their best day after day. If we learn to fuel and heal our body naturally, like Tapp and her family do, we too can flourish through food.

In order to do so, it takes some “digging,” a process Tapp associates with the job of a detective. Once Tapp gathers all of the facts from a client about their diet and bodily processes, together, they follow the clues, eliminate the mysteries, and pinpoint the ‘culprit.’ There’s no better way to identify our sensitivities than to rid them from our diet and reintroduce them with awareness of results. Case closed.

As much as I learned from Tapp about nutrition, (a LOT) the most valuable lesson was a simple, yet profound, reminder of self-awareness. Awareness of how foods make us feel, awareness that we can feel better, awareness of the power of food, the quality of the foods we choose, ingredients in our fuel, and how they affect us individually. Education is huge. Research is huge. But nothing beats awareness.

Chatting with Tapp also gave me a renewed perspective (aka awareness) on why I do what I do. Even in a world of fast food, disease, obesity, malnutrition, overmedication, contradiction, and a food & drug administration built on money, not health, Tapp remains confident and hopeful as the minority. Although we can’t change the system from the top down, we can create change from the ground up through word of mouth and spreading awareness, individual to individual. Not only is it the goal of One Healthy Hamptons to spread health throughout the Hamptons, motivate and connect people, but also to encourage YOU to create small windows of change. Creating change throughout small groups and communities is what adds up to larger transformations. Together, we’re pretty powerful, huh?! What can you do? Be self-aware and spread the word of health. Tell someone you know about One Healthy Hamptons, try out Tapp’s nutritious recipes, or better yet, chat with her yourself – just email Tapp@tappstips.com to set up a consultation. Trust me, you’ll learn…a LOT!

One Healthy Breakdown: Thanks, Tapp, for being an amazing Hamptons resource and reminding me of these simple super powers. And thank YOU. If you’re reading this, you most likely care too and you will be part of a healthier future.