Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a lover of tea, tonic herbs, alchemy, art, cinema, solitude, nature… a quintessential California native in a sense. I was born and partially raised in Esalen, Big Sur and have somehow landed here - up 14,000 ft in the Santa Monica Mountains - working full-circle, in the field of healing arts and wellness.... When I am not whipping up potions, doing my best to help run a business, or shooting photos, I may be found foraging for flowers or nerding out on Ingmar Bergman films.
How did you become the Creative Director at Sun Potion?
By following a path of love and service - being a conduit for these adaptogenic plants - with reverence for our Mother Earth and all Beings.
Have you always been interested in health + wellness or did Sun Potion help unveil this passion?
I have always had respect for holistic living and the power of healing through whole foods and natural medicine. My father is an Acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, so I was exposed to TCM (herbs and needles!) since I was a child. Of course, my work with Sun Potion has greatly expanded my relationship to wellness, particularly in regards to the benefits adaptogenic plants can have on the human system.
What is your morning routine?
I love to rise early and begin my mornings with gratitude - first thing upon waking, I take a moment to consider all the blessings I have in my life while lying in bed with my eyes closed - it sets a tone of awareness and gratitude for what is, for the whole day - awaking with the frequency of being present, or “AWAKE” ;)
Then I usually snuggle my girlfriend - she is exceptionally cute and sleepy in the mornings - I will prop pillows around her when I depart so she can continue resting as I make my way downstairs. Most mornings I pour a few rounds of tea, which I sip in silence, outside, overlooking the mountains, on my deck.. this is usually followed by a seated 11 minute meditation - after which I check in with our team, engage with my phone / email / technology… Eventually I will make my way back inside to prepare an adaptogenic potion for breakfast.
On the weekends, I try to sleep in as much as possible - it is my way of balancing the intensity of the work week (or perhaps just my justification for wallowing about in layers of Coyuchi linens for an extended period of time)... I think sleep (and dreaming) are crucial to living a balanced and healthy life.
What is your night routine?
Nighttimes (like weekends) I like to relax as much as possible, cook dinner, drink nettle or burdock tea, perhaps a little biodynamic wine (I love Cooper wines!), I will put my phone on airplane mode and curl up by the fire…. this is my daily restoration period. One of the positives of living way up on the mountain in semi-isolation is that I have to cook all my meals - unless I feel motivated for a drive. Dinner has become a culinary meditation of sorts…. it is my sensory sanctuary.
How does a conscious and sustainable diet bleed over into your other lifestyle choices?
I feel what / how / when / why we eat is part of a larger, inner-connected dialogue with being alive. What we put IN, ON, and AROUND our bodies has such an impact. For me - eating a primarily plant-based, organic, wild-crafted, local and consciously~globally sourced diet translates to using organic, non-toxic, ethically made skin care, natural fiber clothing, linens, home goods… Practicing efficiency and sensitivity in using precious resources such as gas, electric, water. Dedicating time to nourish oneself with alternative forms of “food”: positive energy, spirituality, meditation, intention, art, time in nature, self-care…. everything is connected and feeds our experience!
What are some differences you've noticed since adding Sun Potion to your diet?
Stabilized nervous system, stronger immunity, balanced digestion and clearer skin, less dependence on caffeine - especially in the mornings (though I do love my tea!).... because I have been pretty consistent about taking these adaptogenic herbs and superfoods for the last decade it is hard to imagine how I might feel without them - though I periodically do little experiments with myself where I intentionally stop eating the herbs. The first thing I notice is my mood and energy levels dropping… hence I reintroduce them to my diet pretty quickly (haha).
How can others tap into this community?
I feel the first step for all of us is to begin to listen to our bodies. Listen to how we feel when we eat certain foods, research our curiosities and be courageous in setting goals, be mindful of how we expose ourselves to specific environments… track our biological feedback and sensations and make changes when needed. Pay attention. Notice the effects. Pay closer attention. Prioritize our multi-dimensional state of well-being in our day-to-day. I am a huge believer in the idea that change begins from within.
Once we feel connected to ourselves, we can expand and share this with our community. Recognize the people / energies/ environments which we resonate with - whether online - in passing etc. Give our time and attention to these people, support each other. Listen…. again, I feel it all returns to the practice of listening - to ourselves (first) and to who and what we surround ourselves with.
How does living in California inspire your work?
I frequently fantasize about disappearing to to go live in Europe or Japan, but I always return to the realization that California is truly the best home base at this time of my life. I love the sunshine, farmers markets, art, consciousness and community here… It is the epicenter of so much magic and grace.
Best piece of advice you've gotten?
Also - when stressed, make prioritized “immediate action” lists!
Best advice you've ever given?
Choose love. At every moment. Love over fear, love over judgment… Love Love LOVE!
What are some things you are working on that we can look forward to?
I have a few personal creative projects - a short film and a podcast - which I am very excited (and to be honest a little nervous) about - as these are new media for me.
I am also assembling years of recipes, research and alchemical musings for a Sun Potion book!
I am also quite excited about some magical new products we are releasing this year! (hint: something sweet and full of oxygen and minerals… and a new iteration of the herbs that is incredibly powerful).... stay tuned!
What are you grateful for? Today and every day?
Every breath, every challenge, every sip of tea… Every day I get to experience this life (as Nitsa, on Planet Earth) is a blessing.
We'd love to hear your favorite women-power tonic!
YIN POWER POTION
My go-to potion for balancing hormones, nourishing creativity, immunity, libido, beauty, mental calm, memory and sustained energy all day long!
2 tsp Yin Power
1 tsp Pine Pollen
1 tsp Lion’s Mane Mushroom
1/2 tsp Cordyceps Mushroom
6 oz. Hot Water
12 Oz. Raw Macadamia Nut Creme (or homemade raw / sprouted nut or seed milk of choice)
1 tbsp Raw Sage Honey
Add adaptogenic powders, macadamia milk, and raw honey to high speed blender.
Blend 30-45 seconds. Add the warm (not boiling water) and pulse another 10 seconds until frothy with Love...
Serve in favorite cup.