How to Give Your Home a Mindful Makeover
A home is not necessarily about the walls that surround you, but about the rituals that take place between those walls: Gathering around the table to share family meals, relaxing in a hot bath surrounded by candles or turning in for the night with a favorite book or bedtime story.
With the help of local experts, here’s how you can create mindful spaces within your kitchen, bedroom and bathroom to encourage these rituals. You’ll find there’s a common theme: Simplifying your home to make room for the things that really matter.
Culinary Director, Cured Boulder; former professional athlete; classically trained chef; culinary consultant in the sports/wellness field and soon-to-be cookbook author
Born and raised in Boulder, Lentine Alexis’ love affair with food began when she was racing in endurance events all over the world.
“Without giving our bodies—literally—the flavors and sensations they’re asking for, we don’t stand a chance of achieving the athletic or personal goals we dream of,” Lentine says. “To be our best, we have to eat our best. How can we possibly be limitless if we limit ourselves in the way we eat?
“For me, that means meals made with whole ingredients, grown, cultivated, raised and produced with care and attention to our evolved ecosystem at large,” she says. “I try to avoid subscribing to mass-market practices whenever I can, and I believe it’s important to buy locally whenever possible, and the simpler the process, the better.”
Her culinary style?
“Fancy/lazy: Beautiful ingredients make the meals fancy, but the preparations are never complicated,” Lentine says.
Keep the kitchen clean. “As a professional chef, the state of your workspace is a mirror into what your brain space looks like,” Lentine says. “Having a clean space will make it easier to cook, but making the space feel special will help make your meals more special, too. I have a collection of personal objects, tiny vases I fill with flowers and other pretty items right in my kitchen with me.”
Weck jars to organize pantry ingredients
Pretty little bowls for refrigerated food/ingredients
Several grades of olive oil for cooking, salad dressings and finishing
Jacobsen’s Flaky Sea Salt for everything
Beurre de Baratte butter, sold at Cured and for slathering on toast… or anything else
Bjorn’s Propolis Honey is a great, vital ingredient
Grains, flours and at least one loaf of whole-grain bread
Adaptogenic herbs to stir into soups or sprinkle in teas
Anything found at the farmer’s market or local farm stand, especially locally grown vegetables and fruits
High-quality, locally and humanely raised meat (try Western Daughters’ monthly CSA meat box—WesternDaughters.com)
Founder, Corca Center for Sleep and Radiant Health; doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (April 2019) and upcoming certification with the Institute of Functional Medicine
Since moving to Boulder in 2011 by way of Chattanooga, TN (she is originally from Romania), Damiana Corca has devoted her acupuncture practice to helping people sleep better. In fact, she’s one of the few acupuncturists in the country who focuses solely on sleep disorders.
For Damiana, it is a holistic approach. “When someone seeks help for sleep issues, I still look at the whole body,” she explains. “Insomnia is just a cry for help that your body can’t adapt to the conditions it may have, such as anxiety, depression, gut issues, hormonal transitions or pain. Once I have a clear picture of what is going on, I treat both insomnia and the associated conditions.”
A typical course of treatment is 12 sessions, but most people start seeing a difference around the fourth or fifth weekly treatment.
But, in addition to acupuncture, good sleep starts in the bedroom.
To start, set aside about one hour to wind down before bedtime, and wake up at the same time each morning to teach your body consistency. “Even if you don’t see immediate results, once you stick to this routine for a while, you will notice an improvement,” Damiana promises.
“Lastly, one of my favorite bedtime rituals is to tell myself that whatever happens during the day, stays within the day,” Damiana says. “Writing down thoughts, worries, tasks for the next day helps to let go. Then, every time my mind goes back to any of those thoughts, I repeat to myself, ‘there is nothing I can do right now; I will deal with it tomorrow.’”
Clear the clutter from your bedroom, let in some fresh air every day, set the temperature to about 62 degrees, banish electronics at least an hour before bedtime and include these elements:
Breathable sheets, such as cotton
An alarm clock that is not your phone
Ambient light for evening reading
Diffuser with lavender oil
Herbal tea, such as Yogi’s Soothing Caramel Nighttime Tea
A good mattress and pillow, free of toxins
Blackout curtains to reduce any light coming into the bedroom
Please visit CorcaSleepCenter.com for more information.
Founder, Akamai; serial social entrepreneur; lifelong learner and philosopher; trail runner
Imagine tossing your serums, soaps, moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners (and the time-sucking routine involved with using all these products) for a few multipurpose gems that keep your skin, hair and teeth clean and healthy from the inside out and outside in? Fueled by their mutual desire to change how we view and use personal care products, this is why, shortly after moving to Boulder, Vincent Cobb founded Akamai in 2017 with his wife, Marni Shymkus. Their mission is to disrupt an industry known for products over-laden with chemicals, mile-long ingredients lists and steep price tags.
“Simple lifestyle changes can help save the environment, save money and waste less, while streamlining and simplifying,” Vincent explains.
This philosophy has guided Vincent since he launched his previous business, reuseit.com, in 2003, where he raised consumer awareness about the problems with use-and-toss items like plastic bags and bottles, long before toting your reusable grocery bags and BPA-free water bottle around was de rigueur.
With Akamai, it’s about more than just creating environmentally friendly and “clean” personal care. “I want to reinstill a sense of rationality, wisdom and truth in this area that we connect with day in and day out,” Vincent says.
A key part is to streamline your daily routine. “Do less, not more,” adds Vincent.
Akamai Essentials Plus Kit
These are daily core essentials for clean and healthy teeth, skin, hair and body.
Mineral toothpaste—All-natural toothpaste with clays, trace minerals, fulvic acid and liposomal CoQ10
Skin Fuel—Multipurpose oil for body, hair and aftershave
3 in 1 Bar—All-natural soap bar for shampooing, shower and shaving
Razor handle—Clean razor handle design compatible with the best blades
Fulvic mineral complex—Aids in full body health while supporting vibrant skin, teeth and hair from the inside out.
Tongue cleaner—Removes odor-causing bacteria from your tongue, it’s an $8 cure for bad breath.
“Simplifying your personal care routine gives you more time to practice mindfulness-awareness,” says Vincent. These are the daily morning rituals he practices:
Drink a full glass of water with lemon to detox first thing in the morning
Adopt a morning ritual of meditating for 10 minutes
Write in a gratitude journal two to three times a week
Do calisthenics or stretches to boost your energy
“All this feeds into health and wellness, and beauty and health emanating from inside out,” adds Vincent.
The Akamai Essentials Plus Kit is available at AkamaiBasics.com for $88.