23 Jan 2010

A Child’s Spirit

Family, Lifestyle, Nutrition 2 Comments

Austin is such a vibrant and healthy city to be raising a family. I’m a mother of a soon to be six year old, a vivacious little girl named Callie. Her personality is often exploding from her body, this creative spirit is one that I truly am thankful for and never want to suppress.   When she gives another child a hug she does so with such passion, she lifts them up off the ground. She walks into a place thinking that she already knows everyone and that they are already her friend. I’m proud of her charm and ability to make an impression. I never want to hinder her self confidence and trust that there are good people in the world.

Our society today is more often than not, too paranoid and conformed. People are being trained to raise their children to only comply with what the public education system is telling them to do. Children get diagnosed with so many different personality disorders without looking at the many internal components, like diet and allergies. There are dozens if not hundreds of books out there linking hyperactivity and concentration challenges to our modern, AMERICAN diet. We all know the lunch lines at public schools are a hot button issue, why hasn’t it changed in Austin? If a child is qualified for free meals, it is policy that they must get the entire lunch option. That’s milk or chocolate milk of their choice, a fruit  juice from concentrate, a bread, a vegetable  from a can with a shelf life of 5 billion years, a meat product that resembles dog food and then a fruit cocktail. I wonder if our jail system has a better meal they provide their inmates than our future children of America. Yet, they insist that a child has a personality disorder and that the only cure is to medicate. IT’S THE FOOD! This isn’t new news, friends. We have known about this for two decades now. I decided to go far away from the American Food Guide Pyriad and focus on green leafy vegetables, fresh fish, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and juicing from home.

I see a very clear change with Callie if she is eating processed foods, sugar and breads. She becomes the energizer bunny and has a harder time following directions. They peak and crash from their blood sugar levels being out of whack. Even though I have always fed her well at home, I decided to take it up a notch and try the gluten, sugar and dairy free way of eating; including making a sack lunch for school. It’s definitely more work, but with so many more rewards. Her teacher has noticed a change in her listening skills and emotional responses. Even though she is still my lil firecracker at home, I know that I am feeding her the best possible foods for her brain development and physical health.

I tell her that the salmon she eats has Omega 3 which helps with her brain development. I teach her to always have lots of colors on her plate and that a solid beige plate of food has little to none nutritional value. She clearly knows what is healthy and what is not. It’s never too early to educate your kids properly on whole food nutrition. If you, yourself do not know what really goes on with the food that’s sold in the grocery store prior to its immaculate display, it’s ok. It takes a process to figure out what foods “look” to be healthy and actually are not. I’ve watched documentaries, picked up books at Half Priced Books, visit www.naturalnews.com and many other fabulous articles on the web regarding this topic.

I just want all of our kids to have the freedom to express their individuality without oppression. To explore relationships with other kids instead of being shy or outcast. To be given real food while they are in school so they can flourish in their education. Most importantly, to be given the chance and time to improve naturally, without drugs, when their behavior is considered “too much”.

21 Jan 2010

Green Grass

Music No Comments

I stumbled upon Brazil’s luscious emerging musician, Cibelle, about a month ago and cannot stop listening to her album. Her style is hard to classify, almost a tropical edge with a dash of classic lady-like charm. Global percussion, airy flutes, sweet keys and a flicker of acoustics make it impossible not to groove to Cibelle. I’ve played her music in the studio and it gives a very lounge feel, similar to that of Thievery Corporation and Zero 7. Her ballads are romantic, multilingual, with a voice that is smooth like butter. Every song transitions beautifully from one track to the next, without sounding too similar.

19 Jan 2010

New Year Retreat Weekend

Events No Comments

( from the event website)

Imagine 2 days of sacred space – all the time, nurturing, and support you need to uncover your heart’s desire and change the course of your year. Experience 2 powerful coaches, 15 amazing women, and a peaceful retreat center in the middle of the Texas Hill Country.
A whole weekend for yourself with the time, space, and expert guidance to:

  • Rest, rejuvenate and recharge your physical, mental, and spiritual batteries
  • Step back from your daily routine and see the big picture of you life’s journey
  • Mindfully and lovingly asses where you’ve been; create closure on 2009
  • Launch your year with vision, intention, structure and support

Your Weekend Retreat Includes:

  • Guided group workshops-from discovering your authentic self to solidifying your steps to success
  • One-on-one support and guidance within a dynamic community of vibrant women
  • Personal time for rest, journaling, meditation, or socializing
  • 2 nights accommodations at the Namaste Retreat Center in Boerne, Texas
  • Delicious and healthy meals, movement work, creative play
  • Workbook and material needed to continue the journey at home

Cost: $455 before December 10th ($525 after December 10th)
Limited to 15 women. Spots are assigned (or wait-listed) in the order deposits are received.

$195 deposit is non-refundable after December 10th (unless your spot is filled).

All Retreat balances due on January 8th.


email:  sonya@businessthefeminineway.com

phone: Katherine Torrini 512.501.2011

19 Jan 2010

Key to Suppleness

Beauty, Nutrition No Comments

‘Winter is here, spring is near and your skin is dehydrated. How do I know? What to do? A simple way to test yourself for hydration is this: looking at yourself into a mirror, press you index finger parallel to your cheek and lift up gently. If you see small lines, you are dehydrated! Even persons with oily skin can still be dehydrated, it’s an entirely different gland, your sebaceous gland.

Keeping the body alkaline and the skin slightly acidic is the best way for soft supple skin. Internally, you want your body to have a pH (potential hydrogen) of 7.4.  Please see the graph for lists of alkaline and acidic foods. As you see, lemons and watermelon are extremely alkaline! So just squeezing some fresh lemon juice in the 100oz of water you are consuming per day will make a difference! Try your best to stay away from coffee, greasy foods, cigarettes and alcohol; it truly makes a difference in the skin’s complexion. When your body is more acidic, it is more prone to disease and illness. Staying alkaline not only affects your skin, but your entire health. Litmus paper is all you need to test your body’s pH at home; which is easily found in your neighborhood drugstore. Taking supplements rich in Omega 3’s have a myriad of benefits as well. I found “Mega Red” krill oil at Costco, the pills are extremely small, you only have to take one per day instead of three and there is no fishy aftertaste. My 5 year old daughter even takes it!

On the topic of the skin, I feel it’s necessary to go slightly more scientific. Our skin has a thin, protective layer on the surface, referred to as the acid mantle. This acid mantle is made up of sebum (free fatty acids) that is excreted from the skin’s sebaceous glands, which then mixes with Lactic and Amino Acids from sweat to create the ideal pH, which should be slightly acidic at about 5.5. Harsh soaps are often very alkaline, which strip away at the acid mantle, making the skin a breeding ground for bacteria. That is why you often see products that say “pH balanced”. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a major abrasive ingredient to avoid at all levels, it’s the main ingredient in engine degreasers, Ajax, etc and makes things foam. Take a closer look inside your beauty cabinet and see if your beauty and hygiene products carry that ingredient. 95% of the time they do! Many people are afraid to use oil on their skin in fear of breaking out,  this is a common misconception.  Oils that work well with the skin’s natural oil secretions include Jojoba, Coconut, Argan, and Olive Oils.

As you see, it’s quite simple to have soft, supple skin. Facials help a lot, but nutrition and proper home care is more than half of the equation. Squeeze some lemon into your water container, take watermelon for a snack at lunch, eat like your body is a machine and not a trashcan. Soon you will see a dramatic difference in not only your skin, but hair, nails, sleep quality and overall performance. If you are interested in a more detailed list, please enjoy the printable pdf below.


17 Jan 2010

The New Esty Skin Studio

Spa 1 Comment

I created Esty in October 2008, after having an unbelievable experience in spa management at milk + honey in downtown Austin, Texas. The original location was inside Morning Star Trading Company on South First Street. The wellness center was a perfect starting ground for getting my feet wet in  local small business. After assessing the needs of my clients, Read more

16 Jan 2010


Spa No Comments

Breathe. My first ever posting on EstyAustin! It’s the beginning of 2010, I feel the same way that I do every January. Hopeful, determined, with lots of reflecting on the previous’ years mishaps, delights and dreams. Perhaps with the first decade of the 21st century behind us, we can work collectively together in our pursuit of a beautiful life. My intention for this blog is to share my often quirky opinions – and tastes, of health, beauty, community, modern culture and the inner workings of a myriad of relationships. Please feel free to comment as you will!