MEET RACHEL GARAHAN
mother // artist // writer
Rachel Garahan! What a beauty. I’m really excited to feature her on Strong + Radiant because she embodies everything that I stand for on this blog. She is a radiant mother who practices aware parenting, she is an artist to the core and had a gentle fluidity about her that makes you feel instantly at ease. Her book, A Beauty Collected has become a favorite at our home, the photos are real, the writing is sweet and the book in general is exactly what I want my child feeling as he learns about the world.
I love Rachel’s easy going approach to living and to diet. I share many similar approaches and feel that the light heartedness she has is something we all can learn from, especially as mothers!
Enjoy getting to know Rachel and please take look at her lovely blog and book! Links below the article.
1. Can you share with us all about your morning routine?
Our son still sleeps in our room with us, so I wake up to his voice and sweet face poking out of his crib which is quickly followed by nursing in bed. After that, my husband takes him while he gets ready for works so I can have another hour or so of peaceful sleep. By the time he’s out the door, my actual day starts around 7. Then Ben and I make breakfast together- usually a smoothie, eggs, or peanut butter toast, and then go bang around in the yard for a bit or take a walk while I scan my phone and get mentally organized for the day. In my pre-baby life/ ideally again in my future, my morning routine includes a short meditation, some breath work, lemon water, oil pulling and dream journaling/morning pages- but at the moment it all feels a bit much. But on a good day I can still get in one or two of these things in!
2. What is breakfast like? How do you nurture yourself for your day?
I like to start off first thing with a cup of green tea or green juice, and then make a little extra of whatever my son is eating to share, so that he feels like mealtimes are a communal event. I don’t really get hungry until around 10 though, so at that point I’ll have something more sustaining- chia pudding with fruit, a big smoothie with protein powder and coconut butter, or the thing I really look forward to- an egg/ cheese/ avocado sandwich.
3. Speaking of food, what’s your diet like? do you stick to any kind of particular “diet”?
I used to be very particular about what I ate and have been vegetarian or vegan for most of my life. Pretty much as soon as I got pregnant though, I became a lot more relaxed and since then I’ve found that by not focusing on the minutiae of what goes in my body, everything balances itself out. Overall though, I’m pretty consistent with eating whole, unprocessed foods the majority of the time. I still am mostly vegetarian but would rather eat real meat than a processed vegetarian product. And I’m not afraid of a little In ’n’ Out here and there!
4. You are such a radiant beauty, tell us a bit about you journey to finding health and wellness.
While I’ve been passionate about a healthy lifestyle since I was a teenager, but it really hit home in my early twenties after my Dad died from heart problems and my sister was diagnosed with leukemia (she is alive and well). While both of their illnesses were no fault of their own, I’ve been blessed with good health so far and realized that I don’t ever want to be sick if I can help it. As I see it, stress is the number one killer and so when I made my first adult decisions, I committed to living a lifestyle where I feel as healthy, vibrant and relaxed as possible. For me this means living in warm weather. Working from home. I’m asleep by 10 most nights, drink minimally and eat whole bright foods. Just this week we moved from Venice beach to Ojai, which is a huge step in the direction of slowing down and living a more contemplative, nature-based life.
5. Ojai is favorite place! So so speaking about lifestyle, can you tell us about your work routine? and what is the time that you work the best?
Anytime after a nourishing meal and a square or two of raw dark chocolate!
6. any tips for being productive?
Go with your own flow. Commit to the task at hand and give it regular attention so as not to lose momentum, but when your brain is fried, or you have writer’s block, or it’s just not flowing— let it go. Take a walk, go to the beach, get a massage, escape for the weekend— whatever you need to do so you can come back truly fresh.
7. who do you look up to?
Georgia O’Keefe is probably my biggest role model. A friend and I were granted a private tour of her home several years ago and when I sat I her bed I nearly wept from the austerity of her lifestyle and commitment to her work. She was independent, particular, and gave attention to things others didn’t necessarily see value in. I also am inspired by Frida Khalo, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Julie Delpy’s character in the the Before Sunrise series — women who are fierce, imperfect, and unapologetically themselves. My Grammy falls into this category too, and I think of her often. She was a painter, so elegant but practical too. Warm and bubbly but with a knife sharp edge you just didn’t cross.
9. can you share one thing that you do everyday?
Take a long hour plus long walk with my son and pups. It clears my mind and helps me to sleep better at night!
10. what are you working on that you are most excited about right now?
My first book, A Beauty Collected is a project I’ve been working on slowly for several years now. It’s a picture book that I wrote and photographed featuring over 100 found items from nature, as sort of a modern take on vintage botanical illustrations. Organized by the alphabet (Aloe, Bones and Crystals etc) the book aims to encourage mindfulness of the world around us and encourages people of all ages to be inspired the beauty found in nature. I’m thrilled to say that as of September 6, its available for order on Amazon, Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers worldwide