Wellness Digest #32: Women’s Health Q&A, Healing Hydrosols, and The Social Dilemma

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Welcome to this week’s digest. I voted this week! Yes, it was raining, but the wait was only an hour. I felt lucky. Deep gratitude to the helpful, and at times hilarious, poll volunteers. Most of all, I loved the quiet sense of purpose and solidarity with my fellow New Yorkers. Whatever method you choose, I hope everyone gets the chance to make their voice count. As we turn our clocks back this weekend, let’s hope we take one giant leap forward after next week’s election. Here’s this week’s list!


Katie Couric just launched a great Q&A series, “In Your Business with Dr. B,” with her gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Brightman, an assistant clinical instructor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She’s also a provider with the North American Menopause Society. No question is off-limits. Did you know that as we age, changes in our posture can affect the roundness of our abdomen? Find out more here.

If you’re suffering from lower back pain, digestion issues, or chronic stress, it could be the result of a tight psoas muscle. Pronounced “so-az,” it comes from the Greek and means “of the loins.” To help you visualize, it’s the only muscle that connects your legs to your spine. If you’re experiencing tightness in this area, try this easy constructive rest post to help release tension.


Having just carved a pumpkin with my daughter (think big teeth and one very large eye!), we have a ton of seeds that we will roast and enjoy. The health benefits of pumpkin seeds are impressive. Loaded with antioxidants and rich in minerals. In one 1/4 cup of seeds you’re getting 45% of daily magnesium, 23% zinc, 20% protein, and 16% iron. Find out more here.

And if you’re looking to cook with pumpkins, try this recipe for one-pot pumpkin pasta. This recipe calls for cream but you can substitute with coconut milk. Here are some other dairy substitutes.


Nurses swear by this hand cream from L’Occitane to combat even the worst case of dry and flaky hands. If you can imagine, a tube is sold every two seconds!

I just started spritzing a hydrosol on my face at night before bed. When making essential oils through the steam distillation process, hydrosols are the aromatic remains. (Transportive leftovers, if you will.)  Think of them as a lighter experience of the oil, but still effective. My favorite of the moment is the neroli hydrosol from Aura Cacia. Neroli, known for its calming and soothing effect, works wonders for good sleep.


Watch: The documentary/drama hybrid, The Social Dilemma (Netflix), goes behind the scenes of social media platforms and search companies exposing their hidden motives and how they manipulate and increasingly polarize us. Here’s a trailer.

Listen: NPR interview with chef Marcus Samuelsson (celebrated chef of Harlem’s Red Rooster, among so many others) whose new book The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food is finally out.

Read: Around the World in 80 Books is a list compiled by the editors of AFAR magazine. Conveniently broken down by geographic region, you might discover new authors or old favorites. Two that caught my eye: The Blue Sky by Mongolian writer Galsan Tschinag, or A House in Norway by Vigdis Hjorth. Here’s the full list!

Thanks so much for reading!


Photo credit: John McCann for Unsplash


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