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Nicole Griffin

Learning to Fly

I worked in office settings on and off for ten years.  The offs were grad school and travel (that I always felt like I was scheming and stealing to maintain my sanity).  The last job that I had, I hated.  I had studied International Business and Arabic in grad school and felt very passionate about working to create economic opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa.  I moved to DC after graduation and struggled to find a full time job in my field.  After six months of couch surfing and interviewing, I finally accepted a job completely outside of my field.  I then spend the next 2.5 years working in dental education.  I think the universe was definitely sending me a strong message/playing me for a fool because wtf random landing is that? Read More

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Nicole Griffin

Picture Yourself in Morocco....

Picture yourself floating in a hot air balloon, taking in the bustle of Marrakech from above.  Suddenly the din of the mopeds, the snake charmers, and the calls to prayer fade out and all you can see is color.  The pink ochre architecture, the green palm trees, the bright blue sky, and the snow-capped Atlas Mountains resemble a soft landscape painting.  You are aware of activity below, but you float above it, peacefully, gaining a new perspective on the hustle as you buoy through the sky. Now picture yourself sitting in a beautiful, lush garden, sipping tea from a glass packed with fresh mint leaves.  Read More

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Nicole Griffin

My Latest Favorites

Vegetable Smoothies:  It is officially smoothie season again in DC  (translation: it's 90 degrees and 90% humidity).  Gotta love "spring" in DC.  I love fresh, summer fruit, but do not love starting my day off with a sugar bomb, so I've been experimenting with vegetable smoothies lately.  They are quite delicious and if blended well, do not taste like veggies at all.  My staples are organic avocado and zucchini, but will also toss in fresh spinach if I have some as well as some cauliflower florets.  I make different concoctions every day, depending on what I have, but generally use unsweetened vanilla almond milk as a base, add some frozen bananas and either frozen blueberries or mixed berries, throw in some veggies, maybe some almond butter, add some protein powder, perhaps some maca, bee pollen, flax meal, matcha, spirulina, or vitamineral greens.  These bad boys generally sustain me until late afternoon.  Try them!  Here's a link with some veggie smoothie recipes.

 

nicole griffin health coach veggie smoothie

 

nicole griffin health coach wellness vegetable smoothie

 

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The Allergy Trio: Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils together are known as "the allergy trio."  This time of year, I use this blend topically, aromatically and internally as needed to help with seasonal relief.  Lemon has cleansing properties and helps to draw out pathogens/irritants, lavender is soothing and helps to relieve inflammation/irritation, and peppermint is stimulating and helps to open the airways and has a cooling effect when used topically.  I typically suffer this time every year and often rely on over the counter allergy medications.  This year, I have not taken a single OTC pill, and have been solely relying on my allergy trio.  I'm amazed at how effective it is and am so grateful to have a natural solution to seasonal struggles.  

 

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Persian Tea:

I love tea.  It's one of my greatest comforts and most cherished rituals.  A malty, hearty, Indian black tea is my favorite and I'm constantly on the quest for quality contenders.  Lately, I have been drinking Nazu's Seylan Persian Special, and am a bit obsessed with it.  It has a perfectly blended flavor: malty and full-bodied yet delcate and finished with a light bergamot flavor.  I brew this up first thing every morning, add some milk and honey, and am in heaven.  I buy it at Shemali's, my local Lebanese Market, but it is also on Amazon.  

nazu seylan tea

 

Homemade Kombucha:

Another drinkable obsession of mine is kombucha.  My mom got me hooked on making it at home, which is not only fun, but saves me a ton of money.  Homemade kombucha is actually very easy to make, you just need a scoby and some patience.  If you are local to DC and want a scoby, I have about 12 of them right now that need a good home.  First you brew sugar tea (basic black tea plus white sugar).  Once that cools, you add a scoby or 12, and store in a glass canister with a cloth top for about 10 days.  Then, you remove the scoby (and immediately brew another batch of sugar tea, so the scobies always have a home) and add your flavoring of choice.  I always make ginger kombucha, using fresh ginger juice (made in my juicer).  I add the ginger juice to the kombucha, pour it into glass bottles, add lids, and let sit for another 5 days or so.  Then, I pop the kombucha into the fridge and it is ready to drink!

 

nicole griffin wellness homemade kombucha health coach

 

homemade kombucha nicole griffin wellness health coach


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Nicole Griffin

This is the blog that I created after spending a year abroad in the Middle East and North Africa.  My intention was to share my love of the region and to positively influencie perceptions of the MENA region to encourage engagement and investment.

 

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Nicole Griffin

True Self-Care

True self-care is so much more than an occasional bubble bath, manicure, or massage.  While all of these things are fantastic, they are self-care lite.  True self-care, in my mind, is not an appointment, but a way of life.  When done right, it is a manifestation of self-respect and is deeply woven into the way we show up in the world. Read More

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Nicole Griffin

Sugar Blues Part Two: It's Time to Quit Sugar

You likely eat a lot more sugar than you realize because sugar is lurking in all kinds of sneaky places. It's in sandwich bread, chicken stock, pickles, salad dressing, crackers, yogurt, cereal, baby food, peanut butter, alcohol, energy bars, tomato sauce, and canned vegetables. It's often disguised by fancy language like corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, glucose, or fructose. The biggest problem here is that sugar is SO easy to overeat. Empty of nutrients and fiber, sugar does not fill you up and jacks your blood sugar up, so you keep craving and eating more. An overconsumption of sugar has lead to an explosion of serious health problems like obesity, type two diabetes, hypoglycemia, and insulin resistance. Read More

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Nicole Griffin

Sugar Blues Part One: My Sugar Story

Growing up, I was not allowed to drink soda or watch TV, but I was allowed to eat copious amounts of candy on a daily basis.  I loved (still love) candy, especially junior mints, york peppermint patties, and peanut butter m&ms.  After being picked up from school, my mom would take my brother and I to 711 everyday for a casual slurpee + candy.  Then most evenings, we would convince my dad to take us down to Walgreens for dessert for some more candy.  Thinking about this now feels insane to me.  My parents have always been very health conscious and fed us extremely well and at the same time took us for candy at least once every day.  I used sugar to cope with the stress and awkwardness of adolescence and to "treat" myself for all kinds of insignificant achievements.   Read More

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Nicole Griffin

Recent Favorites

  I fancy myself a bit of a wellness maven, constantly on a quest for new knowledge, experiences, and most importantly, quality!  Here are a few of my recent favorite things.....   Cryotherapy   I recently discovered cryotherapy at Capital Cryo in DC and am totally hooked!  As a lifelong athlete, full-time yoga teacher, and puppy mom, not only do I lead a very active life, but I also have a litany of injuries and sore spots.  I'm always looking for new ways to stay healthy and heal myself without medical intervention.  I was thrilled to try cryotherapy for the first time a few weeks ago and immediately felt the results.  Full body crytherapy treatments are typically 1.5-3 minutes long in temperatures getting as low as -250 farenheit.  It feels quite strange and cold at first, but the treatment goes by quickly and the very knowledgeable technicians talk you through the entire experience. Read More

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Nicole Griffin

My Favorite Ways to Use Essential Oils

It's no secret that I'm a bit obsessed with essential oils.  Not only do they smell good, but they empower me to take my health and wellness into my own hands.  These powerful plant juices have replaced most chemical-laden over the counter products in my house (from deodorant to laundry detergent to toothpaste, just to name a few).  If I have a headache, upset stomach, sports injury, can't sleep, feel nervous, gloomy, or need a productivity boost, I have an oil for that.  Seriously, these bad boys take care of nearly everything short of my dishes.  I have learned over years of experience that Young Living Essential Oils are the highest quality oils on the market and use them exclusively.   Here are a few of my favorite ways to use essential oils! Read More

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Nicole Griffin

Dreaming of Yoga + Culture Retreats

One of my goals for 2018 is to lead an international yoga retreat.  Ever since I studied abroad in Ankara, Turkey in 2007, I have been obsessed with sharing my deep appreciation for the cultures of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  My affinity for the region runs deep as does my stubborn desire to positively influence perceptions of it.  I started a blog while I was still in business school called Because I Love Sand.  Here, I explored topics that I felt would make the region seem less scary, intimidating and unfamiliar to friends and family back home.  I wrote about pomegranates, princesses, and Phoenicians and attempted to translate the charm and wonder of the Middle East and North Africa.  I have not updated it in almost four years, but it is a project that I still feel extremely proud of.   Read More

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