Green Beauty Broth
Ready for Your Energy Makeover?
Wellness coach Jolene Hart gives us the scoop on her new book, Ignite Your Light, which is brimming with tips to help lift your mood, build energy resilience, and feel “lit from within.” We’ll have what she’s having!
A former beauty editor at a magazine in New York, Jolene Hart had long been mulling what beauty actually is—or more like, “What creates the vitality and magnetism that we perceive as beauty?” as she puts it. It was clear to her that it went well beyond a person’s physical traits. Then a several-year bout with a chronic illness launched her on an exploration of healing methods beyond eating and rest. “The energy I chose day to day on my healing journey proved to be powerful,” she says. She became a certified health coach and discovered that managing personal energy can strengthen health, balance, success, happiness and, yes, beauty among her clients - and helped them thrive during challenging episodes that life threw at them.
We asked Jolene to explain how everything we do, from breathing and eating to arranging our interiors and connecting with others affects energy - and how to fill our days with more of what lights us up and less of what brings us down.
Your book focuses on managing "personal energy." How do you define that?
Your personal energy is the feeling your presence conveys. That energy is an alchemy of thoughts and feelings, food and movement, people and surroundings that are uniquely yours. Unlike the metabolic energy that powers your morning workout, your personal energy is you—it introduces you before you speak a single word. And that energy creates the light that you feel in yourself and that you shine into the world.
Photo courtesy of Anthropologie
How do we start down this path - to change our personal energy?
I think you’re best able to make changes to your energy if you first become more conscious of it. You might start by spending a few days noticing how your energy shifts throughout the day; pay attention to your defaults, which people, places, or events have a strong impact on you, and how your energy affects others. When you grow your energy awareness, you start to notice which influencers help you shift your energy in the way you desire.
Can you explain the science of vibration and how that affects our energy?
Everyone—and everything—around us has energy and exists in constant vibration and oscillation, even if it appears static to the eye. Our energetic fields extend for several feet beyond our bodies, enabling our vibrations to affect those around us. The unique vibration of people, places, and objects you encounter has an effect on your own energy field—as you may already be quite conscious of! What’s more, being in close contact with another person can actually bring your vibrations together, as some objects that spend time in close proximity have the tendency to vibrate together, or resonate. Just one reason why the company you keep has a major impact on your energy.
In our anxious and seemingly powerless place right now within this pandemic, can you speak to the difference between what you call bright and dim energy and how to balance them?
I don't think of energy as having polarities— good/bad, positive/negative, right/wrong. Our energy shifts all the time in response to so many different influencers (there are 13 detailed in my book, from the energy of breath, to sound and music, to interior spaces), and it’s more like tuning a radio dial or a dimmer switch. Bright energy states really support our health and happiness when we spend more of our time in those states, but when our energy dims (as it naturally will), the best thing we can do is be aware of it and experience it so we can learn from the information it’s giving us.
Right now we’re faced with a giant collective challenge, and although so much of what’s happening is out of our control, we can control our energy. The energy we choose for ourselves is so important as we determine our way forward. We can move forward with fear and resentment, or with compassion and a desire to learn and grow from the experience. The energy we choose has a big impact on how resilient we’ll be going forward, after this and any other challenge in our lives.
"The energy we choose for ourselves is so important as we determine our way forward."
You identify things we can do to build and maintain our energy from morning to evening. For starters, can you talk about the importance of establishing a routine for morning energy?
Your energy in the morning really sets the tone for the rest of the day, especially in your mindset, the way you awaken and move your body, and in the ways you prepare yourself for the day. Even if you don’t have an official routine in the morning, you probably repeat similar thoughts and habits each day. In the Sunrise chapter, I take you through a number of shifts that you can make to your morning that, when repeated, work to rewire your brain toward joy, gratitude, calm, and confidence in the morning, so those become your energy defaults. These shifts might start with something as simple as not reaching for your phone to check emails and news as soon as you awaken, and thinking of one good or hopeful thing you’re looking forward to in your day as your first thought instead.
How about daytime energy, especially the stress and drain we are all experiencing right now from so much tech time/blue light and limited movement?
One antidote to both blue light and limited movement is nature, which has powerful energy-shifting effects on us all. The book explores many ways to counter stress and energy drains, but one of the simplest and most profound is getting into nature—whether that's a community garden, a fire escape, or a forest. Even better, add some movement (this can be stretching or dancing, it need not be a 3-mile run) and the energy shift becomes even more profound.
What are the key ideas to maintaining energy through food? Especially that nasty afternoon slump?
We often choose foods based on taste or nutrition. But we less often consider the energy of our diet—the energy of ingredients including the environment in which our food was grown, as well as our relationship with food and our energetic state as we cook and eat it.
Next time you feel an afternoon slump coming on, recognize that part of what you’re experiencing is a change in energy. That “hitting a wall” feeling is a sign that you need an energy shift, so think of all the ways you could fill that need beyond the caffeine or sweets that have become our go-tos. When nourishment from food is needed, I recommend something with a balance of protein, healthy fats, and antioxidant-rich produce. The Coconut-Raspberry Love Bites are a favorite energy-lifter, as is the Jasmine-Cacao Brain Boosting Tonic.
Coconut-Raspberry Love Bites; Jasmine-Cacao Brain Boosting Tonic
As a former beauty editor, what do you think is the role of beauty and self-care play in energy flow?
I realize now that I’ve always loved beauty and self care particularly for their energy-shifting powers. The ability to cleanse away the day with an evening skincare routine, put on my energy armor with makeup that makes me feel like the best version of myself, or instantly shift my energy when I apply a fragrance, are just a few of the many ways that I rely on beauty and self-care to create the energy state that I want.
We love the idea of “moonlight” energy. How do you harness this? What’s a good way to end your day, energy-wise?
Moonlight energy is all about returning inward. We rarely get time to reflect in our busy lives, and the moonlight portion of the day brings an opportunity for self-reflection, energy release, and spiritual practice. I love to end the day with some form of release to help me sleep better and let go of any unwanted energy I’ve been carrying around from my day, like upsetting news that’s echoing in my head, or worries that feel like they’re piling up. I also use the time for my spiritual practice and to do a little sleep prep (I start my routine about 20 mins before bed and include dimming lights, stretching, and my must-do skincare routine) to take full advantage of the energy-resetting (and beautifying!) benefits of good sleep.
What are some ways to shut down a bad-energy spiral?
The best way out of a bad energy spiral is for you to first notice that you’re in it, and then consciously interrupt and shift your energy. Remember that you can always change your energy, as many times as you need to. In the book I recommend making a list of your Instant Shifts— the thoughts, rituals, movements and personal practices that quickly and easily change your energetic state. This might be a walk in nature, a call to a favorite friend, or applying a perfume you love. Refer to your own list often and practice your favorite shifts whenever you need a light in your day or a lift in your spirits. They’ll save you from a bad energy spiral, or just bring you joy when you’ve had a hard day.
3 OF JOLENE'S ENERGY-BOOSTING RECIPES
Adapted with permission from Ignite Your Light (Running Press, April 2020).
Green Beauty Broth
An energizing, nutrient-dense broth made from veggie scraps that’s even great for breakfast
Prepare the broth base: In a medium pot, combine .5 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms, 1 organic celery rib, roughly chopped; tough ends from 1 bunch asparagus; dark greens from 2 leeks, roughly chopped; 3 garlic cloves; 1 bay leaf; ½ tsp. salt; 10 c. water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Take out shiitakes with a slotted spoon, chop roughly, set aside. Strain out and discard the other veggies and bay leaf. Prepare the broth: In a large pot, melt 2 Tbs. butter or ghee over medium heat; cook 2 leeks, white and light green parts chopped for 3 minutes or until soft. Add 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 bunch asparagus, roughly chopped, 2 roughly chopped organic celery ribs; ½ c. packed fresh parsley leaves and stems, roughly chopped and chopped shiitakes from borth base; cook for 3 minutes more. Add ¾ tsp. salt and 7 c. of broth base, bring to a boil and simmer until celery and asparagus soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 large packed handfuls of arugula. Puree in batches in a blender; serve warm or reheated. Makes 6 servings.
Coconut-Raspberry Love Bites
Filled with healthy fats and protein for slow-burning energy.
In a food processor, combine 1 c. packed unsweetened shredded coconut flakes, ⅓ c. organic rolled oats, ⅓ c. pitted dates, 1 Tbs. coconut oil, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, and ⅛ tsp. salt. Process on high for 1-2 minutes, or until a crumbly mixture forms. Add 2 Tbs. raw almonds and 1 Tbs. unsweetened nondairy milk and pulse until the almonds have broken up. Add 1 c. freeze-dried raspberries and pulse until just incorporated. Roll into 1-inch balls. Chill and serve. Makes 17 1-inch balls.
Jasmine-Cacao Brain Boosting Tonic
Reverses a workday slump with energy-shifting jasmine and lion’s mane to boost brain health.
Pour 1c. Unsweetened nondairy milk into a saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Add ½ tsp. loose-leaf jasmine tea, 1 Tbs. cacao powder, 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup, ½ tsp. lion’s mane mushroom powder (which you can buy from Om Mushrooms); omit if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding). Serves 1