We are so happy to introduce 2016's Pura Ambassador, Briana Lutz, yoga teacher & naturopathic medical student located in New Westminster, British Columbia. She is passionate about connecting with nature, feeding her inner and outer beauty with nutritious meals and women's health and wellness. Check out Briana's blog for these inspiring topics & more! brianalutz.com
Here's a Q & A we did with the lovely Brianna!
What is your first memory of the beauty ritual?
Beauty to me has always been natural and uncomplicated growing up in a family of cosmetic-free women who cleansed with soap and water.
My earliest and favourite rituals were always associated with water, from playful bath times as a child to cleansing in the lake at a family lot.
These memories and influences have shaped my beauty ritual: simple, playful, and connected to nature.
Tell us about some of your favourite self-care rituals.
Baths are one of my favourite ways to unwind (maybe accompanied by a really good piece of dark chocolate). I'm especially smitten with herbal baths, incorporating herbs that are aromatic, calm the nervous system, and help me realign.
I also love spending an evening cooking, trying new recipes with different foods and spices, accompanied with a glass of "chef juice" (aka dry red wine).
For my "everything" self-care, yoga practice and teaching has always been a profound tool that invigorates me body, mind and soul. I've found Sattva yoga is the most comprehensive way to create space in my mind and body, and to align my intention.
When do you feel your most confident and naturally beautiful?
Definitely when I am connected to nature. I feel invigorated, radiant and glowing when I've had sunshine, ample mountain, forest, lake/ocean time, or nurturing myself through vibrant, colourful, healthy food.
Being confident and beautiful is expressed when I am authentic, whether that be empowering and education patients in clinic, or connecting with friends and loved ones. My fiance calls these my "blah-blah-blah" moments when I'm speaking passionately and excitedly about what I love: Naturopathic medicine.
You are currently studying Naturopathic medicine, with a focus on women's health. What do you think inspired you to choose this path?
Naturopathic medicine moreso chose me; it seamlessly aligned my interests and beliefs and provided the means of treating and healing the way that made sense to me: prevention, getting to the root cause, and treating the whole person, not just their symptoms.
I feel like women's health concerns are often ignored, belittled or palliated by the conventional medical system. I know women who struggle with PMS, fibroids, low libido and unbearable menopausal symptoms thinking it's some inevitable burden they have to live with as a woman. It's leaving women feel repressed and disconnected from their bodies, which is incredibly unfortunate.
Naturopathic medicine has so much to offer to restore and support innate hormonal balance, and I am so passionate about reconnecting women with their body, confidence and sense of purpose.
How can women look after their skin internally through nutrition and natural therapies?
Nutritionally, I'm a huge advocate of healthy fats: avocados, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, supplementing with a really good quality omega 3 oil, and also adequately hydrating with plenty of water to improve the health and look of skin. I have a guideline to eat something green every day (if not every meal) for essential micronutrients and supporting the body's natural detoxification.
One of the causes of poor complexion is congestion in circulation and lymphatics, so it's incredibly important to move and sweat everyday, whether through exercise, acupuncture, or infrared saunas, for example.
We really love your candidness about certain topics some women are too bashful to discuss openly. Do you have a life philosophy or mantra you'd like to share?
Haha, I love talking about what others are too afraid or embarrassed to talk about-- it's absolutely necessary for optimal health and healing. I am open and transparent to build a space of trust and non-judgement for others to be vulnerable and share their story.
My life philosophy is to be authentic.
I listen to my intuition because I believe that knowing who you are not, is just as important as knowing who you are. Because of this, I don't settle for what is safe, comfortable or familiar, and this philosophy gives me the strength and courage to do so. It has guided me to deeper connection, adventure, passion, and an abundance of joy.
When it comes to skincare, what can't you live without?
The perfect moisturizer. I am in LOVE with Pura's Sweet Face, and it's my daily staple. Its light, smooth and fresh, and the playful scent livens my morning beauty ritual.