Have you heard of the Snippet App? Snippets are media rich, beautifully designed, mini e-books that you can download and read from your mobile device. With a huge range of topics from health to fiction there is a Snippet for everyone! Best part is the app is FREE and the Snippets range from just .99-$4.99!

Just in time for the holidays I recently published my first Snippet. Featuring all my best tips on how to host a healthy holiday party Clean, Pure and Simple Holidays will help you celebrate in style. From recipes, to decor, to personal style I have you covered!

So, get the Snippet App today and then download Clean, Pure and Simple Holidays!

Who says dogs and cats can’t get along?

How will you be celebrating? Doug and I had a late night last night watching the Red Sox win the World Series so I think we will take it easy tonight. Hermione is still a little young for Trick-or-Treating so we may just watch a scary movie after she goes to bed!

If you are looking for some healthier Halloween treats to try might I suggested some Chocolate Almond Butter Cups? Or maybe Pumpkin Spice Macaroons?

Are you an uber-health conscious mom like me? Although it is far from an issue for me yet one day Hermione will want to go out Trick-or-Treating and I will have to wrangle all of that candy away from her. While I am secretly hoping she won’t have a desire for sugar after being raised the Clean, Pure and Simple way I know this may not be the case! If she is hesitant to part with all of that sugary grossness I will try telling her about the Switch Witch! According to a girlfriend of mine the Switch Witch is the Tooth Fairy’s sister. If your wee one leaves all of their candy out for her they will be surprised  with a present in the morning! Pretty cool huh? All of the fun of dressing up and Trick-or-Treating with none of the sugar!

 

 

Ask Me Anything!

I was inspired to start this site by my friends and families questions about my health, cooking and beauty habits. In the (two!) years I have had this blog I have loved sharing my healthy tips and finds helping others on the path to cleaner, greener lives.

This summer, while I was taking a break to snuggle Hermione I started to get many questions from friends, readers and colleagues about my approach to pregnancy, childbirth and the first few months of having a baby.

I have loved answering your questions so much that I am launching a new video series entitled “Ask SJM.” In each video I will answer a few questions on everything from cooking to childbirth, beauty to babies! Want to know my daily skincare routine? Ask away! Curious about my favorite baby products? Ask me! What I am eating these days for dinner? I’ll tell you!

Submit your questions to me in the comments section here, tweet me @sarajanemercer using #AskSJM, or leave me a message on Facebook. Then stay tuned in the coming months to see if I answer your question!

 

 

Top 10 Instant Detox Tips for Mind, Body and Beauty

Spring cleaning can take many different forms. From cleaning up your eating routine to sorting through what is lurking in your cabinets there are many ways to spring clean for the season ahead. At last week’s Beauty Food Supper Club Rebecca, Jolene, and I treated guests to a mini workshop focused on spring detox tips for mind, body and beauty. Here are the ten tips we shared with the group!

Household

Detox Your Pantry

Spring is a great time to give your pantry a through once over. Throw out anything that is expired,

and weed out all of those gross processed foods. Your body will thank you!

Clean Up Your Cleaning Products

What you clean your house with is just as important as what you put in your body. Get ride of any toxic products hiding under your sink and replace them with natural, toxin free alternatives. Some of my favorite cleaning brands include Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, Method and The Honest Company.

De-­‐Clutter Your Closet

Take an afternoon and go through your closet. Be ruthless. Anything you have not worn in a year or two should be given away or donated. An organized, streamlined closet filled with only items you love will make getting dressed each day much faster and easier!

FOOD

Boost Glutathione, a Mega-­‐Detoxifier

Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body, and it’s a critical detox aid. While you can’t get it in supplement form, you can eat more foods that increase its production, like garlic, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, turmeric, and cinnamon.

Support Internal Detox Processes

When your digestive system and liver are functioning well, you detox naturally! Nourish healthy digestion with fermented foods (like kimchi and miso) and fresh greens, and support liver health with warm lemon water, dandelion root tea, and artichokes.

Shut Out Toxins

A big part of detoxing is getting rid of toxins—and keeping them away. Support your health by cutting back on the foods that stress out your beauty, like refined sugar, alcohol, processed foods, caffeine and produce sprayed with pesticides.

BEAUTY

Get to Know What’s in Your Products

Educate yourself about the ingredients in your makeup and personal care products by visiting The Environmental Working Group’s Database, Skin Deep , where you’ll find out how safe your products rate on a scale of 0-­‐10 (low-­‐high).

Swap the Products You Use Most

First find greener options for the products you use most often and over the largest areas of skin, like shower gel, shampoo and skin care. The good news is, these are usually easy to replace, as natural options can be found in chains like Target, Duane Reade and many health food stores.

Clean Out and Refresh Your Makeup Kit

Let go of any products that you’ve had for longer than you remember (products that contain water-­‐ 9 months, those that don’t-­‐ 12 months) and anything that’s broken or smells funny. Spring is the perfect time to update your look with new colors or textures.

BONUS TIP

Add Green Juice to Your Day

Green juices are an amazing way to add nutrition to your diet while also detoxifying the body. The chlorophyll in greens oxygenates the body, which enables us to release stored toxins. Green juice also cleanses your digestive system, lungs, and liver.

One Sexy Fruit- How To Open a Pomegranate

Pomegranates are a sexy fruit. The juicy red arils (seeds), the way they exploded in your mouth, the sweet tart taste. Mmmm. No other fruit seems more suited to Valentine’s Day than pomegranates. However sexy, they can also be a messy pain to open if not done properly! No one likes red stained hands, cutting boards and countertops!

No need to avoid this antioxidant packed beauty food for fear of ruining your manicure! Check out this video to learn how to quickly and cleanly de-seed a pomegranate to seduce your loved one in Valentine’s Day perfect recipes such as Pomegranate Guacamole, Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters, Cauliflower and Pomegranate Tabbouleh, and this Valentine’s Salad!

A Naturally Clean Home

Someone once told me “you can either have a clean home, or a green home.” You can imagine my reaction! It took a lot of self control to not laugh/scoff in their face. Anyone that has ever been to my exceptionally neat and clean (yes I am patting myself on the back) apartment would know this is just not true!

I put as much effort and care into selecting my personal and home care products as I do with my food. Just as I will not eat any processed, chemical laden “food” I similarly will not clean my home with caustic, toxic, dangerous cleaning products. This does not mean I make my own cleaning agents (I am not the most DIY type for anything other than cooking) or simply clean my home with hot water. Instead, I spend a lot of time seeking out brands I can trust that do not use any scary, nasty ingredients.

I have been mildly obsessed with The Honest Company  from the moment I first heard about it. Founded by Christopher Gavigan, the former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World (and author of the bestselling book by the same name), and actress/super-mom Jessica Alba, The Honest Company has created a line of effective, innovative, clean, safe and beautifully designed products. They make every type of cleaning, bath and body, and baby product you could possibly want from detergent to dish soap to diapers. By far what they are most known for are their adorable, 100% non-toxic, chlorine free, plant based diapers. I seriously never imagined myself getting excited about diapers until I saw their purple leopard print, and star patterns! You can bet my little girl will be sporting these come May!

Although I am not quite ready for diapers yet, I was eager to try their other products out for myself. I was thrilled when they sent me their Laundry Detergent, Dish Soap, and Oxy Boost amongst others. I am pleased to report that they all lived up to Honest’s promise! They are highly effective, look great, smell great, and contain nothing harsh or questionable. I especially love the Body Oil which smells yummy and has helped keep my skin (and belly) from getting dry and rough in the freezing weather!

I am a big fan of anything that can help simplify my daily life, from automatic bill payment, to green juice delivery. What has excited me most about The Honest Company is their monthly subscription options. They have both Diaper and Family Essential Bundles available that after making a few selections will show up at your door every month! I have already enrolled myself in the Family Essentials Bundle program, and plan on adding a Diaper Bundle when my little girl arrives. How great is it to not worry about running out of detergent or diapers?

Thank you Honest Company for making my life just a little bit easier, and for actually getting me excited about diapers!

 

 

 

I have always been a voracious reader. There is consistently a stack of books on my bedside table, and a long queue loaded on my Kindle. Recommending books for me can be a daunting task. Unless it is a rare find or very obscure chances are I have read it.

Since becoming pregnant (and even before) my reading tastes have shifted a bit from novels to books about pregnancy and childbirth. What I have discovered is there are a lot of books out there ( I won’t name names) designed to scare you with all of the horrible things that could happen to you when you are expecting (hint hint). During these vulnerable and sometimes confusing months the last thing I need is someone telling me how awful pregnancy can be. I certainly do not need to be scared about childbirth either.

After much digging I have found three wonderful books that have been a huge help to me. They are all contemporary, easy to read and encouraging. If you are expecting or know someone who is I highly suggest checking them out.

I should note there is one book missing from this list of favorites that almost made the cut. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by legendary midwife Ina May Gaskin is also a wonderful read for anyone interested in natural childbirth. I read it years ago at a friend’s suggestion and while I enjoyed it, it is not quite as relevant to my life as the three below. Somehow it is hard for a busy Manhattanite to relate to birth stories from The Farm in rural Tennessee. Nevertheless I admire Ina May and all the work she does.

The Big Book of Birth by Erica Lyon

Call me crazy but childbirth does not scare me. I am confident I am doing enough preparation from keeping in shape, to working with my wonderful doula to be ready when the big day comes. Sure it will hurt. Sure it will be hard. But I know my body was made to grow and deliver my baby and that if I take care of it, it will take care of me.

Naturally, part of my preparation for the big day has been doing some reading on the subject. There are a lot of childbirth books out there. A lot. Many of the ones I have read or skimmed through are downright scary and overwhelming! Luckily, childbirth educator Erica Lyon has written a very contemporary and comprehensive guide. This book helps you learn what to really expect, and takes a lot of fear, anxiety and mystery out of childbirth. From choosing your doctor or midwife, to labor and delivery, to many pain coping techniques no aspect of the birth process is left un-discussed. I particularly loved the birth stories that are included- all of them are from recent years and many are from women I easily related to. Doug also has his own copy and I am pleased to report he has highlighted all of the pages on massage techniques to use during labor!

Mama Glow: A Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy  by Latham Thomas

Latham Thomas is one of the coolest, most stylish women I know. She’s a birth and wellness coach, a pre-natal yoga instructor and does it all in fabulous heels and hats! You meet her and automatically wish she were your best friend.

Latham’s book, Mama Glow is like the best kind of girlfriend, offering advice that will help you look and feel amazing all nine (let’s be honest- ten!) months. Starting from before you even get knocked up all the way though post-partum Latham cover all phases of pregnancy. Packed with great bump friendly recipes, yoga poses for all the trimesters, and general “glow” tips this book will help you feel and look your best during this sometimes hard to navigate time. My copy of Mama Glow is already well worn!

Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother by Beth Ann Fennelly

I miss getting letters. Not emails, not texts, but real letters written on stationary, in an envelope, with a stamp. It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I am a stickler when it comes to beautiful paper. I still believe whole-heartedly in the hand written thank you note, printed invitation, and beautiful personalized holiday card. My little girl already has her own stationary in the works as I hope to carry on my love of old fashioned letter writing!

I wish I had a friend like Beth Ann Fennelly to write to me during my pregnancy. How wonderful it must have been for her friend to receive this gorgeous series of letters that go way beyond the nuts and bolts of pregnancy and parenting. Ranging from slightly sentimental (but never maudlin), to serious, to hilarious Beth Ann address all topics from decisions about pain-medication for childbirth to the transition into Mommyhood. Lucky for me this collection of once private letters was published! Anytime I am feeling slightly blue or unsure about the journey ahead I pick up this book and read a letter or two to re-motivate and excite me about becoming someone’s mom.

 

Happy 2013! I hope you had a nice holiday break whether you stayed at home or traveled somewhere exciting. After taking two weeks off I feel fully refreshed and ready to meet 2013 headfirst!

This year promises to be a very full and exciting one for me as I am expecting a baby girl in May! That’s right! I am currently 22 weeks pregnant! I have felt great for the past five months and hope to continue to feel so. I am excited to share my tips and findings on a happy, healthy pregnancy with you in the weeks ahead as I have learned so much so far about how to best care for my changing body.

As I look forward to 2013 and all the changes it will bring I wanted to set some intentions and goals for the coming year. I chose intentions over resolutions because resolutions feel too constricting and negative. Instead of picking out negative qualities in myself that I want to change I am focusing on incorporating new, positive behaviors in 2013! However, before I share my intentions for 2013 I wanted to reflect a little on the year that just past and a few of my most favorite moments.

Our one year anniversary trip to Parrot Cay.

A family trip to the magical place where Doug and I got married. 

Hosting a “real nice clambake.”A week of amazing food and a dear friend’s wedding in L.A.

Discovering the best Kale Salad ever at Cafe Gratitude. Yes, kale is a highlight of any year!Sunset Fridays at Wolffer Estate Vinyard with good friends (and good wine!)

Spending all of August in The Hamptons with my two favorites.
Eating my weight in fresh, local heirloom tomatoes.

Last but not least the biggest highlight of 2012 was finding out that I was pregnant and later learning it was a girl! Doug and I are both over the moon excited and cannot wait to meet her in May!

My Intentions for 2013

Wake Up Neo! The Matrix Has You!

I spend way too much time in front of my computer, on my iPad and on my phone. While a great deal of this is necessary for the work I do (maintaining my blog, staying up with social media etc.) there is no need for me to spend my evening hours searching for the pot of gold at the end of the Internet!

In 2013 I am I am going to take time each day to unplug completely. Whether that means reading a real book with paper pages, enjoying a meal with my husband, or simply sitting still and breathing I am going to give my mind (and my eyes) a break each day

I’m Not Fat I’m Pregnant!

So far my pregnancy has been very easy on me. I did not suffer from morning sickness. I have no cravings or aversions. I have been able to spin and do yoga as usual (with a  few belly friendly modifications). Besides a few days early on my energy level has been pretty high. The harder part for me has been watching my body get bigger each day. As someone who devotes most of her time to staying healthy and fit it has been hard for me to embrace a growing body. This is not a topic that I find discussed a lot. I have spent the majority of my teenage and adult life trying to look a certain way and now I am having a difficult time letting go of that. Don’t get me wrong. I love that my body is capable of growing a person. It’s amazing! But the day when your jeans stop fitting, or the day when you need new bras for the second time in five months can be a little tough on a woman concerned with how she looks.

In 2013 I am going to love and embrace my growing body because it means that my baby is growing. My doula suggested that I give myself the mantra “my baby is growing” instead of ” I am getting bigger.” Looking at my growing body this way has helped so far and will continue to help as my baby grows bigger and bigger inside of me.

Sleep on It

I move at a very fast pace and often jump to decisions too quickly. Over my holiday break one of my yoga teachers said that yoga has given her the ability to breathe and pause before making decisions. This idea has really stuck with me. Very few things need to be decided immediately.

In 2013 I am going to “sleep on” decisions more and not jump and react to everything so quickly.

Brain Dump

My mind moves a million miles an hour. At the end of a busy day I sometimes (always) have trouble unwinding and calming my mind before sleep. A lot of nights I unload all of my thoughts, worries, to do lists etc. onto Doug. While he is very patient with me he also needs his own time at the end of the night to relax and unwind and often my busy mind and anxieties can cause him anxiety and stress. Recently I have taken up journaling again, a practice I had let slip. Journaling was a huge part of my life all through college but somehow fell by the wayside.

In 2013 I am I am going to journal every night, even if just a few sentences. Not only will it help me unload my brain, but also it will be wonderful to have a record of my pregnancy and experience with motherhood to look back on in future years.

The Guilt Trip

I hate saying no to my family and friends and feeling like I am disappointing them. It is very difficult for me to turn down any sort of invitation unless I have a major reason as to why I cannot make it. When I do turn down an invitation whether it is for coffee, lunch, or a party I feel incredibly guilty. So often this leads to me feeling over scheduled, over stressed, and worn out. While I love my family and friends dearly I realize that I cannot be at every single event or meal I am invited to without it taking a major toll on my own health and well-being.

In 2013 I am going to allow myself to say “no” sometimes without making excuses. Sometimes it is just not a good night for me to go out, and that has to be ok. Especially now that I am five plus months pregnant!

11/22
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Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving! Doug and I started of our day with a 90 minute Turkey Burn with our beloved Laurie Cole at SoulCycle. We may not eat turkey, but this special ride is something we look forward to all year. At the end of class Laurie asked us to think of one thing we are grateful for. I was immediatly flooded with overwhelming emotion.

I am grateful for so much. My husband, my family, my home, my health, my creativity. I am especially grateful for my father-in-law’s health. If any of us were being honest last year we were not sure he was going to be with us this Thanksgiving. Being able to share Thanksgiving dinner with him will be truly special. We never know what the future holds but to have made it almost one year since his diagnosis is a reason for true gratitude.

On the way home from class Doug asked me what came to mind when Laurie asked what we are grateful for. I said “your dad’s health.” I then asked him the same question. He looked at me and said , “You. It’s always you.”

I am grateful for true love.

 

Brick Church Holiday Fair Wellness Day

I fully believe that the holiday season can be a time for health and wellness as well as indulgence. There is no reason that come January 1st you should feel like a bloated, exhausted version of yourself!

Yesterday I kicked of my healthy holiday season by participating in the Brick Church Holiday Fair’s First ( and hopefully annual) Wellness Day. Along with some of my favorite health and wellness brands and experts we showed the holiday shoppers how to indulge and enjoy the holidays while keeping their health in mind.

Just in time for holidays gifting I debuted my Clean, Pure and Simple Pumpkin Spice Granola and Coffee Cake. The granola is vegan, gluten free, grain free and nut free. The Coffee Cake is vegan, gluten free and grain free. Both are made in small batches with lots of love and organic ingredients.

Shoppers were able to try mini versions of the coffee cake as well as samples of the granola served with OMilk’s Pumpkin Pie Spice Cashew Milk! One particularly small shopper was a big fan of the coffee cake. I think he ate five samples before his mom agreed to order a few dozen for the holidays! You know you are onto something good when even kids like your food!I started the day well stocked with bags of granola but was wiped clean by 5pm! I am so thrilled that people are loving my healthy granola as much as I do!

Green Beauty Goddess Rebecca Casciano was also on hand to offer mini beauty consultations and makeup applications.Always grateful for a fresh face of makeup I made sure to visit Rebecca’s table during a lull in granola sales.
Latham Thomas, author of Mama Glow was there to sign copies of her amazing new book. If you know anyone who is expecting I highly suggest you pick them up a copy of Mama Glow! I was sure to pick up a few for some of my girlfriends with babies onboard!In between book signings Latham also stopped by Rebecca’s table to get touched up. Not that she needs it, she is truly the definition of glowing beauty!

Author, safe cosmetics expert and makeup artist Britta Aragon was also there with her natural skincare line CV Skinlabs. CV Skinlabs is an amazing line created to repair and restore the health of the skin. Originally formulated for the compromised skin of chemotherapy patients, the entire line is highly moisturizing, healing and nurturing.

Britta (on left) is a true inspiration. She is beyond passionate about what she does and it shows in the amazing quality of her products. I personally cannot wait to try my Rescue + Relief Spray  and Restorative Skin Balm. I know the balm will be especially useful for all those kitchen related burns I get on my hands!The final Wellness Day vendor was Emily Trower-Young of Sustainable Shanti. Sustainable Shanti’s line of natural balms treat everything form razor burn to diaper rash to sun burn. They all come adorably packed in tins and would make amazing holiday gifts! Emily is a true kindred spirit, we spent lost of time discussing the joys of bulk ingredient shipments such as 30 pound of seeds or 20 punds of coconut oil arriving at your door!If  you are in the NYC area and would like to try my Clean, Pure and Simple Pumpkin Spice Granola or Coffee Cake for yourself send me an email at sara@sarajanemercer.com and I will send you an order form!

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