We are blessed to be part of the wellness community in NYC. There are so many amazing men and women working to better the lives of New Yorkers through holistic medicine, natural beauty, food, and self-care. A few weeks back we had the opportunity to attend an event with one of our favorite women in this community, Rachelle Robinett - herbalist, holistic medicine practitioners, and founder of Supernatural Herbal Cafe at the WOOM Center.
Her event was all about adaptogens aka herbs that help our bodies adapt to and manage stress. We were inspired and enlightened from the experience. More importantly we knew we had to learn more about Rachelle. Check out our one-on-one with her where we explore more about her background, techniques for staying grounded, and how to get started in learning about herbalism.
How did you first become interested in plants as medicine?
I have been tinkering with plants for as long as I can remember. As a kid - growing up on a farm on the West Coast - I was constantly collecting, examining, and concocting “science experiments.” My mom was very much into natural medicine (and is a Dietician), so I was exposed early to alternative healing methods, which I was immediately fascinated by. I’ve always loved the oddity-filled shelves of health food stores (still do) and exploring things like acupuncture, positive psychology, or the relationship between our bodies, minds, and the rest of the world. From my dad I got the gutsy try-anything-once and grow-your-own-food approach to land-based living. That and a travel bug have served me well in continuing to explore plants around the world.
What drew you into your current line of work?
I would say that it drew me. I didn’t choose it - I was just doing what made me happy, and what I was fascinated by. Others caught wind of my personal explorations and asked more and more and more of me. I acknowledged the call and let myself be pulled by the demand. And then I worked my ass off to make it a sustainable, integrous, business in addition to what remains a passion.
What is your go-to for self-care, and how do you find the time to fit it in?
Exercise, hands-down. I am not my best self if I’ve gone a day or two without exercise. I love physical energy exertion and have realized that it’s essential to me and so always prioritize it. I plan my exercise sessions to fit with my schedule and I’m willing to schlepp my gym clothes around all day if it means I get to run. I also opt for active vacations that include things like hiking, biking or yoga.
Along with sweating, a plant-based diet is absolutely necessary for me. I always make sure to have good food at home, at work, or when I’m traveling. This is non-negotiable for me.
How do you fuel your body, food-related or otherwise?
Plants, plants plants. I eat them, drink them, surround myself with them, study them and travel to be in them. I love learning, and new experiences are especially important to me too. Challenging our minds, bodies, or routines can be great fuel for growth.
What 3 things will we always find in your kitchen?
Fresh greens, sea salt, and cacao.
For people who are just getting interested in herbalism, where do you recommend they start?
I am asked this so often! I always recommend getting your hands dirty by taking a class, going on a plant walk with an herbalist or forager you respect, finding someone to apprentice with, or volunteering at a market, shop, or herbal farm. It’s valuable and enlightening to do the work with experts before going to school (or studying online which is becoming more common) as that can be a bit removed from the art, science, and practice that you should know you want to commit to before doing so.