Wellness experts, podcast hosts & everyone’s virtual BFFs, Stephanie Simbari and Elizabeth Kott of That’s So Retrograde have interviewed nearly everyone you’d want to hear from in the health space but today we’re turning the tables on them. From their favorite ways to unwind, their pantry must-haves, the best clean skincare, & their secret recipe – Steph & Elizabeth are sharing it all on PLSR!
What is your favorite “secret” recipe?
Elizabeth Kott: I’m obsessed with Teri Turner’s marinated onions from No Crumbs Left. She is hilarious, her recipes are amazing, and this is my favorite secret (but super simple) recipe to add to salads, a veggie platter, or with eggs.
Stephanie Simbari: It’s so simple + so silly, but I am obsessed with this banana/cacao smoothie I make as either a breakfast or a desert or sometimes both. In the morning I like to add Maca for an added energy boost.
- Blend all smoothie ingredients and then add full cacao nibs on top to make it feel like the cutest treat. Serve and enjoy!
What are your favorite 5 pantry, 5 fridge & 5 freezer essentials?
EK: Trader Joe’s dark chocolate almond butter cups (it is a pantry item that I keep in my freezer), good ice, frozen bananas (for smoothies + banana bread), Trader Joe’s cauliflower frozen pizzas
SS: GoodPop orange + cream creamsicles, Tribali Foods Umami beef burgers, Vans frozen waffles, frozen kale/spinach/blueberries/bananas for smoothies
EK: Hustle matcha energy drink, Bitchin almond dip, Califia Farms cold brew concentrate, The Ginger People ginger juice, GT’s Kombucha
SS: RW Knudsen juice in pineapple/coconut, Majestic Raw Garlic, Waterloo Sparkling Water in peach, Truff Black Truffle Hot Sauce, Siete Almond Wraps
EK: Hu grain free crackers, Joolies pitted dates, Thrive Market almond flour, Malden sea salt, Brightland olive oil
SS: Braggs Liquid Aminos, Olive Oil, 4th + Heart Sea Salt Ghee, nutritional yeast, Dr. Axe Multi Collagen Protein
What does a normal food day look like for you both?
EK: Morning: I wake up and make a green juice with Organifi green powder (that is excellent), I add a ton of ice and lemon and then also do a mini iced coffee with a hazelnut Nut Pod. My boyfriend then makes eggs with hash browns and a salad– I sometimes add smoked salmon if I’m feeling fancy. I also love Siete hot sauce or Trader Joe’s spicy and crunchy oil or Harissa on top. Lunch: Generally we usually do a massive salad and share it (today was: butter lettuce, fennel, beets, cucumbers, dill, mint, turkey). I like to do a dressing with: olive oil (Brightland is my absolute favorite), salt, pepper, a little honey, dijon, lemon and zatar herb blend. Dinner: I love to do a bunch of components that come together beautifully in a bowl (bowl of stuff). Tonight I’m batch roasting broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms, then I’m making a pesto and putting that on cybles pasta (my favorite grain free option), then I take veggies and pasta and put that on a bed of lettuce and the pesto marries it all together. Cheat treat: Dates with almond butter or/and spicy and sweet pecans from Trader Joe’s.
SS: Morning: I have a smoothie + a coffee every morning lately. A couple hours later I’ll go for a smoked salmon + greens plate with some lemon + olive oil. Lunch: I low-key consider myself a sandwich guru. Spent many summers in my teens working at the deli counter so I have some hours in the field. Now I just adjust my adventurous sandwich spirit to match my delicate nutritional needs. Two of my latest creations… Almond Siete wrap with turkey bacon bottom layer, micro arugula, micro broccoli, Yellowbird Organic serrano hot sauce, majestic garlic plain raw garlic spread, capers, pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of olive oil + topped off with Siete Chips chipotle bbq chips for the classic sandwich crunch. Last week for dinner I made almond Siete wrap + umami beef burger chopped up + sauteed sliced mini peppers (I’m obsessed with my mandolin tool) + white onion sauteed in ghee + liquid aminos + raw spinach + a tiny bit of truff truffle hot sauce. Dinner: I love a bowl of stuff + a pan seared fish or other protein, ground beef or even a chopped up kosher organic hot dog. I also love Applegate farms chicken sausages, the roasted red pepper ones are my fav. Bowl of stuff is traditionally an assortment of vegetables, pickled + fresh + roasted veg + some pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts as a topper. Some type of white fish added is ideal. I also like to make white rice risotto style with bone broth with butter + salt. Cheat treats: Joolies with almond butter, Simple Mills chocolate chips cookies, a HU chocolate bar, Justin’s almond butter dark chocolate cups, or GoodPop orange creamsicles.
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3-5 kitchen essentials?
EK: these bodega glasses, Smeg hot water kettle, personalized charcuterie board, & rising springs water
SS: Rising Springs, Giant engraved cutting board from Wren, Cast Iron skillet, a mandolin
What does your morning routine look like?
EK: I wake up pretty early and like to give myself the opportunity to feel out how I want to spend the morning, but lately it has looked like this:
Monday-Friday I wake up around 6:30/7:00
Drink a glass of water, read my Apple newsfeed/read up on an upcoming TSR guest on the iPad and make some sort of beverage concoction (current fave: organifi green juice with ice and lemon juice).
Then I go outside with my phone, AirPods and and do a meditation (I have been using the Unplug meditation app for the past year- and highly recommend it) and then 20 minutes of journal speak while I listen to this nature sounds playlist.
When I’m done I hang out outside a bit, call a friend + water the plants in the garden.
Around 9 I make an iced coffee and hangout with my bf while he makes breakfast – check in on emails.
Workout and/or shower.
Morning Beauty products that I am currently using that I recommend: beautycounter sugar body scrub, corrective skincare gentle face shampoo, Osea Anti aging body balm, the nue co functional fragrance, Ouai hair and body shine mist.
Around 11am/noon I start work for the day.
SS: I am really slow to wake up + I am still working on this “routine” that everyone speaks of. That’s my big work right now with my coach, Lauren Zander. But I will say this, I always make coffee + I always meditate. I then journal (prefer Moleskin, but will write on literally anything) or read a book. If I have time, ideally both. I recently read Normal People + The Light We Lost, both were beautiful + romantic + heartbreaking. Then I get into my computer + my phone + figure out what needs to happen for the day to feel good + productive. My beauty products are Honor Md face wash + genetically blessed serum + hyaluronic acid. I use this amazing Rose oil by Rejuvenate with Nousha in the morning + Coola sunscreen. I spritz with OSEA sea vitamin boost + throw on like twelve essential oils. Lately I’ve got this perfect concoction of sandalwood/geranium/cedarwood/amber/cinnamon/patchouli + 11:11 by Lake + Skye. I also use OUAI leave in conditioner before I brush my hair that’s been gnarled by my aggressive sleeping. I’m also obsessed with the Saje wellness pocket farmacy, I go through an entire on every like 6 months.
What are some tools people can utilize at home to help with mindful awakening during these times?
EK: I’ve been into Nicole Sachs’ journal speak practice, the unplug meditation app, Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed, Brene Brown’s podcast, Ryan Heffington’s dance classes – and I’m very proud of the conscious content That’s So Retrograde continues to put out- check out our sound bath with Ambi Kavanagh.
SS: I know this sounds weird + self promote-y, but I really recommend doing a deep dive into the That’s So Retrograde catalog. We have interviewed so many of the best thought leaders in the categories of wellness + consciousness over the last five plus years + it’s really a well aggregated place to start + explore + set you on your journey. I think everyone should read The Untethered Soul, Way of The Peaceful Warrior, The Alchemist, & Osho: Love, Freedom + Aloneness. For anyone who likes guided meditation, I think the Calm app does a good job, as does the Unplug meditation subscription. There are also some really great ones on the Hay House Meditations podcast. I’m also a big fan of Abraham Hicks, which is easily accessible on both YouTube + Apple podcasts.
If you could spend the day in the kitchen with one person who would it be and what would you make?
EK: Ina Garten & croissants.
SS: Dave Chappelle, coffee + a joint + I’d make him a sandwich.
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*TSR photo courtesy of: Colleen O’Brien.