Life in Ojai With Ashley Berry
A newly transplanted native of Ojai, Ashley Berry embodies authenticity, deep intelligence and a true sense of self. She shares with us her personal journey of healing and some beauty and wellness protocols.
What is your passion?
Studying ways to heal the mind, body, and spirit, exploring those practices in my own life, supporting others who are undertaking that journey for themselves, and advocating for a cultural shift in which health and wellness, of individuals, communities, and the planet, are truly valued and supported is really what drives me and gives me a sense of purpose every single day.
What are some of your essential wellness protocols?
I was diagnosed with chronic active Epstein Barr virus last fall after struggling with some moderate to severe intermittent fatigue for several years, so my current wellness routine is really focused on supporting my immune system so that it can combat the virus. That looks like a diet rich in colorful, organic fruits and vegetables, and lots of detoxifying foods like wild blueberries, parsley, cilantro, spirulina and dulse. I try to make fresh juices at home as often as possible and love to combine citrus with greens, ginger root, cucumber, and green apple. I used to be all about the high intensity workouts, but those have been too taxing on my system recently so I’ve been sticking to gentle forms of movement like walking, light hiking, and dance, and getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every night is an absolute must!
"To me, wellness is about cultivating a deep relationship with yourself and connecting with your center often, living your life from a place of authenticity and true alignment with your deepest values, and making choices from a place of self love, which is going to look completely different for everyone and can shift for an individual across different periods of their life."
Will you share one of your favorite recipes with us?
One of my favorite recipes lately has been my grain-free alternative to avocado toast! I toss some quartered organic new potatoes in a little bit of olive oil and then roast them in the oven at 450 degrees until they’re golden brown, tender on the inside, and slightly crispy on the outside (usually about 30 minutes). As soon as I pull them out of the oven, I toss them in Majestic Garlic creamy garlic spread (roasted or raw garlic cloves pureed in a little olive oil would work as well), finely chopped fresh parsley and cilantro, sea salt, and cayenne. I top them with chunks of avocado and a few good squeezes of fresh lime juice and then dig in! It’s such a hearty and flavorful meal and I often have it for breakfast or lunch.
One of your favorite snacks?
Especially in these warmer months, I love making a giant platter of freshly chopped fruits and veggies. Some of my favorites include navel oranges, Persian cucumbers, celery, mango, and radishes. The mix of textures and flavor profiles keeps it interesting and really satisfies all of my different cravings.
Do you have any clean beauty brands you love right now?
I’ve actually recently become an Eminence Organic Skin Care convert. It’s a little on the pricey side but all of their products are all natural, organic, biodynamic, sustainable, and cruelty free. The textures and scents are completely luxurious and the formulas are super concentrated so you only need a little bit. I started struggling with hormonal acne and irritation along my chin and jawline in my late 20s and since I started using their Arnica Serum, Facial Recovery Oil and Chamomile and Calendula moisturizers (I actually blend the two), my skin has really transformed. I’m not affiliated with the company in any way; I just really love the products!
Favorite beauty ritual?
My beauty routines are pretty simple, but if I’m feeling like I need some TLC I’ll do a little mini-facial at home by steaming my face with a warm, wet washcloth, doing a light peel with the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask by Peter Thomas Roth, and then giving myself a lymphatic facial massage with essential oils. I don’t wear very much makeup so it’s really all about having fresh, glowing skin and this ritual definitely gives me a little radiance boost.
What is your favorite form of movement?
Dance. Always. I put on music at home and just move in whatever way I feel called to at the moment and it’s one of my favorite ways to shift and release energy and connect with my body. An outdoor dance session under the stars with great music and people I love is basically heaven to me.
How do you manage stress?
My number one, no-fail stress reliever is spending time in nature. No matter how frazzled I am, getting out to a trail or a nature preserve for even just an hour completely recalibrates me. I also do self-healing breathwork or reiki sessions daily as a sort of maintenance for my energy body and I’m a big fan of Epsom salt baths and ocean swims as well. Salt water is a seriously powerful healer.
Favorite song(s) and book(s) right now?
My musical taste is all over the place but lately “Sunset Lover” by Petit Biscuit, “Fireflies Made Out of Dust” by Happy Jawbone Family Band, and pretty much anything by Beach Fossils have been in heavy rotation in my playlists. I’m currently reading “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes and “Eastern Body, Western Mind” by Anodea Judith. They’re both super dense reads and I’ve tried unsuccessfully to make my way through both of them several times before, but I’m feeling a bit more grounded these days and am finding more time to carve out for reading.
What did you enjoy about the Love Beauty Wellness Festival?
Being a part of the Love Beauty Wellness Festival last year was such a wonderful experience. It was my first time speaking on a panel, which was really exciting, and I felt so incredibly honored to be included in such a powerhouse line-up of voices from all across the wellness world. After my panel was over, I spent the rest of the day bouncing back and forth between exploring the offerings in the wellness and beauty bazaar and dropping in to listen to the other speakers’ panels. At the end of the day, I left feeling so nourished, more informed and inspired around new ways to cultivate wellness both for myself and my clients, and I made some really wonderful new friends! I really don’t think I could have asked for a lovelier day!