Why Daphne Oz Unapologetically Prioritizes Herself

By Lindsey O'Connell

Wellness is essentially part of Daphne Oz’s DNA. The daughter of two health experts, Dr. Memet Oz and Lisa Oz, she grew up with health trends and the latest nutrition stats as regular dinner conversation. So it’s not surprising that she’s dedicated her life to healthy living. The New York Times bestselling author, chef, and former Emmy Award-winning co-host of ABC’s The Chew has recently added beauty entrepreneur to her resume. 

Oz is the co-owner of LOUM, the new ethically formulated, clean beauty brand featuring products that are specifically created to fight the negative signs of stress on skin. 

“I’ve always been a product junkie and loved researching the latest and greatest in clean living and personal care,” Oz tells Nutritious Life. “Obviously food is my first medicine, but I love a holistic inside-meets-outside approach to health and beauty.”

We chatted with Oz about how the pandemic has actually helped her find more sanity, go-to healthy meals, and why she unapologetically prioritizes self-care. 

Read on to learn how she lives a nutritious life and steal her tips on prioritizing what’s important.

Tell us, how has life changed for you since the beginning of the pandemic? The pandemic has forced, or shall I say allowed, all of us to reprioritize. The beginning was so hard because I thought I could just keep doing everything with basically no boundaries between home and work, plus distance learning. Needless to say, that was misguided. I had to figure out what my new markers for success and efficiency were going to look like. It definitely took a few crashes and burns to realize I was being unrealistic, and also that being ruthless with the things that do not matter (a stoic guiding principle my grandmother turned me onto that has basically become my life motto this year!) could give me back a little bit of sanity.

My goal is to be able to be fully present—focused on what I’m doing at work when I’ve carved out the time for that and then completely present when I’m spending time with my husband and kids. My kids are back in school now which has made a world of difference. I think one thing we will always hold onto is that taking time to really unwind and stop feeling pulled in 100 different directions is as valuable for happiness as anything else we actively do to find that balance.

Why did you want to partner with LOUM?

Throughout my life and especially as a busy working mom of 4, I can see that the more stressed I am, the worse I look and feel.  When the LOUM team shared their research showing the link between stress and our skin, I wasn’t surprised, but I was shocked this was the first line that really set out to be the “antidote” to stress on skin.  Our mind and our skin are hardwired together  and when we are stressed out, it shows up so clearly on our skin as wrinkles, dryness, dullness, and even oiliness and breakouts.  

Clean beauty is hard to achieve. What were your priorities with this brand? Our skin is our largest organ, so what we put on our skin truly matters especially if we stay consistent like we’re supposed to.  I look at the ingredients of everything that I put into my body, from food to skincare, so it was crucial to me that any line I partnered with be clean according to the highest standards possible (free of toxic parabens, silicones and hormone-disruptors). 

Another really important piece of the puzzle for me was an easy skincare routine. Something straightforward enough to be used every day without adding more stress to your life. We’re all busy! Self-care has to be easy and effective if we’re going to stick with it.  

What causes you stress?  How do you alleviate that stress? Life is stressful, especially now. Deadlines, headlines, everyday kid concerns, the fact that there is no such thing as getting to the bottom of a never-ending to-do list. I try to look at stress as motivation, a chance to get rid of things that toxically overwhelm me where I can and to try to handle the things I can’t totally control with less resistance. The only way I find mental and emotional stamina to do any of this is with great relationships that I invest in, and one of those is with myself. I try to make a little time for myself every day, whether that means a calming skincare ritual, cooking for my family, or working out. 

One of the motherhood quotes we hear often is “You can’t pour from an empty vessel,” and I think this is a big learning from the past year. If we take good care of ourselves, it will enable us to better take care of those around us.

What are your go-to healthy meals?

Breakfast: I’m obsessed with these healthy pancakes I started making for the kids and now enjoy a couple mornings a week myself. They are basically oatmeal plus a protein shake as pancakes which basically equals perfect! 

Lunch: I load up on salads at lunch, usually with arugula (my favorite), a dollop of hummus, tons of crunchy peppers, cucumbers, carrots, shaved raw beets, and a quick lemony shallot vinaigrette. I will sometimes pair with a quick open faced sandwich on sprouted Ezekial toast with turkey or a thin spread of almond butter, especially if I got a workout in. My other favorite is veggie scrambles. I basically use it as a chance to sauté any leftovers and veggies in my fridge with a little olive oil and coconut aminos and tamari, scramble with eggs and scallions, serve with a little avocado and plenty of hot sauce!  

Dinner: Usually we have a larger protein, usually chicken or fish that we’ll grill or roast, though maybe we’ll do a steak once or twice a month. We do lots of roasted veggies, we all love them. I’m a huge fan of spaghetti squash and chickpea and rice pastas as super fast meals, and usually add a giant handful of arugula into those bowls. Chickpea pasta can be heavy and dry, but coated with tomato sauce and tossed with fresh arugula becomes a sublimely filling, protein-rich and meat-free meal. A super flavorful chili or brothy soup is another favorite and so easy to make.

Snack: A few crackers and cucumbers with feta cheese, apples with almond butter, carrots with hummus, popcorn, dark chocolate covered cashews! 

You’re a busy working mama. How do you prioritize when you have so much to do? Family always comes first. Our kids grow up fast and the days are long but the years are so short. Obviously, I try to be a good partner and meet my deadlines which requires extreme organization that does not come naturally to me. I am a work in progress and getting better! But when it comes down to it, I put my family’s needs first, alongside my own.

Any organizing hacks? I actually find working out and then sitting at my computer with my coffee to make a proper list of prioritized things in the morning is far more productive than digging into emails first. It has made me so much more efficient. I rely heavily on the wonder that is the notes app on my iPhone, too.  I can drop ideas in there, reminders, shopping lists…anything! It’s like a brain outside my brain, which I definitely need because if I don’t write it down, it is there for a second and then gone forever.

How do you motivate yourself to workout? What are your go-to workouts? Honestly, this year I finally got to a place where I love my workouts because the physical results are actually a byproduct of the emotional benefits of staying consistent and showing up for myself in this way. I love the routine of it and the way it drives my days and weeks along. I love how energized I feel afterwards. I also gave myself permission to workout for 10 minutes at a time if that’s all I have in a given day. I focus on how good I feel, not on the “will you/won’t you” debate that rages if you give yourself a second to talk yourself out of getting it done.

I run once a week when I just want to zone out and listen to good music or a podcast, and then I ideally try to get a great 25 minute HIIT plus 25 minute strengthening and toning routine in a couple days a week that I can do with friends by Zoom (so I feel accountable). My husband and I also play tennis on the weekends, which is fun and competitive and reminds me of my high school sports days. You just have to find ways to keep it fun and keep your body guessing.

What are your goals (or hopes) for 2021? I actually laughed out loud when I thought back to my 2020 resolutions and how the year went. This year, I’m just going to get up every morning and dance to one amazing song. It’s so good for the soul—and the kids love it! My hopes for 2021 are to focus on what I can control and to make the most of it with lots of love and positivity and inspiration. 

Sleep is essential. What is your bedtime routine? It varies because sometimes I fall asleep with the kids when I’m putting them down, sometimes I take advantage of the only quiet hours in my house after they’re asleep and stay up working way too late, and sometimes my husband and I sneak out for dinner or cook together at home. 

Whatever I’ve done before, the night ends with my skincare ritual. I take a shower every night because I just find it more efficient and I love the total cleansing of the day’s energies before I sink into bed. I take my makeup off with coconut oil, then cleanse with LOUM Be Calm Cleansing Balm or a regenerating cleanser I love. I get in a cozy robe, drink my tea and then…zzz.

One thing we’d be surprised to learn about you! I’m obsessed with olive groves, and my dream is to live on a farm and grow all my own food.

(photo credit: LOUM)

About Lindsey O'Connell
Former Editorial Director, Nutritious Life

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