Meet Jessica Grosman, nutritionist, founder of With Health & Gratitude and longtime member of the #dirtsquad! Check out her #realroutine in this month's spotlight.
Jessica Grosman is a Registered Dietitian, recipe developer, and culinary nutrition educator. As the founder of With Health & Gratitude, her goal is to educate people, to get them excited and into the kitchen to cook their own food and find better health through the food they prepare for themselves. She earned both a BS and MS in Nutrition, prior to completing a dietetic internship in 2001. Additionally, she graduated with honors from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition’s Culinary Nutrition Expert (CNE) program. Jessica’s passion is sharing her knowledge and education with others; she is experienced in teaching cooking & nutrition classes to a wide variety of audiences. She's currently working as a recipe developer, cookbook recipe tester, private nutrition therapist and teaches boutique cooking classes.
Walk us through your daily skincare routine / How do you work Mother Dirt into your daily routine?
My daily skincare routine has become so much simpler over the years, as I've learned that my body doesn't need a bunch of products to look and feel its best. I always take a shower first thing in the morning, the hot water feels so good on my body and helps to loosen my muscles. Before stepping into the shower, I use a dry brush all over my body to help exfoliate dry skin and stimulate the skin's natural hydration. In the shower, I use a minimal amount of unscented shea butter soap, although I need to give Mother Dirt Cleanser a try soon! I let the steam from the shower open my pores, it feels so good to be naturally clean. I lightly towel dry my body, but let it mostly air dry. On my face, I use a simple combination of rosewater toner and a hydrating moisturizer. I spray Mother Dirt AO+ Mist under my arms. I also use Mother Dirt Moisturizer on my hands throughout the day; my hands take a beating - I use them all day long and they get so dry, rough and chapped very easily. Ever since I found Mother Dirt, my skin's health has improved tremendously and my daily routine has become so much easier.
What is your favorite Mother Dirt product? Tell us why you love it!
My favorite Mother Dirt product is the AO+ Mist. It was the first Mother Dirt product I tried and was truly a life-saver when I discovered it. At the time, I was dealing with a hypersensitivity to natural deodorant; turns out that I had developed an allergic response to lavender essential oils, but I didn't know that initially. It was summertime, hot and sticky, and deodorant wasn't working for me. Talk about an nightmare! But once my friend introduced me to Mother Dirt and I started using the AO+ Mist, my skin cleared-up and my dependence on deodorant was gone. I love that my skin is healthy, I don't smell, and I don't have to worry about white deodorant lines on my black shirts, either!
Do you have any other “unconventional” personal care or lifestyle habits?
I love to drink Apple Cider Vinegar (AcV)! Just thinking about AcV makes me salivate! I started sipping AcV several years ago as a digestive aid and got hooked on the flavor. Despite healing my digestive issues, I continue to drink AcV each day - usually a few times a day. I keep a bottle for myself in the kitchen, separate from the bottle that I use for recipes, and I take a big gulp from the bottle several times a day. It always helps me feel focused, energized, and stops my stomach from growling or from cravings when I know I'm not really hungry.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is spending time at my grandparent's house, especially in the summertime. Along with my sister and my cousins, we would visit our grandparents every summer and go to their country club during the daytime. While my grandparents played golf, us kids would play in the pool - there was a great waterslide into the pool and a very bouncy diving board in the deep end. We would gather for lunch, after my grandparents finished the first 9-holes of golf, and I'd always order the same thing for lunch: a grilled cheese sandwich, wavy chips, a dill pickle and a frozen pink lemonade. After lunch, we'd return to the pool to swim, or sit on the patio and play checkers or Scrabble. Evenings at my grandparents were the most fun, we'd go to their basement and watch old home movies of my mom and my aunt when they were children, and all of the vacations that they went on with my grandparents. My grandma was an excellent pie baker, so there was always pie for dessert, regardless of the time of year. Summer visits were marked with homemade peach pie, which my grandpa methodically cut so that he got the correct number of slices from each pie. I remember these summers so fondly, I can recall the sights, sounds, and smells as if it was just this past summer; however, these memories are now 30+ years old.
Why do you feel it’s important to maintain a healthy microbiome?
We're constantly learning more and more about the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome for so many aspects of health and wellness! When I was in school, studying nutrition and dietetics, the microbiome wasn't even discussed. There was no talk about gut health or body ecology, and to think how much the topic has exploded in since I was in school 20 years ago! Maintaining a healthy microbiome is imperative for maintaining overall health - not just gut health, but also mental health, skin health, dental health - it's all interconnected and linked. Too often, I find that people are overly focused on their internal health and don't take their external health into consideration. Skin is our largest organ - and what touches our skin gets absorbed into our body internally. Maintaining a healthy skin microbiome helps protect us - it shields us - from harmful bacteria, environmental contaminants, microorganisms, etc, that can cause harm to our internal organs and body systems. Conversely, our skin's outward appearance is heavily influenced by the health of the body's gut flora and microbiome. When someone has dysbiosis, they may have internal symptoms as well as present with external symptoms, such as rash, bumps, acne, and irritations. Taking care of oneself is a big job, but keeping a healthy microbiome helps to keep all of the body's systems in-check.