You know how people always say it’s darkest before the dawn? Cliché or not, it’s certainly been the case for former actress Shiva Rose, who, when faced with divorce, the threat of serious health issues and the challenge of motherhood, decided to reinvent her life. She left the flash of Hollywood behind and, now, through her wellness blog, The Local Rose, hopes to educate others about the impact of their choices when it comes to living a healthy life. Here, wearing Tory’s Yonah dress, she tells us about her bucolic existence with her two girls, shares some easy changes we could all make to our lives and even admits to certain indulgences from her past.

The backstory behind The Local Rose
I began The Local Rose five years ago after tremendous life changes. I was getting a divorce, and I was yearning for a different life. My career as an actress wasn’t fulfilling me and so I just began to follow my intuition. This led me to simplify my life, begin growing my own food and live in closer harmony to the earth. I started the blog to document this, as well as to inform many who were asking me for organic recipes and natural beauty care advice.

I decided to focus on health and wellness now because…
I think I have always been focused on wellness. Anyone who has struggled with their health knows that this becomes the ruling factor in their life. I think the times are finally catching up with many of us who have been taking herbs, eating organically and trying to preserve our planet in a heartfelt way. Maybe there is a larger emphasis because the old ways are just not wrong anymore. Eating genetically modified foods is not helping our planet or our health. People are searching for more traditional, non-toxic ways to get healthy.

And I define wellness as…
Feeling vibrant, alive and joyful. I truly feel this from eating a rainbow of colors in my diet, my communing with nature and staying true to who I am. This all creates wellness and health.

Five major changes I’ve made to live a healthier life…
1. Eating 100% organically. This was due to some serious health issues I had with several autoimmune conditions. Once I began to eliminate wheat, add more healthy fats and eat totally organically, my health improved drastically.
2. Making sure I had no toxic chemicals in any of the beauty products I used. Our skin is our largest organ and therefore carries everything into our system. I began using oils for my face and body that came from organic farms and using as much toxic-free makeup as I could.
3. Composting. Once you get into the hang of composting it becomes an easy way to recycle what we use and put it back into Mama Earth.
4. Hiking and being in nature. I feel like the hiking trails near my home are my church. Taking a walk as much as I could helped relive stress, got my circulation moving and just simply brought me peace and joy.
5. Kundalini yoga. We are all spiritual beings and need some sort of practice that connects us to ourselves and the divine. The breathing and meditation techniques have guided me through my new business and essentially my life.

But most important…
The most vital changes one can make when getting healthier is to eat organically. I have done experiments to see if it is more expensive and it truly isn’t. If you attend the farmers’ markets in your area, you can build a relationship with the folks who raise your food. Many farmers give better deals towards the end of the market. Another change is to be mindful about what chemicals are in shampoo, face creams, toothpaste, etc. I would also add minerals to your diet. Due to over-farming our soils are depleted and therefore many of the minerals we used to get from our food sources don’t exist. Minerals added to the diet can add shine to the hair and a glow to the skin.

To teach your children this lifestyle…
I think children learn best by example. My younger daughter is always on me about composting. I think she realizes the chain effect of this instinctually and has seen me do it in the past, so now she has become the compost police around here!

How being a mother has changed me…
I feel being a mother has helped me create structure in my life and actually get more done! I am an Aquarius so I can get lost if I don’t have a specific schedule. Having a child sets my day up so I know I have to get things done before school pick-up time at 3 PM. At times I also prefer to stay at home and read to my little one by a cozy fire with a cup of tea.

My perfect L.A. day…
Wake up with my animals and daughters and have some Living Tea with them. This is an old-growth tea that has no chemicals. Then we would cook a delicious breakfast using our own eggs, produce and honey. After that, a brisk hike in the mountains behind our house. Perhaps then we would go for a car trip either to Ojai or in town to Echo Park to visit some vintage and gourmet food shops.

If I am not cooking…
We usually head over to Café Gratitude in Venice or Esquela for delicious Mexican food in town. At Gratitude all the meals are organic and from their farm so I have a hard time ordering. At Esquela the chips and guacamole are insanely delicious! Also the Lil’ Gem Lettuce with goddess dressing. What is more perfect than goddess dressing?

My exercise routine…
I try to walk/hike and practice Kundalini yoga, which is great for the upper body, a few times a week. If I can I will try to get to a Pilates class for some stretching and toning.

What I miss about my previous life…
To be totally honest, there is nothing I really miss. I still eat ice cream as long as it’s organic or made here my myself. I eat raw cacao chocolate every day so that’s not missed. Perhaps French fries!

Photographed by Alden Wallace

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