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Thea Baumann and Alex Budman, co-founders of Short Stack (a direct-to-client production company that creates video, still, and social-specific assets for all your digital platforms) have got a seriously impressive resume – Thea is the former food editor at Goop, has a Diplôme de Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu, and co-authored It’s All Easy with Gwyneth Paltrow. Alex has an impressive MFA @ School of Visual Arts, worked on The Tonight show starring Jimmy Fallon, and had a heavy hand in producing video content at Goop.

Together, they are producing some incredible work for clients at large and their goal is simple: to combine compelling narratives with striking food and lifestyle imagery. It’s a potent combination that they execute really well at Short Stack Media.

 

We had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with them to learn more about what food means to them, their intimate beauty routines and more.

What does good food mean to you?

TB: To me, good food means anything that tastes delicious! 

How do you start your morning?

TB: My toddler wakes me up every morning by climbing into bed with us. It’s pretty cute and cozy, unless it’s before 6 am.

What’s your go-to am beverage?

TB: Coffee!!

AB: Bulletproof!!

What are your must use daily beauty products?

TB: May Lindstrom youth dew serum and Beauty Counter dew skin. Guess I’m going for that dewy skin look, eh? Oh, and Weleda skin food for my hands. 

AB: Goldfaden exfoliator! Best in the biz. Also Marie Veronique oil cleanser. 

How do you de-stress?

TB: If I can swing it, a yoga class. Otherwise, a walk on the river path near my house or a glass of wine and some good bad tv. 

AB: Take a walk! Play my ukulele. Hula hoop with my weighted hula (it’s FUN and supposedly a work out? Who knows!)

Favorite mood-boosting meal?

TB: A good morning smoothie with lots of fruits and veggies or an ice cream on the couch, for very different reasons ☺

AB: Fat! I love butter. Tahini. Almond butter and olive oil. It makes my brain happy and gives me the energy to conquer the day #yeehawww

What’s a dinner recipe you currently have on repeat?

TB: Sausage and rapini pasta. It’s been on repeat in our house for years and I just keep making it because it’s delicious, easy, and requires minimal cleanup.

AB: Some variation of rice noodles, sesame oil and tahini with fresh vegetables. Or a lame attempt to copy whatever Thea is making. 

What is your daily mantra?

TB: I need a daily mantra! Maybe “breathe”? With a 3 year old and 7-month old twins, I need a lot of reminders to slow down and try to be in the moment.  

We are always inspired by the food around us because we know that so much of what makes up healthy-looking skin, is what we are putting in our bodies + eating a nutrient dense diet is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. That’s why we enlisted one of our favorite LA-based nutritionist and chef, Mia from Rasa Life, to share some of her inspiration and simple food go-to’s.

RASA offers personalized nutrition and encourages healthy lifestyle habits through holistic wellness coaching, delicious recipes and meal plans.  Inspired by the Sanskrit word for taste, RASA reminds us that our bodies should enjoy the food we eat as much as our taste buds. Rooted in the belief that nutrition is not one-size-fits-all, every program and recipe is created with the goal of helping people find foods that support their unique biology, lifestyle and preferences. What you put in your body has a profound impact on your life, which goes far beyond your love handles − from your mood to relationships, career, and so much more, a nutrient-rich diet will help you connect with your body and live a happier, fuller, more productive life: this is The RASA Life!

What does good food mean to you?
Good food should look good, taste good, smell good and make you feel great! There’s a reason why we obtain pleasure from eating; because we need food for life! Don’t fight it. I firmly believe in the intelligence of our bodies, and that when we’re in tune with our nutritional needs, we will crave those flavors.

How do you start your mornings?
A big glass of water and an almond milk cappuccino 🙂

What’s your go-to am beverage?
Water, coffee, smoothie, in that order.

What are your must use daily beauty products?
I’m pretty simple, but a good face oil, sunscreen and belly oil (because I’m pregnant!).

How do you de-stress?
I am all about self care (massages, manicures, etc.), and I am super lucky to live just a short walk to beach. I’m convinced that you can’t have a bad day if you go for a walk on the beach.

Favorite mood-boosting meal?
Greens! I love salads, sautés, soups, stews, anything with an abundance and diversity of vegetables (and followed by a piece of chocolate).

What’s a dinner recipe you currently have on repeat?
Most nights I make a big and simple salad with whatever’s fresh from the farmer’s market and top with protein (salmon, chicken, tempeh, eggs, halloumi…). Right now I am loving tomatoes and stone fruit!

What is your daily mantra?
I wish I had one, lol.

You Are What You Eat

Eating a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods such as leafy greens, berries and foods high in essential fatty acids (salmon, avocado, almonds) shows on your face as well as internally. So what really happens when you eat one too many onion rings or chicken fingers? The dreaded G word… Glycation. 

The Glycation process is sugar (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin and speeding up the aging process. Glycation equals loss of elasticity and collagen, which equals sagging and dull skin. Foods that feed Glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar and alcohol. 

So where do can you start? Say goodbye to sugar, it is NOT your friend. Sugar is addictive and in almost everything! Pay attention to your daily sugar intake. Even that ‘healthy’ green juice you’re drinking has sugar. Read labels thoroughly- salad dressings, cooking marinades, pastas, breads, most fruits, cocktail mixers, nut butters, protein shakes, and coffee creamers (even the nondairy types) can be loaded with sugar. 

Once you know what to avoid, you need to reverse Glycation. Te most effective ways to do that is to limit the intake of the ‘bad’ foods, exercise daily, eat a healthy diet of vegetables, antioxidant rich foods and healthy fats. Developing a healthy skin care regimen, massaging your face, drinking lots of water and getting ample sleep will also help. 

Stop drinking

Watch alcohol intake. This is particularly relevant during the holiday season. Alcohol has dreadful and hazardous effects on the body and skin. Alcohol dehydrates the eyes, the skin and the inside of the body. Alcohol also makes the liver fat. Alcohol has a bad effect on Vitamin A, B3 and Vitamin C, which are all imperative antioxidants for healthy skin and organ function. Alcohol also affects blood sugar levels and can raise blood pressure. 

Signs you’re over drinking

  1. Frequent urination during the night
  2. Dry eyes upon waking in the AM
  3. Stomach issues + bloating
  4. Facial puffiness 
  5. Breakouts
  6. Fuzzy mind 
  7. Overall dehydration

Change Your Makeup + Skincare

If you’re suffering form clogged pores, milia or bums take a look at the ingredients in your makeup. Foundations, CC cream, powders, highlighter can all contain silicone, artificial dyes, and fillers. A good way to test if you were able to remove all the product is to see how much residue is left on the skin after cleansing by wiping with a wash cloth. If the cloth is clean then most likely you’re ok, but if the cloth has residue its time to find a new product. Our clean pick is Suntegrity.

Even the good things need a change. Ease up on the acid; Retinol, Glycolic and even Vitamin C can start to wreak havoc with overuse or when the weather starts to change. Look for more nourishing ingredients like avocado oil and grapeseed oil. Transition into a multi functional oil that delivers both brightness and hydration.

The Ugly Habits

Three of the worst things you can do to your skin are pick, smoke and neglect. Picking invites bacteria, germs and scaring. Smoking dehydrates the skin and body inside and out, enhances premature aging and causes wrinkles first showing signs around the mouth. Last but not least always wash your makeup off before bed.  Hitting the sheets in a full face will encourage bacteria, trap dirt and germs in the pores, cause breakouts and dehydrate skin. 

Healthy clear skin is only a few steps away!