Makers Series: Q&A with Megan Ulrichs

Makers Series: Q&A with Megan Ulrichs

Glō founder Megan Ulrichs sat down with the chicas at Salchicha to discuss her routine, all things health and she even spilled some secrets on how she lives her best life.

Megan is the maker + owner of glō Luxury Oils, an organic, direct source and powerfully efficacious skincare line. Have you ever seen those adorable blue bottles filled with magic all over Bozeman? Ya... we're obsessed + carry them in the shop. You may have also seen her cookbook all over town: Glō Recipes for Inner Radiance. Her famous juice and smoothie recipes are featured locally at Farmer's Daughter Cafe and Foxtrot. Megan has been hosting health and wellness retreats all over Montana and beyond spreading her valuable information on how to achieve radiant health from the inside out. A master's degree in Holistic Nutrition and years of consulting at a naturopathic clinic are what make Megan a wealth of information that she so generously shares with us. 

Q: So, Megan, what’s your secret? How are YOU so vibrant?

A: (blushing) Wellllll, I guess it took me many years of stealing from my body by what I thought was “healthy eating”. I used to think I could eat whatever I wanted because I was fit and over all ate what I thought was a balanced diet. I battled body pains, seasonal depression and PMS for many years and it wasn't until my middle son was nearly  kicked out of pre-school (yes you read that correctly..PRE school!) that I woke up to true health. A doctor prescribed Ritilin to manage his ADHD...mind you, this sweet, spirited child was a mere 5 years old! Always an avid reader and health enthusiast, my science brain and mama bear instincts kicked in along with a little intuition. I turned to natural health knowing that a conventional approach wasn’t going to help me or my sons behavioral issues. I turned to mother nature to balance my own health and turn my son's ADHD around. After years of self educating, I decided it was time to follow my passion, get a masters degree and make a difference in the world of healing through food. LONG story short, (can you tell I struggle to address compliments directly?) ok..getting to the question..

I believe my personal radiance comes from within and is derived from a nourishing plant forward, whole food diet.

But I’d be remiss to neglect my true holistic beliefs; I don't think radiance comes solely from diet. My personal belief is that radiance also comes from finding and following your purpose, maintaining healthy, soul nourishing relationships and unapologetically living from your truest self. Lastly, I try to lead with my heart and find love in every being and situation, whether its magical or super in general makes everyone radiate don’t ya think?

Q: How have you fed your body to deal with so much stress during this pandemic?

A: Oooof, ya there’s never been a time where I felt more grateful to know what I know than this past year. While I’ve been a huge proponent of intuitive eating, I realized that so many rules flew out the window with this Pandemic..especially when it comes to soothing the soul with food. I had to dig deep just like everyone...slightly different though...while everyone was guzzling booze and housing cookies, I was over here swallowing fistfuls of herbs and supplements! So much so that I almost created a kidney stone from my overconsumption of vitamin C! SO I had to take a step back and address my own fears, trust in using my tools and get back to the basics in eating for a healthy body and mind. Once I took a minute to breathe, zoom out and settle down, I was able to eat more intentionally and support my system with healing foods and botanicals and less supplements. What that looks like for me is consuming an 85/15 way of eating (85% nourishing 15% just cuz foods). My plant forward diet includes mostly plant based meals (imagine every plate being ¾ full of vibrant veggies and ¼ animal or plant protein).

I aim to eat a pound of veggies and fruits daily with 1-2 meals that include organic, locally sourced animal protein. I allow for the indulgence of chips and salsa, a cocktail or glass of wine or a sweet treat when they call my name, but for the most part I feel satiated enough and don’t crave the sweets or alcoholic beverages.

My weakness is salty crunch (I LOVE Fritos and French fries!) so I always allow for “cheese” n crackers which entails the grain free crackers by Simple Mills or Mary’s Gone Crackers with olive tapenade, DF cheese or a nice goat or sheep cheese on occasion. This feels equally as satisfying to me as the standard crackers and cheese and ALMOST as satisfying as the Fritos and French fries ..kinda). Liquids always entail some sort of boosted water; whether its an herbal tea, flower essence, botanical or adaptogenic tonic or a citrus infused water...I have this thing against drinking plain water. The thing is, I just can’t drink plain water! There are too many ways to sneak in health boosting nutrients, so I capitalize on each opportunity as I reach my quota of 70oz of water daily. Truthfully,  I simply can’t resist beautifying a drink of any sort!  When our bodies are fed healthy, nourishing foods, then our minds are better able to handle the stress that is continually thrown our way. I love educating my clients on how to eat to manage stress, hormones and mood. 

Q: Do you have a special physical activity you do to keep your sanity?

A: Movement in nature is my saving grace, and I feel so blessed to live in a place where I walk, hike and ski right outside my back door. One thing people are always surprised to learn about me is that I have dealt with low grade chronic pain for most of my life. I believe that if I consumed the Standard American Diet (SAD) then I would probably be in a world of hurt, reliant on painkillers. I believe that my pain has enabled me to tune in and listen to my body as well as show her more compassion than I did as a young athlete. From the age of 12yrs,  I was a track star and field hockey player all the way through college. I learned to push through the pain and everyone told me it was part of being an athlete. Sports came easily to me; and in my twenties, I competed in sprint triathlons and was an avid runner. My profession was a personal trainer because I LOVED pushing my body and guiding clients into the joy of exercise. Sounds great right? In hindsight, I realize that I bullied my own body. This was all part of my learn to tap into my body and listen to her needs, not what society conditioned me to believe (no pain no gain). So today, I make movement a priority. I go on moderate hikes, modified versions of HIT workouts, and consider walking exercise (I used to roll my eyes at walking as a means for exercise). A favorite and most healing form of exercise for my body is Pilates. While everyone was buying RV’s and hot tubs during quarantine, I bought a Pilates Chair..someday I’ll own a reformer!

Ultimately though, my sanity comes from gratitude walks in nature where I practice stating all of the things I am grateful for as I walk. It is in these walks that I find peace within my world no matter how chaotic it gets.

I call it gratitation because it leaves me feeling as calm as when I meditate..

Q: Do you have any health/self care advice for those of us working the front line or whose lives are upside down busy during this pandemic?

A: First of all, THANK YOU to our frontline workers and I SEE you at home moms and dads who have been displaced from your work places and thrown into the roles of full time worker, teacher, parent and keepers of the home. This quarantine life and pandemic has rocked your worlds more than anyone; and you really need the nourishing soul foods and self care practices more than ANYone! We all need to find a way to take care of ourselves first...put the proverbial oxygen mask on YOURSELF first, in order help others more effectively. So here are a few tips... I believe it’s all about the micro moves and lazy fancy hacks in the kitchen.  But first and foremost; I implore you to release the unrealistic expectations and to prioritize your health by simple short cuts when time is un available. Order grocery delivery services and purchase healthy pre made soups, sauces and frozen meals. Even Costco offers food deliveries and frozen organic Paleo meals, wild caught smoked salmon, organic raw nuts, organic veggies and fruits, cauliflower pizza crusts or tortilla rolls. Our local Co-Op and grocery stores have a pick up service for a mere $5 fee or less. When you stock up on broths, fresh herbs, pre made hummus, pesto or Bitchin’ sauce (seriously if you haven't tried this sauce...GO..GO GET SOME!) you can save SO MUCH TIME in the kitchen. Delegate...involve your family members in meal prepping. It's a fact, when children help in the kitchen, they are much more apt to eat healthy foods. I used to make a list of what needed to be done before screen time, and after crossing 2-3 chores off the list, I had half of my meal prepped or a cleaner house and the screen time felt well earned by all. If you just don't have it in you to cook, it’s OK. Give yourself grace and order take out from a local restaurant that supports local win!

Self Care:  Micro moves of self care are a great way to nurture your skin and body. Maybe we don’t have an hour to meditate or exercise or indulge in a facial...but it can be squeezed in! Try this: start dinner and slip away to the nearest bathroom to cleanse your day away (clean your face and as you wash your makeup or dirt down the drain, imagine all of your stress washing down with it). Apply a face mask and then head back into the kitchen to meal prep or help with homework..yes your family will initially freak out, but mark my words they’ll be joining you eventually and you’ll all walk around looking like green monsters together!. Let’s be honest, how often do most of us make time for a weekly at home facial or meditation and exercise...welllll all of these modalities for self care are SUPER important so consider this: if your sanity and mental health relies on all of this, how about you start small...set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier and while in bed use a meditation app like HeadSpace or Calm and tell me you didn't feel a difference in your day! Exercise? I am ALL about the micro moves here...Whether it's doing calf raises at the sink, squats while folding laundry, tightening abs at stop lights, squats or wall sits while brushing teeth for 2 minutes or banging out a 15 minute gratitude walk outside, I make it happen. Eventually you will be able to indulge in 30-60 minutes of self care daily.

For now, I hope you will prioritize your time to do a little here and there, because let’s face it...YOU ARE WORTH IT.