"We are in charge of our own bodies, no one else. Yes, sometimes we need support and help, but ultimately we all can be our own healer (shaman). We just need to listen and not give our power away." - Trish Alkaitis, Brand Director + Lead Educator
"If you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin." - Dr. Saul Alkaitis, Ph.D., Founder
When I embarked on this writing and profiling adventure for M.PARKE STUDIO, I really had no idea what to expect. One thing is for sure, I am blown away by the passionate and inspiring people that I am crossing paths with. Trish Alkaitis sums up those two words perfectly: PASSIONATE + INSPIRING. And then you find out that she studied fashion design + illustration, designs jewelry, writes poetry, is an exquisite photographer (see her gorgeous photos of flowers above), a devoted yogi, and was the GM of OM Yoga Center in New York City before joining her parents at the helm of Dr. Alkaitis...and MIND IS BLOWN.
But Trish was born to be an educator and "guide", with her beautifully eclectic, bohemian, organic upbringing with two parents who embraced the holistic lifestyle to its fullest. She is a wellness guru in her own right, living a rich + authentic + well rooted life anchored by constant learning and self education. And in the state of the world and times that we are in, her knowledge, passion, inspiration, and insight is vitally needed. So I can think of no one better to be by her father's side as Brand Director + Lead Educator of this green beauty beloved brand. Dr. Alkaitis, the line, really needs no introduction. Her father, Dr. Saul Alkaitis, is its founder + visionary. They are known + respected for their commitment to using the highest quality, 100% organic, raw, living, edible ingredients in their products and the line has garnered a dedicated green beauty following who have become life long users. I am one of those life longers. I especially adore the Organic Herbal Toner, Organic Soothing Gel, and Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil....along with every other product!
I invite you to dive further into this green beauty's world.
PLEASE SHARE WITH US A BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO THE WELLNESS WORLD. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION?
My journey in wellness actually started well before my father, Dr. Alkaitis ever even created our line. I have been interested in all things related to spa, health and healing that really started around age 14. It started out as a more glamorous desire of daydreaming over glossy magazines that would feature beautiful spas in exotic locations all over the world. I would study every detail, to architecture, lighting, landscaping, culture and even down to the treatments performed and how authentic they were with the products and or ingredients they used. I had a major fantasy that I would travel the world to “review” and photograph my experiences at these destination resorts. I still think I would be really great at it, but obviously would be much more opinionated about the product lines used! This fascination prompted me to start to study how other cultures take care of their bodies and what sort of treatments they perform, and with what kind of indigenous ingredients. Not unlike my father, I always felt that nature should be utilized in its most authentic form or state as possible. Here is where the disconnect starts to happen in the spa world (even today) because after millions of dollars in investment they start to compromise on areas such as product lines and usually prefer to have one that will give them big discounts, lots of press, or are filled with preservatives so that it can sit on a shelf for 5 years.
Of course there are exceptions to this rule… but in general most miss the mark, unfortunately. So the business of the spa world today is not what a spa originally was in the ancient times, where true healing occurred and that was it’s mission. Once I understood that and made that connection my focus shifted. It was these healing traditions that always inspired me deeply. I started to study & read books about Ayurvedic medicine, Nutrition and Panchakarma therapies. All Eastern way practices such as Shiatsu, Reflexology, Acupuncture, Skin Brushing, Urine Therapy, Breathing properly, Water therapy, Herbalism etc etc…but then also was reading books like “The Cure to Cancer and All Other Diseases” by Dr. Hulda Clark. These books really deeply shaped me at that time.
I was a strange kid, and it’s kind of a wonder that I never became a healing practitioner because I was so interested in all of it! My inspiration then is the same as it is now, a deep knowing that we all have the ability to heal ourselves and I was very aware at that young age that people don’t make time to really take care of themselves, to connect to their bodies. (Imagine, that was all before the internet, cellphones and other endless distractions.) It’s simply not incorporated into our Western culture, so we have to work really hard to understand and embrace this practice, as if it’s ‘normal’. Right now the norm is to run to the doctor the minute you don’t feel well.
WERE YOU INTRODUCED TO HOLISTIC LIVING + WELLNESS AT A YOUNG AGE OR COME ACROSS IT LATER IN LIFE?
I was definitely introduced to it at a young age. My parents were intellectual beatnik hippies. Translation for people who don’t know what that means, they were super-conscious, we grew our own food and ate very clean and unprocessed food. We were a family of artists and thinkers and lived outside the box. My after school lunches were Macrobiotic and for all practical purposes were basically vegetarians at that time. One of my strongest memories was at around age 6, when I was feeling a bit ill. I went to my mother and complained to her. She went to retrieve a book from the shelf called Back To Eden by Dr. Jethro Kloss. He wrote this book in 1939. She said “ Trish, whenever you don’t feel well, come to Mama and together we will heal you with a magic potion of herbs that we will concoct in the kitchen”. She went on to say that “ there is nothing in this book that can’t be cured, and because of this book, we don’t go to doctors”. Basically she was right, we didn’t go to doctors unless we really had to, for a broken bone, or appendicitis or something like that, which was all pretty rare. I think the strongest medicine in our house has only ever been aspirin.
That book still lives on my shelf to this day. This man is a genius. He almost died and he couldn’t figure out what the heck was wrong with him. One day on deaths edge he realized that the aluminum pots that he was cooking all his amazing homegrown organic veggies in were leaching into his food and poisoning him. This was his inspiration to write this book. I am still dumb founded when I see that aluminum pots are still being sold and used as if it’s totally normal. It’s the number one cause of Alzheimer disease and so much more. So my mother had empowered me and planted a very strong message that I have carried within myself throughout my life. We are in charge of our own bodies, no one else. Yes, sometimes we need support and help, but ultimately we all can be our own healer (shaman). We just need to listen and not give our power away. I equally have to give credit to my father because I would say later in life is when his influence has guided me into the world of herbs, plants, oils,and super-foods. I feel extremely lucky to have parents who are so aware and educated about health and wellness.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT HOW DR. ALKAITIS CAME TO BE AND WHAT YOUR ROLE IS WITH THE COMPANY.
My father and mother were living in Holland at that time. My dad had been researching cancer treatments using plants and was making all kinds of exotic extracts. He had also been researching solar energy. He was way ahead of his time, you could say…literally, like by 40 years. Right around then my mom brought him some products that she had been using and asked if he could explain what this chemical was, or what this ingredient did, was it safe, what was it for? Etc. etc. As he started to dive into reading her product labels, he said, “ I wouldn’t use any of it. This is dangerous stuff.” As a chemist who has full knowledge of the effects and consequences of what these chemicals are used for, it was pretty easy for him to dissect these labels very quickly and get a snapshot of the future damage that it could cause the body.
(Let me clarify one thing. In nature everything is a chemical composition. So, even water is a chemical compound. But most people just equate ‘chemicals’ with all the bad ingredients that are toxic and carcinogenic. So to keep it simple, when I say ‘chemicals’ I am also using it in that way just be easily understood). This went on for about 3 months where he started to inspect every label in the house. One day he announced that he was going to make her some products. He took all that research and plant knowledge and turned it right around and put it all into his product line. His formulating guideline is “if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin”. He would only use EDIBLE ingredients, certified organic but preferably biodynamic, to keep the enzymatic action alive, he wouldn’t heat anything above body temperature, thereby making our product line raw, living and extremely therapeutic. Basically, Dr. Alkaitis product line was created as a gift to my mom!
Quite early on when my dad had just started creating the line I had the worst bout of cystic bleeding acne right when I moved to NYC. All of sudden I had become a ‘shut-in’ because I was so embarrassed of my skin. I was desperate and tried everything, and my skin just got worse. I called him in Holland and asked if he could help me. He sent to me what is now called The Soothing Gel and soon after the Nourishing Treatment Oil, and then the Cleanser. These products worked so incredibly well that I started to research the ingredients. I learned that every ingredient he works with is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial. After about a year all my acne had totally cleared up and the scars had healed, but in reality, I noticed the difference almost immediately compared to all the other stuff that I had been using. These products were so different than anything I had ever tried. It all felt like a healing salve. I started to help them out because of my own personal experience and my love for marketing. Today, I am the Brand Director and Lead Educator of Dr. Alkaitis. You know our company has been on the market for 16 years, so really we have all worn a lot of different hats at different stages of growth.
WHAT ARE A FEW ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LINE THAT WORK BEST FOR THESE SUMMER MONTHS?
Hands down I would have to say the Dr. Alkaitis Herbal Toner and the Dr. Alkaitis Nourishing Treatment Oil. I literally can’t live without these two in the summer. They can be found in my bag all summer long. The toner mixed with the oil is an incredible combination, and has come to be my personal ‘sun-protector’ and the perfect summer hydrator. The Herbal Toner is excellent for after-sun and for mild burns. It also is a regular toner and skin balancer and it’s anti-inflammatory. It contains among many other things, organic aloe vera and 3 different seaweeds. Into a base of organic Aloe Vera gel, Witch Hazel and organic grape alcohol (from the fermentation of organically grown grapes), the following organic and wild-crafted herbs are blended: Greater Nettle, Wild Chamomile flowers, Myrrh, European Elder blossoms, Marsh Mallow, French Lavender flowers, Curacao Orange, Benzoin, Rosemary, Wild Fennel and Balm Mint, Grapefruit and Lemon extracts, Sea Oak, Atlantic Kelp, and Pearl Moss. Also added are natural vitamin B and vitamin C complexes and 100% pure Essential Oils.
The Nourishing Treatment Oil is incredibly therapeutic and deeply hydrating. It is also anti-inflammatory. A unique repair, moisturizing, anti-aging and healing oil for face and body. Contains a proprietary complex of antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory ingredients, including organic Andean Mountain Rose Hip seed oil, Turmeric, and Ashwagandha. Improves skin elasticity and nourishes dry and damaged skin. Absorbs quickly and can be blended with Toner or Day and Night Cream for a custom treatment.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE RUNNING A BUSINESS WITH STAYING CENTERED + PRESENT?
It’s a great question because in these days when everyone and thing is running so lightening fast, it’s really easy to lose your center. Creating boundaries is a must and remembering to nurture your self is imperative. I have acquired many different tools to help me over the years but here are the daily ones that I try to remember and practice:
- NOURISH yourself. Take time to Eat, Drink, and Move. No one is ever going to tell you to take care of yourself, so you have to learn to put yourself first. Especially at work.
- BREATHE and bring some oxygen and blood to your brain! For years I used to work and hold my breath while doing computer work. Yoga taught me to breathe. Breath work keeps you calm and centered, especially in tense moments when things feel chaotic.
- TAKE A BREAK. Working from a home office ( Our headquarters is in CA and I have my office in NYC) for many years has actually turned me into a workaholic. I had to learn to create boundaries otherwise I could just work all day and night straight through. Knowing when to take a break and move around keeps me sane and makes my back happy.
- MAKE A LIST. I love reading about successful and inspiring entrepreneurs. I read a book where they interviewed a number of the most successful and wealthiest people in the world. One practice that they all had in common was that they all made a list every night after work for what they needed to do the next day. It shouldn’t be more than 6 items. If you actually do more than that, then great, put the point is to the put the top most important items on the list. This simple practice has been extremely helpful. It keeps my head clear and focused. If something doesn’t get finished then you move it to the list for the next day.
- BALANCE MY SCHEDULE + BEING PREPARED. Keeping a balanced schedule is really important for me. Since half the time I am running around and half the time I’m in the office working, it’s just really important for me to make sure that I don’t spread myself too thin, but also make sure that my work is getting done. Half the battle is just being prepared. I put these two together because they are like a set a gloves that go together. So these practices are pretty practical but a lot like house keeping – once the house is clean, you can relax.
WHAT RITUALS ARE NON-NEGOTIABLES FOR YOU?
Love this question too! I have quite a few rituals that I incorporate into my life. Not all are a daily practice. Almost everything I do is from intuition so I know when I need something. It’s all pretty esoteric stuff but I suppose it’s a good balance to the practical side of my personality.
- Kundalini & Hatha Yoga = Life saving practices. It is not a daily practice, but I do my best.
- Burning Sage. This is a pretty routine practice, especially living in the city, I find it to be important for me and my surroundings.
- Gemstones. I work with gemstones. I have them all around my office and house along with rocks and other little special things that I pick up from nature. I find that even just looking at my stones keeps me grounded.
- Starting the day in my garden & gardening.
- Taking long walks in parks and gardens.
- Photographing plants and flowers.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
A perfect day for me includes nourishment of the mind, body, and soul. It would consist of a delicious organic meal, a perfect chilled glass of white wine, being near an ocean, or a place that is filled with plants and flowers that I can photograph. Really, one of my most favorite past times is photographing flowers, so if that is on the agenda, then it becomes the perfect day for me.
WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL BREAKFAST? LUNCH? DINNER? SNACK?
Ok, so here I have to say that living in NY, I eat by the seasons and by what is in season. So what I eat in the summer is different from what I eat in the winter. Since it’s summer, here’s a snapshot of what I eat when it’s hot:
- Summer Breakfast: usually is a shake: Banana, Pineapple, Strawberries or blueberries, Spring water, Home made almond milk, Hemp powder, Camu camu, Maca, Shredded coconut, Coconut oil, Chia seeds. A variety of other super fruits + foods.
- Summer Lunch: Something really simple like an avocado sandwich on sprouted bread or a salad such as a Mediterranean chopped salad. I like to keep it pretty light in the day. Many times I will have my green juice in place of lunch.
- Summer Dinner: Either raw, grilled or roasted veggies of all kinds or a big salad with my special dressing. Every once in a while a wild caught fish of some kind. My favorite spices and foods tend to be Mediterranean and or Thai. I love a good vegetable curry too if it’s not too hot to cook.
- Favorite Snack: I am not a big snack person but if I have nuts in the house, like those raw super food nut mixes then that could be quire dangerous for me. On the healthy side of things, I love homemade Tahini and could eat it with any vegetable and put it virtually on anything! This is also so delicious with raw honey on sprouted toast.
WHAT IS YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE INDULGENCE?
Where do I begin? I have so many, seriously! Silence + painting+ being unplugged + deserts + spas + massage + island next to a warm turquoise ocean + champagne.
Just one? I have a few that also totally vary to seasons.. here is summer:
- Matcha Green Tea
- Sauvignon Blanc
- My special green juice that I try to make daily: Cucumber, Ginger,1 Green Apple, Celery, Romaine Lettuce, 1 Whole Lemon
WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST MEAL ON EARTH BE?
Now you get to see what I really love, but hey, if it’s going to be my last meal on earth then I would owe it to myself to be totally decadent and naughty! How wonderful would this be…A beautiful bottle of champagne. Caviar with crème fraiche on toast. A plate of Uni (sea urchin). Swedish Prinsesstarta (Princess) Cake.
WHERE IS/ARE YOUR MOST FAVORITE PLACE(S) TO BE ON THIS EARTH?
I need to travel more to give this a fair answer, and I have a pretty big list of places that I want to experience….but so far I would have to say: Sardinia, Crete, Santorini, Jaffa, and the Dead Sea are big winners for me. As I get older my desire to be in nature gets stronger so at this point more exotic locales with rain forests and beautiful bodies of water is what calls to me.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER PROFESSIONAL BEAUTY / FITNESS /HEALTH GURUS THAT INSPIRE YOU?
I am mostly inspired by the work that is quietly being done in the rain forests by Shaman’s who are working with the plants, documenting and cataloging them all for future generations and medicine for healing. I love Ayurvedic medicine and those who have their roots steeped in this practice usually get my attention. I am inspired by the work of Dr. Joseph Levry whose work is a unique blend of of Kundalini yoga, Kabbalah teachings, mantras, and hand mudra’s are stunning and all encompassing for the body, mind and spirit. The truth is I am inspired by anyone that is making positive changes or contributions to this planet called Earth.
PLEASE SHARE WITH US A FAVORITE BEAUTY SECRET OR TIP?
Top two favorites are: Dry Skin Brushing is one that I have been doing since I was 14 years old. I am sure that because of it, it’s why I don’t have any stretch marks or cellulite. It’s a very healthy practice. It keeps the skin taut, exfoliated, detoxed, and the lymphatic system flowing properly. The second favorite tip is Oil Pulling. It’s an Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of either sesame oil or coconut oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for about 15-20 minutes. This draws toxins out of your body and improves the health of your teeth, gums, and overall health. It also brightens your teeth beautifully. **NOTE: if you have Mercury fillings – be careful, this practice could loosen them, as the body will naturally reject this metal that should not be in your mouth.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MANTRA THAT YOU LIVE BY?
Breathe. Be Authentic. Be Still. Be Grateful.
WHAT IS THE LATEST BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
- Life in Natural Light by Rachel Devine ( photography book about natural light)
- Ayurvedic Massage by Harish Johari
- Ayurvedic Beauty by Melanie Sachs
- The Healing Power of Gemstones – In Tantra, Ayurveda & Astrology by Harish Johari
- The Subtle Body – An Encyclopedia of Your energetic Anatomy by Cyndi Dale
SHARE WITH US 3 SONGS ON YOUR CURRENT PLAYLIST.
- Green Eyes by Coldplay
- I Put a Spell On You by Annie Lennox
- I Used to Love H.E.R. by Common