Jan 29, 2014

5 Questions // Sara Seinberg & Portland Apothecary

I'm so excited about this new series we are putting together!  I have been dreaming about this series and the conversations and invaluable resources it will create for years now, so am happy to see it come to life. We are posing a set of 5 questions to healers and makers that we love and admire. They are two different sets of questions accordingly, but both have in common an exploration of plants, intention and creative/healing practice. Do weigh in on this conversation and we would love for you to link and spread the word about these amazing individuals. ---KD

We are kicking off this series with the inspiring Sara Seinberg of Seinberg Holisitic Health Coaching. She worked with us for the first year of our CSH (Community Supported Herbalism) contributing her wit and seasonal recipes to our accompanying booklet. You can find some of her recipes here on our blog. I happen to know that she has a few client spaces available for March; you'd be so lucky to grab a space with her! All photos below are by her, you can find more of her photography along with her partner Ginger's work at Robinberg Photography.

1. What motivates you to work within the health field?

I spent most of my adult life wishing my body was a different way than it really is. And since that's not really possible, to live in a body different than mine, I enlisted the help of many tools for checking out of the ole vessel. There were the usual suspects like a fervent enthusiasm for illicit drugs, dalliances in charged relationships that had very little to do with a true connection, and a deeply committed practice to misusing food as a tool to escape rather than an essential opportunity to fuel my body and my very existence with nourishment. I'm not saying I didn't have fun with ALL of these things. I did. But when the fun runs its course, and then there you are, still in your imperfect body with its stubborn, co-dependent insistence on not giving up on you even though you treat it like a baby treats a diaper, and you wake up one morning and find yourself counting your blessings instead of dreading another day, you decide to, well, live. I've lived in apartments my entire life, paying rent to one shitty landlord after another. But the place I really live is here in my body. I couldn't stand being a shitty landlord anymore. This is where I live. And once I decided to fix the joint up, decorate, garden a little bit and paint a little, I looked around and thought, "Dang. I'm lucky to live here. I have to take care of this place." 

I had no idea how much that choice would change everything for me. It's how I became a Holistic Health Coach. I help people to live in the bodies they have TODAY. Being in service to people, helping them be true citizens of their own bodies and their own lives is kind of the best thing I could ever do. We are so practiced at putting off joy until we succeed in our jobs or we lose 15 pounds or we land the right partner or we blah blah blah. But the truth is, mostly, we've got everything we need. Today. Helping support people as they commit to healing their bodies and living bolder and bigger and clearer and with more peace than they ever thought possible keeps me coming back to my office every day feeling lucky to have found this place in the health field.

2. Is there a certain piece of advice you find yourself giving to your clients often? HELL YES. 
If so, what is it? 

A. Drink more water.
B. Move your body. All moving is better than no moving. Anything at all.
C. Perfection is the LOWEST possible standard. It's like trying to date the Easter Bunny. It's not possible. So once you let that go as a goal, you are free to achieve anything. 

3. Favorite books within your healing modality? 

I love books. Here are some of my favorites from some different sectors of a Holistic Health perspective:
1. Vegetable Literacy - Deborah Madison
2. African Holistic Health: Your True Source for Holistic Health -  Llaila o. Afrika, PhD. 
3. Women, Food, and God - Geneen Roth
4. Radical Acceptance - Tara Brach
5. The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown

4. Are plants part of your practice and if so, which do you find yourself using the most and for what reason?

Plants are an enormous part of my practice. My job is very much about bringing people back to plant foods in a creative and meaningful way from discovering new vegetables to dicing herbs to using spices in ways that appeal to a broader pleasure experience. The more people connect to their food, the more meaningful food preparation becomes. The more meaningful food preparation becomes, the more rewarding the practice of eating becomes. Eating becomes a kind of sacred act we get to practice many times over the course of each day, re-connecting us to our home, our bodies, even our communities and ultimately our experiences in the present moment. Also, plants are bad-ass. They just continue to survive and reinvent themselves no matter what we humans dish out.

And they're pretty. So, not to be shallow but, I like a pretty plateful. Maybe it's my Libra rising. 

5. Please include 1 recipe (which could include remedies, exercise, art methods, food, visualizations, etc - please interpret recipe in your own way).

Succulent Winter Salad

The Salad
2 stalks celery, diced
4 fat radishes 
1 fennel bulb sliced thin
1/2 small purple cabbage, shredded
black sesame seeds
white sesame seeds

The Dressing 
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
1 splash Ume Plum vinegar
1t toasted sesame oil
2t olive oil
dash sea salt
coarse black pepper
Put the colorful salad fixins in a big bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients then pour over the salad. Use tongs to coat the salad evenly. Serve the salad in the company of friends as a side to a warming dish.

Sara Seinberg is a Holistic Health Coach in the business of helping people live their dreams. Through a holistic approach she supports clients in their quests for health, wholeness, joy, and truth. Looking at nutrition as a starting point, clients team with Sara to tackle obstacles, face fears, and one day at a time, create new living patterns that topple years of blockage and hurdles. 


  1. Great interview with a very wise woman who is crazily good at getting people to live better, happier, fuller lives!