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My Way: Latham Thomas

Posted Aug 25 2010 6:02pm

Latham-1

Latham was born and raised in California, and is a graduate of both Columbia University, where she earned a degree in Visual arts and Environmental science, as well as the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is a certified holistic health counselor, who mixes her passions of plant physiology, botany, holistic nutrition, fitness, yoga, and green cuisine into a lifestyle program that supports the various needs of her clients. Specializing in maternal and child wellness, Latham served as Program coordinator for the Healthy Moms-Healthy Babies project for the B-Healthy organization. She is the co-founder of Panela Productions , a company that educates parents and children about food, through cooking classes, and events, and founder of Tender Shoots Wellness . Latham has developed partnerships with Vogue Magazine, Destination Maternity, Jurlique, and Euphoria Spa to produce events for expectant and new moms.

My Way: Latham

Wednesday - Montauk Monarch: a butterfly omen. I woke peacefully to the morning sun peeking through my curtains and realized I had about an hour to get ready and catch the next train out to Montauk. I quickly gathered my things, borrowed my son's mini-suitcase and headed out for a weekend getaway, soccer, and fireworks out East. The train ride was long and ice cold with the A/C blasting, but I made a new friend whom I chatted with the entire ride, Leslie. She was a music teacher who won a grammy for the masterful production of her album. I finally arrived in Montauk, thirsty, hungry, and desperate to pee, not a good combo.

In the distance I can see my good friend Drena DeNiro smashing down the street in her Mercedes like its the Autobahn Expressway. Dust picks up as she pulls into the station with a straw hat, aviator shades and a smile on her face... you ready to eat? I secure my things and hop in the front seat and we're off! We went to a local market to pick up some seasonal fruits and veggies, then made our way to the house. As we leave the more populated town I notice my cell phone bars diminishing and finally I get the flat line "Sem Servico", translation- no service... I keep my settings in Portuguese.

As we pull up to the house, there is a little driveway that bends and curves around taking us on a decent to the dunes. We've arrived and are literally on the beach. As soon as I get inside I put on my bikini and saunter down to the beach for a much needed dip in the ocean. The water was freezing, but it was soothing to surrender to that coolness. I got out and lie on my towel allowing the sun to beat against my skin. I love the sensation of the salt stinging as it dries, purifying.

Drena finally joins me and we decide to take a long walk along the shore picking up sea shells and lovely elements of the ambient landscape along the way. As we are walking along I notice a Monarch Butterfly seemingly washed up on the shore. He looked lifeless. I took note of the tidal rhythm and before the next wave crashed upon the shore I rescued him. I was standing with a precious butterfly in my hand that had very little energy and seemed possibly injured. Perhaps the salinity of the water was shocking for it's little system. We continued on our walk and I held him in my left palm. Drena and I shared our deepest goals, dreams, and desires, about love, careers, etc. That walk went on for two hours and the butterfly still nestled comfortably in the palm of my hand. I was mesmerized, what an omen. It felt like he was listening to our requests. We stopped and I said "let's make 3 requests or wishes each, and send them upon his wings to carry to the heavens that they might be granted"... and we spoke our dreams out loud.

We made it back to the house and the butterfly was still attached to my hand. I couldn't believe it. He trusted us. I figured he needed some energy so Drena fixed a little dish of water with Beet Sugar for him and I placed him inside and observed him for a few minutes as his tongue unfurled and drew up the nectar. I would gaze over at him periodically and he seemed not to be doing too well. We left him alone to just be, and soon night fell and I had almost forgotten he was in the house with us. The next morning I woke up to little barking from Drena's Maltese puppy Daisy who was signaling me to rise and come into the living room. I couldn't believe my eyes! The Monarch was flying all over the room and against the glass doors. It was a miracle, he was totally restored to good health. When he calmed I gently picked him up and opened the screen door. I said "you're all well now, you're free to go" I placed him in my palm and let go and he took flight up towards the clouds and I smiled knowing that he would now be able to complete his life cycle.

Thursday - Hustle Mode. Back in the city, and things are a bit hectic. I have some important meetings lined up today, and I've breezed through two of them - no sweat and it's only 11am. I shoot across town and saunter over to Soho House for a meeting with my good friend Adam Eskin, CEO of Pump Energy Foods. What a productive and insightful meeting in the sixth floor dining room while noshing on salad greens and alkalized Organic Avenue water. My phone is ringing off the hook, voice mailbox full. I need to dip to run a quick errand and head to the farmer's market in Union Square. We wrap up with a big bear hug and I head to the elevator answering my phone on the way out.

I dip out to my next task at hand, shopping at the farmer's market for gift basket items. I have a new client to cook for tomorrow being referred to me through my good friend and client Maxwell, so I need to get things prepared for her. I head over to Union Square where I source some young organic herbs for her window boxes, fresh local fruits, glorious greens, squash blossoms, flowers, etc. I am baking some vegan and gluten free goods for her as well as packing a feast for her and some friends. What's on the menu: Watermelon, tomato, avocado salad (see the recipe), quinoa, tabouleh, microgreen salad, stuffed squash blossoms, and sprouted raw falafel.....yum!

Then off to the kitchen to put it all together. The driver will arrive in a few hours and I'm cooking under pressure. The food and basket have to be ready for the evening to be delivered to Brooklyn. Working under pressure makes my performance flawless, but it also makes me want to sleep when I've completed the task at hand. So after all is done, I head home for a nice lukewarm shower, apply some essential oils, call my awesome seven year old son, who is up in Cape Cod for the summer with his grandpa, and lay down for the evening listening to his stories of explorations on the beach and in the woods.

Sassy Watermelon, Tomato, Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 5lb watermelon
  • 1 large cucumber (peeled and cut)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes (heirloom if available)
  • 1 avocado (cut into chunks)
  • 1 red onion or vidalia onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbs fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Cut the watermelon into inch size chunks
  • Slice the onion into thin strips and soak in cold water for at least an hour.
  • Discard the water and remove onions.
  • Slice cucumber into 1/4 thin slices, cut tomatoes and avocado into chunks.
  • In a large bowl add the watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, mint, cilantro, parsley, lime juice, and onions, gently mix then add salt and pepper to taste.

This is an amazing seasonal salad that is hydrating, and cooling on warm summer days and helps to reduce swelling caused by heat and poor circulation. Watermelon is a powerful food, rich in Vitamin A, B Vitamins, vitamin C, lycopene, magnesium, and potassium.

Friday - Full Moon, Baby Birth. It's one of those HOT ass steamy summer days in New York, the kind where you step outside and momentarily go into shock because the air is so dank with humidity. I can't seem to keep cool and I have so much to do. I'm not really into sweating on my way downtown, I hear a C train on the way so I quickly dip into the subway for some A/C in the train to cool off.

I'm on my way to meet with my client who recently became pregnant to teach a prenatal yoga private in her home. I exit the subway and feel the sun burning off the moisture in the air. On my way I see billboards of my client pre-pregnancy modeling lingerie. On my way over I detour to pick up some juices from Organic Avenue then arrive at her doorstep bag lady style, juggling four bags! We chit chat for a bit then flow seamlessly right into the practice. Nearing the end I apply essential oils and apply some light massage techniques to relax her. Afterwards she shows me a video on her computer she created about her pregnancy, its so sweet. I answer some pregnancy related questions and we drink our juices. I love my prenatal clients, off to another in Tribeca!

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The day is winding down and I still have to meet with my financial advisor. I jet uptown and meet him for a glass of wine and chit chat about finances after a really long but fulfilling day. I'm feeling the need to get home and rest, something is telling me I should. I wrap things up and we walk outside to head our separate ways. I decide to walk home and I notice the moon is ripe like a peach and low on the horizon. I'm trying to finalize weekend plans knowing I have a birth client due in the next week, but looking at the pregnant moon my inner-guide tells me this baby is coming tonight.

I get home and get ready for bed, the stifling heat eases me to sleep. Somewhere in slumberland I awake to my cell phone ring at 3:49am and I intuitively know who is on the other end. I say "hello" in my sweetest of pillow voices. It's Pete and Nina calling to let me know they are in labor. I sit straight up and begin to ask a laundry list of questions, "did her water break, how far apart are contractions, how long are they lasting, how intense are the sensations, etc" everything Pete reports confirms that we should head over to the hospital where they are delivering because this labor seems to be progressing quickly. I pack my bag of tricks, some snacks, brush teeth, throw some water on my face, yoga pants, flip flops, my badge, and I'm out the door.

It's hard to hail a cab in Harlem at this hour, but I get a kind Muslim brother who is also expecting his fourth son any day now and delivering at the same hospital. He gets me there in record time. I get upstairs and Nina is in triage laboring beautifully. She is obviously in active labor and after 2 hours in triage the resident checks her to find that she is 7cm dilated. By the time we move to her room she's ready to push. 7:53am we settle into her room and she is in her primal goddess space, riding the wave of labor and in a beautiful trance. After an hour of pushing 9:12am a baby girl is born! 8 pounds and 9 ounces, no drugs, no interventions. The hospital staff said less than 1% of women delivering there opt against epidural. It was so amazing to be there to help coach Nina through this experience. I was reminded of my son's birth day as I took pictures of the new mother and baby in the first couple minutes of life. I quietly collected my things to leave as relatives entered the space. This is a precious time for bonding. I left the room and could still hear cries of joy as I approached the elevators, my heart was full with love, gratitude, and hope. I was reminded of the Tagore quote, it goes something like this- "Every baby born is proof that God has not lost faith in man."

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Saturday - Sag Harbor to opening of WellNest. It's Saturday morning and I'm having a smoothie and I'm really focused on finishing this book chapter. I'm writing on pregnancy and wellness. I have to set up a cleanse for a client appearing in a commercial in a few weeks so I am prepping the cleanse protocol to start next week. I'm hustling to get my writing done and head out to Sag Harbor to the opening of my friend Rachel Paletsky's and Dr. Ash's amazing eco-wellness space, WellNest.

I get dressed in a beautiful knit dress and heels and head down to East 86th street where I will catch the Jitney out east. On the way my friend Tracy Piper from The Piper Center calls and we have an amazing pow wow on our goals, pregnancy, the molecules of emotions, and colonics. Before I know it I've arrived and I'm boarding the bus. After 3 hours of light snoozing and answering emails we pull up to Main Street in Sag Harbor.

Sag Harbor is such a quaint town. I remember going there from Bridgehampton almost daily when my son was newborn and we were living in Bridgehampton for the summer. I glanced into little shops and made my way over to WellNest, just before I arrive I see an old building with a placard "The Latham House c.1754," wow, not only was this house here since the 1700s but it shares my name. Next door is WellNest. What a party it is inside. Donna D'Cruz spinning, people mingling on all three stories of the converted barn house. People were even outside in the yard hanging out in Eames chairs and sipping on champagne. Rachel gives me a tour of the space and where she wants to host my women's yoga event in the moody attic space, it was divine.

Suddenly I run into my book agent and dear friend Gabrielle Bernstein and feel tempted to stay for the night, but need to go back to the city for an early appointment in the morning, so I decide to take the Jitney back. I travel with a few really great people and we get back into the city in two hours. I was buzzing from the energy of the evening. I knew I needed to relax to sleep, it was midnight and I had to be at a client's house to cook first thing in the morning. I lit some candles and sat in a brief meditation... I am thankful. I went to bed.

My name is Latham and this is My Way

Latham lives with her beautiful son in NYC. You can find her website Tender Shoots Wellness , which is a boutique holistic wellness practice striving to enrich the lives of women during their childbearing years by empowering them through nutrition awareness, yoga, green culinary arts and plant medicine. Also, be sure to hit her up on and Twitter too.

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