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Find Your Tribe

In 1989, when I moved to California, I found myself geographically challenged and couldn’t always be with my immediate family during Thanksgiving. Out of necessity, I built a surrogate family out of a mix of colorful friends and spent many years sitting around the turkey with an exhilarating group of people. I loved this ritual because the day was filled with reflective stories about their lives. This tradition carried on until I met my husband and had my own family; although randomly, some of my old tribe still comes around for dinner!

We all need a tribe that is not our family. At Skin Evolution, I have built a small community filled with amazing woman who come to me to for their skincare and beauty needs. What they do not realize is that they, too, provide a service for me. They give me a sense of belonging. A community! For Thanksgiving, I’ve invited three of these incredible women to contribute their specific area of expertise to the blog. Covering recipes, marathon discipline, and hair care, these women rock! May your table be full, your heart warm and your friends and family close. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


Leta Messinger inspired me in my twenties to consider the power of botanical compounds by ordering me into a hot steam bath to fend off a nasty cold. I'll never forget her pouring leaves and small branches into the tub with me! I had a national commercial to shoot the next day and the cold was gone! She has been my best friend since that very day. I love my visits to her cozy kitchen in Carmel! Leta is a Registered Nurse who is gifted in both Eastern & Western medicine. This fusion of knowledge makes her recipes both hearty and delicious! -Lori

Autumn is in her glory when all of the golden and red hues paint our landscape with warm tones. As we harvest the last fruit on the trees, it is time to turn our focus to the hardy squash, dark leafy greens, and root vegetables as a primary source of nourishment. These foods require more heat to prepare and are balanced with whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and proteins. Their grounding energy nourishes our kidneys, lungs, and large intestine.

While we may reach for our sweaters to protect us from the chill, remember that our bodies also require warming foods to prepare for winter. This is the season that encourages us to start consuming slow cooked foods such as soups and savory meals seasoned with curry, chili, turmeric, pepper, and cinnamon. Beta carotene is readily available in the red, orange, yellow, and dark leafy green vegetables. When consumed, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A (retinol) an anti-oxidant which is vital for healthy skin, mucus membranes, immune system, eyes, and vision.

As an RN manager of an outpatient wound healing clinic, I see all too often the harmful effects of malnourishment and disease. Take time to enjoy the delicious flavors and nutrition that nature provides through a diet rich in anti-oxidants. I am a salad lover and making a fall salad is satisfying, beautiful, and nourishing. -Leta

Autumn Bowl


  • 1 lg Butternut squash (wash, peel, discard seeds, slice lengthwise, and chop)

  • 1 lg Cauliflower (wash, cut into small florets with chopped stems)

  • 2 lbs Brussel Sprouts (wash, trim wilted leaf, brown stem, and cut in 1/2s)

  • 1 lg Pomegranate (remove and reserve seeds)

  • 1 can White Kidney Beans (drain and rinse)

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil

  • Himalayan Pink salt

  • Black Pepper


  • 1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar (Fig or peach flavored)

  • 1 tbs Prepared Horseradish

  • 1 C Fresh Basil (shredded)


1) Preheat oven to 400F. Spread squash cubes, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts on a cookie sheet. 2 ) Toss veggie blend with olive oil and dust lightly with salt and pepper. 3) Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. 4) Remove from oven and stir with a metal spatula, then spread evenly back onto the cookie sheet to bake for another 15 - 20 minutes. Drizzle with more olive oil if the veggies are sticking to pan. 5) Remove veggies from the oven when veggies are golden brown on the edges and tender.

6) For dressing mix vinegar, basil, horseradish together and set aside 7) Toss the roasted vegetables, beans, pomegranate seeds, and dressing together.

Feel free to exchange seasonally available vegetables to roast. Enjoy as a main dish or a side dish!


Rachel Mitchell is always on the move! Whether it's chasing after her two adorable children or running a marathon. But more than that, Rachel runs with her heart. Her marathons raise funds for different types of cancer. It never ceases to amaze me how much she can get accomplished in one year! Rachel can also rock ANY color of mermaid hair. The girls got style! -Lori

Donate to Rachel's cause:

I am a Los Angeles native, and I moved to Agoura Hills four years ago. Since then, I have immersed myself in the beauty that our nearby nature has to offer. We are so blessed to live among the mountains! There are so many great trails to explore, but for me, the Backbone Trail is my local favorite.

My fascination with the Backbone Trail started as a teenager. I seemed to always end up there for hikes, most frequently starting from the Kanan trailhead. I remember constantly wondering how far it went and even got lost once or twice trying to find out.

The Backbone Trail later taunted me in my adult life. I was reintroduced to it via a map on a playground where my children were playing. It was at the new Agoura Hills Community Center. There on display was a map that included the entire Backbone Trail, of all things. I would gaze at the map and it fascinated me to see how far the trail went. Starting at Will Rogers State Park and ending at Pt. Mugu.

Around the same time, I was training for what would be my second ultra marathon. While an ultra marathon is technically any race longer than the standard 26.2 miles, they typically take place over and through the mountains. I had run a 50-mile ultra marathon a few months prior, and I wanted to do it again.

The securing of land to complete an uninterrupted 67 mile Backbone Trail timed well with my determination to take on another long-distance goal. The National Park Service had been donated the last acres needed for the completion. To celebrate the now continuous trail, an ultra marathon was created called the "Coyote Backbone Trail Ultra". It took place this past March (2017).

It was a once in a lifetime race and I was lucky enough to secure a spot. I was even luckier to finish the race! I ran, hiked and ultimately pushed myself through every mile of the 67 mile long Backbone Trail. It took me from 7am until 2am the following morning, talk about a long day! The race directors put on not only a fantastic event, but also very helpful training runs leading up to the main event. These training runs were broken up into 16-19 mile stretches on each part of the trail.

I learned the ins and outs of the Backbone Trail and gained the confidence and stamina to take it on all at once.The entire Backbone Trail has 14,728 feet of elevation gain and the time limit for the course during the race was 27 hours. The day time views were stunning and since we had a rainy winter, there were plenty of streams to cross and even a waterfall!

The event was held on a hot day which made welcoming the sunset easy. Not to mention, it was the most gorgeous sunset! We were even treated to a full moon! Guided by the moonlight and a headlight, I ran into the night. It was such a surreal experience! I was so happy to see the finish line at the Ray Miller trailhead- which is also a gorgeous trail. But that's another story... -Rachel


Janet Moore has been a hairstylist for the TV & Film industry for 30 years. Working on such productions as The Voice, The Thundermans, Friends etc... her expertise covers a wide range from coloring,cutting and hair care. However, her primary focus is custom hair extensions. (Both clip in & tape). Janet finds the highest quality of hair and creates a custom piece for your style. I love mine! -Lori

No matter the locks they’ve inherited, every girl has got a hair-related wish, and whether it’s longer hair, stronger hair, more shine or less frizz, the goal that you seek is completely attainable. It’s all about finding the right resources and committing to new routines to discover what works for you.

How to Add Volume to Flat Hair

Only ask of the hair what it can do naturally. So naturally, texture is the first classification I make before working on a new client’s hair. Heredity is the most common cause of flat or fine hair, but with the right everyday management and products, adding volume can be an easy part of your routine. Fine hair is sensitive to weight. Keep your locks above shoulder length with a soft, wispy scissor cut and avoid heavy gels, waxes and silicone products. Use soft volumizers and sprays and be sure to apply them only to the roots so as not to weigh down the hair.

Thinning Hair Remedies

Thinning is among the leading hair care concerns due to aging, but it’s often the result of other bodily changes like hormone fluctuations, thyroid issues or diet. Some of the causes of thinning hair may be resolved through medical attention. The good news? Even hereditary or regular thinning from aging can be delayed or avoided; gentle shampoos and spray-on leave-in conditioners are a winning combination for thinning hair. Look for something sulfate-free, as it will be kind to the scalp. You may also want to use vitamin-rich topical or internal treatments to rebalance your hair-growth cycle and encourage regeneration.

Getting Rid of Dandruff

A dandruff problem is a sensitive scalp problem. But this, too, can be combatted. Purchase a good scalp brush with natural boar bristles to help loosen flaky skin. After brushing, wet your hair and rinse it with a mixture of one part organic apple cider vinegar and eight parts warm water. Work it through your scalp and hair thoroughly, rinse and use a designed-for-dandruff or sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. This vinegar rinse can be repeated as much as necessary.

How to Tame Frizzy Hair

Whether caused by dryness or the environment, frizz is one of the most common complaints I hear from my clients but the treatments depend on each individual’s natural hair texture. Soft hair with frizz or, as I like to say, ‘frothy hair’ can be managed with the right shampoo, conditioner and leave-on moisturizing spray. Styling is also key. Apply a light smoothing product before blow-drying with a round brush, then polish off the style with either a flat iron or large barrel iron. For thick and excessively frizzy hair, use a quality keratin straightening treatment. It’s safe, even for bleached hair, and leaves hair feeling like silk.

How to Fix Oily Hair

Oily hair is typically caused by an oily scalp, so focus on treating the scalp instead. Contrary to popular belief, stripping away oil with excessive washing is not an effective solution; in fact, this will likely cause overcompensation for dryness and even more oil production. You will need to purchase products that normalize the scalp’s pH levels. Regular apple cider vinegar rinses can also help keep the scalp healthy and the hair shiny and clean.

Home Remedies for Dry Hair

Many women strip their hair of essential oils with harsh shampoos and then, counteractively, over-condition with heavy conditioners. Thus, even more important than conditioning is the use of a quality moisturizing shampoo. Keep in mind, the best hair care tips for you will come from your own stylist. Your stylist knows exactly what they have done to your hair and they know exactly what you need to maintain it.

Treatments for Chemical or Color Damage

No chemicals made for hair are designed to damage the hair, so if your hair is chemical or color damaged, this is usually an indication of over-processing or leaving a treatment on too long. After chemical damage, the hair shaft is open and vulnerable, so I recommend protein-bonding and replenishing products. But, your immediate course of action should be to see a stylist for color correction. An experienced stylist will condition and repair the hair as much as possible during the process.

How to Stop Hair Breakage

Most women experience split ends regularly due to heat styling and styling in general, but breakage is easily avoided. Split ends and breakage are actually two different problems—split ends occur before the hair breaks—so if you start to see splitting, act preemptively and get a small trim before it becomes irreparable. Once hair is broken, little trims aren’t going to solve the problem. At this point, a significant haircut and a deep conditioning mask will get you back to square one.

How to Brighten Dull Hair

When hair is lacking moisture, dullness can occur, so the best route to livening up your strands is to invest in quality shampoos and conditioners that keep the hair moisturized. Also, while topical silicone products can add that extra shine, luster can often be achieved naturally by rebalancing the hair’s natural oils. Try reducing the amount of shampooing in any given week. While hair will become oily at first, it often balances out so that one or two shampoos per week will do. -Janet @janetmoorehair

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