Nikki Reed is an actress, singer-songwriter, screenwriter, model, activist, wife and mother. Nikki began her career in 2003 as the co-writer and lead actress of the semi-autobiographical film, Thirteen. She also played vampire Rosalie Hale in The Twilight Saga. Nikki is the proud founder of Bayou With Love, a brand creating conscious products that are good for people and the planet. She is married to actor; Ian Somerhalder, and the couple has a daughter, Bodhi Soleil.
What are your favorite supplements, herbs and healthy products?
I’m a huge fan of OSEA Malibu’s mission as a brand and the authenticity that stems from a family business founded by women. I love Living Tea, which is a part of my daily morning routine. Of course I am a big fan of my Bayou With Love’s Plant Oil Perfume which can even be used as face oil or beard oil because it’s that delicious and gentle.
I love adaptogen herbs and going back to our roots with homemade tinctures. My favorites are ashwagandha, maca and ginseng. All three are amazing and great for inflammation, stress and adrenal balance. I add them to my smoothies in the morning. Our cabinets are filled with everything from mushroom elixirs to turmeric teas, elderberry syrups to CBD creams.
We incorporate spirulina into our daily routine and make our own ginger bugs for gut health. Making a ginger bug is similar to the idea of kombucha. It’s fermented ginger made by adding sugar chunks to ginger floating in water until it begins to ferment. Then you can add a tablespoon of your ginger bug elixir to any drink you like for gut health!
"My goal is to try and use medicine from the earth before walking into a drug store for pills."
How do you make a “Ginger Bug”?
To make a ginger bug, you:
1. Chop 3 tablespoons of ginger, add it to a mason jar of water
2. Add a teaspoon of sugar to start.
3. Cover, and let it sit overnight and add the same amount of sugar to your mix every day for one week.
In about 7-9 days your bug is ready! You can tell that it’s active if there are bubbles forming around the top of the mixture. It should smell a little sour and have a fizzy taste.
What are some of your favorite healthy foods?
I love all food. I’m such a foodie; in another life I was a chef. In this one, I am not, but my husband makes me feel like I could be! I love simple food, whole food. I love fresh food. Nothing tastes better than a carrot that just came out of the ground. My favorite snack is something like tomatoes with fresh basil and olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt. Just yummy deliciousness. I also love making chia seed pudding and coconut rice.
Describe your self-care ritual.
Self-care starts with listening. I feel like so much of our time is spent applying things, ingesting things, with our primary focus being on the “things” we need to fix our misunderstood ailments. An ideal self-care ritual for me would begin with tuning into my body and engaging in a deep conversation that goes beyond a momentary check-in. With this crazy fast-paced life we all live, I definitely find myself craving the quiet time my mind and body need, so I would start there. Meditation, and a long check-in.
Bayou With Love was started with the hopes of creating more sustainable options for the conscious consumer in the world of fashion. We are currently focused on our jewelry line, made from 14-18 gold extracted from the motherboards of recycled tech through our partnership with Dell. Our latest collection uses cultivated diamonds grown locally in California above ground using solar energy! While we are focused on building Bayou, our overall mission is to bring together and highlight other female-founded companies that have similar goals and manufacturer in an ethical and sustainable manner as well.
What is one piece of advice you wish you could tell your younger self?
Ha! Everything and nothing! My younger self needed to find her own path to this way of living. I wish I had known how quickly time goes and how important it is to honor our bodies even as kids. I wish I had known that eating more whole foods as opposed to more packaged foods with all-in-one promises was the key to staying slim and fit.
"I wish I had subscribed earlier to the philosophy that what we put on our bodies we should be able to put in our bodies as well."
Creams and lotions with chemicals are incredibly harmful if we look at our skin as the largest organ on our body. My hope is to teach this to our daughter so she can begin to understand at an early age how important it is to read labels and take pride in making healthy choices. I believe in the concept of natural medicine, and I love the idea that we can supplement with natural products before we even need medicine.
How does CBD make you feel?
I love CBD because it’s non-intoxicating but that doesn’t mean it has zero effects on the human brain and psyche. In fact, it can have an incredibly powerful effect on the immune system, cardiovascular system and nervous system. Both mental and physical health are equally important to me.
Photos by Joe Perri
What does "self-love" mean to you?
Self-love means less judgment and more acceptance. It doesn’t mean doing things flawlessly; it means acknowledging that it is a journey. It requires tuning into ourselves, our bodies and our minds. We all have similar struggles and we are all working towards loving ourselves and each other on an even deeper level. The things you may struggle with, I might not, but having compassion for ourselves and each other is all part of self-love.
"To me, love is love, so when you begin to have it for yourself you can love everything and everyone even deeper."
Editor's notes: interview conducted on November 13, 2018 and edited for length and clarity.