M. Citizen Magazine Issue 6

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A cultural Icon


The multi-talented artist on her new EP “Earth Signs”


Editor in Chief / Creative Director / Graphic Design / Retouching / Writer Bec Doyle @becdoyle_ Photographer Glenn Nutley @glennnutley Photographer / Retouching Victoria Kait @circumpunctstudio


Photographer / Retouching Alex Evans @alexevansphotography Writer Elisabeth Hower @elisabethhower Writer Bobby Nahill @bobbynahill Writer Tony C Simmons @tonycortezofla Writer Anh Tran @veggieanh Fashion Stylist Linda Medvene @lindamedvenestyling Fashion Stylist Alex Sherra @a.shera.style Fashion Stylist Nora Foley @nora_foley Fashion Stylist Viktoriya Varabyova @iamnot_shialabeouf Stylist Assistant Lauren Allen @iamlaurenallen Make-Up Artist Stevi Christine @naturallyby Make-up Artist Phoebe Dawson @phoebemakeup Grooming Hadeel Sittu @hadeelsittu Grooming Monique Foster @mizzmique Hair Stylist

Andrew Zaepeda @andrewzepeda

Hair Stylist

Mika Fowler @mikahairstylist

Hair Stylist Damien Salter @dsalterbeauty 2 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

ON THE COVER Nat wears Top by Alejandra Raw from Casa R - San Miguel De Allende, and Jewelry by Kuu

Kenzie wears sweater by Ralph Lauren

Photography : Glenn Nutley @thecontentcollective Hair Stylist : Andrew Zepeda @andrewzepeda Make-Up Artist: Stevi Christine @naturallyby Fashion Stylist : Linda Medvene @lindamedvenestyling



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Nat Kelley Creating the life she wants to live, in the world she wants to live in


Jonathan Bennett Actor and digital Mogul on life, love and everything in between.

Kam Kalloway 10 dedication Proof that through hardwork and the hustle can pay off Skylar Stecker 20 The Multi-talented artist on her evolution and new EP “Earth Signs”




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Stefanie Terzo The Art of Hair: From the salon to the screen. The Beauty Shot Close up with recording artist Skylar Stecker featuring Cruelty free &/or Vegan beauty




Plant Based Recipes Content Creator Anh Tran shares Vietnamese iinspired recipes perfect for the cooler weather SPOTLIGHT : The NUCCA Technique Chiropractor Dr Tanvi Desai discusses the alternative, less invasive technique




Vegan and Plant-Based Luxury Footwear

E M PAT H Y T H E L A B E L A multifaceted-lifestyle brand, Empathy The Label, created by two young and innovative leaders of the Gen Z culture, Margo Fischer and Stella Waddell, is fueled by mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

Throughout our content and products, we provide enlightened messages of love and self-awareness, such as our coined phrase, “Your Ego is Not Your Amigo.” We endeavor to create high-quality, beautifully made specialty items designed to last the test of time. We believe in the ethical and sustainable creations of all our products, operating to reduce carbon emissions while supporting second-hand, previously loved garments. Each item we offer is hand printed locally in the United States with water-based ink. We are subtly spreading the seeds of sustainability, rooted in presence, grounded in gratitude. Years leading up to the collaboration, the co-founders discovered their bond ran deeper than fashion. They both had a love for the dance floor. In 2017 they began exploring the nightlife in major cities in hopes to find a place to express themselves. Fully immersed into modern-day club culture, they realized something was off. What caught their attention was the lack of true human connection… and the presence of the ego, status, and the love of money. It seemed as if everyone was too caught up in what others thought of them than actually pursuing a good time. This sparked a fire within the two to create change… birthing the idea of a lifestyle brand that is inspired by a disco revolution. Our mission is to create immersive experiences to connect deeper with our community through fashion, arts, music, and dance with authentic expression at its core. We are bringing to light the power of huM. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

man connection, and ultimately having unconditional love for ourselves, others, and this planet. Our logo, a disco ball, is a symbol for bringing people together in unity with music and dance. The essence of Empathy is a heart-opening experience. At Empathy The Label, we pour pure intentions into the development of our products. Our most recent release, the Imperfection Collection embodies just that. We have curated a collection of high-quality, sustainable, and unique vintage garments that encourage embracing your individuality. Dating back as far as the 1980s, each garment is unique with its own little imperfections, but we believe that’s what makes them so cool. Connect with us @empathythelabel on Instagram Empathy The Label merchandise is sold online on their webstore www.empathythelabel.com or you can find them selling merchandise at pop-ups throughout the Los Angeles rave scene.




am Kalloway, is a multi-faceted artist creating music that is authentically him. This Cali born artist isn’t playing by the rules or adhering to industry norms. Driven by his desire to connect and inspire, his sound is constantly evolving with his experiences and how he wishes to express them. With early musical roots, and a strong work ethic, Kam found himself working across various aspects of the music industry, including interning at prolific labels such as Universal and Chris Brown Entertainment, before getting back into the studio and working on his own music, giving him the knowledge and industry insight not many artists possess. Armed with this experience, raw talent, and undeniable style, Kam Kalloway is on the rise, and is a prime example that with hard work and dedication, the hustle can pay off.



“I also believe in understanding purpose; as vain as the industry can be, my intent is to inspire and connect people through storytelling.”


Kam wears woven suit by Lanvin, shirt by Vivienne Westwood Boots by JeanBaptiste Rautureau.


Kam wears Suit by Jesse J Collections, Turtle Neck Sweater by Escada and Hat by Rodney Jon

How did your career as a recording artist begin?

What was your experience during the production process?

My Mom is a gospel singer and my dad played drums in a band so I’ve always been around music but didn’t get in the studio until I was around 14. I was behind the scenes in the entertainment field for a while but reconnected with music in the pandemic.

It was the second to last song I had written with a new group of Atlanta based producers I had met in the studio earlier that month. I remember being real tired that day cause we had gone through like 10 records and were trying to figure out the sound for my project. I had ran out of money to afford the nicer studio we were previously recording at and ended up getting a deal at artist “TK Kravitz” personal studio. I remember My Producer “Lule’’ had sent me a beat and soon as the engineer pulled it I knew it was gold, but wasn’t sure how to approach it. So second half of the chorus I had “Omega The Kid” do the high part to keep the vibe in the Swag of ATL.

When you say “behind the scenes” in the Entertainment industry, how so? I did a lot of interning at the beginning of my journey. I first interned for a film production company after working a job as an extra in a lil Wayne Music video. They eventually hired me as a Production assistant and on a separate music video I did for “Kelly Rowland”, I met the SVP of Universal Motown Who at the time (Sylvia Rhone). She had me walk a lady to her car who ended up giving me an internship at UMG in Video Productions and A&R. After leaving that label I briefly interned for an RnB artists Label (Neyo) “Compound Entertainment ” and shortly after finally landing myself my final Internship with pop Icon Chris Brown at he and his former managers companies “CBE” and “Phase Too Ent”.

What was the inspiration behind your new track “Atlanta”? The idea of “Atlanta” came from my first trip from LA to Atlanta at the beginning of the Pandemic. The song integrates a lot of the experiences I had and shout out some of the city staples like “magic city” and “Spelman College” .

“Kizzy” was one of your tracks released late last year that gardnered alot of attention, what is it about ? I was in ATL, and I went to the strip club. I wrote Kizzy in LA after coming back inspired from the vibes.

Were you involved in the creative direction of the music video? Absolutely. I produced , and directed it. It took us 4 separate shoot dates over a month apart to film it.

Slick Woods has a cameo in your music video, are the two of you friends? Yea. slicks the homie, I actually brought her in after the first initial cut to help execute the concept.


“When you get to go to work as an actor it’s such a privilege,”


“When you get to go to work as an actor it’s such a privilege,”


What has been your favorite music collaboration to date? Writing with TK Kravitz & Jaqueese

This could be good and bad sometimes cause when you go through some of the songs they may sound like different artists at times but that’s also the beauty of it.

If you could collab with anyone on your next track, who would it be and why?

You’ve worked extremely hard to get where you are, who do you credit your success to?

Drake, I studied him for years and he has a lot of influence in my Artistry.

God, everything happens in his time. I also believe in understanding purpose; as vain as the industry can be, my intent is to inspire and connect people through storytelling.

Who were you inspired by musically growing up? Motown, gospel, my dad would make me rehearse Usher and Temptation songs on summer breaks.

How has your sound developed? I don’t have many songs out but every record is different and constantly evolving. I don’t like to be Pigeon holed so the sound is pretty expansive and the message is, to overcome, after facing a ton of hardship after my second trip to Atlanta.

How would you describe your personal style? A vibe. I love my black brands - especially Off white RIP to VIRGIL

What sets you apart from other hip hop artists established or emerging today? I’m different cause I’m an artist that’s gonna release what I want even if it doesn’t fit the “brand”. I come from a diverse upbringing so though this record may be trap my next may feel more rnb, or pop; whatever feels right. 18 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

What was the catalyst in starting your own label Twenty4 4Ever, and what do you envision for the label? I’m a songwriter 1st so I wanted to start a company behind my music. I’m focusing on my project at the moment. I do eventually want to give other artists a platform to express themselves as well tho.

Outside of work and the entertainment industry, what are you passionate about? Spending time with the family. I really like helping people without opportunity in other capacities, beyond Entertainment. I was a kid that had to fight for things on my own. People have always been hesitant to give me a shot and I hate seeing other people who are applying themselves get overlooked.

What’s something no one knows about you? Most people don’t know that my uncle is a former mayor of Compton. My dad’s side of the family were born and raised in the city so as a kid I was back and forth from Hub city. ■

Kam wears Suit by Jesse J Collections, Turtle Neck Sweater by Escada and Hat by Rodney Jon


“When you get to go to work as an actor it’s such a privilege,”



The future looks bright as Skylar Stecker looks to break the mold and emerge as the Multi-talened superstar she’s destined to be. By being free creatively, and staying true to the foundations that made her the genuine artist she is today.


he singer, songwriter, dancer, and multi-instrumentalist has been part of the music world for almost a decade, but she’ll tell you herself that her 2021 EP, “Earth Signs”, is her first real project in which she can say with content, “this is who I am”. “Earth Signs” is a subtle Pop/R&B project based around flirtatious and sensual vibes brought about by the beginning stages of an intimate relationship. A mostly uptempo collection of songs that navigates the nuances of infatuations, affection, handling emotions that come with opening your heart, and the potential dangers of being vulnerable to an intimate partner. Her latest song, “Hate That For You”, continues the theme of intimacy, but this time telling the story of the inner thoughts of someone feeling neglected in a relationship. It’s an authentic song that translates where she was in her life and in that moment, in which she was wanting more out of someone but not really knowing how to express that. So, in turn, she did what she knew best and turned her raw emotions into a song for her audience to resonate with emotionally.


How do you compare your “Earth Signs” project with your past work? “My last project was released when I was sixteen, so I would say Earth Signs is my first release ‘as a Woman’. It’s a lot more grown, and everything that I learned from when I was making music as a teenager, I’ve implemented into this project and the next stage of my life, and hopefully until forever. This is like the new birth, or my clean slate - a new beginning to everything that’s about to come.” Your newest song “HateThat For You” comes off the heels of your “Earth Signs” EP. This time you recorded a ballad - based on feelings of neglect. What advice do you have for people going through neglect in a relationship? “ I feel like it’s best to pinpoint where the emotions and feelings are coming, rationalize, and see both sides. But at the end of the day, I’m all for saying how you feel and being honest. Especially if you’re in a relationship with somebody, that person should be aware of the things they might be doing that they don’t even know are

Skylar wears Amulet By D Necklace, Coat by Rita Vinieris, Dress by Leau

Kam wears Jesse J Collections suit, Escada turtle neck sweater, Rodney Jon hat, Jean-Baptiste Rautureau boots



Skylar wears Outfit by Chung Thanh Phong, Necklace by Ariel Taub



causing you to feel a certain way, just like I would want the other person to do for me - vice versa. So, I would say just be honest and transparent. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. But you’ll never know if you’re not 100% honest.”

or sing a note on my phone and then I’ll go in the studio and start writing like a mad woman. So for me, it’s more random and I just have to flow with it when it comes. Otherwise, I’ll lose it and I’ll be mad at myself later on.”

Skylar will admit she began creating “Hate That For You” in an uptempo style, but her feelings at the time prompted a change to make the song a ballad. Being an independent artist certainly has its perks, as it gives her this unique writing ability where she can adapt her creativity to her emotions on a whim without needing any approval from no one. Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime, and it’s important for Skylar to follow her intuition in her own way and at her own pace.

With you being an independent artist, it certainly allows the freedom for that kind of output. I was wondering, do you have any advice for artists struggling with the decision of going independent or signing to a major label?

When you go in the studio to write and/or record, how do you get into that creative space needed to make these songs? “Well…I can’t force myself. I mean, literally the other day, I was in the car and I saw this tree, and for some reason it made me think of this one idea for a song [laughing] and it had nothing to do with the tree by the way - but the tree got me inspired. I just had this urge to get to the studio as soon as possible to create. Or sometimes when I’m in the studio, the energy of the other people in the room can heighten the creativity levels. But overall, I just kind of roll with what I have at the spark and I won’t let it go, I won’t ignore it - I can’t. Luckily, I have a studio in my house. So anytime I have any sort of idea or inspiration, I just sort of write it down

- “Both going independent and signing with a label has its pros and cons, but it’s really about what you personally need as an artist. And looking at it outside of yourself and what you think makes the most sense based on what your goals are at the moment.There are definitely bonuses to being with a label and having that huge team and everything. And there are really big pluses in being an independent artist, where you don’t have to go through a bunch of people and you can kind of have that immediate relationship with your fans and audience and make those decisions without other influences. So I think it just really depends on what you’re needing and what you think you’re going to be the most happy in. I would say, I’m not opposed at all to signing with a label in the future, or bringing on partners or collaborators. But just like with any relationship, it has to be the right fit. So I don’t feel like you have to rush into anything or a situation. Make sure you take your time and see if it’s the right decision for you.”



Skylar wears Jewelry & Glasses by Lada Legina

Do you ever see yourself writing for other artists, like Ne-Yo or Sia did, or are you just looking to write for your own? “I’m definitely not opposed to writing for other artist. For every one song that’s recorded, there’s like ten songs that’s been written and they never see the light of day. I would love to pitch these songs to artist or collaborate with them to see if they love it or if it resonates with them more so than it might have for me. I love when artists do that, I think it’s really cool that two people in the same field can take two completely different spins on an idea. I would love to do that.” In what ways do you see yourself evolving as an artist? Are you learning anything now that you might apply to your music in the future, say, five years from now? - “I recently learned how to vocal produce. I did it a lot for my “Earth Signs” EP - that was my first time. I would love to continue to grow and learn in that department, and to involve it more in my creative process. I’m very specific about a lot of things - as an artist and I feel like in the past, I wasn’t necessarily able to be intricate with my work if I didn’t have the full knowledge to best communicate the type of sounds I wanted or what exactly I was looking for. So the more knowledge I can have on the production side, the more it will help me be even more direct in putting my whole soul into the music and how I envision it coming to life. It’s really exciting to me because it makes the songs more authentic and real to the consumer. Are there any current or past artists that inspires you to make these songs? “Yeah, I love Bruno Mars. I think he does a 30 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

great job of committing to whatever he’s doing - 100% to the fullest with such quality. I try to look at my work through the eyes of him because he’s so inspiring in that way and really commits to what he’s trying to say. Same thing with Beyonce, I love her. She always commits, she’s so talented, and she pushes herself. Real true performers they both are and definitely when I’m creating, I think about how the songs are going to sound in a live show. I definitely have an ear for that and I try to format my songs around what I think is going to be in a live setting.” I saw your live performance of the “Earth Signs” EP on YouTube - you were playing the drums. And you also played piano for your “Don’t Test Me” video. What other instruments do you play and do you have a favorite? “I play the piano, the drums, and a little bit of guitar. But the piano would definitely be my favorite because it’s ‘the O.G.’, it’s what I started with, what I’m most familiar with, and it’s the most versatile. I use it most when I’m writing. My second favorite - close behind piano - would be the drums. Would you ever do an acoustic album? “That would be a good idea, actually! I wanted to do an acoustic version of “Earth Signs”, but I never got the chance. That would be very fun to do though.” Skylar has plenty of time to reach all her goals. Her professional singing career is still quite young, but she’s well-experienced in showcasing her singing ability to the public. Her mother, Kara, was vital in Skylar’s upbringing as a teenage singer and

“When you get to go to work as an actor it’s such a privilege,”

Skylar wears Dress by Banh Naht Di

“Earth Signs is my first release ‘as a Woman’, It’s a lot more grown... This is like the new birth, or my clean slate - a new beginning to everything that’s about to come.”



also as a human being. Skylar was taught by her mom to think outside of herself, to give back, and to use her voice in many ways other than singing. She has immense talent that rides side by side with a strong sense of humility, and thanks to Kara, her future is very promising.

edge (over ten years) of navigating through this crazy industry, she also knows me better than anyone else does and more than anybody else ever will. She always gives me advice from both sides, music-wise and also what’s best for me long term for what’s going to make me happy.

At what age did you first learn you had a special voice, and when did you decide to take it on full-time?

Your involved in multiple animal rights and rescue organizations, along with taking part in non-profits like Wheelchair 4 Kids and Kids Wish Network. Is there any other causes you’d like to advocate for, or bring awareness to in the future?

“I started singing when I was nine. No one in my family does anything musical at all, so it was completely random. There was this talent show thing I did, they asked me to sing, and from then on…I just loved it. I fell in love with it. Next thing I knew, I was singing National Anthems, and writing and playing musical instruments. I was like a music sponge! Anything musical, I was doing it. I loved it so much, and then I just took it from there. I just knew it was something I wanted to do forever and that it’s what I was meant to do. Ever since then, my life has been completely consumed happily - by music.” Your father was a professional athlete, so obviously he’s talented. But what about your mother, is she in the talent department as well? “My mom is a super-talented advisor!” [laughing] She is my number one person who is always there for me. Anytime I have any questions - even just about life - she’s always there to give me the answers. The music industry is very complicated and very different from all the other industries, and as someone who didn’t necessarily grow up in a musical household, I needed to learn, and my mom has seen it all. I trust her advice and her opinion more than anybody else’s. Not only does she have the knowl34 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

“Definitely. I discovered my love for music in school. There was this talent show I did and if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have been in a music class, then the teacher wouldn’t have asked me to sing. If I wouldn’t have got into that or if those programs weren’t available at the school, I honestly don’t think I would be here right now doing what I’m doing. I never would’ve had the confidence or opportunity to try something new and to find that thing that I love - and live my life doing - if it wasn’t for music in schools. So I would get involved more with having music in schools and having extra classes for music. I think it’s important to give kids the access to try these things. Lastly, speaking of the future, what can we expect from you musically in 2022? - “I’m currently finalizing and gathering songs for my next project. I definitely have a lot of music and a lot of collaborations that I’m working on right now. My goal is hopefully early spring (when I’m able to release music again), so we’ll see. ■

Skylar wears Dress & Blazer by John Richmond, Bralette by SNDYS. & Gloves by Yandy

Jonathan Bennett



here is no doubt Jonathan Bennett is used to being busy. After hitting world-wide acclaim for his roles in numerous box-office hits, Bennett’s acting career has transpired across all forms of media. Now a viral digital mogul, television host, and entrepreneur in between acting jobs, Bennett has seemingly mastered the true meaning of multitasking. When speaking to Bennett, his authenticity, passion and candidness were an inspirational breath of fresh air.



What is a fun or unique fact that most people wouldn’t know about you? We live in the age of social media, and I pretty much live my whole life on Instagram and in the public eye. There isn’t really anything people don’t know about me already. I guess that would be my fun fact!

You are truly a jack of all trades and constantly involved in multiple projects. How do you manage everything? Between social media, acting, planning a wedding, activism for the LGBTQ+ community, the days are very full and it can be challenging. But I approach everything from a teamwork aspect. You surround yourself with amazing people, and luckily I have an amazing team I work with. Especially my fiancé, who is my number 1 team mate in all of this, helping me to navigate what this world will look like. Having a support system is the answer to everything.

As an actor, the rollercoaster is real, and you are someone who is such an advocate for mental health and wellness. When did wellness start to play a bigger role in your life? After both my parents passed, there was a moment where after all the dust settled, I realized how much a toll of the pressure of not only being an actor but a gay actor in Hollywood was having on me. It got me to a point where I realized I didn’t feel good inside and needed to figure out who I am and live for myself versus pleasing everyone else. Once I started living unapologetically myself, my real mental health felt like it was at a thriving and happy place. You realize you have to re-organize your “closet” and dump out all of your luggage and re-pack it - figuratively and literally.


Jonathan wears full look by The Kooples, Gloves stylists own.


THIS PAGE: Jonathan wears Jacket by Stone Island, Shirt by A.P.C. Jeans by Frame . OPPOSITE PAGE: Jonatha wears Shirt by A.P.C.



THIS PAGE: Jonathan wears The Kooples Paris, OPPPOSITE PAGE: Jonathan wears Jacket by Stone Island and Shirt by A.P.C.


Do you have any go-to wellness practices that help you on a regular basis? I want to be the person that says I meditate every day and journal, but I don’t do either. For me, group fitness classes are where I go for my mental health stability. Really high intense group classes are the only place that catch up with my brain due to the loud music, tons of energy happening really quickly and not being able to use your phone. You have to focus for an entire hour on this one task, and that really helps calm me down mentally. If you had an entire day dedicated to just

wellness what would that look like?

The only day I wouldn’t be able to answer emails or phone calls is on my deathbed. Jokes aside, I would spend the entire day with my golden doodle. My dog brings me so much joy, and is truly an emotional support for me.

Your career really took off pre-social media and viral internet fame, and certain roles you’ve been in have achieved both huge box office notoriety and are still popular today with the help of social media. How does that feel to reflect on and realize you’re a cultural icon? It’s a weird thing to be Jonathan Bennett, and October 3rd is the weirdest day of my life. If you are ever having an off day, just stop and think “it can’t be as weird as Jonathan Bennett’s day on October 3rd.” It is a blessing to be a part of pop culture and to be an icon in that world. It’s humbling and gratifying at the same time. The reason for all of the success is people. Mean Girls and Hallmark are stories about people that everyone can relate to. Everyone’s been to high school and that’s why Mean Girls does so well. Everyone has family 44 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

“If you are ever having an off day, just stop and think “it can’t be as weird as Jonathan Bennett’s day on October 3rd.” It is a blessing to be a part of pop culture and to be an icon in that world.” and has to go through the holidays in someway, which is where Hallmark comes in. A lot of gay people that want to get married look to me and my fiancé for advice and support. Projects that are truly successful can all relate back to people and their lives. Whether it’s on social media or a movie, it’s due to the fact that you can identify with whatever it is you’re watching.

You have really been taking social media by storm. What has been the benefit of social media for you personally and professionally? There’s two types of people out there: those who love and hate social media. I’d say I’m both. I love how much I can tell my story and live my life loudly, proudly and visibly for younger Jonathan’s to see. I remember back when I was a young gay man, I didn’t have any role models to look up to, or love that looks like the kind of love I wanted, between two men in a healthy, happy relationship. Social media allows me to create visibility of what a hard working gay man in the industry goes through, and on top of that is able to find love and be in a relationship that is inspiring for others. People don’t just want to see your successes but also your failures, which I believe is important to share, in order to pull back the one-dimensional curtain and show intimate and raw times in between happy moments.

Jonathan wears Turtle Neck by Sandro Paris, Suit by Brunello Cucinelli, Coat by The Kooples



Jonathan wears Sweater by Hugo Boss, Jeand by Frame Denim


THIS PAGE: Jonathan wears Sweater by Hugo Boss, Jeand by Frame Denim OPPOSITE PAGE: Jonathan wears Sweater by Ralph Lauren Purple Label



Jonathan wears Sweater by Ralph Lauren Purple Label

“Social media allows me to create visibility of what a hard working gay man in the industry goes through, and on top of that is able to find love and be in a relationship that is inspiring for others.”


“I tried to be someone else for so long and it was such a waste of energy and time. Looking back I would have been my true self the moment I could speak.” What are your thoughts on marriage and what does it mean to you? I never thought marriage was possible, because growing up it wasn’t legal between two men. It was a pipe dream that didn’t exist so I didn’t put much thought into it. When it became legal, I really saw it as a possibility. When I met James, I realized it could be a reality. I am a handful and it took meeting the right person that understands how to appreciate who you are for exactly who you are and not try to make you anything else. Marrying the person you love, you are marrying all of them and still loving them anyway.

You’ve also made huge steps for the LGBTQ+ community in the world of representation and have been a beacon for queer viewers and performers. For those who are in the LGBTQ+ community and aspire for a career similar to yours, what advice do you have for those individuals? Just be you and do you, because everyone else is taken. Don’t try to be everyone else because the moment you do that, you lose all the amazing qualities that make you you. I tried to be someone else for so long and it was such


a waste of energy and time. Looking back I would have been my true self the moment I could speak.

The Christmas House was such a touching and well received movie. What can we expect from the sequel that came out Dec 18th? The Christmas House 2 has twice the humor and heart. We see the Mitchell family come back together for the holidays a few years later and the family has gotten bigger, and my husband and I have adopted another baby as a family of four. We wanted to create our own holiday traditions with our family, and end up getting roped into a Christmas decorating contest reality tv competition. Hilarity ensues and through all of it, the viewers will really relate to how great of a job Hallmark did creating an authentic version of a real family in 2021. The Mitchell Family looks like a real family, acts like a real family, and the viewers can really identify with themselves in the movie, where you get the heart and humor from. I’m so proud of the Hallmark Channel for showing the world that Christmas is for everyone, and everyone deserves to feel seen during the Holidays.

With your upcoming wedding, running OutBound Travel, and continuing your incredibly successful acting and hosting career, what would you love to see next in your life personally and professionally? I would love to be in a project where my fiancé and I can be in it together. We hang out all day anyway so might as well do that on set. ■

Jonathan wears Shirt by Niel Barrett



Jonathan wears The Kooples Paris


NAT KELLEY WOMAN ON FIRE Nathalie Kelley is not only creating the life she wants to live, but the world she wants to live in. WORDS BY ELISABETH HOWER @ELISABETHHOWER



Nat wears vintage Gown by Richard Tyler Jacket by Alassandra Petersen from Proyecto Republica, Jewelry by Kuu



o say Nathalie Kelley is effusive is an understatement, an accomplishment over Zoom. Barely a minute into our inter view, we’ve deep-dived into the balance of the Yin and Yang of the Earth, the effect of a capitalistic mindset on our collective mental health, and a glimpse into her Incan ancestr y. She’ll tell me later that she’s “terrible conversation at a party,” because of her aversion for small talk. Excellent. Me too. Though it’s early evening, she’s bright eyed and bushy tailed, dressed in a cream pajama set she hasn’t taken off all day. By the end of the inter view, I understood that’s simply because she has far too many other passions on her plate to bother with changing. Kelley is Peruvian by birth, but moved to Australia with her single mother by age three. However, she grew up in a home rich with an appreciation of the histor y and culture they left behind. Her mother was proud of their heritage, and made sure her daughter was, too. When asked why they left Peru, considering the obvious love, her answer was simple: “Poverty.” She explains further, “the first time I went back to

Peru, I was shocked and saddened to see [the conditions] indigenous people were living in.” Perhaps even more heartbreaking is the way she describes how under valued their wisdom is. Her ancestors are nothing short of brilliant bio-scientists. “At the height of their empire, [Incans] were feeding 10 million people without a single drop of [pesticides.] Pure organic farming. And creating thousands of species of plants. All the potatoes you know today were created by my ancestors.” It’s clear to her that ver y wisdom holds many answers to our modern day environmental challenges, among others. But so far, too few are listening. That’s partly why she spends so much of her time advocating for indigenous peoples, their human rights, and rights to their land. For instance, Maxima, a documentar y about an indigenous Peruvian female farmer and her fight against corporate greed is just one project she’s thrown her support behind. Not to mention those she’s creating herself. Kelley knows she’s got a platform, and she’s not afraid to use it. In fact, it’s what drives her. And what’s more? She’s pressing that pedal to the metal.



Nat wears vintage Gown by Richard Tyler Jacket by Alassandra Petersen from Proyecto Republica, Jewelry by Kuu


Nat wears vintage Suit by Stella McCartney, Jewelry by Kuu


“There was a time when I was younger when I was on the Hollywood train of ticking off boxes… I’ve spent the past two years or more really deprogramming those models of success for myself.” Her fire and grit got me inspired. It also got me curious. Why? Of course these are more than worthy causes to get behind, but it breaks the model of celebrity we’ve been sold. Kelley has got all the makings of a classic Hollywood starlet, and with 1.6 million followers on Instagram, she’s primed to don designer dresses, shoes with red bottoms, and Post Mates ever y meal. Instead, she’s committed to the #NoNewClothes movement to promote sustainability and fight fast fashion. Not even the fancy threads a magazine stylist can access will tempt her. For her shoot, no conventionally created textiles were entertained, as “the textile industr y is a major contributor to pollution and climate change.” That intention and mindfulness extends to her skincare, too. When looking at what she’s about to put on her skin, she says, “I always ask, would I want to drink it? Because that’s what’s happening. It’s going into our water.” Nathalie Kelley has set some boundaries, and I am

here for it. “ There was a time when I was younger when I was on the Hollywood train of ticking off boxes,” she explains. ‘Oh, you make a certain amount of money and you get to buy a nice car or you get to have a house.’ I feel like I’ve spent the past two years or more really deprogramming those models of success for myself. Because if ever ybody in the world lived like we live, or like we’re aspiring to live in this first world, we’d need four earths to accommodate the resources.” She repeats: “Four earths.” It’s a fact that she’s doubtless stated before, but the gravity seems to hit her with the same weight as the moment she learned it. Was she always this passionate about the planet? Yes. Sort of. She speaks about her mother and grandmother, who was a farmer, and the great reverence they have for the land. However, it was more recently that she recognized her responsibility, as well as her abilities to do something more


Nat wears Jacket by Alassandra Petersen from Proyecto Republica


about it. The fires in Australia in 2019 and 2020 ravaged the countr y on a catastrophic level, burning 46 million acres, caused the death of 34 people, and upwards of 3 billion animals, some species of whom are believed to now be extinct. And it shifted Kelley’s perspective irrevocably. According to her, the fires “were a catalyst for me hitting the brakes on this trajector y of what I thought life as an actress and success as an actress would look like. I realized I’d been promoting all kinds of wrong things. Flying around the world to sit front row at fashion week to sell more clothes.” She muses, “What meaning does that have in a world that has no water left or that is all burnt up? Those fires showed me what our world could look like if we don’t start taking care of our soil, if we don’t start looking at the interconnectedness of all of our choices. The way that we eat, the way that we clothe ourselves, our purchasing choices… they all have an effect somewhere on the planet.”


Retail therapy, for instance. Who among us isn’t guilty of imbibing the occasional shopping spree on a bad day? However, “we tend to turn a blind eye to the drain on our resources to supply the retail that’s supposed to heal us,” she says. In other words, we don’t like thinking about how much water it took to make that shirt we wore once, maybe twice, and tossed. Further, “young women are committing suicide at higher rates than ever before,” proving that retail therapy hasn’t even worked as therapy therapy ; it’s yet another tragic consequence to the messaging and marketing that plays up unrealistic ideals to increase their bottom line. Kelley instead ascribes to the indigenous perspective on resources. Rather than focusing on what we can “get” from nature and its resources, “it’s about belonging to the web of life,” she says. “We’re no longer separate from nature. We are nature… and we could be really beneficial to all species, but right now we’ve been pretty parasitic.”

Nat wears Cream Cami by Sarah Janks Jacket by Alassandra Petersen from Proyecto Republica, Vintage Fossil Necklace from Decades


Nat wears Cream Cami by Sarah Janks Jacket by Alassandra Petersen from Proyecto Republica, Vintage Levi’s and Vintage Fossil Necklace from Decades


Nat wears Top by Alejandra Raw from Casa R - San Miguel De Allende, and Jewelry by Kuu



“ I don’t want to live in a hierarchy where I’m at the top and the people at the bottom are suffering in order for me to get my two day delivery from Amazon.” To set her beliefs into action, Kelley has co-founded Ritual Community, a class platform aimed at “creating benevolent leaders,” where women and men can “cultivate a connection to Self, Community & the Sacred.” In fact, mid-inter view, she pauses. “Do you have two minutes? I’m just setting up for class and I have to do a lighting test, but I’d like to keep talking. Is that okay?” The platform offers classes for the full moon, as was the plan for this evening, but also those centered on Indigenous Allyship, Living A Zero Waste Lifestyle, How To Compost, and Wealth Redistribution. It’s work she’s passionate about, and seems to ground her. Kelley urges us to “look around at the world and ask, is this really working for ever yone?” She recognizes her position and privilege, as well as the cost. “I don’t want to

live in a hierarchy where I’m at the top and the people at the bottom are suffering in order for me to get my two day deliver y from Amazon.” On top of growing this community, she’s a board member of Kiss The Ground, a non-profit who’s mission it is “to awaken people to the possibilities of ” regenerative agriculture. The latter also has a documentar y of the same name on Netflix, narrated by Woody Harrelson. She’s also on the board of the Fungi Foundation, another NGO focused on preser ving fungi and educating people about their importance to the global ecosystem. Because of the nutrients they supply to the soil and 90% of plant life, we quite literally cannot live without them, not for long anyway. Kelley joined the organization after being


Nat wears Vintage Top from Casa R - San Migu, Vintage Levi’s and Jewelry by Ippolita




inspired by the film Fantastic Fungi and reaching out to the filmmakers to see how she could help spread the word. With all that fills her day, I was starting to understand why she stayed in pajamas. But let’s not forget, Nathalie Kelley is also an actress. Where, and how on earth, does that fit into the schedule? We circle back to our earlier conversation of Yin and Yang. The pandemic began just as she finished shooting The Baker and the Beauty for nine months in Puerto Rico. She tells me she’d have spent a great deal of time following that resting and recovering anyway. Which is to say nothing of how fulfilling it was to shoot. Kelley and the cast knew they were “capturing something special,” and it was this show that taught her “content can be medicinal.” She received more fan mail for this project, which went to number one on Netflix within its first week of release, than any other. Fans told her how much hope the show gave them, and “made them believe in love again.” It became a balm to many during these last two years.

The experience has made her cautious about what projects she wants to take on next. “ There’s been a lot of work that I’ve turned down in the last 2 years.” Why? “Content can also be poison. I don’t want to be a part of that anymore. I don’t want to tell any stories where violence against women is glorified. Even if I’m the cop solving the murder. I don’t care. That happens enough in real life. What’s the antidote to that?” Kelley’s not saying she only wants to participate in G-rated films, however, she’s interested in asking, “What’s the intersection between entertainment, education and elevation? Elevating our consciousness, of where we want to go as a human race?” It’s nearly time for her class to start, and Nathalie apologizes a second time for not having more, well, time to give. It feels fitting. Pouring her passions into each of her waking moments has become her lifestyle, one where it’s cool to care and where social media platforms aren’t about promoting your own voice, but supporting the voiceless. I’ll take that over Louboutins any day. ■


STEFANIE TERZO The Art of Hair : Salon to the Screen



or many creatives in the hair and makeup industry, wanting to further their career working in the illustrious film and TV industry, can seem impossible. You train, land a job in a salon and wonder how to achieve that next step, styling the actors and celebrities you admire on the screen. For professional Hairstylist Stefanie Terzo her story began not unlike many budding stylists. She went to Cosmetology school and worked in a salon in her hometown of Toronto, Canada. After a chance encounter working on a music video, the Director encouraged her to pursue a career in film and TV. Once establishing herself in Toronto, Stefanie took the leap, relocating to L.A., the entertainment capital of the world. She packed up her car, traveled across the continent, and hasn’t looked back! Although she admits, it’s not always glamorous, it requires had work, long hours and the ability to withstand some extreme working conditions. But if you ask Stefanie, it is totally worth it! Working as a freelance Hairstylist, her professional journey has led her to the most exciting sets, working in both the US and Canada. Holding positions as Key Stylist and Head of Department on numerous productions including Orphan Black, Shadow Hunters, V Wars, In The Dark and Locke & Key. Stefanie has worked with some of the most accomplished and respected actors in the industry today, and she’s just getting started. I asked Stefanie all about her start in the industry, career highlights, what’s ahead in 2022 and more…


How did you get started in the industry? I started my journey at a young age sweeping floors and washing hair in a salon. Right out of high school I went to cosmetology school, became licensed and started to grow my career. One day I helped out a friend of a friend, who was a music video director, on the set of his latest video. We got to chatting on set and he asked if I’d ever thought about making a career out of this. My response was, “How many music videos could I possibly shoot, for me to make a living?” He then responded, “Well.. I mean in Film and Television.” I thought about that, and when I went home that night I went online and did some searching around the internet, contacted the union hair local in my area, and well.. here I am over a decade later!

Why freelance as opposed to being agency represented? I freelance as opposed to being agency represented mostly for the fact I have been fortunate enough in my career to not have needed representation. I have worked consistently for the past number of years building my credits, contacts and a name for myself. I have been very blessed to have had the opportunity to work across the United States, Canada and Europe. I am not against ever having representation, it has just not been something I’ve needed to acquire up to this point in my career.

What is a deciding factor in the productions you choose to work on? There are multiple factors I consider when choosing the projects I work on, but the most important to me is the project itself:

Stefanie Terzo styling Luke Baines on Shadow Hunters

I will read the script and decide if it is a project I feel good being a part of. During this time I will also do a light breakdown of what my job would entail. For example, the time period of the project takes place (past, present, future); What sort of styles are necessary and appropriate; wigs and hair pieces that may be needed; and other things like such, pertaining to the script. I want to feel a connection to the project and know that I will be provided with the tools I need from the production company, combined with my skills and talents, to successfully achieve what the project requires to do my job perfectly and proudly have my name attached to it. You just wrapped on Resurrection, starring Rebecca Hall, what were some highlights and challenges on the project? I just recently wrapped on a Film called Resurrection Starring Rebecca Hall. I can’t get too into the story as it has not been released yet, but having said that, it is

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What are some of your career highlights and why? One of my biggest career highlights was working on a Freeform series called Shadowhunters. Shadowhunters was an adaptation from a series of books called “The Mortal Instruments” that I read when I was 20 and loved. So please, just try to imagine how excited I was when I was given the opportunity to be the Key Hairstylist on the second and third seasons of the show, and bring some of my most favorite characters to life!! Also, it’s a fantasy based story, so that in itself is so much fun as you get to let your creativity run wild! Stefanie Terzo styling Alberto Rosende on Shadow Hunters

premiering at SunDance Film Festival in February and that in itself is a highlight and very exciting! The project was one I am proud to have been a part of. The crew was just amazing and fun and quickly became a family. We could not have asked for a better lead than Rebecca Hall. She set such a great tone for the show and was so easy to work with. The biggest challenge we faced was the weather! We filmed primarily in Albany, NY, and it rained a lot. So that was a bit of an adventure at times. Haha!

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job, aside from the job itself and doing what I love, hair and making movies, is the change! Every few months or so, I have a new job and get to meet new people and create and bring new characters to life! It is truly magical, fun and amazing to collaborate with other creatives and bring an idea that was written on a piece of paper, into existence. It is truly a glorious feeling, no matter how simple or complex the character is. 78 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

What does a normal day on set look like for you? A typical day on set for me generally starts about 30 minutes before the actor arrives. During this time, I set up my station and double check my continuity is correct for the scenes we are shooting that day. The actor(s) arrive, I get them ready, and then we head to set to film. We will shoot for an average of 6 hours, then we will break for a half hour to an hour lunch. After lunch I would touch up the actor(s) and then we would film for another 6-7 hours on average. Once done filming for the day, we then go back and de-process the actor(s), take out any hair pieces or pins that have been put in the hair. Then we clean up and get to go home! It’s safe to say a day on set averages 15-16 hours.

What advice would you give to hair stylists wanting to break into the film and tv industry? Don’t get caught. Breaking and entering is a criminal offense punishable by jail time.

Kidding! Kinda. Anywho! Advice I’d give to hairstylists wanting to join the film and tv world: This lifestyle is not for everyone. The days are long, it’s hard work, you’re on your feet and out in the elements. You have to be ok with this. It’s not for everyone, and that’s ok! Now, if it is the lifestyle for you, train, grow and keep learning. Continue improving your skills and gaining new ones. Take classes and get as much knowledge under your belt about everything hair related. If you learn even just one new thing out of every class you take, it’s worth it. You never know what you might be faced with in this industry and a strong foundation key.

When do you feel you are most creative? I’m most creative at night. Is that the right answer? Hahahaha. When I’m working on a project, creating looks and mood boards, or whether I’m drawing or coloring with charcoal or playing music on my ukulele, the night is when I come to life and feel inspired. For whatever reason, it brings me to a place where I’m able to not only think outside the box, but tear the walls down and push the creative limits. Reining it in is easy once you know how far you can go.

panies that support the environment, such as Kevin Murphy who is teamed up with oceanwasteplastices.com to give back. Also technology is so advanced that being able to read scripts and receive paperwork digitally vs. hard paper copies saves thousands of sheets of paper on set. That itself is truly significant.

What’s ahead for you in 2022? 2022 is very exciting! Although I can’t talk about it in detail, I will be working on a film/ biopic about the life of a famous musician that I grew up listening to in the house as a child, and I can’t wait!! I can tell you that there are many wigs and hair pieces involved and you’re going to want to see this one! ■

Follow Stefanie @stefanieterzo

Is sustainability important to you? And what are some ways you implement sustainable practices in your work? Sustainability is very important to me. Ways I practice sustainability is bringing and filling up my own reusable water bottles and will purchase them for my team. I use my own reusable mug, plate and silverware for coffee and food, instead of disposables. I try to use products that come in glass bottles instead of plastic, or com-

Stefanie Terzo styling Alberto Rosende on Shadow Hunters


THE BEAUTY S H OT Makeup artist Phoebe Dawson serves up three stunning looks on recording artist Skylar Stecker for our Issue 6 feature, using all vegan &/or cruelty free products.

For her skin prep I applied Baja Basics Collagen Boosting Facial Serum, followed by Tarte Facetape Foundation, I usually apply foundation with a brush and then press it into the skin for a flawless finish with my damp Beauty Blender sponge, the Black colored one is my favorite! I used Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, my absolute fav, because it has skin care in it and blurring technology to blur wrinkles and fine lines, also it does not crease! I used Tarte Face Tape Setting Powder in Light. I used The Balm Cosmetics - Bahama Mama for her Bronzer and The Balm Cosmetics Instain Blush. For top of Skylar’s cheekbones, nose and inner eye corners I used the Charlotte Tilbury “Bar of Gold” highlighter. 80 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

Eyes: The Balm Cosmetics Meet Matte Shmaker Palette dark brown. Eyeliner: INGLOT’s AMC Black Gel eyeliner using an angled brush, Lips: Charlotte Tilbury Liner in “Iconic Nude”, Charlotte Tilbury Liner in “Iconic Nude”, The Balm Cosmetics in “Charismatic.”Inglot Lipgloss Duo #14


Eyes: The Balm Cosmetics “Meet Matte Shmaker” eyeshadow palette, Mascara: Tarte Cosmetics “Maneater”, Lashes: Minx&Mane faux mink lashes in “ZeroFux”, Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro palette, Lips: Glossier Balm Dotcom, Charlotte Tilbury Liner in “Iconic Nude”, The Balm Cosmetics in “Charismatic.”


Eyes: The Balm Cosmetics Meet Matte Shmaker palette called “Jamie Wong”, then I added the green shimmer tones from the Natasha Denona Gold Palette, Eyeliner: black shadow from Meet Matte Schmaker Palette called “Matt Wong”.

PLANT BASED RECIPES C o n t e n t c r e a t o r A n h Tr a n d i s c u s s e s h e r t r a n s i t i o n t o a plant based diet and shares two delicious Vientnamese recipes, perfect for the cooler months!


y name is Anh Tran. I am a Master’s student and recipe developer and content creator on my food blog veggieanh.com.

I was initially interested in a plant-based diet in 2019, after watching the documentary ‘What the Health’ and learning about the environmental impact of the animal agriculture industry. Back then, I tried to go vegetarian but it didn’t stick: I didn’t have many resources and information about plant-based cooking, and animal products were such a big part of my culture to give up. I started to take it easy and incorporated one veggie meal per week, and have been gradually increasing the number of meals over time. In 2020, during the pandemic, I started to follow many vegan YouTubers and Instagrammers and read books about plant-based cooking. The more I learn about it, the more my mind shifts and the more passionate I become about the plant-based lifestyle. In the beginning of 2021, I took part in Veganuary and have been adopting a plant-based lifestyle since then. This time it sticks, as my motivation was not only for the environment, but also for the well-being of the animals and my health. A few months later, I started my food blog and Instagram account @veggieanh to help people change their perception about vegan food. I produced easy-to-make, accessible yet nourishing recipes and instruction videos inspired by my Vietnamese culture and places I travel to.


Like many, I used to think vegan food is only restricted to quinoa, berry smoothies and cold


salad. With my platform, I want to change that negative perception and show that plantbased cooking is not only diverse and accessible, but can also be delicious and nourishing! Being plant-based also doesn’t mean giving up your favorite food. Some of my favorite dishes like noodle soup, spring rolls can be easily “veganized”, you just need to replace meat with plant-based alternatives like tofu and tempeh. Luckily, there are more and more plant-based products and resources out there, making this lifestyle choice easier than ever. My food philosophy is ‘Progress over perfection’. Eating plant-based is not about 100% perfect, it’s about doing your best. Start with 1 or 2 veggie meals per week, then gradually increase the amount, and one day it will become very doable to be mostly plant-based.



This fast and easy to make recipe will make a fancy and unique appetizer that for sure lights up your dinner party.

INGREDIENTS 100 gram enoki mushroom 5 rice paper sheets 2 tbsp oil 1 tbsp tahini / vegan sriracha mayo Sesame seeds

Wash the enoki mushroom and cut off the end. Separate into bunches. Wet the rice paper in cold water for a few seconds. Cut the rice paper into half. Wrap the mushroom bunches in the rice paper sheets. You’ll get approx 10. Add oil to a pan on medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add in the mushroom wraps. Let the mushroom wraps sit on the pan for 5 minutes, flip when one side is golden brown. Once both sides are golden, remove from the pan and put the wraps on a plate. Drizzle some sesame seeds on top or use tahini or vegan sriracha mayo as dipping sauces. And Enjoy! NOTE Best served when it’s hot and still crunchy. You can fry the wraps in the air fryer instead of on a pan, and use less oil. 85 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06



INGREDIENTS 1 yellow onion 1 thumb-sized ginger 1 cinnamon stick 5 star anise ½ tbsp coriander seeds Broth 1.2 liter water 3 carrots 250g white mushrooms 4 celery sticks 2 tsp salt or mushroom seasoning 1 tbsp sugar 1 kombu (type of seaweed) 1 tbsp soy sauce

Toppings 200g king oyster mushroom 400g firm or medium firm tofu

Rice noodles


Pho is a Vietnamese national dish – a comforting noodle soup with a flavorful broth and fresh herbs. It is the perfect dish to warm you up on winter days, to impress friends and family, or to cure the hangover after the holiday parties. My plant-based take on Pho is easier and quicker than the traditional method, yet just as flavorful. - Anh Tran 86 M. CITIZEN MAGAZINE | ISSUE 06

Green onions Herbs: cilantro or Thai basil Lime wedges

Optional sauces Hoisin sauce Sriracha

MAKE THE PHO AROMA Chop the yellow onion in half, and chop the ginger into thin slices (no need to peel) Roast the onion, ginger slices, cinnamon stick, star anise and coriander on a pan or open flame. Flip the onion and ginger when they are charred on the other side. This takes about 3-5 minutes.When the spices are fragrant, remove from heat. When they are cool enough to handle, use a knife to remove the charred outer layer of the onion and ginger. Wrap the spices in a cheese cloth or spice bag.


Wash and chop the celery, carrot and white mushrooms into big chunks. In a pot, add the water and the chopped vegetables along with the kombu and spice bag. Bring to a boil. Add the mushroom seasoning/salt, sugar, soy sauce. Put the lid on the pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

MAKE THE PHO TOPPINGS Pat dry the tofu block and cut into thin slices. Wash the king oyster mushroom and slice in half. Optional step: Score the mushroom to create a nice pattern. On a pan on medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the king oyster mushroom and tofu pieces. Let them sit to crisp up, about 5 minutes. Flip when the other side of the mushroom and tofu is golden brown. After both sides are golden, remove from heat. Wash and chop the green onions. Wash the coriander,Thai basil and remove the stems.

ASSEMBLE THE PHO BOWL Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and avoid sticking.



After realizing the traditional style of chiropractic care wasn’t achieving the long term results she was seeking for her patients, Dr Tanvi Desai discovered an alternative and less invasive technique known as NUCCA. Dr Desai discusses this unique technique and the outstanding results she has garnered for her patients.


hiropractic is so vast that there is a technique for every kind of person. Some like the traditional pop or manual movement of the bone. Some, like the release of the vertebrae or very specific care. There’s something for everyone. I’m Dr Tanvi Desai and I am the owner of Lotus Chiropractic Care. I’m a chiropractor for those that want a gentle analytical adjustment that brings results. Results that are tangible. My journey began when I realized I was getting patients out of pain but did not see any permanent changes or shifts in their spine. This meant my patients would consistently come back for the same issue after a period. I began wondering if there was a technique that brought permanent changes to the spine. Allowing the patient to heal completely and never have to deal with the same issues again. This brought me to a technique called NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association). The results were promising. I started training under a doctor that was practicing it for more than 20 years. I owe it to him, for taking me under


his wing, and teaching me this very complex technique. I saw substantial results. More importantly, it was very analytical, specific and gentle – exactly what I needed to show results. The NUCCA technique is unique in that it realigns the very top bone; the Atlas or C1. This technique requires very specific and specialized images of the neck and skull to measure the precise angle of misalignment of C1. This technique has made my job easier as a chiropractor by being able to show lasting changes of the spine within a couple of months of care. I

have seen great results in patients between the ages of 5 and 85, patients with previous spinal surgeries, nerve blocks, ablations, or patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia.

cause people thought it was in her head and she needed to move on.

The focus of this technique is the C1 because it is a keystone bone in our body. It is the keystone bone for 3 reasons: center of gravity enters the body through the center of the C1 bone, arteries that supply the brain pass through this bone and the brainstem passes through the center of this bone when it exits the brain. The brainstem that enters through the C1 bone is responsible for the coordination and organization of very important functions between the brain and spinal cord. The brainstem is also the site of very important nerves that are responsible for breathing, heartbeats, vision, hearing, smelling, eating, balance, posture and much more. When the Atlas shifts out of alignment, it puts pressure on the brain stem, while tilting the head and spine to accommodate the shift in center of gravity. These shifts cause poor posture, focus, balance and coordination, scoliosis, ear infections, facial pain, lower back pain, dizziness, vertigo and much more.

Lotus Chiropractic Care patient Jayleen S.

After a thorough examination and X-rays, we found her C1 bone to be tilting along with her head and a reversal of her neck curve. Jaylene was relieved when I found objective findings to prove the cause of her symptoms. She burst into tears because she finally found someone that proved her symptoms were real. After four weeks of treatment, Jayleen saw a reduction in symptoms by 80%. The images show a before and after of her neck shifting from a reverse C curve to a normal C curve.

I have two stories to share of patients that have inspired me to continue to impact the lives of other people. The first story is of Jayleen S. A 34 year old who came to me very nervous, fearful, disappointed and frustrated. All the emotions that were making her feel like she was alone. Jaylene had numbness on one side of her head that moved to her face, her arm, her body and legs on the same side. She had gone to numerous doctors and done multiple tests and MRI’s only to conclude that there was nothing to prove for her symptoms. She was let down by the system be-

Before and after first adjustment: Reduction of head tilting.

Jayleen was so much happier that her condition could be resolved permanently. She no longer experiences the numbness, and continues to maintain her nervous system and lives her life to the fullest.


After a few visits, Aavi found a huge difference in his posture, and was able to run for a little longer. At one of his visits, Aavi said, “Man, I can focus on school, and it’s awesome.” His mother gazed up looking stunned that this treatment was helping Aavi beyond his pain. She then told me that Aavi and his sister (who are twins) were diagnosed with mild ADHD and chose not to pursue any treatments for them.

Lotus Chiropractic Care patient Aavi, back doing physical exercise after treatment

My second story is of Aavi, a 12 year old boy, whose parents brought him due to difficulty walking or running for more than 30 minutes, as he would experience pain in his hips, legs and feet. This hindered him from playing with his friends for long periods of time or participating in PE at school due to the pain. Aavi would have to rest after 30 minutes for the pain to subside. I conducted a thorough examination assessment and X-rays to determine the root cause of his pain. Through the process, I found that Aavi was in an auto accident at the age of 4 where a car hit him on the side that he was sitting. On X-ray I found that he had a straight neck with ligament damage and a scoliosis in his lower back.


Diagnosis shifted in 2 months from Lumbar Scoliosis to Lumbar Curve


Over the weeks, his mom saw a huge shift in Aavi’s demeanor. She noticed he was happier when he returned from school, his grades had picked up, and he was smiling more. Aavi has always been a fun person in the office, but I got to see his joy, and THAT overwhelmed me. Aavi came to see me for pain in his hips and legs and upon its resolve, he also experienced a positive shift in his life. I felt a huge sense of achievement at that point in my career. People’s stories like these testify that re-aligning the atlas and reducing the nerve interference at that level of the spine can re-define or change the trajectory of someone’s life. Therefore, at Lotus Chiropractic Care we will continue to empower people to reach optimal health and wellbeing. ■ www.lotuschiropracticcare.com Instagram: @lotuschirocare Facebook: @lotuschiropracticcare Email: info@lotuschiropracticcare.com



Issue 06 | WINTER 22

The multi-talented artist on her new EP “Earth Signs”




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