About me

Kissing Jessica Stein: Will these two girls take the leap?

I’ve changed. From a shy, introverted Brooklyn girl to an excited young advertising trainee… to an award-winning actress and filmmaker… to a mom and organic food enthusiast… and now to a health blogger and women’s wellness advocate.

The two films I produced and co-wrote or starred in – Kissing Jessica Stein and The Hammer – are both essentially about change. In both films, the main character has a change they absolutely must make in order to be happy, and at the start of the story it seems unlikely they will ever marshal enough inner resources to do it. They’re too scared. They’re too stuck. What I’ve found in my own life and have expressed through my work, is that ultimately change requires waking up one day and deciding to do it. It requires being willing to take a risk.

When I think of the changes I’ve made in my life, they’re always about growth and an increase in consciousness. One thing we can be certain of is that none of us grow backwards. Most of the time, the changes I’ve experienced have been thrilling. The different hats I’ve worn I’ve worn by design; the different roles I’ve played in life have become deeply interwoven in me. The more I allow intimate dialogue between these parts of myself, the happier I am.

I now consciously seek synthesis between the many disparate parts of my life: my screenwriter’s love of a good narrative, my activist’s passion to keep small farmers and the food they make protected, my researcher’s geeky love of sharing nutrition information, my earth mother’s quiet enjoyment of a good cuddle with my girls and my dogs, my actress’s heart that skips a beat when it finds itself in the happy chaos of a film set, and the girl side of me who loves a pretty dress and a good lipstick.

The changes that have been harder for me were the ones that took me by surprise. The ones that I didn’t initiate (or so it seemed), or were triggered by circumstance. Having my first child changed a lot for me. I wasn’t expecting to embrace motherhood so strongly, which I lustily took to as my career languished. I wasn’t planning to be a stay-at-home mom, but in a way that felt like part choice and part circumstance, I became one. Not only was I not prepared for the wave of changes that occurred after the honeymoon phase of motherhood waned – hormonal changes, energetic changes, time changes — but they occurred slowly enough that I wasn’t fully aware of the downward spiral they were taking me on.

I was depleted, I was lethargic, and most troubling, I had lost that simple spark, that zest for life, which I had always depended on to create art or indeed, to create anything. My diminished mood and vitality had become my new normal.

It did not help matters when – just as I was feeling the first inkling that I needed to make changes to address the changes – I entered a period of secondary infertility as my husband and I tried to get pregnant with our second child. Three years of a combination of different protocols – from herbs to hypnosis to acupuncture to IVF — and I finally did get pregnant again.

After the birth of our second child, I became determined to make real change, to re-discover what I had lost. At that point I had been reading and researching deeply in the areas of food, consciousness, mental health and holistic wellness for the better part of 20 years. I realized I had to walk my talk.

Heather in the 4th grade.
A quiet moment with Sophie while pregnant with Gretchen.
With Kevin and Sophie in our old oak tree.

I began delving more deeply into what I already knew and began to dig myself out of my energetic pit. I used a combination of making better food choices, psychotherapy, weekly Pilates, contemplation, creative exploration and Chinese herbs synergistically to create a life that I once again recognized as my own.

In the process I realized I had created an ad-hoc set of wellness Principles that seemed to resonate with women I talked to – not only friends, but health practitioners, therapists and women I met at online health and wellness forums.

I now write about wellness on my Blog and consult with women on how to get strong and live their most nourished, vital and enthusiastic life.

My mission at The Strong Woman is to help women find the simplest, least complicated path to wellness and happiness, one small step at a time.

I live in Los Angeles and am married to the wonderful comedy writer Kevin Hench, with whom I have two beautiful girls.