Photographed by Tasya van Ree
Nitsa Citrine is an enthusiastic explorer—of the mind and body.
The Malibu-based artist, activist and lover of tea and high-vibe foods grew up in a household where alternative healing and health were core. Once she embraced those ideals herself, she became fascinated by both the human body and psyche. Those passions propelled her on the path to becoming creative director for Sun Potion Transformational Foods, a company that promotes well-being through medicinal plants, superfoods and tonic herbs. Meanwhile, to feed her desire to empower, she and friend, Tasya van Ree, created “Women With Superpowers,” a photo series inspired by the healing power of feminine energy.
Here, Citrine explains why investigating contradictory paths—and qualities in each of us—is the root of our growth:
Live The Process: What sparked your passion for holistic living?
Nitsa Citrine: My passion for holistic living stems from a culmination of personal exploration and self-experimentation, lineage, a response to modern conditions and the state of our environment—and a little divine intervention!
I feel grateful to have been raised by two health-conscious parents: my father is doctor of Oriental Medicine and acupuncture, as well as a huge advocate for regenerative agriculture, medicinal juicing and fasting. My mother is a dancer and practitioner of somatic movement therapy; she offers a strong example of embodiment for me. She was also kind of a pioneer of the raw food movement. She used to make me raw pies as a kid and took me to the first Café Gratitude in San Francisco. The irony is that I totally rebelled and made a scene at the time, but now my whole world revolves around plant-based food.
LTP: What was your path to working with Sun Potion?
NC: It begins and ends with love.
Scott, the founder of Sun Potion, and I were living together in Santa Barbara. We were in love—with each other and also, in a sense, with the herbs. He needed help with a redesign of our labels, so the products could be distributed in health food stores and I stepped in. We realized we worked very well together and have been collaborating on the project ever since.
Prior to Sun Potion, I was pursuing a career in film and permaculture. Kind of hilarious as those are two very different worlds, but I aspired to be an environmentally aware writer/director, who somehow had the time and space to grow all her own vegetables?
Needless the say, the universe stepped in with its own agenda. Sun Potion has been my central focus for the last six years and, while I spend less time shoveling compost and planting seeds as creative director of the company, I still work with and for the plants, every day!
It is an honor and delight to make these adaptogenic herbs available to people and to share their stories with the world.
LTP: Tell us all about “Women with Superpowers”!
NC: Women With Superpowers is a photo series and movement, which I founded two years ago with my friend and fellow photographer, Tasya van Ree. We wanted to collaborate on a body of work which presented female artists as healers. The concept quickly expanded to include women working in all mediums. We were fascinated by how feminine energy has the immense capacity to empower shifts and heal on all levels, and wanted to celebrate and honor women working in the arts, activism, business, film, philanthropy, wellness, medicine, crafts and more.
The project pretty quickly gained momentum, and we have photographed over 150 women to date. In ways, it feels like an infinite documentation and collaboration. Right now, we are taking a moment to pause and see what the next steps are.
LTP: Are there some particular Sun Potion herbs and teas that keep you feeling balanced and healthy?
NC: I drink herbs and tea every day. It is my constant variable.
In particular, our Reishi Mushroom is my go-to for immune protection, calm and stress relief. They say Reishi, “Nourishes the heart and pacifies the spirit.”
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
NC: Happiness is waking up in the morning with a full heart and a peaceful mind; having a moment to meditate or simply sit quietly in nature or stillness, hopefully supported by tea or tonic herbs. Feeling inspired, productive and activated in my work—and in a way that works to serve the well-being of the planet and community. Taking time to connect with plants, whether in the garden or the wild; cooking and sharing an experience of nourishment with loved ones. Falling into dreams at night, finding ease and peace in knowing that my thoughts and actions are creating more love and healing in the world (hopefully!). Apparently, happiness to me is a run-on sentence!
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
NC: To me, to “Live The Process” means to have an appreciation of the various pathways that lead us to where we are now. I am a total nerd when it comes to processing: I would say I am equal parts neurotic, self-aware and delusional, yet somehow, in some mysterious myriad of ways, deeply committed to growth. I love to discuss the inner workings of one’s mind and heart—its vulnerabilities, trigger points, strengths, evolutions. Luckily, my boyfriend Matthew is a super-processor! We can discuss the nuances of our individual psychologies for hours; it’s pretty hilarious and amazing. Matthew is a great communicator and listener, and I love how his mind works. I feel so grateful to have created a safe space in our relationship to run through a gamut of ideas and experiences and to have his honest feedback and perspective.