Trinity Mouzon Wofford is the founder of GOLDE Turmeric, a line of high-quality turmeric blends for golden milk, lattes, and more. We are in love with everything GOLDE, and were so excited to get a peek at its radiant founder’s wellness routine.
In this interview, Trinity tells us about her rule-free approach to self-care, her path to self-acceptance, and the importance of giving the body exactly what it’s craving, as well as a Geisha-approved moisturizer that works wonders for her skin, her number one cold remedy that’s likely in your kitchen right now, exercise, beauty, stress, and much more.
— Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free?
I think having some form of a routine is crucial to your mental health when you run a business from home. It’s been sort of tricky as of late because we’re in transition from our home in Upstate New York to moving back down to Brooklyn.
— What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning.
On an ideal day, I’m up around 6:30am and checking my phone for email and GOLDE‘s social media. Following that, I’ll do a bit of stretching to loosen up, and then hop in the shower. After I’ve gotten ready, I’ll sit down to work and make a to-do list for the day — this is crucial for me. I forget things and get really anxious about what I’m forgetting if I don’t bother to organize my thoughts and tasks in advance. I’ll usually dig into whatever those tasks are for an hour or so before pausing for breakfast.
— Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?
My partner, Issey, and I always make sure to have a cut-off time for work, barring emergencies. Once that point rolls around (it varies day-by-day), I’m usually catching up on the news or my favorite blogs while Issey preps dinner. We’ll eat together and then usually end off binging some TV show.
— Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these:
Breakfast – Issey’s miso soup with tons of mushrooms and seaweed. He makes it completely from scratch using his mom’s recipe.
Lunch – Lunch is usually whatever is leftover from dinner that week — lately its a lot of hearty stews.
Snack – We’ll do a little crudite plate with raw veg from the farmer’s market: carrots, turnips, radishes, persian cucumbers. Always with some cheese and seed crackers. Sometimes also with wine.
Dinner – Tibetan food from our favorite spot in Jackson Heights, Queens. It’s a lot of dumplings (momos), noodles, and warming soups.
— Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning?
I can’t, really. I love the taste of coffee, but it turns me into a shaking, anxious mess. I always start the day with a turmeric tonic made with one of our blends — usually cacao or original because the matcha also makes me a bit hyper.
— Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check?
Yes, yes, yes. I try not to “keep it in check” so much as listen to it with a variety of foods. Sometimes it’s fruit or homemade popcorn with coconut sugar. Sometimes it’s half a box of Dots eaten while laying on the couch. Refined sugar is trash for your system, but so is getting too regimented with your foods. I keep it light (emotionally) and eat what I’m craving. When junk food isn’t off limits, you’re not going to crave it every day.
— Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness?
Well, turmeric, of course. It makes such a difference in my skin and immunity. Issey loves it for instant allergy relief. There are apparently over 10,000 medical studies on its effects on the body —it’s really incredible. We’re also huge proponents of ashwaghanda in our household.
— Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?
Upstate New York is not exactly the land of boutique fitness, so it can be more challenging to get in a sweat on the regular. I focus mostly on stretching and going on walks/hikes on the weekend. I think I’ve probably gained a bit of weight since I’ve been up here because I’m not moving as much as I did in NYC, but I don’t really mind. It’s okay for your body to fluctuate with your circumstances, as long as you’re treating it with respect.
— Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it?
It varies. I really like working out as a method to clear my head, so often I do look forward to it. But that said, I don’t really try to push myself too much. If you want to be a world-class athlete, then by all means, train 2+ hours a day. I’m just looking to keep my body and psyche in good health, so if I don’t feel like making it to my workout, I don’t feel the need to punish myself later.
— What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both?
I grew up black in a very white town, so I’ve had a lot of really emotional moments coming to terms with what beauty means for me. At the moment, I like to keep things really natural with my curls out and minimal makeup. It took a while to accept my looks for exactly what they are, so now I’m really openly embracing it. I feel more beautiful now than I did 5 years ago, mostly due to opening myself up to the concept that I’m perfectly fine just as I am.
— What is your skincare approach – face and body?
I try to keep my routine relatively simple. I’ll wash my face with raw African black soap or something gentle like Cerave. I love Drunk Elephant products, and I apply their C-Firma and B-Hydra serums every day. They help a lot with keeping my skin clear and getting rid of dark marks. After that I’ll moisturize with raw shea butter, or a cream that has that.
— Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/hair/general glow?
Turmeric, again. Because it’s anti-inflammatory, I’ve found it to be really helpful in clearing up redness or breakouts. Besides that, I try not to get too bogged down with a ton of supplements. I focus mostly on eating a variety of plants every day.
— Do you have any beauty tips/tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Family heirlooms are very much welcome.
Shea butter is amazing for my skin. My partner’s Japanese mother recently put me on to this cream called Secret de Maiko. It contains shea butter and a few other natural, organic ingredients. Apparently this is what young Geisha girls would use as a moisturizer/makeup base. This cream is better than pure shea butter because it won’t leave you greasy at all. I use it twice daily. It’s great for keeping your skin clear and calm.
— Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress?
Well, cannabis helps. I use a vaporizer pen so there’s no smoke-related health detriments/lingering smell. I really want to try the Hmbldt pen because I’m a sucker for sharp design.
— If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it?
There’s going to stress sometimes. I try to deal in healthy ways like going for a walk to clear my head, or talking to a close friend about whatever I’m dealing with. But life isn’t perfect, so sometimes you just end up being a bit tense for a few days. I think that’s normal and natural — I try not to fight it too much. You have to let yourself feel it so that you can process it and move past it.
— What measures do you take when you sense a cold/general feeling of being under the weather coming on?
Garlic!! At my old job, everyone in the office knew about this because I would practically through bulbs of raw garlic at anyone who complained of illness. Nothing works better for immediately beating a bad cold. If I feel something coming on, I take 2-3 whole cloves (swallowed like horse pills) with a ton of water. That can save you in just a couple hours — it’s crazy.
— Do you strive to maintain a healthy work/life balance or do those things overlap for you? What is your approach?
I really like to work, so what I consider to be a healthy work/life balance might not be the right approach for someone else. I genuinely enjoy spending my free time dreaming up new campaigns, product ideas, or designs for GOLDE. I guess that’s the benefit to doing your own thing — it doesn’t always feel like work.
— Describe the actions you take or mindset you try to tap into in order to stay on track with your self-care practice and being nice to yourself?
I’ve gotten a lot better with this with age. I try not to have any food or exercise rules. Being militant about your body is not self-care, and it can really easily spiral into disordered behavior that veers on the edge of “orthorexia.” I mostly just listen to my body and allow itself what it wants, whether that has to do with food, movement/exercise, socializing vs. indulging my natural introvert, etc.
— What do you consider to be the single most important change you’ve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness?
I really think doing away with rules (re: food, etc.) has been the most important change I’ve made. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with avoiding gluten or dairy because it upsets your stomach or causes breakouts, but don’t complicate your life with structure that does not serve you.
— How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination?
Usually moments like these mean I need to re-focus myself. I’ll start by making to-do lists, and go from there.
— What was your path to starting GOLDE?
I was pre-med at NYU, with plans to practice holistic medicine. By my senior year of college, I wasn’t so sure about spending more time and money on schooling, and sort of fell into a marketing role at a tech startup. I really loved the creative aspects of marketing, and found that GOLDE was a way of combining my interests in sharp branding with making holistic health more accessible. The interest in turmeric actually came from my mom, who has Rheumatoid Arthritis. She noticed a huge difference in her overall levels of inflammation when she started incorporating it into her daily routine — that’s when I started paying attention.
— How do you approach the sourcing of your ingredients for GOLDE?
We actually just started sourcing all of our turmeric with a company called Diaspora Co. They focus 100% on supporting ethical and high-quality spice trade that empowers rather than disenfranchises the people of color who have been growing and ingesting medicinal plants like turmeric for generations. The turmeric that we’re going to be using is an heirloom variety with almost twice the typical amount of curcumin. It’s grown on a fourth-generation, family-owned farm in India, and farmers are paid 6X the standard commodity prices to ensure truly fair wages. We’re really excited to be featuring a product that’s not only incredibly high-quality, but also works to re-build lingering inequality left in the wake of colonialism.
— What’s your favorite way to use your wellness blend?
I love to have it just with hot water and raw honey in the morning.
Fun and Inspiration
— What do you do to unwind or treat yourself?
Heading to the Union Square Greenmarket is one of my favorite activities. When I’m in the city, I like to go every Monday morning when it’s not too crowded. It’s mostly just you and the chefs (or their assistants?) shopping for what they’ll be preparing that day. I also love infra red sauna. I go to Higher Dose in the East Village.
— A book/song/movie/piece of art to feed the soul:
Book – Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
Song/Album – Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
— We are captivated by Joan Didion’s compact travel packing list. What are some essential objects that would be in yours?
I am nowhere near as regimented as our dear Joan. Usually my suitcase is packed haphazardly with whatever clothing is clean and well-suited for the weather.
— Is there anyone you would like to hear from next in this interview series?
More people of color, please! A few of my favorites:
Photos by Sana Javeri Kadri, Issey Kobori and Nico Behnzukeh.