Baristanet Profile: Claudia Sherwood

Name: Claudia Sherwood

Where do you live? Upper Montclair, NJ

When did you move there? From Manhattan, 11 years ago. A new life for my young daughter in a nurturing community.

Where did you grow up? Upstate NY. I loved forests, lakes and especially birch trees. Growing up I had a huge passion for language and learned French, Spanish, and light Greek.

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion? 

I’m a professional coach and mentor focused on Self-Care Coaching, End-of-Life Journaling, and I am a Reiki practitioner. I have a program especially geared to women using self-care and self-knowledge tools to work with trauma and stress called N.E.S.T.

In addition to my work of self care coaching, my passion is the environment and what we can and must do. I just wrote an editorial in the Montclair Local about global warming called “Our Hairs on Fire.” I am inspired by youth leaders like Xiutexcatl Martinez who addressed the United Nations at age 16 and is currently a climate activist with Earth Guardians.

Coffee, tea or … ? Hmmm… My favorite is oat milk caffe latté beaten with a whipped egg yolk from a local farm. A Sicilian woman taught me this. Oat milk is a new addition.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day?

First I’d meditate upon waking, then have a cup of nettle & licorice bark tea under the trees. Paradise. On Saturday morning, I’d visit the Montclair Farmer’s Market (I support local farmers for a healthy food system in our country and Farmers Footprint.) On Sunday morning I’d watch the Face the Nation news show. Sunday is a day of rest and reflection to end the week and start the next.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? 

I love Montclair’s wonderful Walnut Street: Le Salbuen and Luisa’s. They both use local and organic whenever possible. Luisa’s gluten-free pesto pizza is amazing. Meny Vaknin, Luisa’s owner, is an amazing Israeli chef with French baking skills that I have not found better than when I lived in Paris! For cocktails definitely DeNovo!

What’s on your nightstand? 

Essential oils: Lemongrass, geranium, rosemary, thyme. I have used essential oils for over 30 years. I have countless uses. It’s part of my first-aid and self-care beauty treatments. Geranium for example is in the rose family. It‘s very healing for skin problems and glowing skin.

What are you listening to? I used to listen to Cuban acapella and opera, but now it’s mostly crickets and the Third River flowing.

What are your current indulgences?

I give myself an essential oil body massage when I need self love, called “oleation therapy.” I am still thrilled to be getting late Summer edible greens from my pandemic “Victory Garden,” and I love making home-made dark chocolate pumpkin seed bark.

What talent you would most like to have? To sing like Lady Gaga.

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Montclair (or your town)? The Bonsal Bird Preserve is a gem. Also, Le Souk Syrian Restaurant’s fresh mint tea and pistachio sweets.

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? She loved and listened deeply.

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