My Plant Life with Photographer Dylana Lim Suarez

floral dress FILM 5 2

Tell us who you are and what you do.

I’m Dylana Lim Suarez, a fashion/lifestyle content creator and photographer. I live in Brooklyn, NYC, but am from Los Angeles originally. My constant goal is to empower those who come to my page to find inspiration in the world around them and get creative in their own unique ways.

Tell us about some of your favorite plants. How do you incorporate them into your life?

My favorite plants are rubber tree, monstera, dracaena dorado, and snake plants. I love anything with large green leaves. I have two large green plants at home, and they bring me so much joy. Herbs are such a huge part of my diet! I’ve started incorporating them this year (in my cooking). My favorites are parsley, mint, basil and thyme. I found myself falling in love with a homemade tabouli recipe which calls for a bunch of herbs, so now I’m always stocked up. I really need to start my own herb garden! It’s amazing how much flavor simple herbs add to a dish, and you can’t beat their healing properties. Chamomile tea is one of my favorite herbs to relax with at night. Moringa tea is another one of my favorite herbal teas. It’s great for skin and hair, and also for digestion. It’s super healing.

Tell us your philosophy on “wellness” and what it means to you

My philosophy on wellness is: less is more. I have come to a place where simplicity really speaks loads, with material things, with my home space, with the things I enjoy in a day, with my daily actions. I’ve learned that when I’m not overwhelming myself or overloading myself with to-do lists or overthinking, I feel so much better.
Wellness to me means focusing so much more on the present, which has always been something that was a challenge for me, but I’m so much better at now. With the strange times we’re in, the present is all we have really and that we can actively control. I find that I am much happier when I am really in line with the here and now and I am more open to accepting what comes in the future because of it. I feel much more balanced this way. The more I can get towards a sense of balance, the more “well” I feel, mentally and physically.

Do you have any sustainable practices? If so, please share!

Yes! I always have a reusable water bottle when I go out. It’s nice that there are a lot of refill stations around the city now, especially where I live in Dumbo. Or I’ll bring it with me to my smoothie/juice spot and ask them to fill my bottle instead of using a plastic cup. Also, walking- especially in the summertime! Living in Brooklyn, it’s amazing what you can explore when you just walk the city, and everything you realize is much closer than you originally thought.

What’s one thing you do to keep your immune system strong and resilient?

I love to incorporate ginger into a lot of what I consume, from smoothies to stir fries. Ginger, ginger, ginger! I can’t get enough of it. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and I feel like I’ve seen a lot of difference in my wellness state because of it.

How have you been handling things since the pandemic began? Do you have any tips for staying sane during this time? Any natural practices would be good to incorporate here – meditation, diffusing oils, etc.

I have been generally handling it pretty well, but of course emotions have been ebbing and flowing more constantly, which I’m sure most people can relate to. Last year and the beginning of this year was one of the busiest times work-wise for me. I remember being super stressed and mentally + physically exhausted because of it. The first stay at home order almost felt like a relief for me. All events were cancelled, all trips were cancelled, work slowed down drastically in the first few months of the pandemic, and life just totally turned upside down, but I tried to turn the situation into something that I could benefit from and have a sense of control of. My main focus was my mental wellness and physical wellbeing, which I was finally able to give lots of time to it with increased attention. I worked out almost every single day these past 5 months (mostly pilates) and I feel so much stronger and more confident in my body, without the feeling of exhaustion. And I finally had time to fit in a good stretch every single day, because my days didn’t feel rushed at all.

I find myself lighting organic candles more and using essential oils like lavender to really create a zen feeling at home. I get more sleep and cook more. Cooking has become such a therapy for me now! I’ve begun to think outside the box when it comes to recipes, and it brings me so much joy. Since work has been a bit slower, I found myself in this mode where I just wanted to create more purely for myself, and my husband helped me set up an at-home studio situation to get creative in, and my entire vision changed into something that got me really excited. It’s really impressive what one can come up with creatively when you have less to work with. I think I’ve been my most creative these past few months, and I’m grateful for that. It’s something I will continue to hold onto for years to come.

What’s the thing you’re looking forward to most once the stay at home order has been lifted?

I am looking forward to catching up with friends more regularly, and I’m really looking forward to being able to travel again. I miss the west coast, and I miss traveling internationally. This is the longest time straight that I haven’t traveled, and it feels a bit strange, although I’ve come to love and appreciate this homebody life. I don’t feel the desperate urge to travel right now, but once I go somewhere further away for the first time, it will feel really amazing.

Your go-to easy recipe?

My go-to recipe is definitely a Thai green veggie curry. It’s sooo yummy and sooo easy. I always keep a lot of spices on hand at home, so I can whip up different versions of curries anytime I want. It packs in so much flavor with so little.

Your favorite place to travel and why?

This is a hard one! I think my favorite place to travel would be Southeast Asia. I really enjoyed Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. I love the energy, I love the heat, I love the food, I love the colors. It’s far away, so I don’t go as often, but whenever I do visit, it’s always a trip to remember. Southeast Asia is a unique gem in this world.

What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I think people will be surprised to learn that I am an introvert at heart. People think that because I work in social media and put myself out there online, I am super extroverted, but the opposite is actually more the case. I was always really shy growing up, and although I’m much less shy now and am more outgoing in social situations generally, that shy part of myself still resides. I’ve always expressed myself better through words and public speech, and I love spending time alone! It’s a part of me I used to look down on, and be embarrassed about, but that I have grown to accept and nurture.