By Nicole Berrie
Photography by Sasha Israel
“I BLAME IT ON THE NINETIES,” SAYS MOLLY GUY, FOUNDER OF ULTRA-HIP BRIDAL BOUTIQUE STONE FOX BRIDE when the conversation turns to notions of beauty and body image. “I grew up on Kate Moss, Calvin Klein ads and androgynous Jenny Shimizu models. It only occurred to me a couple years ago that wasn’t the answer.” It’s that Gen X mentality that has also informed the willowy blonde’s approach to her luxe-boho emporium, which lures anti-bridezillas that eschew meringue-like frocks for hand-me-down tunics and flower crowns set in woodsy meadows rather than over-the-top bashes in ballrooms at the Pierre. (Though she does those too.) Even sifting through Guy’s Instagram feed is to behold the 37-year-old’s laissez-faire attitude towards marriage, motherhood and staying healthy. Take her Nashville-filtered salad pics (sal-fies?), which garner as many likes as a 3.5-carat diamond stunner. Most recently, Guy launched Stone Fox Sweets, which will feature artisanal wedding cakes with locally-sourced and organic ingredients. (Brides take note: she won’t be amending the sugary confections to any food allergies or picky predilections.) “The last thing I want to do is find a vegan, gluten-free baker,” she says with a groan. “I’m not trying to be rude, but if some of your guests are Celiac, fine. They don’t need to eat your cake.” Below, we caught up with the Chicago native and her 2-year-old Sunny, fresh from a midday nap, in their Williamsburg flat where they baked us hemp seed banana muffins and dished on everything from Jennifer Aniston to cheddar bunnies.
How would you describe your approach to food?
It’s been a long journey. Like so many women, I struggled with eating, food and body image issues. In my twenties, I was extremely regimented about what I ate. In the late nineties, everyone thought bagels, pasta, and anything non-fat would keep you skinny. We would have pasta with red sauce, bagels with jelly, gummy bears for snacks, low fat yoghurt, Diet Cokes, that’s literally what nutritionists would tell you to eat. In 1995, I discovered the Zone Diet. You would get the small can of tuna fish, steamed vegetables, no fruit, no grains, if you drank, it had to be white wine spritzer.
How did that diet work out for you?
I was the girl in the semiotic seminar who would pull out a Tupperware of chickpeas, steamed broccoli. I was insane. In my sophomore year, my best friend and I would be so hungover from beer and other things, and would say, “Ok, we really want waffles this morning.” So we would read the Zone Diet book, have X amount of waffles and balance it with tuna fish. We thought it was foolproof. We would eat waffles and not think it was weird to then go to the salad bar and measure out tuna fish. I gag just thinking about it now.
Did these habits take you through after college?
I tortured myself in my twenties. I used to see a nutritionist who was obese and had a treadmill in her apartment. I went to another nutritionist who put me on this other diet, which was low-glycemic index vegetables. Apples were as bad as potatoes, don’t touch a carrot. I would be at Angelica Kitchen on a date, measuring food with a scale. It used to be such a pendulum swing before. I was either really healthy or really unhealthy. On a typical day, I would go down the street to Earthmatters on Ludlow, get the green juice and the tuna fish salad with kale and sprouts, then I would have a small apple with ten almonds and at night I would drink a lot and eat like a weird falafel at two in the morning. The next morning I would take 100 vitamins of every hangover elixir, multivitamin, folic acid, and was like, “I got it covered.”
When did all this insanity stop?
I met my husband and I did a lot of work on myself. I stopped obsessing about what I wanted to eat. It’s so easy for women because it’s the one thing that we can constantly beat ourselves up or congratulate ourselves about. When I was in that self-involved phase in my twenties, before I had a kid and a husband, I had too much time to be in my head and think about myself. It’s hard when you get skinny, people tell you you look good. Even now, my husband always says, “You look really healthy.” And I’ll be like, “You mean fat?”
Did becoming a mom change your outlook on dieting?
Yes, I’ve learned to enjoy my life without being crazy. I pick my battles. I’ll have a donut and a coffee half the time during the week for breakfast or I’ll do my Vitamix smoothie with blueberries, almond milk, spirulina and flax oil. I can go there but I don’t do it out of feeling like I have to fix myself. It doesn’t come out of anxiety. I can actually really enjoy what I eat now.
Did your own mom influence the way you viewed food?
My mom was the one who gave out carob on Halloween. She was a pioneer of holistic medicine way before time. This was the early eighties. I never got vaccinated. I was drinking tea tree oil and on homeopathic remedies since I was 9 years old. I didn’t know that antibiotics existed until I was in college.
How has that influenced the way you are with Sunny?
My mom is amazing — she is a wild soulful poet and we are super close — but when I was younger I was way too proud to talk to her about social anxiety and issues of self-esteem. That stuff never really got sorted out until I was much older. It took me a long, long time to get comfortable in the world. Before my wedding, I went on crazy colonics and green juice insanity because I was so nervous about all these people seeing me. I wanted to manage my appearance. With Sunny, I can’t control her eating habits but I would like to think that her and I could have conversations about what she’s feeling insecure about. I wish my mom and I had an open dialogue about dating and the prom — all of that angsty high school stuff that is so hard to navigate as a teenager. My goal would be for when Sunny is older for me to be able to say, “I know middle and high school is really confusing that you’re feeling so uncomfortable in your skin, but you can totally get through this. Let’s think about ways that you can deal with your stress and anxiety that aren’t all about managing and controlling.” Because that’s such a painful place to be.
When it comes to being a mom, what are your non-negotiables?
My husband and I got in a fight this weekend because it was 10:30am in the morning and he pulled out a bag of cheddar bunnies. There’s something about a cheddar bunny. It’s like a Dorito or Funion. It triggers something in me. He’s said, “I’m the one who brought her a snack, who the fuck cares?” And I said, “My philosophy of motherhood is I have to minimize risk when I am with her. So she can have cheddar bunnies all she wants when she’s not in my care but when she’s with me, I want to give her things that are nourishing.”
What is a typical day in the life look like for you in meals?
My husband gets up before me. She’s been getting up at 6:20 and I’ll get up at 7:15 to make her breakfast. Lately I’ve been making her blueberry pancakes, which we can make together. Every morning, without fail, I have to have a warm glass of lemon water. When people come over for dinner parties, I say, bring lemons because I horde lemons. I have the worst day if I can’t have that warm lemon water. That’s a non-negotiable. It gets your digestion moving. It’s purifying and detoxifying. Basically it’s supposed to make you poo. Then, on a good day, if I’m ambitious, I pull out my Vitamix. The Williams Sonoma Vitamix is the only reason I recommend people get married. It’s a game changer. I’ll make a smoothie that’s always some variation of almond milk, frozen blueberries and hemp or protein powder. Hemp seeds have a lot of omegas; they’re good for complexion. But this morning I had a donught and an Americano.
I’ll get her dressed, make lunch and we’ll walk over to daycare and I’ll go into work. I’m picky about my lunch. It’s always some version of sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, arugula, tempeh and avocado, drizzled with lemon, olive oil and salt because it keeps all day. Bread has something called the Special Salad, that’s a perfect lunch for me. Sometimes I’ll get a Dosa from Hampton Chutney Company. I get in a really bad mood if I eat anything big during the day. I have to keep lunch light. I come everyday at 6:30 and have homemade hummus or cheese from Bedford Cheese Shop and some vegetables like carrots, celery, cut up fennel. In the summer I like cucumbers and tomatoes and I just pick.
For dinner, we try to balance the ratio of 3-4 days a week in terms of cooking and takeout. My husband is really good of stir-frying vegetables, we make a ton of vegetables and put it on top of quinoa pasta and parmesan. In the winter, I try not to eat raw vegetables. Ayurvedically they believe you might as well be smoking crack than putting raw vegetables in your system. I know that when I eat warm, sattvic, bland foods that aren’t salty, like a warm plate of quinoa, salmon, steamed kale, avocado and sweet potato, I’ll be on drugs, I’ll feel so good. When I was going through a crazy breakup in my twenties, that was one thing I could eat that could keep me feeling even.
What is your favorite thing to cook for dinner?
I love my husband’s grass-fed organic steak that we get at The Meat Hook. I cannot cook meat. I would rather eat broken glass than touch a raw chicken but I’m not vegetarian. He’ll do Sunday roast chicken and I’ll do all the sides. I’m known for my salads and dressings. My fall salad is bitter greens and kale from the farmer’s market, especially dandelion greens and escarole, which are cleansing for the blood and good on the liver, pumpkin seeds, sliced tart apples, avocado, walnuts and roasted sliced acorn squash. The salad dressing is apple cider, lemon juice, maple syrup and Dijon. In the summer, I love fresh romaine, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh corn, avocado and pumpkin seeds. Unless you’re trying to watch your weight, you can’t have enough sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
What’s your fitness regime like?
When I can squeeze exercise into my schedule, it’s an amazing day. How could you not have a good day if you’ve had a good one hour workout? In my twenties, I had a crazy Mysore yoga practice. I have contortionist flexibility and I was obsessed with doing back bends in a hot room but it really screwed up my back so I started doing Pilates at New York Pilates with Heather Andersen.
I love a baking soda bath. It sucks out your toxins. Sunny and I have a ritual called “Roses and Coconut”. I have this rosewater spray that I spray every morning on my face and I’ve been spraying it on her since she was a newborn. Then we slather on coconut oil.
New healthy discovery?
I found this tonic I really like, which is hot water, lemon, grated ginger, tumeric powder, raw honey and a little cayenne pepper. I make it at home but Organic Avenue basically sells it for $11. Tumeric is very trendy these days. It’s because people thinks it speeds up your metabolism.
Do you use natural products at home?
I clean our mirrors with a mix of baking soda, white vinegar and essential oil. It’s a very non toxic way of cleaning.
What supplements do you take?
I’ve always been the crazy health freak, dragging duffle bags of vitamins wherever I go. I always try to take 3 fish oils, 2 acidophilus, a few spirulina and my multi and pre-natal vitamins.
What are your indulgences?
I’m a super health food junkie but I pick my battles with food. When it comes to a banana muffin, I’ll do the white flour and the butter, just because why not. I love a croissant in the morning, salt and vinegar chips and my favorite dinner at the Wythe Hotel is steak and French fries.
What does Sunny eat at daycare?
When I first took her to school, she would have these macrobiotic plates of lentils, kale, quinoa and sweet potato. On the third day, the teachers were like, everyone else has a Lunchable, she’s not touching her food so give her food she wants to eat. She likes ham and cheese sandwiches so I do it on Ezekial bread on organic ham and cheese or quinoa pasta with peas and smoked salmon. I’m a big fan of bananas and string cheese because she can just pop them in anytime.
So are you learning to be more lenient with certain things?
In her daycare, this email chain went around because a parent walked in on pancake day and saw a teacher putting Hershey’s caramel syrup on the pancakes. It sent everyone in an uproar. I guess I should have been outraged. She shouldn’t have caramel syrup at 9 in the morning, but honestly I just don’t have it in me to get all fired up. I’ve done so much damage to myself and it’s not because I ate caramel Hershey’s syrup at daycare, you know?
FOR MOLLY’S GREEN APPLE, CLICK HERE
FOR MOLLY’S BANANA MUFFINS, CLICK HERE