Health+Beauty - Olivia Stren



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Well Rounded

ELLE Canada

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January, 2019

It’s 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and syrupy fall sunshine is filtering into Vancouver’s Stanley Park Pavilion. I’m here for Canada’s inaugural Goop summit along with 200 other women and one uncomfortable-looking man. (Men here appear to be as popular as dairy products and negative energy.) Most are Goop groupies (groopies?) in yoga gear, although […]

Energy Crisis

FASHION magazine

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January, 2018

When my son was born, he greeted the world with a soft cry—and a big yawn. I knew in that instant that this was my child. I have never been what you’d call a high-energy person. At summer camp, my favourite activities were crafts (you can’t, say, jog while braiding gimp) and “rest.” In the […]

Sleep Mode

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FASHION magazine

January, 2017

 About a year into my first real job, as a junior editor at Toronto Life, I arrived at my performance review—a breakfast meeting scheduled for 9 a.m.—25 minutes late. I’d been wild with nerves the night before and couldn’t sleep. At 4 a.m., I made the decision—the kind of decision you make at 4 a.m.—to […]

Olfactory Nerve

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FASHION Magazine

November, 2015

Last fall, when I was about six months pregnant, I went to the hospital for an anatomy ultrasound. As the technician applied gel to my abdomen, she informed me that she would not be speaking throughout the procedure and that I should address any questions I might have with my doctor. But after about 10 […]

False Glow

ELLE Canada

April, 2015

A few years ago, I had lunch with a friend who was six months pregnant with her third child. “I loooove being pregnant,” she said as she tore happily into a crois­sant, her gestational mane gleaming. “It makes me feel powerful!” I never thought that pregnancy would make me feel formidable. (Power and I have never […]

Kill or Be Killed

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March, 2015

Soccer is a beautiful, elegant game to watch. Unless you’re watching me play. “You’re on!” a teammate yells my first day on the field. I scurry, hoping for invisibility, toward the safety of the sidelines, feeling vulnerable and stunned, like a gimpy gnu among prowling lions. I’d recently watched a National Geographic documentary about predatory […]

Forever Tan

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June, 2014

Growing up in my family, tanning was pleasure, pastime and competitive sport. Pale was pejorative. My parents, both great tanners in their youth, lived in East Africa in the early ’70s, before I was born. That time in their lives seemed to me fabulously glamorous—never mind the fact that my sister, a baby then, contracted […]

My Silver Linings Playbook

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Chatelaine magazine

May, 2014

The philosophy in my family has generally been not so much that the glass is half empty as that it’s basically a sieve. My mother is French, so pessimism is arguably her birthright. The French have, historically, exhibited an impressively unrelenting fidelity to pessimism and its assemblage of black-turtleneck-wearing in-laws: Moroseness, Ennui, Despair, Misery, Melancholy, […]

Busy Bodies

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FASHION magazine

March, 2014

In a time when it’s socially unacceptable to have loads of free time on your hands, OLIVIA STREN wonders why everyone wants to be so damn busy “How are you?” a barista asked me recently. “Super busy?” He was presumably too busy frothing almond milk for another customer to wait for my answer. “Yeah. SO busy. […]

New York State of Mind

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FASHION Magazine

April, 2013

When it comes to fitness, Type A Manhattanites never sleep. OLIVIA STREN investigates the city’s fitness concierges, $40 classes and “fat-incinerating” cardio blasts as this high-intensity trend makes a strong push north. A man in a luon tank top with ballooning biceps and the triangular figure of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character asks me anxiously: “Are you […]

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Olivia Stren

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