on peanut butter shaming and my new found freedom





I have a shameful secret. One I probably shouldn’t tell if I care at all about my reputation as a spa owner. But here goes.

I love Jif peanut butter.

Did you gasp? Did you faint? Are you concerned that my career in the wellness industry is over?

“Does she not know that Whole Foods has low-sugar, all-natural, gluten-free almond butter?”

I’m aware. But you will never take my Jif peanut butter from me. Ever.

We’re in kind of a weird place at Milagro. We were “birthed” from a different spa, one whose main identity came from being “natural”, “organic”. That was their thing, their cause, their why. It’s how many of our current Milagrans originally found us. And we’re good with that.

But the more we’ve evolved and discovered our own identity, the more obvious it’s become that while natural (whatever that means) describes a lot of the products we sell and the ingredients we use, preaching about “clean living” is not our thing, our cause, or our why.

I’ve met too many people who are scared of their shampoo & sunscreen. And too many people who are, quite literally, ashamed (yes, ashamed) to “admit” what skin or body care products they use. This. Feels. Wrong.

My friend Steph (Milagro massage therapist extraordinaire plus deep thinker/poetry writer) said it best when she said, “Milagro is people over principles, compassion over conviction”.

See, we’re for people. And when any aspect of our industry, whether it’s anti-aging beauty peddlers or clean lifestyle wellness bloggers, is making people feel bad, I want no part of it. Even if the intention is benevolent. It makes me feel icky.

The icky feelings are what led us to create the Maker Counter in the first place. I was finding it (and am still finding it) extremely difficult to locate skin and body products that are not marketed either as “anti-aging, fix-you” and/or as “non-toxic” & “clean”. I am equally as uncomfortable with both tactics. One plays on insecurity and one plays on fear. Yuck.

My bff Natasha was recently joking about the guacamole she bought at TJ’s that was labeled “guilt-free”. It had never occurred to her that she was supposed to feel guilty about eating guacamole. This is why we’re bff’s.

I love Jif peanut butter. I love roasted brussel sprouts. I love salmon. I love donuts (you may have heard that before). I love a rib sandwich and seasoned fries from Joe’s KC. I love the IDEA of yoga. I love long hikes with my dogs. I love the simplicity and fun of mixing custom facial oils. I love deliciously scented bath soaks with 3 ingredients. And as someone who knows what it’s like to have bad skin, I love the option of a 10% glycolic to knock that s#1! out.

You could say these things are contradictory. People are contradictory. We are complicated, messy, confusing, & complex and that’s what makes us interesting. No judging necessary.

Milagro is spa for real people. We have no agenda other than to make you feel fantastic. Period.

So bring every crazy bit of you, with no apologies and no shame. All is welcome. Except guilt and BS. Leave those outside.

© 2019 by Ashley Smith & Milagro Midwestern Spa Collective