September 28, 2022

Pictures of Self-Health - Arden Vail


Here at GEM, we coined the term “self-health” to describe each person’s individualized path to feeling their best. Here’s what that looks like in action for real members of the GEM community in our newest series, Pictures of Self-Health, a collection of visual perspectives from passionate creators meant to spark your curiosity. 

Arden Vail Sanchez is a photographer, chef, and gluten-free baker based in Los Angeles. This week, she’s traveling in Florence, Italy, and showing us what self-health means to her, plus how she applies it even while abroad.

My best friend and I were traveling through Europe and it’s incredible to see the different ways of living. People focus a lot less on what their body looks like and more on how they feel, as well as spending time with family and friends. These photos are inspired by the way that I’m seeing the world, as well as the way other people in other countries and cultures define self-health.

I was diagnosed with Celiac and IBS and for a really long time, I had demonized a lot of food groups, which is something that’s common in the US—and Los Angeles specifically. We have a tendency to listen more to diet trends, so I demonized dairy but in the last year, I started incorporating organic yogurt and it’s been amazing for my digestion.

I usually start by waking up, having a cup of coffee, and having my GEM bite before I do any type of movement. I’m a runner but I also really love yoga so I try to incorporate that before breakfast, which I like to make for myself because I eat out pretty often when I’m traveling. Breakfast is a time where I can be by myself and use local ingredients to make myself something that’s easy to digest.

Self-health for me means incorporating some of my daily routine into my travels through things I know that will make me feel good, but also not having stress around the routine itself. Having the gelato or the gluten-free pasta. I’m a big advocate for balance and enjoying life.

Self-health means enjoying the things that make you happy and feel good. You can’t just focus on the physical body—the mental side of things is extremely important too. GEM’s been great for me for that, plus listening to myself while traveling.

To me, self-health means feeling good, taking care of yourself, and enjoying the fruits of life.

You can find more by following Arden at @ardenvail.


This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and contains trusted sources.

Our goal at GEM is to give readers up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics. GEM content is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and articles undergo an extensive review process.

All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.