Our current lives are flooded with fighting, violence and anger. There’s the bombings, shootings, protests and the negatively charged political elections. Hell, even the dumb celebrity culture that we follow as a mental break from the harsh realities of the world is steaming with feuding between Kanye, Taylor Swift and the Kardashian kids.
When I start to feel overwhelmed by all of this and my veins feel like they are going to burst through my skin because it’s too much. It’s too unsettling. Too out of our control. Too violent. Too sad. Just TOO MUCH. I go back to basics.
I concentrate on what I CAN control, which helps managing the other things bearable. I can control my health. I can control my body. I can do things to increase my stamina, my mental energy and my all-around well-being.
Election years especially are notorious for instability. Google various stats on election years and you find numerous articles citing the instability and decline in travel and stock markets and a lengthy list for managing the stress and uncertainty that come along with so much debating and drastic changes.
You know what makes all of the stressors in the real-world even worse? When your body is stressed out. Physical stresses make it even harder to handle the mental stress that comes our way. So here are some tips for getting back to basics and taking care of your personal welfare to help you deal with the world-wide issues plaguing us today.
Read Something Positive
When I’m stressed with the news I turn to places such as Buzzfeed and this article to remember that most of humanity is good. The news just focuses on the bad. We all need to see photos and stories that make us smile every now and then.
Check Your Diet
Stress tends to cause emotional eating and we start purging on comfort foods. Look at what you are eating and make adjustments to incorporate more fruits and vegetables. You may also be eating things that aggravate your system such as dairy and wheat.
Take Some Time
Go for a run, meditate, attend a yoga class, go to a comedy show, arrange a dinner with a friend, color. DO something that makes you feel happy, laugh, connect with real life people. Whatever your enjoyment of choice is don’t spend your time on the couch. It’s important to connect with people and share positive experiences to get us through stress.
While I was running on the beach I noticed some unusual activity buzzing around me. Yes, I was seeing first hand this new Pokemon Go craze.
Seeing people play it while I was running, which is when my mind tends to get inquisitive about life, raised some deep questions. My thoughts on it are not to bash Pokemon Go, but to question it in regards to health and wellness.
Pokemon Go is just a dramatic example of a trend that has becoming increasingly common. The trend of needing technology to get us out and moving. Creating movements that our bodies are designed to make shouldn’t naturally need technology to get moving, but for years it has become an epidemic and I have to wonder how truly sustainable is it really?
While technology games such as Pokemon Go, running and workout apps, video games such as Nintendo Wii, even back to that old Nintendo game with the running pad or Dance, Dance Revolution are all on the rise so is obesity, so obviously this tend isn’t working any kind of mass magic.
In order to prevent chronic disease we have to develop habits that are lifelong, so I have to wonder if playing Pokemon Go (or any other virtual reality game that gets people moving) is truly a long-term thing or just a fad?
My personal feelings are that we need to support and spend money on things that are truly sustainable that educate, support empathy, support spirituality and most importantly support human interaction.
Is all this technology just another addiction? Another distraction getting in the way of the real, deep down issues?
Someone was telling me the other day that their teenager was playing Pokemon Go in the park and came across someone else playing it and they began talking and found common ground. While that is awesome, I still have to wonder if that’s sustainable social behavior. Is it a behavior that will be taken and learned from and brought into other areas of life or does it push forward the trend of communicating via short text messages.
I’m sure there’s stories such as that which are positive. I even saw a story about dog shelters using Pokemon Go to encourage people to walk the abandoned dogs. For every positive story though I have to wonder how many negative stories go along with that. How many people are just sinking further and further into a technology addiction? I feel disheartened that it takes a game to encourage young people to walk dogs, go to the beach, get outside.
I challenge all of you to take a moment and reflect. Reflect on how much time you spend on your cell phone, how much time you spend looking down at a screen as opposed to up at the sky or out at the ocean. I know they are necessary in today's life, but just take an extra moment and be mindful of your time on this earth, your individual health and wellness and the role technology plays in the whole scheme of it all.
This past week I held our first Be Well Health & Wellness Fair! It was a huge success even despite the heat. It was a scorching day, but all the health warriors showed up and set up their tables. Even if they were sweating their you know whats off, they came with a positive attitude and a single, cohesive goal in mind: to share all the wonderful outlets there are here in Myrtle Beach to improve our health and wellness with the community.
Did you know that chronic disease is the number one killer in our country? Many of these such as diabetes and heart disease are manmade epidemics and preventing them is all about lifestyle choices.
At the fair we had motivating fitness businesses, knowledgeable health coaches, an acupuncturist, a local fresh produce distributor, chiropractic care, our local running club and the Wellness Council of South Carolina, a local nonprofit that educates children in the school system and others about a healthy lifestyle.
We had people coming in that were curious and motivated. Our community wants and needs to know that these sources are here and available.
Health and wellness gets so confusing. There are so many books, chatter and advice floating around in our world, but sometimes just talking to a friendly face who understands what you are going though, even if they don't have the answers, just knowing someone cares about your health and wellness can make you feel better.
We had people coming in and ordering raw juices and smoothies, trying things that they had never tried before and that was truly amazing.
The day was filled with heat, sun, sweat and most importantly lots of love.
I am grateful to know so many amazing people in Myrtle Beach. When I first moved here I had a hard time fitting in. I didn’t know my tribe, I felt disconnected but because I was highly-motivated I was able to seek out these things I needed.
My goal as we continue to hold more Be Well Health & Wellness Fairs is that people come out to find their tribe and we, as a community, can help them make a difference in their preventative health, managed care and spread the word and knowledge.
When you have vital information I believe it is your duty in the community to share that information with others.
The people who come out and get educated are able to share with their neighbors and that’s how we can be a healthier society. If we wait for the government, our doctors or somebody else to make us better or help us change we will be waiting for a length stretch of time. It’s up to every individual. Sometimes it’s hard; you're sick, you’re tired, you feel like crap - I get that. I’ve been there, but that’s not a good enough excuse. Staying in your pity party about how crappy you feel wont change anything.
If you are interested in being part of our tribe connect with us; subscribe to our newsletter, attend a fair, come in and see us, get connected, stay connected.
I think each one of us has a journey that we are not always aware of because we are constantly searching. Searching for purpose, searching for answers, searching for the meaning of our journey. We’re never just letting things happen organically. It seems that it typically takes a major life crisis for us to realize our journey.
A lot of people see me as this health and wellness guru, a warrior figure. I love that and I strive for that because I’m just a normal girl who has gone through some major changes in the last (almost) 55 years and along that path I realized that health and wellness is my journey. I spent ample amounts of time searching for this journey though to finally find it.
My life has been far from perfect, but as we know perfection is the flaw. I’ve had many ups and downs, twists and turns and roadblocks along the way.
Many of my bad moments were self created by me, based on my perception of what I thought was reality and some of it was not in my control. One thing I have learned is that when things are not in your control DO NOT try to control them because it makes them worse. I learned that later in life. It’s hard to release the things out of our control, but it’s necessary for our own success, well-being and all around sanity.
Letting go of the things we cannot control can make us feel fragile. It is hard for us to come to terms with our fragility. We are fragile. But we are not fragile without the ability to be strong as well.
We must find that balance between strong and vulnerable to move along our journey.
I’ve been hurt many times in my life. And I don’t like the feeling. And I’m also a Libra which makes it worse since Libras are known to be idealistic and sensitive.
We all have our path, our journey, our specific struggles.
This is all something I wanted to share because when I think about things that resonate with me I feel a craving to share them because I believe there is probably someone out there who could benefit from my sharing, possibly even more than one, but no one would benefit if I kept it to myself.
In our crazy lives we have to never stop believing. We have to never stop knowing that it’s all going to be OK and we don’t have to be in control every minute of every day. This uncertainty keeps us on our toes.
Change is something that I believe greatly promotes growth and helps us to gain understanding of ourselves and our surroundings.
We are here for a reason. I think I have finally found my purpose through health and wellness efforts and turning them into my career and livelihood. I’m not perfect in my own health and wellness and I will never say that I am. I don’t think I even want to be perfect, but I keep striving to know more, learn more, branch out more and be more.
At the end of the day I just want to make a difference in someone’s life. But I believe no matter what field we are in we all want that. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves, we want to impact the world.
Stay true to yourself and work hard towards the things that are important to you and I promise you, you’ll make a difference.
As many of you have heard me say before, my dream for Be Well Meals & Juice Bar is to create an amazing, uplifting sense of community that helps people gain a sense of inclusion and also live healthier lives.
I’m not a technology person, sometimes I rant about technology and have an overall disdain for how much it can frustrate me, but I also have to give technology a lot of credit because technology is responsible for social media, and social media has greatly helped me spread my message and connect with people.
In the present day social media, where there are boundless stories of cyber bullying and mean comments, I want to continue to use social media as an extension of Be Well Meals & Juice Bar sense of community.
It took me awhile to figure out what a “hashtag” was, how it worked and what it meant, but now that I know it can be helped to bring people of specific interests together I want to start a social media campaign with YOUR help.
For the next few weeks I will be running a #bewelltips campaign. I want to use it to gather the tips, thoughts and feelings of this amazing health and wellness warriors community. Once I’ve gathered the inspiration from the community I will spread it far and wide though social media.
So, here’s what I have in mind. Share your tips for health and wellness with us on social media with the hashtag #bewelltips on it and everyone who participates will be entered to win 5 lunches from our 5 for $35 program. The drawing will be random and will take place on July 15th. After the initial campaign I will be spreading everyone’s wisdom by continuing to use the hashtag #bewelltips.
Part of this community of inclusion is that NO ONE, myself included is perfect.We all have days where we slip, where we do things we aren’t proud of, but we have to know that EVERYONE has these days and does these things. Once we settle into the reality that these things happen to everyone and we are not alone it’s much easier to get past and move on. That’s where the second part of the campaign comes in. There will be a second drawing for your anonymous “oops moments.” To keep it anonymous you can enter the “oops, no one is perfect,” portion of the contest by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us what your oops moments are. We will then be sharing these moments, without names or information, but just sharing them so we all know we aren’t alone. That time you binge ate cheese at midnight. That time you secretly ate two dinners. Tell us about your oops moments so that you know you’re not alone.
We encourage anyone and everyone to participate, but unfortunately we can only offer the two prizes to Horry County Residents or anyone who will be picking up their weeks worth of meals in person since we do not currently ship.
Thank you all for following me on this journey thus far. For fighting for and sharing this health and wellness community. I’m excited to see it grow and flourish along with people’s health.
Contact me at email@example.com with any questions or to submit your tips or your oops moments.
A couple years ago I nixed dairy, yes even cheese, from my diet. That food group we were all told was necessary for our calcium intake and avoiding osteoporosis, is in fact not necessary. When I say dairy, it’s not just milk. It’s byproducts from cow’s milk, it’s cheese, yogurt, ice cream, chocolate and more.
To sum up the main reasons I gave up dairy it’s pretty simple, it caused me to be constipated, bloated and occasionally made me break out in hives. There is a lot of research out there that points to the idea that we do not NEED dairy in our diet.
There’s so many alternatives for both nutrients and taste that are actually better for your body. If you think about it, dairy is nature’s food for growing mammals; infants and animals drink milk to grow and received nutrients from their mothers, but humans are the only mammals that continue to drink milk and eat other dairy based products past the crucial developmental stages of infancy.
The science behind why dairy caused me to be bloated, constipated and breakout has to do with the sugar and proteins in it. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, dairy sugars and proteins are the second most inflammatory things we digest, second only to gluten. This inflammation sends the stomach into a hellish nightmare of digestion that causes the symptoms I mentioned before.
I won’t get into the science of all the exact things dairy does to your body, but according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, dairy consumption is linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other health issues.
The argument that dairy is needed for bone density and health has also been proven to be invalid. According to multiple studies from the Physicians committee dairy did not help bone health at all in children, adolescents or women. The actual best ways to build bone density are other food to include in your diet such as broccoli and kale and getting exercise.
I haven’t really missed dairy since I gave it up because I have included other things in my diet that satisfy my cravings. Everyone now and then I truly miss cheese, but staple foods that typically include cheese can still be made, for example our vegan lasagna.
Recipes that would require butter, such as creamy pasta sauces I’ve replaced with a nutrient-rich cauliflower cream sauce that tastes amazing. Milks for drinking, cereal and more can easier be replaced with milks made from nuts such as cashews or coconut. I can even make milk flavors in chai, chocolate and strawberry.
I use nut milks in my baking, coconut oil instead of butter, nut milks instead of yogurt in smoothies, and when I want ice cream I buy non-dairy brands that use coconut or almond milk.
This week I encourage you to try going dairy free, even if it’s just for one week to see how different your body feels. At Be Well Meals our entire menu is dairy-free and we also offer coaching and cooking classes if you are interested in getting help to live a dairy free lifestyle come see us or contact us here.
As many of you know, Be Well Meals & Juice Bar recently opened to the public! It was scary and thrilling all at once and now that it has been two weeks since we opened I can look back and be amused by my ignorance and proud of my resilience. I thought it would be great to share this experience to my followers and maybe inspire someone to step outside of their comfort zone to pursue their own dream.
Biggest lesson learned:
Don’t sweat the small stuff. I have read the book and I preach this all the time. It sounds great until you are living what you believe to be a nightmare. Let me explain...
A few weeks before opening I was sitting at one of the café tables doing some paperwork when I turned around to look outside and what I saw completely blew me away. My very neutral colored marquee sign was in the process of being painted bright yellow and bright blue and just as “oh shit” was coming out of my mouth I realized that all the columns surrounding the building, which is about 12, were also being painted the exact same colors. I ran out to question the painters about what was going on and spiraled into complete panic mode. Now, this may seem trivial to an outsider, but we had just spent 2-plus months reconstructing the interior space and painting the inside neutral colors that made sense for the business and the outside décor together. I wanted to throw up. It ruined my entire day. I called everyone that would care about my anxiety and it completely unraveled me. As I look back now, I wasted so much time and energy worrying about something that was out of my control and didn’t have any effect on my business. Now, two weeks in I don’t even notice.
A year ago when I started the journey of building the meal delivery business I was blessed to be introduced to Danielle, who had just graduated culinary school here in Myrtle Beach. I was scared shitless to hire someone to help me. I had been solo in my business for so long and I wasn’t even sure how I was going to explain what I did. After all, I am not a chef. I am a health coach who happens to be a foodie and loves to eat but wants to be healthy. How in the world was I going to teach that to someone else? Well, I did and one of my biggest joys is that now not only do I have Danielle working with me, but an entire team of people who want to learn how to help others lead healthier lifestyles. Everyday I get to work with motivated, joyful people and teach them what I know about food and health. In return they are teaching me how to be a better leader and human being. It is a win-win for everyone.
I am by not finished growing my wellness empire. I have so many plans for Be Well Meals and our company, but I can honestly say, besides being a mom, this experience has been life changing for me and my biggest accomplishment to date.
I love helping others. I am beyond grateful for the tremendous support I have received from the Myrtle Beach community.
So, to everyone out there who has followed and continues to follow this journey, thank you. Thank you for following. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for communicating with me, coming to the restaurant and being supportive. None of this would be possible without you.
As I prepare to open up Be Well Meals & Juice Bar I wanted to take some time to reflect on the juice bar part, why I love juicing and some of the benefits I have seen in clients who have given juicing a try.
Juicing is treating your body with love and respect.
Juicing is giving every cell in your body the time to heal, cleanse and flourish.
In the midst of a juice cleanse it can be challenging. People get to know what hunger really feels like. There will be breakouts, headaches and more. But, on the other side there is better digestion, clearer skin and clarity of mind.
In simple terms, without getting deep into the science of what juicing does to your body, we only have so much energy etched into every cell of our bodies. A lot of this energy is used to digest foods, but when we give our stomachs a break and nourish our bodies with just juice and no artificial foods, heavy meats and toxins there is spare energy to replenish everything. Think of it as a day off work, it’s when you get the deep cleaning done in your house, the errands ran and everything else you don’t have the time or energy to do.
Your body works the same way, if you don’t show it enough respect to give it some time off every now and then it will get tired. It will get cranky. It will get behind in the things that it NEEDS to do.
My favorite time to do a juice cleanse is when I get super busy, or have been super busy. It not only frees up my body’s energy to be on a juice cleanse, but it helps me give myself permission to slow down, skip a run, relax a little. It also free ups my mental energy. I don’t have to think about what to cook, what to eat or if I even managed to eat my lunch that day.
It’s meal prep at the absolute best.
The ingredients in the juice, all cold-pressed, organic fruit and vegetable juices feed your body everything it craves. The vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients. In addition to juice, while on a cleanse people drink A LOT of water, which means they are flushing heavy metals, toxins and gunk out of their systems.
I could go on and on about how many benefits there are to juicing; from helping to lose weight, kickstart healthy habits, recover from a rough weekend, pinpoint allergies, fight food sensitivity and digestion issues and much more. Instead of going on and on I will just keep this simple, everyone can benefits from it.
When I help my first group juice cleanse I thought a couple people would join. Instead, it grew and men and women were joining and sharing their experiences with me. I called them warriors, because that’s what they are. People fighting for their health and doing the hard things it takes to be better in the end.
I knew when it came time to open a complete space a juice bar HAD to be part of that. It’s been amazing to see how many people have benefitted from juicing and I look forward to spreading the reach of that joy further, from people completing a juice cleanse to just stopping by to enjoy a refreshing juice and a sunny day.
Look for Be Well Meals & Juice Bar to have our grand opening on May 16th! Stop in to try our juices and feel free to reach out if you want to discuss how a juice cleanse can benefit you.
I recently took a few hours away from the business to attend a Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony, someone had nominated me for the Business Innovation Award. As honored as I was to be nominated I just felt like I had too many other things to do in order to get to my grand opening and really felt like there was no time to fit this event in. I knew it was important for me to go and support my local chamber so reluctantly I decided to go. The preparation to make myself presentable was a huge effort. I was a complete mess from busy days, construction and cooking. I had bruises all over my legs and I am pasty white from sun deprivation. Every inch of me felt completely disheveled, I needed an outfit, I needed to get my eye brows waxed and so many other things.
So, I started getting ready. I got my eye brows addressed and I quickly bought a dress. As I was getting ready though I realized I didn’t have any stockings and with bruises covering legs it would be embarrassing to go out in public without stockings.
I quickly swung by CVS on my way to the event and grabbed a pair of stockings, threw them on and slid into my shoes. That’s when I realized with the slippery stockings suddenly my shoes were too big! They fell off my feet with each step I took. It was too late to get new shoes or even run home to grab different ones. I had to make these work. I had to improvise.
Thankfully, I had a roll of paper towels in my car and I decided to try stuff some of those in my shoes to make them fit. Hallelujah! It worked! The paper towels perfectly filled the empty space and made walking possible again.
As I sat at the awards I was starving from having raced around all day without eating anything. The only thing they had to eat was meat and cheese so I snacked on some cheese, something that I fully gave up about two years ago because of the things it did to my body.
When my award category came up much to my surprise I had won! As ecstatic and surprised I was by the win as I walked up to accept it I only had one thought in my head.
“You, Leslie, have freaking paper towels stuffed into your shoes right now while accepting an award for innovation. Also, you ate cheese, please don’t get gassy right now.”
The next morning I picked up the award and noticed red welts all over my arm. I’m almost certain it was caused by the cheese I ate and my body was having a reaction to it, but it was ok. I abandoned my diet, walked around with paper towels and still came out victorious and feeling like what I’m doing is truly making a difference in the Myrtle Beach community.
I continued to think about the award. Me, receiving an award for innovation? Shouldn’t that go to a technology company or something? I never thought of myself as innovative, but I guess I did start this business where I saw the need, and I did think on my feet to fill my shoes with paper towels, so maybe I was innovative after all.
Sometimes being recognized for something makes the bad, weird or awkward parts of the adventure worth it. Take some time to acknowledge someone you know and are proud of today. The good karma will bounce back and you’ll be recognized for the great things you are doing in your life. Also, when your shoes don’t fit, paper towels make an excellent filler.
One year ago I would not have called myself a CEO. One year ago I was riding the hippie trail, wearing colorful clothing and working from home. I made my own skin care, my own food and I spent great amounts of time experimenting with essential oils, different vegetables and shea butter.
No, I didn’t smoke pot or march on Washington, but I did beat to the sound of my own drum. Then I had a whirlwind year. My passion for these natural things I was coming to love and learn and experiencing the benefits of I decided I would share with the world. I quit my job and started working from home full-time as a holistic health coach. As I shared knowledge and helped people lose weight and break free from prescription medications I saw first hand that their biggest struggle to eat health was in having the time to make the food.
Our society is fast paced. We race from place to place, commitment to commitment. Barely taking the time for self-care, let alone constantly preparing meals. So, I began cooking for the people I coached. I wanted to see them succeed so I started delivering the meals to their homes and workplaces.
Word got out. I was practically forced to move into a larger space to meet the demand. I was terrified at first to have the commitment of a commercial kitchen, but I bit the bullet. Turns out I quickly out grew that space and quickly outgrew the ability to deliver all the meals. I set up pick up locations at a local yoga studio and soon I outgrew that as well.
I’ve now had to open my own restaurant and juice bar to have the ability to truly help as many people in the Myrtle Beach community that need help. You can still find me with my nose pierced and my peasant shirts flowing, but suddenly I have a slew of employees. I have monthly rent, huge overheads and weekly payrolls to meet. I have inventory to keep up with. I am a CEO.
It’s been a fast and wildly colorful ride from hippie to CEO and I wouldn’t change a second. I wanted to share some things I’ve learned in the process of a fast transition from the carefree world to the entrepreneurial world.
Follow Your Passions
My path wouldn’t have been as fast as it did if I wasn’t passionate. I ate, slept and breathed helping people. I spoke about it, posted about it, tweeted about it non-stop, not because I saw it as a way to get rich quick. I saw it as enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding.
It Can Take Time
This experience happened quickly once I started the forward flowing steps, but it was more than 35? years in the making. I’ve had jobs in massage, banking, (add some more?) I didn’t start on this endeavor until I was (age). We aren’t born radiating our passions from our skin. We build passions over a lifetime of ups and down, experiences and living. My story involves many years spent living an unhealthy lifestyle and I only learned my passion when I learned to take care of myself.
Ask for Help
I’d still be working from home, coaching a couple clients if I hadn’t reached out for help. I didn’t know a lot about business so I hired a business coach. It was an expense to take on, but over the past year I’ve watched how quickly this investment pushed me to keep building, keep getting bigger and it made the new things such as dealing with permits, taxes, articles of incorporation and more much easier to navigate.
When I began outgrowing myself, I asked for help in the form of a part-time employee. I hired Danielle and with her help I was quickly able to make her full-time and now have her helping me through every step of building the restaurant.
NOTHING would have been possible if I hadn’t just asked for help.