Healthy Beach Girl - Jen Mons Interview Series: Healing through Food
Jen Mons is a dynamic woman doing great work in our community! After experiencing health challenges following the birth of her daughter, her life took a complete change in direction and she embarked on a journey of true wellness. We interviewed her as we wanted to share her story and her passion. Her mission is completely inline with ours and we were honored to collaborate! Read her inspiring story below! She is really amazing!
Can you share a little about your journey with us.
Absolutely! My journey really began when I became a mother at age 28. Before this, my work experience was climbing the corporate ladder in Management as an Operations Engineer. I attended college at a United States Federal Service Academy and upon graduation received a dual B/S in Mechanical Engineering and Marine Transportation/Nautical Sciences. The birth of my first daughter in 2006 was life threatening for both my daughter and myself when I had HELLP syndrome, or pregnancy induced liver failure. As a result, both my daughter and I endured years of challenging health issues. I left my corporate job and we relocated from the west coast to Jacksonville, Florida in 2007. In 2009, shortly after the healthy birth of my second daughter, we came to a turning point in our lives. When nothing else was working, a leap of faith took us on a healing journey through holistic wellness and nutrition. At the time, my oldest daughter was on 6 daily prescription drugs, missed 3 months of school, had anti-biotic resistant Klebsiella Pneumonia for 9 months. She was labeled with a handful of “dis-eases”. Since our journey to natural healing with holistic wellness and nutrition, I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2011 and began working with people to implement healthy lifestyle changes with a thriving community. In February 2015, I had another little wake up call with a mini health crises again. I knew I was eating healthy enough and right for my body, but that my spirit needed to heal. I focused and shifted my energy inward, did a travel homeschool year with my kids, studied yoga and mindfulness, and became a yoga instructor. The balance of health mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually has given me the abundant gifts in life and the ability to authentically guide others toward the same journey. I am so grateful for my challenges and experiences, and honored to share this gift with the community.
What types of food did you consume before your current diet?
I love this question. The funny thing is that I thought I was a healthy vegetarian for nearly 22 years. My husband told me I was really a “breadatarian” and he was right. I consumed mostly gluten and dairy, both of which I avoid or consume very little of now simply because I now know that my fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and PMS were mostly related to these foods. This is just my own personal experience which will vary from person to person.
I now focus on simple and delicious meals with protein, healthy fats, and lots of plant based foods!
So you run an amazing, wellness-centered business, Healthy Beach Girl. What is the mission of your business ?
The mission of Healthy Beach Girl is to consciously nourish women to live a well-balanced life through mind, body, and spirit.
Healthy Beach Girl cultivates a supportive community of women living authentically and consciously as their healthy and authentic self, as we encourage those around us to do the same. We are raising the vibration of this community!
I see you are very involved in water sports, travel, and other adventurous activities. What role do those activities play in your wellness?
The vision of Healthy Beach Girl is to support and empower a community of women by consciously nourishing mind, body, and spirit. Our core values include community, authenticity, inspiration, nourishment, and FUN!
Through my own journey I have discovered the importance of keeping life in balance. I believe we really need to have that passion, that love, and drive for what makes us authentic. The ocean cleanses my soul, and it is my playground. I have been a windsurfing instructor, a competitive collegiate swimmer and a swim coach, a surfer, possibly a mermaid in another life, lol, as well as I hold a USCG Captains and Chief Engineer boat license. My time in and around the water is very sacred and necessary for me to express my true self, which is where and why Healthy Beach Girl was created. True health is honoring and nourishing yourself on all levels!
At Blue Sage, we always say “the body wants to heal itself, you just have to give it the right fuel to do so.” Do you agree with that? And if so, in what ways have you experienced that?
I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree with this and believe in this with every piece of my soul. I have experienced this single-handedly with my own healing, that of my daughter, and have witnessed many people make transformations when they commit to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Consciously nourishing your body with foods that work for you is so powerful. There is also a lot of power in removing or reducing toxins in your life from foods, relationships, and jobs that are not serving you.
I believe it is our birthright to live a happy and healthy life as our authentic self, and I want everyone to feel, be, and do just that. When we nourish ourselves, it allows us to live our purpose because it creates space for us to live authentically . Rather then spending time not feeling well, we are able to just BE who we are which is really our life purpose.
Know your self worth and commit to a healthier and happier you! Awareness is the first step of transforming yourself and such a wonderful gift to receive. The people I work with are empowered to make their own changes that are necessary for them to feel and look their best. I cover this and many more insightful tips through my programs and in a book I am writing and expecting to publish December 2016!
What tips might you have for someone making a transition to Whole Food diet?
Here are five simple tips for transitioning to a Whole Foods Diet
1. Keep it Simple! Eat mostly simple whole foods that come from the Earth.
2. Support and Guidance are so helpful and necessary for most of us for transformation to occur, including myself! Eating for bio-individuality to fit our unique lifestyle and physical needs is a crucial step in feeling your best! Find out what fuels your body and what does not! It is different for everyone.
3. Quality over Quantity always! When you consume more nutrient dense foods, and combine your foods properly, you will be amazed at the sustainable energy and satisfaction you will have throughout your day. I realize that we all have different resources available to us, but when possible, local, organic, grass fed, and in season is always the best, most affordable, and rewarding way to eat. The flavor of high quality food is an added bonus to the health benefits!
4. Know that everything is possible! Every meal is an opportunity to nourish yourself! Always embrace where you are! Release expectations and enjoy the journey!
5. A healthy and balanced relationship with food is so important. Everything in moderation. If you do not enjoy it, don't eat it. There are so many delicious and healthy foods out there (desserts included), you just have to know how and where to find them. I love to recommend a 70/30 or 80/20 rule to allow yourself small indulgences. Over time, your idea of an indulgence will change and habits will change as you begin to feel better!
What has been your greatest struggle in maintaining your Whole food diet? How have you overcome it?
Time! I am just like everyone else! With two young active kids and running my own business, I often wonder where the time goes. The truth is I love to eat more then I like to prepare food. I love the creative part of coming up with new recipes, but I also love to play (live in balance), so really I just love the benefits of eating healthy which is why I do this. I finally began to really live with energy and abundance when I recognized the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
I keep it simple and focus on a few things. I have young kids and kids like to snack. I focus on quick, easy, healthy snacks to avoid the processed foods and simple meals. It works for my family and my lifestyle. Find what works for you and your family and make small changes one at a time. Start with small changes that will have the biggest impact. Remember, Everything IS possible!
I love to say that we are changing lives and hoping yours is next!
Thank you for sharing this space with me!
With Love, Gratitude, and Aloha, Jen Mons, the Healthy Beach Girl
For more information and to join the tribe, please check out www.healthybeachgirl.com