Schanen's Story

Erin and I are total opposites in so many ways, but soul sisters at heart.  She’s natural blonde, whereas I’ve had every color hair under the sun - mostly brunette.  She’s a natural beauty and I won’t leave the house without eyeliner. Erin is habitually late, and I’m habitually early. We’re both free spirits in our own right, which is why we’ve never gotten annoyed with our differences - not even when Ms. Late McGee almost made us miss the last bus from Prague to Vienna during our European adventure and we had to run a mile in the rain to get to it. Not even then ;) We’re able to laugh about every mis-shapen puzzle piece that enters our lives and then we find a place for the pieces to fit.  Our strengths complement each other and our underlying characteristics are the same: authenticity, generosity, patience, kindness, and a love for food & drink.

HotTubKW

Erin and I never talked much about food or health back when we met (stark contrast to our conversations today!).  We met in college, before everyone and their mother (literally) were on social media with their photos of pretty dinners. We ate whatever we wanted and drank 50% of our calories. Although my mom was a personal trainer and ate healthy during my childhood, I never gave much thought to the food I made for myself. I was perfectly happy coming home after school every day, microwaving a Hot Pocket and watching Spiceworld on repeat.

After college (and after my dad “cut me off” when he found out about my first tattoo), I found myself working in Charleston as a server at a gourmet pizza shop, Monza.  Monza has an open kitchen so I was able to watch the chefs prepare fresh salads, pastas, soups, and pizzas. One of the chefs, Maya Lovelace (currently in Portland running her own restaurant, Mae), was vegetarian at the time and she made some DANK vegetarian soups, which absolutely blew my mind.  I kept asking her “Are you sure there’s no bacon/cream in here?” She inadvertently made me realize that meatless didn’t have to mean boring, and that veggies could be pretty irresistible, if prepared right!  I never took this knowledge home to my own kitchen at the time, because cooking was still pretty lame to me.  The most I did was make a big-ass salad or make “Mommy’s Suprise,” a la my childhood, where you just throw random pantry ingredients into a pot and make it taste good.  

 

In 2010, my boyfriend of 7 years and I tied the knot and took off for California.

While in California, I saw farms on the side of the road and roadside produce everywhere - something I wasn’t used to in my small island hometown of Hilton Head, and something I never saw living in metro Charleston. It got me pretty excited to SEE where my food was coming from, only 5 minutes from my house. At that time also, I was introduced to the time-suck of a website, Pinterest, which honestly changed the game for me.  Healthy hacks for casseroles and restaurant staples became my obsession, and I took on the challenge of trying to make healthy substitutions for as many of my favorite foods as possible.  I started reading labels and stopped buying things with ingredients that my body couldn’t properly digest.  

We don't have wild succulents in South Carolina ;)

We don't have wild succulents in South Carolina ;)

While in California, I obviously didn't know ANYONE besides our landlord and a couple friends, so I was forced to figure out how to make friends outside of the workplace. Traveling and being out of your comfort zone, you do things you never thought you'd do... which is why I tried roller derby.  This was about the BEST exercise I've ever gotten - my butt was almost firm enough to bounce a quarter off of!  This was honestly the first sport that I'd chosen to learn. My dad was always getting me involved in sports when I was younger, and none of them ever really interested me except for volleyball. Now, as a married woman who packed up and moved across the country, I was ready to try something completely off the wall.  Practicing roller derby and hiking the mountains of California, I realized that getting exercise didn't have to mean running a treadmill for an hour, or being stuck in a gym surrounded by machines. NATURE can give you what you need, and activities can give you what you need!

I had studied Communication & Public Relations at College of Charleston, and have always been very interested in Psychology. I saw these subjects affecting me in more ways than I realized when it came to what I ate. The more I learned about food in general and the way foods are marketed to the consumer, the more I was able to see the correlation between that and obesity, diabetes, and chronic illnesses that are so prevalent in Americans’ lives.  I realized that people don’t HAVE to live with a lot of these health issues, but they don’t have the education or awareness to know that an unbalanced diet is the cause of so many debilitating symptoms and diseases.

While I didn’t have health issues at the time, I felt lucky to have found this knowledge and hoped to share it with as many people as I could, starting with my mom.  Without divulging too much of her private information, it broke my heart to watch my mom struggle with what she was going through. She is a strong woman, and never once complained, but I would ask her questions about her state of being and she would answer them (and always with a positive outlook).  I would take these little tidbits she’d share with me, and I’d research to learn as much as I could about WHY this was happening - WHAT caused it and HOW can we fix it naturally.  I wanted to strangle the doctors that were prescribing her mountains of medications. I really did.  If I had their names and addresses back then I would have paid them a visit. Don’t mess with my mama!

Throughout the years, little by little, my mom has been able to address a lot of her concerns naturally. She calls me “doctor” because I’m constantly sending her information and ideas of how to handle specific things.  Things like natural vitamin supplements, anti-inflammatory diet, and essential oils have helped her immensely. Obviously it became my passion to disseminate helpful, healthful information to my family and friends (whether they asked for it or not, I guess).  During all this time, Erin and I would discuss on long phone calls, the interesting breakthroughs we’d made using food and natural remedies to heal our bodies and help our loved ones. We shared ideas and tips with each other, and I learned a lot even from editing her papers while she was in grad school in Hawaii.  By the time we reunited in 2015, we knew we had to join forces to help change the world.  Our drive and ambition is to get this information on the forefront of people’s minds and computers, to replace the marketing ploys of large corporations with the real facts of what animal agriculture and pharmaceutical companies are doing to our (and your) friends and families.  


We see a revolution happening, and these topics are being talked about increasingly. We want to add to this conversation, bring a fresh perspective to the idea of “being healthy.”  Being healthy doesn’t mean being perfect. We all have our days where we want to eat pizza in our underwear and binge on Netflix. We still love our martinis and our lasagnas, but we are mindful of what our choices are doing to ourselves and our environment.