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Meet Abby Phon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abby Phon.

Abby, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I actually got started in the health & wellness field as a way to heal myself. I always had really bad allergies growing up, but at one point right after college, it led to a nearly debilitating liver pain that completely stumped Western doctors. It wasn’t until I stumbled into an herbalist’s shop in NYC’s East Village that I finally got an answer: She thought I was a drug addict and about to die of an overdose! (WHAT?!)

According to her, my body had the same symptoms as a lifelong drug user! Not from anything illegal, but from years and years of the steroids, allergy shots and allergy pills/medication I took growing up. These are also drugs, but we think that if it’s written on a prescription pad or sold over the counter at CVS, it’s somehow ‘different.’ It’s really not. They are still toxic substances that mess with your body and mask symptoms. You may feel better for a while, but if the underlying issue isn’t addressed, it won’t be a lasting fix.

Knowing this, plus some pointers the herbalist gave me, I pursued a natural & holistic approach. In a lot of ways, I was paving my own path. I “went vegan” and juiced long before it was easy or trendy. My strategy worked! I was amazed that through this guidance, my body was able to heal itself when no amount of medical intervention helped. I knew this was something I wanted to share but didn’t know how to do it.

I spent years learning holistic approaches to health. I became a certified Shiatsu practitioner, a licensed massage therapist, and an IntenSati fitness leader, but it wasn’t until I learned about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) that I finally found how to use my experiences to help others. At IIN, I studied 100+ dietary theories, and many cutting-edge studies about how an integrative and holistic approach to wellness has all sorts of amazing outcomes, like the one I had years ago.

Today, as a board-certified holistic health & wellness coach, I’m thrilled to be able to share my knowledge and experience with others and help guide them to their healthiest and happiest self.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As a mommy of two young daughters, and as an entrepreneur, I don’t think ANYTHING worthwhile comes without struggles (and lessons).

Whether it’s pregnancy, childbirth or even just parenting, it can at times be a VERY challenging road, but when you stick with it the payoff is wonderful! Having a business is a similar thing; your ‘baby’ takes a ton of hard work and has lots of ups and downs, but the end result is something you can be so proud of.

Being a ‘mompreneur’ adds a whole ‘another layer to it, but when you love what you do and help others feel better, it’s so gratifying and makes it all worth it. Trying to balance preschool drop-offs, kids therapy sessions, extracurriculars and mommy-and-me classes with work, self-care and sleep is definitely challenging, but I love being able to make my own hours and being available for my girls whenever I want to be.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
As a business, I promote and advocate for health and wellness, in its many forms. I’m a vegan chef with a YouTube channel with healthy cooking recipes & videos, and I design plant-based menus and vegan/gluten-free “recipes with benefits.” Meaning recipes that let you enjoy delicious decadence in ways that are totally yummy, but way better for you than traditional versions!

Like my to-die-for almond butter brownies, which are totally gooey and delicious but secretly healthy, with good-for-you fats and protein and only natural sweeteners! Or my vegan mac ‘n cheese made from sweet potato, which are super creamy without a drop of dairy! Or my “green” pancakes which are a delicious way to sneak some spinach in to your diet! The list goes on. 🙂

I also author many articles and recipe ebooks (my latest: Kick your Sugar Addiction and a Back to School Plant Based & Gluten Free Meal Plan & Recipe Guide.)

I conduct corporate workshops, lectures and cooking demos where I focus on how all the various aspects of your life combine to make a happy & healthy ‘you.’ I love doing corporate workshops on stress reduction, meditation, and essential oils since the benefits are visible almost immediately. It’s really gratifying! I also teach about related topics like nutrition, self-care, time management, and goal setting. Health coaching and stress reduction in the workplace translates to 28% fewer “sick day” absences, less burnout and overall higher productivity. A win for all involved!

Nutrition and food are super important for your health, of course. I do a lot of plant-based recipe creation, menu design, and outreach. What you eat impacts your health, mood, energy, and appearance, but also impacts the environment and society as well. I advocate for (and offer tips on) moving towards a more plant-based diet, in ways that are easy, fun and not shocking or crunchy-granola! (Fun fact: a single plant-based meal can save up to 3000 gallons of water vs. a conventional meal! Animal farming alone accounts for 56% of the freshwater we use in the US.)

But holistic health isn’t just nutrition. Often physical fitness, spirituality, career or relationship imbalances can be what’s driving weight gain, lack of energy, chronic illness and more. That’s why I advocate making self-care a priority, and reducing exposure to environmental toxins in beauty/skincare products, food choices and cleaning products. The average American woman puts 168+ chemicals directly on her body each day from beauty & skincare products. Your skin is your biggest organ, and you are able to absorb chemicals directly through your skin. The long-term effects of many of these chemicals aren’t well known, and federal regulations are limited.

One of my secret weapons for a toxin-free living is essential oils. I do a lot of education and support around utilizing the amazing powers of natural plant essences in beauty, health, home & baby care. After a ton of research, the brand I use and recommend is Young Living. They are the only company with 25+ years of producing the highest-quality, 100% pure essential oils with no additives, fillers or synthetic fragrances (not true of other essential oil brands.). YL is the only essential oil company to have their own farms all over the world and are 3rd party tested for purity. Essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and support the immune system, all while being 100% natural, organic, non-toxic and safe.

I began my Young Living Essential Oils journey when I first got pregnant with my oldest daughter. I used these oils to support me and keep me healthy while trying to keep my environment as clean and non-toxic as possible for the baby. I used them to keep me healthy while visiting my mother in the hospital recovering from brain tumor surgery (I gave her oils to support that as well, and her doctors had never seen such a speedy recovery!), to get rid of my heartburn, to help me relax and to ease the myriad aches and pains associated with pregnancy. They even supported me through natural, unmedicated childbirth (literally… as I was pushing)! I can’t imagine life without them now that I have a child in preschool! We use them to boost and build immunity, fight off colds & flu, tummy bugs, scrapes and boo-boos. And as a busy mompreneur, I rely on them for stress reduction and calmness!

My notoriously skeptical father even turned to them out of desperation when he threw his back out – and reported that it worked like a charm!

Young Living also has a whole line of baby & kid safe personal care products (which I use on my baby & toddler every single day!), and a new line of all natural make up that’s plant-based, non-toxic and infused with essential oils. Not only is it safe, it’s also effective! I’ve been wearing the Savvy Minerals make up the line for over a year now and couldn’t be happier, and my skin looks great! I’ve also been using their other incredible products for years, like toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, dishwasher liquid, laundry detergent and the entire line of supplements. Everything is naturally derived and gets great scores from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep rating system.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Helping anyone feels like a huge win for me.

A big highlight was getting to educate Google, and it’s employees about managing and reducing stress during a major project release. I introduced them to some Young Living essential oils along with guiding them in meditation and teaching them easy breathwork techniques. I recently saw one of them (months after the event) who made a point of telling me how it helped him then and continued to every day since. Now THAT made me proud. 🙂

Another highlight was being a guest head chef at a vegan LA restaurant for a night. I got to create the menu, train and work with the kitchen crew and talk to the guests between each course about each dish. It was SO fun!

I’ve helped more than one client get pregnant (including women who’ve suffered multiple miscarriages or were unsuccessfully trying IVF for years). That might be the most meaningful thing I’ve done, and really sticks with me! (Nourishing the next generation makes me proud too! I’ve heard from more than one mother that my recipes are the only ways they can get greens or veggies into their kid’s diets.) I’m always so moved and impressed by our bodies abilities to heal themselves.

Sometimes it really just takes a few small corrections or adjustments to make a huge difference. Sometimes that means helping someone as a health coach, and they lose the stubborn weight or gain focus or energy. Sometimes it’s introducing or suggesting an essential oil that helps them feel better, or creating a recipe that people love because it’s tasty, fast, easy and is good for them too! Whatever the case, it’s super gratifying, and makes it all worthwhile!

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