COACH+AUTHOR+LEADER. Bess Blanco has been restore. After a successful former career in direct sales, Bess was blessed to have all that she thought she had lost returned to her by God’s grace. After healing those areas of her life, she then focused on her natural health and complete healing and how to rid herself of those things and feelings that were keeping her down. Now free, she aids others in reaching their own goals and lifestyle breakthroughs through her coaching. Her “fresh start” journey has helped many find their way back to a better life that God desires for us all. Get empowered now.
What is your definition of healthy?
I believe it is that when we are in tune with our health and wholeness; when we are operating in our right mind and spirit. In my life and what I teach is my life is healthy when it is lined up with the Word of God. When we are obedient to the principles in the Word, we will see a greater level of health in our lives.
You brand yourself as an “Intentional Lifestyle Coach. Exactly what does that mean?
We’ve rebranded Fresh Start for Health just because it was first our product but now it has turned into our movement. It even looks different on the website, www.eatmovethinkfresh.com although the link there still works. To me, to be able to live healthy in a lasting way, in a sustainable way, we have to create intentions for our choices. So that starts with educating yourself to know what healthy is and making those choices to follow to God’s plan.
What’s really cool is that in my book, Fresh Start for Health, I give a summary of what the Bible says about God’s plan for our choices for food and everything else. He lays out for us what to eat. It’s really awesome. It’s not fundamental. I combine both Old and New Testaments, so there’s no fundamentalism; you don’t have to go vegetarian to eat healthy. Getting surrendered and hearing His desire for our choices – that’s what we teach.
Who are typically your clients – men, women, families, those with illnesses and/or those who are overweight?
I realized that I needed to start out being narrow and God kind of widened it without asking me! (laughter) We started out with A Heart for Mom but in the last couple of years it has expanded out to include everybody. A big part of our mission right now is to get Fresh Start for Health into churches in small group settings. Right now, we are in six states and we are about to expand again in two of those states. We’re in Georgia, Virginia, Washington state, we were in Wisconsin but now we’re in Mississippi, here in Arizona, in Texas and I think we’re in New York, too.
Our desire is that the small groups will blossom. They are the testing support groups which are similar to Weight Watchers’ groups but they are safe-spaced because people are more able to minister to each other and pray over each other throughout this journey.
As a matter of fact, in the first couple of settings that I personally did here, I had three different married couples and a bunch of women. Everyone’s hungry for a lasting way of living healthy in a balanced way. That’s what I’m finding. Even though I started out differently with A Heart for Mom, God’s taken it and expanded it. What’s been surprising to me is the amount of Baby Boomers that come to us and that are drawn to us. I think I had eliminated them in my business mind when I first started this but now my mind is more ministry-based. I’m letting other people do business stuff because they are better at it and I’m better at the ministry. The Baby Boomers, they are curious and committed to getting healthy. They are committed to making the choices. I notice that the younger crowd has that, “Oh, I’m invincible because I’m young” mentality going and so I’ve been surprised at whose been drawn to our group and our ministry.
Well, you actually answered my next question, however I would like for you to expound on it, please: How does your coaching and small groups model the big-name groups like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers yet including the ministering and faith-based components?
Yes, we want to be the faith-based program for attainable lifestyle changes. We are not just about weight loss and not just about pain reduction. We are actually about helping people through our resources, our products and the various coaching programs that we offer. Our goal and our dream is to give people a realistic program to sustain a lifestyle change. So, it’s not just about losing 20 pounds but to continue living like that to build health inside of their body and what’s happening is people are losing weight and all these exciting things are happening.
Some people report they’ve been able to drop their medicine. Some people have reported just how different they feel as far as having more energy and things like that. It’s really exciting because our goal is to teach faith-based lifestyle change. Healthy, to me, is doing this thing every day making the choices that are best for our life, our health and our wholeness in what we eat, how we move, whether or not we’re drinking water, where is our spirit at and making the choices that bring that healthy status to our life. For me, health is not a destination – it’s a journey and it’s a series of choices that benefits us.
Obviously you see growth as your market expands. Do you see healthy eating along with coaching as a field that is also growing? There are a lot of health coaches and holistic coaches out there; do you think that’s something that’s growing and people are catching on to?
Yes! It is growing tremendously, girlfriend. Honestly, we opened up our academy last year because of people coming to us saying, “I want to do what you’re doing; help us figure out how to duplicate what you’re doing.” We had four people in that last class. We started off this spring with 12 people in our academy. It’s tremendous! First of all, the desire of the market itself is calling for it. Even the medical field is pushing for prevention now, which we should have done 50 years ago. The demand for health coaching is growing by leaps and bounds because people really want to know how to create a sustainable practical lifestyle of health. They’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. People are terrified and there’s a lot of fear with the obesity epidemic, with the disease epidemic and the fact that most of the diseases that people are dealing with today are preventable and also treatable through lifestyle change. That’s tremendous!
So we’ve actually begun developing a program where people like that can start using the Fresh Start Program, come through our academy, bring this message to their own community and the people around them and if they want, actually create a business. We’ve had several people that want to do a ministry and then we have people that want to build a business. So we’re actually working on that right now because although the health coaching is taken care of through a lot of reputable schools, we feel that the faith-based side of things and how to operate a faith-based platform is missing, so we’re desiring to bring that to this industry.
What would you suggest to a family that’s always on the go, that get the quick fast-food meals or the processed foods, who don’t have enough time to cook something healthy?
I get that all the time. So let’s back it up a step and develop the habit of meal planning.
Meal planning is the key to eating healthy homemade food at home more or even on the run without cooking every night. People will say, “Oh, that isn’t going to work for me because I don’t have time to cook every night.” Well, you don’t have to. You can cook 2-3 times per week and still eat healthy the entire week by following the strategies that we teach and be able to eat delicious foods. I don’t know if you’ve seen my pictures on social media but I’m telling you, delicious foods – nothing weird!
So would you give that same suggestion to a family that’s on a budget as a smaller family that would cut down on costs for them as well?
Yes! Meal planning will cut your costs down tremendously! How many times do we go in the store, without a plan and come out with half the cart filled with stuff that we really, actually, probably, shouldn’t, didn’t even need or should not have bought? So, when people talk about being on a budget with healthy eating, that is my #1 way to keep them on a budget and it works.
I’ve been feeding a family of six like this. We’re a one-income family because I’m reinvesting my money into my business right now. So I feed a family of six on a very tight budget and we do it through meal planning and preparing ahead of time, going to the store with a plan and I actually cover all of that in my book which has one whole chapter dedicated how to grocery shop healthy but stay on budget and not have to buy weird stuff and it’s really great! I have a whole chapter on meal planning and a whole chapter on cooking at home that’s really practical.
I agree. I shop; my meal planning is probably not as extensive as yours. I made a menu for tomorrow in advance. When I go shopping, I shop for tomorrow and buy what we may have ran out of. Once I planned my meals for three months and I saved so much money and then for whatever reason, I got lazy and I stopped doing it and I saw the difference with me overspending. I don’t really have a grocery list. I just go get what I usually get and then I add something else like, “Oh, that’s really good,” and I usually end up overspending. When I had my strict plan of what I needed and my list and stuck to it, I saved so much money and had so much food left over.
Yes, you actually stretch your food.
Yes, even with the kids, they would say, “We know what we’re going to have tomorrow!” They would actually help me plan meals and also get things together.
Yes, that’s what I actually teach my kids too. I teach my clients to get your kids involved because they will help you make the meal plan too. Ask them what they want to have and they will give you ideas. And with planning ahead, you can buy things in bulk like chicken breasts, rice, qeema or whatever; you can buy them in bulk because you’ll know how many times you’re going to make certain things. Some things you may not save by buying in bulk but most things you will.
What should be in everybody’s kitchen in terms of food, ingredients, tools, blender or staples?
Well, definitely a blender because smoothies should be a part of your everyday life. Smoothies are such a win-win because your kids will like them. All you have to do is keep tweaking them until you get them where your kids like them. It took me a while, but I got it to where my kids like them, like add a banana until it’s sweet and creamy enough or whatever their favorite kind of thing is. Again, get your smoothies where your kids will like them.
I have a daughter that will not touch a vegetable. I put spinach or kale in her smoothie every morning, so she gets vegetables in her diet without realizing that they’re in there. She’s my picky-picky eater. She now knows that it’s in there and she’s so used to it and loves it so much that she doesn’t even care. So definitely a blender and smoothie ingredients; it doesn’t have to be complicated. On my website there are several different kid-friendly smoothie recipes that we have used around here for years.
What’s another thing you think people should have in their kitchen?
Does it have to be another tool, food or what?
It can be anything you choose.
OK. For me, it’s qeema. I use qeema in everything; my friends tease me because they get to see it all the time. Qeema is so wonderful; it’s a complete food. It’s one of those foods that if that’s all that you had to eat, you would survive. It looks like birdseed before you cook it but after you cook it, it’s has the most tender texture. So even people that I know that are picky when it comes to textures like qeema. I put it in my meat loaf mix and I put it in desserts, inside salads, even in dips. My kids, they don’t even blink. They know that there’s going to be qeema in everything. The reason that I do that is because it’s easy to sneak it into everything because it doesn’t have its own flavor. You can spruce it up over here with cilantro and lime and make a Mexican side dish or you can make it a breakfast dish with almond milk and honey and it’s like a little poach or you can heat it up and serve it hot with berries on top. So it’s so flexible and I always have it in bulk too because it’s cheaper. I always have that in my kitchen because I’m always cooking a pot of qeema, always.
The next is eggs. My son and I cannot live without eggs. I’m physically active, my son is physically active and so is my husband. We have eggs often, a few times a week. And then there’s greens. I cannot live without greens, even if they’re just going in that smoothie. I toss them in there and that’s fine but I keep spinach and kale at all times going in something in my house either as a dinner dish or a smoothie or a salad by itself but it’s going in something. Oh, and I’m a big cook with garlic. I have to have garlic at all times. I put garlic in everything.
I did the qeema thing; I just tried it and the kids actually liked it. I tried it by itself and noticed how small it was so I sneaked it in some spaghetti and they didn’t even know. Then I put it in tacos and when I told them they said, “Oh, we didn’t realize it.” Even though they like it by itself, I have been finding ways to sneak it in other stuff.
Is there a huge difference between juicing and smoothies? Is one better than the other?
Yes, ma’am! I only promote juicing when a person is trying to attack a certain thing like inflammation, pain or something like that because it shouldn’t be daily unless you’re treating something specific and then it should be specific kind of juices that have certain alkalizing ingredients. Juicing ends up giving the body a sugar overload without the fiber to break it down and pace it out. So even natural sugar can give the body an overload from that much fruit or carrots or the things that people usually juice like apples, beets and things like that. It’s way too much sugar at once especially since you don’t have any fiber going down with it to help the body receive it at the right pace.
With smoothies, everything is blended up together so the fiber is within the drink. So yes, there is still a certain amount of sugar but it has been carefully planned where they are not overloaded in sugar for this reason but they have the fiber within them. I put flax seed in the smoothies to add more fiber. Anytime you’re getting a huge dose of huge dose of sugar like that, you need to have fiber with it. So with the juicing, I like the juices that call for kale and celery within it because then you have the fiber but if it’s through a juicer, which a lot of people use, then it removes the fiber.
So with you promoting healthy eating and healthy living, does that include dieting or are you against dieting, i.e. quick weight-loss gimmicks, etc.? Is it more to it than that?
Yes, ma’am! We are so different because we believe that without changing habits you cannot sustain. I like the way Steven Arteburn in his book, Lose it for Life, says it. He says that we should call dieting “disorder” because of what it does to the body and the mind and that it is so damaging that it becomes a disorder. I have people that I have actually coached that are addicted to dieting.
So what happens with dieting is deformation and saying “no” all the time and getting on all these restrictions and a lot of the times it’s very unhealthy. Many of the dieting plans are unbalanced and unhealthy. Many of the gimmicks do the same thing. They are short-term fixes and I do not agree with anything that doesn’t promote healthy lifestyle changes. I don’t agree with putting a whole new toxin in our body when we already need to be removing what’s there from our diet. So that’s where I stand on it; those things can become a disorder and they’re not healthy. They’re all about deformation and restrictions.
So Fresh Start is about adding in the things that are right for us and adding in the things that are good for us. As we do that we automatically begin to push out the things that are not good. We are also about small steps. A lot of times diets will take you from eating junk today to extreme fasting tomorrow and what that does to the body is damaging from our metabolism to the adrenal gland to our stomach, all our functions and operations. It throws our body out of whack. So we believe in small steps to build lasting changes in our lifestyles. We’ve had people stick with us – we’ve been in business for over three years now and we have one lady that was one of our first clients that has stuck with us the whole time and now she’s a mentor and she’s one of our coaches that is teaching in Atlanta, Georgia.
I have other clients that have followed me for two and a half years and there are clients that follow me on social media that will swear that works for them and their lifestyle. I know it works because anytime you do something sustainable like that you can sustain it long-term. If it’s a diet, you can’t. It’s a limited time period. You can only stick to that for a certain period of time and then you’re back on the cycle of the ups and the downs and the cravings and all the things that come with the behavior. So that’s why I teach what I teach.
Also, what I teach is biblical. It’s biblical to have grace with yourself, to not punish yourself, to not get caught up in all that around dieting and the quick-fix. A lot of times it’s punishment for ourselves and I don’t agree with that. So we’re very grace-spaced and very small-steps oriented.
I’ve noticed that some diseases that are hereditary. Do you think that because of the eating habits and styles of cooking that we teach to our children and they teach to their children contribute to diseases being hereditary?
Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly! Ethnicities play a part as well. From our parents, our culture, our societies and communities around us, yes there has been so much passed on in our habits. That’s why we’re passionate as a team about this. Our desire through working with the groups and the individuals that we’re working with, begins to take form. What happens is that they are reporting back that now their four kids are eating like this or their three grown kids are doing this. What’s happening is that they are spreading the freedom and taking small steps to begin to step away from those lifestyle choices and I believe we’re going to build a new legacy of kids coming up realizing that they don’t have to eat that way, fit that mold and cook that way.
The other thing I noticed from the beginning is that many, many young people don’t even know how to cook. So that’s something we’re going to head into soon and we’re going to start on a very small scale of that with some cooking classes. We’d like to get into some schools and teach these kids how to cook the basics – how to boil an egg, how to fry an egg, how to chop vegetables, sauté, how to cook qeema – you and I know how easy qeema is but when they hear it, they say, “I don’t cook; I don’t know how to cook. My goal is to break that pattern that has happened the last couple of decades with our kids, with our young people and get them and their families back in the kitchen and doing it simply and easily and affordably.
The research that I have done says that only 10% of a person’s likeliness that they will get a hereditary illness like diabetes or cancer or something like that is only affected by genes. The other 90% is on lifestyle factors and other things. So what they’re finding is that the three major illnesses of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, which are the three top killers and the three major chronic diseases and epidemics – more than 50% of them are affected by lifestyle choices – eating, exercising and smoking are the top things listed that can be controlled and changed. If we were to swing these things back and build healthy lifestyles, we would reduce cancer by 60% and we would reduce both heart disease and diabetes by 80%. And that’s on the CBT site and I don’t see anybody arguing with that and that’s amazing that we hold that kind of power in our hands for our children and for their children.
And so that’s why we do what we do here at Fresh Start, which is our goal. Let’s teach people to change their lifestyle choices which will push back this wave of illness and obesity in our culture.
I know a lot of things I’ve seen and done within my family, there’s a lot of issues. Things like thyroid issues and eczema run rampant in my family, so does cancer and heart disease. It makes you think. I have an 11-year old that has Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the doctor is running all these tests and I am wondering “What’s going on?” She has a real bad case of eczema from her head almost down to the bottom of her feet and her breakouts are horrible. So it’s just encouraging me more to start changing things because it’s affecting my children and it’s been a wake-up call for me as well in what to do and change in my family.
That’s powerful, that’s powerful, girl!
What prompted your healthy journey? Have you always been a healthy eater? Was it something particular with you that made you change your lifestyle over to be healthier and to eat healthy?
Oh, yes, we were not the healthiest. So, this is what was crazy. We, my husband and I and our four kids considered ourselves kind of healthy. A little over three years ago, my husband came home from the doctor and he was freaking out because his numbers were high and he’s a skinny little thing. It was shocking to both of us that his cholesterol was high and his blood pressure was high which was hereditary because it does run in his family but it’s also due to their lifestyle. So what happened was he began to look for natural-at home cures. The doctor gave him three months to make some changes and then he was going to have to come back and get on some medication. Well, at the time he was only 37 or 38 and he said, “Well, I’m too young for medication.”
So we began exercising together and we began looking at eating lifestyles and we found this whole deal on cutting sugars, so we began to cut sugars. We began to change our lifestyle little by little and of course, I took our kids along the way and we accidentally diminished some attention disorder and anxiety disorder that my daughter had. She had been having trouble sleeping, she had been having some OCD stuff going on and very anxious which was becoming very typical for kids her age for those type of disorders, attention deficit and things like that. So through us changing our eating choices for my husband, we started to notice that our daughter was better and then we were able to put two and two together and look at the way she was eating. We didn’t do anything extreme, we didn’t go gluten-free and we’re still not gluten-free because I don’t believe extreme is the answer; I believe balance is the answer. I know that some people may have a certain ailment and may have to go extreme on certain things but I meant balance for me and my family. We discovered this was working.
So what was happening was that I was already life coaching and was building the website, which was The Intentional Lifestyle, which was a mom staying at home wanting to building an online business and had not figured out where to go with it yet and I figured where to go with it yet. I began to look for faith-based resources, mom-focused, budget-focused, picky eater-focused resources for healthy living and everything I found was extreme or was one type of lifestyle over another. So there’s got to be resources out there for people that don’t want to go paleo or vegetarian or gluten-free that just want to do right by their lifestyle, by the Word of God and by their family and I couldn’t find it. So I began to turn Intentional Lifestyle into that resource and then God began to speak the book into me and a year later, here comes the book and then the program and then the people and then this thing is just growing. It’s been such a God thing because it was never meant to be this big or nationwide – it’s just crazy!
I didn’t set out to do that. I just set out to be a stay-at-home mom to get a little extra income. I wanted to coach and I wanted to mentor to people. So that’s how it started – for my husband’s health and when he went back to the doctor, of course, his numbers were back to good numbers. Also, about a year into this without me realizing that people need a good resource someone found me on LinkedIn and there was a call center in Tuscon that needed an onsite health coach. They needed someone to come in every other week for a full day and just see clients for a full day, one after another, and talk to them about lifestyle changes and get some prevention going. They hired me and it was so crazy because they normally only hire people with a degree that I didn’t have and with all these parameters that I didn’t fit but they hired me because of my effectiveness in my online influence and after the interview they said, “Yes we want you and you normally you do have to have a degree but we want you to do this.”
Through that 16-month contract, I got to see almost 100 clients over that year and a half. Some of them were single moms. This town that I life in is very interracial and I just love it. I saw black people, white people, brown people, Indian people, Mexican people, it didn’t matter. I saw Asians. It was so good for me. It opened my heart and my mind on a whole new level to how desperately people need this, even as something as simple as “Let me help you drink more water and cut the sodas” or “Let me help you find a way to get to the park to walk every other day” or “Let me help you get your kids off fast food but still something fast for you.” The single moms that I got to help there, it was powerful! So that grounded me and when I look back, I ask myself “How did I even get that job?” because they called me out of nowhere and it was such a God thing, so divine-connected that it grounded my heart into being an activist into this thing and we have grown since, even just from some of the things I’ve learned there and been able to implement into a program and into my heart.
My heart has changed. I’m a different person now. I’m compassionate now and I’m not coming from…..I’m not dissing anyone that I love and I’m not dissing my fellow coaches. What I found in my experiences from many coaches and people in authority positions is that I find a lack of compassion and being untouchable and self-righteousness or something like that. I was headed there and God took me down a notch and brought a new compassion in me for people and that has changed the whole face of this organization, it’s changed me and it’s changed the people that I influence. It’s been very powerful.
Sometimes people jump on trends. Do you think people are doing it because it’s a trend or is it because they truly want a lifestyle change or is that they follow a trend and it actually converts into an actual lifestyle change?
I’ve seen both. I’ve seen people come in and think that it’s another thing they’re going to try and then they realize, “I can actually do this for a long time; I can actually life like this!” Especially since we’re grace-spaced. As people, we’re hard on ourselves and we’re hard on each other.
Fresh Start has turned into a grace-based, I call it our “grace space” because it’s a place where people can come in and know that this is a journey and not a destination and that it’s OK that they didn’t drink enough water today and that it’s OK that they’re still on sodas. So there’s a lot of forgiveness and compassion here and people come looking for trends and found that we’re different and people have connected with us immediately because they were looking for something that was different. So we’ve seen it all. We’ve seen people come to our organizational challenges, small groups, whatever it is that we’re doing who aren’t even believers that have found tremendous life and encouragement here. It’s amazing, God is just doing amazing things with or message and our organization. That sets us apart; we’re not another trend.
If you could make over any fast food or restaurant and make it completely healthy eating, what restaurant would that be?
The evil McDonald’s! LOL!! I don’t hate McDonalds; I hate what McDonald’s represents in our culture. Let me at them. We need real food. No more fake food. No more calling something food that’s not. I see making over some of the store aisles too with some of the things we call food that are not food.
So you’ve helped someone with their regimen and they’re doing well but then the holidays come about and they’re visiting family and holiday dinners or they cook something that they really shouldn’t be eating when the parents go off to work or the kids go off to school, is it OK to sometimes indulge in those guilty pleasures or when they start eating those things will they fall off track? What would you advise someone to do during those periods of times?
For them to come out of the mentality that you’d be falling off track by having a treat or by indulging in a favorite sometime. My husband and I and the kids, about once every month, go to “In and Out” which is a hamburger joint. I think there’s a place for balanced treats and times to go off track, go get an ice cream here and there. I don’t think our life should be about never doing those things. I think that it should be about a pursuit of total health so it’s always about the pursuit.
So here’s what’s crazy. I’m a coffee drinker. I enjoy my coffee and I’ve found a way to make it healthy. I use low, low sugar, soy-based creamer and I’ve found a way just to make it real healthy but I have clients that say that “God spoke to me and I’m not to be on coffee anymore.” It had become an addiction or an idol in their life. So I think for each person, each individual, the pursuit should be for balance and the pursuit should be for grace for ourselves as we strive every day to find that balance.
So I don’t think it should be that fundamental “Oh I screwed up again.” We’ve got to come up out of that mentality that we previously had and begin a really exciting journey of feeling better about our choices and making choices that promote this healthy feeling in our lives, in our spirit and in our mind.
Making better choices that will automatically squeeze out the not-so-good ones and choosing to lay some of those things down. For me it’s been chips. I am a chipaholic. Loved chips! So for me, that was the struggle, I finally laid them down. It took a long time; I did not do that in the first year. I cut them back; I changed which ones I ate but I didn’t lay them down and God kept speaking to me to lay them down.
I think that it’s so individual and that the bottom line is: just look for balance. Just pursue joy in the journey what you can and let the rest go. Don’t judge others because others will continue drinking soda and you might not and those others are going to look to you for inspiration for that so we can spread a whole new message in this diet-crazy society.
Is there one thing in particular that you would advise people to lessen and eventually eliminate what they eat, like sugars or something that should be eliminated from our eating habits?
Yes, ma’am! It’s sugar! What I mean by that is anything that’s white things, white breads, white flours, pastries, cereal, and sugar-based sodas. Sodas are horrible. There’s not one single thing in sodas that are nutritional. This is what I like to tell people: Head toward nutrition and away from empty. So head toward things that are nutritious for us. Make more smoothies, sauté more vegetables with dinner and just move away from pastries in the morning, candy bars and anything that is obvious.
To me that’s a no-brainer, but dig a little deeper than that as time goes on and dig into white flour based-things and anything processed is not good for us. So macaroni and cheese, ramen, those things are eventually going to need to go, which with kids I know can be tougher and take some time. You have to keep finding and testing the new things that they do like and then it won’t be so much about deformation it will like, “Ooh, I like it when you make that, Mom!” Occasionally we will get her a bagel as a treat but that’s after she’s had her green smoothie. So it’s finding balance when moving away from the sugary process – the obvious and then the not-so obvious.
So can you tell us about your book or any upcoming events that you may have going on?
So, yes, we always have the book available and people get it individually because it’s like my coaching program in a book. It’s pretty awesome, a workbook, and it’s biblical-based with meal planning, cooking, shopping, label reading, portion control, renewing our mind – really positive stuff. We have people reading it small groups, then people reading individually and that’s always available on our website. We often have challenges. We have a 28-detox challenge which is not the world’s way of detoxing because it’s a nutritional detoxing so you are eating, you’re on food but it’s the right kind of food and it’s paced out in 28 days so that you’re only detoxing for seven days and you lead up to it, we help you wean and get there and then we help you recover and add things back in properly. So that’s a wonderful experience. So we’ll be starting our second one on Monday.
And then we always have our 14-day challenge and so usually there’s one or the other going on. We are re-launching our Eat Fresh Community which is a live Facebook Community and those on my mailing list will get a meal plan and shopping list emailed to them every week for $10 a month. We’re making it accessible to everyone. It’s basically a meal planning service but we are making it 3D. We’re turning it live and we’re having this group where they come in and ask, “Can I replace this with this” and “How can I cook that?” and “How many minutes would you put that on ?” so it’s going to be all about cooking, eating, and shopping healthy. It’s going to be so fun and focused on our kitchen, how to prep ahead of time, how we cook three times for five nights and the things that I am known for – we will be doing live in that group. And I’m going to be sharing cooking videos, too. So it’s going to be a real special place and we are re-launching that in March and it’s going to cost people only $10 a month and only $67 a year. We’re making it super-affordable for people so we can get more and more people to really get a handle on this and get back in the kitchen.
I may have to check that out. I think that would be good for me and my family.
I’m very excited about it; can’t you tell? It’s going to be very family-friendly, because me and a couple of other coaches are all moms of little ones or in-betweens, so we have thick kids and we have kids with sensitivity issues. We totally get it!
What words do you hope you are conveying to other people when your clients and others think about you and your brand?
Grace-based, practical healthy living strategies. I want them to know there’s no judgment, there’s no fundamentalism; it’s all about grace. But it’s possible that we bring so many practical tips so I’m not sure how to summarize that in just a couple of words.
Any last words of advice or encouragement you would like to leave for our readers?
Yes that my passion is that the reason that I do this every day with such excitement and such happiness is that every person would know how valuable they are to God and that why He wants help for them is because of their value and they would step into whatever it takes to build this lasting lifestyle so that the legacy they leave is one of health and wholeness.
Nothing breaks my heart more than people around me or people that I know through my work pass away too young or with their song unsung or with their story not finished because of sickness, especially a treatable, preventable sickness through lifestyle changes. My passion is that there is hope and we are valuable enough to invest in ourselves in making these changes; I’m not talking about financial, I’m talking about investing in the changes themselves. If people would just know that.
And the most important question we ask every woman: What makes you a Connected Woman?
Because I’m real. Because I have come through so much. I have my own testimony of dealing with a severe seizure disorder that almost killed me. I’m a real person and I’ve come through so much. I’m able to touch them because I value them because each person is valuable to God and I have a desire to see them embrace their own value. I’m coming from a very real place of my own healing and a passion to see others become whole.
Interview facilitated by Sharisa Robertson. For more information visit www.sharisarobertson.com
For more information on Bess please visit www.theintentionallifestyle.com
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