Every month, we introduce a new Guest Editor to share his or her musings on wellness, beauty, lifestyle and beyond. This month, we invited Whole30® Certified Coach Alexis Jacinto to take part. Learn more about her life before trying out the beloved 30-day program, how it’s changed her life and the mantra she lives by. Plus, keep an eye out for her two blog posts on Lively later this week!
Lively's Interview with Whole30 Certified Coach Alexis Jacinto
Lively: What was your life like prior to starting Whole30 for the first time?
Alexis Jacinto: I always say I feel like I’ve lived a few lives. I’m a “Jill” of all trades so to speak. I’ve worked in numerous industries (none of which were in food, health or wellness. Ha!) But as I reflect on everything, I realize how grateful I am to have such a diverse upbringing. I grew up in the Bay Area, born in San Francisco. I was a city kid and a suburban kid. I grew up struggling and grew up comfortable. I’ve been the minority and the majority. Even my ethnicity is diverse, from Filipino to Spanish, Chinese, English and Polynesian. All these ethnicities and life experiences have truly shaped who I am and it’s reflected in my cooking and general outlook on life.
L: How were you introduced to Whole30? How has it helped you?
AJ: My sister turned me onto Whole30® after we both had our babies. I was perpetually fatigued, I could never be satiated, and my anxiety and depression were at their highest. I even had to be induced both pregnancies due to high blood pressure. I was the heaviest I had ever been and I didn’t recognize myself anymore. Let’s just say the light in my eyes was gone and Whole30® was like a beacon. All the symptoms I struggled with were reversed once I incorporated Whole30® principles into my daily life. But most surprisingly Whole30® has allowed me to get to know myself better. I’ve learned more about myself in 30 days than I have my whole life.
L: What was a big turning point for you in your wellness journey?
AJ: I love this question! This actually has been a recent development for me. Lately, my state of mind has been redefining what healthy means to me. Leaning into the philosophy that wellness looks different on everybody. My worth is not determined by a dress size, a number on a scale or whether I eat pizza or not. What’s healthy for some may not be for you. It’s all about the victories you can’t measure. You do you whole heartedly.
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L: Is there a quote or mantra you live by?
AJ: I’ve been developing my own mantra lately working on my “true north” and what that might look like. It looks something like this: “Comfort is the death of transcendence.” Anyone searching for transformation, on a quest for personal growth, looking to level up or evolve; it cannot happen if we are comfortable and set in our ways. Change only occurs once we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and challenge our pre-establish norms that are holding us back. More often than not people who find Whole30 have been searching for answers because they’ve tried everything else. That was me. Whole30 pushes you and challenges you to move beyond what’s comfortable allowing you so much personal growth which is unexpected and beautifully surprising.
L: Do you have any advice for those who are doing Whole30 and feel like quitting?
AJ: First and foremost, acknowledging in the moment that Whole30 can be hard for some is so important. And if it ishard for you, take an honest look in the mirror, accept the discomfort, sit in that and remember your why. Only then will you truly be ready to push forward. Take that precious moment to remember how you were feeling and where you were in your life the moment you decided it was time to do a Whole30. Surrender and trust in the process, chase that feeling of how good you will feel when you do show your body a little more love by fueling it with whole foods and giving it the full 30 days.
L: What are you most looking forward to as Lively's September Guest Editor?
AJ: I’m really excited about connecting, reaching out and building a community. We learn and grow so much when we work together. Which is one of the reasons I love Vital Proteins’ philosophy and brand since it’s about promoting health and wellness. That’s why free resources like Lively and Whole30 are so important to anyone looking to enrich their daily lives. Everyone has the right to live a healthier lifestyle whether they can afford the expensive gym membership or not. Educational tools like this blog gives anyone the chance to improve their health and live a better life. If I can contribute to that in any sort of way, I would be honored to be part of their wellness journey.
Photo: Courtesy of Alexis Jacinto