The full account of how I started my health journey, discovered
the power of bone broth, and launched my small business.
My health journey began in 2010 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Growing up, I always viewed her as the epitome of health. She was a dietician, ate healthy, and stayed active. When she received her diagnosis, it became clear to me that if I didn’t change my lifestyle, I would regret it down the road. At the time, I was living in Chicago, working in the music industry, spending my evenings in bars and venues, fueling my body with diet coke and processed foods, and addicted to Adderall.
As I began researching her condition and different treatment options, I was drawn to holistic approaches and healing protocols such as the Gerson Method, fasting, and various nutritive protocols for healing. I became obsessed with all things health and wellness and spent most of my free time researching different diets, superfoods, and the natural healing power of plant medicine.
Despite my good intentions, this new interest caused negative habits from my past to resurface. As a teen, I struggled with body image and restricted my caloric intake rather than filling myself with foods that nourished me. Once again, I began to fixate on what I ate in order to maintain my figure, not to improve my wellness. Rather than checking in on my energy levels, gastrointestinal health, and other key health factors, I used the fit of my skinny jeans as a gauge to determine if my new lifestyle changes were beneficial.
For years, I hopped from one ‘diet’ to the next in an attempt to find something that ‘worked’ for me. I tried juice cleanses, The Whole 30, vegan and vegetarian, paleo, and more, but nothing was sustainable. My weight continued to fluctuate dramatically, and my preoccupation with the number on the scale greatly affected my overall health and well-being. Through it all, I struggled to abstain from Adderall as it curbed my appetite and helped me manage my overzealous workload.
In spite of my new commitment healthy eating, I still experienced many health and digestive issues. I lived with year-round allergy symptoms, frequent sinus infections, fatigue, brain fog, irregular bowel movements, constant constipation, and diarrhea. Because my idea of health was marked by a slim physique, I considered these other health problems to be normal and continued to restrict my caloric intake. For years, I dealt with digestive issues, regular sinus infections, and a congested respiratory system.
It wasn’t until I got my first hemorrhoid that I knew it was time to make a change. I began by giving up gluten and dairy and cleansing my digestive system. Just days after I made these initial changes, I had a sip of alcohol and immediately noticed an inflammatory response. With my nose running and my cheeks flush, I asked myself, ‘Why am I doing this? What is enjoyable about putting foods and chemicals into my body that cause such negative reactions?’ This new awareness was the motivation I needed to begin an elimination diet at the end of December 2015.
As the new year approached, I chose to spend 2016 abstaining from any foods containing gluten, dairy, alcohol, and processed sugar. I was determined to rebuild my body from the inside out... but this time in pursuit of overall wellness, rather than a thin figure. As I shifted my focus from my outward appearance to my internal being, my whole world fell into alignment. It was during this time that I began recognizing the unmistakable signs that were waiting guide me toward my purpose.
I didn’t start drinking bone broth with the intent of starting a company. I started because my body needed it.
When I stopping drinking alcohol, I found myself yearning for a new evening ritual. After reading several health blogs, I stumbled upon the benefits of bone broth. Before long, I was drinking every night. Initially, I bought broth it at my local farmers market but was disappointed with the taste and ingredients. My dietary restrictions required that I avoid garlic and onions, which I discovered was a common ingredient for most broths on the market. As a last ditch effort, I decided to try to make my own. Instead of garlic and onion, I used ginger and turmeric along with an array of medicinal herbs and seasonal vegetables knowing these ingredients offered many additional health benefits. After much trial and error, I was thrilled to discover a recipe that resulted in a broth that tasted more like tea than traditional stock.
After creating what would become OWL’s signature recipe, I drank broth religiously for a couple months and the changes I experienced were remarkable. I felt nourished, satiated, and devoid of cravings. Before long, people began to notice a positive shift in my physical appearance and asked what I was doing differently. After telling a friend about the bone broth I had been making, she asked to purchase some. I made a big batch and sold the leftover five jars on Facebook. Within a week, I received orders for 100 more jars. I’ve had a pot on the stove ever since!