Read the full article here.
Start your day with a gratitude list and also a mantra or affirmations list.
Whether you write it down or say it out loud, get into a space of gratefulness first thing in the morning for everything that you already have (“I’m so grateful for…”), and separately, for everything that you are (“I am….”). I like to end my day with a gratitude list as well. Doing this will shift your energy and your mind into a place of love and a space to receive.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Serena Poon. Serena is a leading chef, nutritionist and reiki master to the Hollywood elite. Serena’s passion and career for curating healing and wellness programs using integrative health, holistic nutrition and Culinary Alchemy™ began long before she started creating contemporary meals, menus and nutritional goodness for the likes of Jerry Bruckheimer, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and Kerry Washington. Serena’s Culinary Alchemy is the practice of combining intuitive energetic techniques with guidance and education on functional & spiritual nutrition, integrating how food affects our bodies on a physiological level, as well as how it affects the energetic body. Serena’s goal is to optimize and heal the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of her clients. She is the founder of Just Add Water™, a wellness line of super nutrient foods and supplements, and Serena Loves, a lifestyle brand and blog, as well as the host for Serena Loves TV. View Serena on Instagram.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Serena! What is your “backstory”?
My story began with my heart and soul, my parents. While I was in college at UC Berkeley, my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer….it was a genetic disease, the same thing his grandfather had passed of years before. He fought but lost a very painful battle after just a year and 3 months. He was 48 years old. Two months later, my mother was diagnosed with a rare and extremely aggressive form of ovarian cancer. She was 45 years old at the time. So, before we even had a chance to grieve my father, we were in another surreal battle to save my mother, who could hardly process the death of her soulmate, let alone her own mortality. With experimental treatment and (I truly believe), my father in heaven watching over her, my mother is still with us today. As you can imagine, this completely changed my perspective on life. All that mattered was the health and happiness of my loved ones. During my father’s battle, I began looking into holistic, herbal and natural remedies for everything from his cancer symptoms to alleviating the side effects of his treatments. I studied Nutrition at college, but this drove my passion further and I decided to go to Le Cordon Bleu. I wanted to study the culinary arts to understand food and nutrition and creating ways to heal and comfort people through the power of food.
I took it upon myself to be the ultimate caretaker, making it my passion, my mantra and my goal to make sure that the people I loved were happy and healthy. But in doing so, I took on too much for many years, overextending my own health and not addressing my own heartache and trauma from what our family had gone through. It felt like the sacrifice was not only worth it, because my intention behind my energy came from love and provided healing to others, but it seemed to make sense. My good intentions and drive for healing others led me to a place where I was sacrificing my wellness for the sake of helping others. As passionate as I was about healing, providing comfort and nutritional education to others, I did not realize the damage that the entire experience of my parents’ illnesses took on my heart, my mind, my body. What I didn’t yet understand at the time, was that full health and true wellness is about the whole mind, body and soul. That is, until I found myself fighting for my own health after I had a surgery and contracted MRSA straight from the operating room. Seven years, 8 surgeries later, and nearly dying twice, and years of self-development, I’ve learned to balance my energy, to take care of myself first so that I can take care of everyone else around me. During this time, my business evolved to include more than just service as a private chef and caterer. I developed Culinary Alchemy and became a wellness expert, coach, reiki practitioner and counselor to my clients. I was inspired to soft launched my health and wellness line, Just Add Water™. As I became aware of my influence within my own community, I realized that I could effectively teach and help so many more people by expanding my platform. By sharing my stories through the power of social media and my Serena Loves lifestyle brand, TV show and podcast, I’ve been able to reach countless others who gained insight from my knowledge, who have learned from my experiences.