I don’t need to be perfect to help; I just need to be passionate about why I am helping. I meditate on what I most want and need to do, and why. My passion for a better world serves a better world.
Morning Affirmations, Jennifer Williamson
The Veg’n Out journey started more than two years ago when I was feeling lost from a sense of purpose and what was ahead in my family’s future. Burnt out and in a place that lacked gratitude and inspiration, I needed a plan, an exit strategy from the rat race we call corporate America.
My husband Daniel was traveling the country for work, and I was a ‘crunchy’ mom of two working full time from home. I was blessed with all that we had and the ability to juggle it all, but knew I was living a life that needed to change if I was going to have the future I could see in the moments when I was still with my soul.
We were working hard for our family but to the detriment of our quality of life – all in the name of someone else’s bottom line.
Finding the future
We set off on two trips to Costa Rica. The first to seriously weigh whether we should buy a 180-hectare farm in a green zone where the air is clear, the oceans are pristine, and the people live a simple, natural life or pura vida as they say in Costa Rica. There is a long story as to why this was a terrible idea and led to my love of floppy-eared cows, but that is for another blog. Just know, buyer beware – a con artist can wear many faces.
Little did we know, our journey had already begun
Prior to visiting Costa Rica, Danny was diagnosed with type two diabetes and spent months going to doctors and nutritionists that left him taking one pill that led to two and then to three. After watching a documentary on Netflix, like so many others have, he decided to put that all aside and began to eat a plant-based diet. Within six months, he was diabetes free and has been ever since – not to mention the 75-pound weight loss he’s maintained.
Costa Rica served its purpose
While we still didn’t find what we were looking for on our second, month-long adventure to Costa Rica, we did find what we needed. This is where we met the designer of the Veg’n Out brand. Living in the house next door with kids similar in age, we found ourselves kicking back cocktails while the kids played and he plugged away at his next major Wonder Bread campaign. With my career in B2B technology marketing, I instantly recognized his talent, but it would be much later before I conceived of Veg’n Out and the need for his services. We ultimately left still in love with the country but confident that it wasn’t the right time for our family to make such a dramatic change.
Once home, we still needed to figure out how we were going to meet our goal – to give our kids a childhood rooted in community, where I could feel good about the work I was waking up to each day, and Danny could be close to home for all the milestones he was going to miss as the kids entered grade school.
Inspiration strikes, but are you listening?
While I have been the one to make Veg’n Out a reality, Danny is the inspiration behind the concept. During his travels around the country, he began to seek out healthy food. This included juice bars and the popular Sweetgreen salad concept. After the second time mentioning that we should open a Sweetgreen franchise, I began my research and quickly found that they 1) don’t franchise and 2) didn’t have any intention to move into southern states. Danny bought a juicer, and I began recreating their salads without any of the animal products. I needed to see what all the hype was about, and boy did I!
I found passion, my passion
I began fueling my family’s bodies with nutrient-dense plant-based foods and realized I could share it with the Lake Nona community that was also focused on health and well being. It all just clicked. I would combine a salad concept with a typical juice and smoothie bar that we’d come to love in Costa Rica. No syrups, no preservatives, no animal products; just real, organic, whole-food plants and vegetables.
It was my way to give back to the world, to my community, to my soul, to my purpose. I had found what I had been searching for, right in my own back yard!
When I read my affirmation this morning, I was inspired; inspired to share with you.
I don’t need to be perfect to help; I just need to be passionate about why I am helping and that serves a better world! I look forward to serving you and your health at Veg’n Out, one salad, juice or smoothie at a time.
To learn more about our journey coming to Pixon in Lake Nona Town Center, click here to read our Q&A with LakeNona.com.