Lisa Odenweller grew up surrounded by healthy choices. Spending her childhood in both Colorado Springs and Scottsdale, she remembers making smoothies far before Jamba Juice hit the map. Not to mention, when she was tasked with making cookies for the football team, she even figured out how to make them more nutritious anddelicious.
Though it seems obvious the wellness world would be her home, she first made detours into sales, marketing and even jewelry design and interior decoration before finding her niche as a food-as-medicine guru. Through her company Beaming, she offers nutrient dense food based on the idea that you truly are what you eat. SBS gets the scoop on her vittles and vision.
SBS: What do you think the largest misunderstanding about food is?
Lisa Odenweller: I think people forget that there’s something powerful about food. You have to consider: Maybe some of the things I’ve been doing aren’t helpful, and just because it says organic or whole grain, that marketing may not be accurate. So, I look at food from the lens of food as medicine.
For example, I started shifting things like sugar, gluten, and dairy in my daughter’s diet. She immediately moved into honors classes and could focus. It’s the combination of understanding the effects of food that offers results like that. And I have a responsibility to share that info. My company is a way for me to answer the question: How will I do that in a way that makes the largest impact?
I considered writing and speaking, but we already have information. What we need is experience. We need to put it in our body. When I was creating Beaming, cleansing was just coming on the forefront as a craze. I was watching my friends do juice cleanses from Monday to Wednesday and then partying on the weekend, andwhile I’m not a doctor, I knew: That’s not good for you! So, I did the cleanses and the retreats and started digging deeper. I found most cleanses have too much sugar and are bad for you. I was frustrated by the lack of integrity in the system, so I chose to change it. I co-created my cleanse with real food and that became the first Beaming cleanse.
SBS: How did Beaming evolve from that starting point?
LO: I launched this cleanse not knowing if anyone would sign up, but over 90 people did. We had no system! We were producing out of a cupcake kitchen and hand packing vitamins! The word of mouth worked. Over the next seven years, I created more cleanses, each time with more followers, and eventually I fulfilled my vision of having a physical place to go to have access to this food at all times. That way the menu can reach a wider audience. Now, with six locations, we are a superfood company with a proprietary protein blend, and we also offer dairy and gluten free baked goods, soups, salads, snacks…everything! Our cleanses can be shipped to your house, as well. This month we are coming out with a beauty and longevity cleanse.
SBS: You’ve had multiple successful businesses? How do you know when you’ve landed on something you want to act on?
LO: One of the things that stops us as entrepreneurs is fear. There are so many questions: Am I good enough, am I smart enough, is it unique enough? It gets heady.
Then, we wonder: How am I going to do this? We get stuck on the how, and that can tangle us. The thing that has worked for me was to immerse myself in research and exploring. What’s my mission, and why do I want to do this? Get clear about that. Sometimes we have a fantasy, but we’re not sure why.
Then create momentum. Momentum feeds on itself. Nobody can do what you can do the way you do it.
SBS: What have you learned about wellness through your journey?
LO: Take your health into your own hands. Be informed. Read labels. Look at what you’re putting in your body. When the doctor is quick to give you a prescription, question whether you need that? Maybe you have food allergies? Maybe you’re having too much sugar or gluten? You have a responsibility to be mindful and aware. That’s number one.
Then remember: Eating healthy and taking care of yourself should feel good. It’s not about deprivation. And, everyone’s body is different. I can’t be a vegan: That doesn’t work for me. Because of my body, I have to find a balance. I do mostly plants but I also eat animal protein as needed. So, be in touch with your body. How does your body best thrive? It’s not about extremes.
Finally, be a catalyst for you and your family. How can you support the health journey of those you care about?
SBS: What is your approach to fitness?
LO: Once again, I’m all about variety. Everyone’s body is different. And, our bodies change all the time. My body doesn’t respond as it used to. I don’t build muscle or have stamina like I did. So, part of it is forgiving and having compassion for yourself. I used to run a lot, and I loved it. But, it’s not working for me right now. So it’s constantly mixing it up. I do yoga, climb stairs, go to bootcamp or sculpt classes, take spinning and go power walking. Move in whatever way inspires you. Sometimes we have to shift and listen to our bodies.
SBS: What are your tips for handling your multiple spinning plates?
LO: My three kids, who are 11, 13 and 18, helped me build my company. I’m a single mom, and I also live in both San Diego and Santa Monica. So, to handle it all, I don’t do everything. My car is a mess. My closet and purse are disasters. There are things I can’t do well. I can hire people to do some of those things. And my time is incredibly valuable. That time goes to Beaming, my kids or I. So some things are less important. I had to learn that.
Also, you have to get help. It’s a hard thing to trust people to show up for you. But you can’t do it alone. I personally sacrificed a lot at the beginning. I didn’t know how to find balance. You have to find that in yourself. Only you can check in on your own flow. Now, I have a CEO who operates Beaming. Know what you do best and where to spend your time.
Lisa’s LA and San Diego Faves:
Healthy Food in LA: The Butcher’s Daughter, Gjelina and Gjusta
Healthy Food in San Diego: Café Gratitude
Tasty Meal in LA: Bestia
Tasty Meal in San Diego: Fish 101 and Ironside
Fitness Studios in LA: YogaWorks, Maha Yoga, Pilates Platinum
Fitness Studio in San Diego: Core Power Yoga
Calming Locations in LA: Wanderlust and Unplug Meditation
Lisa’s SBS Mantra: Be You: I think that comes down to authenticity. The more we show up as our authentic self, the more we are available for others. It starts with us.