When was the first time you were able to help and improve someone’s well-being?

I started working with people with disabilities when I was eighteen years old. Probably doing work with them opened me up to the idea of teaching and learning, and how mutually beneficial it is to make a difference in someone else’s life. I accepted the job thinking that I was there to help people with disabilities, but what I learned from them was so incredibly valuable and special. I think that thee sparkened me for being passionate about whatever I am up to. Making sure that whatever I am doing is in the idea of helping and making a difference in the world, started probably there.

What is one of the lessons that this experience thought you?

For me, it was the power of receiving. I thought that I was going into that situation with a lot to give and not recognizing that I was going to get just as much out of it. I think what it taught me to do was to recognize that every opportunity is a learning opportunity. God brings exactly the right people into our path every single day and, if we are paying attention, if we are tuned in, then, every encounter that we have is an opportunity to learn, teach, help and to really self-evolve. I think that was the most important thing. Looking at every encounter that you have as a learning opportunity.

How does it make you feel?

It makes me feel super empowered. I am a huge hungry learner anyway. I am the girl that’s constantly googling or sticking her nose into a nutritional journal or trying to expand. I want to learn something new every day! So, it feeds me to approach relationships that way to get to know people well and look at what can we do together and how can we help and make this world better.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone about improving well-being?

The phrase “you are what you eat” is really true. I think we would not pull up a nice car that we’ve just purchased to a gas tank and throw rocks and Twinkies and yellow number five and expect it to run well. However, we do it to our bodies all the time. We eat things that we do not know what the ingredients are. They do not make sense to our body because they are not natural. We expect that one of the most complex machines that we have, being our human body, will run well on junk food. Then, we are frustrated with it when it doesn’t, or we are surprised at it when it doesn’t. However, we are not looking at what we are consciously subjecting our machine to and the wear and tear that we are doing on it by eating things that are unhealthy. So, really being conscious of what you eat is the key.

When did you become conscious of your diet?

I learned the hard way. I was sent home with hospice at one point in my life. My daughter was two, and she is going to be twenty-two, soon. So it is a good positive outcome. I literally had gut cancer. It took me being that far down the track and wanting to live, wanting to see my daughter grow up. I started really looking at what I could do to make a difference in my health. Moreover, a lot of that was absolutely diet. Also, alternative modalities such as massage therapy, and treatments that are more functional and integrative opened me up to a whole possibility of getting well, and then obviously paying that forward to help others. Which is why I started my business.

~Ashley Nanney, Feed Your Vitality


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