Mona Vand is an expert on nutrition and natural wellness, she uses her doctorate education to to share health information in a relatable and digestible way. Mona is extremely passionate about wellness, self growth, family, culture and has recently expanded her interest into ethical fashion.
You speak a lot about ‘wellness’ - how would you personally define this term?
Wellness to me, encompasses mind, body, and soul. Realizing that all of these elements are one entity and we really have to nourish and take each part into account to live life to the fullest. For example, eat clean, but also don't deprive and restrict yourself so that healthy eating becomes a stressful experience. Exercise in a way that celebrates your body, not punishes it. Learn to be intuitive with the way you move. I love to listen to what my body wants that day, sometimes it’s fast-paced and other times it’s slow and easy. Wellness is about truly taking care of yourself.
Where did your drive toward making better choices for a cleaner lifestyle come from?
It initially all started when I realized I was having gut health issues. I started seeing functional medicine doctors, and there was a commonality with the eating protocols they put me on. They were all having me eliminate gums, fillers, certain types of oils, and so on. Before that, I had been plant-based for years, but never educated myself on clean eating. “Clean eating” is very different than traditional healthy eating, which tends to focus on macronutrients, micronutrients, and often times calorie count.
How would you say wellness and clean living feeds into your fashion choices?
It’s interesting because for me, initially wellness started as simply food and exercise. But the more you dive into it, it’s inevitable to find your way towards the spiritual side, because it’s such a big part of wellness. And with spirituality and meditation comes more consciousness. As I’ve evolved in this space, I’ve become very conscious of my choices, my words, and how everything I do impacts those around me. Conscious fashion is my newest journey in wellness. I’m still learning and it can be challenging to initially make the shift, especially when it’s not always black and white. Thats why boutiques like Wolf & Badger are so helpful, they do the due diligence so the consumer doesn’t have to!
Could you share with us your top 3 wellness tips that may help those of our readers who are currently transitioning from summer into the cooler months.
So many different ancient traditions have taught us that certain foods warm or cool your body. Eating foods that warm your body is a great tip when the weather gets colder. Things like ginger, honey, garlic, turmeric, and cinnamon, which makes sense because a lot of these flavors are what we think about in the fall and winter.
Since colder weather can be drying, it’s a good idea to put a little more effort into keeping your body and skin hydrated. Drink more water, and even add a little Celtic sea salt to your water for added electrolytes (a more natural version of Gatorade). Moisturize your entire body after the shower. For your face, adding a hyaluronic acid serum will also help lock in moisture.
Utilize foods that are in season in the fall and winter. Things like squash, carrots, beets, celery, avocado, apples, and bananas. Eating food in season always gives you a little extra nutrition!
What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Follow your intuition and know your worth. I spent so many of my younger years thinking I wasn’t good enough and being ashamed or embarrassed of the things I’m most proud of now. I would want the younger me to trust her gut and never doubt her values.
What’s next for you in 2023?
Growing my team and working on some really exciting upcoming projects! I’ll share one - collaborating on a vegan meal plan that will launch in January and ship nationwide. Stay tuned!
What do you love about Wolf & Badger?
I love that you guys do the work for us! Doing the research and due diligence on brands to see where they source materials and if they really are ethical and responsible takes many, many hours, most of which many people don’t have or don’t want to commit to. So having a source like you, where we don’t need to think, and we know everything is vetted is so helpful for us and the planet.
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