Saving money is an old wives tale and investing in stocks is a falsehood. Put your money to good use. The best use you can make of your money is to treat humans as if they are God and in a way that reminds them; invest in their health and happiness. You’ll be supported beyond your wildest of dreams.
As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Josie Clemens.
Meet Josie Clemens, Not only is she Hell’s Kitchen’s first vegan chef, she is also an activist turned private chef who is passionate about the mind-body connection. Josie has certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming, which helps her work with her clients to neutralize their entire nervous system, mind consciousness, and allow for the heart and intuition to speak much louder than anything else. Basically, she uses food to help treat people’s worst ailments by allowing it to work for them. She has helped so many of her clients to improve as they battled cancer, PTSD, IBS, eating disorders, and many other kinds of issues. Above all else Josie identifies as an activist and cares about everyone getting the proper food and good health and she is using her amazing talents and platform to spread this message.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?
I grew up in Detroit with a split family. I predominantly lived with my mom and my grandmother helped raise me. I saw my dad on some weekends, and we had a very casual, quiet and laid back relationship. The women in my life were (and still adorably so) loud and strong-willed. I’ve always loved my family very much so I became very good at switching hats and being what they most definitely needed. I had all of the answers to what they needed because I was so curious about them and their past, and they were kind enough to be authentic with their answers. I spent a lot of time outdoors, in the garden with my mom, in the pool at my grandma’s house, and playing sports at my school or with my dad. Montessori school had a huge impact on me. I went to private school from kindergarten until third grade, and I was the minority! It was incredible to be eating Naan and drinking papaya juice and steamed buns at such a young age…especially while growing up without much food diversity or much variation at all. I used to get in trouble at school for goofing off or pulling pranks. I definitely needed (and still need) a lot of stimulation from my environment in order to be content.
Is there a particular book or organization that made a significant impact on you growing up? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
My grandma had the most significant impact on me when I was growing up. Nothing I ever did was made to be wrong. She spoke to me as if I were an adult and also loved me when I acted my age. She reinforced my every move and acknowledged me when I was kind, and it gave me confidence. I’ve learned over time that this is all that anyone needs in order to thrive, and this is a rare thing to find in our world today, the unconditional love that we all innately desire.
How do you define “Making A Difference”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
The phrase “Making A Difference” has always made me roll my eyes since I was little. It’s always been tied to donations or campaigns that only seemed to exist to win popularity or make a buck. Now that I have a platform and a following to speak to, I want nothing more than to change the way people perceive themselves and their environment. Humans collectively are the most powerful force on the planet and I don’t think it’s reinforced to us enough. “Making A Difference” means that we are shifting from the “me” to “we” mentality…we are treating all living beings as if we are family (and not with the toxic behavior that we know…truly with the kind of love that perhaps we did not even have the pleasure of receiving).
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the main part of our interview. You are currently leading an organization that aims to make a social impact. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?
Right now my main focus is educating people on why veganism is the solution to all modern problems that we encounter. Transitioning to vegan seems like just one more “problem” to put on the plate when most people are already struggling to meet the needs of their day to day problems. I’m looking for a publisher for my book titled “A Book For Humanity” where I go over the nitty gritty and the science and practical applications of a transition into a life filled with ease via veganism.
Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?
The inspiration is purely selfish. In 2015 my life crumbled. I cheated on my boyfriend that I was in love with after not being able to communicate my needs and feelings. He left with our money and then I lost my job 3 days later. I punished myself for an entire year. I was in the worst depression of my life. I went vegan under a friend’s recommendation and my world began to shift…I could see the silver lining for the first time. I studied under a monk, I let go of all of my belongings, and I worked hard to create a version of me that I was proud of. I’m not saying that throwing out your shit is the answer…but anything you accumulate definitely carries some energetic weight with it. Knowing your unique fingerprint requires you to let go of what you like and what you dislike…chances are, you’re already too busy judging the hell out of yourself to understand what you truly are. Self actualization is not only the key to enlightenment but it’s also the key to understanding where you belong in the world, who you belong in front of, and why you do what you do. Bringing value to people by being the most “you” is essential to being successful in a way that DOES equate to happiness AND impact!
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?
Deciding to be on Hell’s Kitchen really was my a-ha moment…I chose to go against the very morals I created to ground myself into a new reality/identity that I was certain would keep me on the right track. Making this decision was me saying to myself, I trust you. You’ve grown. Now it’s time to let go once again and expand even further. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing the “right” thing if you’re judging yourself all the time and not allowing yourself to move an inch out of place. Movement is what takes us to new heights. Fear is our greatest ally when making life decisions…it only leads to expansion regardless of the physical outcomes.
Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?
The first thing that I did (and what I think every human being should do) is begin to visualize and imagine how I wish I could feel every day. I wasn’t very happy growing up. I could tell myself to be grateful and appreciate what I have, but my feelings were so intense that I couldn’t ignore that something just didn’t feel right to me. Once I knew how I wanted to feel, I started to ease my way into that reality, experimenting with and taking mental and physical notes of what makes me feel good and what brings me down (different foods, hours of sleep, people’s reactions, tasks, group activities, solo activities, etc). To me, it’s so important to know yourself so that you know where you are headed and what you want to build along your path. It’s also important to know yourself so the leaps of faith are less intense, more palatable, and eventually enjoyable.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
When I moved to Colorado after Hell’s Kitchen, I went back to the corporate world for 6 months to rebuild my savings account. I hated it. The people kept me alive but my 16 hour shifts and lack of purpose was crushing me. When the winter came, I knew I had to make some changes because I DESPISE the cold weather. After an intense reality check I knew that I couldn’t live in my comfort zone of a traditional 9–5 any longer because it was not very comfortable at all. I decided to move to downtown Phoenix right after Christmas, a city I had never been to, to open a meal prep company specializing in vegan cuisine for those who experience health problems. I was so nervous but I created a profile on Thumbtack and I got hits immediately. I had consultative calls and clients lined up. Not enough to pay the bills, but enough to give me hope. I snagged a part time job at a vegan restaurant close to my apartment and worked there for 3 days. I started January 12 and left January 15 because within 2 weeks I had received enough clients to be more than profitable. Taking the leap of faith to funnel my energy into a venture that was nothing short of everything I believed in paid off in ways far more important than financial gain. If you begin a concept with financial gain in mind first, you’ve already started off on the wrong foot.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?
OMG. I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS. RIP TO MY EGO. I was so desperate to get a client one time (for no reason, might I add. I was doing fine financially but mentally I was still living in scarcity) I undercut my prices so much that I was practically doing the work for free, and they were my largest client. I ended up developing an incredible relationship and sometimes that does lead to the bills being paid! But in this case, it did not. Nope. Just a hard lesson to not get caught up on “gaining” due to the fear of “losing” what seems like a great opportunity. The right clients always come. Discernment and awareness of the discernment’s intention is crucial for every decision made.
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?
My. Mother. Was. Not. My. Friend. But ever since opening up to her and becoming vulnerable about my wants, needs, and sensitivities…acknowledging her for all of her hard work as a mom…she has become the biggest motivating and inspirational force in my life. It’s made me realize that no matter how hard I cope with, suppress, or mask it, our greatest childhood desire (that carries into our adult life) is to be acknowledged and supported by our parents. When you can earn their respect, the sky’s the limit.
Without saying specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
I had a client once who had the most loving heart. This individual had never received kind love, only tough love and for their tender heart, it was traumatizing. They were so emotionally detached from people and themselves that they also became severely detached from their body’s needs; they wouldn’t drink water for days on end. They never sat down for a meal. They were fueled by snacks and coffee. We did a lot of emotional and physical repair together with food as the access point to creating a solution for everything this client was experiencing! When your lifestyle is aligned with what is inside of you, you have an environment for the body and nervous system to harmoniously communicate once again.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
Oh gosh yes. I’m not sure if I need to be in politics or just work alongside the politicians, but I want to ban meat production from the U.S. entirely. It’s got to be the most disruptive force in our ecosystem. If we could ban meat production worldwide, even better. Also, I absolutely need the world to know that the only reason we have therapists for mental health and increased health problems in general is because most of humanity is not willing to slow down to a comfortable pace for the heart to be expressed! Humans!! We need to become as emotionally reliable as we are punching in and out of our job/working on our business. When we move alone we go fast but when we move together we go much, much further. When there is a disagreement, there is an opportunity for expansion but only if you have compassion. When there is understanding, there is a clearing of energetic and physical weight out of the collective consciousness. We become happier, clear-minded, and typically as a result…WEALTHIER.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of the interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each).
1. It’s okay to not know anything about how you’re going to achieve anything. In fact, it’s better to not know. It’s excellent to not know.
2. The simplest way to take care of yourself is to treat yourself like a walking plant; get plenty of water, sun, and put yourself in nutrient dense environments.
3. If someone’s advice doesn’t make you feel good, don’t take it if they’ve never tried to achieve what you are trying to achieve.
4. Let life get really messy. Depression and mixed emotions are good and perfectly placed. See what you can learn about how you treat yourself when you’re in that space. Treat yourself better and better over time.
5. Saving money is an old wives tale and investing in stocks is a falsehood. Put your money to good use. The best use you can make of your money is to treat humans as if they are God and in a way that reminds them; invest in their health and happiness. You’ll be supported beyond your wildest of dreams.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
Young people need money and lots of it in today’s world. Every GenZ and Millennial knows that rent sucks and houses are expensive. The universe’s intention is to manifest more “light” onto this Earthly plane…more happiness, more abundance, etc. We need to unplug, We need to spend a lot of time getting in touch with ourselves so that we no longer deny our light. If you deny or judge yourself and your true desires, you will not accomplish the Universe’s assignment for you. If you can learn to understand and accept EVERYTHING about yourself…the weight of the “how” to achieve will be dissolved. You will know. Positive impact and wealth have a direct correlation, it’s just up to you how deep you’re willing to understand yourself.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I’d love to sit down with Mike Posner. My heart feels very close to his heart, and I think we could accomplish a lot together.
How can our readers follow you online?
I share everything that I am on Instagram! @veganchefjosie! I love responding to comments and DM’s too so it would be a pleasure to connect.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
Thank you so much for offering me the opportunity to speak from my heart!!!