“Education is key to wellness, so it would definitely include a move to bring back some elements we’ve lost from schools, like cooking classes. Everyone deserves basic education around how to best care for their bodies, and we aren’t given easy access to that.”
I believe that people are here in order to make a bigger impact in the world — and with my book, ‘Make an Impact’, I had the chance to prove that hundreds of people are using their influence to improve other people’s lives.
As the founder of the Health Bloggers Community, my mission is to support people with growing their passion into a business — and so many women are building businesses empires all over the world.
This series is a chance to spotlight some of these women.
Known as an iconoclast of the wellness world, Ariane’s varied work includes private cooking for celebrities, articles about food, nutrition, and wellness on sites such as MindBodyGreen, Livestrong, and The Hill, culinary instruction, public speaking, and recipe creation for consumer brands. Her three published books are each Amazon #1 bestsellers. Ariane’s fourth book “How to Be Well When You’re Not” will be released in September, with a foreword by her client P!nk.
Hello Ariane, thank you for joining us! Could you please share with us when it all began?
Thank you very much for talking with me! I spent ages 30–35 laid up — first from neurological late stage Lyme disease, then, once recovered from that, with carbon monoxide poisoning. At my worst with Lyme I required a wheelchair, and at my worst with chemical poisoning I had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s from Cedars Sinai. I recovered from both illnesses on my own, holistically, through varied natural modalities. When I got over the CO poisoning, I realized my ability to get over illness should be shared with others. As cooking had been my default industry before illness, I began using food as a vehicle for wellness in private chef work. That migrated into opportunities to write about wellness and nutrition; writing was my first passion, what I studied in college, and what I always wanted to do as a career. In the six years since getting well, nearly everything I’ve done — from celeb work to convention speaking — has fallen into my lap. I found my purpose, and the universe conspired to help me live it. Releasing “How to Be Well When You’re Not” is my biggest dream realized, and I feel strongly that I’ve been given this life for the purpose of sharing the tools contained in it.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
- Congratulate yourself more often. We are consistently striving for more, better, bigger, and that has its merits…but we forget to pat ourselves on the back, too. You made it to this moment despite all the odds! Congratulate yourself for that more often.
- Separate the dogma you’ve learned about food from how food actually makes you feel. Many of us are eating foods/on diets our bodies don’t agree with because we were told by an expert that these foods were “right” and others were “wrong.” This is NOT the way to feel good! Learn how to listen to your body, and eat what it wants, not what any expert says to.
- Treat your body like a loved one. Outside of the obvious caring for it, offer it acknowledgment, say good morning/good night to it, thank it for however well it’s currently working. We are so focused on losing five lbs, or getting bigger muscles, or looking younger, that we forget what a miracle it is to be alive.
Can you share the interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I’ve had a lot of “I can’t believe this is real” moments, like national TV appearances, where my life feels surreal.
The strongest example of that is when I trained P!nk’s tour chef; she was leaving for a tour and wanted to be able to continue eating the way I’d been feeding her. The chef had been cooking for as long as I’d been alive! His accomplishments were amazing, i.e. he was David Bowie’s tour chef back in the day, and here I was, showing him how to cook like me.
I never went to culinary school, and until recent years I insisted on being called “a girl who makes food” instead of a chef because I didn’t think I “counted” as one despite working in the field on and off for 20+ years now. So that had a huge impact on me, and took months to sink in.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The biggest mistake I’ve made in my career is being too quiet/shy in settings with others. I like to enter a workspace, give it my all, and go…that leads to being seen as pretty unfriendly. I missed out on potential friendships, work relationships, networking, etc.
It’s still a challenge because I’m naturally so shy, but I learned that my life will be enriched if I engage more with others in my workplaces.
When it comes to health and wellness, how are you helping people making a bigger impact in the world?
It’s important to offer resources to those who might not have access to them.
Last year I volunteered nutrition workshops for girls in summer camp and an after-school program, and this year I’ll be volunteering writing workshops for young adults who have aged out of the foster system.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Fred Rogers said when given a lifetime achievement award, “All of us have special ones who have loved us into being.” There are so many people over the years who have loved me into being, and I wouldn’t be where I am without every one of them. From family to therapists to spiritual teachers to clients to exes, every person who has touched my heart has taught me something.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I love this question! Education is key to wellness, so it would definitely include a move to bring back some elements we’ve lost from schools, like cooking classes. Everyone deserves basic education around how to best care for their bodies, and we aren’t given easy access to that.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I love writing articles full of inexpensive, simple ingredients that can be found in any big box grocer, that can help people eat more healthfully without more effort or cost. People are always surprised that I consider those articles some of my best accomplishments, but they feel so purposeful to me.
The idea that a stranger without much money or time can find a better version of a recipe because I wrote it, and that I can pass along enthusiasm for eating well, brings me a lot of joy.
What is your “I Thing I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.
Hands down the most important is that I wish that I’d realized that to be a lifelong freelancer, I need to care about saving money. I realized sometime after turning 40 that it was important, but I sure wish that fact had hit me at a younger age. Can I buy a house, which I should be able to do based on the money I’ve earned? No. Do I have a bazillion lovely tattoos, and have I taken many a vacation? Yes. While I don’t regret any of my choices, I have begun to make some slightly more adult-ish ones in the past year or two.
Do you have any “girl-crush” in this industry? If you could take one person to brunch, who would they be?
As a queer person, a “girl-crush” to me is just a crush — no gendering needed! I have mad respect for Lauren Ash, the founder of Black Girl In Om. Creating space for women of color in the wellness realm, which is notoriously white-dominated, is commendable.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Without sustainability we won’t have a world to live in, so that takes priority to me. I’ve grown to eschew the newest “superfoods” carted in from across the globe in favor of new discoveries in our backyards for that reason. Sustainability is inextricably tied environmental change, of course, and our mental health as a people has deteriorated as our planet itself has grown less healthy, so I consider all those elements interrelated.
About the author:
Fab Giovanetti is a business mentor, published author, influencer-specialist, best known as the founder of the Health Bloggers Community and co-founder of the Register of Health and Wellness Influencers. Serial start-up founder and professional troublemaker, she is obsessed with avocados and helping people making an impact in health and wellness. Sounds like you? Get daily tips on how to grow your influence via the HBC magazine.