SUJA CO-FOUNDER // BLOGGER // YOGI
Annie lawless is the co-founder of my favorite Pressed Juice, Suja and she’s a fellow healthy food, fashion and lifestyle blogger over at BLAWNDE. I’ve been following Annie for a while and have been inspired by her simple yet elegant taste and sunny outlook. She’s a fun but driven girl. She’s gorgeous and has the smarts to back it up. I caught up with Annie to ask her all about health, her favorite beauty foods and inspirations!
“If you aren’t happy, nothing really matters – not money, status, or achievement.”
Annie! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! I have so much respect for you and I am excited to have you featured on Radiantly Raw! You’ve accomplished so much at such a young age and you’ve done it with such grace. What project that you’ve been working on or have been a part of in the past are you most proud of and why?
Thank you! Definitely Suja Juice is my biggest accomplishment and the thing I am most proud of! We have such an amazing team who has helped take it from the beginning to what you see now and everyone has put in lots of hard work and dedication along the way. I have learned so much throughout the process and get such an amazing feeling from sharing health and wellness with others.
LOVE it. Suja Juice is my favorite go to juice when I don’t have the time to make my own. So thankful for it. I love all the flavors. I give it to my little one too! You quit law school to follow your passion and heart. Was that hard for your friends and family to understand? Our society is so success driven and taking a chance on your dreams is often looked down upon or feared. Was is a long process or did one day you just realize that it wasn’t what set your soul on fire?
Dropping out of school was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made because I feared the disappointment of my friends and family. I had chosen that path and actively participating in making it my reality. To put so much time and effort into something only to decide it’s not what you want at all can be scary. I actually didn’t tell my parents until Suja was up and running that I had left school because I knew they wouldn’t understand that I left school to “juice” but I trusted my gut and knew I could make something happen with it. I just needed some time without that disappointment in my face. It wasn’t a long process of deciding law school wasn’t for me – I was studying for finals in the library one day and started having a panic attack. After months of feeling depressed and knowing I was following the wrong path, this was the tipping point. I packed up my books, walked right over to my academic counselor, requested withdrawal papers and signed them within 15 minutes. I walked to my car and had this surreal feeling of relief and freedom.
That’s so inspiring to me and probably to a lot of my readers. I’m reading Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map right now and she tells a story in it about a girl who was in business school to make her dad happy and she just HATED it. It was killing her soul, but she didn’t have enough faith in her own hearts desire to cut the chains. I’m so happy for you strength and belief in yourself. We need more young woman to find their power! Do you have any advice for female entrepreneurs who are wanting to follow their true calling?
The most important thing in life is being happy. If you aren’t happy, nothing really matters – not money, status, or achievement. If you are trying to get something started, don’t worry about all the things that don’t matter and focus on the thing that does – your happiness. If you are doing what you love and what makes you happy, trust that it is the path for you to take and do everything in your power to make it happen.
Beautifully said…So, like you, I had Celiac’s and have found that though adding tons of healthy fats, managing sugar and cutting out all grain, my symptoms (eczema) virtually disappeared. For people struggling with autoimmune diseases (so many out there!) what are the top three things you recommend adding to your diet and the top 3 your recommend taking out?
The first thing to do is remove the offenders. You will never feel well no matter how many nourishing things you are putting into your body if you don’t remove the irritants. Autoimmune diseases are very linked with 1) grains 2) sugar and 3) processed foods. All of these things are major causes of inflammation, malabsorption, digestive distress, and mood issues. They should be removed entirely and replaced with 1) healthy fats 2) leafy greens and green juices 3) high quality proteins. These three foods will help nourish and repair damage to the digestive tract, flood your body with nutrients, and ease inflammation. I love your blog, you eat a lot of gorgeous food! How would you describe your diet and what’s the philosophy? Have you always eaten this way?
My diet is very simple! I eat only whole, unprocessed foods, avoiding grains, dairy, and sugar. The foundation of every meal (even breakfast) is a big green salad or cooked green with a healthy fat like flax or coconut oil or avocado. I love fats and eat them in abundance (avocados, coconut, flax oil salmon, whole eggs, and grass-fed meat– usually prepared raw). The only sweets I consume are fruits and their juices. I occasionally use maple syrup (rich in the trace mineral manganese) or low glycemic coconut palm sugar if I am baking or making a treat. I have eaten this way for about 7 years after having been vegan for 7 years. I felt great when I began eating vegan and slowly saw my health diminish. I realized I needed to incorporate animal foods again in moderation, so I did and never felt better.
I have a very similar story to you! Interesting how so many vegans are switching things up nowadays. My health was going down hill as a raw vegan and I added some bone broths and pastured eggs…feeling better than ever now!
You have a fabulous glow, can you tell us what are your favorite foods of beauty? Green juices are so good for the skin and keep it hydrated and supple. Eating lots of coconut oil gives me a wonderful glow from the inside out. Salmon and avocados make my hair shiny and make my skin tone more even.
So many people think that eating a clean diet is boring, what is your go to treat to keep things interesting?
Raw macaroons made with coconut, maple or palm sugar, coconut oil, and cacao! I absolutely love them. I also love making raw almond butter fudge. It’s dangerous!
YUMMY! Okay, so can you give me and my readers a sample day of your diet? We’d love to know what Annie Eats!
Sure! On my blog, I frequently post What I Ate posts with a day in life of my eats. For breakfast, I eat a lot of greens with poached eggs and smoked salmon. Lunch is usually a big green salad with avocado and flax oil. Dinner is likely a cooked green like steamed spinach, sautéed kale, or roasted bok choy with a piece of fish like sea bass or salmon or a beautiful piece of grass-fed meat. I also love big kale salads with lots of flax oil, avocado, walnuts, garlic, tomatoes,and seaweed if I’m feeling veggie that night.
Okay on to the next question! Can you please tell us your top 5 beauty product must haves?
I don’t use a ton of beauty products because I rely on my diet to keep my skin looking it’s best, but there are a few things I use on my skin every day. I keep coconut oil in a spray bottle in the shower so the heat of the water liquefies it. When I’m done showering, I dry off and spray my entire body with it and massage it in. I also love Aveda Botanical Kinetics products – their face wash is gentle but effective and doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals. Once a week I use the Astara Blue Flame Purification mask which is so great at pulling things out of your pores.
I agree, I’m all about using food for beauty! Coconut oil is my go to and I LOVE Astara’s products. My friends at conscious Beauty just introduced me to their line. Are there any books that you are your currently reading you want to share?
I am reading Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill by Udo Erasmus. I’ve read this book twice and just love it so much. I am also reading The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michal Murray. It contains tons of information and is very cool to see how much diet can affect health.
I haven’t read those yet! Adding them to the list. Who are your favorite inspirations/gurus/teachers? Who motivates you to do what you do?
This is a question I get asked a lot, and this might sound odd, but I am my own inspiration. I think of myself in the future having accomplished all the things I want to do, and that is what I aspire to and what drives me and who I look up to. Some of the people who have really shaped my views on nutrition, lifestyle, and wellness are Dr. Norman Walker, Udo Erasmus, Louise Hay, and Marianne Williamson.
I totally get it, I feel that being inspired by our infinite potential is where it’s at! Marianne Williamson has been a big one for me! Okay, so I have some leg envy going on! You have the most gorgeous legs, what’s your secret? What do you do for exercise?
Aw, thank you! Yoga is definitely my go-to workout! I don’t even consider it exercise because it totally clears my mind and pacifies the anxious side of my personality. I practice 6 days a week in the morning before anything else. There are lots of leg burning poses, like lunges, chair squats, and warriors. I don’t do much heavy cardio other than running once or twice per week at an easy pace. I have found less extreme exercise to agree with my body much more than intense strenuous workouts. Yoga is amazing for both body and spirit, a favorite of mine as well.
My boyfriend. He is someone who totally inspires me, supports my passions and goals, and reminds me to enjoy life. He is my best friend and we laugh 95% of the time we’re together. We talk for hours about interesting things and I never tire of being around him. He has is own pursuits which are totally neat to me and I love losing myself in someone else’s projects after being so absorbed in my own. He just loves me for who I am and there’s really nothing better than that.
So nice to hear that! Sounds like you’ve got a great man and he’s lucky to have such a lovely lady. Thank you so much for sharing with us today! I know you’re going to do so many amazing things in life, I’ll be keeping track of you 😉
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