People of Charlotte, please meet Elizabeth Schultz! Elizabeth shares her sunny disposition through health and wellness tips and insights. As a certified holistic health and wellness coach, she offers an easy to implement health checklist for current times and beyond. After you read this post, spend some time outdoors today! Your mind and body will thank you. Now let's get to know Elizabeth's story!
How long have you lived in Charlotte?
I’m telling on myself age-wise, but approximately 32 years!
What part of Charlotte do you reside in?
I have lived in the historic and lovely neighborhood of Elizabeth for over 25 years!
I graduated from Catawba College with a degree in communications/marketing with a minor in business. I went back to school to study at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition after I had my kids.
I received my IIN Health Coach certification in May of 2012, as well as my certification from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. I then continued my studies in environmental toxins—what we ingest, inhale, and absorb is often the missing piece of the health puzzle that most folks don’t fully understand, so I have made that my area of focus. I am also a Juice Plus distributor and a Beautycounter educator and consultant because these companies are committed to offering clean, non-toxic products and it gives me a wider reach in my pursuit to help people avoid major health issues.
As a child, what did you imagine your career/future would be?
Well, as a child, I wanted to be Bat Girl or Wonder Woman, saving the world from bad guys, lol! But that doesn’t translate well into reality! In college, I took my first nutrition course and fell hard for all things related to wellness and preventative healthcare. My parents urged me to finish my business degree, but I never forgot my love for how the body works and how we can profoundly influence our health through lifestyle choices. I guess, in some ways, I am finally working to protect the world from the bad guys, as in chemicals and toxins!
Who or what inspires you?
People who spend their life’s work on bettering the environment and its inhabitants. Jane Goodall and Greta Thunberg are some of my favorite examples and are truly inspiring to me!
Staying healthy is one of our foremost concerns during this time. As someone who is an advocate for a healthy lifestyle, what advice can you offer?
Boosting our immunity is everything right now, as well as keeping our bodies running as smoothly as possible. We could get into discussions about anti-inflammatory diets, reducing histamine and mucus-forming foods, but generally, eating a healthy Mediterranean diet of whole foods, as opposed to the standard American diet, is a good call for us all. A healthy diet helps boost probiotics and prebiotics in your gut which is crucial for healthy immune system function.
Besides a poor diet, the biggest immunity dashers are sugar, lack of sleep and stress. Too much sugar creates inflammation in the body and hinders optimal white blood cell production. I always see a spike in colds after the “sugar holidays!” Too little sleep, and believe it or not too much sleep, can adversely affect your immunity. And while you can do everything else right, if you don't keep your stress in check it can ultimately derail it all.
Can you give us a health checklist to refer back to?
Eat plenty of fruits and veggies for all of their crucial phytonutrients to keep the body running smoothly. Eat a healthy whole food diet, staying away from processed foods that clog up our body systems.
Get 15-20 mins of sun without slathering on chemical sunscreens. Or take D3 drops with a little healthy fat for absorption for an immunity boost. The drops are more easily assimilated into our bodies than tablets.
At night, lower the lights, turn off the news early, and start winding down with relaxing activities to help you get sleepy.
During the day, reduce stress by stepping outside into nature and practicing a little grounding. While social distancing, try to connect more with nature: smell the flowers, feel the dirt, go barefoot in the grass and while you are at it, hug a tree!
Anytime you feel anxious, reset your nervous system by doing some breath work. Breath in for 6, hold for 6, and then breath out for 7 or 8. Longer exhales help you get centered.
I may not win any popularity contests for saying this but, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine our liver function and stress/anxiety go hand-in-hand. If you notice you are feeling a little down, you may want to cut back on alcohol for a few days. Alcohol creates inflammation in the body, lowers immunity, and also is a depressant that suppresses liver function which is necessary for proper digestion. And remember, our gut health is related to immunity. Try to modify for a couple days to help your body reset.
How have you adjusted your own nutrition/supplements?
In addition to the vitamin D3 drops I referenced above, I try to keep it as simple as I can. Health nerd alert: I start each day with warm lemon water to flush out my liver and to kick start my metabolism by stimulating bile production. During my nutrition/toxin training, I made the conscious decision to scale back my supplements to a select, non-toxic, clean few so not to overtax my liver. While looking for a whole food supplement to replace my daily multivitamin with sketchy fillers, I decided to become a Juice Plus distributor to help my family and clients bridge the gap of getting the proper amount of fruits and vegetable servings a day. As I mentioned, those phytonutrients are crucial to keep the body running smoothly and are often the precursor to help your body absorb other nutrients—for example, iron from food, to keep from having deficiencies. I found that it has kept us out of the doctor’s office and even if we do get sick, we are able to shake it in a day or two. As long as my kids haven’t been over consuming sugar! I also take a clean omega 3. And finally, I take half of a dose of a B complex vitamin and/or just use nutritional yeast in my food for my B’s because I don’t eat a lot of meat. B vitamins supplementation is crucial for vegetarians and is helpful overall in dealing with anxiety and stress.
Tell us about Spunky Avocado (who doesn't love a spunky avocado!)!
I know, right?! We are three very busy moms who are all health coaches and our focus has been all things clean and green! We offer programs from our suburban smackdown (challenging folks to live more mindfully) to our toxin clean-up programs, where I created your daily detox. We all put our families first and have other jobs, so it makes it hard to put what is necessary into the business—especially now since we primarily try to maintain a presence with clients through workshops and talks. We are very passionate about the environment and clean and mindful living, so we will continue to use our platform on social media to advocate for those things which we feel are so important in our world. Meanwhile, I’m still keeping my focus on social media to promote a little daily detox for our mind, body and environment, both in our personal space and for the planet!
How can people connect to you?
Currently, our Spunky website is on hold and in construction mode, so it is probably best to email me personally or find me on social media.
What do you think is the silver lining during this stay-at-home order?
I personally felt like everything was spinning a bit out of control before the virus. Apart from any profound loss, I think the majority of us will be able to experience a much needed reset that will help us see what is really important, what we really need, and how to move forward as conscious human beings. I can see clearer skies figuratively and literally as the earth is experiencing a break from some of the human made pollution. And if we use this time to focus on being better humans and focus on our health and wellbeing, as well as the planet’s, then this will not be time wasted. I believe that what heals the planet helps to heal us in return.
What can't you wait to do after the order is lifted?
Go to acupuncture, see my monthly wine club friends, and definitely see some live music from my favorite bands!
Now for some fun favorite questions:
TV show? For a great cathartic cry, I love the storylines and music of This Is Us! Another favorite that is not on network tv anymore but you can still see it on Amazon and other places, The Years of Living Dangerously; it is a great show about the problems we currently face and will face with climate change. And to veg out, I love HGTV, Good Bones, and House Hunters International!
Netflix series or movie? I love a good escape so Ozark really makes me forget the world’s issues and makes me thankful that my life is much less complicated! I love too many movies to name! My family binge watches a lot of the old favorites.
Amazon Prime series or movie? Can you believe that I just recently realized the wealth of great movies on Prime? I’m glad I’m finally getting the most out of my membership! I thought Camp Zero was awesome!
Book? I like books about women who are far braver than I am! I only really get to dive into books in the summer by the pool (pun intended) since I don’t sit down much beside that. One of my favorites is Swell A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening— it’s about Captain Liz Clark who is a surfer, sailor and eco/spiritual activist!
Smoothie? I make my husband and kids a protein smoothie every morning and sneak their vitamin D3 drops in. But personally, I prefer cleansing smoothies with dandelion greens, and herbs etc. I’m more of a savory craver than my sweet-craving family which makes sense, since bitter greens cut sugar cravings!
Recipe? Oh, that’s too hard to answer! I will say it’s all about flavors for me. I am in a wine club and one year my theme was pairing wines with herbs and those were some of my favorite recipes because it was all so flavorful.
Takeout? Honestly, we don’t do a lot of takeout because I don’t like all the plastic waste. But having said that, during this time when we can’t dine in, I want to focus on the restaurants that are our go to favorites to support them, like Lang Van, Deejai Noda Noodle Bar, Cilantro Noodle, and Flower Child.
Hobby? I have a lot of interests but I really love gardening. Nature is nurturing! And I love music. I can’t sing or play an instrument but I definitely excel in music appreciation!
Season? There are so many perks to all the seasons but I am a summer girl at heart! Summer = freedom!
Indulgence? Chocolate in its purest forms! I’m not a sweet craver, as I mentioned, but I do love yummy, good quality chocolate!
Family activity? We go on walks, play board games, watch movies and whatever our kids will still do with us! Any time with my teens that we get is everything to me. And we make it a point to have dinner as a family each night to catch up with one another.
And in case you missed it, Elizabeth's husband has also been featured on People of Charlotte! Check out Adam's story here!
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