It gives me great delight to welcome a fantastic woman to the Shed who is not an author. (Well, at least not yet…) 🙂 I’ve known Gia Peterson since we were kids, and I recently discovered that she started a very cool, natural-health focused company called Wholesome Health. As I keep promising myself it’s time to get healthy, I was immediately interested in what she was up to. Not to mention that she has three daughters all under the age of seven (meaning, not in school all day) and I couldn’t imagine how she found the time.
You’ll learn more about Wholesome Health in Gia’s interview. Here’s how to find out even more about her company and what it offers, and how to follow her on the web:
1. Can you tell us something about your company, Wholesome Health? Your mission and something about the products and services you provide?
I started Wholesome Health to help others learn how to avoid toxins, maintain wellness, and prevent illness using the most natural means possible. As a mother of three girls, I am especially passionate about learning everything I can about natural wellness and avoiding toxins. Women and children are actually at a higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes because they tend to have higher levels of toxins and hormone-disrupting substances in their systems than men.
One of the best ways to detoxify is by eating more raw fruits and veggies, which provide the strongest immune support system known to man! For that, Wholesome Health offers whole food supplements made by Juice Plus+ and an aeroponic Tower Garden, also made by Juice Plus+.
The Juice Plus+ supplements are nothing more than juiced, raw vegetables and fruits, dried at very low temperatures to maintain their raw properties, and put into capsules or gummie supplements. (Learn more about Juice Plus+ Supplements.)
The Tower Garden is an amazing aero/hydroponic state-of-the art home gardening system in which anyone can grow beautiful, organic vegetables and fruits on their deck, in their living room, or even on their front porch. (Learn more about Tower Garden)
2. What other work had you been doing before you decided to take this path? When did you realize this company was your dream?
Before Wholesome Health I was mainly a stay-at-home mom, and before I had children I was in the insurance business. I realized after a few years in insurance that it was definitely not where my heart was. I made a good living, but I was as bored as can be. After I met my husband and we decided it was time to have children, I worked as a preschool teacher, but again, while I enjoyed the work and it was rewarding, it was not where my heart was.
Eventually my husband’s job moved us from Florida to Atlanta. At that point I had three little girls (a 4 month old, a 2 ½ year old and a 4 ½ year old) and I was getting through one day at a time. I realized then that my heart was in the health world and I was kicking myself for not having taken that direction in my career earlier–thinking it was just too late, since I was already my late 30s.
Then I came across the Tower Garden (TG). I was trying to find a way to grow my own vegetables and fruits to support my juicing and smoothie making. As soon as I laid eyes on the TG, I was sold. I knew this was my answer, my future, my path to my passion. Just talking about it right now is getting me all fired up! I’ve always had an entrepreneurial heart and starting my own business didn’t really scare me. I just had to have the right product and service that I felt passionate about. I’m not nearly a good enough sales person to sell something that isn’t backed by 20+ years of clinical research proving that it works–or something that I’m not 150 percent passionate about! 🙂
3. Have you always been so health-conscious? If not, when did you “turn the corner”–and was it difficult to begin making more healthful changes in your life?
I have been pretty health conscious for a large part of my life. My parents had me later in life–my mom was 41 when I was born and my dad was 48–so as a young teen I saw them beginning to have a lot of health problems. I knew and understood even then that many of their health problems were lifestyle-related. They smoked cigarettes (gasp!) a lot. They drank alcohol and partied a lot. They worked very hard and burned the candle at both ends. They didn’t exercise or watch what they ate. I started becoming healthier by exercising a lot, trying to make better food choices, etc. There wasn’t a real “turn the corner” moment. I was always doing what was being reported in the media as “healthy” for that time. Now I know that much of it was wrong, and the answer always was to get back to nature. You don’t have to walk around in clothing made out of organic hemp cloth to be back to nature, although that’s good too! 🙂
Every step to remove a synthetic item from your life improves your health. Your food choices, cleaning products, clothes, make-up and grooming products–all of these contain potentially carcinogenic substances. While each product alone probably isn’t carcinogenic enough to “cause cancer,” it’s all of these together causing sicknesses, auto-immune diseases, cancers, etc. The only real answer is to remove them, one by one, out of our lives and to live more simply. I am still in the loooong process of purging a lot of things in my life, on a lot of levels. I take it one level at a time.
4. People may not realize that you started your company and run it all while raising three small kiddos! How did you find the time / energy to get started, and for those who feel like they have dreams but no time to devote to them, how do you keep on top of everything? Any strategies you can share?
Well, that is definitely the (very) hard part! And that is the reason that my company is not nearly as big as it can be–I work on it part-time. The great thing is that the only quotas I have are the ones I put on myself, which takes a lot of pressure off. I already put enough pressure on myself. The last thing I need is an external “force” putting more on me! My girls, who are now 2 ½, 5 & 6 ½ must come first, and I have to occasionally remind myself of that. I tend to be a type-A overachiever (except with housework and cleaning – LOL) and have to remind myself to channel that to them sometimes.
The time to work on my company comes from where I can grab it. There are many days that I have to get up a 5am to get some things done or they won’t get done! In my opinion, do something you’re passionate about and you will find the time and energy. Of course there are things that have to give – some days we order out, some days we have (organic) pb&j’s, and some days we don’t get out of our jammies. I work when I can and have to “put it down” when I can’t. I do thrive on structure and routine and it’s been very hard for me to do it this way, but it’s the only way it works. Besides, there will always be work, but there won’t always be three sweet, precious little ankle biting girls.
5. What’s your “big vision” for your company? To expand to a huge international company? To change the way people think about health and food?
My “big vision” for my company is still evolving. I have so many ideas that I want to bring to life, newsletters I want to write, outreaches I want to do, vegetable cooking groups I want to start. I want to get more raw fruits and veggies into everyone I come into contact with through both Juice Plus+ whole food supplements and the Tower Garden as well as through education and articles I post on my business page. I truly get excited when I come across information that I feel is really important and presented in an interesting and engaging way–whether I created it or someone else did. I also want to guide people back to nature and help them remove all the processed, unnatural, synthetic things from their lives. I want to be a source of information and inspiration to anyone that is looking for that.
Specifically for the business, I want to keep it large enough that I can be financially secure, but small enough that I can be mom for the next 20 years, because in the end, that’s where my heart will be.
Please be sure to check back during my May “Month of Mothers” month-long tribute, featuring interviews and guest posts with tips and tricks from mothers all over the world. GIA PETERSON will be back with a super-healthy, super-yummy recipe. So please come join us again.
Have a great weekend, everyone!