Defining Wellness Recap
Co-hosted with Athleta


Defining Wellness
January 29, 2019

The dictionary definition of wellness is described as  - ‘the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.’ To kick off 2019, we focused our January Supper Series on all things wellness, looking specifically at the different meanings of wellness and finding a practice that fits your lifestyle because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.

We partnered with Athleta to put on an unforgettable night of dynamic conversation with some of today’s most influential voices in the wellness industry. Athleta’s mission of igniting a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls who empower each other to reach their limitless potential is so aligned with our own mission. We both know the power of community.

Athleta truly believes in the #powerofshe, and we take pride that our partner actually lives their mission. Like MoxxieMade, they believe that something powerful happens when women come together.

Like so, on January 29th, 2019, we brought together Melisse Gelula of Well + Good, Lily Kunin of Clean Market and Clean Food Dirty City, Ellie Burrows of MNDFL, Sophia Roe - a wellness influencer and chef, and Adrienne Hardy of Athleta to discuss and define wellness.

Each woman dove into their wellness practice explaining what works and doesn’t work for them. Melisse believes that her wellness practice is an evolution. Wellness is a journey not a destination and she, herself, hasn’t figured it out fully. She believes that your practice should be fluid and evolve as you continue to grow and change. For now, her wellness practice is centered around anything aerobics and therapy. In fact, prior to founding Well + Good, Melisse wanted to be a therapist because she believes mental health is so vital to sustain a healthy life.

Ellie’s wellness practice consists of lots of sleep and a healthy diet. Linking both to the foundation of a healthy life - “You wouldn’t put nail polish in a Ferrari and expect it to win a race.” She, obviously, prioritizes meditation daily as well. She says, “That never gets deprioritized off the list. It helps me be kinder to others.” She also reminds us to leave room for pleasure and things that bring us joy. Dancing is her joy oasis and she encouraged us to find our little joy oases amongst the chaos.

Lily helped us to recognize our daily stresses and find ways to release it in a healthy way. She uses vedic meditation to relieve stress and to help keep her centered. She has made a daily commitment to practice vedic meditation every day. She’s very open about it as she has a calendar invite/hold on her work schedule to 1.) remind her to take some time for herself and 2.) to let her staff know that she will be unavailable for a short time as she meditates. Her staff is welcome to join her as well. Lily encouraged us to set time aside for things we find important.

Adrienne, like Lily, believes it’s important to make time and find time for your practice. She encouraged us to listen to our bodies and minds, being in touch with ourselves, to understand what your body needs at that very moment. She consistently tries to surround herself with positive energy. Finding your ‘tribe’ is so key - building that community element where you can - because those are the people and relationships that will bring you joy. “Find people that offer that to you and in return offer that to them.” Adrienne continues, “At Athleta, that’s something we believe in and do everyday. It’s part of our journey and learnings. Wellness is amazingly personable but it’s even more amazing when you share.”

As Melisse said, wellness is journey; an evolution of you. Everyone uses different outlets for their practice and just because mediation works for some people it doesn’t mean it has to work for you. Ellie believes, though, that no one can be bad at meditation because it’s your practice, you’re in control. Here’s the advice she gave us to help build a practice - she calls it “The 3 Cs - commitment, consistency, and choice.”

Commitment - It’s going to take time and energy. If you’re serious about building a meditation practice then be ready for a commitment; a long-term relationship with yourself.

Consistency - Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your meditation practice. Be consistent with your practice. Set aside 8 to 10 mins; that’s all you need to start creating your practice.

Choice - It’s a choice to become aware and you have to exercise that choice everyday. Meditation should teach you to be kinder and softer to yourself so remember that when you’re feeling ‘bad’ at mediating.

Everyone’s approach to wellness was uniquely theirs but Lily’s path particularly caught our attention. It was over 10 years ago when her journey for wellness begin. She got really sick with consistent migraines and eventually got diagnosed with vertigo and celiac disease. It was a hard uphill battle for her because it took a long time to find the causes of what was hurting her body. It wasn’t until she started recognising what she was putting in her body and making conscious decisions with her health. Through it all, she learned to trust her intuition which eventually led to her starting Clean Market - the ultimate wellness destination to transform the way you feel.

Sometimes it’s hard to navigate the wellness landscape and distinguish between what’s just a fad and what can truly help you. All of our speakers could relate to that, even Melisse - someone who’s dedicated themselves to navigating the wellness space. Well + Good does their due diligence and conducts heavy fact checking on all products, practices, and routines before they publish articles. It’s something that the publication prides itself on, but Melisse reminds us to not take our practice too seriously. Your practice should make you feel good and if you’re not enjoying it then somethings wrong. “Have fun with your wellness practice!”, she says. Our suggestion - test and try as much as you can!

We closed our conversation with our indulgences because...what’s life if you can’t enjoy a little indulgence from time to time?!

Lily states, “It’s all about feeling good. Healthy eating isn’t just chicken and broccoli. It’s living life to the fullest - that’s wellness, and that’s my indulgences. Do what makes you feel good.”

Adrienne follows up with her love for all things chocolate and prosecco! “I like to make chocolate chips cookies. I freeze them so they last longer. Prosecco is another and applesauce!” Restorative yoga is another way she indulges.

Ellie shared that not responding to emails is a big indulgence for her. “Sometimes for me, it is not responding to all my emails immediately.” Giving herself time to breath and understand that not everything is a ‘fire drill’. Oh, did we mention that she eats chocolate after every meal - even breakfast! - has a huge love for tequila, Lambrusco, and staying in bed for as long as she can.

All in all, our speakers encouraged us to identify and listen to our bodies, trust our intuition, and find a practice that works for us. We have to remember that our practice is an ongoing exploration, a journey that should be enjoyable and uniquely ours.  Have fun with your practice and remember to be kind to yourself.

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Inspiration Kit

Interested in this topic and going within to discover your inner wisdom? Feel free to download our Inspiration Kit for some thought starters and tips from our speakers!

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About our Wise Women Speakers

Melisse Gelula

SVP of Brand of Leaf Group’s Fitness & Wellness Division and Co-Founder of Well+Good, where she oversees the editorial, branded content, design, and video teams, so every part of the company is imbued with Well+Good’s mission. Melisse was named one of the 9 Most Creative Entrepreneurs of 2018 by Inc Magazine and has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, in the New York Times, and more. Prior to founding Well+Good, Melisse was the editor-in-chief of, beauty director at Luxury SpaFinder Magazine, and travel editor at Fodor’s. She has a MA from the University of Toronto and has completed six years of training as a psychoanalyst.

Visit her website

Ellie Burrows

Chief Executive Officer of MNDFL as well as a Vedic Meditation teacher, certified personal development coach and writer. After graduating from Northwestern University, Ellie served as an executive in the film business for a number of years, focusing on the business side of film: producing, selling, financing and finding new talent. When her meetings began to evolve into coaching sessions around effective communication and interpersonal relationships, she chose to pursue mindfulness in a more meaningful way. Ellie decided to travel the world as a spiritual tourist ultimately returning to New York where she received her Certificate in Coaching from NYU. Shortly thereafter, in 2014, she hatched the idea for MNDFL with her co-founder and friend Lodro Rinzler. Along the way, Ellie was exposed to Vedic Meditation. What started as a daily practice turned into a full blown love affair, and beginning in 2017 Ellie completed her 2000-hour teacher training program under master teacher Théo Burkhardt.

→ Visit her website

Adrienne Hardy

Athleta’s New York City Market Manager. A lifelong fitness enthusiast and passionate yogi, Adrienne Hardy joined Athleta in 2014, after spending time in retail leadership with Abercrombie and Fitch, Anthropolgie and Kate Spade Saturday. As the brand’s New York City Market Manager, Adrienne oversees all things Athleta in the region including Athleta’s retail locations within the city and fitness studio, located inside the Flatiron Flagship store. The middle child of five girls with a fitness loving mother, Adrienne grew up surrounded by strong women, - living Athleta’s “Power of She” mission long before joining the team. Last month Adrienne completed her 200 hour certification this past December and looks forward to beginning to teach this spring. Next up, Adrienne looks forward to mastering the perfect soufflé, continuing to travel and explore new parts of the world and working on her Spanish fluency. 

→ Visit her website

Lily Kunin

Wellness expert and creator of Clean Food Dirty City, a lifestyle website and digital channel with over 125k followers that follow the ethos that good food makes you feel good. Clean Market is her first brick and mortar, combining her passion for food with her background in health coaching and functional medicine. In spring 2017, she published her first cookbook with Abrams entitled Good Clean Food, which features a foreword from Bobbi Brown and is filled with 100 beautiful, clean, flavorful, and simple recipes. Her recipes and advice have been featured in outlets such as Vogue, Glamour, Business Insider, Food & Wine, Yahoo! Beauty and Refinery 29. Recognized as a leading voice in the wellness community, Lily currently serves on the wellness council for Well + Good.

→ Visit her website

Sophia Roe

Wellness Empowerment Architect. Sophia Roe is a wildly passionate chef, wellness expert, empowerment architect, and beauty bandit whose candid videos and posts on health and mindfulness light up social media. She approaches wellness from a tolerant and holistic attitude. Her methods incorporate healthy lump sums of great nutrition and culinary information, beauty tips, and words of personal growth. She’s constantly encouraging her audience to be aware of and kind to themselves, and the world around them.You can see her work featured in Vogue, Elle Magazine, MyDomaine, Milk Makeup, Nike, Well + Good, DKNY, etc.We also honored her for the community she has built with our Made of Moxxie Awards.


→ Visit her website