“Oh my gawd! You have parasites!” This is what my mother would exclaim when my grandmother would bring me home with a McDonald’s Happy Meal. I knew it was time for the Chinese Tiao He cleanse. I was 4 years old swallowing 5 capsules of herbs. This reminds me also of the murky black water she had our house cats drinking. This was a concoction of black walnut extract and goldenseal to cure the cats of their worms! I’d venture hours from home with my mother to meet up with people suffering from cancer so she could coach them on health and supply them with bottles and tinctures of magical concoctions. We’d go to seminars at little hippy grocery co-ops and I’d eat raw red onion and sprout dishes from the salad bar.
Early training evolved into years of personal study. I picked up a “Why Vegan” (PETA) pamphlet when I was a sophomore in high school at my favorite grocer: Williamson Street Grocery Cooperative, which later became my informally formal education. Images of factory farming changed my life forever in one glance. I remember my heart beating out of my chest as I turned the pages. The very next day I brought pamphlets to my high school and gave them to friends and left them in high traffic-strategic locations. It had to have been less than a few weeks and I’d morphed into an animal rights activist. Everyone in my family got a lecture-and in my head, every meal was a mini-battle and victory for me. Some friends joined me and the others I most certainly offended-but mostly it was a lesson for me, in effective influence and communication regarding my values.
I’ve come a long way since then. My belief in humane farming practices has not changed. I practice a vegetarian diet and am passionate about educating others of the benefits. My employment of four years at Willy Street Co-op was a complete immersion. Department managers hold weekly trainings on everything health related. I learned about everything from the mysteries of food labeling to the formation of a grain protein. The abundance of knowledge I gained at Willy Street mainly fueled my zeal to uncover the truth about the food industry. Films like Food, Inc. and Super Size Me, and also books such as Yoga and Vegetarianism: The Diet of Enlightenment, and Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About excite me to no end! I feel passionate about our right to know exactly what we are putting into—and ON our bodies!
Diving head first into the practice of Yoga in 2007 inspired my study of Ayurveda, which is a body of wisdom that dates back 5000 years. Translation of the Sanskrit word, Ayurveda, is “the science of life.” This ancient knowledge is the primary guide for my own, personal healthy living practices! I currently co-teach Yoga to youth, with my husband at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula.
For my moment of truth: I must share that this site was initially created as stage for my modeling career. An international viral ad campaign, coined the “human motorcycle,” created by bodypainter Trina Merry, landed me a moment in the spotlight. My painted physique (along with six other models) graced billboards across the country, and every ticket sold for Progressive International Motorcycle Shows. Only a few months later, we performed on Season 8 of NBC’s reality show, America’s Got Talent. Timing seemed appropriate, but this short-lived experience revealed the truth. Aspiring to walk the red carpet most definitely isn’t aligned with my true passion. Just prior launching this site, I received a much needed wake-up call that came from my good friend, Mina Shah—an empowering speaker, trainer, and strategic coach.
The “paradigm-shift” that Mina really drove home for me is exactly what I will openly share here on LanaShay.com, with you-with the utmost honor! Thank you for reading and allowing me to offer the knowledge of what I have dedicated my life to. I am finally creating what friends and family have urged me to create for years! A platform for my knowledge about what I love most: adventures around the world, maintaining a rigorous physical practice and a healthy holistic lifestyle!
Please contact me with questions, comments and engage in conversation on any topic. I love to learn and am constantly evolving and expanding my knowledge!
If you’re ready to dive in and learn with me, then this is where you want to start!