FROM A PLANT WHISPERER TO A TAOIST HEALER, HERE ARE FIVE WELLNESS ADVOCATES WHO NEED TO BE ON YOUR RADAR.
KILU HORECKI SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE STANDARD SPA PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK GARCIA
Call him Mr. Green. The new clinical herbalist at The Standard Spa in Miami Beach, Kilu Horecki just happens to hold the RH (AHG) title from the American Herbalists Guild, the leading organization specializing in the medicinal use of plants. As such, he is one of only 12 such professionals in the state and 2,400 worldwide. He also stays busy developing products for his botanical blends line (thekilu.com), which offers immune-boosting products for men, women and children, as well as overseeing the latest arm of his practice, Kilu Fertility (kilufertility.com), which incorporates herbalism as a way to help couples, especially those who have tried artificial conception methods and failed, get pregnant.
So, what does a clinical herbalist do exactly? I offer comprehensive individual herbal medicine and nutritional consultations that aim for clients to feel better regardless of the current condition of their well-being.
What’s a typical session with you like? I do an in-depth interview discussing everything from sleep to medical history. I do a Chinese medicine-style pulse evaluation to assess the organs. I do a tongue evaluation. I take a photograph of the irises, which gives me input as to the body’s integrity. I evaluate bloodwork if available. And I ask clients to provide a food journal.
What do you do with all this information? I analyze it and select 10 to 15 botanicals that will be included in the client’s personalized remedy, which I prepare. I also create a nutritional plan and then meet again with them to assess the progress.
Tell us about this new aspect to your practice, Kilu Fertility. We start with an in-depth analysis of the woman’s well-being through a questionnaire, functional bloodwork analysis and Oriental medicine. We then formulate a fully personalized herbal remedy using evidence-based, all-natural organic botanic extracts. After that we devise a nutritional plan, recommend supplements and monitor progress monthly.
Does it work? Well, we have successfully helped 85% of our clientele become parents.
What are still the biggest misconceptions about herbalism? The efficacy and relevance of herbalism to modern-day health challenges or compatibility with school medicine is often put in question. I just guide doubters to the scientific studies that have been made proving herbalism works, of which there are many. If you’re doubtful, try it.
LORI BELL SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE STANDARD SPA PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK GARCIA
Miami’s foremost doyenne of alternative healing, Lori Bell (loriabell.com) is the woman to see when it comes to Chinese medicine and astrology, a mixed bag that has served her practice well for many years. Of course, as those who know Bell can attest, her approach is far from the expected. After studying Taoism for years, she went on to work with her former teacher and mentor at the height of the AIDS epidemic, a time that taught her patience, understanding and, above all, compassion, a bedside manner she still maintains today.
What’s your mantra when it comes to your practice?Om mani padme hum is a well-loved Buddhist mantra that I learned while I was in Tibet. It’s commonly translated as “The jewel is in the lotus.” The jewel is altruism or compassion and the lotus is wisdom, and these two together represent the true nature of our minds. Through mediation and insight, we can unveil this within ourselves and increase the happiness of ourselves and others.
Your focus is on Chinese medicine and astrology, but it’s not an all-in-one approach, is it? No, not at all. Most people come for different treatments. It’s up to the client as to what they want.
When people hear ‘astrology,’ some pause. But your approach is quite different, isn’t it? It’s not the astrology cliche people are used to. I’ve been studying astrology since I was 14, and I am a certified master astrologer from the Forrest Astrology school. I practice evolutionary astrology, which is a style of astrology that understands each person’s birth as a map of the soul’s evolution. The core belief is that there’s a broader, transpersonal meaning to our lives. I believe astrology can help us live in harmony with that higher purpose.
What does the Chinese medicine aspect of your practice entail? It’s so popular now, but in the past people assumed I was doing something akin to voodoo. Chinese medicine encompasses acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, gua sha and dietary therapy. It’s not just needles!
What is a typical session with you like? I start diagnosing a person from the moment they walk through the door, from their gait to the tone of their voice. I ask a ton of questions, feel the pulse, look at the tongue. From there I make a diagnosis, offer lifestyle changes and provide acupuncture treatment. If applicable, I also perform cupping or heat therapy and provide herbal formulas to take home.
What are clients coming to you more and more for these days? Infertility, pain, facial rejuvenation and general wellness. I also do bio-puncture, which is injectable, homeopathic remedies for pain, and B12 injections, which are great for immunity, energy, weight loss and brain function.
Even with all the information out there, some curious people are still apprehensive about pursuing acupuncture. What would you say to convince them? I would talk to them and explain it, reassure them that it does not hurt and that the needles are disposable. I’ve been at this for 25 years. I know how to put people at ease.
TANNER CHIDESTER PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK GARCIA
Fitness not only changed Tanner Chidester (tannerchidester.com) for the better; it would also lead to riches later in life. The 28-year-old millionaire is a successful entrepreneur with two thriving businesses (Fit Warrior and Elite CEOs) and, as of month’s end, a new book and app under his belt. His efforts have not gone unnoticed, with media outlets like CNBC, Forbes and Business Insider regularly calling on him to share his expertise. Regardless of all his accomplishments, the former college football player and fitness model remains as committed to wellness as ever before, believing it is the key to personal and professional success.
How did you first become interested in fitness? I grew up in what you might call a sheltered household with two older sisters, so when I was a young boy and in middle school I was always the kid they made fun of. It affected my confidence greatly, and I remember going home crying every day. When I turned 12, I figured my best plan of action was to bulk up, so I started going to the gym every day before school to work out. After three months of lifting weights, my body changed rapidly and confidence increased. That triggered a spiral of positive effects. My grades got better. I became captain of the football team. Girls who would ignore me before started talking to me. And I went on to college to study petroleum engineering and play Division 1 football. That all led to creating Fit Warrior, which is my pride and joy.
What is Fit Warrior all about? People kept asking me how to get in shape, so I decided to create a coaching program to share my knowledge and the tools they needed to work out and eat well.
What about your other business, Elite CEOs? I was doing well in the fitness space, and fitness trainers started reaching out to ask for tips. Demand was high, so I started coaching trainers as to how to get clients. It was an easy transition for me.
Would you say being fit and being successful go hand in hand? I find that when you take care of your body, you are more confident and people tend to see you in a different light.
What’s still the biggest misconception about exercise out there? A lot of people still say that the gym will fix any fitness issue, when it’s really a holistic mix of nutrition and fitness.
Looks like everything in your life revolves around fitness. Yes. As I grew my fitness journey, I grew successful in life. Fitness helped me take action and realize you can’t hold a passive position in life. It showed me that with hard work, I could literally do anything I set out to do.
FLEMMING MADSEN PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK GARCIA
The co-founder of Delicious Raw (delraw.com), Flemming Madsen has been helping people make better eating decisions since 2013. That’s when he opened the first location of Delicious Raw, a group of restaurants with a 100% plant-based menu that currently boasts seven locations in South Florida, with an eighth coming to Wynwood this year.
How did the idea of Delicious Raw come about? Growing up in Scandinavia, a lot of what I ate was fresh, clean and unprocessed. The idea and goal of Delicious Raw was to take fresh raw produce and make it into food and drinks that would taste so great that they would be appreciated by the broader population, not just health-oriented people. I wanted to prove that you don’t have to sacrifice enjoyment when eating healthier.
You obviously succeeded. Yes. Immediately there was strong interest from all age groups and demographics.
Why do you think that is? I think that people who look into getting healthier in their lifestyle realize that a substantial part of their diet needs to be plant-based.
So we really are what we eat? I wholly believe that. When we have menu development sessions I eat a lot of food, but I can still walk away from those meetings not feeling overloaded or deprived of energy. That’s how plant-based food works with your body. It’s just a great fit.
Are you a vegan or vegetarian? I am not 100% vegan or vegetarian. I incorporate as much plant-based food into my diet as I can, but I am not 24/7 strict about it. I believe you can have a steak tonight and balance it out with a vegan pad thai tomorrow.
What’s your own favorite Delicious Raw dish? The Buddha Bowl, because there is so much variety with lentil pasta, kale, spiced chickpeas, portobello mushrooms, avocado and beets. Plus, it looks really beautiful.
Is there a superfood you swear by? Avocado is everything!
Do you have a nutrition must? Grapefruit. I eat one every day.
What can we expect from the new Wynwood location? It will be our largest store and more versatile. We’ve learned from our foot traffic in Miami and Aventura that the population is ready for more.
What do you see for the company as we head into 2021? We look forward to continuing the innovation of new foods, recipes and offerings, all the while expanding our brand to make sure we are available to as many people as possible.
WHITNEY GOODMAN PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK GARCIA
On a quest to make mental health accessible and easy to understand, licensed marriage and family therapist Whitney Goodman’s approach to her profession has yielded praise from publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, InStyle and Psychology Today, for which she writes a column. Goodman rejects the idea that a therapist should be a blank slate and believes that authenticity and emotional expression are keys to living a full life. She’s also the co-founder of The Collaborative (collabcounseling.com), a coworking space for wellness professionals in Miami.
Your belief in therapy comes from an experience you had as a child. Can you tell us about it? I started having panic attacks when I was 12, and they were terrifying. My mom took me to therapy, which was pretty taboo back then, and after just a few sessions I had the tools to control the panic attacks and understand what was happening to my body. It was life changing.
With all the uncertainty around us, would you say mental health is more important than ever before? Absolutely. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our mental health in so many ways. When we lose things like financial security or our usual coping skills of hanging out with friends and going to the gym, our mental health is definitely going to suffer.
How has your approach to counseling changed since the pandemic started? I have moved all my sessions online and changed my schedule some to meet my own personal needs during this time. It has been really interesting to be going through the same crisis as my clients at the same time.
What types of issues are patients visiting you for these days? People are absolutely struggling with isolation, loneliness, anxiety or health anxiety, and relationship issues. People were already dealing with so much before this happened; the pandemic kind of poured gasoline on the fire.
What is the goal of The Collaborative? We try to match clients with the best professionals for them, while also collaborating to make sure their needs are being met. Our members have a really modern and creative approach to counseling and wellness.
What’s your best advice for us to stay relatively sane as we head into an unknown 2021? Focus on getting rest, moving your body, sticking to good nutrition, staying away from consuming too much news, and spending time safely with people who support you. All in all, there’s really no ‘right’ way to do all this.
Photography by: Nick Garcia