This week's My Way feature comes to us from Los Angeles, California. Disa Jean-Pierre is an entrepreneur, community organizer and proud mother. She loves raising a conscious son, making green smoothies, taking the bus or her bike whenever possible, living the Tao, making time for yoga & pilates, the work of Eckhart Tolle and having the best day ever.... to name a few things.
I met Disa online a few years ago an immediately fell in love with her kind spirit and her dedication to bringing people together. Even though we have yet to meet in person, I feel like I've already learned so much from this compassionate soul, and I appreciate her friendship and willingness to join us for this feature.
I also appreciate Disa's "hustle". Recently she took her passion for health living further by going full time with her raw treats business. Disa creates some of the most amazingly delicious treats out there including Banana Cream Pie and her famous Mama's Loveroons. You can check out her Etsy page for more details.
And now, without further ado, the lovely Disa Jean-Pierre.
My Way: Disa Jean-Pierre
I approached Dhrumil to submit my own My Way as I approached a huge transition in my life. I had just submitted my resignation to the office job that I had held onto for a little too long. That’s right Dhrumil didn’t approach me, I approached him. Finally, this once shy little girl is ready to speak up for herself. In sharing my story I am paying tribute to this community. This sexy group of people, who are all courageously moving forward to make changes in the way we all eat, think and live. In particular, Dhru and Philip have directly and indirectly stepped in as gurus and angels to guide me in my journey.
Looking back I realize that the following is just a peek into the massive journey that I experienced this past week. By making a choice to start a 30 day juice feast as soon as I quit my job, I not only facing a huge career transition but also get to face a detox of body and mind. I have had some of the most profoundly joyous and heart opening experiences in the past week. I worked through tears and laughter, energy and fatigue, silence and noise. I can only imagine what more is to follow, but I am extremely grateful for the change to share the start of it with everyone.
I awoke on my official first day of freedom. You might think it would be time to sleep in, relax and take things slow. But this day turned out to be quite the opposite. It’s time to get to the real work that I have been putting off. So I drag myself out of bed, immediately head downstairs to fix my morning water with MSM and brew my mate. I fell into this habit of brewing mate first thing in the morning, but don’t enjoy it till I’m out the door. It’s like my little prize for getting up and out.
With Mason jar of water and coffee mug of mate in hand I headed to downtown Los Angeles to pick up organic produce for my bulk buying club. As I pull away from the wholesale mart I talk myself out of a trip to the irresistible raw food heaven, Erewhon. I remember that it was too early for them to be open, and I need to get home and sort the produce for my group. The group is small, but so grateful. They ended up getting about $48 worth of fresh organic produce for $25, and I sold out! I had planned on having a share to myself for juicing but thankfully I had it on hand and ready to give to a member that had mixed up her RSVP. I felt fulfilled, but now had to figure out how soon I could find a farmer’s market.
The day continues with me running around all of Orange County, delivering more produce, picking up payment for my macaroons aka “ Mama’s Loveroons ”, buying supplements for my juice feast and playing in the park with my son and some amazing friends. It really was a busy day, so I took a nap with my son, and then awoke to find him passed out for the rest of the night. Thanks to my live in babysitter, my mom, I was able to sneak out to the famous Au Lac, which is like my raw version of “Cheers”. I was so happy to celebrate with my family (these people are really closer than family for me) and sharing chlorella tablets with my favorite raw toddler. The night ended it usually does lots of laughing, talking and planning with friends while sipping on the best custom elixir till 2 am and Ito trying to get us all to go to the midnight movies. ?
It’s Independence Day. I am feeling independent, and now the wave of emotions hits me. Now that I have slowed down and don’t have anything to distract me all the fears and worries of being job-less are catching up with me. The only thing I have on my agenda is following through with the full juice feasting protocol.
So I start the day with MSM and water, enema, skin brushing, hot-cold shower, the works! I was hesitant about the hot-cold shower, but I came out feeling amazing! I pampered myself by making a huge smoothie of local citrus from coworker’s gardens and aloe vera from my backyard. As the day progressed detox set in hard core. I needed some rest and had some anxiety built up. Not to mention my son seemed to still be going through his transitional period. Any parent who had split custody knows how this is. I am reminded of my whole motivation for going raw two years ago. I wanted to make sure I could keep up with my sons unending energy and enjoy life with him. I update my Facebook status with: “Detoxing while son is still house transitioning, I am getting a lesson is this skilled art today”.
I managed to keep my head on and not fall asleep too early so my son could enjoy fireworks like all the other little kiddos. We made it to a friend’s house shortly before dark and I was relieved to see him quickly entertain himself with some new friends while I got to catch up with some beloved friends. I was proud and surprised as I helped out in the kitchen, peeling cabbage shells for raw tacos without any struggle to resist taking a bite of guacamole. After a bumpy day we ended up having a sweet night. I spent some sweet catch up time with a partner I was blessed to spend four months in an amazing relationship with but has been on the road working the raw festivals and will be gone all summer. I carried my son to the car after he fell asleep outside under the stars.
I had just signed up for a single parents Meetup group and we were supposed to have our first play date this morning. But I had to flake out on my RSVP and go with the flow for the day. I got an invite from my friend and another raw mama to enjoy some fun at the Long Beach Park Jam. Ah yes, sounds perfect to me. So I took care of my essentials, stocking up on the most amazing Fuji apples, raw apple juice, lemongrass, chard and a few other juicing staples at a local farmer’s markets.
I filled our cooler with two big jugs of green juice for me and some raw trail mix and farmer’s market fruit for Kaj. I find this cooler to be my new essential, right along with my purse. We picked up out friend Robin, who owns LoveSnax Inc., a new raw chocolate company, and we discussed how we both blew off getting some business work done because was such an amazingly beautiful day to enjoy some DJ’s spinning hip hop and reggae in the park. We all sat, talked, ate and drank (green juice). The kids played, the girls danced. It was an amazing time. Several times during my time there keep thinking how that was just the vibe that I have wanted to be part of for so long. It’s an eclectic mix of ethnicities, music, culture, ages and fashions all coming together with the intention of creating a one love community. I found a place outside of the raw food restaurants and Meetups, where I feel completely at ease. It was an answer in disguise. By signing up for the single parent’s Meetup I was asking for something just like this. I just wanted an opportunity to show myself that I can be a raw foodie that really can hang in any type of social environment. After the jam we got home relaxed, ready for bed and I was really enjoying not having the Sunday night anxiety of falling asleep and waking up to a “case of the Monday’s”.
What an amazing Monday. Today marked the day that I started assisting my close friend and old coworker through a raw detox. I started her with an amazing green juice and a jug of alkaline water with MSM.
My son was picked up by his papa and I quickly ran down to my local organic, raw, vegan lover’s market, Mother’s. I have been known to frequent this store twice in one day. I sipped on a delicious green juice from their juice bar while shopping for my supplies. Then quickly ran home to whip up some chard wraps with sunflower seed pate, guacamole, sweet corn and mango relish and chipotle cashew crème all before her lunch hour. Being that I am juicing I try the taste and spit method to make sure it’s all delish. I know, not attractive. I was pumped to see that my culinary creativity was flowing even more as a result of juice feasting.
After all was delivered and the kitchen was clean I felt like a nap was in order. I quickly recharged after thirty minutes and awoke to a ringing phone. A blocked caller, who I figure was my father. He had been calling for the past few weeks but I was never in the right place to take the call. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Just step aside and pick up the phone for a minute. Well, I have been waiting for this conversation for almost 21 years! The house was quiet, I had nothing I needed to get to and I was refreshed and in a good place to handle this. So I stepped into my tiny backyard and made the call. About 30 minutes later, I came back inside with one more thing to check off my wish list. It was a beautiful and actually quite simple conversation. I always thought it would be very emotional for me. Instead I was ready for it; it came at the perfect time in my life where I could process things on a whole different level. With that I had confirmed again that I made the right decision in quitting my job. Once I let go of something that was not inline with what I wanted for my life, all the pieces of the puzzle started falling right back into place. The rest of the day I continued to support myself by simply enjoying the quiet simplicity of the having some free time. My old coworker sent me a text exclaiming how she now realized why I do what I do. Wow, that is a profound statement from someone who I have wanted to help for the past two years.
I decided to finally get my Etsy page up and going while my official website is still in the works. This Monday felt like no other. I had just made progress in several areas of my life with such ease and grace. The day ended up being simple, sweet and refreshing, just like the watermelon mint cooler that I enjoyed during the heat of the day. It was a perfect start to my first week of doing it all My Way.
Disa Jean-Pierre is an entrepreneur, community organizer and proud mother based in Los Angeles, California.