We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmen Karlsgodt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carmen, if you are a parent, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on your children?
The best thing I have ever done and will ever do for my children has been becoming a happy and healthy mom that lives purposefully and free. When I realized that our kids will follow our example, not our advice, it led me to focus on my personal overall health. The unexpected outcome is that by changing my narrow definition of health, that only focuses on the physical aspect, I have broken a cycle by teaching my children a holistic healthy lifestyle that includes the other 6 dimensions of wellness (social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, environmental and occupational.) The unexpected outcome is that I have not only taught my kids a healthy lifestyle, but it has also inspired others around me to redefine what healthy means for them and their families. And I love being that bridge.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I want the world to know that a happy and healthy life with delicious food is possible. Since I learned to redefine health, and the true meaning of success, I aim to be the bridge to healthier living by teaching people little tips and tricks that will impact their health and life over the years. I am incredibly proud of all the classic recipes I have been able to recreate, but with plants only! What makes me unique is that while I have always been in the education field, 7 years ago I was probably the last person you’d come to for health advice. When I learned about the food industry, the food system and the lack of nutritional value that most “foods” have, it was a no brainer for me to start sharing it with others. So, I decided to become a chef because I felt that I would be able to reach more people by talking about food. Food always comes up in conversation no matter where you go. Switching careers after 15 years as an elementary school teacher was not easy. I had a good life, but because I followed my heart, I now have a great and more purposeful life. I have been very blessed in my healthy living chef career, working with Black Women for Wellness through the Kitchen Divas program, and with the Physician Wellness Network and Healthyworkforce at Kaiser Permanente. And I am also very successful in my network marketing career with Arbonne, a vegan BCorp with a strong mission of holistic health for people and for the planet. Being an entrepreneur can be very difficult if you don’t have the right mindset and support, and those I get from my Arbonne family. So if you take anything away from my journey, please know that you were meant to be happy. Truly happy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If anyone is visiting me they would have to be prepared to be out and about because I live in a city with tons of tourist attractions, but that is not what we would do. Instead, our week would be filled with fun activities like salsa dancing, concerts, and for sure, a comedy club. Since we’re so close to the beach we’d go for a bike ride or a surf lesson. I would also schedule some healing time, so a massage for sure, a bonfire or yoga class, or even a sound bath. Mid-week, to change the energy, we’d go on a day trip to either Santa Barbara or Temecula. And because we have to eat, we’d definitely hit all the Peruvian and vegan restaurants around here. (Here’s a tip when going out, never order something you can cook at home.) But that’s if we go with no kids. With kids, there’s a whole different itinerary.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
What got me here, today, is not just one person, one book, or one decision. Life is a reflection of a series of decisions and it really does take a village. I would not be here without the constant pouring of love from my sister and my husband. I feel so blessed to have their full support in my ventures. But the people that have the biggest influence in my choices are my children. They are a direct reflection of the person I am and I give them full credit for the person that I have become. They are the reason why I have worked so hard to break cycles, and the reason why I share what I know with others, in hopes of helping those who don’t know where to start. They are the reason why I continue to learn and grow everyday. To them everything is possible, and thanks to them, I now believe that too.
Photo Cred. Suite Life Magazine