Q&A with Wellness Coach Alexandra Ellis: AEWellness
Meet Alexandra (@hollaformala). She’s a healthy lifestyle guru and wellness coach with a successful personal brand called AEWellness. In addition to her awesome day-to-day Instagram content, she also hosts her own Podcast (@bodynerdshow). And as if that wasn’t enough – she is even planning her 2nd annual “wellness retreat” in 2020.
After trying Nuvamed and finding that it improved her sleep, she decided dedicate an entire podcast episode to the topic of CBD. The show airs Thursday December 19th (2019), so be sure to tune in wherever you listen to podcasts.
**UPDATE: The show has aired and you can listen to the full episode here!
Alex was kind enough to answer some questions for us – including how she got started, her top tips for wellness, and her biggest struggles. As a bonus, she even graciously shared some business insight about what it takes to build a personal brand like AEWellness.
Whether you’re looking for guidance to live a better life, or you’re interested in working in the industry, her tips are a must-read!
Nuvamed: Alex, tell us how/why/when you first got into health and wellness?
Alex: I’ve always been an active person and have been involved in sports and athletics for as long as I can remember. But I wasn’t always tied into the health side of things. I started working in a yoga studio when I was 15, but took one class and decided it was too hard.
But after I developed sciatica from a back injury in college, I realized that movement and wellness didn’t just “happen”. I washed my face daily and brushed my teeth twice a day, but not making time to take care of my physical body was no longer an option.
Book smarts aren’t all that helpful when it comes to your body – and even though I was studying Exercise Biology, all the anatomy in the world didn’t teach me how to maintain my body on a daily basis or how to move without getting hurt.
That initial back injury was a big wake up call, but it started me on the path that I’m still on, so it was a valuable lesson!
N: What made you decide to start AEWellness and pursue it as a career? What came first? (social media, blog, podcast, etc.)
A: I started teaching yoga as soon as I graduated from UC Davis with my Exercise Biology degree. It was mentioned during our teacher training that you probably wanted a website to help people find you – so I did! I made my first YouTube video in 2012, and haven’t looked back. I was lucky enough to cross paths with multiple entrepreneurs in the fitness industry who helped me realize what was possible. I’ve been creating weekly content of some form (video, podcast, blog, newsletter) every week since 2012.
I think every entrepreneur will probably relate to the idea that I started my own business because I was frustrated by working for other people. I am constantly creating new ideas and offers and I always felt stifled when it was for someone else.
Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of having my own “show” but I didn’t really know how that would happen. Now, with my podcast and live videos, I have an entire network and I get to decide everything that I create. It’s basically my dream come true 😍.
N: What do you find as the hardest thing to change/stay on track? Diet? Fitness regimen? What is your biggest weakness?
A: For me, the hardest thing to stay on track with is food. I try to stay away from gluten, dairy, and sugar as much as possible because of my sensitivities, but I love to eat. I approach food like I approach my workouts – everything in moderation. At the end of the day, you need to enjoy the time you have on this earth, and if that means you go for the double sundae in the waffle bowl, so be it!
N: What would be your top 5 tips to somebody just beginning their wellness journey? What is the most important thing a person can change or start doing to improve the quality of their life?
A: There are two things you can do right now to improve how you feel on a daily basis. The first is to move more – it might look like a walk around your apartment, a walk around the block, or a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood. Wherever you can start, just get moving.
Our body was designed to move on a cellular level and most of what we do daily is super repetitive. Working out is fine, but it still doesn’t offset the 23 hours a day you’re probably spending mostly sitting.
Choose to walk whenever you can, if you can!
The second thing is to get really serious about your sleep. Sleep is so critical for your health and can impact your immune system, concentration, emotional health, and pain. And even if you think you only need 4 hours of sleep a night, you’re still a mammal (which means you really need 6.5+ or more).
Try to keep a sleep schedule so you go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day. It’s super boring, I know! But it’s the best way to get consistently good sleep.
That’s also one of the reasons I love using the CBD oil – it helps me fall more deeply asleep and wake up more well-rested. Even your ability to make good decisions is affected by the amount of sleep you get, so it’s one place NOT to skimp and the one place to focus for the most bang for your buck.
N: You also specialize in injury prevention and rehabilitation… what is the top reason these clients come to you?
A: My clients come to me after trying all the traditional routes (stretching, massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc) and still having pain. I’m a strong believer that healing is an inside job – and until you learn what your body needs to perform at its highest, you’ll be constantly chasing pain.
I teach people how to build sustainable strength without getting hurt so they can run faster, hit PR’s and feel amazing every day. These are skills that transfer not only into whatever new activity you take up but will help you continue to move well for your entire life.
N: You’ve hosted wellness retreats in the past, and have another planned for 2020… tell us more about what an attendee can expect on this retreat. What has been the feedback from past retreats?
A: I love having fun and never take myself too seriously – which is the experience I aim to craft for all my retreaters. You can expect to move daily, learn new wellness routines, laugh until your abs hurt, and connect with other adventure-loving women.
In our fast-paced world, it’s also nearly impossible to truly relax. I’ve always found that it takes me a few days to unwind my stress until I actually feel relaxed. Travel is an important piece of my wellness and self-care and I love helping others experience the same!
We’re headed to Montana this year to take advantage of the beautiful landscape, wildlife viewing, and s’mores. And I also heard that the stargazing is out of this world! You can learn more about what it’s like to go on retreat with me here 🙂 : www.aewellness.com/montana.
N: How did you first hear about CBD? What did you think? Now that you’ve tried it yourself, what do you think about it? Do you think it has a place in overall health and wellness practices?
A: I first became aware of CBD buying dog food for my puggle, Ella. They had it at the checkout counter so I figured we could give it a try. I adopted Ella when she was 2-years old and she’s always been sensitive to sounds and fast movements. I started putting a few drops of CBD in her food and she totally mellowed out in the best way. Instead of being jumpy and on edge, she was her regular goofy self.
Since it worked so well for her, I was ready to give it a try! After hearing some podcast interviews about the benefits of CBD, I was open to trying it and Nuvamed was the first time I’ve used a tincture.
I love how much deeper I sleep when using the CBD oil orally before bed and it 100% has a place in my nightly routine now. I don’t tend to use the same things over and over again, as I don’t want to get too reliant on any one thing, but I cycle through CBD, melatonin, and the classic – a warm bath.
I think for people who deal with chronic pain, have trouble sleeping or want to reduce stress and inflammation, CBD is a wonderful addition to your wellness toolbox!
N: Do you have any health/wellness goals that YOU are currently striving to achieve?
A: I’m working on pull-ups! I’m about halfway there, and my goal is to be able to do 10 strict pull-ups by the end of 2020.
Mark my words!
N: Ok… now some for the business-minded.
What is your favorite part of all the things you do? Podcasting? Social? One-on-one coaching? Why?
A: For marketing, podcasting is one of my favorite things to do. I get to explore topics I’m curious about and learn a ton.
As a listener, I love how you start to feel like you really know the podcaster and my goal is for my listeners to feel the same way about The Body Nerd Show. It also has been an area with the fastest growth and brings the most new leads into my world.
And, unlike YouTube or social posting, I get to wear whatever I want and don’t have to have any makeup on! LOL
After that is coaching clients. I love connecting dots and helping them see where they can make small shifts that will massively impact how they feel on a daily basis. And since it’s entirely virtual, when they wake up with less pain, the win is 100% their own.
N: Which of these has been most “successful” in terms of engagement?
A: The podcast for sure – I have more consistent engagement and downloads with the podcast than on any other platform. I just got a note from a new listener who discovered the show, listened to every episode, and was able to go an entire day without taking ibuprofen because of what she learned. THAT IS AMAZING! Messages like that seriously make my day.
N: What are your top goals for your brand?
A: My top goal is to have 100 members in Movement Mavens because that is where I know we can make the most impact. You’re not yourself when you’re in pain – but when you feel strong and capable, you’re unstoppable. I want to help more people discover that feeling of power for themselves and Movement Mavens is the best way for us to do that, together.
N: Any tips for people interested in creating content and building their own personal brand?
A: You have to really love what you do and be in it for the long haul. There is no quick fix, no overnight success, and as a business owner, the buck literally stops with you. But when you love it and really know why you’re doing it, it makes the late nights and shitty launches sting less. I know I am so dialed into my zone of genius with what I’m doing because I cannot imagine running out of ideas. So if you’re struggling to come up with content ideas, try a different topic or medium to reduce the friction of you creating content. I would never say it’s easy, but it has always 100% been worth it!