This week we're featuring Cassie Brown, a Clinical Nutritionist, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Sun Potion Journal Contributor and founder of Candid Health, a platform dedicated to supporting busy professionals clear the blocks that keep them from living their best life at their optimum levels of health! Cassie's monthly newsletter is full of helpful tips, recipes and wellness highlights ~ we highly recommend signing up to receive this wellness support!
Read our full interview below!
We are thrilled to share this interview with Cassie who inspires us to live our best life as our most authentic self! We are so excited to share this conversation with the community. We encourage you to reach out to Cassie via her website or Instagram if this interview speaks to you. We love connecting people who have dedicated their lives to helping others and are an amazing resource to expand your wellness toolbox!
Sun Potion: What inspired you to go from Public Relations into the field of wellness and Holistic Nutrition?
Cassie Brown: My personal health journey and I weren’t really feeling the environment of the different firms I was introduced to – they were really toxic, and I’m just not that kind of person that’s able to remain efficient around that energy.
I was suffering from a lot of stress and anxiety stemming from childhood and school which led to gut issues that resulted in chronic, adult acne. All my stress and anxiety was showing up on my face and blatantly telling me that I needed to stop and focus on my healing.
The therapeutic approach to my healing was so deep and enlightening that I wanted to help guide others to alleviate and resolve through holistic alternatives as well. I knew I shared many health concerns that people around me were going through and, like me, they were held back from being confident and presenting their best self, which translated into less than phenomenal work. This was mainly because of deprivation in terms of: lack of sleep, chronic stress, inability to clearly think, which leads to bad eating habits and so on.
I found my niche in helping busy professionals who are dealing with metabolic syndrome and digestive issues.
Can you tell us the inspiration behind the name “Candid Health”?
Throughout my personal journey and in educating myself more and more about functional medicine, I kept seeing the imbalance of ethnicities and the superficial façade in the wellness field. Many who are in influential positions express their lives to be so polished and express a character of "knowing everything." Some slapping a one-size-fits-all approach to thousands of vulnerable people was confusing to me.
But it was like, healing is an individual journey and not one person knows everything, right? The world of wellness is constantly emerging and evolving. I saw this behavior and how it made those going through their unique journey feel like shit. They were vulnerable and had this unnecessary pressure of feeling the need to have it all figured out and look a certain way in four to six weeks? Are you serious?
I’m like, woah! Hold on. So, that lead me to be more “candid” and real about what functional medicine and holistic wellness is really about. I walk with my clients. They’re heard. I make sure to let them know it’s not always pretty and I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear all the time; you have to do work in order to heal and it can get really uncomfortable!
Bottom line, it’s not about buying that $100 bottle of faux beautifying supplements, working out until your adrenals are shot and owning an expensive oven. Healing takes time, accountability and the essentials – no fluff.
How has the recent quarantine affected your routine and your business? Have you felt the need to do more self-care during these intense times?
Yes. With my son (3) being home now, I’ve had to shift my attention and priorities to make sure he’s being listened to and acknowledged. I’m definitely moving at a slower pace when it comes to work, even though there have been more later nights that I would like, lol.
My self-care has changed as well. I have smaller moments but it’s forced me to tap into the present to get the most out of them and appreciate them more.
Do you feel that the wellness industry is becoming more diversified? Do you feel affected by the recent (and ongoing) movements that are calling for more Black, Indigenous and People of Color to be represented in all industries and across all platforms?
It’s shifting but there’s a long way to go. This is the first time I feel we’re being heard; however, time will tell if we’re being listened to. This is a beautiful moment for us but, I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say, I’m still not satisfied. I’m grateful for companies and brands, especially those I’ve supported for years, speaking out and showing tangible support for us.
Again, we are in a moment where big changes are being made but this is a movement. So, as we like to say, “let’s see if they can keep this same energy.” I’d love my son to grow up and not have to question his blackness and if it’s an impediment when it comes to elevating himself in whatever industry he chooses.
As a holistic nutritionist, what is your feeling about herbs and adaptogens and incorporating them into a daily routine?
I love herbs and adaptogens! I always encourage clarity and intention before using them. They’re healing; however, they can be dangerous so it’s important to discuss the use with your healthcare practitioner. Lastly, keeping in mind that they assist your body with healing, they don’t heal it themselves. So, in order to reap all of the benefits, you have to fit them into your already healthy lifestyle.
Your website mentions you are a minimalist. How does living a minimalist lifestyle affect your mind and body, and do you see this as an important part of living a healthy life?
A minimalist lifestyle has different spectrums and I’m not an expert by any means. I know some who don’t live one but still have an organized home. It’s extremely important for our health though; a cluttered space really makes for a cluttered mind.
Personally, I need minimal and clean in order to be calm and focused or I’m a hot mess! You can look in each of our drawers and cabinets and there won’t be much there but what is there, serves a purpose.
I grew up having to make sure things were neat, clean and bed was made first thing every morning. I’m thankful for that. Having a child has provoked some leniency, lol, but I just don’t function well with a bunch of stuff everywhere, especially if it doesn’t make sense.
What does your current morning routine look like?
This is going to sound so cliché – up around 5:15, take a deep breath and tap into where my mind is and ask what am I feeling? My husband and I then share our state. Once I’ve completed that, I head to the kitchen and take down my warm water with lemon or lime, French press coffee then hit the ground running with my toddler. While my son is eating, my husband and I review what our day looks like to make sure we’re supporting each other in whatever that looks like for the day. I naturally intermittent fast, so don’t typically eat until around 10 or 11 depending on how I’m feeling and where I am in my cycle phase.
Favorite meal to cook at home and/or favorite foods and herbs to cook with?
I love my plant-based basil & dill pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes and sunflower seeds. The smell and taste of fresh dill and basil just soothe my soul! I love that you can enjoy it, both, hot or cool.
How did you first hear about Sun Potion?
Y’all took me back on this one. I honestly can’t remember but I’m pretty sure it was after I visited a cute, wellness shop years ago. I love those places!
Favorite Sun Potion herb and favorite potion/elixir to make with said herb?
Currently, I’m swapping in this protein yogurt (recipe below) for breakfast! The weather is hot, so I’m craving cooler, lighter foods. I typically do dark berries but cherries are in season right now. They’re nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic and so good for stress relief. Plus, who doesn’t love chocolate and sea salt! It’s like dessert for breakfast.
Cherry Cacao Yogurt/Mousse
1/3 cup plain, unsweetened, almond milk yogurt
½-1 serving of protein powder
1 tsp. raw cacao powder
1 tsp. Yin Power
3-5 dark cherries
Sprouted nuts and/or seeds to top
Sprinkle of sea salt (optional)
What are some of your go-to’s in moments of stress? Whether this be a playlist, practice or ritual… what helps you to relax and feel at ease?
I burn palo santo and diffuse some oils first thing in the morning and as my family is winding down after dinner. This is part of a ritual that keeps me aligned. When peak stress comes, I always breathe first, scale the importance of attention I’m giving to whatever is presenting itself and ask what I’m feeling. It still takes practice but it’s been the best form of meditation for me during those moments. Oh, and I love a steaming salt bath and relaxing music; Indian flutes, spa or classical.
To learn more about Cassie and get involved with the work she is doing, check out the resources below and don't forget to sign up for her newsletter!