Balanced Bites Podcast #414: Meet Teena, the period & body literacy app for teens

Holly Griggs-Spahl Teena App

Listen on Apple

Listen on Spotify

About the Teena App

Episode 414 topic: Holly Griggs-Spahl talks educating tweens and teens about their bodies, why 8 is a good age to start, where conventional approaches go wrong, and how to use the Teena app!

Find Liz on Instagram: @realfoodliz

Real Food Liz | Eat The Yolks | Baby Making and Beyond | Athletic Mom

Balanced Bites Podcast #414 with Holly Griggs-Spahl

Welcome to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! I’m your host, Liz, a nutritional therapy practitioner and best selling author bringing you candid, up-front, myth-busting and thought-provoking conversations about food, fitness, and life. Remember:  The information in this podcast should not be considered personal, individual, or medical advice.

I have spent YEARS researching whether a good multivitamin is truly necessary for overall health. But the truth is, there are a LOT of opinions out there, including from people like me, who love to ask lots of obnoxious, overly detailed questions. But the truth is, if I’m paying attention to how I FEEL, my answer was clear: I will be taking my multivitamin. And it will be from the brand Needed. Needed third-party tests EVERY batch for performance and quality, which is incredibly rare in the supplement industry and also incredibly important to me! To get started with Needed, head to Use code balanced for 20% off your one-time order or your first three months’ subscription. While you’re at it, add Stress Support to your cart. I’m loving that one, too.

In this episode, I’m here talking to Holly Griggs Spa, who is the creative lead for Teena, and we’re gonna talk mostly about Teena today, but she also has a really interesting backstory. She is the author of Sweetening the Pill, which some of you may know is the inspiration for the documentary, the Business of Birth Control, which I didn’t interview about with Abby Epstein on Liz Talks at some point last year.

She was amazing. So the book was released in 2013. It hit its 10 year anniversary later. It, well, I guess it hits it later this year, right? It hasn’t. It’s not quite 10 years old yet, but we’re pretty close,

right? Yeah, September this year. Perfect. So Holly recently launched Tina, which is a free education forward app supporting body literacy for tweens and teens.

So she’s the creative lead and consultant on Tina instrumental in creating the perspective, the mission, and the tone of the content and the app. Everything from magazine articles to the mood tracking stickers, and she felt like there was something big missing from the period. Tracking space for teens support in the way of accurate period tracking plus education that’s wellness centric and wellness supportive.

So I’m really excited to talk to you today, Holly. Thanks for coming on. Yeah, thank you very much.

Liz Wolfe: I’ts so funny to like actually see someone and talk to someone that you’ve been following for so long. It’s like, oh, I know you so strange.

Holly Owens: I know I followed you for years as well, even before I had, um, wealthy belly.

So I was always into skincare. I loved skincare, starting in middle school, and I’ve been modeling for 16 years and I’ve worked with tons of beauty experts, skincare experts, and when I was going through Lyme disease, one thing that always helped my skin with skin rashes and acne, um, because of treatment was honey and propolis.

So, I decided to formulate a skincare product, um, that included all sorts of the bee products because there was no clean product out there that I loved. So I decided to create one myself, and I created Yara honey oil with an amazing California chemist.

Liz Wolfe: Well, one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you so much today. Well, I’ve been following you for a while as we established and.

And I’ve been tracking your journey with Lyme disease, with the B venom therapy and then into the skincare product, which is so freaking brilliant. I’m obs, I’m obsessed with it, and I’ve been obsessed with skincare for a very long time and was doing like skincare oils way before there were any. Anything like that on the market, people were still needing to get myth busted around.

Yes, it’s okay to put oil on your face back when I was doing that. This is probably my favorite skincare oil. I have ever tried. Oh my God, that makes me so happy. Oh my God. No. Legitimately, it really is. And I’m almost 40, so I, my skin requires a lot more than it did ba like, before I could put, literally I was putting cooking oil on my face.

Back in the day I was using like sunflower oil, just whatever I could find in the cooking section, cuz there was nothing in the, the [00:02:00] crunchy skin care section. Mm-hmm. But this one just like knocks it out of the park and I was like, I have to just reach out and see if she’ll come on and talk about it. But I want you to talk about other stuff too.

I want you to talk about your journey with Lyme disease and talk to us about B venom therapy and just all of that. We can talk all about the bees and all

Holly Owens: about all of that. All right. Yeah. I mean, where, where do you wanna start? Cause there’s a lot.

Liz Wolfe: So I imagine it would be good to start with maybe how and when you contracted Lyme or when you were diagnosed with it, when you realize that’s what you were dealing with and maybe what you dabbled in before you found the thing that really took you

Holly Owens: to a better place. Yeah. So, I grew up in a very small town in Nevada called Boulder City.

It’s near Lake Mead, Hoover Dam. And we have no healthy options. We still don’t, like I go home to visit my mom. There’s no healthy options. So I grew up very standard American diet, like [00:03:00] no real education around health and wellness. Had to take care of yourself. And so I grew up like that. And once I moved to LA I was kind of.

Exposed to a little bit more health and how to take care of yourself properly or how to like feel differently. And because of modeling, I was always trying to make sure that I looked my best. It was never fully do I feel my best. And so I initially got into kind of taking care of myself through food.

But I would say in 2012 I got introduced to the Clean Cleanse and that was like my first introduction to feeling different or seeing how food can actually impact you. And that really kind of ignited this passion in me for health and wellness and, um, just feeling [00:04:00] your best. And so that kind of put me into this new world of.

Cooking at home more, taking care of myself, working out, but not in like a crazy way. And then in 2015, I moved to New York and I was totally fine. Like I had no health issues, I had no gut issues, no food intolerances, and I moved to New York. Obviously New York’s just very exhausting in general, and so I just was tired in a very normal way.

Um, but I would say halfway through that year, towards the end of of 2015, my health just took a total. Decline. Like I didn’t know what happened. I had intense brain fog, um, memory issues, some neck pain, very bad gut issues, like I had to completely change my diet, what it’s like, what felt like overnight. Um, and, and the only thing I knew how to do in that [00:05:00] moment was food.

So, I really started to dial in my food experiment with new things, elimination diets, and at that point I didn’t have a doctor, like on my team to help me navigate these health issues that kind of popped up. And so I was back in LA early 2016 and my boyfriend, um, Carrie, now Beyonce, he asked me if I would be interested in going to see a functional.

Doctor, and I was kind of like, okay, I don’t really know what to expect with that, but his boss loved this doctor and so my first visit with the doctor was a lot of blood work, et cetera, and that really, I. We never tackled Lyme. We never talked about Lyme. That wasn’t something that ever got brought up, but there was a lot that needed to be fixed, like within my, my foundation, my gut health, and um, certain vitamin deficiencies, et cetera.

And so he got me on a [00:06:00] path of feeling a little better. But in my gut, I was just like, something else is going on. Like, I just like, I don’t know. I don’t know what it is. I can’t pinpoint it. And so I went another three years just kind of experimenting with things, still working with this doctor, but feeling a little better, but not a hundred percent.

And so I had moved back to LA at that point. And at that point I feel like Lyme was starting to be talked about more through social media. Um, I feel like six years ago, you know, there was like Jordan Younger, the balanced blonde, she was talking about Lyme and that. Put something in my brain, I was like, oh, this is actually one thing I’ve never thought about, or I never have been asked if this could be a possibility.

And I was living on the east coast and I grew up in Nevada in the desert, like there was no education around lime ticks, that kind of stuff, like being outdoors. And I got back to la. I met this new doctor and the [00:07:00] first thing I asked her was just, do you think I could have Lyme or. Do you think we should test?

And she was just like, absolutely. Thankfully she ended up being a Lyme literate doctor, so she actually knew what to, to do, the process of things, the tests to do, how to treat it if it was positive. And so she did a ton of tests on me and it came back Lyme plus mold toxicity, which they, they very much go hand in hand and.

I immediately was just relieved cause I was like, oh my gosh, okay. I finally have an answer. This has been three years of me not knowing what was going on, but I knew there was something deeper. And so that then turned into my journey with B Venom Therapy and embarking on that kind of. Crazy ride, which not a lot of people had done at the time.

It’s, you know, so many more people are doing it [00:08:00] now. But yeah, I really just kind of had to fight for answers, fight for my health, and um, thankfully found a doctor that was willing to listen and willing to kind of work with me and not just like, tell me what they wanted to do without fully like taking me as a whole.

Liz Wolfe: Would you say that the B venom therapy is still kind of a fringe. Thing. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Being where I’m at, nothing is fr like it’s all Sure. Why not do that? You know, Cambo, ayahuasca, ketamine, any of it. Like, I’m just like, yeah, let’s do it. Totally. So it all sounds normal to me, but I, it doesn’t seem like this has like, entered the zeitgeist, like the public consciousness that this is a thing that you can do.

And so did you discover it through your doctor or was it something you just found poking around for? For a miracle.

Holly Owens: I was following a girl who I had mutual friends with on social media, [00:09:00] and she had Lyme disease very, very badly, like was hospitalized a few times. She was at an all time low at one point because of Lyme, and I was following her through the entire journey.

It was probably three years, and I just kept, I, I remember talking to myself being like, I don’t know what would happen if I had Lyme. Like, thank goodness I don’t have it. I don’t know if I could sting myself with bees, like, wow, this girl’s a true warrior, but I don’t know if I could do that. Like, I’m glad I don’t have it.

Of course, ended up getting it. Thanks. And so I, I watched her do it and I had actually met her. About three or four months before I got diagnosed, I remember talking to her, my symptoms and she didn’t wanna freak me out at the time and be like, I think you have Lyme. So we stayed in touch. And then, um, we were chatting through dms and stuff, and then I told her, I actually just got diagnosed with Lyme [00:10:00] disease.

And she’s like, oh. She’s like, I was really hoping you didn’t have it, but based off your symptoms and what you’re telling me, like I, I had a feeling maybe. You had it, but I also didn’t wanna freak you out cause it’s a scary diagnosis sometimes, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing for treatment and it can be a really difficult disease to tackle.

And so she basically said, if you wanna do B venom therapy, I will totally help you and educate you and work with your doctor, et cetera. And so I went back to my doctor. And said, I’d like to try B Venom therapy. And she thankfully was like, oh, I’ve heard great things. I’ve heard it works. I’m totally hap, I’ve never had a patient do it, but I’m happy to be your support doctor and or whatever tests you need, um, and just help guide you through this.

So literally a month later, I started B Venom Therapy after diagnosis. And how

Liz Wolfe: did you, uh, did you have to find somebody that would, [00:11:00] I mean, would they just deliver you some bees and you start stinging yourself? What does it exactly look like?

Holly Owens: Yeah, so the friend that I had, she initially helped me with like my first three weeks of stinging.

And then once I kind of got the hang of it, cause you, you have to learn how to hold the bees and what to do and where to sting. There’s a whole process to it all. So she. Kind of guided me through the first few weeks and then, yeah, you can literally have a box of bees of like 200 bees shipped to you in overnight mail.

There’s places on the East coast, whatever. So I, I had the first like three months, I had ’em shipped to me. And then I was at a, I don’t know what it was, it was in Malibu. It was like a dinner event thing for um, a brand. And there was a guy there at a honey stand and he was letting everyone try different types of honey from around the world.

He lived in Topanga, he had his own honey. And I [00:12:00] got to talking with him and I told him I was doing B venom therapy. And he was like, oh, wow, that’s amazing. Like I, you know, I get stung all the time, but I, I totally feel B Venom works wonders for so many things. And he said, if you need someone to provide bees, I’m happy to provide BS for you.

So he essentially became kind of like my B dealer. So I would text him once a month and say, Hey, can I come up and get another. Month supply of bees and he’d be like another hit of bees. Yeah, literally. And I would go out with him to his beehives and just kind of like learn more about the bees and about beekeeping, et cetera.

And he was amazing. And like he doesn’t even wear a suit. He’s like so one with the bees. He is very chill bees. I didn’t realize types of, Bees and like their personalities. And so his, his queen bee I think is like a [00:13:00] Hawaiian type species. Oh wow. And they’re so chill. Like I’ve been around his bees without a suit on as well.

And they don’t sting you like they just kind of h hover around, but they’re very, very mellow. And so I used his bees. And a couple times I had to get bees from other places, and I did not like them. I did not like their bees. Like, but you can just, there’s just a different energy or they, they just feel more aggressive and yeah, I just preferred his, I never thought I’d be talking about like the type of bee I preferred, but here we are.

Here we are. I mean, it, it took me down a wild ride and a wild journey, but. It was honestly fascinating and now I’m just obsessed with, with bees and, and yeah, saving the bees and helping them and all the things that we can do.

Liz Wolfe: Well, we have, so we have bees. We used to live, we used to have a farm. We moved closer to the city and, but we still have a little bit of that urban farm [00:14:00] thing in us.

So we have bees, uh, for the first time and it is, Fascinating to watch just how they behave as a hive. Oh, totally. And it’s so cool. And one of the things, we haven’t gotten any honey from them, that’ll be quite some time in the future, but one of the things that I was thinking about yesterday when I was thinking about this podcast was my husband, it’s funny you should say all of this.

My husband got stung by a bee last week and he’s just had a rough go. But he got poisoned ivy, he got stung by a bee. Oh no. This bee flew in between his sunglasses and his eye and got, I guess, freaked out and stung him right here. His entire face? No, the entire half of his face blew up. It was.

Holly Owens: Crazy. Oh my God.


Liz Wolfe: was not good. And I was thinking, I wonder if they’re exactly what you just said. If there’s like different types of bees and maybe when a bee gets really mad or scared and they sting you, maybe like that’s different from when like a happy bee stings [00:15:00] you. Yes. She bee stings you. You know.

Holly Owens: I know. That’s interesting.

There’s a, there’s a meme out there that’s like, I used to be scared of bees, but now when I see a bee, I’m like, do you need water? Do you need a break? Like, do you want a ride? Like do you need a snack? And that’s literally me. Like, Kerry always like Holly, there’s a bee in the house and then I’m like, oh, and I like go get some honey or some sugar water.

And I’m like on the ground with it, trying to energize it so it can go back and fly. And it always works. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Well that’s, I mean, well it’s just fascinating and it’s been also interesting too, Coen coexisting with bees a little more closely because we planted a bunch of wildflowers and now we, there’s way more bees in our yard and you, you know, like the kids have had to learn that.

The bee is your friend and when the bee comes really closer lands on you, it’s cuz the bee thinks you’re a flower and you must just be so darling and sweet and the bee and, and to get rid of that fear around it has been a journey for us. And it’s been really [00:16:00] interesting. Yeah. Yeah. I mean

Holly Owens: they, they know they’re gonna die if they sting, so it’s like they don’t want to sting you.

Yeah. It’s not like their goal in life is to go sting humans and stuff. Like they’re just focused on. Pollen and working and being hardworking ladies.

Liz Wolfe: Being hardworking ladies. So this is, you’ll have to let me finish this thought because at first it’s gonna sound a little accusatory, but it’s not gonna end up that way.

Yeah. So I have a friend who was like, well, maybe you should ask her, um, you know, why she wants to use the, kill the bees so she can feel better? And she was totally joking, but what came to mind when I was thinking about that I. And the ethics of it is when I wrote my book in 2014, I was doing a lot of research around what types of people are most environmentally conscious and are closest to nature and are the most conscientious about nature and preserving it and saving it.

And what I found out was people who live in the city, Urban [00:17:00] folks who typically have more distance from nature actually end up being kind of the most misguided around preserving nature and around how nature works. And the people who had the best, most conscientious attitudes around nature and who were the most effective conservationists were hunters.

And I thought that was so interesting. But these are people who are extremely close to nature, who understand how valuable nature is to us and who really have, uh, an incredibly high regard for living things and preserving their habitat and only using them in the most important of circumstances. And that’s what I was thinking about with regards to this interview was this is a, an entirely different thing than what.

Big corporations are doing, which is to literally destroy be ha. And I don’t know if you’d say be habitat, but everything that the bees need to thrive and survive is in jeopardy right now. And somebody that’s using be venom therapy to [00:18:00] heal a disease and then sharing that kind of thing with the world.

And then, like you were saying, like you love bees, you wanna take care of the bees. It’s a totally different thing. So what’s your thought process around that?

Holly Owens: I mean, It’s a really interesting conversation because I understand all sides of it. But at the end of the day, like, I mean, pesticides are a massive issue for the bees and the amount of bees that I used in my two year treatment is the amount of bees that, or the amount of eggs that a queen be lays in like a day.

So it’s like the amount that a queen bee is laying is nonstop. There are so many eggs. Like they’re not, and like a bees life cycle is so short, it’s only mm-hmm. I think in the, I don’t know if it’s the winter, it’s a bit longer cuz they’re more. Um, in the hive, and they’re less out in the world, but the bees that you see out working are, are typically the older bees, and [00:19:00] then the younger bees are still in the hive kind of helping work with the hive and growing, et cetera.

But the bees out in the world, they’re, that are on the flowers, they’re the older bees. So like they’re towards the end of their life cycle. Mm. And. When I was working with my beekeeper, he was able to kind of tell which bees were the older bees and which were the younger bees when he would scoop them up.

And he would give me the more older bees. Um, and bees typically, sometimes they only last like six weeks. Like that’s, that’s their life cycle. Um, but I think if it weren’t for B van therapy, I never would’ve had this connection with b the bs. I never would’ve cared to kind of. Protect them and, and care for them and learn more about them and want to become a beekeeper.

And most people that end up doing venu therapy, they end up becoming beekeepers because they know how precious the bees are and how amazing they are, and they wanna continue working closely with them. And apparently beekeepers [00:20:00] live the longest really. Yeah, yeah. There’s like, um, everyone keeps sending me this reel on Instagram and it, it’s talking about, I think like the frequency of bees and like the, the buzzing of the bees.

It, it puts you in like a meditative state and that beekeepers actually tend to live the longest. Maybe it’s cuz they’re getting stung every once in a while as well. Who knows? Um, but yeah, I think, you know, I mean also like the argument is, I guess if you wanna go into like the vegetarian, vegan world, like there’s a lot of plant-based things that are being used as well, and if you’re not eating organic, then you’re also contributing to the death of these as well.

Like no one’s perfect. We can’t all do organic, all the. Time, et cetera. And pesticides just can’t spread around like crazy, even onto organic farms as well. So it’s a real issue. Um, yeah. And I know there are farms that are trying to [00:21:00] help save the bees

Liz Wolfe: as well. I’m on the same page as you with that. Very much so, and this is something that I talked about in my book as well, was there is no, I mean, there is no life without death.

I mean, whether you’re no. Tilling a field full of peas that are gonna be pea protein or however they make that stuff. You are destroying habitats. You are, there are field mice, there are grouse, there are all types of things. And just for us to sort of tune into that and do the best we can with the resources we have to not feed in to that type of agricultural monolithic type of, Approach to the environment and how we gather our food and get our food, I think is probably the more important thing, versus focusing on what any one individual is doing.

You know, how many cows I’ve eaten or how many pea have stung? Yeah. Really is kind of a distraction from, from the larger issue at hand. Yeah,

Holly Owens: absolutely. And I will, I will say like I tried my [00:22:00] best to create some sort of ceremony or gratitude after each session. You know, I wasn’t just like, Using a be and then not even thinking about it, like I tried to thank the Bee for its sacrifice and helping me and that I would hopefully be able to help them in the long run as well.

And Venom’s not a forever thing, it’s a very short treatment in a way, so, The, the love and and appreciation you get for the bees, I think goes a lot longer, a lot farther. Absolutely.

Liz Wolfe: And it, from the research that I’ve done, that ethos is actually supported in the, the literature around conservationism and all of that.

So I think it’s awesome. So what does B venom therapy look like then? You’ve got these bees, you’re picking them up, you’re encouraging them to sting you, and what is that? What does that do in general to the body and also how did it impact your

Holly Owens: healing? Yeah, [00:23:00] so I have this little box called a bee buddy, and it has like a little mesh thing at the top for you to feed them and give them honey and water.

So you add your little bee box that the these get shipped you in or. A beekeeper gives you a small little box if they have them. Um, and you put that into the box and then you have this mini beehive in a way. They’re not creating honey or anything. They’re not creating beeswax or propolis or anything like that.

So I basically had a box of bees that I would care for for about a month. Um, And then I’d work my way through the supply that I had. But you would reach in with a, a long tweezer and you would grab one at a time. And then there’s two ways to, to hold them or to have them be able to sting you. You can use like a bent tweezer, um, and you just lightly, you lightly hold them and then you look into the mirror in the [00:24:00] back and you sting an inch away on either side of your spine.

Um, or you can hold them slightly and, and their stinger would hit like your nail. They can’t sting through your nails, so I, I usually held them. It just felt better. And then I would just reach back and place them on my back and they usually sting pretty quickly. And then you gently pull the bee away so that the stinger and the the sack that has the venom stays intact into your skin.

And you can see the sack pulsating. Wow. And it’s the venom going into your, into your body and you feel it. Sometimes it would be like from head to toe, you just felt this rush of, of heat kind of in a way. Um, and it was interesting if you ate, Spicy foods, the venom hurt way more like it would, it would feel like fire in my body.

Wow. Um, so I, I, I went more low histamine [00:25:00] and um, not spicy foods for the first few months just to kind of help my body adjust. Cuz the first month my, my swelling was like this big from one sting all over my back. And so I went really slow in the beginning to work my way up the. Treatment schedule is, you start with one sting and you, you stay at one sting, typically maybe like two weeks, just so your body adjusts, and then you move to two stings and then you stay there for a little, and then you work to three stings.

The goal is 10 stings in a session. Wow. And it’s a lot. Yeah. And you would do that about three times a week kind of every other day. And on the non sting days, you would focus on detox. So doing. Um, colonics, coffee enemas, saunas, um, dry brushing, lymphatic drainage, certain herbs, et cetera, just to help get the, um, [00:26:00] the bacteria and et cetera to be able to, to come out.

Um, and yeah, you, you start at your lower back and then you work your way up. I was thinking all the way up to my hairline at one point. Yeah. And it’s, thanks. It’s pretty crazy. So you do your, what is supposed to, um, it, it, b Venom is antibacterial. Antiviral. Um, there’s been new studies about it being anti-cancer for, uh, I think Australia did a study on b venom therapy for breast cancer.

Wow. And that it actually killed. The, the breast cancer cells within like two hours, I think. Wow. That study came out like two years ago, I think, two or three years ago. Um, it’s anti-inflammatory. It can help with mass cell. Um, it can be great for people with rheumatoid art, arthritis. Um, it’s, it works on a lot of different things.

It’s not just [00:27:00] Lyme. People have been doing the venom therapy for arthritis, Ms. That kind of stuff for years. I think Lyme is kind of the newer thing that it’s been used for. Um, and then you sting down your spine. It’s the, it’s a great like access point for your, for your nervous system and just, um, it just tackles everything head to toe.

And if you do it more localized, people with arthritis, like you have wrist pain, they would sting more where the pain is versus people with Lyme, you do the spine.

Liz Wolfe: So not only are you probably provoking some kind of reparative substances to be sent to wherever it is, you’re getting stung. Mm-hmm. But you also are most likely killing viruses, killing like any of those dark passengers that we don’t want inside of our bodies.

And yeah, I guess taking kind of a multi-pronged approach. So in that way, how long did it take for you to see shifts in [00:28:00] your body? And what, what was like the first thing that you noticed that had improved?

Holly Owens: I would say the brain fog and fatigue. That was the first thing that that kind of lifted. I would say the gut issues was the last thing.

Um, and yeah, the, I stung for two years. Some people sting for three years. It really depends, but. It, it also depends on how badly you have Lyme or if you’re still very functional. I was still very functional. Um, I think the girl that I learned from, she probably stung I think over two years. Um, it’s different for everyone.

I have a friend that that stung for probably a year, and her main thing was just arthritis. She couldn’t even, she was my age. She was at the time, 27, she couldn’t even open a water bottle. Cause her arthritis in her hands was so bad from Lyme, and once the arthritis went away, she’s like, I’m good. Like, I don’t need to sting anymore.

I, I just wanted help with, with the pain and, and being [00:29:00] able to use my hands again. Um, and yeah, I mean, it’s just, I, it’s weird going down memory lane because I never thought I’d honestly get out of that phase. It felt like Lyme was a big part of my life for such a long

Liz Wolfe: time. Yeah. And you were diagnosed in your twenties, you said?

Holly Owens: Yeah, I was diagnosed at 25. 25, yeah. 24 or 25.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. And in LA at the time, right? Living in la yes. Living in LA are there. I’m a Midwest girl, Kansas City girl. And so my assumption is that well, This is, this is actually probably unfair now that I think about it. So I guess I’ll just ask the question. There are a lot of very beautiful people in California, obviously are a lot of them walking around like beautiful on the outside, but not feeling so [00:30:00] great on the inside.

Like you were talking about. That was a little bit of what was going on with you because they either don’t think about it or. So much of our society places such an emphasis on what looks good on the outside, but maybe not so much what’s going on on the inside.

Holly Owens: Absolutely. I feel like I was always very open about my struggles or my health issues or what I was doing for treatment, and anytime I was on set with other models, they would always, always be like, oh my God, like I have really bad gut issues too.

Or, oh my God, my brain fog’s so bad, my fatigue, my this, my that, and it. Or, oh, I have all these pains like. I think people just don’t talk about it because one, I don’t, I don’t think if, I don’t know. It’s, it’s, yeah. I don’t know. It’s weird. It was like the moment I would open up, they would be like, wait, I have all those things too.

And I’m like, oh my God. Yeah. All these beautiful people have something wrong.

Liz Wolfe: I mean, it’s just fascinating too because you think of California, this like [00:31:00] bastion of wellness, like sunshine and being outside and juice. Bars, I don’t know, things like that. But there is so much more to being, well, there’s the stress piece, the sleep piece, like the relationships part, all of that. So where did those things come into your healing process?

Following your Instagram where you talked about, that you could eat gluten in another country or something like that. Hmm. And that part of that was gut healing, but part of it was also learning to. Enjoy like your life and your food

Holly Owens: yeah, I would say, I think I, I don’t think I ever realized how stressed I was about a lot of, I, I think modeling and putting stress on the way I had to look all the time, but also stressed about healing and trying to become well again. And I, I think. Once I, [00:32:00] I started to work more on meditation and breath work and getting more into a parasympathetic state and not in this fight or flight mode all the time.

I think that’s when a lot of healing started to happen as well. I, I think you can do all the things right, but if your body is not in this receptive state, things aren’t gonna stick and things aren’t going to change. And that also tied into food a lot. I was so stressed about food. Food and what I was going to eat and how it was gonna make me feel.

And if I had one bite of bread on accident that was in something or something that had gluten in it, it was like this. It was like this voice in my head was like, oh no, that’s gonna create this problem now and then it would happen. And I realized if I would kind of change that mental chatter or my response to something that I would eat.

It actually wouldn’t really happen as much. And I think being in a less [00:33:00] fearful state all the time and my, the inside of my body always just felt like I was white knuckling everything. And the moment I kind of just let all that go, so many things started to happen and, and heal, and I just started

Liz Wolfe: to feel better.

I think that’s so. So common that at a certain point you realize that you’re spending more time stressing about what’s going in. And if you’re doing everything, it’s its own form of torture a little bit because there’s so many protocols and plans and things you’re supposed to do. And then it’s, it’s hard

Holly Owens: because you, you need to do those things to heal.

Yeah. And I. You know, I don’t, I don’t know if I was ever like orthorexic or anything or had like a true disorder around anything, but there was this stress to be perfect with the way I was eating and what I was doing and the supplements I was taking. And if I missed something like that, would just send me on a [00:34:00] spiral and it, that just felt just as harmful as maybe the disease or the symptoms, et cetera.

Like it, it all ties in. Um, and it all goes together. And I, I think you gotta tackle it from all different angles. You can’t just do food or you can’t just do supplements and doing all the testing. Like you have to take a full mind, body, spirit approach to, to healing now.

Liz Wolfe: I think also people get caught up in feeling like they have to do all of those things all at once.

Mm-hmm. And maybe sometimes it’s a little more of one thing and a little less of another as you like. Just build up these tools and the ability to use them in a more elegant way versus like, okay, now I have to sit down and I have to meditate for 20 minutes and then I have to take 16 supplements and then I have to read about this low FODMAP diet that now I have to, and now I can only eat chicken and white rice.

And it gets really, really overwhelming. But to give yourself some of that space To like figure it out. Yeah. To do one [00:35:00] thing that you’re good at a little bit more. Maybe you get some self-confidence around like, Hey, I cooked, or Hey, I meditated, or I just went to bed a little earlier. That type of thing.

Versus putting on all that pressure to do all the things at once and do them perfectly.

Holly Owens: Especially if you’re trying to change your whole lifestyle and you try to do it all at once, like you’re probably gonna fail. Yeah. Because there’s just, that’s too much. You need to just slowly implement different things.

When it feels right and you don’t want it to feel like a chore, you actually want to feel like, oh, I’m doing this for a reason and I enjoy doing it because I know in the long run, It’s going to help.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. And kind of tuning into the natural rhythms of your body. I just, I just talked to Alisa Vitti, who founded Flow Living, which is a cycle tracking Yeah.

Um, platform. And it blew my mind, and I wanted to bring this up with you where she was talking about men have like a 24 hour cycle. It’s a circadian cycle and it’s pretty straightforward and it repeats every day. [00:36:00] And that in a way is. Analogous to how so many of us treat wellness, which is I have to do these things every single day on a revolving basis until I’m better.

Whereas as women, potentially there is more of a, like an ebb flow type of rhythm where we have these different phases of our cycles and she calls it, oh, I can’t remember what she calls it. She coined this phrase, um, The infra and rhythm where we have four phases of our cycle and you know, if we’re still in that phase of life, but that potentially there are things that we do for a period of time and we get in this rhythm of utilizing certain tools and then maybe transitioning to another one and then back to the old tools and whatnot.

Did you see any of that reflected in your healing journey from Lyme?

Holly Owens: I feel like once I started to tune in and actually listen to my body more, I did notice that there was kind of a flow to things or certain [00:37:00] periods throughout the month where I felt more inclined to do one thing, but then it would kind of fizzle out and I would feel more inclined to do another thing.

Whereas before I felt like I had to do it all in a day. And then I just was like freaking out cause I didn’t have enough time and you know, that kind of stuff. And so I think once I started being like, okay, it’s okay if I didn’t do that, but I did this thing instead and that’s going to help me in the long run for something else.

And yeah, I definitely think once I started to kind of just let go of the, the grip I had around healing, I kinda just found my own flow with certain things or I was more. On top of my supplements at one time, and then that would kind of fizzle for maybe like a week or two. And then I’d be like, okay, now I’m back into that.

And then I’ll do more journaling right now. Or maybe I’ll focus more on my mindset. Oh, maybe I’ll focus more on, on movement right now. Like, it just very, it very much flowed and, and [00:38:00] found its kind of own rhythm in a way. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I think trusting that could probably be another tool in the toolbox where it’s not like, well, I failed and now I didn’t take my supplements this week, and so it’s, it’s not gonna work. I’m not gonna heal. It’s more like, well, actually maybe your body was guiding you in a different direction. Maybe it was like, Hey, we had a week of that feeling okay there. Let’s focus on this other thing, and just acknowledging that rhythm and harnessing it.

Holly Owens: Yeah, absolutely.

Liz Wolfe: Okay, so then at what point. In this entire journey, were you like, okay, I should make a skincare product?

Holly Owens: Oh man, I, uh, I mean I think it was probably towards the end of, of Be Venom. I had this idea to create a honey based skincare product because throughout Lyme treatment, I was always putting honey on my skin, specifically the beekeeper’s naturals, um, super Food honey or the [00:39:00] bee Powered Honey cuz it had honey propolis, um, royal jelly and bee pollen in it.

So it had everything all in one and I was constantly putting that on my skin because of the die off. Symptoms from B Venom therapy. I was having acne, eczema, dermatitis, like I just had a lot of different skin issues, I think also because of, of mold at that time too. Mm-hmm. And detoxing for mold. My skin really took a hit and I was constantly seeing different estheticians and trying to get their tips on what products I should use, maybe was doing something wrong, and of course me trying to like control the situation.

I was like, okay, I’m gonna figure this out. And. Each esthetician gave me, I was going to very like natural, clean estheticians that loved very like simple, simple products and simple ingredients. And so they would each give me like one little thing to try and then I realized, oh, there’s nothing that has like [00:40:00] all of this stuff in one thing.

Like I wish I could take every tip that an esthetician gave me. And add it to a product, but also have honey in it as well, because Honey’s amazing honey is so healing. Um, it’s a natural humectant as well, so it draws moisture into the skin. So it’s just really hydrating and nourishing and I just didn’t wanna have to constantly be putting sticky honey on my skin all the time.

But it always helped with the rashes and everything. It just really helped calm and soothe everything. So I had this idea, but I was too scared. I was too scared to do it, so it was kind of an idea in my head for probably a year and a half, two years, and then Covid happened and I was nearing the very end of B Venom therapy.

I was pretty much done like a few months into Covid, and Carrie was like, if you don’t go after this and at least try to do it, you’re gonna really be bummed because we’re not doing anything right now. Like this is the perfect [00:41:00] time. To try to create something like modeling wasn’t really happening. We were living in Santa Barbara with his parents.

There was nothing going on. And I was like, Ugh, okay. You’re so right. And I had been, um, I had a recommendation for a chemist that I had gotten like a year prior, but I was too scared to reach out. And so I finally was in the car and Carrie was driving. I was like, okay, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna, I’m gonna email the chemist.

I’m gonna fill out the form that’s, On their website or whatever. And so I, I reached out, I told her my whole story with modeling and Lyme disease and b venom therapy and the product I wanted to create. And I’ve heard from a lot of people that certain chemists or formulators won’t take you on if, if you’re too small.

So I was like, I don’t know, I’m, I’m probably not gonna gonna get this. And she reached back out and she was like, oh my gosh, this sounds amazing. I would absolutely love to work with you. Like, let’s do it. And I was like, Oh my gosh, we’re doing it. And so I was so nervous for my first [00:42:00] call call with her to kind of talk about my ideas.

And she’s incredible. She’s based here in California. She loves like clean beauty. That’s like what they focus on. They do makeup, they do skincare, they do hair products. So she has all these connections to people that have all these high quality ingredients or she has them herself. And yeah, we kind of just went on that journey and.

I launched a month ago and I can’t believe it.

Liz Wolfe: And I think I saw the first post and immediately it was like, yes, like ordered it immediately. And the branding is so beautiful. The packaging is so beautiful. It smells so good. This has the lightest, like cleanest feel of any oil-based skincare I’ve ever used. And I was like, I ha, I reached out to you. Like immediately. I was like, I don’t even know if she’s gonna see this. She’s got a lot of followers.


It’s so good. I wish I brought it down here and I could hold it up, but I, I almost like I, [00:43:00] it’s just so, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna use it too fast, cuz I don’t know. I don’t know why, because I’ll be a customer for life, but it’s like, it’s precious, precious thing. It’s, it’s just so, it’s just so good.

Holly Owens: It was, it was a really fun process.

It was, it, it was stressful but not too stressful. I feel like I’m a projector in human design. I don’t know if you know human design at all, but then I don’t, but I gotta do mine. Oh, you should do it. It totally changed how I approach life, career, relationships, et cetera. Like, it really helped me kind of understand who I, who I am, and to not be, just be like unapologetically me in a way and just accept

Liz Wolfe: things.

Is it similar to, um, the Enneagram in any way?

Holly Owens: It’s kind of like that meets astrology meets Myers Briggs. It’s, it’s. Combo of all the things. Okay. But for me, I’m meant to like not push past my limit too much. I’m not meant to work. Like [00:44:00] I’m not meant to like grind for 12 hours working. Like I will totally get burnt out.

And so with the, the product, I kind of took my time with it and I think that’s what made me not stress out about it too much. There were a lot of ups and downs, but it was a really fun process and, um, Yeah, I just, I didn’t know what I was doing. It’s just me still, like I’m my only employee. I’m the only one that really did this.

You know, I, I hired a few freelance people that helped me with design and web and obviously my chemist, but I just kind of put one foot in front the other, and I’m still kind of shocked that I pulled it off and we did it. And like I knew I loved the product. I was using it for two years while we were developing it.

And so I was like, look. The day. If I’m the only one that loves it, then I don’t care. Like I love it and now I have a ton of bottles if no one buys it. But that hasn’t been the case, so people seem to really be loving it. It’s really apparently helping with [00:45:00] dermatitis and eczema and sunburns. Yeah, helping really nourish the skin.

I’ve had a lot of. A lot of reviews and responses saying it helped and that was my goal was to help with mainly like the dermatitis and eczema and like the irritated, irritated skin. I really just wanted a product that was clean, nourish the skin, and just made it glow and look very, very healthy and happy.

It’s um, Just so, so nourishing and calming. Everything’s very like packed full of antioxidants. So honey propolis, sea buck, thorn, um ha, hoba oil, rose hips, lemon balm, tamu.

Like the, the lemon balm was one thing that an, uh, an aesthetician was like, you should really try lemon balm. Yeah. Um, for the redness and the irritation, and that helped so much. I was like, okay, I need that in my product as well. And yeah, it’s, [00:46:00] it’s a really nice blend of really natural, beautiful ingredients.

Liz Wolfe: I can’t believe it’s just you With what, with what you’ve accomplished because I saw the website. I was like, wow, like, there’s been a lot going on in the background with all of this, but I guess my, this is a personal question, but this human design thing, tell me a little bit more about it and how, and how exactly that informed the process.

It, I’m fascinated how you did all this by yourself,

Holly Owens: so there’s. Four or five different types of designs. So there’s like the generators, they’re just like, they’re go-getters. They can work nonstop. Like they don’t really have that battery that really. Dies out or, or they don’t really burn out like they’re meant to.

Just like, I think most of the population is a generator, like they’re good to just work. And then there’s manifesting generators, um, there’s reflectors and then there’s projectors. Um, I’m a projector, so that meant that means I need a lot of alone time. I really need alone time to [00:47:00] recharge. If I don’t recharge, then I’m burnt out and then I turn, there’s these different things where it’s, you’re like, you’re not self.

So like when you’re not in alignment with, with kind of where you’re at in life or, or you’re not recharging, you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s, it’s how you kind of show up in the world. And mine is bitterness. Um, so there’s just all these different things. It looks like a chart of a human uhhuh and there’s like, um, triangles and circles, like all over the different parts of the bodies.

And then there’s numbers within those. Within those signs, and then they’re either colored in or they’re empty. And if they’re colored in, then that means it’s more activated. And if it’s open, then that means maybe you’re more receptive to things. And it’s just mind blowing. I’ve done a few readings for it, but um, with my, with my sign with a projector, I’m really meant to like, take things at my own pace.

I’m not meant to try to keep up with society [00:48:00] when society is mostly generators. If I’m trying to constantly work at a generator’s pace, I’m gonna fail. Like I’m gonna burn out. I’m not gonna be able to do it, I’m probably gonna quit. Mm-hmm. So for me, it was really hard. And Carrie, he’s a manifesting generator, so he has a little bit more drive in him than I do, and I notice sometimes like.

Projectors often feel like they’re procrastinating or they’re lazy because they, they constantly compare themselves to these people that can work at kind of like a higher pace than them. Yes. And if you compare yourself, then you’re always gonna feel like you’re not, you’re not doing the most that you can or you’re not doing the best.

And so I really took my sign when creating this product because I really wanted to like, feel. I was doing enough and not trying to like, create something out of kind of this ego self and trying to feel like I need to do something that maybe I’m not meant to be doing right [00:49:00] now. Mm-hmm. And so I really took my time.

I mean, it took me two years to get it off the ground and, and out into the public. So I think I, I probably could have done it faster if I wanted to, but I just, I really wanted to take my time and not get burnt out and not view it as like this chore. I wanted to enjoy the process.

Liz Wolfe: Well that resonates.

I’ll have to let you know what I end up being when I take, yeah, whatever that, because that my, I’ve always said like my word to describe myself is inertia. Like I always feel like I’m like, oh, hmm. I don’t know if that’s for me, if I should do that. And then I also require a lot of time to like rest and recharge.

I can be really putting a lot out for a period of time, but then I will just have nothing to give at all. Oh, I

Holly Owens: wonder, I wonder if you’re a projector then.

Liz Wolfe: Maybe I am. And also the part about bitterness also resonates. Mm-hmm. When I’m not maybe, you know, living my, uh, not authentically, but aligned with whatever it [00:50:00] is I’m supposed to be doing, that I can get very, yeah.

Bitter, passive, aggressive,

Holly Owens: all of that. Yeah. But I, I recommend doing a reading as well. Cause it’s a very complex. Chart and you’ll look at it and you’ll be like, what does all this mean? Like, it, it’s so crazy. Um, I can kind of understand it a little bit now cause I’ve, I’ve done a few readings, but you can also do couples readings.

Oh. Which is so fascinating. And how you both show up or maybe when to provide more support for your partner based off of their design or when to be able to tell if they need more support or when something maybe isn’t. You necessarily like if like to not take things personally just cause maybe that’s like what they’re going through right now and that it’s not because of you or whatever.

Um, it’s, it’s really fascinating. It really was great for our relationship.

Liz Wolfe: Oh man. I mean, I think, so I’ve been married for, I don’t know how long, 12 or 13 or 14 years, something like that. We went and [00:51:00] got married. Mm-hmm. Actually, my hairdresser married us, which is a very good story. Oh my gosh. Yeah. She was ordained on the internet and we were like, he went for a haircut and I think I went for a haircut the same day and we had just picked up the marriage license and there was, there were two other people and we had to have two witnesses, so we were like, Sarai, can you just do this right now?

And she was like, sure. And it was the most like ridiculous thing that we’ve ever done. And then we had a wedding a year later, which was really fun, but it was just us and that was fun, but Oh, that’s so nice. I mean, it never, you never lose the need. For increased perspective. Mm-hmm. Right? Mm-hmm. You’d think after 10 years or however many years of marriage with someone that you would kind of understand those things better, but I think what ends up happening with the hustle and bustle of life and business and all of that is you kind of retreat into your yourself a little bit and you’re kind of more functioning from.

Maybe in some ways survival mode, but you just forget, you forget to have that, you know, energetic [00:52:00] exchange with people where you’re actually giving them grace and expecting it in return and actually working to understand each other cuz you take for granted that you know them so well. Yeah. So I’ll have to do that.

Maybe I can get something on the podcast too, to talk about human design.

Holly Owens: Yeah, I’ll, I’ll tell you after Who is okay or if, I don’t know. Alexandra Cole. She’s amazing. If anyone wants, wants to do reading. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: You said it and, and so now she has to do it because you said it. Yes. She can’t say no. No,

Holly Owens: exactly.

It’s out there in the world. It’s public. It’s out there in the world.

Liz Wolfe: Okay. Well this has been so fun. Well, you let folks know how to discover you and Yara and anything else that you’d like to share before we go.

Holly Owens: Yeah, so I am wealthy belly on Instagram. It, it looks like well by belly, but it’s wealthy belly.

And then you can find Yara at Yara skin on Instagram. Perfect. Thank you so much,

Liz Wolfe: Holly.

Holly Owens: All right. Thank you. This is awesome.

Thanks for listening to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! Before you shut down your podcast app, PLEASE take a moment to subscribe and leave a review! It’s a small thing you can do that I appreciate more than you can imagine! And speaking of what we can do for each other, if YOU have a question you’d like to have tackled on this podcast or an interview you’d like to hear, submit the details at Let’s keep unpacking, unraveling, contextualizing and nuance-ing the important questions together so we can be empowered, informed, active participants in our own health and happiness.

liz wolfe signature logo

Share this post!

More Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get My Email Exclusives!

The number one supplement you need (but have never heard of) is HERE!

And sign up for my NEWSLETTER!