Season 3, Episode 57: Taking Control of YOU

SEASON 3, EPISODE 57

SHOW NOTES

Y’all this is the wellness chat that you need to feel empowered to start taking control of you! In this chat I’m introducing you to Lana Jackson, founder of Browne Wellness. We are chatting about her wellness journey that started in childhood with a chronic disease diagnosis and what led her to starting Browne Wellness.

Lana and I chat about the origins of natural medicine and why it was essential for her to create a brand that centered the BIPOC community.

Friend you will get so much out of this chat with Lana and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts over on Instagram at @NicoleWalters and @BrowneWellness and @LanaJackson_.

Season 3, Episode 57

Nicole:

Friends, so you know how I feel when I find something I love and I’m obsessed with and I lose my mind – whether it is popcorn or fudge or the latest, best, most effective health thing. And right now, you’ve heard me talking about my fertility journey. You’ve heard me talking about getting my health right, especially in this new chapter of my life. And a huge part of that has been exploring supplementation. Lord knows I can’t live off of Capri Suns and Cheetos. And I’ve got to figure out how to get my goodness and my body so that I am safe and well taken care of. And I met the most incredible woman. I mean, you know how I am, I’m a god girl, God does things very specifically. Nothing is by accident. Her name is Lana Jackson. If you have not heard of Lana Jackson, look her up, google her, follow her on Insta. She is inspirational, she’s incredible, and she’s also the CEO and founder of Brown Wellness. Now, Brown Wellness is the only that I’ve discovered, brown, BIPOC-specific functional wellness supplement brand. Now, I know that’s a mouthful, but I’m telling you, this is something you need, and there’s no better person who can talk about it than Lana herself.

And I’m so excited because she is here with us to sit, to chat, to help us learn. Y’all, if you are dealing with things in your life and you need a little extra boost, Lana is going to tell us how to get it. Lana, thank you so much for being here.

Lana:

Thank you, Nicole. I’m so excited to be here with you.

Nicole:

Oh, my gosh, I’m so excited that you’re here. You have no idea. I had to keep it together, just doing my intro because I was like, I can’t bring all that energy right out the gate. You got to calm down and say the words, Nicole. So I’m so glad you’re here. Brown Wellness is everything I’ve been looking for in this journey.

I mean, I’ve experimented with using so many different types of supplements. And being honest, a lot of them work great. I’m not disappointed in what I’ve tried, but I really am in a chapter of my life where I do, one, want to support black-owned businesses wherever and whenever possible. But I also want to make sure that I’m able to use products that I think, when my daughter opens up the cabinet, she sees herself centered.

So can you tell me a little bit more about your journey and why you even felt there was a need in a $47 billion supplement industry to carve out a little piece specifically for the BIPOC experience. Tell me what we don’t know.

Lana:

Yeah, well, it’s a long story. I will start by saying that my wellness journey really began really young for me. So at 13 years old, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

Nicole:

Wow! That must have been really a struggle at 13. I can’t imagine. My eleven year old can barely get out of the house and tire her shoes. I can’t even imagine.

Lana:

And it was weird because I still remember that moment when I’m in the doctor’s office with my mom and I’m talking to the specialist and he looks me dead in the eye and he’s just like, I want you to understand you have a chronic medical condition. This is something that you’re going to need to manage the rest of your life. Do you understand?

Nicole:

At 13. No, you don’t understand. I barely understand why I have boobs now. I don’t understand anything. No, I don’t know how to manage a diagnosis like this. That must have been terrifying and overwhelming and I can’t even imagine.

Lana:

But actually it kind of wasn’t because in my small brain, I was just like, okay, so are we going to Dairy Queen after this? Yeah, but I couldn’t fully grasp it. But at the same time, I’ve always been like a sensitive child. Like, I’m an intuitive person. And so I was kind of like, I see the gravity of this moment, but my world wasn’t big enough to comprehend what that was going to mean. I know when an adult is talking to me and telling me something serious, and I hear that and I’m wondering about, okay, what’s the next thing? You just can’t comprehend.

Nicole:

Of course. You’re not thinking, oh, I have Crohn’s disease. How’s that going to affect? Will I eat wedding cake at my wedding? Will I go on vacation and eat freely with my friends? Will I be able to be comfortable enough to go to work? A 13 year old is not thinking about those things. Of course, of course. So I think that is probably worth giving. Context is one of the things we really connected on, was being first generation. So for me, that’s always meant that when I would deal with any type of health or sickness or whatever, my parents, they understood the value of conventional medicine, particularly being in the US. But they didn’t necessarily lean on it. They were very quick to say, well, try a tea, or I even think culturally, as black people, we’ve learned, grab some ginger ale, or, I don’t know, take a hot shower, try some Epsom salt.

And there is so much merit to that as we’ve gotten older, because we do tell our kids, have ginger ale and crackers, and it really does work. But how did your parents deal with that diagnosis? I mean, did they think, let’s keep getting you tested. What did you do? What were the next steps?

Lana:

I think that it was really a journey that my mom and I went on. And both of my parents are divorced now. They got divorced when I was in college. But their marriage, both of them are immigrants, and their marriage was always really difficult. And I think that my dad was not really as involved and really hands-on. It was really my mom. Even to this day, the way that I navigate my wellness is because of my mother.

Nicole:

That says so much.

Lana:

Yeah. And so obviously, both of my parents are Caribbean. They’re Ghinese. They’re from Guyana. And so, yeah, there’s this wealth of wisdom about wellness and about medicine that you take with you as an immigrant when you come into another country. And it’s so fascinating to me because I think that my mom had a good grasp and understanding of traditional medicine. But at the same time, when I think about the diaspora and black people, whether it’s Africa or the Caribbean, medicine is actually something that happens every day. In the west, we’re like I don’t feel well, what can I take to do something?

Nicole:

That’s so good.

Lana:

But typically within the African diaspora, I know for myself with my parents, they would always give me this bitter tea. Like, we would have bitter tea to clean out…

Nicole:

Like detox.

Lana:

To detox. Sometimes we would have it before a meal, and of course, I would take it and pour it in the corner of the carpet.

Nicole:

Who wouldn’t? Now that is universal. None of us want to take the stuff from our parents, whether it’s hiding the peas under our mashed potatoes or pouring out the bitter tea, none of us are trying to do it. I get it.

Lana:

And I was the strong-willed child, so I really wasn’t going to do it. Yes, but there’s wisdom in that, right? Because bitters help to break down food for digestion, and also the herbs that are in, that are cleansing your liver, they’re getting into your bloodstream. So there were things like that that my mom would give us, but I don’t think that she made the connection between those things being advantageous for gut health.

Nicole:

Even from a medicinal standpoint. We don’t know why we’re doing it, but we know we’ve always done it so good. And you know what’s interesting about that? So many of my crew here, we are all very much like the old school type, or we kind of come from a traditional background. But a lot of us also, we come from different cultural backgrounds. And these are some of the things that I think really draw us closer together, because we realize that there’s so many similarities in, oh, if you’re sick our parents will try sort of this list of things that are actually very natural, very organic, plant-based before they really grab even the ibuprofen.

In Italy, I just learned it’s common to have an espresso after meals because they found that the coffee aids in digestion. Also, the little bit of caffeine stimulant keeps you from getting that soporific effect where you start getting you want to take itis, you don’t get the itis, which lends itself to moving and walking and things of that sort. And it’s just amazing how we have not integrated or carried so many of these things. Unless it comes from your cultural background.

Lana:

Yeah, because I think especially if your parents are immigrants, you kind of get disassimilated, right? From where you come from, especially if you’re like a third culture kid. It’s like your parents are from somewhere else. Now they’re living someplace else, and you’re living where they’re living, but you don’t identify with that place either. So it’s just kind of like there really wasn’t a lot of dialogue around this for like, years. It’s only now we really fully understand the first generation experience.

Nicole:

Which is amazing considering that this is a $47 billion industry. So that means that and I think all of us, especially my friends listening, all of a sudden it feels like supplements or some version of supplement or everybody has a supplement. I mean, we see companies like Gwyneth Paltrow with Goop, Jessica Alba with Honest Co. All these companies are dipping into the supplemental realm, even companies that didn’t start that way.

You’ll have companies that started with athletic wear that are now offering supplementation, energy drinks, weight management tools, things of that sort. So what I noticed, and I think a lot of my friends on here, even those who are not BIPOC, are noticing is when you walk down these shelves, you don’t really see brown people heavily featured. It’s starting to change a little bit, but it’s not the norm. You’re the expert. Why is that?

Lana:

I mean, I think a big part of that is just appropriation, because a lot of the things that these supplement brands and companies are using come from black and brown communities.

Nicole:

Let’s pause on that one. So that is the truest of the true statements. And it’s funny because I never thought of it as appropriation, which I know can be a sensitive word for some, and it can feel triggering. But there’s a word I’d like to add to it, inadvertent appropriation. I think there is appropriation where it is deliberate, it is intentional, it is absolutely like appropriation tinged with colonization. Right. But then there’s an inadvertent where it’s like, I didn’t even realize my mom took this from her Chinese nanny who always did this for her, and I thought it was our family’s thing. And so here I am calling it my ancient family recipe, when in reality, this harks back to Eastern medicine. That is not derivative of my culture.

Lana:

Right.

Nicole:

So you’re right when you say that a lot of these medicinal things and herbs and treatments are in origin from Eastern and African cultures.

Lana:

Yes, the other side of the world.

Nicole:

Wow.

Lana:

And I want to say, too, because I think that’s a valid point, sometimes it is an invert in it. And I’m not even trying to imply that they’re doing it intentionally.

Nicole:

I think sometimes it is intentional. We’re not taking that away either. Some people are doing it very much on purpose to take that money.

Lana:

They are, but I also want to say that when I think about wellness, it’s a rainbow. And even as I’ve grown in my wellness journey, there are so many things that as a person of faith who loves God, I rejoice in seeing just the diversity of what this culture has understood now about the human body. They’ve grasped something like, I get acupuncture really regularly now.

Nicole:

Right.

Lana:

And working with my acupuncturists and really understanding Chinese medicine, like, wow, Chinese people have really grasped something about the way energy works in our body and praise God for them. And before I came here, I was in Santa Monica at Surya getting some Arabetic wellness treatments because Indian people have grasped something about the way our bodies work and digestion works and hormones work. So I say that to say…

Nicole:

There’s a beautiful medley.

Lana:

Yes medley, and sometimes we’re not intentionally trying to steal things from people but there are other things that other cultures have that we can benefit from. I think my thing was in this journey that I’ve been on with my wellness, I just didn’t see myself. I didn’t see something that reflected my experience. And the wild thing about that was I was diagnosed, like I mentioned, with Crohn’s at 13 years old. I’m 36, so it’s been two decades.

And for me, it’s kind of just like I have been through so much, and I never anticipated in my entire life that I would be without this condition because when that doctor told me that, though I was young, I’m doing my manifestation work, I’m visioning my future, and I’m seeing like, okay, I make time to go get my medicine. I have a nurse.

Nicole:

You’re taking care, you’re taking steps. And that’s got to be the hardest. And I think a lot of people there’s so much unspoken chronic pain that people don’t talk about because they just think it’s theirs to carry. And I think only now we’re starting to hear about people saying, look, I don’t have anything that’s terminal. I just have something that’s chronic. And it’s just what I’ve lived with. And I didn’t even realize I should talk about it to find out if there are solutions. And now we’re learning more. So your Crohn’s, is it still something chronic or how are you using Browne wellness? How does that work?

Lana:

Yeah, so what happened was when we went into the pandemic, so this is like 2019. I was experiencing the disease was somewhat under control. I’d been on a biologic drug for years. It’s a drug that they use for rheumatoid arthritis. It just basically helps to turn off that inflammatory response in the gut. And so I had a nurse named Sarah.

Nicole:

But did you have lifestyle things you also had to change, supplement it with that.

Lana:

At that time? No, I was taking my medicine. I was eating really good. I’ve always had to eat really good. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol.

Nicole:

I mean, but that is lifestyle. This is what I mean when I say you become so used to having to live a certain way, you don’t realize that, no, there are people who go out and on a wedding night, be able to have a couple of drinks and you’re like, no, I have to go in there with the awareness of on the menu. This is what I will choose, and this is how I will restrict, in addition to my medication.

Lana:

Yeah, because when you see the outcome of when you don’t, then you learn. And I grew up in hospitals. Like, doctors were my friends, nurses were my friends. I never really had a lot of friends in school because I wasn’t there half of the time.

Nicole:

Oh, my gosh.

Lana:

And so I learned how to read my labs. I felt like a doctor by the time I was in my 20s.

Nicole:

Sure, but you had to take this ownership over your care. And I think that that also speaks to some of the black female experience and the BIPOC experience, where historically we’ve had to deal with increased maternal mortality rates. We’ve had to deal with not being as seen and heard whenever we are in the conventional and traditional medical realm. And not obviously, like I always say, not everyone is the same, not every single scenario. But there is a systemic issue that does exist within the black experience where we have dealt and as studies and data has supported with a struggle of being heard in relation to our care.

So taking that ownership one, obviously is because a lot of these chronic diagnoses, I think everyone can relate to, It feels like if we’re dealing with something, we have to figure it out ourselves. And part of it is being brown.

Lana:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that was the thing with how I watched my mom navigate my illness. Like, her being in the doctor’s office and the way she would push for questions, the way that she would just the energy she led with.

Nicole:

You’re not gonna play about my baby, that’s me all day.

Lana:

And it wasn’t even like she was even aggressive. It was just this expectation that we expect the best care. It never occurred to her and maybe because she’s an immigrant, but it never occurred to her that the color of her skin meant something different. Right. And so I absorbed all of that. And I go to bat when I go to I mean, I’m not argumentative, but when I come to the doctor, I see that relationship as peer to peer. And some people can’t accept that. And then I fire them and I find another doctor.

Nicole:

Do you all hear that right now? When I go in to see my doctor, I see that relationship as peer to peer. So your doctor is a part of your team.

Lana:

Yes.

Nicole:

Your doctor is not someone who is a hired vendor. They are not someone who is there to facilitate an answer. They are there as part of your team to work towards a solution.

Lana:

This is a collaboration because this is my body. And so anything that you decide, I have to live with. I’ve never understood the gaslighting that I have experienced, that I’ve watched my family experience. My younger sister has autism, we now know. I have gone to bat. I have talked to so many people to get her what she needs. In my opinion, it’s like I expect collaboration and the minute that I sense that that’s not there or you’re offended by my knowledge about my body, I’m out of there.

Nicole:

This is so empowering. I think it doesn’t matter what shade you are, we, especially as women, have got to take ownership over what happens to our body, how our body is treated, and feel comfortable being vocal about what we need. And I love that you are behind Browne Wellness in this capacity because you’re the type of voice that we need.

We need someone who has not only had to experience it, but has also seen success with it. So where did you end up going with your journey, with your health care? Did you have to supplement it? Did you just stick with the meds you were taking? Because I know 2020 was rough for all of us, girl.

Lana:

It was. But it was a big reset in a lot of ways which I’m grateful for. So we went into the pandemic. I started experiencing just a lot of really difficult gut issues and I was like, why am I having all of these issues when I’m taking my medicine? I’m doing what I’ve always done, what’s changing and something’s changing in the microbiome of my gut. And so I leaned out of working with my specialist because they weren’t listening to me.

Nicole:

There we go.

Lana:

I fired two gastroenterologists I was working with and I was like, you know what, I’m going to find a Naturopathic doctor because I think there’s something else happening here and they don’t want to look at the whole picture. And I’m desperate to.

Nicole:

Right. And at least to find out! And so I having friends who gone to Hopkins, and a lot of my friends are conventional medicine doctors. But I will tell you all day, there is nothing wrong with looking into everything and above all else, at least finding out, like, if it’s not this, then why not? I always tell my kids all the time and I think a lot of us relate to this, especially as parents, with my youngest daughter, when she’s sick, I’m not going to just run and give her meds if I don’t have to. Maybe some peppermint tea will work first.

And that’s because there is scientific data that any doctor will support that’ll say, mint helps soothe your belly, so why wouldn’t we try that before jumping to meds? And I think that that is one of the shifts that I’ve seen in Browne Wellness is it really is about daily wellness and how that is actually the ultimate form of preventive medicine. It’s just really focusing on staying well and being well. So in that journey, you landed on more natural methods. Now, you weren’t using these before, you were just taking conventional.

Lana:

That’s right. I was just taking my prescription.

Nicole:

Wow. What happened? Did you try both?

Lana:

Well, I was still taking my regular medicine because I had to do that to keep the disease kind of quiet. But you can have the disease be quiet and still have, like, IBS symptoms, which is what I was experiencing.

Nicole:

And you’re just living with it.

Lana:

You’re just living with it. And it wasn’t until the pandemic that I had the time to be like, okay, what’s happening here?

Nicole:

And you probably felt it more because Lord knows, and I think all the busy mamas that are on here, we’ve got, like, college kids, and some of my friends here are single women just driven for their goals. When you’re busy and buzzing, it’s so easy to just not even feel what your body’s feeling. And one of the things that we’ve shared is that during the pandemic, for me, it was, oh, my goodness, my blood pressure is crazy, and I’m technically resting, right? That’s my resting blood pressure. What’s happening? Like, I haven’t been on a plane in months, and my blood pressure is this high. What’s going on?

And just really getting my numbers and realizing, okay, if this is me and my most stay still state, then what does that mean about my body’s basic equilibrium? And then what does that mean if I tip the scale into stress? What does that mean if I have a baby? And it really begged the question of how can I be as healthy as I can be standing still so that I can definitely function when I’m running? Right, so you discovered oh, my gosh, in staying still for the first time and having the time, my body’s being weird.

Lana:

Yeah, my gut was acting really weird. So I found a naturopathic doctor. I was working with them virtually. I think I went through maybe three, four Naturopathic doctors.

Nicole:

Wow.

Lana:

They were all white. It was just hard to find someone who looked like me. And I eventually landed on somebody who is wonderful, my Naturopathic health coach, Nancy, who is a white woman, but loves me so well and is so patient and is so thorough. And what I realized was that I had a couple of things happening. I mean, there was, like, bacteria in my gut. I had, like, candida, all these different things. And so she and I worked together to put together a protocol to start treating some of these things with supplements. It was supplements and my mindfulness about how I was going to take them, use them, pairing them, just the whole rainbow of wellness. Because a lot of it, too, was me regulating my nervous system to accept some.

Nicole:

Ain’t that it girl.

Lana:

I mean, you can take a bunch of stuff, but if your nervous system is completely out of control and your nerves are shot, your body isn’t really going to respond to all things.

Nicole:

That’s right.

Lana:

So there is a component of it that is somatic and mindful that does go along with taking supplements.

Nicolee:

Right.

Lana:

And functional medicine. Functional wellness, is really about, like what you were saying before. It’s like we’re looking at the whole picture to figure out what is it that is happening? Is it we tested for this. Okay, it’s not that. Let’s look at this. What about this history that your mom had on your maternal grandmother’s side?

Nicole:

Right.

Lana:

It’s really looking at the whole picture and figuring out what do we need to get your body to function better?

Nicole:

I love that concept because it’s kind of like this is and this is, of course, the classic Nicole Walters translation of it. It’s like going to the restaurant and thinking, I’m not going to order the dish on there. I’m going to say, you know what? I feel like a side of broccoli. And I feel like this appetizer. And I also want the fries. It’s all food. We’re all at the menu. You don’t necessarily have to have the meal, that side, and that because that’s what’s prescribed to you. Maybe I can look at the whole menu and take the pieces that I know are going to make me feel full. And that’s actually been part of my lifestyle, like healthy wellness changes, is I’ll go in and I’ll say, well, maybe I just need protein.

Like, we went out to dinner last night and I was like, can I just get like, a side of steak? Because I was like, I feel like I need a little bit more protein and iron, and I love that. How many greens did I have today? Well, what type of greens do I need? I would like to have some Brussels sprouts because I want something kind of cruciferous, but I also want some spinach because I want to add to my protein. Just really looking at and saying, what do I need? And feeding myself accordingly.

Lana:

And I love that because my soul just went off because it’s the mindful part of it. Did I have any water today?

Nicole:

That’s right.

Lana:

Like, maybe instead of getting the diet cook, let me just have a glass of water. Did I eat any greens? Or if you’re on your cycle, I find, like, my body is like, man, we need a burger.

Nicole:

Yes. Very real!

Lana:

It’s the iron and responding to that because food is medicine. Food can be medicine.

Nicole:

And I love that because that’s also cultural. Coming from Ghana, West Africa, and having West African parents, that’s such a huge part of our diet in general. If you’re sending culturally, like if the men are going out into the fields to get palm to make palm oil or a palm wine, you’re not going to feed them the same way that you’re going to feed someone who may be staying home and in town. You’re going to feed them in a way that’s going to make sure that they feel lots of carbohydrates. It’s a different diet than the typical fresh fish and pepper sauces and things of that sort because they need to be sustained for the task.

And I think a lot of times some of our eating is either based on how we feel in the moment emotionally, which not a bad thing, there’s space for that. We’re not judging eating habits. Sometimes a girl needs some ice cream, but also not really thinking about, hey, I’m a mom and I’m busy and I’m going all day. What can I do?

And realistically, I can’t always be great about it. Or realistically, food isn’t always available. There are days where I am actually just grabbing my kids goldfish crackers because it was the quick thing and it’s not nothing. But supplements have truly changed my life in standing in that gap so that I’m not lacking come midday, if I’m feeling sluggish, you actually have a product that I love, love, love. You all hear me love and I’ll link it below. It’ll be like all the details around Browne Wellness, how to get started, how to figure out what to use. My favorite products this is not sponsored y’all, I just love them, will be in the show notes below.

So the product that I love midday, if I have not had my coffee, not done what I needed to do, I know I’ve got meetings, I know that I have got to get through the evening. You have a product that is a game changer. Can you tell us more about it and how that is part of sort of the black women take care of themselves?

Lana:

Absolutely, 100%. So we have a supplement. It’s a gummy, and it’s our mushroom complex. And it has ten different energy-boosting, brain-boosting mushrooms in it. In particular, my three favorite, which are lion’s mane, reishi and chaga. And lion’s mane in particular is one of my favorites because Lion’s Mane is a nootropic, it allows our brain to work better. So this gummy is something that you take when you’re like, I have a big day, I have to retain a lot of information. I need to maintain a certain level of energy so that I can get through and kind of just be in flow state. Just be in flow.

Nicole:

Sure.

Lana:

And not the kind of energy that’s jittery like when you drink a diet Coke or cup of coffee.

Nicole:

That’s right.

Lana:

But a gentle sustaining energy that’s also benefiting your brain. Right.

Nicole:

And tapers off, too. So it’s not like by the end of the night, I’m like, oh, I can’t sleep, or anything like that.

Lana:

Yeah, no, because then you’re like, got to take someone to go to sleep.

Nicole:

Now melatonin time, which is fine. You don’t always want to be in the bounce back and forth situation.

Lana:

That and I think in particular with women and black women, because we’re just doing so much. It’s not just that we need to be energized, we also need our brain to function well. You’re trying to remember if your daughter had her doctor’s appointment today, if you turned in that thing for work. And then also, wait, I got to drop by the storm, pick up all these extra stuff. I mean, it’s just ongoing. And so being in flow and being able to be energized, but also be cognitively like clear.

Nicole:

Absolutely.

Lana:

And that’s where mushrooms come in.

Nicole:

Well, and so I want to actually talk about mushrooms. And for the mamas out here, everyone, I don’t know about you all, I’m in LA right now. There’s been so much talk about mushrooms, and I am an old person. I’ll be the first one to say it. When I heard mushrooms, I was like, I’m not messing with them drugs. You’re going to have me out here seeing colors. That’s not for me. I’m not of this. But then I’m also now hearing that people are like, oh, no, I’m using mushroom to treat, like, depression or PTSD.

And I will be very clear, I have not done tons of research. I recommend anyone listening to do their own research talk to their doctors, because obviously, if you have a mushroom allergy, it may not be for you. But I’m learning, one, that it doesn’t taste like mushrooms. That’s a starter. And then two, there are actual a variety. Like you said, there are ten different types.

Lana:

I mean, there’s lots of different types.

Nicole:

But in this alone, and I never would have even guessed. So tell me a little bit about what you know about and what you’ve studied and this mushroom, because you also have like, a mushroom coffee. So tell us more about all of that.

Lana:

Yeah, I would say so. I don’t do drugs either.

Nicole:

Right, but yet you do mushrooms, you know what I mean?

Lana:

And I’m not knocking anyone who has that lifestyle.

Nicole:

It’s just more of a I don’t know this stuff, you know what I mean? And I personally just don’t engage because, frankly, I am not equipped. Anyone who’s ever met me knows Nicole is not one for the world of substances. She is not capable. I can’t hang yall my own life, and that is about the extent of it. I have a Diet Coke and I will fall out. It’s just me.

But that said, so you’ve got mushrooms in. I think you have a mushroom collagen supplement, a mushroom coffee, and then obviously this amazing, like, midday, early morning focus boost mushroom product. So we can do mushrooms but not be doing mushrooms?

Lana:

Well. It’s kind of like, what is your intention for what you’re doing? Because I think people there are people who use certain substances recreationally, sure. And that’s their lifestyle, but I think a lot of us just want to feel better. And so my journey with mushrooms actually began at the beginning of the new year in December. I decided to do a plant mushroom journey with my healer, and I used Silosibin mushrooms. And basically I did that to just process through some things that I was holding in my body. Right. Because we do hold on to trauma in our bodies.

And having managed a chronic illness for two decades, there was a lot. Right. And my power comes from my gut, like my intuition. You can ask my family, I’m never wrong about whatever it is, nine out of ten times. I know, but it’s also the source of my pain. Right? You hold things also in your gut. And so my intention for the mushroom, my intention for that journey was to process and release some of these wounds, right. That some of these things that I’ve been holding on to so that I can be the best version of me, I can be here to do the work.

Nicole:

That’s a totally different mushroom also, right?

Lana:

Yes. So that’s a psychedelic mushroom.

Nicole:

And you do that in a guided experience with an intentional choice. That’s not something so none of us mamas can accidentally stumble into those types of mushrooms. Because what you’re talking about selling within Browne Wellness and on shelves is different. It’s different from that. And I think that call out is hugely powerful because that’s some of the misinformation that’s out there. When we’re seeing mushrooms show up on shelves, we’re like, oh, well, everyone’s doing these journeys. And that is a very specific sort of prescription for a specific outcome.

Lana:

Exactly. It’s a very, very, very intentional thing. It’s something I’ve prepared, like, weeks to do.

Nicole:

That is totally different. We’re not signing up for that without knowing we’re signing up for that. Tell us about the mushrooms then, that are in Browne Wellness, because it sounds like we can get a lot of the benefits of the world of mushrooms without necessarily taking the journey that we may not be seeking to have.

Lana:

Yes. And I think that people should understand there are two different, like I would say, major two different categories of mushrooms. There are mushrooms that have psychedelic effects and there are mushrooms that have other wellness benefits. And with Browne Wellness, it’s those kinds of mushrooms. Things that help give us energy, things that help our brains to work better, things that allow us to have better performance when we’re working out or post workout.

Nicole:

Without the psychedelic effects. We’re not going to see colors, we’re not going to talk to care bears.

Lana:

And these things come from the ground. Like, these are things that God made.

Nicole:

So they’re in our salads, they’re in our sandwiches or in our cheesesteaks, and we eat these mushrooms. Yeah.

Lana:

And there are a lot of people who are in the mushroom community. They’ve done a lot of Netflix documentaries about, Michael Poland has one about how to change your mind, but that’s about psychedelics.

Nicole: 

Got it. And that’s what we hear the most about. I think one of the things that I love about sort of this conversation we’re having, particularly as brown women, is culturally. I think that something that comes up a lot in the BIPOC community is our use of drugs and how we making sure we’re not abusing them and things like that. And so it’s exciting because I’ve always been someone who’s like, I’m not touching anything, that sort of thing.

And now I’m learning, oh, there’s different categories for different purposes. And some of that languaging isn’t ours and it’s actually been put there to keep us absolutely from engaging in things that can help us.

Lana:

I’m so glad you said that, because I think the policing of black and brown bodies and the way that that has occurred in the United States, and even abroad in some places, has made us want to distance ourselves from things that actually come from within our communities, that help us to heal our bodies and turning us onto Western medicine.

And that has its own financial benefits, right, when we think about the pharmaceutical companies and all of these things. So there’s a lot at play there, like sociopolitically, absolutely. But I think it’s important for us to understand these things come from the ground, right? And we’re all learning more about plant life and things are becoming more plant-based, whether it’s our diet or the supplements.

Nicole:

Oh everywhere! I mean, when KFC came out with plant based nuggets, I was like, okay, so the world is changing, the world has changed, the world has changed and we got to catch up. And what’s interesting is, again, I think a lot of times when these things get that high visibility, they do come from white faces. Frankly, I think just, we share the same heart and we’re just glad people know, you know what I mean?

It’s good that people are learning that there are alternatives or that there are supplements to conventional medicine. I just want people healthy, happy and whole. However, it’s also beneficial to know that you have space within that because you see yourself in it. And there’s something to be said for being able to walk down an aisle, see a brown face that makes me stop and look at the product again and say, oh, there’s a brown face on this. Is this for me? And now I’m thinking, are supplements for me? It’s just a line of thinking that occurs naturally when you see yourself reflected in a product.

So Browne wellness is obviously driven towards the BIPOC community. Granted, there’s supplements, anyone can use supplements, and there’ll be benefits to you, but it is around the BIPOC community. And we actually really could benefit from supplementation because we deal with things like heart disease and we deal with high blood pressure more than any other race. And vitamin D deficiency is more than any other race. I recently got prescribed a vitamin D, prescription level vitamin D. I think it’s D three to take just because it was that deficient. And my doctor told me no supplementation would really have helped you not get here. It’s just very interesting to know that truly supplementation may be something that as brown people and BIPOC people, it’s not optional.

Lana:

No, it’s not optional. And I think in particular for us, but also for everyone in general, because our soil is really depleted. That’s like a whole other conversation.

Nicole:

And our diets, it’s a conversation.

Lana:

So it’s like you really can’t live postmodern life without supplementation because we really aren’t getting as much of it from our food as we used to. And as black and brown people with specific life stressors and our own epigenetics that we are trying to deal with, we really do need to be supplementing. And I think it’s important and in my starting this company is to center us, if not to just encourage us more, to reach in and say, what is it that I need to add to my life, to my wellness landscape, to improve the way my body is functioning?

And I’m now more inclined to do that because I see myself, because one of the most important things I have not yet said is working with a Naturopathic doctor, I healed my body of crohn’s. So today, as of today, I actually don’t have crohn’s.

Nicole:

That’s incredible.

Lana:

And when I had that conversation with my doctor Allan, and he was just like, well, let’s run this test, but I don’t think you need this medicine. I mean, the world stopped.

Nicole:

I’m sure you were like, that is not what I thought you would say out of your mouth.

Lana:

I was like, what is he even saying?

Nicole:

How long were you without serious symptoms on your new regimen before they were, before you were like, let’s see what’s going on here.

Lana:

Well, I didn’t have an active flare, I hadn’t had an active flare up since like 2010. Great, so like 9, 10. And then in terms of working with the Naturopathic doctor, the gut issues resided around 2021. Wow. And so by the time I’m talking to him now, I was talking to him at the beginning of the year and he was like, no, I don’t think you really need this, but let’s do a test to be sure.

Nicole:

Of course, good science, I understand.

Lana:

Let’s confirm. Yeah, but I mean, he didn’t understand it, but he didn’t know the depths of what I had been supplementing with.

Nicole:

Of course, of course.

Lana:

What I had been doing to enhance the way my body is working.

Nicole:

See, and I think that that is the messaging and all of it because again, I am a fan of conventional medicine. I think that there is a place, especially having had a daughter who’s gone through chemotherapy. I never want to be the place that is saying all of this or all of that. What I always seek to do when embracing and sharing new perspectives is letting people know, look into your options. Be empowered to make decisions around your own health. Don’t exclude things that may be unfamiliar because you may find that if anything, if you can come off of two meds and you’re taking four, that is a blessing.

If you can be in a situation where you can take a slower dose of the same med, that is a blessing. If you’re able to find that you can go longer and have more energy during the day or less side effects from your meds, that is a blessing. And a lot of that comes from exploring your own medicine, as you’ve shown us.

Lana:

Absolutely. Because I think I was prepared, like, I was really mentally, emotionally prepared to live with this disease, but it wasn’t enough for me to just not have a flare. I wanted to feel good all the way around.

Nicole:

Which makes sense.

Lana:

I wanted a high functioning body. And so it was like I was willing to take my medicine. Because we’re not saying throw the baby out with the bathroom.

Nicole:

Absolutely.

Lana:

But I was also willing to work and look into other things. And it just so happened that in looking into something else, it meant that I don’t need this anymore.

Nicole:

Amazing. So what does this mean about your quality of life since you’ve started engaging in taking Browne Wellness tools and engaging in learning more about different options? What have you seen? What have you experienced?

Lana:

Like personally…

Nicole:

What you all don’t know is that Lana has a very prominent government position. She also works in media and she also has this incredible company that is growing every single day, literally real time. People are headed over there, they’re following, like, go to Browne Wellness on Instagram. All the details again in the show notes. But I mean, she is doing 500 things. This woman is a mogul. So that said, you’re alive, you’re walking around, and when I tell you, you can feel the peaceful energy in her. Which is why I’m like mushrooms, what? You know what I mean. I’m like coffee what? Tell me, so how has your life shifted? How do you feel?

Lana:

I am the most me I’ve ever been.

Nicole:

If that isn’t a full statement, it’s the truth, though, because people are so quick to say, like, I’m the one who’s always like, I feel peaceful, I feel joy. Isn’t saying that I am me enough?

Lana:

Yeah. It’s changed my whole life. Like, it’s opened up my whole world, like the world of wellness. And just being able to change my mind and to create the life that I know wants me, that I deserve.

Nicole:

That’s so good.

Lana:

And it’s hard to manifest and create things when you don’t feel good in your body.

Nicole:

That is a fact.

Lana:

You can’t. And so it’s like feeling good in my body well has allowed me to now give birth to all of these things.

Nicole:

That’s good and show up completely and see it come to fruition.

Lana:

That’s what embodiment is. We have to put our body into the things that we want to do. But that body we put in has to be a body that feels supported. It has to be a body that’s well, and it’s like wellness is a journey. It’s not like I’m like, oh, everything is amazing.

Nicole:

There’ll be highs and lows. Stress might make something flare up that we got to tone down or whatever. But let’s go into it the best we are the best we can because.

Lana:

Our bodies are always talking to us. And now I’m just really engaged in the conversation. And so my quality of life is better. I mean, I don’t have my days, but my quality of life from when I was in my 20s or even as a child to now, night and day, most me I’ve ever been.

Nicole:

On that note, Lana, you are so incredible, so inspiring. Not only do I enjoy following your journey on Instagram, Lana Jackson is on Instagram. You can follow her there. But also, I am so proud and excited and engaged with Browne Wellness and the opportunity that we all have to live better, happier, more complete lives. So what’s next for Browne Wellness? Where can we find you? Where can we get product? What is available? How do we start our healthy journeys? Where can we learn more?

Lana:

You can learn more by going to Brownewellness.com. You can follow us on Instagram and at BrowneWellness. And I think in terms of what’s coming for us, so many things. We are building a community. The most important thing, I think, is for Brown women to have a place to go to just get advice about it may not be, like, medical information, but you’re like, how do I leverage the supplement? Is it something I open up and put in a smoothie? Is this something that I should take at a certain time of day? Who knows a great doula around here. I think we need a repository. The way that I look to certain other brands that I really admire and respect, like, and it’s a place that you can go and get some reliable advice. And so we’re building that. We’re creating community. We’re planning a wellness retreat that centers us and our…

Nicole:

Oh I love that.

Lana:

Our experiences in wellness where you’ll be able to learn about the newest wellness things that are coming out so that we get access to that stuff first and we get that information from the experts.

Nicole:

So, so good. Y’all follow Browne Wellness. That’s BrowneWellness.com. And stay tuned because Lana Jackson’s here doing big things. I am so grateful that you were here today, that we’re able to have this chat. Thank you so much for being here.

Lana:

Thank you, Nicole. I appreciate you.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, or iHeartRadio
 
In this episode, Lana and I chat about:
  • Her wellness journey that started with a diagnosis at age 13,
  • Why she considered naturopathic solutions in addition to medication she was already on,
  • How to supplement your health with naturopathic solutions, and
  • Why supplementation is no longer optional

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • Connect with Lana and Browne Wellness HERE and on Instagram!
  • Pre-order my memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE!
  • Send me a DM on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • Don’t miss our last chat on how to know if you’re on the right path. Listen here!
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!

More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.