Getting to know Lisa Odenweller, Founder of Beaming

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Beaming is a Southern California based organic superfood café with a bold mission to inspire people of all ages to experience greater health, vitality and happiness through nutritiously powerful and deliciously addictive plant-based foods and juices. I was recently given the opportunity to try one of their superfood cleanses and absolutely loved it! Click here to read about my experience.

Needless to say I was thrilled when Beaming’s founder, Lisa Odenweller, agreed to share with me everything from how she started the company, to why she believes in whole food cleansing, to her favorite yoga pose. Without further ado, please enjoy getting to know Lisa as much as I did!

What is your personal food philosophy?

I love this question… My food “philosophy” is that our food choices are the cornerstone of our health. I believe in being more mindful of what we eat and drink, and making conscious choices. It’s not about perfection, never indulging, or only one way of eating. It’s about knowing when you feel your best, and how to get back to that when you are off your game.

Who were you in your past life (aka, what did you do before you opened Beaming)?

I think I have been building Beaming my entire life and just didn’t know it. Sometimes you have to get hit over the head (multiple times for some of us!) to finally get the point. I’ve had many careers from selling corned beef hash and country sausage gravy for Nestle right out of college (did I really do this? YIKES!), to sales, marketing and business development in the software industry, to starting a very successful window coverings interior design company while I had two more children.

I was always passionate about food, exercise and wanting to inspire “good health” among my friends and family, but it wasn’t until I had my own health & hormone challenges and my daughter was put on ADD medication that I began to learn about food as medicine from wellness warriors such as Kris Carr, Christine Northrup and others. When I learned that the cornerstone of our health is directly correlated to what we eat and drink, I knew that I had to share this in a way that would inspire change. And nothing does this better than to experience it for yourself. Thus, Beaming was born.Beaming 2

How did you come to open the first Beaming location?

I started Beaming with our signature raw food cleanse program (we now call it a superfood cleanse) in response to watching many of my friends party from Thursday to Sunday and do ridiculous fruit sugar-filled juice cleanses from Monday to Wednesday. No joke.

I wanted to offer a program that would inspire long term health rather than short term weight loss, so I launched the first cleanse in November of 2011 as a trial to friends and family. The goal was to find out if people would feel (and look) so good that they would want to continue to make healthy choices long after the cleanse was over. Over 90 people went through the first cleanse together, and it worked. They felt better than they had in years, and in many cases better than they had ever felt. They wanted “Beaming” (our menu of healthy foods, juices and smoothies) all the time. I offered this program again 7 more times over the course of that next year and people’s lives and health were changing. It was incredible, and at the heart & soul of why I started Beaming.

The success of the cleanse program allowed me to open the first location in Del Mar, CA in December 2012. In December 2014 we opened our first location in LA in Brentwood, then Beaming Santa Monica opened in January 2015, and the West Hollywood location will open in May 2015. Hard to believe that 3 1/2 years ago I was making cleanses out of a small, random kitchen for hundreds of people!Beaming 1

Cleansing is extremely popular these days, and there are many ways to do it. Why do you believe in whole food cleansing?

The word “cleanse” has such a negative connotation as it suggests deprivation, starvation and even running to the bathroom – you know what I’m talking about! With whole food cleansing, you actually eat foods, which I consider more of a “rejuvenation” that’s ultimately about getting us off the things wreaking havoc on our bodies like gluten, wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and too much animal protein. But until we rename it “rejuvenation,” we will follow the market by calling it a “cleanse.”

We don’t believe in starvation and deprivation diets. Instead we believe that a good cleanse should not only be enjoyable, but set you up for success long after it’s over. It should be a reset that allows you to experience how good it feels when you feed your body right. Our approach includes delicious salads, soups, superfood smoothies, superfood elixirs, juices, and snacks or power shots. When you remove the foods causing inflammation in your body and instead nourish it, you immediately see and feel the difference. Most importantly, because whole food cleansing includes food, it gives you the tools and inspiration to continue to learn how to nourish your body for long term hearth and vitality.

In comparison, juice-only cleanses deprive your body of necessary nutrients like protein, fiber and fat that are critical for your body to thrive and properly metabolize. In addition, most of these juice fasts are filled with fruit sugar (as much as 160-240g / day of sugar) causing insulin spikes (blood sugar inbalances), which actually results in weight gain and a slew of other health issues.

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What can people expect from a Beaming cleanse?

They can expect to feel (and look) amazing. What surprises people is how enjoyable and satisfying our programs are because of the delicious combination of food. Also, every day the menu changes so you’re always enjoying something new.

When I was starting Beaming I tried many of the different cleanses on the market as research, and I have to say I couldn’t get through any of them – especially the juice cleanses. Most were filled with too much fruit sugar, and others either tasted horrible or left me feeling starving and grumpy. I don’t believe we need to starve ourselves to allow our bodies to heal – in fact, quite the opposite, which is why we promote cleansing with food.

Do you practice yoga?

I do, although not as often as I would like. I exercise daily but always feel better when I incorporate a regular yoga practice. My foundation is in ashtanga, which I started practicing about 18 years ago. Now I tend to practice more of a hybrid either on my own or at Yogaworks in Santa Monica.

If so, what’s your favorite pose?

I think I have to say downward dog. Maybe because I run a lot and it always feels good on tight muscles, but I also always find that it helps me relieve stress as it opens my shoulders, hamstrings and hips.

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Joanna McCracken photo by fluid frame
 Joanna Berman is a holistic health counselor, writer, recipe developer, 500-hour certified yoga teacher, and the Content & Communications Manager at YogaWorks and MyYogaWorks. She believes in finding balance, figuring out what makes you feel your best, and most importantly enjoying the process. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram at @peppermysalt for all things food and yoga, including in-post recipes! peppermysalt.com 

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