9 Wellness Influencers on the Wakeup Call That Changed Their Lives for the Better

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Intel straight from our hand-picked health squad of best-selling authors, entrepreneurs, and healthy-minded celebs who are leading—and shaking up—the wellness scene.

As many people who are now gurus, experts, or the heads of wellness empires will tell you—you don't always start off taking your vitamins and sipping on kombucha. Frequently, it takes discovering a health ailment or having a life-altering perspective shift.

Here, members of our Well+Good Council—doctors, nutritionists, chefs, health coaches, fitness trainers, and entrepreneurs—reveal the moments that changed the way they thought about their mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Read on for the a-ha! moments that transformed the lives of Candice Kumai, Elle Macpherson, and more.

Photo: Instagram/@barrysbootcamp

Joey Gonzalez, CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp

After many years of struggling with my weight and body image, I discovered fitness in a Barry's class and was hooked for life.

Photo: Stocksy/Aleksander Novoselski

Sophia Gushee, healthy home expert

I have had several wellness wakeup calls. I've most recently experienced how sensitive I am to electromagnetic fields (EMF), which are created from both wired and wireless technologies. Desperate and worried, I hired an expert to measure my home and learned of sources of extraordinarily high EMF exposures. After shutting off these exposures, I felt relief immediately. I now understand how burdensome chronic EMF exposures can be, and listen to when my body and brain are telling me that they need a break.

Photo: @SmitBruins via Twenty20

Drew Ramsey, MD, psychiatrist and farmer

The research on omega-3 fats and brain health: I was a vegetarian and hated seafood, but that's where you get the best long-chained omega-3s. I was 30 and pretty angsty and at times negative; I was worried I was depressed sometimes. I started evolving my palette and eating fish and meat. That and my dad, who's pretty healthy and was vegan, had quadruple bypass in 2011 right after our daughter was born. 

Photo: Stocksy/Aubrie LeGault

Jill Blakeway, DACM, acupuncturist and women's health expert

Acupuncture is energy medicine, and I practice a very energetic version of it. Early in my career I found that although I was able to help many of my patients, I was getting sicker and sicker myself. I developed a heart rhythm disorder that left me tired and mystified my doctors. I began to realize that the ways in which I was interacting with other people's energy fields were draining and having a negative effect on my health. So I taught myself new techniques to protect my own energy field. Those energetic protection techniques worked well and resolved my own health issues and ultimately made it possible for me to work with people on a deeper level. 

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Lily Kunin, healthy chef and founder of Clean Food Dirty City

I experienced chronic migraines and vertigo for years—and tried every conventional and alternative treatment. But it wasn't until I experimented with giving up gluten that they were resolved nearly overnight. It was the first moment I realized what I was putting in my body had an incredible effect on how I feel.

Photo: Instagram/@candicekumai

Candice Kumai, rockstar healthy chef

When I wrote my book Clean Green Drinks, I simultaneously got into the best shape of my life—and that wasn't planned. 

Photo: Stocksy/Andrey Pavlov

Lila Darville, sex expert and relationship coach

Stumbling into the importance of sexual wellness after being completely shut down. For me there's no greater way to feel alive, energized, and connected.

Photo: @anton_sid via Twenty20

Robin Berzin, MD, functional medicine doctor

I was 22 living in New York City and found my way into a yoga class. I'd never been interested in wellness and I wasn't a spiritual person at the time. In savasana at the end of one class, I had a breakthrough moment where I realized I had been living with a concrete wall dividing my head from my body. The two had been disconnected—and suddenly were reintegrated. That new awareness of self and an interest in the connection between mind and body were what propelled me to quit my job, go to medical school, become a doctor, and probably to start Parsley Health

Photo: Twenty20/@_eatandlove_

Elle Macpherson, supermodel and co-founder of WelleCo

After learning about body acidity and alkalinity from my nutritional doctor, Simone Laubscher, PhD, I stopped taking synthetic vitamins, which the body can struggle to recognize and instead added an all-in-one, whole-food, multivitamin meaning it's recognized and highly absorbable by the body to nourish your cells right down to the mitochondria. My body finally felt like it was getting the nutrients it needed.

For more healthy intel from our Well+Good Council members, here's the gratitude practice they each do on the reg and the best relationship advice they've ever received

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