Melissa Urban

Whole30 Co-Founder and CEO

Melissa Urban is a certified sports nutritionist who specializes in helping people change their relationship with food and create life-long, healthy habits. She is the co-creator of the Whole30 program, the New York Times bestselling author of It Starts With Food and The Whole30, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Details, Redbook, and Woman’s World. Urban has presented over 150 health and nutrition seminars worldwide, and connects with more than 1 million people a month through the Whole30 website.

Photo credit: Taylor Gage

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What is your wellness philosophy?

Wellness isn't passive. It doesn't just happen, and won't manifest if you aren't actively pursuing it. True wellness is actively cultivated in every area of your life; physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. Be relentless in your inquiries, and pay yourself first.

What brought you into wellness?

I came to wellness from a profoundly unwell state. I found wellness (starting with fitness) after leaving my drug addiction treatment facility. I realized unless I changed everything about my life and adopted a growth mindset (I am a healthy person with healthy habits), I didn't stand a chance of staying clean. I began exercising, found a group of women to run with, started eating healthier, and reconnected with friends and family who would support my new lifestyle. I'm happy to say I've been clean for nearly 18 years now, and I credit my commitment to wellness as a huge factor in changing my life.

What does You. We. All. mean to you?

It starts with YOU; with me, the individual. You have to fill yourself up before all others; otherwise, you'll have nothing good to give to anyone else. I always pay myself first, mind, body, and soul. From that point of wellness, stability, and power, I can give so much to the WE (the you, collective), creating the kind of connections and support that lift us all up. But these actions and intentions go so far beyond just YOU and WE. This energy and committment to fostering connection is for the good of ALL; those we know and those we have yet to touch but will through a chain of people or actions that have yet to manifest.

What empowers you?

I empower myself, by committing to loving what is, and remembering I always have a choice in how I respond to situations. I retain my power by accepting the present, and choosing happiness or peace even in times of turmoil, and practicing self-love even when it's hard.