Meet the Healthy Tourist: Bonnie Lewis

This is Jenny, popping in for a sec so I can introduce Bonnie to you. She and I have been friends for about a year now and we're both working on finding healthy solutions for our lives. We were talking about our struggles and she really hit on ways to make things easier for me, for herself, and maybe for you too. Things like: When there are 57 types of yogurt to buy at Publix, which one is really good for me? Are free-range eggs really free-range? What exactly should I snack on before hot yoga, so I don't feel nauseated?

Together, we are going to answer these questions and explore our City Beautiful in new healthy ways. Welcome to Healthy Tourist!

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Meet Bonnie

The Healthy Tourist

I want to explore Orlando’s food culture, its wellness businesses, its restaurants, its stuff to do, its spiritual places - and I want to take you on a tour and find all of the nooks and crannies where people do things to help other people to be well.

Just so you know a little about me .. I love laughing really loud at inappropriate things.  I run every day as much for my mental health as for my physical.  I spend pretty much all of my time with my two favorite guys - my hubs Brian and our son Nicholas.  We like to paddle board on the amazing lakes around here, watch silly movies, play badminton, eat treats, spend time with friends, check out events on the weekends, and invent things. 

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For work, I sew. Some people know me as the founder of a sewing school in Orlando called Common Sewing. I have had a dream of bringing sewing back into our lifestyles in a way that was relevant, sustainable and easy for decades and I am loving teaching the basic skills needed to be a maker right here in the City Beautiful. I also travel for work as a tailor on fashion photo advertising shoots. (To be fully transparent, right now I am writing to you from my hotel room in the Bahamas where I am shooting a Polo campaign with the Ralph Lauren team.) 

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At my heart, I am on a journey to figure out how to be healthy myself, and how to support my families’ health in our overscheduled lifestyle.  Before we start I need to point out that I am not a nutritionist, health coach, yogi, doctor or even a person who has comfortably reached her own health goals. I have had, though, two distinct moments in my life when my health was falling apart and I made intentional changes that brought my body, my mind, and my spirit back to the balance and wellbeing; that gave me ease and joy and the ability to fully enjoy living. One, after a long run on photo shoots, I found myself every day anxious, backed up, exhausted and unable to stop eating and drinking a lot of things that were making me feel terrible. A friend gave me a book - Paul Pitchford’s Healing With Whole Foods. I was sick enough to read it … all seven hundred pages front to back … and bring the practices of nourishing myself with whole foods into my life. I relearned how good I was meant to feel. At the time I was single and had a lot of free time to devote to gathering food and herbs, cooking, practicing yoga and exercising. And then life went on, I let go of practices I had learned. I became a wife and a mom and taking care of life gradually took precedence over taking care of our health.  

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My family started to struggle. My husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure and I was tired all of the time, my joints ached and I was continually gaining weight.  And last July I found a healthy living challenge that brought me back to health. My husband loved the way I was cooking for us so much he joined me.  Now, months later, he is on the very minimum medication for his blood pressure and we have hopes that he will be able to let it go permanently because of our life changes. I reset. At age 45, I lost all of the weight that had been slowly creeping up (screw you metabolism!) and I feel good in my body, rest well and have great energy.

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My family is thinking a lot about how to stay healthy while in the midst of our very busy lives.  Healthy Tourist is my invitation to you to figure this stuff out with me. I want to explore Orlando’s food culture, its wellness businesses, its restaurants, its stuff to do, its spiritual places - and I want to take you on a tour and find all of the nooks and crannies where people do things to help other people to be well.  

Here we go!