Jody Levy is an artist, designer, director, educator, entrepreneur, executive, investor, and serial entrepreneur. She is the founder, creative director, and Chief Executive Officer of a handful of companies dedicated to empowering people to be as healthy and happy as possible, such as LabElymental | The Milk Cleanse, NeuroPraxis Digital App, WTRMLN WTR, SUMMIT, GEM&BOLT Mezcal, Black Diamond Craft | Design + Strategy, RBL REMOTE Fitness App, & many more.
She is also a partner, advisor, and investor in many category-disrupting brands and companies such as Lifeway Kefir, Bulletproof, Thrive Market, Parsley Health, The WELL, Inscape, Pinata, and more.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Jody Levy: Thank you for having me and for sharing my story. I grew up in the Detroit area and knew from a very young age that I was an artist. I have spent my life making large-scale paintings and immersive installations and designing stories and solutions that help advance our shared society. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the artistic medium of business.
My passion is in inventing products and services that inspire change, that act as an interface to larger solutions, and that support people in finding their path to health and happiness.
My personal adventure has, in some ways, been defined by going undiagnosed with Lyme Disease, toxic mold exposure, and other biotoxin illnesses for over 18 years. I was silently suffering for decades and in search of a cause and a solution to feeling so out of balance. In the midst of my entrepreneurial journey, while building my first beverage company, WTRMLN WTR, I did a very abstract wellness bio-hack with Dr. Linda Lancaster, where I drank only goat milk and took her proprietary supplements for 8 full days. At the end of this crazy week, I felt incredible — my mind was clear, the incessant aches and pains in my body had vanished, my gut was at peace for the first time ever, and my energy was alive and vibrant. For the first time in two decades, I felt alive and well and immediately knew I had to bring this incredible modality, The Milk Cleanse, into the world to help others heal.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Jody Levy: I really believe in the power of intuition, and trust in all things including business. One of the most profound examples of this is the timing of the launch of one of my beverage products, WTRMLN WTR.
Our launch date was delayed, for many months, and when we finally opened the doors with Whole Foods Market — the shelves were full of cold-pressed, hot pink, juicy WTRMLN WTR — it was a simultaneous moment in time to the release of Beyonce Knowles-Carter’s track ‘Drunk In Love,’ which ends in the lyrics “I’ve been drinking watermelon.” This totally serendipitous timing sparked what turned into an incredibly fruitful partnership, one where Beyonce became my business partner in our mission-driven company, dedicated to educating the world about how important clean food is for our own wellbeing, and that of our planet.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Jody Levy: It took me some time and experience before I realized how discerning you have to be with investors. Money is energy, and one misaligned force can make a big impact on the journey. So now .. I assume everyone I meet is not a fit, and from there, I interview, ask questions, reference check, and explore possibilities.
Every once in a while someone comes along who is a beautiful addition to a team and invests with me/us in an endeavor. And when they do, they are additive and aligned to build and enhance our success.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Jody Levy: Oh, I am so lucky to have so many of these people in my life! My sister and my girlfriends are my mountains and without them, I can’t get by.
My business experience was learning through experience with both my mom and dad. I learned early that work and play were completely intermingled. This entrepreneurial way of being was programmed in from when I was a kid. And as independent as I am, I have always gone after industries and projects that I know very little about, so I have made an adventure out of seeking the best and brilliant in each field.
I know when to ask for help, and I am incredibly humbled and grateful when someone in my life shows up to support my curiosity.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Jody Levy: I believe in inspiring people to work on themselves so that they can thrive in our shared world.
There is a lot of information that contradicts other inputs and data points. We live in a society where we have historically made lifestyle choices based upon the influence of others. The only truth I know is this: every human body is different, and how that human body interacts with the world around them is even more different.
Our ability to stay in balance, if you will, is predicated on how we are coded, what toxins we are surrounded by, how our cells behave, how the foods we eat nourish us, our air, our water, how our homes are cleaned, how we process stress, sex, and love. It’s all a combination of actions and reactions.
So … I believe in people knowing what tools they can use to feel good, optimize their systems, train their brains and find easy ways to experience health and happiness. Our health is a balancing act, and I have had to learn some of the strangest re-balancing tools, and when I did and saw how easy and effective they can be, I decided to share them with anyone who may need them.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
The Milk Cleanser is an 8-day, doctor-developed wellness cleanse rooted in the ancient Ayurvedic tradition of Panchakarma, combining full-fat milk (we recommend goat), and proprietary supplements that pull toxins and parasites out of the body.
I feel my absolute best when I am “drinking milk’. This keeps my gut clear of parasites and microbiological critters not meant to be in our systems, and it makes my skin glow, my brain feels crystal clear, and fills me with insane energy and clarity!! I first did The Milk Cleanse to alleviate symptoms often associated with Lyme Disease and it made me feel the best I had in almost 20 years!! I do The Milk Cleanse 4 times per year to keep my body clear and mind strong.
2. NeuroPraxis Mind Repatterning App
I use this to repattern my limbic system out of stress and PTSD triggers. This keeps my body totally pain-free. They are super easy 10 minute guided modules that I do while I walk, ride my bike, take baths, etc.
I discovered NeuroSculpting when I was suffering with intense lower back pain and nothing else worked. I met the inventor, Lisa Wimberger and we did 4 sessions and my pain was gone and I never looked back! I do a module almost every day.
3. RBL REMOTE Virtual Functional Fitness Studio
My workouts are my sanity, and RBL is the very best. Functional H.I.T. classes as well as pilates-inspired workouts. 20–45–60 minutes. I do this at least 3 times per week!
4. Dance + Music + Big Sound Systems
My passion in life is for rhythm-based underground dance music on very large, perfectly-tuned sound systems. Dance is my most important wellness hack: I dance every day. On my best days … I dance all day. This is what keeps me in my child-like sense of presence and joy! A few of my favorite musical sets:
I am obsessed with this frequency device. I used it originally to bio-hack my wellness after a long undiagnosed journey with Lyme Disease. But now I use the device and the various frequencies to tune my body and brain. I love how I feel when I use it. I wear it to sleep and wake up feeling lit up and ready to rock and roll.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
We are doing it! There is a group of incredible people across the planet working hard to share the knowledge and the tools and making it accessible and inexpensive so that as many people as possible can find the information, products, clinics, etc.
We just finished an incredible event for The Milk Cleanse, Cleanse With Friends, where we had over a hundred people drink milk together from all over the world, and incredible teachers and speakers guiding and supporting everyone through the process. We had so much fun doing it and had some amazing events planned along with some dance sessions, keynotes talk about the power of Ayurvedic, yoga and meditation classes, sessions on mindfulness & movement modalities.
This is a job of a collective, a job of our society, and I see my closest friends and I waking up each day to share our knowledge, our research, apply it to our products and services and inspire changing tides across the globe. There is a lot more work to be done and a lot more people to reach, but the water has started to ripple.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- You win when you enjoy the process, it’s not about where you end up or the finish line, it’s about enjoying the adventure all the way through.
- Do things that keep your body and mind in balance always. No matter how many things are on your list, no matter how many people are waiting for answers — do the things that keep you in your flow.
- Experiment often and don’t be afraid to trip or suffer. This is where the magic lives.
- Our bodies are all different. Trying to make your body something it is not is a waste of vital life force.
- Saying no can be the kindest, most appropriate answer.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Jody Levy: There are a lot of people suffering on our planet right now, and my mission is to help them find relief and ultimately joy. Like the human body, I believe our relationship to the planet is also a constant balancing act, and we must do all we can wherever we can to be responsible and in alignment.
I try to employ best practices with sustainability in my day-to-day life, and in all of my companies with how we operate, what materials we select, how we upcycle and manage waste, and more.
Our food system is complex and much of our conventional, commercial food production is terrifying, but I am an advocate of responsibly raised, and sourced foods.
Mental health is a big focus for me, this is why I spend so much time sharing what I know about our food system, and how to best make choices for what foods we eat, as well as why I believe so strongly in brain re-patterning and supplementation to optimize our mind-brain-gut connection.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Jody Levy: You can find out more about The Milk Cleanse on Instagram at @themilkcleanse, and for more personal updates, you can find me at @nativenomad. Thank you!
Thank you for these fantastic insights!