You might be surprised to learn that you don’t actually need to practice a vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian diet in order to live a healthier life. Just ask Melody Jones, blogger and founder of Melody Organics, who says “finding a balance” is what’s most important when pursuing a healthier diet. “I eat a lot of everything,” Melody Jones says to her sweat. “But when you have balance, it’s easier to get to know yourself and what works for you.”
She was diagnosed with lupus in 2001 after discovering a “butterfly rash” across her face, a common indicator of disorder, but didn’t commit to a healthy lifestyle until years later when she was pregnant with her son, RJ. “I wanted to make sure that the things I’m putting into my body are going to make him healthy and wouldn’t affect him in a bad way,” she offered. “That kind of gave me the energy to move forward.”
Fast forward to today and Melody Jones uses her Instagram as a platform to encourage the public to practice healthier eating habits and teach her followers about the benefits of juicing all while professing her love for tacos because who doesn’t love tacos?
her sweat. spoke with Jones about how she turned her love for juicing into a brand.
her sweat.: For those who aren’t aware of lupus and its effects on the body, what is lupus?
Melody Jones: Lupus is an anti-inflammatory disorder, and I was diagnosed at 16. Basically your immune system doesn’t necessarily recognize good things as good and bad things as bad. Even if you’re putting positive things into your body, it doesn’t necessarily recognize that it’s positive and attacks those things coming into your body. The main thing is keeping the immune system strong and keeping the immune system working at an optimum level. For lupus and for most anti-inflammatory diseases, you have to make sure you’re strengthening your immune system, which is where juicing came into play for me, because that’s a really good way to strengthen your immune system, get your vitamins in and go about your day. A lot of people are living happy and comfortably with lupus because they’re paying attention to their diet and fitness regime.
At 16, how did you cope with the sickness’ side effects and changes to your body?
I was like, ‘What is this?’ [laughs] It kind of felt like a death sentence. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my son four years later that I really wanted to take care of myself. From there I started studying health a little bit more. I’ve always been interested in the eating practices of different cultures and different people and how it affects their lives, so I’ve always looked at vegan diets, vegetarian diets and pescatarian diets. There are all these different health paths to take, but I didn’t consider it until my son was born. When I drink juice, I feel good, and when I don’t, I feel more sick, I feel more susceptible to getting sick. You have to find a balance.
What were the more noticeable affects the sickness had on your body?
My weight, but it was probably due to my eating habits at the time. There are different things that cause your weight to be unpredictable but my diet practice definitely wasn’t helping anything either. [Since juicing] I noticed a big change in my energy levels. Vitamins are really, really important and mother nature has them here on our planet for us already. There are supplements and other things you can take, but those are all an evolved version of what we already have.
Earlier, you said you were always interested in exploring different eating habits, so at what point did juicing come into play?
So my first thought was, “How can I make this taste good?” I tried to have fun with it and made sure I knew which vitamins are packed in what fruits and vegetables. I would go to a smoothie bar and see that they put pineapple with kale, so I wanted to try that and it kind of evolved from there. I started finding what fruit and vegetables were the most beneficial for anti-inflammatory issues, so it was more leafy green vegetables and water-based vegetables that would help me. From there, I started branching out and it became a lot of fun for me.
Seeing how much you loved juicing, what inspired you to launch the Melody Organics brand?
Well, I was just making juices for my friends and then I would put my juices on my Instagram page and hashtag #WhatsInMyCup. I had done a quick juice tutorial before and then my friend, Jamal, had an idea of making the videos longer and funny. When we started going over the process, I fell in love with the production side of things—writing, putting together concepts for video content. Juice is cashable and once you make it, you have to drink it in three days but if you give people the recipe or show them how to do it, then it makes the brand move a little faster as people notice the videos and want to get more involved. That’s why I started the YouTube channel.
What’s the overall message you’re trying to project with your brand?
My main message is balance. It’s not about being strict and healthy every day and only eating vegetables.
And you love tacos, a lot!
Yes! [laughs] I want it to be understood that I’m down for enjoying life, being free and living how you’re inspired to live, whatever works for you. I think my main message is just finding balance and finding the voice inside of you. I want everyone who looks to me for information to know that I’m finding inspiration in them as well, all the time.
What types of workouts do you like to do?
I like to do outdoor workouts like hiking, running at the park. I don’t really go to the gym that much because the weather in L.A. is so nice. I like to be out in nature.
What are two of your favorite go-to juices to make?
My favorite go-to juices are kale, cucumber, apple, mint, then kale, pineapple, cucumber. Cucumber just makes everything feel fresh and it’s good for your skin and your hair. Juicing is so cool because you can specifically target and select what you’re putting in your juices based on what you want to improve upon.
A post shared by Melody Jones (@melodyorganics) on Apr 19, 2016 at 9:32am PDT
Is there anything about juice detoxing that surprised you? A vegetable with healing properties?
I don’t know if surprised is the word because when I first organic juicing, I knew it was going to be good for me. I was more surprised at how easy the lifestyle is once you get into the groove of it.
Since summer is coming up, what’s your favorite summer juice recipe?
Lavender blooms in the summer, so I’m going to get a lavender plant this summer and hopefully try to infuse some juices with them. Lavender anything!
Do you feel as though you’ve found your calling?
I feel like my calling is to be the best me I can be. I am consistently inspired by people who continue to try to be better than they were yesterday, everyday. Everyday is a new day to appreciate our gifts and I just want to live in that fully.
How do you see Melody Organics evolving over the next few years?
I love YouTube and I want to add more video content to my channel, so that’s where I am right now. I want to add more content to my blog and find more ways to get the message out there. What I do know now is that I love writing, video content, and juicing. I’m hoping to have juices available.