In this week’s blog, we chatted with Akeem Pierre, a lifestyle movement coach and wellness vlogger based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, who knows all about how to treat your body right! Stacey (Founder of Pepper) chatted with Akeem after his amazing presentation at The Experience / ARC.
Work life balance is one of those fictional terms that seems incredibly unachievable when you’re running your own business and maintaining other identities, like being a great mother, sister, daughter, or coach, teacher, accountant, marketer, assistant… We all know how this list goes on and on!
At Pepper – Your Badass Business BFF Inc., we have been saying ON REPEAT that juggling your creative business and life beyond that can be hard, but it’s imperative. Stacey was so inspired by Akeem’s presentation at ARC’s education event last September, that she knew he had to share his story with all of you!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Akeem Pierre and I’m a lifestyle movement coach from Vancouver, British Columbia. In the past five years I have been re-learning what it means to love myself and I have been sharing that process. I put a lot of my focus towards movement, food and nutrition, and the mind’s role on our wellbeing.
What is the motivation behind your brand of wellness and high grade healing products?
It was really driven by my desire to have these products available to myself and my friends and family. I am blessed to have family in Saint Lucia who are farmers and have dedicated their lives to getting the highest quality herbs to fuel their herbal medicine practice. I started using these herbs for a year and a bit then I thought “Who else could benefit from getting access to these high-quality products?” I also believe in turning your passion into profits so since I have a passion for health and wellness I thought it would be the perfect opportunity!
How would you say that the average person is really losing himself/herself mentally, psychically and emotionally and as a term that you’ve used before ‘living a suicidal life’?
From my experience, it was due to me putting more value in the things outside of me instead of in myself. That led me to live a life where I completely ignored what my inner voice was saying and I was just going with what I felt others wanted or expected of me. We have this idea that we shouldn’t be selfish which really just means we shouldn’t put ourselves first. When we live from that perspective, we forget that we must first fill our own cup by being selfish and then we can share with others. The term living a suicidal life refers to the destructive lifestyle and actions that we take. It’s an extreme term to use, but I believe we should be able to look at our actions without judgement and from there decide if we would like to continue down that path or not.
What does ‘work life balance’ mean to you, and how do you try to achieve this in your day to day life?
Work-life balance is something that is born out of our need to compartmentalize everything in our society. We don’t need to balance work and life. What type of life are we living if we have to either chose ‘work’ or ‘life’ I choose life every time. With that being said, I implement this in my life by making my work as close to my passions as possible. I believe that love is law and family is business. That means I want to include my family in my business and I want what I create to include those around me. That has lead me to become self-employed so I can have more control over my time and empower those around me. I also believe balance is never final and we are continually balancing.
As a creative and overall busy guy, how do you make time for your fitness goals?
I really don’t think I’m a busy guy. I don’t like the word ‘busy’ too much. It gives us an excuse to not do something even if we know it is what is needed. It’s really all about our choices. So I first had to decide that fitness was of a high importance to me and then from there see how I can fit it in my life. I work in a gym most of the time so all I have to do is change and workout in between students. For those of you who don’t, I would recommend asking yourself how much you value your fitness and how much time you could realistically dedicate to it a week and then do that. Even if its only 90 minutes a week. I also believe that fitness/movement doesn’t have to take up your whole day so I do things like squat on the train, stretch while my food is cooking and run up stairs.
What is your current fitness/workout routine looking like?
I am currently training four days a week and my routine is a mix of weighted lower body exercises like deadlifts and squats with upper body calisthenics movements to help me reach my calisthenics goals like handstand push-ups, front levers and the plank.
What is your favourite dish to cook? Please elaborate on the ingredients used, how to make it, etc.
I have really been eating a variation of the same dish for the past three years! It’s just a stew or as they call it in Saint Lucia – a “one pot” – because it only needs one pot to be cooked. I just switch up the seasonings, veggies and sides to make it unique week to week. I will share the link to a few different videos I have making it. One is a pizza, another is a curry style with roti. One is stuffed in acorn squash and another is made into Jamaican patties. I found something I love so I stick to it! It almost always has a base of red or green onions, oyster mushrooms and coconut milk and from there, the veggies vary from Taro, zucchini, eggplant, banana squash is a favourite, chickpeas, sprouted lentils and much more!
Where do you find inspiration to make healthy, tasty food for your mind, body and soul?
The inspiration to make the food I make comes from a love of self and appreciation for the earth. Since I started caring about what I eat my food has not only made me feel better, but it tastes better and I fully enjoy the process of cooking that much more. Cooking for me is now therapeutic. It is a form of creativity to me. I love exploring different types of cuisines and adding my own plant based spin on things! An Ital diet really just means eating and living in a way that is as natural as possible. So when you have the option, you’ll choose the organic food, or even better you will grow your own! Ital is more than just saying I don’t eat animal products. It shows a respect for life as a whole including ourselves. You know, I saw a post on Instagram the other day that a vegan posted and it said “Don’t worry, why I eat all this processed vegan food, I care about the animals, not myself.” So when you look at vegan, there is no requirement to love self which to me is the most important. If you are interested, you just have to start putting yourself first and eating things that you know are good for both yourself and the earth.
Many people out there meal prep as a way of keeping themselves on track with their fitness goals, saving time in the kitchen, and trying to eat healthier. Can you offer some advice to someone who is looking to get started in the meal prep world? What benefits do you see (if at all) in utilizing a meal prep system?
Meal prepping is so essential! I would recommend that people first start scheduling their meal prep days and treating that time as a non-negotiable. This is something that is going to help me in every area in my life so I must do it. Like I mentioned above, I keep the recipes simple and cook almost the same thing every time. The more simple you can make it to start, the easier it will be to continue doing. The food must taste AMAZING though! We cannot give up taste or excitement when we look at what we are eating. It’s so important that we are enjoying all that we do, and that includes food! Meal prep will simplify your work/creative days because you wont have to think about what you’re going to eat every day and you can use that energy to create. You’d be surprised how much energy we spend thinking about and deciding what to eat.
Do you meditate? If so, can you offer some tips for a creative who is looking to start a meditation practice?
Yes, I do meditate daily. First, I would say that most creatives are already meditating when they are fully engaged in their work. I look at meditating as doing one thing that is not thinking so we really can be a living meditation. If you are looking to start a meditation I really like the free headspace 10 day challenge to introduce you and set the base. After that I would download the Insight Timer App and and start to experiment with different types of meditations in there. You may prefer to meditate to nature sounds or just a timer. I feel we can be explorative in our meditation practice and find something that is best for us.
How do you feel that creating a community of healthy, happy people who follow you and your work is adding a little bit more love into the world?
Love is at the basis of all we do so anyone who is in tune and resonating with the message is adding their own love to the world. I feel the more people learn to follow themselves and their inner guidance, the more they will love and appreciate life. Self love is the best love!
Thanks so much Akeem for sharing your truth with all of the gals here at Pepper! We are so inspired by your message and lifestyle. To all of our readers, if you’re interested in learning more – here’s Akeem’s Website, Instagram and YouTube channel!
Note: All photos sourced via Akeem Pierre.
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