Inspired Health Coach: Elizabeth Stein (Purely Elizabeth)
When I was thinking who I should highlight next in this series, Elizabeth popped right into my brain. I’d met Elizabeth a few years ago at Expo West, a natural foods expo, and I was immediately inspired by her passion and drive for her business Purely Elizabeth.
Purely Elizabeth is a natural food company that she started in 2008 with gluten-free baking mixes. But the company has since expanded into gluten-free granola, oatmeal cups (my fave for traveling), superfood bars and more. I always grab Purely Elizabeth products when I’m at Whole Foods as the ingredient list is top notch. Not to mention they just taste darn good!
But many people aren’t aware that before Elizabeth created Purely Elizabeth, she was a health coach. And it was becoming a health coach that completely changed her trajectory in life and prompted her to follow her passion.
Today, I’m happy to introduce you to the amazing Elizabeth Stein of Purely Elizabeth.
Inspired Health Coach – Elizabeth Stein (Purely Elizabeth)
We know you’re CEO of an amazing natural foods company, Purely Elizabeth, but how would you describe what do? What’s your job?
It’s definitely hard to put into words what I do. As CEO, I’m still quite involved in all aspects of the brand. Overseeing sales, marketing, operations and finance. We are still a relatively small team, so I’m in many of the day to day decisions, yet trying to pull myself out of that to focus on the bigger strategic vision and path for the company.
What’s your philosophy on food and healthy living?
It’s all about balance. I’m a big believer in the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I strive to eat a mostly plant-based anti-inflammatory diet, while 20% of the time I allow myself to indulge, guilt free. But good health is more than just diet, to me it means getting daily exercise, loads of self-care, and finding happiness in work, with myself and with my relationships.
Before you started Purely Elizabeth you became a health coach. What was your “aha” moment that prompted you to become a health coach?
In 2008, I was doing tons of triathlons and had found a renewed interest in health and wellness. I wanted to find a career that was more in line with this passion. I was unhappy at work and felt like I needed to do something that was more meaningful and impactful. I found IIN online one day, took their questionnaire, and signed up on the spot. It was truly a life-changing moment.
Starting a product-based company I’m sure sounds intimidating to many people. Can you describe how your career has evolved – from when you became a health coach to what you do today? Did you foresee that path?
I think subconsciously I did see this as my future. I have always wanted to start my own business, I just didn’t know what that would be. While a health coach is not exactly similar to being CEO of a CPG company, it did provide me some great tools to start a food brand. As a health coach, I was already figuring out how to market my services and products (e-books), which definitely helped me in launching Purely Elizabeth. I think what was honestly most impactful was my experience at IIN. The energy and confidence that I found coming out of that program made we believe that anything is possible, that there is no ceiling to your dreams, and to go after what you truly want in life. I did just that.
Walk us through a typical “day in the life” of Elizabeth Stein. What does this look like? How many hours do you work daily/weekly?
There is truly never a typical day for me. I would say it’s more divided between being on the road and being in the office. These days, I travel quite a bit. I still go to all of our big sales meetings, trade shows, etc. I actually love being on the road because it makes me feel like there is always forward motion for the business. There’s also nothing better than being in the office with my team. When I’m in the office, my days are typically super packed as I’m trying to get in as much time with everyone as I can. Typically, I don’t end up leaving the conference room as I am in meetings with everyone all day. The most typical thing in my routine is likely my early morning workout. I love to workout in the morning, it just gets my mind and body in the right place for the day. Peloton right now is my absolute favorite. Work definitely never turns off. But it doesn’t feel like “work”, when it’s your passion. I can’t remember a day in the last 9 years that I haven’t “worked.”
What do you attribute your success as a health coach, founder and CEO to?
I think I’m a very determined, optimistic, problem solver. Certainly, in the beginning these traits were extremely important to help propel me to the next step.
We know the entrepreneur life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Can you talk about some of the challenges that come with managing a thriving business and how you navigate those?
I remember someone early on telling me that this journey would be a rollercoaster. I think that is the perfect descriptor of entrepreneur life, or really life in general. I am beyond lucky to have so many successes thus far, but along with those successes are always challenges. From day one, I try to just be as even keeled as possible, realizing that everything can be worked through. Certainly, some of the hardest times have been those major growing pains when we’ve needed more financial backing, where we haven’t been able to produce enough product, had problems with co-manufacturers, those major back-bones of the business.
What’s your biggest tip or piece of advice you’d give to prospective health coaches? And what’s been your biggest “lesson learned” in creating your own business?
My biggest piece of advice is to go after your dreams and don’t let anything hold you back. I think when I started I was so naïve that it allowed me to not get in my own way. I just asked as many questions as I could and dove in head first.It’s so important to follow that thing inside of you that makes you want to wake up every morning excited for the road ahead. I’m incredibly grateful to have followed that inner calling which led me to where I am today.
What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself and your business in the next couple of years?
I’m so excited for the future of the brand. I’ve always envisioned Purely Elizabeth to be more than a “granola” company, but instead a lifestyle brand in many areas of the supermarket while helping to thrive on their wellness journey. There is so much to come!
RAPID FIRE with Elizabeth
5 kitchen staples: Vitamix, Rao’s arrabbiata sauce, Majestic Garlic dip, frozen cauliflower rice, leafy greens
3 snacks in your purse or bag: Purely Peanut Butter Grain Free Bar, Nuttzo Collagen Bar, Purely Mini
First thing you drink in the morning (after water): OM Mushroom NRG Matrix
Go-to workout: Peloton
Favorite mantra or quote: This my grandfathers mantra that I love – Everyday is a good day, some days are just better than others.
3 words to describe yourself: Optimistic, Passionate and Trustworthy
Favorite place to eat out in Boulder, Colorado: Oak at Fourteenth
Dream vacation spot: Sailing throughout Greece islands
A big thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her knowledge and insights with us today! If you’d like to learn more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), the health coaching program both Elizabeth and I attended, click here to get a copy of the curriculum guide.
If you missed the first health coach interview in this series with Kelly Leveque, make sure to read her story as well as my post Should You Become a Health Coach? Stay tuned for more in this series with inspiring health coaching jobs and careers! And in the meantime, you can read more articles I’ve written on health coaching.