business Wellness Work

What It’s Like To Work With The Healthy Maven! Jess Tells All…

June 7, 2016

It’s hard to believe that one whole year ago, The Healthy Maven and I seriously fan girl-ed Bonnie Stern and bonded over breakfast at our favourite childhood spot.

If you are a regular around here, you have probably already heard this story, but essentially, around the same time that we met our idol, Davida was also looking to hire someone as THM was growing. I was in culinary school and thinking about starting a blog of my own, but didn’t have the time to commit to the project. Davida and I met for coffee at Portland Variety, and the rest is well, history.

Me-and-JessBefore I knew it my obsession with manicures was only being fuelled by the launch of my hand modelling career and I was being paid to hang out with Davida, prep some recipes and schedule social media for THM. Doesn’t get much better than that!

I am sure you are all wondering what it is really like to work with Davida, but to be totally honest, what you see is what you get. The persona that Davida projects online is the same as the Davida I work with IRL (give or take a few glasses of vino), and that is one of my favourite parts about working for her. So as much as I would love to entertain you guys with a “After The Final Recipe; Jess Tells All” episode of The Healthy Maven’s Assistant, you’ll have to tune into ABC’s the Bachelor for that.

Instead, I will share with you what I have learned from working for THM over the past year.

1. Avocados have a place in all different types of recipes

Healthy-Chocolate-Chip-Avocado-Muffins-2Avocados are definitely a thing around here. I joined Team Maven just as Davida began to work with Avocados from Mexico (insert heart eye emoji). In fact, the first recipe I shot with Davida was these Mint Chocolate Chip Avocado Popsicles.  I think that it is pretty safe to say that these Healthy Chocolate Chip Avocado Muffins  are my favourite recipe from THM this year. Not only have they taken my love for Avocados to the next level, they are super easy to make and a  serious crowd pleaser.

2. Rhett Butler WILL turn you into a dog person

IMG_0783 copyThis is the photo that pops up when Davida calls me. For those of you who don’t know me, I am by no means a dog person. That was until I met Rhett. I think it was love at first site, for Rhett that is. It took me some time to warm up, but lately I have found myself missing his crazy greetings when I walk through the door at Davida’s, and his silly quirks. Thank you Sabrina for letting Davida take care of Rhett this year, I am officially a dog person now.

3. Everything tastes better in a bowl
Blueberry-Green-Smoothie-Bowl-3
Ditch the straw , you’ll thank me later!

3. Listening to your body, doesn’t make you a sell out (work with me here)

As someone who works in the food industry, I always held the belief that all foods fit. I have never been much of an advocate for cutting out entire groups of food, unless you are allergic of course. Whenever people would tell me that they were gluten free or vegan, just because they thought it was healthy or they would lose weight, I would roll my eyes. That was until I spent a few too many months of hanging out with Davida. In January I felt like something was off, I wasn’t digesting food properly and felt like I needed to change something. I started by minimizing the amount of dairy I was eating and cutting out gluten during the week. Guess what! I started to feel better. In so many respects working for THM and learning about all different types of food sensitivities and diets has helped me to understand how important it is to listen to your body. Who cares what other people think!

4. Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls are truly life changing
Blueberry-Muffin-Energy-Balls-3
It’s true. Make them.

5. You can do anything that you set your mind to 

I am constantly amazed by how Davida just knows how to do things. Last summer she decided she wanted to start a You Tube Channel and so we did. Just like that. I would film and Davida would edit, neither of us having much experience with creating video at all. Honestly, school is over rated, all you need is google, a lot of patience and a little bit of faith.

6. There is no such thing as too many ballz, too many glasses of wine, or too many bowls of soup

7. Get yourself a “stage boyfriend”
TV-segment
A few months ago in the midst of a mid April snow storm, THM made her first TV appearance. I was supposed to meet Davida and C at Global to help setup the food for the segment, while Davida did her make up. Long story short, there was a snow storm and I ended up being super late. When I got there, C had setup each of the recipes and was snapping pictures of Davida left right and centre. We joke that he is just like a stage mom during a dance recital, hence “stage- boyfriend”. All jokes aside it is so amazing to witness all the support that THM gets, I also love spending little bits of time with Mr & Mrs. Maven.

8. Food really does bring people together

I am so grateful for that fateful breakfast at UB just over a year ago. It is so incredible to contribute to the growth of a business like The Healthy Maven. A blog that started as a passion project and has morphed into a successful business thanks to Davida’s insane drive, crazy skillz, and genuine authenticity. I have learned so much more than I can describe in this one blog post, but what I can tell you is that once you find a job that allows you to not only feel invested and passionate about the success of the business, but allows you to call your boss your friend,  you know you are in the right spot.


And cue happy tears! 

When Jess first started working with me she revealed to me how over the years I’d developed a reputation of being “intense” amongst our mutual friends (we hadn’t met each other before despite having 37 mutual FB friends – yes I checked the number). I’ve always known that I move through life at extremes. I don’t do anything without putting myself full-force into it, or at the other extreme by not giving two shits. What I hadn’t realized was that my reputation preceded me.

It takes a special person to handle me on a regular basis. That person needs to be patient, attentive and have an insane eye for detail. Jess is all of these things and so much more.

It’s been such a pleasure to have her on Team Maven and watch her career progress over the past year. This girl is going places and I’m beyond thrilled to watch it all unfold.

Now raise a glass of vino (white, not red- the only thing we disagree on!) in honor of the best thing that has happened to The Healthy Maven! Cheers to you Jess for being your badass self.

P.S. Follow Jess on her incredible Instagram account to see all of the cool projects she’s up to.

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  • Reply
    Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It
    June 7, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Awww this is so cute! I agree with #6 for sure. 😉 Also I love the behind-the-scenes kind of stuff, it proves to everyone that bloggers are real people too! Haha!
    Marina @ A Dancer’s Live-It recently posted…Easy Breakfasts for Busy People

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 8, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      haha we are! Very much so…you should see me when I first wake up…VERY REAL.

  • Reply
    Victoria
    June 7, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Aww this is such a cute post, love it all!
    Victoria recently posted…Coconut Butter Salmon [Paleo, Dairy Free]

  • Reply
    Kelsey Preciado
    June 7, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Yay Jess!! #4 & #6 – SO MUCH YES!!! You guys are such a great duo! Cheers to balls and wiiiine!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 8, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Yeah I have a feeling you’d fit right in with team maven haha…ballz and wine are the only pre-requisite!

  • Reply
    Cassie
    June 7, 2016 at 10:03 am

    This was such a sweet post to read! I absolutely love that THM community only spreads positivity and empowerment in their team! <3 <3
    Cassie recently posted…Baked Thai Chicken Satay (Paleo + gluten free)

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 8, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks lady! I’ve got quite the power team around me! Feeling grateful!

  • Reply
    Miss Polkadot
    June 7, 2016 at 10:07 am

    As everybody else has used the word I wanted to start this comment with already ;): sweeeet! No, honestly, I truly enjoyed reading about Jess’ experience. And the only bad thing is that it makes me long for a job just like that, too.

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    June 7, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    As soon as I got plugged into the food blogging world, I started learning a lot more about the different foods I could/couldn’t eat to make me feel better, too! Glad Davida was able to pass along a little wisdom! 🙂
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks recently posted…Weekly Meal Plan & Workouts

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      It’s truly eye-opening! Sometimes too much so, but there’s some great info out there to help us feel better!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen
    June 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    This is just the sweetest thing! “School is overrated” hahaha. And I was cracking up at thinking about C being a “stage mom”. Love the team you’re building here, it truly is amazing.
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen recently posted…Fudgy Gluten-Free Vegan Brownie Bites [ with Among Friends Baking Mixes ]

  • Reply
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs
    June 7, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I adore that you shared this! I love being able to see things behind the scenes 🙂
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…5 Plugins Every Blogger Should Have

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 8, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      It’s fun to share them! Hopefully bringing you more behind-the-scenes!

  • Reply
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats
    June 7, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    This is such a sweet post!! Being part of THM team sounds like SO much fun. So many avocados and bowls😍 And that furry guy could make anyone a dog lover, I’m sure!!
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats recently posted…Vegan Sweet Potato Sliders

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 8, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      hahahaha it is a good time! LOTS of avocados and bowls 😉

  • Reply
    Rebecca Dawkins
    June 8, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Aww such a sweet post! Surely going to try this blueberry muffin energy balls recipe. Thanks for sharing this!
    Rebecca Dawkins recently posted…Home Pag Tagline

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    June 8, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Thanks Jess and Davida for sharing this behind the scenes peek with us! I didn’t have a clear picture of what Jess does behind the blog and this cleared it up in some ways.

    Also, this weekend I was looking at the Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls recipe since I had some dried bluberries on hand but didn’t get around to amke them due to a busy Sunday, but you sold it Jess, I’ll definitely makd it, I’m curious to see these magic balls for myself 😉

    Happy Anniversary Jess and Davida, and here’s to many more!! (I’m also a white wine fan myself 😉
    Stella @ Stellicious Life recently posted…Oriental Lentil Casserole

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 8, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      you need to make them! You will be obsessed! Thanks, lady 🙂 Glad we were able to clear some things up!

  • Reply
    Lee
    June 8, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Loved this SO MUCH J money. You and @Linleyshands really need to star ta hand modeling agency. I think you could make BANK. #nailgoalz
    Lee recently posted…Delicious Summer Drink Recipes

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Eat the Gains
    June 9, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Love this post! I bet it is so cool how she has watched you grow other the year with THM. And she gets to be apart of it! On a serious note, I need to make the blueberry balls!
    Kelly @ Eat the Gains recently posted…Spinach & Artichoke Chicken Meatballs with Lemon Garlic Sauce

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      You do! You do! And it’s been such a blast to have her along for the ride 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather @Gluten-Free Cat
    June 11, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Such a sweet post! Life’s journey is always better with someone who gets you and supports you!
    Heather @Gluten-Free Cat recently posted…Gluten-Free Vegan Eats and Blogger Re-Entry

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