Interview with eva mclaurin

Heal, glow, and thrive through a plant-based lifestyle.

We had the pleasure to chat with Eva McLaurin, chef and wellness lifestyle expert, to get to know a little about where she came from, what helped shape her business today, how spirituality made its way into her business, and what beauty means to her.

A beautiful latin woman smiling at the camera

Since the age of eight, selling Avon with her Grandma, Eva has been a full blooded entrepreneur and a firm believer in the side-hustle. Since that young age, Eva has carved her own path, blazing trails in numerous industries from financial to beauty. She truly is in charge of her own destiny, and no obstacle will stop her from achieving her full potential.

“My grandmother always said ‘You have to have your own pocket money’. She taught me that at a young age. You make your own money, you keep your own money, and that’s really how I built everything. I always knew that there was more. There is some side hustle out there that I can do simultaneously, while I’m working full time.”

Eva spent many years in the financial industry, but her work went beyond the regular monotony of a corporate job. She started to see a strong correlation between people’s finances and their physical and mental health, noticing how many people in the industry seemed to be stressed, anxious, and generally unbalanced, and she wanted to do something more. Her focus shifted to providing healing in the financial industry, to shine a spotlight on an individual’s financial health and give more insight as to what was causing pain and suffering in their lives. She began to think about how she could partner with her clients to make their money work for them.

A woman doing yoga in front of a monument
It was this drive for total healing that eventually drove her into culinary school. Eva had spent years preparing meals for her friends, showing them that they could improve their lives and their overall health through food. So, while maintaining her corporate job in the financial industry, Eva made the decision to attend culinary school during her evenings and weekends.

“There was that nagging feeling inside that told me I was meant to do more, there was more out there for me… I went to culinary school because it was my first love, it has always been a part of my background, and my culture.”

Culinary school may have started as a side hustle, but it soon became her main gig as she built her own professional culinary company. Eva travelled the world, studying under amazing chefs and learning first hand about how their cultures, landscapes, and history helped shape their dishes. In Japan, a place she had been drawn to her whole life, she had the opportunity to truly experience the sixth flavor, umami, under the guidance of top chefs.
A plant-based meal in a white bowl
Bringing all of these recipes and experiences back to America, Eva was able to find ways to create her own plant-based versions. Blending Asian and Latin flavors, playing with umami bases, and finding spicy and sweet components, Eva really stepped into her own niche and expertise. Still, she had a nagging feeling that there was more to plant based food than flavor and nutrients. She felt intuitively that there was something to the old adage ‘let food be thy medicine’, and that plants have sacred energy that can be used to heal. Eva felt that consuming plant-based food was akin to creating a sacred agreement with the plant, and that the true healing and magic happens when we acknowledge the spiritual connection of consuming a plant’s energy.

“There is a lot there – nourishment from nutrient dense foods, but there is also an energetic connection to what you’re eating… When I transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle I had more respect for the food going into my body.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that whole wellness has become the backbone of Eva’s business. For Eva, food was no longer just food. As she evolved in the field, she continued to discover how herbs and fungi like Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, and medicinal mushrooms have deeply profound properties; not only were these ingredients nourishing her body, but she found they were also healing her spirit. Eva finally felt aligned with where she needed to be, and was able to remove the foods that no longer served her.
A neon sign that says eat what makes you happy
That is where her healing started. The spiritual aspect of her business naturally fell into place when she began to honour everything that was going into her own body. It was after this recognition that Eva’s company really took shape, and she was able to bring this deeper level of healing and transformation to her clients.

“The spiritual journey comes when you are ready, but if you focus on the food, the healing is going to happen – what happens after the healing really depends on your awareness. When you’re receiving these plants and you’re consuming these nutrients.”

Eva knew that in order to truly break through blockages, she needed to help guide her clients to create lasting lifestyle changes. Through techniques like Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), in addition to shifting relationships with food, Eva now helps guide her clients through those old patterns and blockages, helping them to heal their wounds and achieve their health goals.

“The weight is not just weight, it’s thoughts, it’s patterns, it’s belief systems. ‘I’m overweight, I’m fat, I’m never going to lose weight, I’m never going to be healthy’. These are stories and patterns, based on their experiences and their behaviours.”

Eva knows EFT and TFT aren’t for everyone, and her clients know that if they want to go deeper, this is available to them. Eva works from a lifestyle approach, and she knows some clients have deep wounds that need to be healed (and they want to do the work to recover), whereas other clients just want to live healthier lives. For Eva, there is no one right or wrong way, there is just uncovering what each client needs and guiding them to a true lifestyle shift to help them achieve their goals.

“I always present this as an option, but ultimately, it’s always up to the client to want to take that step. Some clients just want the support to become healthier, but they know there is more out there for them if they want it.”

Over the years, Eva has built an incredible business that has changed countless lives through mindful, plant-based lifestyles. Eva is always taking on new clients, especially this time of year when we feel compelled to start fresh and make long-lasting changes. Eva starts out with a discovery session to get a clearer understanding of where her clients are at, and to gauge whether they are the right fit for one another.

“I am a teacher, I am a guide, but the bigger question is: are you ready, because when the student is ready the teacher will appear. I am here. I am ready.”

To learn more, visit Eva’s website at where you can find out more about what she offers, as well as some of her online recipes, and how to work with her one on one.
A woman on her phone in a tropical location
Before we wrapped up the interview, we wanted to ask Eva a bit about what beauty means to her, and if she could redefine the definition of beautiful, what would it be. Like many women (and men), Eva had always been attached to her hair, and she felt that having great hair was synonymous with her own beauty. She always had to have it done, which she said would limit her as she would avoid doing anything that may ruin it, including anything to do with pools or beaches. This is why it came as such a shock to everyone who knew her when she decided to cut it – her hairdresser flat out refused when Eva told her what she wanted to do.

“No one wanted to cut my hair, they did not want to be the first, because if you regret it, you’re going to hate it. My husband called his barber and told him that I wanted to cut my hair like Amber Rose. He went right down the middle, so there was no going back.”

Eva always knew, deep down, that one day she would release her attachment to her hair, and after it was gone she finally felt free. It was like she had cut off twenty years of negative self-talk, and revealed the true, raw beauty that was always there, hidden behind her hair.

“When I looked in the mirror right after I shaved my hair, I thought ‘WOW, this is me.’ This is the person who’s been hiding. This is when I felt the most beautiful because it was the first time I began to accept me for me, all of my decisions, all of my flaws, all of my mistakes and my accomplishments. I was able to embrace and forgive all of myself. When that hair was gone, that was the moment I felt the most beautiful, and it hasn’t changed since.”

To Eva, true beauty really means feeling comfortable with your innermost self and loving and accepting who you are. Beauty is accepting your true self, the self that you are before you have a chance to judge it. The part of yourself you first connect with in the morning, before the weight of the day has had a chance to sink it.

“There really is no make-up that is going to make you feel that beautiful, because that energy goes past make-up, past the lipstick, past it all to just a vibration and a bright light, that comes from loving yourself. Beauty is being comfortable with who you are.”

To Eva, the true definition of beautiful means breaking the patriarchal belief system that we’re broken, and understanding that we are already perfect. This is the reason she started her business and brand, and why she is passionate about it. Eva knows and understands that there is a business (and money) in the traditional beauty industry that keeps us feeling broken, and in order to redefine beauty, we need to look past those lies and carve our own paths.

“There are things that can breakthrough that, that can heal us – plants, supplements, food. The most important thing for us to understand is that we are whole, that we are complete.”

*This article was written based on a personal interview with Eva, to listen to the full interview click below.

Written by the STUNN Collective team.

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