Learn to Live24K — Founder Minna Lee Talks Turmeric and Wellness

And…she’s got tips on how to remove turmeric stains from your fingers — how awesome is this??! Learn more from Minna at our Soho wellness pop-up on 2/18!

Your zodiac sign:

I’m a Libra, through and through! Super passionate, drawn to balance and harmony, and loves accentuating the beautiful things in life.

You talk on your site about the creation of Live24k as a solution to your own bout with inflammation. Can you tell us why you turned to turmeric?

The start of the Live 24k’s Golden Fuel was inspired by my own journey with managing my autoimmune disease — Hashimoto’s. In late 2014 before I was properly diagnosed, I quickly gained 10 pounds and lost it, had cystic acne all over my face, my digestion was a disaster, it hurt to put my own body’s weight on my feet to stand, and my rings no longer fit on my new sausage fingers. I was so exhausted I’d fall asleep on the floor and the effort of getting up for a glass of water felt like climbing Mount Everest. This confusing mess all happened within two weeks!

After my first doctor dismissed me with a Rx note for thyroid medication  and a shrug, I was determined to seek out answers. I also discovered I had leaky gut issues, which can occur from severe inflammation and autoimmune issues. I had read the praises of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory hero, so I decided to go all in.

I created a golden milk blend (that later became Golden Fuel!) with collagen for my leaky gut and joint pain. I drank a concentrated golden milk cortado every morning for 3 weeks and my symptoms went from a 10+ to a 3 — even I, being a nutrition coach, was astonished at the results.

Do you have any tips for removing turmeric stains from fingers? ;)

Goodness knows, I’ve become a turmeric stain removal master. You can’t help it after you’ve stained everything in a 500 sq-foot apartment yellow after months of recipe development — I even stained my white pillowcase yellow once because I didn’t realize turmeric had gotten in my hair!

We have an entire page on our site dedicated to turmeric stain removal help, but the key things are: get to it immediately as turmeric is photo-sensitive (so put blenders, containers, and other stained items under the sunlight and it’ll fade), and dish soap is amazing for clothing. For skin, add a little sugar or salt to dish soap, and scrub, scrub, scrub!

What is the vital importance of imbibing black pepper with turmeric?

Even though curcumin (the important compound in turmeric) has proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and even cancer-inhibiting properties, its prominence in western medicinal practices has yet to be due to poor bioavailability — it metabolizes too quickly in your liver and intestinal wall for your body to actually benefit from it.

But when curcumin is paired with piperine, the superhero compound in black pepper, the bioavailability of turmeric increases by 2000% by slowing down the metabolization, giving your body a chance to absorb the benefits. Turmeric’s nutrients are also fat soluble, so it should be paired with a fat source as well — which is why we include coconut milk powder for its MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides)!

What’s your favorite color?

I have always loved earthy green tones, but now I’m just obsessed with Live 24k’s signature powder blue. My friends think it’s hilarious that my formerly black wardrobe suddenly has a ton of vibrant golden and powder blue hues!

Favorite go-to beauty/wellness tip?

Spend your energy on figuring out what works for you, instead of wasting time chasing other people’s routines — one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to health and beauty. For example, my sister is the closest person to me, genetically speaking,, yet our physicality and health regimens could not be more different. 

You’ve got a “Listen to Your Gut & Core” class at our Soho wellness pop-up this month. What can our guests expect?

I’ll be co-teaching this class with my good friend and fellow blogger, Jules of Om & The City, and during this class in February, we’ll be focusing on the intention of listening to your gut and core. It’ll be a little mix of yoga and functional movement, complete with iced Golden Fuel lattes!

For the class, we’ll be focusing on engaging and utilizing your core and hips throughout all movements, including gut-cleansing twists and rotational strength movements. Together, we’ll be guiding our participants to bring their minds and breath to the integral center of their bodies to be our strongest, most centered selves.

Can you share something that anyone unable to attend your workshop can incorporate into her daily routine?

When I coach my training clients or teach classes, I always like to emphasize quality movement > quantity. As we trainers frequently say, we aren’t interested in how many times you can perform something poorly. It’s so much more beneficial for us to concentrate on executing with the best form possible, rather than trying to get in a million reps. So the next time you’re in a class or at the gym, focus your efforts on that!

How did your blog, “Living Minnaly,” come to be?

I used to send informational articles on fitness and habit change to my training clients but I always had to add in commentary of pointing out certain things that weren’t fact-based, that I disagreed with, or that I wanted to add to. I especially didn’t like the type of content out there that was meant to motivate people towards a healthy lifestyle, yet used shaming tactics instead of empowerment. So when I was sidelined with hip surgery recovery in 2014, I decided to finally create that hub of inspiration and information that I was searching for! As my mindset also has evolved since then, the blog has evolved into a much more 360º approach to healthy living than just fitness and nutrition.

“Minnaly” is a play off of my full name (Minna Lee) and sounded like an adverb to me — a way to describe something. So I named the blog Living Minnaly as a way to represent the way I strive to live my life — living authentically and vulnerably, embracing the inevitable obstacles in life, and constantly chasing growth. 

Best and worst pieces of advice you were ever given:

Worst piece of advice would be anytime I was told to “play it cool.” Playing games or faking lack of interest, whether it be about a situation or a person, doesn’t serve anyone — you just end up losing out on an opportunity to connect. 

What does a perfect world look like to you?

I don’t know about utopia, but I do hope for a world in which people are more willing to own their fears and to be vulnerable with one another. I think a lot of the current climate comes from the ability to connect more than ever; yet, we are more isolated than ever. We need to get up closer to those from whom we feel so different — as my favorite Brené Brown says, “people are hard to hate up close.”

+ Shop Live 24k Golden Fuel here!

Video by Victoria Morris.

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