Naomi Whittel, 44, is a fearless explorer when it comes to the world of wellness. Named by Prevention magazine as the nation’s leading female innovator in the natural products industry, Naomi is hailed as a trailblazer and an advocate of purity and potency in nutraceuticals. As a CEO and entrepreneur, Naomi has made it her mission to offer science-based solutions to help people live longer and feel better.
She is the New York Times Bestselling author of Glow15: A Science Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life, the first mainstream lifestyle book based on Nobel-Prize recognised research of autophagy.
A premier wellness partner for QVC, Naomi has also been recognized as one of the leading innovators in the natural products industry by Whole Foods Magazine in their exclusive Who’s Who of Manufacturers and Suppliers. Her story and products have been lauded by The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, SHAPE, PBS, InStyle, The Dr. Oz Show, ABC News, Access Hollywood, and more. She is a steward of sustainability, a sought-after keynote speaker, and a member of the UN Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Naomi lives in Boca Raton, Florida with her husband and their four children.
Describe a typical day for you?
Well, for me there is no such thing as typical day — I may wake up amongst the Guna people of Coastal Panama where I’m helping to create a sustainable economic system; or I could be in Calabria, Italy, researching the cardiovascular benefits and cellular detox powers of citrus bergamot; or on the best days, I rise to the sounds of my four children in South Florida ready to be fed!
That said — no matter where I wake, there are three things I do every day:
- Dry brushing. I use a dry brush every morning. I believe it activates my lymphatic system and invigorates the skin. I start by brushing on the sides of my rib cage, move toward my heart, then up to my neck.
- Fat first. This means the first thing I eat or drink each day is high in good fat. I love to start my day with AutophaTea — a combination of Green and Earl Grey tea mixed with coconut MCT oil and cinnamon. It not only tastes great, it helps keep me satiated, energized, and aids in fat burning.
- MCBS. That’s Megan, Christian, Brandon and Samuel — my children. While I obviously prefer real time over FaceTime, my favourite part of each day is talking to them — sharing stories of the day and letting them know they are loved and adored!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
I suppose this is where I should list the number of products I’ve launched, or the revenue I’ve driven, or the awards I’ve been honoured to receive but, the truth is I’m still working on achieving my biggest goal: helping all women not just simply survive but thrive!
To that end, I started the Naomi Whittel Foundation to bring sustainable business to underserved communities, For example, the Guna people of panama, especially…the Guna women. I believe they are nature’s greatest untapped resource and yet — they don’t understand their value. As the head of the households, the matriarchal Guna struggle to provide the essentials for their families: food, clean water and clothing. But they are living and working in one of the top coconut producing areas in the world, yielding about 12 to 15 million nuts annually. The Guna have an overabundance of coconuts, but no one to sell them to thus keeping them in a vicious cycle with neighbouring businessmen that prey on their limitations. My Foundation is helping establish a sustainable and fair trade coconut oil business owned by the Guna, providing hundreds of new jobs and infusing the community with a consistent source of income thus, addressing some of the most pressing issues like inadequate food, clean drinking water, access to medications and school supplies for the children.
For me, investing in these women is transformative — they have the power to change the quality of their lives…their children’s lives — and help their communities thrive. As an entrepreneur, I know that business education — through building bridges with corporations and sponsorship — can give people immeasurable worth.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
Warning: I carry a lot. I can get a resistance workout just by carrying my purse!
The biggest item is my Epsom salts — I travel everywhere with a bag of Epsom salt. I use a cup in my bath several nights a week, especially the first evening in a new location. Soaking in them allows me to absorb magnesium into my skin, which I find to be detoxifying. The salt also exfoliates, leaving my skin very soft. And, I always make sure to have a lot of good fat to keep me full, and stave off cravings. There is my AutophaTea and coconut MCT oil — so no matter where I go I have it ready to start my day. I also have Pili nuts: there’s 1.5 grams of fat in each of them and more magnesium than any other nut out there. I have some cacao butter. It’s a pale-yellow, edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. I love, love, love to eat cacao butter! I also have some polyphenol rich dark chocolate — my favorite snack. A water bottle so I stay hydrated. And I have a small notebook and pen to jot down anything that inspires me throughout the day.( It also has a few drawing and doodles from my kids that just make me smile). And of course, there’s my wallet, my keys and my phone.
What are your ambitions in life?
My biggest goal is to raise my four children to be as bold, kind, inspiring, and wonderful as they are right now. I hope that I can instill in them my passion for health and wellness and helping others better their lives.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
I wish I’d known it was OK not to be perfect. And in fact, it’s my imperfections that have given me the drive to achieve success.
One of the most serious epidemics least spoken about among women is this pervasive drive to be perfect. Perfection isn’t real — it’s a pretty idea that simply doesn’t exist. The striving to do our best or be our healthiest is fine — the obsessing about it is not. What I’ve come to realize is there’s nothing wrong with the desire to want things to be of the highest caliber when it comes to quality and integrity. The desire is great. It’s the belief that you must attain some level of perfection that’s not so great.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I hope to be engaging women with valuable science-based health and wellness content through new and different platforms.
The response I got from so many different women around the success of my first book, Glow15, was thrilling. Stories like the mom who practiced self-care for the first time and found she had more energy for her children; the teacher who made changes to her diet and exercise routine that allowed her to go off her blood pressure meds; the forty-something who was thrilled to get carded when ordering a glass of wine, and so many others have inspired me to focus on my passion for sharing content to benefit people’s lives.
To that end, I am launching an ‘outside meets inside’ skincare line, OMI, as well as a documentary series, ‘The Real Skinny on Fat’. In this next phase, I want to take advantage of digital strategies to truly help people discover science based realistic ways to improve health and wellness. I want to cultivate online communities that give consumers a bigger voice to share their questions, concerns, and desires and then provide trustworthy solutions through honesty and transparency.
What advice would you give an entrepreneur?
Be willing to fail.
In order to succeed, you must be willing to fail — and be bold enough to go for it anyway! Failure is a huge part of success. Too often we are so scared of failure that we don’t even strive for success and end up with mediocrity. Take risks, make great mistakes, have the courage to try again. Be fearless. It’s the only way to deliver risky, edgy, breakthrough ideas, plans, presentations, products, or whatever you want to accomplish.
What advice as a parent do you wish you’d known pre-motherhood?
Before I became a mother, I thought I would be the one teaching my children — no one told me how much I would learn from them. My kids have taught me patience, empathy, sympathy and how to love in a way I could never have imagined. Of course, they have also taught me the true meaning of exhaustion! Moreover, they’ve given me the invaluable lesson of priorities. They will always come first — and knowing that allows me to me to manage my time most efficiently. I am more productive and efficient in the office, because I’ve learned I’m happiest with Meghan, Christian, Brandon and Samuel.
Finally, happiness is…
My children’s laughter.