We sit down with Hungarian native, Medea Juhasz, to talk about how she overcame drug & alcohol addiction, found her true passion at forty, and launched wellness brand, Herbalore, and health supplement, Catalyst Gold.
“On some level I was always interested in holistic health and alternative medicine. My parents were newage-y; they were into natural medicine, eating healthy, yoga and Kabbalah. So I had that background, but I completely ended up rebelling away from that. I was a crazy out of control teenager; I got into drugs and alcohol really early on in my teens. When I was eighteen I went to see a doctor. I suspected I had a stomach ulcer, but you know when you party you just ignore your symptoms. The doctor said, “You have two holes in your stomach and your health is in terrible shape. I don’t know what you are doing but whatever you are doing it’s going to kill you.” It was my rock bottom; a health rock bottom. Eighteen is when you are supposed to look the most youthful and beautiful, but people thought I was over thirty. I got sober at eighteen and shortly after I moved to New York. My health crisis was god sent and I am really grateful that it happened when I was so young.
“I had a short relapse 15 years ago. The second time around is when I got really into health and spirituality and finally got it right. For people who have addiction issues it’s partially a chemical imbalance in the brain and body, but it is possible to modify it with the correct diet/lifestyle. I believe when you lead a healthy lifestyle and nourish your body your recovery gets stronger.
“Be fearless; if you are courageous, the universe will reward you.”
“Because of my addiction issues I developed serious health problems: liver, skin, kidney, weight issues and my immune system was weak. I had the worst metabolism and major digestive issues. I went to western doctors and they suggested I take medication, but I wanted to take a more holistic route. I started to study herbalism and holistic medicine and began experimenting with super foods, herbs, vitamins, and amino acids. It was hard to find some of these superfoods/herbs at the time and I had to go overseas to get some of these ingredients. That formula became the foundation for Catalyst Gold later on. I became really passionate about health and wellness and became a holistic health coach. It is amazing and incredibly rewarding to work with clients one on one but I wanted to create something that would reach a lot of people and change lives.
“When I got the idea of launching Herbalore and creating Catalyst Gold I was actally thankful for my addictive personality. I was so obsessed and addicted to creating this idea and bringing it to life that I worked nonstop for months. One of the biggest challenges starting out was finding the right lab to partner up with. I had a formula and I knew I wanted to bottle it, do it in capsule form, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, with no fillers and no binders, but to find the right lab to work with that was transparent enough took months. I interviewed labs all over the country and from the fifty of them I spoke to thirty told me they use GMOs. I was shocked since these are labs that produce private label supplements for companies that sell their products at health food stores. It just goes to show that even the products you think are healthy are not unless it states non-GMO on the label. I narrowed it down and eventually decided to go with a lab that met my criteria and was in New York. I wanted my product to have that New York vibe – straight forward, no BS, but at the same time prestigious and high quality.
“I just turned forty in May and I often laugh because it took me forty years to figure out my true calling. I knew I wanted to start my own business in health and wellness, but I was stuck for a very long time. Looking back my mistakes in life led me to where I am right now and I don’t think I would change anything. For young women out there looking to find their way or start their own thing I would say, listen to your instinct and meditate on it. It has to feel right in your gut because our bodies always tell us what’s right and what’s wrong. And be fearless; if you are courageous, the universe will reward you.”
-as told to BOND EN AVANT
Image source: Herbalore