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My name is Elizabeth but many friends know me as Lizzy. I wake up every day with a smile and love what I do in Shanghai. I’m a Holistic Health Coach and founder of Lizzy’s All Natural smoothie company and Zenergy Wellness Center. I’m a teacher of meditation and yoga and practice reiki energy healing. This August marks my 5th year in Shanghai—time flies!
I grew up in Connecticut and Maine, and food has always been a big part of my family and childhood. My mom taught us how to cook when we were young and I’ve always felt energized in the kitchen. We also raised chickens and had a big vegetable garden, which, from an early age, taught me the importance of staying connected to nature and understanding where the things we eat come from. It wasn't a big surprise that my first company was in food. As a senior at Georgetown University in D.C., I cofounded a business that worked with artisanal and organic food producers in the US, helping get them exported to China. This business didn’t last long due to confounder conflicts, however it did bring me to Shanghai. Shortly after moving, I followed my passion for nutrition and enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Blending up superfood concoctions every day is something that I love to do, however, asking my clients (many of whom were busy executives and entrepreneurs working 15 hour days, trying to manage families, travel etc.) to devote time to making smoothies proved to be a challenge. To get results, it was simply easier for me to make the health drinks and snacks and share with them. As with many passion projects in Shanghai, one thing led to another and Lizzy’s All Natural was born.
We started out Lizzy’s distribution on the community online grocery store Kate & Kimi and spread through weekend markets, into fitness studios, to schools and beyond. Over the past three years, we have opened five shops (two closed, RIP Yongkang Lu!) and have launched over 60 different blends as well as other product lines like dry teas, nut butters, bliss balls, kombuchas and more.
My favorite thing about Shanghai is definitely the people! I have met such inspiring friends, colleagues and clients here. I love how friendly people are and how spontaneous life is here. One of my favorite things to do in the city is to bike ride around, especially during early morning or late at night when the streets are quiet. Its like a moving meditation and I have gotten to know the city so well this way. I also have an epic bike made by 2Wheels on Julu Lu and Danny even put a smoothie holder in the basket for me.
I love exploring weekend markets like Jiashan Market and festivals like FEAST. Something about the energy of the city makes it feel like anything is possible. So many cool projects and businesses have started here, like FLY BY JING pop up dinners, Free Soul community yoga classes in the Xiangyang park, Shanghai SupperClub, and more…I feel like I am always learning and growing in Shanghai because of the momentum of what is developing here.
Although most of my meals admittedly come from Lizzy’s All Natural or my own kitchen at home, I still have my favorites. Holy Cow is hands down the best hot pot in the city. Although they are known for their quality meats, the vegetables are incredible and they use amazing ingredients for nourishing (MSG-free!) broths. EGG is one of my go-to spots because it is just around the corner from my wellness center and they make excellent cashew lattes. I also love the harvest bowl and chia puddings. WUJIE makes the most beautiful and creative vegetarian dishes. You can feel the love and care that goes into all of the food. Mercato is my favorite special occasion restaurant and everything is exquisite. It is one of the only places where I will freely indulge in nearly anything on the menu. Try the spicy no cheese pizza (ask for arugula on top). It is divine!
Personally, a big challenge for me has been (and continues to be) finding balance. When you are so in love with what you’re doing, it can sneakily end up taking over your entire life. I am constantly working on or thinking about my businesses and rarely take personal days. Shanghai just has a way of making me say “yes” to doors that open and amazing opportunities way more than I realistically have time to execute and sometimes I drive myself (and my team) crazy as a result.
Luckily, being surrounded by positive people and having a free flow green smoothie diet plus an abundance of meditation sessions has kept me pretty healthy overall so far! If I had started a bagel company instead I would probably be dead by now...