Beth Ann Davenport on Wellness and Mindfulness
Dr. Beth Ann Davenport, PharmD, AFMCP talks to us about wellness, meditation and maintaining balance.
Welcome back to Winding Down, where we highlight interesting women around town who celebrate self-care and what it means to them.
Today we are featuring an inspiring, multi-talented woman. Dr. Beth Ann Davenport, PharmD, AFMCP is a clinical pharmacist turned Functional Medicine Wellness Consultant. She curates customized functional medicine wellness plans to optimize patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual health by addressing daily structure, nutrition, hydration, movement, stress management, and sleep. She's the founder and CEO of Prescription Wellness, a functional medicine wellness consultation company, offering individual, group, and corporate wellness consultations in addition to pharmacogenomic, nutrigenomic, and food sensitivity testing.
Read the full interview below.
Can you describe yourself in 1 paragraph, please?
I am a pharmacist turned functional medicine wellness consultant and founder of Prescription Wellness, a functional medicine + faith approach to wellness. My husband, Josh, and I have three children - Eden (7), Hawk (also 7, and no we don’t have twins! Hawk joined our family through kinship adoption), and Asher (5). I am a super spiritual, crunchy lover of Jesus, and that influences every single aspect of my life. And I could not be more grateful that my job is to empower and equip women to use simple, effective tools and techniques to make the most of the amazing design of their bodies, minds, and spirits and live truly well.
What is something people wouldn't know about you?
I delivered both of our biological children without an epidural because my blood does crazy things when I’m pregnant, and I wasn’t a candidate for anything spinal. I’m actually so thankful for it because I wouldn’t have chosen to deliver naturally on my own, but it turned out to be both a challenging and an amazing experience.
You are a wife, mom of three, you run your own company and you are a regular at IMX Pilates. How do you do it? Any tips on balancing it all?
Oh goodness… I don’t do it all! One of my favorite analogies is that to maintain balance in life is much like maintaining balance on a bicycle - you have to keep moving. That philosophy has been super helpful when I feel overwhelmed, or when I feel like I’ve just had a bike wreck.
Breaking through some limiting beliefs has made a huge impact in the last couple of years. I had to release the idea that prioritizing myself means I am neglecting anyone else and adopt the approach of putting on my own oxygen mask first. So, if that means that I choose to go to a workout class and put off a household task, I do it without feeling guilty. Then the rest of the family (or a member of the village it takes to hold us together) helps me around the house later in the day. Our family has really focused on becoming a team as our children have gotten older, and Josh and I always want them to know it’s a great choice to take care of themselves just like we’re both trying to do.
Also, a super interesting strategy I learned in the last year and I’m trying to incorporate more is based on the cyclical nature of women. We are actually better equipped for various types of tasks at different times of the month. It sounds crazy, I know! But our hormones shift with each phase of our cycle, and those shifts bring out different strengths. So when I can, I try to align the work I need to do with the best time of the month for me to do that type of work to improve efficiency and the quality of content I produce. Did I mention I’m pretty crunchy?
Tell us more about your company, Prescription Wellness. How did you start it? Have you always been interested in wellness?
It’s been such a journey! The quick answer is no. My wellness journey both started and transitioned with significant changes in seasons of life - mainly motherhood and then at-home entrepreneurship. You can read the longer backstory here, but I started Prescription Wellness initially in 2018 doing individual wellness consultations based on the functional medicine principles of food as medicine, as well as sleep, stress management, movement, etc, and I LOVED it.
I began focusing significantly on my own spiritual health not long after the launch, and that naturally seeped into the Prescription Wellness process. Before I knew it, I was leading guided meditations and teaching people techniques like grounding, breathwork, and practicing gratitude for a better immune response in addition to helping them clean out their pantries, choose the best supplements, and order healthy swaps for their favorite grocery items.
In February of this year, I created and launched PW’s first digital course, Everyday Wellness, to be able to share all these amazing tools with more women in a systematic way that didn’t overwhelm them or add to their already full plates. It’s basically just a quick, 5 minute-or-less video each day with one change to make and the science behind why, along with guided meditations in each lesson. The response has been really incredible! My business partner, Candice, joined PW earlier this spring, and we are planning on expanding into a full women’s digital wellness education brand now that we are not homeschooling seven children between the two of us.
How do you apply your own method with your family?
In moderation. ;) My husband is a really good sport about being my guinea pig, and with our children we really focus on mindfulness when it comes to wellness decisions. Developing a healthy relationship with food and health in general is so tricky, so my main goal is to keep guilt or shame out of their decision-making process. The hope is that they understand what they put into their bodies affects how they feel and that they learn as they grow up to choose well for themselves because they know they’re worth it.
We also supplement quite a bit, and I try to help them create the same foundational habits that I teach my clients without forcing too much. I am pretty hardcore about not having major temptations in the house, though. We very rarely keep refined sugar anymore, buy organic whenever remotely possible, and focus on cooking (or ordering!) meals that are higher in fat and protein and lower in carbs. When we’re out and about, we are definitely more lax about the food and just enjoy the experience.
What is one of your favorite things now? It can be anything that brings you joy.
Having groceries delivered! I know some people love the process of shopping for their groceries, but I do not at all. Grocery delivery adds so much time to my week and lets me have a much better handle on meal planning, which is not a natural strong suit for me. It’s legitimately life-changing.
This month's series is called "Winding Down" since we all need some TLC, especially during these times. What are some ways you practice self-care?
Scripture, meditation and grounding daily are non-negotiable self-care routines for me. A walk through my neighborhood with happy music is a major mood booster, and a full workout feels like magic. I also love a good lavender epsom salt bath, but those are few and far between.
What is something you have enjoyed during this social distancing time?
I have absolutely loved relaxed mornings. Getting three kids ready for school and out the door with backpacks and lunches and gear everyday is crazy. So not having to rush and being able to really enjoy the mornings peacefully has been one of my favorite changes. We also enjoy cooking more (I used to HATE it, but I’m coming around!) and get to really be present with each other in the evenings. And my husband has worked mostly from home during this time which has made it so much more fun and flexible!
What is something you have learned during this time?
I want to be way more conscious about how we spend our time and what takes priority in our schedules going forward. There are so many aspects of the quarantine that have been positive, and I am excited to figure out strategies to continue those aspects as we reintegrate into community living. People and hugs and routines that involve getting out of the house need to make a comeback pronto, but I’d like to be done with the stressful hustle for good.