Chloé Covin's journey to wellness has not been without its struggles, but it has led to her creation of LiveWell Juicing Co., offering raw, organic fresh fruit and vegetable juices to the Auburn-Opelika area.
Sitting in Side Track Coffee with a drink made from her Superfood Golden Latte Base powder, Covin begins to tell her story.
"At the age of 10, a golf ball sized tumor was found in the frontal lobe of my brain," Covin said. "At that point, I had never heard of juicing, but I had faith and God gave me and my family wisdom and peace throughout the whole situation."
They found the tumor while on vacation in Chicago. Covin was admitted to the ER with a severe migraine.
Covin said at that point in her life she realized that all the odds were against her but she soon adopted the practice of disagreeing with all the worse case scenarios given to her by doctors.
"They told me they wouldn't be able to operate on the tumor, but they then found a way," Covin said. "If the operation were successful, I wouldn't be myself again, and I may not be able to walk or talk. And yet, when the anesthesia wore off, I immediately began talking, and the only reason I couldn't stand up was that I had too much medical equipment around me."
Many doctors studied Covin's case and debated on what kind of tumor she had. A part of the tumor was sent out for testing while Covin was still in the hospital.
"We waited several weeks in the hospital," Covin said. "They were expecting me to have this long road to recovery, but instead I was just sitting there bored because none of the horrible things they said were going to happen, happened."
Several doctors believed Covin had an aggressive form of cancer that would require six rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
Right before she was meant to start the first round of chemo, Covin received a call from a doctor in California, and because she was part of a medical trial, he had read her case in a journal and was confident she had a benign form of tumor called a schwannoma even though it was highly unusual.
Refusing the chemotherapy, Covin made the choice to believe the doctor from California.
"I'm pretty sure he was right because I'm fine," Covin smiled and said. "It's just about choosing the best case scenario."
Covin then returned to Texas and resumed her spot in fifth grade, and the only difference was that she had a shaved head and more confidence, ironically enough she said.
It wasn't until college she began to experience health issues again.
"I started to experience severe migraines and partial seizures," Covin said.
"One day I woke up and it was kind of strange, my cat, who would sleep next to my head on my pillow, was scratching my face," Covin said. "He probably saved my life but I pushed him off of me and went to wash my face in the bathroom, and I collapsed."
Covin said she was aware of what was happening and could hear herself hitting the side of the tub and she knew she was having a seizure.
After her surgery, the doctors said seizures were to be expected, but after eight years of nothing, she believed it wasn't going to happen.
Covin said she crawled from the bathroom, called her father and then was taken to the ER. Her hospital treatment was very unsettling she said.
"It was very frustrating, and they handled it very poorly," Covin said. "I realized that yes, my family wants to help and so do the doctors, but no one is inside my body and knows what's going on the way I do."
Covin said that was the first time she realized that the absolute best person to help her, was herself.
Covin then dropped out of LaGrange College where she was studying music and moved to Auburn, where she had support from her friends and church.
Within a few months, she was able to go to the Institue of Raw and Living Foods in Atlanta.
"Since the day I graduated from their program, every move I've made has been a stepping stone leading me toward LiveWell," Covin said. "My fire is pursued by the urgency to tell others now how easy it is to get healthy and well."
In those few months before going to the Institute, Covin located a neurologist who told her she did have irregular brain waves which caused her seizures.
She was put on medication, but the side effects were absolutely terrible she said.
"I was oversleeping, grumpy and I just wasn't myself. My fingernails even fell off," Covin said. "I just felt myself becoming dependent on the drug."
Covin stopped taking the medication and began to work at Dayspring Nature Shop. She was mentored under Yolande Wersinger where she was taught how to use herbs for several remedies.
She thought she was in the clear for about a year after refusing medication with the help of her remedies, but two years ago she said she had the worse seizure of her life.
"On New Year's Eve, I was sitting on a bar stool eating dinner at Hamilton's and I had dressed up and I had been wearing a strobing bow tie like an idiot," Covin said. "I had convinced myself that the only reason I had my last seizure was because of all my stress and I thought it wouldn't happen anymore because I was actually happy now."
After that Covin began taking another, better seizure prevention medicine that she said she would probably have to take the rest of her life.
Before she began LiveWell Juicing Co., she began Care by Chloé, which she never intended to create a business, unlike LiveWell.
Care by Chloé includes handcrafted, and natural products meant to promote wellness. Some of the products include body scrubs, bath salts, deodorants and lip balms.
"I started making these bath salts with herbs added to them and different ailments that were meant to fight the side effects of the drug I was on," Covin said. "My friends began to want me to make products for them, and from there it grew."
"It's really fun to make and a really great way to be intentional," Covin said."If you can take a bath instead of an Advil it's better for your stomach so why not take that option."
It was after she graduated from The Institute of Raw and Living Food when Covin became an avid juicer.
"Juicing tackles the two biggies," Covin said. "Deficiency and toxicity. They are full of antioxidants and nutrients, and it is the best thing I can think of that tackles both."
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"I just started making juice for all my friends, and I was like 'ya'll come over, and I'll make a big dinner and a batch of juice.'" Covin said. "It hadn't occurred to me I was capable of even running a business, but people were just like wow, you should really do something with this."
Covin said it was almost exactly a year ago where she believed she was capable of running a business after seeing how Side Track Coffee started.
"I remember walking in, and David Bizilia was in there, and I was like 'what is this, ' and he was like 'oh, you know I just bought an espresso machine and put a sink in and now I'm here,'" Covin said. " 'I was like that's it?' and after that, he and I developed a great relationship where we would always run ideas by one another, and he and his brothers helped me brainstorm for my business."
Covin went back to what she's always wanted the most, a way to tell people about proactive wellness.
"Juicing was a thing I did every day, so I just started making people cleanses at first," Covin said.
"I don't know if it was legal at first," Covin joked. "But people let me practice on them anyway, and we had great results."
Covin then officially began LiveWell Juicing Co. where she offers a variety of cleanses for her customers made in the LiveWell HQ kitchen.
Her favorite, she said, is the Green Renewal which is the most nutrient-dense juice on the LiveWell menu. Others include The Hot Ginger, Green Refresher and The Gold Standard.
Her juices and products, along with Care by Chloé, are sold on her website. She offers anywhere between a one day cleanse to a six day cleanse along with a consultation to discuss a customized cleanse for specific needs.
Once ordered, customers can pick up their purchases at Dayspring Nature Shop.
"Juicing is easier than some may think," Covin said. "Even if you change nothing else about your lifestyle, if you start drinking one juice per day you will feel the difference."
It was a long road to get to where I am now Covin said.
She stressed the importance of not only a healthy lifestyle but a positive one.
"The only thing that is the same about me from three years ago is the juicing," Covin said. "I was mean and sarcastic because at the time I felt like I didn't have any power over my situation and no one could understand what I was going through."
Covin made the active choice to change her way of thinking.
"I developed this mantra," Covin said. "Dream in years, set goals monthly and accomplish tasks daily."
Covin said she has no agenda and doesn't want to seem as if she's pushing people into a different life style.
"I just feel like I've discovered this great thing and I want to share it with as many people as possible," Covin said. "I'm trying to use everything I've been through and everything I've learned to promote wellness."