Founder of Palm Beach VegFest
Courtney became vegan and started a regular yoga practice in April 2013, after reading "Skinny Bitch" and "Forks Over Knives". She was horrified by the practices of the meat and dairy industries, and felt compelled to share healthier and more peaceful options with her family and friends. Recipes from her favorite cookbook, "Thug Kitchen", showed people that vegan food can be filling and DELICIOUS! After years of being a gym-junkie and believing that exercise was the main factor to being fit, she finally learned that having a healthy body, inside and out, depends on what you eat. This transition to an organic, plant-based diet appeared to happen at an awkward time, as her husband was working for the family's meat and dairy distribution company. She couldn't unlearn the information, and her new vegan diet had given her more energy, and she felt better than she ever had before. No more counting calories, or struggling to maintain a certain weight. She cancelled her gym membership and started a regular yoga practice at Yoga Journey.
Courtney completed Leslie Glickman's 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Journey in 2014 and recently graduated from her 500HR YTT. She resigned from her position as an elementary school teacher in 2015, and transitioned into a full-time yoga career. She is the co-founder of the Organic Beauty & Wellness Festival, another vegan event in South Florida. Courtney is an advocate for holistic and natural healing, and regularly receives acupuncture treatment at Dr. Yan Ping Xu's Perfect Union of Body & Mind.
When she's not teaching or producing events, you can find her on her mat or at the beach. Her yoga practice taught her that "Ahimsa", non-harming, is something we can apply to ALL areas of our lives.
Courtney has been featured on CBS News West Palm Beach, in Mantra Magazine, Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine, and Simply the Best Magazine.
Co-Founder of the Palm Beach VegFest
Mike Mitchell grew up in the 90's & 2000's eating the traditional American diet. He had a fast metabolism & stayed skinny until the age of 26 when he had an awkward conversation with his doctor about the 42lbs he had gained in 1 year. Knowing that health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's all ran in his family; he knew that he was headed that way if he didn't make some changes. First step was reducing his caffeine intake by drinking more water & incorporating fresh organic fruit into his morning routine. Over the next 9 months he transitioned to an organic vegan diet. He lost the excess weight, felt younger, and was now driven to pursue happiness in his own life.
At this point he had been running his family business (which sold wholesale meat & cheese products to supermarkets) for 11 years & learned all the ins & outs of this aggressive corporate industry. He didn't believe the mass brainwashing of the public for profit was ethical and no longer wanted to ignore the gruesome meat & cheese industry practices that the typical American supports every day.
Once he accepted the fact that the 6 figure salary wasn't worth the nightmares, he discussed with his father that he wanted to leave the company. Being his family's company, he needed to leave on good terms. He needed to hire multiple new team members and train them (a process that took almost a year) to cover his responsibilities. During this time, he pursued new endeavors and began selling food items that didn't exploit animals, the environment, or human health. He now focuses on vegan health coaching and teaching yoga.