Forget everything you thought you knew about hemp: for the next installment of our Embracing Your Best Self series, Maja interviews Tara Miko, founder of Happy Hemp, who spills on this super food and her many other healthy lifestyle choices. She also recently introduced us to our favorite new snack, toasted hemp seeds! By the way, Miss Miko is a far cry from any dread-locked health-food hippy — she actually spent years working in the L.A. fashion industry before founding her company. Specializing in the highest-quality raw and toasted hemp seeds, Happy Hemp culinary products have already been featured on CNN and Oprah.com. They taste great as a simple snack, but can also be used to season meats, dress salads and add protein to smoothies. In our latest interview, Tara takes us inside her brimming-with-color Austin home to give us a taste of what inspires her healthy lifestyle and how she incorporates hemp into her everyday life. Click through for all the details shot by Chelsea Fullerton.
Maja: During the past three years, you left a demanding job in the fashion industry, moved from LA to Austin, and launched a health food company. Total life change! Tell us your story.
Tara: When one door closes another one opens! After working for the same company for ten years, I suddenly found myself jobless. Losing what I thought was a secure job in a career I loved, I was faced with the fear of the unknown and a financial stress that was reeking havoc on my health both emotionally and physically. No job. No insurance. Sick. Hmmm... What to do? Start every aspect of my life over.
Starting with my health, I took issues into my own hands. I started with nutrition and what I was choosing to put in my body. I started juicing, food journaling, drinking bizarre root teas, I hopped on one foot while drinking water. I was literally open to anything that anyone told me would help. Enter hemp. Intrigued, I started eating hemp seeds on a regular basis. After about two weeks, there was a noticeable improvement in my digestion, energy and sleeping habits. The more I learned about this amazing super food, the more impressed I was. That's when "the seed" was planted!