Carly Stein is the founder of Beekeeper’s Naturals, a brand of honey-based products such as bee pollen, throat spray, wellness packs, and more. Carly’s entrepreneurial journey began during a semester abroad in Europe, when her tonsils became inflamed in Florence. Instead of having to cut her trip short, she searched for a natural remedy, stumbling upon an Italian pharmacy filled with bee products. Within days of using propolis–a product she now sells–her symptoms had subsided, and the idea for her brand was born. Below, the founder of this all-natural company tells us what she does to stay grounded and healthy, while trying to run a startup.

 Bad habits you’ve cut from your daily routine?

  1. I’m not the best at this (and it’s a very new thing for me) but I am working on not looking at emails immediately when I first wake up. It’s a really stressful way to start the day, so I’m trying to make time for a little meditation—even just 5 minutes—before I even think about reaching for my phone.   
  2. I cut out refined sugar a long time ago. Sure, sometimes I’ll indulge, but, for the most part, I find that enzyme-rich raw honey works just as well when it comes to satisfying my sweet tooth. Plus, it makes me feel infinitely better than I would after eating highly-processed junk. I really don’t miss refined sugar at all.          
  3. I don’t eat grains. They’re definitely not a bad habit for everyone, but I’ve noticed that I tend to feel better when I am getting my carbs from starchy veggies and nuts.   

Good habits you’ve added?

  1. I really value my mental health, which is why I make space for 5 to 10 minutes of meditation every single morning. Meditation always seemed kind of boring to me (since I am so type A and always on-the-go), but I’ve discovered that a regular practice makes a HUGE difference in my thought patterns and the quality of my self talk throughout the day (which is a majorly undervalued aspect of wellness). Now, I actually look forward to those quiet, meditative moments in my day.          
  2. After meditating, I will quickly jot down a few things in my gratitude journal. It’s so easy for our brains to focus on the negative and what we need to improve. It’s not our fault—evolution has wired us this way. But that’s why it’s so important to make gratitude a conscious practice. Daily gratitude journaling has trained my brain to more readily appreciate the wonderful parts of my life, rather than just the parts that aren’t quite there yet.    
  3. I am really lucky to call L.A. my home base right now, so I’ve made going to the beach at least once a week a priority. I might go for a run or just sit and listen to the waves, but I find that having a bit of “me-time” in the sun has a super restorative effect on my energy levels, productivity, and general outlook.     

How do you take care of yourself throughout the day?

I absolutely have to workout every day. Movement is so important to me. It doesn’t matter how busy I am, I will make time to take a fitness class, go for a run, or take a 10-minute dance break in the hall. Having that incentive is really key when it comes to breaking up the nonstop screen time and motivating myself to take a break from whatever I’m working on (which I can get really sucked into).   

Are there any activities that help you de-stress?

I’d say meditation and beekeeping are my go-tos for real de-stressing. As I said, I make sure to meditate every single day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. But beekeeping is almost like an active form of meditation for me. You have to be very serene and in tune with the hive to not agitate the bees, so it’s this profoundly calming experience. Spending time among the hives is absolutely my happy place—I try to do it as much as possible.          

Otherwise, I make sure I do yoga or dance throughout the week to really get back in touch with my body and blow off some steam. I usually take some of the awesome dance/fitness classes out in L.A., but I’m always game to fit in a 10-minute dance party in my bedroom if I have to. Either way, I always come out the other side grinning and feeling great!    

(Fun fact: bees have some pretty sweet dance moves too. They actually communicate with each other through these intricate dance moves known as waggle dancing! Yeah, bees are super cool).       

How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 

I’ve never been a great sleeper—most of my life I’ve only clocked an average of 4 or 5 hours a night. But because I am so busy and my body could use the rest, these days I strive for 6 hours a night. It’s a challenge for me, but I have a bedtime routine which helps. I always take a small spoonful of our B.Chill Hemp Honey before bed (raw honey actually supports melatonin production in the brain, and hemp is a well-known powerhouse when it comes to natural snooze support). To ensure I don’t screw with my circadian rhythms (which are already pretty fragile from traveling and crossing time zones so often), I work really hard to stop looking at screens at least 1 hour before lights out. I also love essential oil diffusers and always get the lavender going before bed to really help whisk myself away into dreamland.    

Do you have a favorite wellness trend? 

That’s easy—tonics. One of the reasons I started Beekeeper’s Naturals is because I love using potent natural ingredients to develop and create my own wellness solutions, which may explain my love for tonics. I’m absolutely OBSESSED with combining weird adaptogens, plant-based powders, and raw bee products together into a steaming mug of wellness. I can get really into it. The craziest tonic I ever made contained 15 different ingredients! And yes, I felt amazing afterwards.                 

What’s your favorite healthy food? 

I love bee pollen. Yes, I know I run a wellness company centered around bee products so I’m a little biased, but it really is one of my favorites. Bee pollen is like nature’s multivitamin—it’s loaded with amino acids and important nutrients like B vitamins. It also contains more protein per gram than any animal source, so it’s a really powerful way to supplement an active lifestyle. Some research has even suggested that it could potentially improve endurance in athletes. To really power up my meals, I sprinkle it in all my smoothies, yogurt, toast, and salads. It’s good on basically everything!  

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