How This Black Expat Left Her Complicated Life In Ohio For An Unexpected Path To Wellness Coaching In Costa Rica
Photo Credit: kiszon pascal | Getty Images

Photo Credit: kiszon pascal | Getty Images

How This Black Expat Left Her Complicated Life In Ohio For An Unexpected Path To Wellness Coaching In Costa Rica

black expat , living abroad , Costa Rica , Nosara , Costa Rica
Leah Freeman-Haskin
Leah Freeman-Haskin May 13, 2020

In 2018, Alexis O’Reilly and her husband left their overly complicated lives in Ohio for the rugged shores of Costa Rica. The return to nature and a simpler approach to life created the space necessary to pursue new interests and possibilities; it was an unexpected gift. Living in a Blue Zone introduced Alexis to the benefits of plant medicine. She became interested in clean beauty and healing regiments, and she began blending her own combinations of essential oils, local herbs, and tree saps to quickly and effectively heal various ailments.

Alexis O’Reilly moved to Costa Rica with her family in 2018

She grew a desire to formalize her methods professionally. In educating herself about holistic health and wellness, she discovered the path of coaching and enrolled in The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

RELATED: 15 Reasons To Fall In Love With Costa Rica

Today, Alexis coaches clients from her home in Costa Rica, where I connected with her about her journey to paradise and in becoming a wellness advocate, guiding her clients to manifest the life they want through positive thoughts, a clear path, and dedicated work.

What services do you offer your clients? What does the process look like? 

My program can be done in person or virtually depending on the client’s location. Starting with a complimentary Discovery Session, we complete a health history and determine if we’re a good fit to work together during my three-month program. We take a holistic look at all aspects of life during our 1:1 coaching sessions, identifying short- and long- term goals, and creating action plans.

Mid-week accountability check-ins have worked wonders with my clients. Many programs fail due to the lapse of time between sessions; we get ahead of that.

Alexis checks in with a client

As my family moves toward sustainable living, I strive to create a mutual exchange of energy and ideas that raises vibrations for all of us collectively. What is growing in our gardens that can alleviate an ailment? What ingredients are sitting in our pantries that are effective astringents and leave behind no toxic residue? Where are we doing more harm than good despite the best intentions? Clients learn how to create their own products which are better for the environment, safer around children, and are lower in cost than traditional products.

What do you find is the greatest challenge for people trying to improve their overall health and wellness?

Challenges vary based on a person’s bio-individuality, history, and environment, but from a high-level, people struggle with either taking the first step, execution, or maintenance. Most people, if asked, could tell you three things they should be doing to improve their health, but they are not doing those things. I hear women say they do not know where to start and end up feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by the wellness world they see portrayed online. Many are self-starters that falter once they hit a plateau or a life event deprioritizes their own well-being. Others consider the work complete once a program ends.

As a society, we need to get to the root of why so many of us feel unbalanced. I take a holistic approach, which includes building lifestyle balance, emotional support, and motivation, focusing on the healing powers of healthy food, reducing dependency on medications, elevating confidence and self-esteem, and truly prioritizing a path of wellness.

Walk us through a day in your life as a Health and Wellness Coach living in Costa Rica. 

I wake to the sound of howler monkeys in the trees outside and make a cup of coffee. After making fresh juice for my husband, son, and myself, I take a 3-mile hike on a mountain to start my day.  During the hike, I listen to podcasts until I get to the top, and there I sit and meditate overlooking the ocean. This quiet time each day helps clear my head and creates an hour of uninterrupted mindfulness. From there I go home, shower, and get organized for the day. I then head into my office where I hold client sessions throughout the day. After work, I pick up my son from school, and then, as a family, we head to the beach to watch the sunset.

A morning hike in paradise

In early 2021, I will be opening a multi-purpose facility in Costa Rica, from where I will procure my herbal and botanical ingredients onsite, while hosting retreats in partnership with plant medicine practitioners and physical and mental wellness professionals. This will also be a place where a family vacation merges with wellness, inspired by my own family’s desire for seeking transcendence in our travels.

I believe that like-minded energy grows exponentially when harnessed, and am partnering with a representative from Sante Laboratories, the premier CBD testing facility in the United States. His belief in the healing powers of nature combined with the abundant natural resources of my new home is the perfect storm to expand my offerings while continuing my online practice.

This has all been a very organic process for me, following one interest to the next, learning to trust my intuition, and following the signs.

RELATED: Here Are The Most Stunning Beach Getaways In Central America

Do you have any homemade recipes you can share with our readers?

DIY Hand Sanitizer Spray

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:

Witch hazel

3 drops wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary essential oils

1 tsp coconut oil (optional)

2oz Spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Add the essential oils to the glass spray bottle
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with witch hazel
  3. Shake well before each use
  4. Spray on hands and rub together, Or spray on surface and wipe

Conventional vs Natural Spray

Conventional sanitizing sprays typically contain chemicals that can be harmful if swallowed and can dry out the skin if overused. Studies have also shown that overusing these sprays can kill the good bacteria on our hands that we need. When we use conventional hand sanitizing spray, we are killing off the bacteria that we need to build a healthy immune system. By overusing products with anti-bacterial agents, we make our bodies become immune to them, thus once we become sick they are not as effective.  Switching to a natural spray won’t do this. Your body can’t build up a resistance to essential oils, so this DIY hand sanitizer spray is a great option for keeping germs away. 

Essential Oils for Sanitizing Spray

Wild Orange Essential Oil

Like most citrus essential oils, wild orange has cleansing and purifying properties making it great for sanitizing and cleaning.

Clove Essential Oil

Clove is a powerful essential oil that has antibacterial properties. It works great in this sanitizing spray and for cleaning. 

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon is a strong essential oil that has antibacterial properties. The cinnamon essential oil also has immune-boosting properties when used aromatically, internally, and topically. 

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus can work wonders for respiratory issues. Like all the oils listed above, it also has cleansing and purifying properties and can naturally boost the immune system. 

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary acts as a natural preservative and adds shelf-life to this product when added in. This essential oil also has cleansing and purifying properties that can help to keep germs away. 

If you are interested in connecting with Alexis, you can reach her on Instagram, LinkedIn or via her personal website.