Dietitians and BFF’s Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones met at a dinner party and came together around a singular and necessary goal: to broaden the perception of what wellness is for Black women while preserving cultural traditions. In 2011, they launched Food Heaven Made Easy, which features a website, podcast, cookbooks and online cooking kits. They also offer one-on-one counseling to people of color, primarily Black women, who often find themselves adrift in an industry that targets wealthy White women.

In an interview with The Huffington Post yesterday (March 27), the duo discussed the importance of representation in health, wellness and sustainability: 

Jones: There’s an assumption that Black and Brown people don’t care about sustainability or don’t care about the environment. But if you look back, our grandparents, parents, great-grandparents—they’ve been living in a sustainable way since forever. So whether it’s reusing an oatmeal container for something else or hand-washing the laundry and air-drying it. We should be reclaiming these things. 

Lopez: It’s important that people see themselves in health and wellness so that they’re able to feel like this is attainable for them, because when wellness is constantly marketed as a White woman who is eating really exclusive food, people don’t see themselves represented in that. So if this is what wellness is positioned as and they feel like wellness is just not something that is for them, it’s important that we have different representations of what wellness means—for Black people, for people who have different body sizes, for people who have physical limitations. It’s important that we create accessible messaging for everyone.

Read the full interview here.