Monica: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, Elizabeth! Lavva is really changing the face of the yogurt industry as such a unique plant-based alternative. How did you first get the idea to create it?

Elizabeth: I have been in the food industry my whole life, but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that my husband, an MD and my caretaker, recommended I follow a specialized diet as I went through my treatment. 

During that time, I was eating coconut, avocado and lots of macadamia nuts – and I found that I could not eat another one. That’s when I started researching and discovered the pili nut, which is one of the most nutritious nuts found in nature with a beautiful buttery taste. I started making myself a simple treat of pili nut and coconut milk when I realized it was something very special. It took on the form of yogurt that I knew others would love to eat it as well.

Monica: I love how your kitchen experiment inspired you to share it with more people!  How do you see your business making a bigger impact?

Elizabeth: I know everyone either has someone in their family or themselves who is struggling with a health challenge. It got me excited to share such a delicious product with real food ingredients that’s anti-inflammatory, no added sugar, and presents a complex live probiotic environment to support gut health and healing. 

To me, Lavva represents the ultimate recovery food, and we are looking for ways to make it available to anyone who is looking to heal with food.

Monica: Being in the health food industry, staying healthy must be top of mind. How do you keep a flow between your own health and the way you are running your company?

Elizabeth: I really strive for this golden thread of connectivity between everyday life and moving a business forward.  I think when we step away we often find answers. Not always, but so it is. The work is never done so I have learned that I must put it away at certain times every day to reclaim myself.

It’s about finding those moments where I can be fully present, and comfortable in my own skin that defines health. Free of pain, but elevated by gratitude.

Monica: What lessons have you learned from that you can share to other food entrepreneurs who are trying to launch their own companies?

Elizabeth: I have studied my industry for years and I hope that it adds up to something. But no matter what the business, I think you have to trust the work, and the steps that came before. 

I realized this time around that no one really has the answers. We are all struggling with the same self-doubts, but some just move through it anyway. I hope to continue encouraging others to rise above that nagging voice of self-doubt.

Monica: Any last bit of wisdom or insight that you’d like to share on how we can uncover our own path to live a fulfilling life?

Elizabeth: Whoever lets go the most, wins. I try to not hold on to things that hurt and forgiveness is certainly hard at times, but is the way to happiness. If you find something you love, stay at it and learn the ropes. 

Then seize your moment, and trust that it’s yours.

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  • Monica Mo, PhD

    Founder & CEO


    Monica Mo, PhD is the founder and CEO of WellSeek, a mental health & wellness community that's challenging society's unrealistic ideals to rewrite a healthier, happier world. What began as a passion for health and science led to Monica’s realization that her own behaviors contradicted her knowledge, inspiring the conception of WellSeek to guide others on their own path to health and happiness. She’s the Curating Editor of the WellSeek Collective and a member of the Council of Directors at True Health Initiative.