Women In Wellness: “Every time you see a conventional doctor, ask questions on prevention, nutrition, and lifestyle”, With Author Sylvie Beljanski
You may ask your doctor what the alternatives are to conventional treatment. Your doctor should assist you with reviewing all the options that science offers.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sylvie Beljanski. Sylvie Beljanski is an award-winning author, health advocate, and entrepreneur who relentlessly educates the public about the effects of environmental toxins on our health and is a sought-after speaker at health and wellness conferences globally. In 1999, Ms. Beljanski founded The Beljanski Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, whose mission is to find natural, non-toxic cures for cancer. She is also the President of Natural Source International and recently opened Maison Beljanski in New York City, a store dedicated to everything wellness.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
My background is one of a French lawyer. I went to the Sorbonne in Paris, France and was admitted to the French bar. In 1995 I moved to New York to join a New York law firm as a foreign legal associate, but in 1996 my father’s laboratory, which at the time was the only independent laboratory in France working on cancer research, was ransacked by the French army who showed up one morning with machine guns, dogs, trucks to take away everything, and no warrant. As a lawyer, I was shocked. I immediately decided to dive into the case and salvage whatever I could from my father’s research.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
The most interesting adventure was to take the French government to the European Court of Human Rights. In 2002 a unanimous decision was handed down in the case Beljanski vs. France. We won, but it was a bittersweet victory after a protracted four-year battle. Surprisingly, however, it had not been a hard one to win from a legal point of view. From the beginning, it had been clear that the French General Attorney had no case. That did not prevent him from delaying as long as the process would allow, making the trial as emotionally difficult and expensive for my family as he could. The arguments presented on behalf of the French government had been consistently and shockingly poor. I was relieved we had won, but as a French lawyer, I was profoundly ashamed by France’s public display of such intense mediocrity.
This taught me to not get intimated and go all the way as long as I know I am doing the right thing.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My biggest mistake was to give away some equity in the company to my business partner. I painfully learned that things changed in life, relationships evolve and giving the power to somebody to get you stuck at best, and destroy you at the worst, is one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Absolutely. There would be no Maison Beljanski without the breakthrough discoveries of my late father Mirko Beljanski PhD. Through the years of his work and research, he developed the supplements, that still as of today, are key to the success of our company. My recent book, Winning The War On Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure, gives the background and story of my father’s life and the continuation of his work. It has been extremely well received with awards, honors, and testimonials as it showcases the originality of his life and the relevancy of his work today.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
I am most proud to say that as Vice President of The Beljanski Foundation, we work at ways to cure cancer the natural way. The Beljanski Foundation continues the legacy of Dr. Mirko Beljanski, sponsoring research programs with non-toxic, natural molecules.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
I believe that we should be more demanding from our healthcare practitioners. We deserve attention and respect. We are entitled to a dialogue. Here are some suggestions:
- Every time you see a conventional doctor, ask questions on prevention, nutrition, and lifestyle.
- Tell your doctor that you expect him or her to take the time to get to know you and discuss your health goals.
- You may ask your doctor what the alternatives are to conventional treatment. Your doctor should assist you with reviewing all the options that science offers.
- If you are advised not to take supplements during chemo or radiation treatments, be specific and ask your doctor for scientific evidence of any negative effects of those supplements when taken with these therapies.
- Review all your health options and take control of your life and make sure to “never, never, never give up,” as Sir Winston Churchill, an expert at winning war, once advised.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would call it “Ditch The Junk.” Consider lifelong exposure to numerous chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, and the daily lathering of all the expensive preservatives, dyes and fragrances contained in our luxury hygiene and beauty products, and you will want to switch to organic and clean products immediately.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Listen to your team and customers for suggestions, but in the end don’t forget the decision is yours. You can’t trade leadership for consensus. I try to be open to as many ideas as possible and welcome every suggestion, but as the leader of the company, I have to be happy and conformable with the decisions being made.
- Know your product inside and out. This way when the time comes to give a presentation or being put on the spot to answer questions, you are always ready to answer any and everything, even the technical questions. Whenever I prepare a new talk, I spend quite a lot of time preparing my PowerPoint in order to make sure that I fully mastered any scientific data.
- Stay positive, no matter how challenging the circumstances may seem. I remember that within one week, while I was in Europe, I learned that two key employees decided to leave the company, our products were being counterfeited, and our main supplier of raw materials was retiring. Needless to say, this seemed like a nightmare, but in the end, our company grew and became stronger on the other side of these difficulties.
- Take care of yourself. Being the leader of a small company causes you to be involved in every aspect of your organization. It is very easy to get run down by being pulled in every direction, but you have to find time for yourself as well or else you will absolutely pay for it later on. I got the lesson when I found myself in a hospital bed and finally had to rest for a few weeks.
- In the end, all will work out. After 25 years in the field, I strongly believe that as long as you do the right thing, everything will work out for the best.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Health, and not only mental health, is the dearest topic. As Thomas Carlyle says, “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” Unless you have health, which includes but goes beyond mental health, all the other things go out the window.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Readers can follow The Beljanski Foundation & Maison Beljanski on Facebook & Instagram to stay up to date with everything happening!