A Look at Health, Healing, Happiness
— By Faryn Duncan —
Sometimes, it takes the most trying of circumstances to make sweeping changes in life.
For Ina Mohan, it was her mother’s development of breast cancer and her father’s diagnosis of colon cancer which turned her life upside down.
Not one to miss major cues, she interpreted these moments as her “light bulb being switched on” and began to dig.
She found that adopting a clean and healthy lifestyle could do wonders to prevent the cancer which ran in her family, as well as other diseases.
After years of success in the corporate world Ina Mohan found something that had a much deeper effect on her life– a love for health, a passion for healing and a desire for happiness.
It was time for a life change.
The inaugural event in 2012 had a mere 150 guests. But, times have changed a lot since then. Last year, more than 800 attendees came to learn how to improve their lives — from all around the world.
Today, Mohan expects the 2016 edition to surpass that number.
This year’s HHH takes place at Tuscany Suites & Casino from June 10 – 12. It features well-known thought leaders from the worlds of health and healing, including “America’s Health Coach” Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Robert Cheeke, the founder of Vegan Bodybuilding, as well as Vegas locals including VegeNation’s Chef Donald Lemperle, raw mixologist Shane Stuart of GrassRoots/Panacea, Chef Stacey Dougan from Simply Pure and Vincenozo Granata of Panevino, as well as many others.
The hope of Mohan? To empower, encourage and inspire the minds of all who come through the door.
Vegans, Baby: What inspired you to create an event like Health, Healing & Happiness?
Mohan: This was something that came a little bit as a surprise, to be honest. I began in the corporate world as a certified chef in Germany, where I grew up. I never learned anything about how food and health went together; I never connected the dots. I didn’t have any health or weight problems … but all of that changed drastically when my mom [who was living Germany] was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my father with colon cancer, in 2004.
It was devastating to see how little conventional medicine could do for them. I began researching what food and nutrition could do to prevent the cancer [that runs in the family]. When you open the floodgates, there is no turning back. So, I became vegetarian and then later vegan. I became really passionate about what I studied and what I found. It was just incredible what you can do naturally to heal the body inside out. So while I was really successful in my corporate job, my passion took me somewhere different.
VB: What sets Health, Healing & Happiness apart from other events similar to it?
Mohan: I think most events tend to focus on just spiritual aspects of life, or just the physical aspects of life. Most of the vegan events I’ve been visiting are very much just driving with nutrition and food — of course this is a huge part.
Although non vegans do not believe me, it is the easiest way to start a healthier life. HHH is not a strictly vegan conference. You are welcome no matter where you are in life. My speakers and vendors are only allowed to promote plant-based products that cannot be animal tested or animal product related. But, we make it very open and broad from there. There is such a great variety with our speakers that a lot of people will be attracted to it.
It is not a strictly vegan affair where they might get guilted into something they are not ready for. I am very subtle in my approach and that brings a lot more people in the door because they trust me and like what they see. They want to be better and healthier, but also comfortable. When they walk into HHH, they get the doctors approaching the theory of being on a plant-based diet and what it could fix as well as the chefs, life coaches and other speakers.
VB: What should someone expect to gain from attending HHH?
Mohan: Belsandia is a combination of three words. “Bel” stands for bellezza, which means beauty, “san” stands for sanitas, which means health, and “dia” stands for day. Which is where I came up with “it’s a beautiful day for a healthy life.”
I wanted to educate the masses about the power of plant-based nutrition and how you can literally heal yourself from the inside out using nutrition and lifestyle with a healthy all-around approach to life based off of what I learned. So the concept of HHH had been born from my passion to show the world the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
VB: HHH hits all of the elements of physical and emotional health. Why do you believe that it is so important to master all of these areas rather than just one?
Mohan: Health is obviously something we do on an everyday scale. I consider diet and exercise the physical components; healing is something that happens on a deeper level. You start adjusting your mindset. You start considering your body as a healing machine, you believe you can heal yourself from anything. And happiness is a very, very big factor completely underrated by most because if you are not happy you will not heal from anything. You could be the happiest person in the world and eat like s— and never get sick because it is mind over body. Your mind will overrule what is going on in your body. If you are not happy you will not heal from anything. HHH aims to approach all of that. That is why I have a whole range of speakers focusing on the physical parts as well as healing the spiritual, mental and emotional subjects. That is vitally important to being healthy.
VB: Since the first conference in 2012, HHH has had an increase of almost 10 times the amount of participants. What can you attribute this rapidly growing success to?
Mohan: The very first conference in 2012 was barely a local affair at the Springs Preserve. From there, it morphed into 2015’s conference where we had more than 800 people walking through the halls of the Tuscany. I had to move out of Springs Preserve because it was not big enough any more, and that is a beautiful problem to have. It has become a little bit of a cult as people are jetting from one HHH to another, year after year, showing off their progress. There is a fan base. My goal is to have the approach be very broad so people do not feel guilted or shamed into becoming vegan. There is such a broad variety of speakers that everyone finds something to attract them.
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Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand where she spent years working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism. She is a public speaker who has appeared at SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more, a journalist and entrepreneur. Diana is also behind the Vegas Vegan Dinners at James Beard Foundation’s James Beard House.