About Us

Our Story…By Ian Sultan

Joy and I met in June of 2010, and for me it was another normal day, up early, at my desk having coffee (with four tablespoons of coffee creamer and a ton of sugar…Joy used six packages of Splenda), likely doing paperwork or answering emails. My wife had moved out already by then and it had been about one month since my divorce was final. It’s amazing to think back now that that would be the day that would change the rest of my life…

Joy and Ian Sultan 2019

I left my house later that afternoon to go for a massage. When I got there, I was sitting out in my car and for some reason I decided not to go in. I think I was feeling that it was a waste of money and for less I could go have sushi near the mall in Temecula, CA. I had become addicted to sushi during my brief stint as a bachelor and the one by the mall, across from the movie theater, was particularly good. It was weird because before my divorce I hadn’t really gone out for sushi much…now that I think of it my ex didn’t care for fish much so likely why we never went to a sushi bar. I was so inhibited back then; I remember having to work up the courage to start going out on my own again after 20+ years of being with her.

I arrived at the sushi bar and sat there for some time without any service. It was strange to not get noticed at all; I think I must have been sitting there 5-10 minutes without any attention. I started thinking about the Yard House down the street in the same center, they had this yummy blue cheese and candied walnut salad I had ordered a few times before. So, I got up and headed out, still with nobody noticing me leave.

It took me a few minutes to walk to the Yard House, I sat at the bar, facing away from the doorway. I was looking around for someone to talk with, some people on their phones, not a whole lot of activity. 

After a bit I noticed a woman come in and walk-up to the end of the bar on my right. After a few minutes I watched her help an old man find a tissue, I thought to myself, wow, attractive and kind…she looks like a teacher.

Interestingly enough, her story of how she arrived at the bar always makes us think there must have been some other type of intervention that day. When I was sitting in the sushi bar, not getting attention, she was coming out of the movie theater across from the restaurant. She had thought sushi would be nice, but then quickly remembered it wasn’t cheap and needed to watch her expenses.  The way we timed it later had us both walking down the same street towards the Yard House, but on opposite sides.

Joy and the bartender seemed to be discussing the menu, I remember him pointing down my way and her trying to look over as to what I had ordered. I tried to speak up “It’s the blue cheese and walnut salad”.… She couldn’t hear me, walked over, I told her all about it and then invited her to sit down. Joy would say that at that moment her head was trying to remind her, or rather screaming at her, that she had sworn off men because of all the lies and her having been a married-man magnet since her divorce. She sat down anyway however, I guess it was about 7:00 that evening.

The conversation evolved to where we are in our lives, turns out today was the day that her divorce was final. We sat and talked for many hours, until around 12:30am or at least until they advised us they were closing. There was so much hurt in both of us from our previous marriages, mostly horror stories about what we had been through and why and how we come to certain conclusions about our lives. She was telling me about her business ideas, Joy was thinking about writing a book and was also involved in the beginning stages of putting together a weight-loss based reality show. From what she’s told me her and her sister had gotten as far as putting together a board of directors.

I learned that she had lost a lot of weight, saw the pictures she carries around with her, was so amazing, what a difference to go from 400lbs to the person sitting next to me. She still gets a kick out the reactions from people when they see these old photos.

She had had the Roux-en Y gastric bypass, which now as a nutritional therapist, and knowing how this has affected her physiology and caused all kinds of imbalances, deeply regrets it. Joy had lost 120 pounds on her own, and if she knew then what we know now, it would have simply been a matter of continuing with a healthy diet to shed the rest of it prior to reconstructive surgery.

We had an immediate connection and I remember thinking how at ease I was, here was someone who understands me and had been through some of what I had experienced in my life. I really didn’t know if it would go anywhere, I had met a few women over the last few months and it always fizzled out for some reason. Actually, come to think of it, they always ended under some very strange circumstances, again like there had been someone or something influencing my life.

We walked out and I offered her a ride to the other side of the mall where she had parked, shared a tiny kiss, and said goodbye. I drove home a bit bewildered and amazed at the energy we seemed to have together. Who knows I thought?

It was maybe a day or two before I called her, had left a message that I know she saved for many years. We later met at a pizza place in Temecula, and maybe I needed to be approved because her sister, brother-in-law and nephew were there as well. It was a pleasant time as I remember, they were telling me about some of their new businesses they were working on, seemed like she had a supportive family, it was refreshing to see.

We spent a few minutes in the parking lot, then left together as I had asked her what she would like to do. She wanted to see my house. I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking, but I do remember being a bit surprised, I didn’t have any intention of asking her back to my house so early in our relationship. Later I learned that she really didn’t have an agenda except to see if I was married or not. Seems there were some cases of married men she had known pretending to be single. Really?

Got back to my house, my half-empty house with sad little impressions on the floor where some furniture had been, no table in the kitchen, and stains on the linoleum floor from when I had been staining the cabinets. She says it took her all of two seconds to realize I was truly divorced and living alone.

We had a nice evening, went slow, she says she had also investigated my fridge, saw the vegetables and fruits in organized and stacked containers (as opposed to snack foods and pizza) and knew she was on the right track….actual produce, yay!

On the 3rd of July I drove down to Vista, CA to pick her up at her mom’s house, saw her family again…I seemed to do well with them. We spent several days together, we went to San Diego, La Jolla, we did lots of talking, learning, comparing, did a bit of drinking too.

Over the next few months we had a great time together. There were, however, persistent arguments as we both tried desperately to make sense of who we were and what our paths should be. Despite the confusion we pressed on, learning and growing together. It was a very difficult time in our lives, we both had significant PTSD and triggers from all the ordeals in our previous lives, and they resurfaced constantly.

Our arguments intensified over time, so much so that I’m really surprised sometimes to still be together. I honestly had no intention to keep going, seemed everything was a trigger. Of course, I was coming from my old neglectful marriage and family, having my own fears and insecurities, and she was coming off years of abuse from her ex and family too. It was a clash of the triggers to put it mildly. We’re not sure why we stayed together, it’s something we honestly never figured out beyond that it must have been meant to be.

In late 2010 Joy took the NASM certified fitness trainer course, it was months of studying physiology and advanced biological concepts, the likes that I hadn’t seen since my years in school. At the time she was just using the course as a steppingstone towards being a life coach. I offered to just pay for the course but because of how others in the past had held things like this over her head, she wanted to earn it. I remember making up a list of random things she could do to earn the money…I can’t believe she was able to fix my washing machine!

In 2011 a series of events occurred that led us to consider starting a business, selling some imported fashion accessories. We were convinced we were going to do well on it…of course we lost a fortune. But what we lost in money we gained in confidence of working together and having the opportunity to see what we were both capable of – we look back on it now as a “successful failure”.

About a year to the date of meeting we got engaged. What an amazing weekend that was, back to some of the places we had gone that first weekend together. We took a ferry from San Diego to Coronado Island to have dinner. I had a blue topaz necklace for her as a present and was planning on giving her my lucky test ring as an engagement ring. It is a diamond and gold ring and has kind of a Rolex type band design. It actually means a lot to me; I wore it only on test days throughout college. I had read or was told at some point that it was lucky for Aries to wear diamonds…couldn’t hurt I thought.

We were married in May of 2012, a nice small family wedding in Temecula, CA at one of the wineries. There were some conflicts with my parents however, they weren’t happy about any of this at all.  

For the next full year my narcissistic parents went into a rage. They were deeply upset I was getting married to a stronger woman, unlike my first wife that was passive and just kept to herself. Their biggest fear was/is that she would turn me against them, as if I couldn’t form my own conclusions or make my own decisions.

In later 2013 we were deep in debt and the only way out was to sell my home of 11 years. The previous year had been so draining, we were so preoccupied with my parents’ daily abuse that we didn’t get a whole lot done. Luckily, we had a good amount of equity, was able to pay most of the debt off, and moved to Utah with Joy’s mom and to be near her sister.

We were in renting in Utah until the Summer of 2014, after which we thought Las Vegas would be a better place for my business due to the local trade shows. We rented a house in Summerlin for a year and then subsequently bought a house in July of 2015. Joy had just finished getting her realtors license, worked in the field for a while, but ultimately decided that being a realtor was not her true calling. 

Joy was always passionate about nutrition, especially after all the years of study and weight loss and wanted to explore that path more in depth. She found a good school, studied so hard, many late nights, traveling for workshops, study groups, and finally graduating as an NTP in 2016.

We kept discovering more about cooking and food, analyzing our eating (and drinking) habits then and over the years. We watched many documentaries concerning what the modern world has done with our food supply, how sugar has been added to everything in place of healthy fats – the so called low fat craze – was horrified to learn about corporations, their role in all of this along with our own government, what Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) meant and how to incorporate that into our lives, and much more!

We’ve both experienced profound changes in how we feel by simply eating whole, real foods, grass-fed meats, organic in-season fruits, not eating out, absolutely no processed foods, no sugar, no bad fats, and hardly anything with a label. It was an amazing (and strange) feeling to finally out-grow warehouse shopping and conventional supermarkets, going there only for some paper goods and occasional organic lettuce. About 90-95% of everything we consume now is from the butcher and farmers markets, as limited as they are here in Las Vegas. We have two dogs (our kids), and basically the four of us eat the same food. We had finally concluded that feeding processed food to animals has the same detrimental effects as it does for humans, maybe more so. It took a bit of research, but since we made the changes and watched how their energy levels have changed, we guess it has added years to their lives

Any excess weight has been dropping off, for the dogs too! I can wear clothes that I couldn’t get into during my twenties, and poor poor Joy has to go clothes shopping all the time for new things that fit…. ?

I found meditation as I described in MY BIO, do it twice a day, 20 min each. I have been doing 20-30 min of yoga before meditation on select days as well… the asanas (yoga) BTW are designed to help you maintain flexibility so you are comfortable to sit for an extended period of time in meditation…it really works! Joy has increased the frequency of her practice as well; it was nice to see her make the natural transition from laying down with sound-based meditations to sitting upright in silence.

Ever since our engagement we had this intention, an evolving discussion, of putting together a wellness model. How can we help people live healthy, reduced-stress lives? 

This is what we’ve come to know, to understand, and to live by: Proper diet, some exercise, meditation, sunshine, staying hydrated, being organized, learning to be less-reactive and introspective, welcoming all things in your life as experiences, and just living from day to day. Of course, you can plan, project, have hopes and dreams, goals, destinations, and reminisce about the past, but while all along enjoying this moment, today. It’s all about your journey!

We’re happy that you’re here! Please look around, ask questions, read and contribute to our blogs if you like…no matter if we hear from you or not, if even one single thing we have to say makes a difference for you and your wellness journey, that’s all we can ever truly ask for.