Alle Weil, Los Angeles-based holistic nutritionist, artist, and developer of Flora Ex Machina’s Royal Ghee (the luscious whipped superfood spread that we all know and love), inspires us with her wealth of knowledge and creativity — and we can’t help but to find her kindhearted, gentle nature and pure radiance contagious.
Her creativity and passion for all things holistic came out of frustration — a need to find answers to her own health issues that weren't being resolved by allopathic medicine. Dissatisfied with the answers that she would constantly receive from doctors and other western health practitioners, she ultimately set out on her own journey — which was ultimately inspired by her upbringing in a rural and rustic area of Maine.
“I learned to appreciate the importance of sourcing foods as closely to the farmer as possible, and noticed the drastic difference it made to my overall health and mood. I loved and felt connected to the process of production from seed to table, the holistic community that was ever-present in the area, and the overall back-to-the-earth mentality that ran through the countryside. It always inspired my work and life, and ultimately would become my inspiration in seeking an alternative path to my diagnosis. My journey enlightened me to how closely food and health are linked, and amplified my belief that the further disconnected from Nature we become, the more our health is adversely affected.”
Join us as Alle shares more on her inspiration and philosophy behind Flora Ex Machina, how she envisions the brand evolving within a growing landscape, where and how she continues to nurture and source creativity from a personal and business perspective, and some of her favorite ways to indulge in Royal Ghee…including her recipe for Superfood Fig + Bee Pollen Royal Ghee Bars.
What is the inspiration and philosophy behind Flora Ex Machina?
Flora began when my friend and former co-worker were teaching at a Plant-based Culinary Academy in Maine. We were worn down yet inspired to not just instruct but also share our own creativity and passions with the world. Maine was the perfect landscape for that. Flora evolved so naturally and has since become the hub for the blog, my holistic nutrition practice and storefront for Royal Ghee. The name stems from the latin phrase “god from the machine” which is used to describe a plot device in which a seemingly unsolvable problem is resolved by the intervention of an unexpected event, character or ability. Flora, latin for plant life and also fittingly, the name of the Roman goddess of flowering plants and fertility, is replaced to embody the core values and philosophy of the brand. Nature is the solution to so many of our seemingly unsolvable problems including; "how can I be the healthiest version of myself?” Flora certainly takes a ‘back to the Earth’ approach to eating and living well, fusing ancient modalities with modern living.
As far as the recipes on Flora go, they will always use the best ingredients, unrefined sweeteners, gluten free grains, and made in traditional methods that maintain or highlight the nutrition of a food. Flora recipes aim to teach the why behind a process as well as fully satisfy. I believe we are finally rid of the idea (at least in LA) that healthy and delicious can’t coexist. I believe there is no 100% failsafe or ‘correct’ approach on how to eat and live well. We are all so unique, so my approach to healing takes a unique and personalized approach as well.
How do you envision the brand evolving within a growing landscape?
My creativity and passion for the wellness industry was fueled by my own personal frustration and debilitating symptoms that were not being resolved by allopathic medicine. For over 20 years I struggled with digestive, mood, and painful cycles always being told this was the way of life or given prescription drugs - of course each drug with its own list of symptoms and side effects. I had to fight hard to make it to this point in my life. I wish there had been someone to guide me, tell me it’s not all in my head and show me what I needed to do to care for my own body, not someone else’s. This is the area that I want to take up space. I want people, women especially, to feel safe in challenging these “experts” to relearn and trust their own instincts and bodies. One size does not fit all, our healthcare is no different. I would love see Flora ex Machina expanding with functional food products as well as retreats, workshops, e-books and workbooks. I have quite a few things percolating at the moment I am excited to see what takes shape.
In what ways or places do you nurture creativity and source inspiration (for yourself as well as your business)?
For whatever reason, I have always been sensitive to my surroundings, and not just my dwelling, but the energy of the city as well. I do feel that to be balanced and maintain my creativity culinarily, business-wise and artistically, I need the time to step back and reflect in a place I feel in-tune with. This isn’t something that comes so easily for me submerged in the hustle of LA. Maine is one of the most restorative places for me that fuels my creativity and settles my soul. It feels fitting since Maine was the birth of Flora, Maine is also a place where I see myself eventually landing and living and where I have spent a lot of time since a very young age. I have a background not only in holistic health, but in visual arts as well, and am so drawn to the natural landscape of this place. Most of my art showcases the waterfront and surrounding islands. I find when I can combine both the visual creativity, be it photography, painting or culinary with the analytical, business-oriented side of what I do, I am most settled and inspired.
What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy Royal Ghee?
Because I’m a purist, by the spoonful! I really wanted Royal Ghee to be a versatile, functional food that nourishes deeply and embodied all the five flavors – and I believe it accomplishes this. The Ayurvedic nutritive spread, Chyawanprash was the inspiration for Royal Ghee, but I wanted to modernize it and use herbs, superfoods and adaptogens that were already known and incorporated into a health enthusiasts lifestyle for immunity, alkalinity, energy and overall energy. It really can be used in a multitude of ways from savory to sweet. I also really like it spread on toast or in our Signature Tonic Latte, but we keep getting feedback from customers who keep finding new ways to use it to boost foods from popcorn to ice cream.
How do you visualize or describe your personal Boketto Moment?
Quiet mornings in Maine (or home in LA) with my husband and fur baby, Lupine. There is nothing else like this sense of comfort and ease that can ground and prepare me for whatever the day holds.
Superfood Fig + Bee Pollen Royal Ghee Bars
Ingredients you’ll need:
1 cup dried turkish figs, chopped
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp lucuma powder
1 tbsp mesquite powder
2 tablespoons Royal Ghee
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup bee pollen
9oz coconut manna or coconut butter
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 tbsp vanilla power
1 pinch sea salt
water as needed to blend into a smooth frosting
additional bee pollen and cacao nibs for decorating
Continue reading here for detailed instructions and to find additional recipes that inspire creativity and nourishment.