Chocolate without a doubt, is the guilty pleasure of many, but what if it wasn’t “guilty” and it was just pleasure, health, and a lifestyle? That’s what Sarah Lesslie, founder of the raw and eco-friendly chocolate company Chocolita (located in Sedona, AZ) is making a reality. Sarah is a bright light, anyone who's met her for sure has felt here warmth, her honesty and her ability to cut right to it. We love Sarah for her strength, her perseverance and her big heart! Although busy running her own business, being a cat mom, and and a beyond talented snow boarder, Sarah always finds time to give her mind, body and soul the TLC that it needs. From riding the slopes, to hitting the snooze button, Sarah Leslie is woman who inspires us to stick to our path and love from the deepest parts of our heart. Learn a little more about Sarah in our exclusive interview.
What does the word inspired mean to you?
Sarah: I think it’s no coincidence that “inspiration” is also the word for the act of breathing in. For me, it’s as though I just took a deep breath in of the sweetest air possible. Life is short and full of unknowns, so for me, every breath is a gift and a miracle. Inspiration comes from me remembering that, and then that inspiration drives my passions forward. Sometimes, often actually, that sweet reminder comes from another person- someone who is doing great work and living from their passions. These types of people remind me to take a nice deep breath in and dive forward into what fuels and drives me, which for me is service. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but for me, inspiration comes from my desire to leave this world a more beautiful place than when I got here.
Can you give us a snapshot of your morning routine?
Sarah: My morning routine starts with me hitting the snooze button a bunch. I know I do that, so I set my alarm super early so I’ll actually get out of bed early. Then, my little Kitty Boy, Amoghi, or Dede meows and jumps on me until I feed him. This is a super motivation to get up. I feed the little dude, and then go upstairs and feed my Ol’ lady cat, Jiminx. Next, I make a smoothie in my Nutri Bullet, and either head off to hot yoga or workout at my house. After that, I shower and then switch into boss-lady. I make myself some of my sipping chocolate (hot in the winter, cold in the summer), grab some green juice, and then I’ll sit down at my computer, and work for the day.
Sarah: Chocolate, of course. This plant has given me so much, not just from health, but it’s provided me a livelihood. I’ve never stopped being completely enamored by this plant from the time I was a little girl.
What makes you feel healthy, strong, and radiant?
Sarah: Gosh, so many things can make me feel healthy, strong and radiant. It’s a lifestyle thing for me. If I’m keeping up with what I consider a healthy lifestyle, I will feel strong and radiant too. Mostly, it’s exercise. I love to move my body and hit new physical goals. I love yoga for this because not only is it physically helping my body, it nourishes my mind and spirit too. It brings me into “prayers and meditation” mode, which is my personal term for finding gratitude and forgiveness. Hiking puts me in that space as well, which is why I love living in Sedona. These mountains nourish my spirit. Snowboarding does this for me too in a major way. It’s so good for my mind. I started skiing when I started walking, and I “made the switch” when I was 10. For a long time, riding has been my “happy place” and is my way to push my limits farther- be it physically or mentally, and it allows me to drop deep into a zen space and just let go.
If you could give your fifteen-year-old advice, what would it be?
Sarah: Oh god! Fifteen year-old-me! I love where I’m at in life, so I wouldn’t change anything in the world. All my experiences led me to the person I am today, and I love that person. That being said, fifteen-year-old me was a fighter- in good ways and not so good ways. I fought opportunities and sold myself short at times, and the one opportunity I look back on and think, “What if?”- was when my mother had offered to drive me out to Northern Jersey 2-3 times a week so that I could join a racing team. I had gotten into alpine snowboarding, and slalom and giant slalom events. I was into it and I loved it, and I didn’t want to leave the school where my friends were. So I didn’t do it. I fought the idea of achieving something great. I would tell fifteen year-old-me to do it, and that the sky’s the limit.
What’s your “not-so” guilty pleasure?
Sarah: Coconut Bliss Ice cream. My body and agave don’t normally get along, but for some reason, Coconut Bliss Ice cream is the only way it works, and oh god it works so well!
How do you inspire yourself?
Sarah: I inspire myself by writing poetry. I’ve been writing poetry for a long time, and was published in the 4th grade in the Anthology of Poetry. For some reason, it’s one of my best ways to share with others and really get in there and touch their hearts. Sometimes I look back on things I wrote, and I think “Good god, Sarah, that was incredible, I can’t believe you wrote this!” Or “Jeez I’m deeper than I thought!” And that’s just so inspiring.
Top 3 motivational songs?
Sarah: These come and go like the wind for me, but as far as motivating lyrics here’s the list as of late:
Baby Don’t Cry- Tupac
Unstoppable- Sia – really the whole “This is Acting” album
Footsteps in the Stars- Deya Dova
What’s your favorite way to move?
What’s your “happy place” in Arizona?
Sarah: Eden Hot Springs. This place is my most “Happy place” in all of the world. This is where I feel home.
What’s one quote that you live your life by?
Sarah: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” -The Lorax
Describe yourself in three words:
Sarah: Eccentric Wild Steady
BELLE FLEUR X Local Juicery