Women In Wellness: Michelle Mitchum, Founder of The OrangeMoon
The holistic approach to wellness.
Michelle Mitchum, founder of The OrangeMoon, has had over a decade of experience as both a health and science educator and a natural wellness practitioner. Mitchum completed her holistic nutrition studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition after receiving her Bachelors in Biology and a Masters in Public Health.
Mitchum uses her expertise to educate her clients on the effectiveness of both clinical medicine and naturopathic methods. She encourages each client to incorporate both practices into their healing process. She treats a myriad of health conditions, including diabetes, lupus, and infertility, but her area of expertise is gastrointestinal disease and disorders. Through her teachings, Mitchum helps her clients manage disease using nutrition and herbal therapy, supplemented with the support of other naturopathic practitioners, and medical doctors.
What made you decide to pursue your MPH and become a health practitioner and educator?
I fell in love with biology first, but through an internship assignment that I had with Johns Hopkins while in undergrad, I was introduced to the impact of community health workers. I assisted a research project they were conducting around HIV in Baltimore City, in the 1990s. I was able to see firsthand, the impact of health disparities in underserved communities. I decided then that I wanted to affect health inclusively. I wanted to affect communities in a way that empowered them.
What inspired you to start The OrangeMoon in 2015?
I became a client in alternative medicine while I was working in the healthcare system. People who were in my community were curious about my wellness habits. I was taking herbal supplements and my diet was very specific. People noticed and wanted my advice. They would ask me questions that were specific to their health concerns. So I decided to create a community based around health education, and empower people to manage their health through the foods that they eat.
For anyone unfamiliar with what programs The OrangeMoon provides, could you elaborate on what type of treatments you offer for different clients?
Through the OrangeMoon, I support people in their health journey through Nutrition Therapy and Wellness Coaching and planning. In Nutrition Therapy, I assess your health condition based on your physician’s diagnosis, and work with you (and your physician), to create a nutrition plan to best help support your wellness. Through Wellness Planning, we create an overall plan to support your personal health goals. It is a comprehensive plan that normally includes detox, nutrition planning, and also incorporates the work of other practitioners–both clinical and alternative practitioners.
Is there a common misconception that people have about our health and maintaining it? How can we correct it?
I would say that a common misconception is that you can see the benefit of alternative healing immediately. Some treatments do offer an immediate positive response, however, there are many cases where the benefits may begin to show months into treatment.
Adjacent to The OrangeMoon’s service, you also have the well-curated Apothecary. What do you look for in these brands and products?
Yes, I have created The OrangeMoon Apothecary as an extension of The OrangeMoon. It is another way to build the community, and offer many components of wellness. We offer curated retreats, weekly and monthly community events, our own wellness products, and products from other brands as well. Of the brands I choose to carry in the apothecary, I look for the quality of the product first, and then the integrity of the brand. I ask myself questions like how is this product sourced, how does this product improve humanity?
What does your daily wellness routine consist of?
My daily routine consists of 15-20 minutes of meditation daily, 20-30 minutes of either yoga or pilates 5 days a week, and a 1.5-2 mile walk/bike ride daily. I eat fresh foods often and eat very clean–meaning no processed foods. My diet is 80% vegetarian, and since the pandemic, I’ve been preparing my foods at home, so I know everything that goes in it. I use only fresh herbs and no preservatives. I juice/smoothie every morning, and I take vitamins, probiotics, and other mineral supplements.
How have you rē-spun your life?
Taking the leap to create a service and lifestyle brand, with the intention to empower people to control their health and health care. To do this took a lot of courage.