We got to sit down with Malaysia’s healthiest fashionista.
Jesrina Arshad is the founder of health and wellness portal, Purely B, and is determined to make Asia a healthier place. Read on to discover her fashion secrets and wellness tips to get oyur body in shape for THE dress.
ST – What inspired you to have this change in career?
I was actually happy in my previous corporate job, but passion and excitement for this new venture really fueled me to make this risky jump! Having overcome long-term health issues by changing up my lifestyle and adopting an all-natural, process-free, superfood and nutrient filled diet, I wanted to help others do the same by increasing awareness and providing the ease of finding local healthy options. Not only had my health issues gone away, I felt a positive difference in my body and had so much more energy!
This revelation was truly a turning point for me – it wasn’t that difficult to be healthy in Malaysia after all, as people perceive, but all the information we needed was just too fragmented! It took weeks of effort and determination in researching information from multiple sources before I made that lifestyle change and saw the drastic improvements in my health. If only there was one place I could have turned to for all this information and guidance, I knew could have made improvements to my health years ago! But no such solution existed. My partners and I were then so passionate to then create this solution through PurelyB and help others, and truly make it that much easier for people in Asia to live healthier.
ST – Did the decision to become an entrepreneur come first or the idea of launching a business in health?
I always knew one day I would run my own business, but only if I felt I had an impactful enough idea that could help make a positive difference in people’s lives. Thus whilst the reason for starting PurelyB was definitely my drive to help others to be able lead healthier lifestyles, entrepreneurship was always a long-term goal of mine.
ST – What tips would you give to a girl that needs to fit in a dress in 2 weeks?
To focus on reducing bloating, water retention and improving on your digestion the healthy way- just hydrate plenty, take a green smoothie (with chia seeds, spirulina, kale/spinach, avocado, banana, apples, lemon) and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water every morning, cut out processed sugar, gluten, dairy and any processed foods/preservatives where possible, and try to have early dinners (by 6:30/7pm) so your body has time (at least 14 hours) to digest before you start your next meal at breakfast. And of course working out at least 3 days a week if 2 weeks is all you have! even if it’s for half an hour, if it’s a high intensive workout, that’s all you need.
If you need alot of help or guidance though, I would recommend checking out our PurelyB 30-day weight loss programme that also comes with meal delivery, fitness videos and recipes for you to try at home.
ST – Any food ritual to have better skin?
I definitely see improvements in my skin when i fully cut out processed foods, sugar, gluten, dairy, egg and shellfish due to my allergies. But alot of people are actually intolerant to gluten and dairy without realising, thus just eliminating these foods in just a week will help you see a difference, especially as it also helps to improve digestion. Taking coconut oil, avocados, apple cider vinegar and probiotics daily also helps!
ST – What do you think of the blood tests to find out what foods are appropriate to their metabolism?
I honestly don’t know enough about the technology and methodology of metabolic testing to comment or critique, but if i’m not mistaken the results will actually show the amount of calorie intake you should be getting a day based on how much you burn at rest. This could potentially be eye opening for some people, showing them that they are not getting enough calories daily.
Too many people today are focused on calorie count and simply reducing calories to lose weight, without realising that good sources of healthy fats – e.g. avocados, nuts, coconut oil are all high in calories yet help you burn more fat. If metabolic testing can help change people’s mindsets and encourage them to increase their calorie intake and consume more healthy foods, i’m all for it!
ST – Favourite diet/food to lose weight?
Just eat natural, clean foods and cut out any preservatives, processed or artificial ingredients. Your meals will still taste yummy, It won’t feel like a diet and the weight loss will be healthy & consistent long-term! 🙂
ST – What are the biggest challenges you’ve encountered as an entrepreneur?
- Achieving a healthy balance between strong growth expansion and maintaining a strong and nurturing family culture. Trying to keep everyone happy whilst growing exponentially is not an easy balance to achieve.
- Raising funds as a first time entrepreneur with no background in finance was definitely one of my biggest challenges, especially when juggling that with day to day business operations & team management. Securing our USD$500K seed round when we were 6 months old was a huge accomplishment for me, it was a steep learning curve over a short period of time, but I was lucky to surround myself with amazing mentors who helped me build up my skillsets and capabilities in this area.
ST – What represents fashion in your everyday life?
Anything that makes me feel comfortable and confident. I’m almost always in dresses, but structured, modern classic dresses. I’m not really one for florals and frills. But i love bright vibrant colors, rarely ever wearing black.
ST – Your Favorite StyleTribute pieces?
Elie Saab – Black Pearl and Feather Embroidered Gown
D&G – Off-white Roundneck Boxed Blazer with Sequin Appliqué
Michael Kors – Long Sleeved Knit & Taffeta Peplum Gown
ST – If you were to describe your style in three words?
Classic, modern, feminine.
ST – Do you have any favorite healthy restaurants in KL and Singapore?
Raisin the Roof and Rubberduck
ST – If you were to succumb to an unhealthy meal or dessert, what would it be?
Truffle fries, Wagyu ribeye steak topped with pan seared foie gras.
Indulgence once in a while is important for a healthy balance, all in moderation!
ST – What is your take on all fashion/beauty Instagram generation and how do you think it is effecting women’s health and body consciousness?
I definitely think the younger generation who are growing up with this instagram & social media culture do develop more insecurities than previous generations. They forget that with the amount of filters and photo editing apps available these days, you never know what’s real or genuine. Comparing yourself to ‘fake’ photos will only develop more insecurities and body consciousness, even celebrities or models themselves don’t look this flawless in real life!
But on the other hand, there has been a significant movement of women around the world sharing their health journeys and stories on instagram, sharing before and after photos based on positive changes achieved from healthy diet, fitness and lifestyle which can inspire and empower others to also change their lifestyles for the better.
ST – What are your favorite fashion pieces you own, what is the story behind them?
My beige and gold Chanel lambskin flap bag – aside from it matching a lot of my outfits perfectly, it was also a wedding gift from my husband 3 years ago! So it holds a lot of sentimental value for me.
Also one of my all time favorite dresses is my champagne colored Wedding Party evening gown by local designer Michael Ong! It was inspired by Naeem Khan and was exactly as I had envisioned, incredibly beautiful when you look at the handiwork up close. It fitted me perfectly and was fully beaded in diamond-like crystals over a delicate scallop layered design.
ST – To your mind, sustainable fashion is…
Eco-friendly, ethical and timeless.