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Food and Community

One Woman's Journey Toward Health Helps Others

Maylissa Ballance firmly believes God had a plan for her personally and professionally before she realized she was even part of it. “I believe that pain can serve a purpose,” says Maylissa, “and I want to encourage people not to give up when they have health issues.”

Maylissa struggled with underlying health crises for years, suffering from a chronic inflammatory disease brought on by mold toxicity. She and her husband knew moving to a new environment was a necessary part of her healing journey. She had two criteria when it came to which city she’d agree to move, “It had to have a Costco and yoga!” quips Maylissa.

Settling in Franklin in 2016, Maylissa states, ”Even though I left that unhealthy  environment, I never felt back to normal.” Feeling conventional doctors weren’t addressing the root cause of her illness, Maylissa left the corporate world and reconnected with her passion for health and wellness. With a background in nutrition and business at The Ohio State University, yoga instruction, and as a board-certified health coach trained in functional medicine, Maylissa studied the benefits of organic food and farming in an effort to heal herself. “I am a big believer that food is a very important part of the puzzle. Healing my body taught me the value of using food as medicine and as a tool to help heal your body and mind.”

Eager to get out of the house after the birth of her daughter, Maylissa struggled to find restaurants that had the type of foods she could eat and were child friendly. Wanting to operate a tangible business to build community, Maylissa brought Clean Juice Cool Springs to the area in April 2022.

What she has created is a fast, casual restaurant that “fills that gap when people can’t cook at home but still want to eat healthily.” The vast menu options include USDA-certified organic sandwiches, wraps, salads, acai bowls, items catering to allergies or food intolerances, as well as smoothies and cold-pressed juices. “We have people who come in because someone they love has food sensitivities or a diagnosis that requires a special diet.” Maylissa speaks from experience when she states, “We can’t control the DNA cards we’re dealt, but we can control how we play those cards.”

Maylissa also created the safe, family-friendly environment she yearned for when she was out with her young daughter. The restaurant has a chalkboard wall where kids can come, be loud, and yet eat clean foods - and still feel welcome.

Maylissa was drawn to the Clean Juice franchise not only for the healthy food options but also because she believes - and lives by - the ten core values of the Clean Juice franchise. Among them is a bible verse that speaks to Maylissa profoundly - Philippians 2:13– God is in us and using us in all we do.

Thinking about the community prayer jar in the store gives Maylissa goosebumps. “There are so many people who don't have any support and my goal is to have our space be a place for that community.”

Giving back is another important part of why Maylissa was drawn to the Clean Juice brand. Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, the National Brand Ambassador for the Clean Juice franchises, started the Quarters 4 Kids program benefiting the Tim Tebow Foundation and families in need. In the same spirit of giving back, $3,000 was used from the Quarters 4 Kids fund that guests contribute to. She collaborated with Tennessee Alliance for Kids to purchase and fill TAK PAK’s with essential and comfort items that provide a sense of belonging for local children entering foster care.

When Maylissa isn’t at her restaurant, she, her husband and 3-year old daughter love to take advantage of the numerous health and wellness opportunities our community has to offer. “We enjoy outdoor activities, visiting local farms, and participating in activities that involve getting outside and moving our bodies. We love it here and there are so many things we haven't even had the chance to do yet.”

Maylissa is certain her pain served a purpose and she wants to encourage others to keep searching for answers if they are struggling. “You are not crazy. Search for people that you trust to guide you. If I would have quit 10 years ago, I'd have multiple diagnoses and my life would be much different. We all have an innate love of curiosity and learning. Tap into your innate learning.” She adds, “If I’m going to work, I want it to be meaningful and have purpose. If the food we serve helps one person's life or I can help relieve someone's pain then it’s worth it.”  

IG: @cleanjuicecoolsprings

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