Get to Know Evie & Karen, OHI Austin’s Amazing Mother-Daughter Duo

We sat down and chatted with Evie Edington and Karen Labat, an amazing Mother-Daughter duo, who have worked at OHI Austin, teaching almost every class over the years. Here are Evie & Karen’s thoughts on the wonders of witnessing healing daily and what Community means.

Q.  What do you like most about working at OHI?

The most rewarding part of the work we do is that it is not just a job to us; it is a calling. Witnessing the impact that this program has on the body-mind-spirit, and to be a part of that impact is a blessing that we gratefully acknowledge every day. We love being able to inspire others to live healthier lives. We are very passionate about food-as-medicine, so when we teach Elimination I and II, this is the message we convey. Guests become empowered to change their lives and take back control of their health. This is why we love OHI. We aren’t trying to sell people magic pills. We are providing them with real tools that can boost their wellness quotient. All of it can be done at home after re-entry!

Q. What is the biggest change you’ve noticed in yourself since you started working here?

The funny thing about being a part of transformation is that it pulls you along with it. We have been challenged over and over to grow beyond our small thinking.  Since working at OHI, we have added more fresh foods, more fermented foods, more wheatgrass shots, and more veggie juice to our own daily diets when not at the OHI campus.  This has taken our brains to a whole new level! Working on this team, we are joined together to be a transformative and healing force in the world.

Q. What OHI class has had the most impact on you?

For Karen, who has had the privilege of teaching every class in the OHI curriculum, she has had the benefit of seeing the way all of the classes build on each other to create a beautiful, healing outcome. She is very partial to the Alpha Classes, especially Alpha I, Emotional Detox and Mental Detox.

For Evie, the classes that she loves most are Elimination I and II. She is constantly learning more about the impact of nutrition on the body, and it never ceases to inspire her. She recently taught the Mind-Body Connection class, and the content blew her mind. She was so excited to talk about the power of the mind to influence messages to our body. We live in a world where daily news program messages can be quite negative, but we don’t realize how these messages impact our health. Having this class on our schedule is wonderful because we help people understand that unique aspect of wellness.

Q. What are the pros & cons of working together as mother-daughter?

One positive of working together is the way that we support one another in both our private and work lives. We love bouncing new ideas for classes off of each other. We sub for each other when one is on vacation, sick, or has an emergency.  Working together has brought us closer and deepened our friendship. The only downside of working together is that we give each other very honest feedback, which isn’t necessarily what you always want to hear. But we get to see each other’s talents and contributions to the program, and that is very bonding.

Q. What does community mean to you?

For us, community starts with the OHI team.  They are our friends as well as co-workers, and we have a deep, abiding respect for all of them.  That respect radiates out to the guests that join us at OHI, and then beams out to the broader world.  “Community” has come to mean a great deal to us. There is no greater feeling than being part of a community that we can trust and depend on.

Q. What’s OHI Heartbeat?

We are passionate about empowering people to live healthful lives.  Being part of the wellness community as a whole is very life-affirming.  There is also a giant self-confidence boost that comes with all the appreciation and acknowledgement for simply being a teacher and counselor. But the bottom line is, our job here is a calling to do God’s work on Earth.  And we are honored to do God’s bidding.

Q.  What inspires you?

Healing inspires us.  Living a healthy, active life that is full of the little things we love is also very inspiring. We only get one life, and helping others as we make our way on own journey lifts everyone up.