Ashley Farley, also known as “ashcooks” is a multifaceted plant-based enthusiast, curator of plant-based events, skincare alchemist, foodie and plant-based cook, all in one.
Born and raised in San Jose, Farley moved to Los Angeles in 2005 to study social work at USC, and has been in the field of public child welfare since 2007.
She considers herself to be a “renaissance woman of sorts.” Farley says that over the years she has become so steeped in wellness that she has naturally become a resource for all things healthy in the lives of those that know her. In other words, she is steadfast on the idea of eliminating unhealthy habits that can be detrimental to one’s overall health.
“That has included advising people on how to: go plant-based, create green spaces (both indoors/out), improve sleep, reduce their toxic load, source plant-based recipes, etc,” she stated.
She went on to express how it did not occur to her until more recent years that this knowledge and skillset may be beneficial to her community.
In 2008, Farley’s mother, who is a two-time breast cancer survivor, had informed her that reproductive cancer runs in her family. This motivated her to find ways to starve illnesses as she ages by embracing a healthier and more conscious lifestyle.
“I became truly committed to furthering my own health and wellness in 2014 after watching a compelling documentary,” she emphasized. “I suffered from severe eczema and alopecia throughout adolescence, conditions that dermatologists and Western medicine seemed to have no remedy for.”
Over the years, she has curated several events spreading awareness and the knowledge she’s obtained over the years which include: sharing healthy recipes with kids in community forums and teaching one on one cooking classes. Her products are all personally handmade in small batches in which she described were made with “hella love and intention.”
“They are designed to restore balance/harmony to the user, while taking their senses on a journey with carefully curated aromatic blends,” she said.
Her first product she launched was her Activated Total Body Butter, which is a head-to-toe moisturizer that is crafted to balance the chakras (energy centers in the body). A client had shared with Farley that her son had an outbreak on his face and had done everything she could to rid him from it, including seeing a dermatologist multiple times and using ointments and creams. Her client had previously used the Activated Total Body Butter on her own face, and decided to have her son try the product on his own skin – which was a success.
“While I would never boast that my products cure eczema or other skin ailments, hearing that the power of nature, as curated through my products, has had such a positive impact where modern medicine has failed is what keeps me inspired to keep going,” she exclaimed.
Since starting a plant-based diet, Farley has experienced tremendous health benefits, both mentally and physically. She has noticed a greater mind-body connection and self-awareness. She sleeps well and is focused on nutrition and enjoyment.
“Overall, my energy has improved a lot and I feel good basically every day,” she emphasized. “If something is not right, I’m able to pinpoint the origin or apply homeopathic remedies that are effective, however issues seldom arise since my priority is balance.”
Some advice Farley would offer someone who wanted to indulge a healthy lifestyle would be to pick a place to start and not wait for motivation to strike. In other words, to pick a day, a food group or lifestyle change to implement change, and let your journey begin. She encouraged that it doesn’t have to be done all at once, and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. By picking one food group to eliminate or starting to read the labels on the food you consume, can lead you in the right direction to pursuing wellness.
“It costs so much more to put off your wellness, and can be harder to find the ‘motivation’ once you’re trying to undo damage,” she stressed. “You are capable of profound change, of feeling better, of improving your quality of life!”
Farley has been taking a break from community events since fall 2022, as she prepared for the birth of her daughter, who is now six months. She has been focusing on and enjoying motherhood, and is welcoming the return of the multifaceted woman she is, which includes her brand, “ashcooks.” She plans to resume community appearances, social engagements, and events this winter. She expressed her excitement to see what this refined focus can manifest into.
For more information on ashcooks or to order products, visit her website: https://www.ashcooksla.com/