By Anthony St. Clair

Bethany Casler, founder of Unrefined Wellness Bar, loves spring. “Spring is such an inspiring, transitional, and transformational season,” Casler says. “It’s a great time to breathe fresh life into your wellness routines with new seasonal foods and getting in some outdoor movement.”

Casler would know. Opening the seasonally reflective, whole foods–focused Crescent Village–area juice bar and restaurant in 2023 has been another step on Casler’s own wellness journey. She sees Unrefined as an opportunity to offer the community more ways to incorporate whole foods into their busy day-to-day lives.

“It shouldn’t be so hard to find whole, unprocessed, organic meals that are equally delicious,” declares Casler. “If you want to eat out, you shouldn’t have to compromise on your health.”

Unrefined offers a menu and space that can nurture mind, soul, body, and community. While Casler wants people to gather and linger, customers can also easily grab whole-foods nutrition on the go.

“We’re all about vibrations: high vibrational foods and vibrational spaces,” says Casler.

Foundational nourishment through customer education is key, too. Whether in the store or on social media, Unrefined proudly presents information about the ingredients they use and their wellness benefits.

“People are more likely to want to make changes once they understand the ‘why,’” says Casler. “We want to help people get to that answer. We are striving toward making that difference for people, and helping them to feel truly vibrant in their bodies again.”

This isn’t just business but a mission, forged from Casler’s own experiences in surviving an unhealthy lifestyle. Making consistent big and little changes over the years has improved her wellness, which is important for running a business and all the more so for raising children.

 “I was personally struggling with my own health, and I was watching multiple family and extended family members struggle with their health,” Casler says. She recollects an ever-growing list of heart failures, terminal cancers, and diabetes diagnoses.

“It started to feel like everyone around me was getting seriously ill with chronic disease,” says Casler. “It wasn’t until I cleaned up my own life and woke up, so to speak, that I was able to take a step back and connect a lot of dots.”

Both in her life and in the lives of those around her, Casler began identifying connections between excessive alcohol use, nutrient-poor diets, and a lack of exercise. Professional experience in New York’s restaurant industry refined Casler’s vision of a way to enjoy amazing food while not compromising on health. She also became a certified nutritional health coach. Today, Casler wants to help the public understand that they can improve their health and wellness a lot through lifestyle tweaks they make when dining out or cooking at home.

“Aim for mostly veggies and clean protein,” explains Casler. “Shoot for more veggies than grains. At Unrefined, we’re plant-based, so we load our bowls with beans.”

Complete proteins can come from a combination of brown rice and beans, for example. Raw or steamed veggies, quinoa, grilled chicken, and wild-caught fish are great additions to nourishing bowls. Along with diet, Casler also suggests three everyday changes people can make for better wellness: Incorporate more movement throughout the day. “It can be a brisk 10-minute walk, some yoga poses and pushups, or 10 squats in the bathroom at work before you head back to your desk,” she says. “Just get the blood moving.”

Clean out your pantry, especially the junk food, she adds. “If it’s not there to mindlessly snack on, it’s easier to remove those products from your intake.”

And set attainable goals and time frames for habits you want to have stick. “Don’t set goals that are too big too soon, or too overwhelming,” she says. “Give yourself space and time to ease into new habits and goals.”

Maybe spring has inspired you. Maybe you’ve been thinking back to New Year’s resolutions that haven’t panned out yet. Either way, spring is a natural time to take stock and make that fresh start. It could be a new workout, new recipes — anything to keep the wellness spark alive.

“Feeling amazing is attainable, and should be the new norm,” says Casler, “because every single person deserves that.”

Unrefined Wellness Bar
2776 Shadow View Drive

Green Edamame Salad with Peanut Dream Dressing

For the dressing, blend the following ingredients:

1/4 cup peanut butter
1 clove grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lime zest

For the salad, chop and combine the following:

1/2 cup green cabbage
1/2 cup red cabbage
1/2 cup kale
1/4 cup carrot
1/4 cup cucumber
1/2 cup edamame
1/8 cup parsley

Pour dressing over salad and sprinkle with chopped peanuts and black sesame seeds.