Live Purely with Angie & Mike Lee
Live Purely with Angie & Mike Lee

"I think a lot of times we are nervous to try things out, but the only way to find those things that we are here to do and the gifts that we are here to share is to try." 

- Angie Lee

Mike and Angie Lee of Soul CBD: The Benefits of CBD, Building Resilience and Embracing Grit

Elizabeth is joined by the dynamic brother-sister duo, Mike and Angie Lee, founders of Soul CBD. Mike, a world-ranked professional boxer, has graced iconic arenas like Madison Square Garden and the MGM Grand, but his journey hasn't been without its challenges. Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2014, Mike's career was on the line until he discovered the transformative power of CBD. Angie, a marketing maven and serial entrepreneur, brings her vivacious energy to the table as she shares her wellness journey alongside Mike. Together, they touch upon the importance of grit and risk-taking, along with the impact of stress on our health and CBD’s benefits for balancing our nervous system and maintaining a positive mood. Mike and Angie talk about the difference between CBD products and their Out of Office THC line, and why we need to remember to play and focus on joy in adulthood.

Discount Code: Use code Elizabeth30 at SoulCBD for 30% off.


    Elizabeth Stein 0:00
    Hi, everyone. I'm Elizabeth Stein, founder, and CEO of Purely Elizabeth. And this is Live Purely with Elizabeth, featuring candid conversations about how to thrive on your wellness journey.

    This week's guests are brother-sister duo Mike and Auntie Lee founders of Soul CBD and Out of Office. Mike is a world-ranked professional boxer who has fought in some of the world's most iconic arenas like Madison Square Garden, Cowboy Stadium, and the MGM Grand in front of millions of fans. In 2014, Mike was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that almost ended his career and led him to discover CBD. Angie is a vivacious marketing Maven who's found her soul's calling and helping women kick ass. She's a highly sought-after marketing mentor, keynote speaker, podcaster, and serial entrepreneur. In this episode, we talk about Mike and Angie's wellness journeys that led to starting the brand. Mike and Angie share all about having grit and taking risks, the impact on stress, and unhealth, the importance of calming the nervous system, the benefits of CBD for sleep, anxiety, and stress, and the role of a positive mindset and finding balance in their lives. This was such a fun episode. Keep listening to learn more, and to try their products, use code ELIZABETH30 for 30% off at Enjoy.

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    Mike and Angie, welcome to the podcast. So excited to have my first brother-sister duo on. We've had some brothers but never brothers or sisters. So welcome.

    Mike Lee 2:42
    Thank you hopefully we won't start fighting on the podcast.

    Elizabeth Stein 2:49
    Never disappoints. So I know that you both have personal wellness journeys that led you to start Soul and the Love, to begin with that foundation for both of you. And Mike, if you want to start first on your wellness journey and what inspired eventually get into the business.

    Mike Lee 3:07
    Yeah, so I guess I'll try to make a long story somewhat... Yeah, I guess we have time. So I started boxing at a very young age about eight years old and playing a million different sports and always wanted to be an athlete. I just didn't know what direction it would take and I ended up getting better and better in boxing.

    Elizabeth Stein 3:27
    What made you even get into boxing when you were eight?

    Mike Lee 3:32
    Some people call it child abuse now, but my dad threw me in the ring. He wasn't a boxer. He played minor league baseball and then professional racquetball. He was always an athlete, but he was like the inner city, kind of like Italian and Irish, inner-city Chicago type of guy. So we grew up a little bit different than a lot of them.

    Angie Lee 3:56
    He just beat up people but it wasn't professional what Mike is trying to tell you is he beat up people.

    Elizabeth Stein 4:04
    Okay, so it's in your blood.

    Mike Lee 4:06
    I've tried to be.

    Angie Lee 4:07
    He didn't have gloves on. But he was a boxer if you know what I'm saying.

    Mike Lee 4:11
    … and I got paid his volume. He brought me to the gym at a young age. I mean, I was sparring pros before I even had my driver's license like it was when I was just like started taking off and it was half I loved it and half I was scared to death and also didn't want to disappoint my dad. So it ended up blossoming into this pretty wild career. I got signed at 21 years old by top rank and turned pro. And next thing you know, I was fighting in Madison Square Garden and Cowboys Stadium and I finished my career 22 Pro fights and my last fight I bought at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a huge world title and I finished my career 21 in one. So needless to say, I knew there'd be ups and downs and my goal was always to become a champion but Little did I know what it would kind of take through me physically, mentally, and emotionally. So during that process, I dealt with so much pain I was at one point, kind of addicted to painkillers and on a bunch of different medications. My body started shutting down. I started having a lot of autoimmune issues, and a lot of concussion issues, and probably should have retired earlier than I did but ended up gutting it out and staying in it maybe for the wrong reasons. But I finished my career and retired in 2019. And just been working on healing ever since. But my journey through going to so many different doctors and at one point being in a hospital for like 12 days straight, Angie there by my side and my autoimmune conditions, just like my immune system is shutting down the concussion, so many issues.

    Elizabeth Stein 5:46
    What is your autoimmune?

    Mike Lee 5:49
    I got diagnosed with Lyme disease, and then with ankylosing spondylitis. And I had Epstein Barr, as well. And so with a lot of people that have autoimmunity, it tends to trickle into mold and heavy metals and whatnot. It's a vicious cycle. But it took me a long time to start to get healthy. And still, to this day, I battle with things. It's two steps forward, one step back. But the main thing for me was stress and anxiety, and all these different things started exacerbating and making symptoms worse. So I discovered CBD in 2016 and started telling Angie about it. And about a year before I retired, we started Soul, and it started as a little side project. It started in one of Angie’s spare bedrooms. And we were like, we love this stuff. We think it's incredible. There's no toxicity, it helps across so many different levels of health. So let's spread the word. And we both had our kind of careers at the time. Little did we know we started to kind of take off the way it did and give me at least something to jump into that I was passionate about after retiring.

    Elizabeth Stein 7:01
    Ah, all right. Well, we're gonna come back to more of that beginning stuff for Angie. So to start, what was it like watching your brother box?

    Angie Lee 7:12
    I love how everybody likes asking this. It's so funny.

    Elizabeth Stein 7:15
    Because I'd be so nervous.

    Angie Lee 7:19
    It's a really good question. It's so funny because I assumed that wouldn't be interesting. But it is really interesting to see. They wonder how you know, somebody who's in the family, watching that person do that thing. That's such a weird job. Like, nobody else is like, go and watch their brother do that. Their brother’s like an accountant. They're not like, watching their brother be punched in the face or punching people.

    Elizabeth Stein 7:45
    That experience must have been so wild for both of you.

    Angie Lee 7:51
    I think I'm somebody who doesn't do well with violence. So I think for me, even though I know that these two men decided to voluntarily do this, and this is their job, I think it's still really weird for the mind to be watching that, especially when it is someone that you love. So I couldn't watch but I would watch it on the screen. That was right there. I've seen my fight in person in glimpses, but I've never fully like stared at the whole thing. Because it felt like I was watching the part of the movie where you just feel like, I can't look, just tell me what happens. I wish I could say different, but emotionally, I didn't know how to stare at something that I'm like, oh, my gosh, what if this? Because I'm not in control at all. He's obviously fine. Probably better in there than I believe he is. But I'm not in control. So it's like this scary feeling of how do you watch that? So very, very difficult.

    Elizabeth Stein 8:45
    I can't even imagine. So at this time, Mike had discovered CBD versus something that you had experienced. And what were you doing in your career as this is starting to unfold?

    Angie Lee 8:57
    When we started soul. Well, when we first started talking about CBD, I was still in Chicago. Then I just moved to LA. We had come up with this idea because we were both using it. I loved CBD for anxiety. I was using it for painful periods. I found that that was better than taking Midol. So I was using it topically and then ingesting it for period pain. And that's when we came together. And we were like, should we make this a business? That's when I dropped out of college. I started a blog and I started building my online wellness brand. So I was already talking about wellness with my audience, but I had yet to bring in products or CBD. That's where it all began.

    Elizabeth Stein 9:34
    Love it. All right. So I'm curious to hear as you were going through this part of your life, which sounds like there's probably so many ups and downs to it, how you were navigating in those super challenging times and thinking about as you parlay that to now having a business today, what are those big learnings that you had of how do you deal with the challenge?

    Mike Lee 10:02
    I was just talking to a friend about this the other day that like now that I've retired and kind of sat back and thought about it, things are moving so fast while you're in those times that you don't have true time to reflect on it. But I think what it boils down to is the one thing that boxing taught me is grit. That word is so important to me. Because so often in our lives, we fall, and it's up to us to get back up. For me, sometimes that was getting knocked down to the point where I couldn’t feel my legs in front of 20,000 people or millions on TV, and how do I have the resolve and grit to get back up? So I did that so many times throughout my career. Many fights, I got knocked down, I got back up, I won. And now through my health battle, days and moments when I get knocked down, I feel like I don't want to get back up. And I do. And days with the business where running a business, it's like you're putting out fires and one day you're on top of the world. The next day, you have to let somebody go.

    Elizabeth Stein 11:00
    It’s probably the same day that it's you're on top of the mountain and then you’re at the bottom.

    Mike Lee 11:05
    it right. And so I think that the main thing that boxing taught me that I can now teach my son one day and just continue to remind myself is that grit and the resolve to kind of get back up when you get punched in it sounds corny and cliche, but it's only when you go through those moments and you test yourself in any element. Doesn't have to be in a ring in front of a bunch of people, it can be in anything that scares you. But it's in those moments when you get knocked down, that you find out what you're made of. And so I think that that's one of the main things that boxing taught me is that I am strong enough that I think honestly, it saved my life and moments when I was depressed or anxious. Had some dark, dark times, especially with concussions. And always leaning back on that, that grit and like you got up before you can get up again, is something I keep telling myself.

    Elizabeth Stein 11:55
    Yeah, it's an amazing lesson. I think it's once you've proven to yourself that you can do hard things you can keep doing those hard things and pushing yourself kind of out of your comfort zone. Do you think that that is how you were born? Or is that something that you learned along the way?

    Mike Lee 12:15
    Yeah, that's another great question. I think there's an element to it that you're born with. There's an innate ability there without a doubt. But I think a lot of that is learned. And a lot of that is learned through experiences and failures. Angie has spoken on stage in front of 1000s of people and I've been backstage and seen her very nervous, but then when she gets on stage, she kills it. So I've seen her like overcome these ‘I'm so nervous’, ‘I'm gonna puke’ or ‘poop my pants’. I think that like as much internal innate, maybe ability you have, or even genetics when it comes to sports, a lot of that is learned and practiced through failure, getting back up failure, adjustment, failure adjustment. So I think most of it is learned in a long answer to your question.

    Elizabeth Stein 13:10
    And Angie for you, what tips do you think that you could share? Because while it is learned, it's like really hard for people to get to that space to begin with. There's the fear that whatever you feel like you're going to puke or poop or whatever it is. So any tips, for Steve and get yourself to that starting block and get over that initial hump to even try the thing that might be on your list to get out of that comfort zone?

    Angie Lee 13:39
    Do you mean us speaking specifically?

    Elizabeth Stein 13:41
    Yeah. Or whatever. Or you speaking but whatever it is in someone's life.

    Angie Lee 13:47
    Yeah, I mean, definitely don't eat your cereal before you go on stage because your cereal is high in fiber. So don't do that. Eat your cereal after you go on stage. It's interesting. I feel like I'm constantly still working on this. I think that that is the reality of it is I think for me it's knowing that every time you do it, you build that muscle you build that courage muscle and I think courage is a muscle just like any other muscle like Mike said when you when you're physically using it. So when it comes to you, I'm thinking of like when I speak on stage, I feel like it's the same cycle over and over. Like who am I to do this, imposter syndrome hits in, fear hits in. What if I fall? What if I fail? What if they hate it? All the what ifs and then you get up there and then I love it because it feels like so at home for me. It's like a flow state. And it's almost like I have to remind myself that I'm not going to die. What's the worst thing that's going to happen? What's truly the worst thing it's gonna happen? My face plan on stage, everyone's gonna boo me off? That's probably not gonna happen. So sometimes what honestly helps me is think what is the absolute worst-case scenario, and just go there and just play it out. Alright, here we go, you're gonna get up there, your pants are gonna fall, you're gonna face plan, everyone's gonna say you suck. All right, do you still want to go try? Like you still want to go see what happens. So I think it's a little bit of a dopamine thing for me too, having ADHD I kind of like to do some things that scare me a little bit, because I find that’s what life's about. And it's enjoyable. I think you have to remind yourself that the thing that you think is going to happen is probably not going to happen. And you're probably already in your worst-case scenario a lot of times if you don't take the risk so you're already living out the worst-case scenario. So you might as well take the risk. I hear this a lot with a lot of my audiences, women who want to try entrepreneurship. And they'll say, I'm at this job that I hate. I've been at it for years. And I'll say, could you go back? Like if you left, could you go back? They say, “Yeah, of course, I could just go back.” And I'm like, well, you're already in it, you're in the worst-case scenario you could be in. So what are you afraid of? You might as well go try it. And then you could always go back if they would take you back. So I think a lot of times in life, we don't realize we're already living the worst. So we might as well try it out. And I assume with your business, too, you felt that where it's like, I might as well try this out. And then you always go back to what you were doing.

    Elizabeth Stein 16:08
    I love that tip. I think that's such a great way to frame it up like, what is the worst thing that can happen? You're probably living it already. And kind of just saying yes, and then figuring out how you're gonna do it. Like you say yes to the talk, and then you figure out how it's all gonna happen.

    Angie Lee 16:24
    Yeah, absolutely. And I think also, something I've been thinking a lot lately, too, is focusing on your strengths. I think a lot of times, we're trying to do things that aren't really for us. And so they we feel that resistance. But I do think that the things that you are here to do, not saying they won't come with challenges, but it will make sense. I think that they will make sense to you. So I don't know if you've ever felt that in your business. But those moments of flow state, they should kind of make sense to you. So I think a lot of times we're nervous to try out things. But the only way to find those things that we're here to do, or those gifts that we're here to share is to try.

    Elizabeth Stein 16:59
    And it's usually that place of being out of your comfort zone that you do find that flow state. That's certainly how I found out about the business is like, okay, everything is now aligned. This may have been uncomfortable at first, but now it's all making sense, and where I'm meant to be. So for you guys, you have this idea about Soul. And then what happens after this idea? Tell me a little bit about how you were both using CBD because I do want to talk about how there are so many different uses of it. And I think there's still confusion around CBD versus THC and all that stuff. So we'd love to hear a little bit about first, how you guys are using it. And then what happens after the idea?

    Mike Lee 17:38
    Yeah, for sure. And I'm happy to dive in kind of more specifics because it can be confusing. I was using it in tinctures. So the oil drop forms. We found that that is one of the most efficacious ways people enjoy gummies or capsules because it's just much more familiar. But putting the tincture dropper underneath your tongue for about 30 to 60 seconds, it accesses the blood-brain barrier faster. So, it's just more bioavailable. So, I started using it like that. And the main reason I started using it was to help me get off the anti-anxiety medication. And just all the stress that I was under, I finally got to a point where it's fighting for these huge title fights, and I had all these obligations, and I was just freaking out. And maybe my immune system as well and I just couldn't handle the stress. And so I was constantly looking for solutions that were not another pill. I think that medications serve their time and purpose. And I've been on them and on and off of certain ones for certain needs. But I truly believe that you need to get to the root cause of things. So for me, I was using it as a tincture a lot. And then we started diving into okay, what dosage works for me because that's very dependent on people as well. And us as a company. Now it's tough when, unlike prescription where you say take one and wait this many hours, CBD is one of those things like many things in the supplement industry that ends on body fat composition, what you ate that day, the stress level, so many things. So we always say kind of start low, which is usually around 25 milligrams, and kind of work your way up. I'm taking over 100 milligrams a day. But I'm a guy, I'm over 200 pounds, maybe about 2010 pounds or something. So there's a lot of different factors that go into that. But long story short, I started noticing it just kind of helped me calm down. It helped me breathe a little bit. What I noticed the most was the days I didn't take it, I noticed more than the days I took. And what I mean by that is like, all of a sudden, I would go for five days and I would be on it. And I feel good. And then I would forget to take it for a day or two and all this anxiety and stress would pop up in me and I was like what's going on? Today is so different. And I will realize I didn't take it. That's kind of initially how I first discovered it and fell in love with it.

    Elizabeth Stein 19:54
    And after how much time did you notice that it started to work for you?

    Mike Lee 19:58
    I would say within three to five days. It's interesting. Some people notice effects, especially with THC and other cannabinoids, outside of just CBD, but they'll notice the effects within 45 minutes to an hour where it gets in your system. Other people, it takes time to build up in your system. I was one of those. Within three to five days, I was like, I don't know if this is placebo or not, but I feel great. I feel better. So let's run with it. Like, let's keep doing it. And that was kind of the beginning. And then we got into the science and the formulations and everything.

    Elizabeth Stein 20:33
    Amazing. Did you ever get to the root of some of the autoimmune stuff, getting to the root cause?

    Mike Lee 20:39
    100%. I found out that I was misdiagnosed, I don't have ankylosing spondylitis. And I was stabbing myself with TNF blocker and methotrexate, this thing called Humira for years and years that I shouldn't have been doing. So I ended up getting off that, we ended up finding out that it wasn't as much of Ankylosing Spondylitis or Epstein Barr, but a lot of mold issues, a lot of concussion issues. And then a lot of stress and inflammation that came from my gut. The brain-gut is connected. So I had a lot of leaky gut. So really dialing in on gut protocol was massive for me. Then really dialing in on concussion protocol was huge, and then anything like anti inflammatory. I just wasn't able to do that with the humira because it was suppressing my immune system, which is what it’s built to do. But then I was just getting sick all the time. So once again, it's just a cycle. It could be great for other people, but I was misdiagnosed by one of the best rheumatologist in the country. And unfortunately, had to suffer years and years. So anyway, still working out, though. I'm not 100%. And I think it's constantly just that battle a couple steps forward, and then one back, etc.

    Elizabeth Stein 21:51
    What were some of the things you did for your gut protocol? And are you still working on that?

    Mike Lee 21:56
    Absolutely. Still working on that. For a while, I was doing a lot of anti histamine stuff. So whether there was a histamine DAO blocker, that was important for me, because all these different things came up. I did a handful of diets. First of all, gluten-free, and dairy-free was important for me. I'm not celiac. But I do think that people are gluten intolerant. So one of the main reasons why we've loved your brand, and wanted to turn towards something healthy, because you've known better than me, but it's like most stuff out there just tastes awful. And you get to this point where you're like, oh, my God, well, I'm just gonna eat cardboard for us to my life. It's sad. So gluten-free, and dairy-free was important for me. And then clean ingredients was massively important. Staying away from canola oil, and all these oils that most restaurants cook in. And sticking with just whole plant-based foods. The AIP elimination diet was a big one for me. It's constantly kind of like playing with it. But I've educated myself so much on this now to where I'm being honest, I would walk into a gastro appointment and talk to a doctor and tell them all my symptoms and everything that was going on. And they tell me have you tried Gas-X? This happened not very long ago. I just almost walked out. I was like, I don't know what to say to you anymore. Like, you don't even ask me what I'm eating. We're speaking different languages. Which is unfortunate, because they're trying to do their best but also, it's like the saying says. If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So dealing with functional medicine has kind of been more of my sweet spot now.

    Elizabeth Stein 23:43
    that’s great. And I think a good lesson for anyone of like, you need to be your health advocate because there's a lot that is misinformed still today, just as you're saying. So doing that research.

    Angie Lee 23:55
    Honestly, I always tell him, document everything. This just may be the content creator and me because I'm like, just for yourself, journal because I feel like Mike could literally write a book one day about how much he's learned being his own advocate. People don't know what that that's such a a scary road. You have to almost take things in your own hands, do your own research, ask a lot of questions. The amount of time and money that Mike has spent on his health is astronomical. It's incredible.

    Mike Lee 24:23
    Yeah, there are many things that boxing brought me incredible, incredible moments that I could never take back. But also I sit back now as 36 years old, and I wonder like, was it worth it? And I sometimes blame my dad or parents for pushing me into a sport like that. I know my son to be playing tennis or golf or some chess.

    Elizabeth Stein 24:43
    Not leaving the house.

    Mike Lee 24:49
    It becomes taxing so I feel for people and I tell people listening that are dealing with it, just don't give up. Keep pushing forward. I mean, I literally just got done last Week with an ambulatory EEG exam, which is like they put this thing on your head and they map your brainwaves for three days straight. I broke down crying. Because it was just one of those things where I was like, I'm so worried about this concussion stuff. I'm so worried I'm still getting headaches and eye issues and like, and it was just like one of those moments where I broke down the next day. I was like, alright, like, you got this. So I tell that and I try to be more vulnerable now because I never was before so that people at least who are going through rough shit can be like, alright, I can do this. I need to be my own health advocate. I can get through these tough days.

    Elizabeth Stein 25:39
    Yeah, that's a really important message.

    Angie Lee 25:42
    It takes a lot of courage. It's easy to feel good. Of course, it's easy to be healthy when you feel good. Like that's when it's easy. Like, oh, it's great. Feeling good. But when you don't feel well, that's when it's like, are you willing to keep going?

    Elizabeth Stein 25:56
    And it's really hard to make those lifestyle changes. It's even though you might not be feeling well, the idea of that change sounds awful. Like a lot of people think about having gluten free, dairy free all of these things that in their life that they have to change. But then when you realize how much better you can potentially feel for making those changes physically, mentally. It's huge.

    Mike Lee 26:20
    Yeah, and I think that I'm not just saying this because I'm on the show. But I think that diet is the cornerstone first place, people should look. That's what I found. I was searching so many different places before I finally got to diet and how the wrong diet can exacerbate all these other symptoms.

    Elizabeth Stein 26:39
    What was your diet like when you were fighting?

    Mike Lee 26:43
    Well, when I was young, I was eating whatever. You had to make weight for sure. So it's one of those sports where you have to cut weight very fast, a lot of it water weight. And I would say I was eating like healthy but a ton of gluten, and a lot of dairy. After training sessions, I would eat huge sandwiches with a bunch of gluten, and a bunch of pasta, it was always that like you heard before marathons and big events you'd want to eat a bunch of pasta, and little did I know for me, it was just like tearing me apart, I would be so sluggish. I didn't know why. But also was young enough, you know in my 20s or especially early 20s

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