With the help of local health-related businesses and professionals, Lexington native Debra Koerner aims to showcase the healthy side of Kentucky in her upcoming PBS series, Journey Into WellBeing.
Journey Into WellBeing will launch its pilot hour-long episode in the Bluegrass State as Koerner, the executive producer and host, embarks on a 50-state health tour over the course of several years.
“The first show will be very special,” Koerner said, adding that all of the remaining shows will only be a half-hour in length and focus on natural health solutions. “It kind of outlines my personal story, where I’m at in my health and wellness — and now, ‘OK here I am in Kentucky, so I’m going to trek off and see what Kentucky has to offer.’”
Since moving from Kentucky to Florida, Koerner said she was pleasantly surprised at what the state had to offer in the way of health-related businesses.
“We are much more than horses, hillbilly hoedowns and hot browns,” said Koerner, who, in addition to owning iMassage Inc., is the executive director of Destination Spa Group and author of Success from the Start. “I learned a lot about Kentucky. When I lived in Lexington, there was part of me that was always not wanting to say I was from Kentucky because of the general stereotypes.”
But now, she added, there are so many neat movements happening in the health and fitness arena.
“People will be surprised that Kentucky is not what they think it is,” Koerner said, noting the huge amount of organic farms, new health-related businesses, the food-to-fork movement and all of the good things happening in Lexington, including new businesses such as the Weekly Juicery and the growth of farmers markets. She added that she has seen a big increase in massage therapy, acupuncturists, holistic doctors and new medical clinics.
“I almost felt like an opening was happening to natural health and wellness,” she said.
Because of all of the positive health movements happening in the state, Koerner said Kentucky was a natural fit for a place to launch her new show. Journey Into WellBeing begins with an overall health assessment, and then she will explore ways to fix her issues using experts from around Kentucky and from the other states in the following shows.
For example, Koerner visited Bobby Benjamin, executive chef at La Coop in Louisville, to learn how to redo traditional recipes in a healthier fashion.