Introducing the Steve Irwin of fruits and vegies, Lola Berry. She’s the most real, passionate and enthusiastic nutritionist you’ll find, dedicating each day to getting people excited about eating fresh, real foods and with a Bachelor of Health Science and a best selling cookbook behind her, the world is listening.
We don’t know how else to describe it, but Lola just radiates awesomeness. When she’s not teaching yoga, writing, filming or cooking, Lola is inspiring Aussies everywhere to eat the best they can, giving themselves the energy to shine.
Read on to find out how Lola became one of Australia’s leading nutritionists and most loved yogis as well as her top tips on food, beauty, staying real and living your dream. Prepare to be inspired!
Tell us about your journey in becoming one of Australia’s leading nutritionists; has this always been your dream?
Back in the day I lived a completely different life, I was working as DJ and partying five nights a week. I’m not going to lie I was having a lot of fun and I knew that I hadn’t found my passion or my bliss [or as yogis would call it, my dharma]
I was feeling a bit lost in general and one morning I just woke up and thought ‘stuff this I’m going on a detox’ and during that I just became really fascianted, obsessed even by healthy, clean foods. I wanted to study nutrution but I didn’t think I was academic enough, I mean I don’t have a science brain at all, before that I had studied drama! But my best friend convinced me to do it so I dove straight into the deep end and started studying nutritional medicine.
Whilst I was studying, it hit me one day that I was going to be the Steve Irwin of fruits and vegies. That’s me. Steve Irwin had always inspired me because he just had so much passion and almost this urgency to send such a cool message to people. That’s how it all came about!
What is a typical day for you? How do you keep that work/life balance?
Hahaha it changes! One day I’m teaching yoga, the next day I’m on radio or TV or writing, it’s so random.
I’ve just signed a new book deal for my fourth book so from today I’m going to really crack into writing.
But an ideal for me would be to get up go for a run on the beach, make an awesome smoothie, practice some yoga, do some writing and some filming, make a good healthy meal and then watch some kind of surf doco with a cup of tea and go to bed.
That’s a perfect day for me, but it doesn’t happen very often but at the moment because I’m doing all these random adventures!
And in terms of work/life balance? To be completely honest with you that’s something I’m still working on so. I’m a yes girl, I love to say yes to everybody and I love to give energy but I can’t keep up with it sometimes. I’m not going to sit here and tell you i’m the golden girl and I mediate everyday and I eat perfectly everyday, I’m always working on myself and I definitely burn myself out, I’m still trying to get that sorted!
For others out there wanting to start living their dream- what is your advice?
Simple- just be real. Do something that you’re truly passionate about not just because you think it’s a good idea that will do well in the market or because you want people to like you. I don’t think that makes longevity, longevity is authencitiy.
What is your daily skincare/make up routine?
Even though I’m very time poor, I do have a routine. I use a lot of coconut oil on my face and hair as well as other oils like olive oil. I also eat a lot of fat when I notice that my skin isn’t looking good.
I take a lot of pride in my appearance, especially working in the media; you want to look after the way you look. There’s nothing worse, especially for me as I’ve gone through a lot of body issues, than not feeling confident so I just work on being the best that I can be inside and out.
Do you have any advice for other girls out there who are struggling with body image or self-confidence?
Get help. It’s a bit of a taboo subject not many people talk about it, but get help. I see a therapist and I have been for a while and I think that the reality is that we’ve all got a story and we’ve all got issues but at the end of the day it’s just about being ok with it and just accepting that it’s something you have to deal with.
For me, things still pop up and I still have really bad days where I just want to go binge eat or over exercise but there’s no shame in saying that. But on those days when you do feel crap about yourself, just remember that if you just honour your health, you’ll come good.
What is your best-kept beauty secret?
Honouring your health and one of my other biggest secrets is getting in 8 hours of sleep. I know if there’s a week where I’ve had some bad sleeps, I look crap and I feel like it too. When you’re getting enough sleep your leptin and ghrelin hormones are at the right level, your face is fresher and you have more control over your hunger levels.
What is your core philosophy when it comes to food and diet?
Listen to your body. Food is here for two reasons; one to share and celebrate with the people you love and two, to nourish your body.
But my overall core message is show up and be the best you can be. Have the courage to listen to you heart and act on that. Most people go throughout life without really living their passion or without really falling in love, but just step up to the plate!
Describe your day on a plate for us?
Breakfast: I love a green smoothie in the morning but in the winter I’ve started making chia puddings for breaky.
Snack: nuts, bliss balls or an alkalising juice.
Lunch: I’m an avocado freak so it will be a big salad with smashed avo, and I’ll try and put my carbs in at lunch time too so sweet spud and quinoa… but if I’m writing then generally all carbohydrate rules go out the window and I just snack all day!
Dinner: I have my protein and salad generally and then if I want to go for a bit of desert I’ll have some raw chocolate.
What foods do you eat to keep yourself looking your best?
For skin and nails I eat a lot of fats, like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and salmon as well as a lot of greens like brussle sprouts, kale and broccoli. Plus I just constantly eat fresh, real foods. I used to tell my clients to count your colours, the more colours in a meal the more nutrient dense it will be!
What are your top three ‘cant’ live without’ ingredients when you cook and why?
1. Coconut oil/ olive oil – because you can just use them to cook anything
2. Chilli – I have to have my chilli, I love it so much!
3. Kale – because it is so versatile
What is happiness to you right now?
Listening to your heart and having the courage to live that, because it’s one thing to listen to your heart and to know it but it’s another thing to act on it. When you do that, it’s pretty freakin cool, and how good is this for a quote? It’s a Benjamin Franklin one: “Most people die at 25 and are buried at 75† how good is that?!
What is the best advice you have ever been given and how do you live it?
When I was around 4 years old, my babysitter would always take us to the milk bar and I’d always be like “I’ve got all these big dreams! I want to be the next Cate Blanchett!† and she would turn around and “say of course you can, you can do it Lola and never let anybody tell you anything different†.
I think that is poignant to me because the older we get, (I’m 28 now) you become more and more aware of the pressures of society, you compare yourself more, doubt yourself more, there are pressures from the outside telling you that you need to live this stable life.
Before I started studying, I took out a $12,000 loan and pretended it was a student loan to pay for a film crew for when I wanted to be an actress, so I guess my point is live your dream because you’re the only person who can get you there and you’re the only person who can stop you.
What’s next for you?
My new book! It’s going to be lifestyle and recipe based which has been awesome to research and I’m doing some really cool stuff with Channel 9. I really want to start focusing more on filming; it’s my favourite thing to do!
And personally, I simply want to keep living my dream everyday [and one day live in a tree-house, that’s really important to me I say that with such seriousness] On top of that I just really want to live, breath, eat and sleep my beliefs and I want to be more in the now and really shine.
Read other inspirational stories and awesome tips from our other delicious women here.