If there was ever an inspiration for following your dreams, Nadia Felsch is it.
After years of unhappiness in the corporate world, Nadia quit her job with no plan and no backup. She has since dedicated her life to living her heart’s wishes, and that is to share her love and knowledge of health, fitness and delicious food with the world, and with a beautiful new website and eBook, this is just the beginning for Nadia.
Nadia’ philosophy on healthy living is all about simplicity. She understands that when you nourish your body with delicious wholefoods, you will †˜look good and feel great’ and with the experience and knowledge to back it up, people are listening.
Nadia also believes that food is medicine and has used food to help restore her body from a long history of illness. Read to find out how she did it as well as Nadia’s top tips on food, beauty and following your dreams.
You have made some huge changes to your life in past couple of years to get to where you are now. Can you tell us about your journey?
I worked in the fashion industry for many years and the last brand I worked for, I was responsible for establishing in an overseas market so it was super high pressure. The role squeezed everything out of me and it was just too much, it wasn't my calling. I felt my whole life was about money and I became really aware that I didn't like the person I was or had become.
Then my husband and I went to Vietnam for three weeks and that trip in particular struck a cord in me; the beauty, the simplicity and how life was actually lived; and a week after we returned I quit my job. I didn’t think too much about it at that stage, I didn't talk about it, nor did I have plan.
I took a big step back and I started working in retail a couple days a week to pay the bills. During this time I was really enjoying spending time with my Mum and as a way of spending even more time together, we started the Mum and Daughter blog
- a platform to share our health & fitness knowledge and also to write!
After a few months of blogging, I realised we had thousands of followers. I had always treated the blog as a business from the beginning, I think that is innate me even though I didn't mean it to be. Earlier this year however it was becoming increasingly apparent that †˜this’ was my calling and what I wanted to do so naturally it became time to re-brand and re-launch. Working and creating alongside my incredible Mum has been such a treat and even as I move into my own site, I look forward to her position on the site as an expert fitness contributor.
Did you have an †˜uh-ha’ moment that prompted you to quit your job?
Yes! Towards the end of my time there in early 2013, I was outside my office and overcome with emotion so much that I was crying. I had never cried at work in my entire life. I was on the phone to friend and I said to her that †œI just want to live my life, I feel so restrained here,† she was concerned that I would quit and truthfully most people thought I was crazy! Despite that reaction I had one clear motivation - I wanted to be free of the heaviness and stress, I realised that life is too short. I had no plan and I certainly didn’t see myself doing what I'm doing now!
So why did you choose food and fitness to blog about?
Food and fitness feel like second nature to me and they always have. It’s where I come alive, it’s what I feel 100% myself immersed in. Sharing my knowledge and expertise in a field that causes so much anxiety to people is such a reward because their journey’s can very easily turn from anxious to the best thing ever
Although I already had an awareness of what I was putting into my body from my family and my background in competitive sports, I wanted more knowledge and understanding. Experts would mostly tell me to eat chicken and broccoli to get all my macronutrients but I thought †˜surely there has got to be something better than that’!
I taught myself how to nourish myself and make great tasting food which of course I want to share with others on their own health journey.
Tell us about your eBook †˜Eat Well Look Good Feel Great’:
I wanted my first book to be really manageable and not like big encyclopaedias of information, to be easily accessible and have a theme. Because salads are what I eat every single day it made sense to launch with exactly how I eat.
Think beyond iceberg lettuce. This is all about salads to nourish, sustain, energise and make you happy. There are meals, side dishes, super easy lunch ideas and 'you’ll - be – invited - back' table sharers.
The eBook contains 21 salad recipes and 19 supporting essentials recipes to get you organised, inspired and eating a variety of delicious foods.
This is health that tastes great.
Do you any advice for others who want to start following their dreams?
It sounds a bit †˜hippy’ but my advice is to forget money, because in my case it kept me trapped for so long and I think it’s really false. You've just got to follow the heart and not the money.
As Steve Jobs famously said, †œ… and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.†
What is your food and diet philosophy?
My philosophy is to eat as close to nature as possible. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, two autoimmune system diseases and genetic insulin resistance, all for which I don’t take any medication for any more because I decided to make food my medicine.
I don't eat things from packets or cans, I make everything from scratch and it's not that complicated. I don't eat fancy or elaborate things, I don't have time and simple ingredients are the ones that taste the best anyhow!
Put simply: I eat real food.
What are you 3 must have ingredients in your home:
Avocado – when avocados are not having a good season it’s a pretty dire situation in my house!
Raw cacao – so versatile and surprisingly satisfying!
Coriander – in everything!
You say you eat predominantly raw foods, what are some of the benefits you've seen and felt of eating raw?
Digestion! Your stomach has to do a lot of processing through the 'roughage' and when you eat raw food, the enzymes which assist digestion are retained which helps the digestion process so much. You just generally feel lighter things don’t sit. I notice now if I do eat a steak or something like that, the processing in my body is so different, the way I feel the next day is so different. It’s not bad, it’s just not ideal.
Also, the difference in my skin has been amazing. I've always had pretty good skin though when I went mostly raw my skin just glowed, I'm 29 and no one thinks I look 29, it’s almost like a permanent detox!
What is your typical day on a plate:
I try to change it up a lot, the same as my exercise and I don't do the same thing for more than a month.
Breakfast: I make my own bread with nuts, seed and quinoa for breakfast and have that with 2 boiled eggs, half an avocado and a tomato. Sometimes I have some of my homemade hummus and/or pesto if I'm really hungry.
Lunch: I usually have a salad. Today was a quinoa salad with eggs, loads of fresh herbs, baked vegies, chickpeas and lentils. Sometimes I might put some halloumi or goats cheese in there.
Snack: A natural protein smoothie after exercise and a delightful raw cacao ball for those times when you just need something sweet.
Dinner: If I do have a cooked meal it will be at night, like baked fish, cous cous with lamb or bbq chicken.
Everything I eat is very simple, uncomplicated and fresh.
What is your beauty/skincare routine?
Just like my diet, my routine for my skin is very simple. I cleanse and moisturise in the morning and use tinted moisturiser with sunscreen during the day. I don't wear a lot of makeup and if I do I always wear sunscreen underneath. I’m not a huge fan of makeup, even things like mascara I feel damage my eyelashes and make them fall out the more I wear it but I do love lipstick!
I exfoliate my whole body once a week and moisturise twice a day as well.
What is your best-kept beauty secret?
Water. Today I didn't drink enough water and I immediately noticed my skin was not as plump or dewy, the difference was obvious. Also sleep - I read years ago that Jennifer Lopez said that sleep was her beauty secret and I think she’s stunning so it must work!
How do you nourish yourself from the inside to glow on the outside?
I think upping the fats in my diet definitely made a huge difference. Switching from high protein, which I was doing for many years, to high fat, I've noticed a big difference to how my skin looks. †˜Good’ fats like your Omega 3s and 6s are so amazing for our hair, skin and nails. I probably eat an avocado a day, nuts and eggs as well, fat is a large part of my diet and it's working!
*My recent cholesterol testing from October 2014 showed it to be the lowest it has ever been.
What happiness to you right now?
I'm pretty happy that the sun is out! That and the fact I am living my heart's wishes. It always felt like a really unreachable goal and although I've not kicked all my goals, I am living my bliss and I’m so grateful everyday. I do what I love which is pretty amazing because not many people can do that.
What the best advice you've ever been given?
It sounds really silly but when I was 8 a friend’s mum told me to †œstand with your shoulders back and walk tall† and that has always stuck with me. Not only has it helped all of my fitness work because I have good posture and minimal injuries though I think it really translates to how you feel. I feel confident when I walk tall, I feel proud.
What’s next for you?
My new site! It will be the ultimate food, health and wellbeing destination. Also more eBooks, I’m working towards another few over the next 6-12 months. Think delicious raw desserts, refreshing smoothies and juices and recreated classic dishes.
There’s currently some exciting collaboration plans in the works with some wonderfully talented people in the health & wellbeing industry + I also have my eyes on an app to bring my knowledge right to your phone!
To connect with Nadia or to download your copy of 'Eat Well, Look Good, Feel Great' head to her NEW website