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Natural Beauty Q&A: Erin Weeks from The Green Pantry

Today in the natural beauty hot seat is the vivacious Erin Weeks from oh-so-colourful Instagram page The Green Pantry, and blog Sundrenched Organic Life. Erin is a certified health nut, fruit enthusiast, mama bear, wife, nurse and all-round lover of life and today this exuberant soul is chatting to us about what goes on in her beautifully sunny world and why she chose a holistic lifestyle centred around happiness and wellness.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Describe a day in the life of you!

I’m a registered nurse and I work in both the operating theatres and in recovery, three days a week. I love my job and I’m constantly learning and am always amazed by the human body. My work day always starts with a healthy breakfast with my two daughters, aged 8 and 10 before school/work and then after work it’s a walk/jog with my husband and the girls before dinner. We then sit down together for dinner and that’s my favourite part of the day (oh, the laughs).

2) What inspired you to start your beautiful Instagram page?

Initially I started my Instagram as a private account to keep a photo record of my recipes so they were easier to find (by picture) and then friends would ask for my recipes so I made my page public so everyone could see. It was then I started to notice other people’s interest and it all sort of grew from there. My blog was another thing that was requested by friends, it took me forever to start one and now it’s a little neglected as I find myself so busy with other commitments to food related projects/collaborations.

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3) Describe a day on your plate.

I tend to have four square meals a day! Every meal is a source of plant foods. Breakfast is usually a really big smoothie or porridge in these cooler months with endless cups of caffeine free herbal teas. Morning tea will be a big bowl of fresh fruit with or without granola with almond milk. Lunch at the moment is avocado + sprouts on buckwheat and quinoa crisp bread and a smoothie or a bowl of fruit in the afternoon. Dinner is usually roasted root veggies and salad or steamed greens. We also eat lots of spaghetti, rice and quinoa with endless fruit and veg. I adore preparing (and eating) nutritious food, and find that simple is best.

4) Why do you think toxin-free beauty is the way to go?

From a nursing background, I’ve intensely studied the physiology of our skin and I think it is incredibly important to apply the most natural, nurturing ingredients to it. Cars run on petroleum, our skin should not. We are over exposed as it is, to free radicals from the environment and processed foods and pesticides on our foods without applying those directly to our skin ie directly to our blood supply through the skin. I stopped buying moisturiser when I was at university and started making my own and my skin reacts to chemical laden products these days after using such natural products for so long.

5) Who do you look to for inspiration?

I am constantly inspired by the crew members of Sea Shepherd! And my husband, he is a really grounded, down to earth, intelligent dude and has the patience of a saint, unlike me.

6) What do you think makes a woman a natural beauty?

Her kindness.

7) What is your life ethos.

I try to always listen to my mind, my body and my soul. I cannot be around negativity, it tends to bring me down, so I distance myself from that and surround myself with a small circle of positive people who support me and have like minded ideas and aspirations.

8) What is one beauty product you never leave the house without?

Luk Beautifood Chai Shimmer Lip Nourish, hands down.

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9) What are your tips for healthy, radiant skin?

Drinking plenty of filtered water + eating lots of orange and green vegetables. A good cleansing routine and a sweet almond oil based moisturiser.

10) Which products from www.lukbeautifood.com do you think are the perfect tools for creating a stunning, glowing makeup canvas and why?

Obviously I’m a big fan of Cindy’s Lip Nourishes, but the black tea mascara and a little cheek tint over a light foundation base is all you need.

Got a question for Erin? Leave a comment natural beauties x

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Natural Beauty Q&A: Nat Kringoudis

Today we are thrilled to be chatting with Nat Kringoudis, a bona fide women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer with a big heart for natural healthcare. We couldn’t think of anyone more fitting to be featured on the website, especially with Mother’s Day fast approaching, as Nat is the pure picture of health, wellness and all things mama bears!

1) Tell us a bit about your career. Describe a day in the life of you!

I’m a Dr of Chinese Medicine, a speaker and an author – so that question really depends which day you get me!  I own and direct my clinic The Pagoda Tree, a hub for women’s health here in Melbourne.  I get to practice my TCM and integrative treatments there for my patients which I love!  As time has gone by, I have realised that what really makes my heart sing is sharing health and wellness information and helping women get a good sense of their own health so they can make informed decisions. So with this, I’ve stepped into speaking and writing to help share this vital message, to really shake it up for women and have them understanding themselves.  My passion really is for young women to have the chance to get to know their bodies, to assist them into their fertile years.

2) What inspired you to follow the career path that you did?

Oh now that is a very good question because I kind of feel as though it was decided for me!  After nearing the end of my very first degree (Bachelor of Health Sciences with a bio-science stream) I felt as though it didn’t really take me to where I wanted to go and I had a lot of unanswered questions.  I somehow found myself studying Chinese Herbal Medicine after some mucking about (I originally thought I was doing Naturopathy) and stuck with it until I opened my clinic around 11 years ago – The Pagoda Tree.  I once vowed never to treat women’s health but life had other ideas and after an influx of women wanting help with fertility, I decided I needed to lift my game and be the best at the lady part stuff!  So I invested so much time and energy into learning as much as I could about integrating TCM (acupuncture and herbal medicine) with modern knowledge of the body to really come up with a winning formula.  And then as life would have it, I followed on this path to soon to have the revelation as I released my first ebook (which is now all grown up as my published book Well & Good) that what if, I began reaching out to young women before things were broken, to pave the way for changing up the way we approached our health as women and get clued up to make well informed choices about our health – made perfect sense to me!  I’ve been holding on tight with this rollercoaster ride and it’s been nothing short of magical.

3) Describe a day on your plate.

I’m an eggs woman – feed me eggs and I’m one happy woman!  So I’ll generally start the day with a couple of poached eggs.  Lunch is typically soup, fish or a delicious curry and dinner we love slow cooked meals, soups and stews.  We are very lucky, my mother in law who is greek cooks for us a lot of an evening – I’ll never say no to somebody else preparing my meals!  That said, I do enjoy getting into the kitchen.  I rarely get a chance to snack at work, since I’m generally on my feet until I pick up the kids at 3:30pm from school.

4) Why do you think toxin-free beauty is the way to go?

Toxins in our beauty products and skin care (alongside all conventional household products) are a disaster for our hormones.  They raise our oestrogen levels, as our bodies see the chemicals as oestrogen like (xenoestrogens which mimic our body’s own oestrogen).  This can severely push our hormone balance out, contributing to a host of issues like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, some cancers, endometriosis to name a few.  Toxin free is absolutely the way to go.

5) Who do you look to for inspiration?

Not only do I totally look up to my wellness peeps (Jess Ainscough, Sarah Wilson, Madeline Shaw, Samantha Gowing, Dr Libby etc) but I am inspired by savvy business women like Rachel Zoe and Arriana Huffington.  Women who lead with heart – that’s what I love to see.

6) What do you think makes a woman a natural beauty?
Charisma, whit and integrity.  Like I said, a women that leads from a feminine place is a woman not to be messed with!

7) What is your mantra; which quote do you swear by when it comes to feeling happy and successful?
I have a mantra.  “I am empowered and euphoric, making a difference in this world.” It’s on my phone reminders and it flashes up daily at 11am.  It’s a constant reminder of who I am and who I continue to strive to be.
8) What is one beauty product you never leave the house without?
Mascara. I never ever leave without mascara.  It’s my absolute must.
9) What are your tips for healthy, radiant skin?
I’m a wild fan of oil cleanser.  For years I stripped my skins natural oils and could never work out why I continued to make more pimples!  Changing to oil has been amazing – oil dissolves oil!  I’m also a massive advocate for hydration.  I draw on the benefits of tea and water not only for cleansing but for hydrating!
10) Which products from www.lukbeautifood.com do you think are the perfect tools for creating a stunning, glowing makeup canvas and why?
My skin tone is quite uneven, so for me it would be drawing on the wonderful benefits of a natural foundation just like the 100% Pure Healthy Skin Foundation, followed by creating a healthy glow with golden peach to add some definition to cheeks.  Of course 100% Pure Black Tea Mascara and a lick of Luk Beautifood Lemon and Mint Lip Nourish and I’d be one happy camper!
11) What makes your mum so special?
She’s one of a kinda, she loves me unconditionally and truly one of the most dedicated woman to her family that I know.  If I can be half as good as she is, I’ll be very happy.
Got a question for Nat? Leave a comment natural beauties x
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Natural Beauty Q&A: Nina Smith from Nina Loves Summer

Meet Nina, a happy-go-lucky nutritionist and beach babe from tropical Queensland, Australia whose love for whole, nourishing foods, a balanced lifestyle and toxin-free environmentally friendly living makes her a green beauty warrior in our eyes! You might know Nina from the website Nourish & Namaste or her gorgeous Instagram page @ninalovessummer (which is simply brimming with all the colours of the rainbow, insatiable fruits and vegies as well as loads of health and fitness inspiration).We are positively thrilled Nina has taken the time to have a chat with us about what goes on in her beautiful, sunny world – and know you’re going to love what she has to say. Read on, natural beauties!

1) Tell us a bit about your career + describe a day in the life of you!

I have recently completed a Bachelor of Medical Science specialising in Nutrition, so my career is  only just beginning! I have been involved in an Australian, State and Territory Government initiative  under the National partnership Agreement of Preventive Health over the last few years to promote healthy lifestyle behaviours for parents and children. I have just launched my own website www.nourishandnamaste.com with my business partner, and hot yoga instructor Natasha Willness to spread our love of nutrition and yoga. At the moment, I am finishing off the last of the recipes in our Super Simple Smoothie eBook and am in the early stages of starting nutritional consulting online to connect and provide support to people who are unable to access support for healthy eating.

2) What inspired you to start your beautiful Instagram page @ninalovesummer?

I was inspired to start my @ninalovesummer Instagram as a positive outlet for my own health journey and love of a healthy, happy lifestyle. My page is about positive vibes, natural living and healthy beauty and body care. I really wanted to life back to basics and focus on the small things in life, to appreciate simplicity.

3) Describe a day on your plate (what you eat, any particular ‘healthy food faves’ if any)?

I start everyday with water straight after I wake up with lemon or apple cider vinegar to kick start digestion for the day. For breakfast I have either a muesli mixture which I make myself (it is super easy – just puffed non-GMO corn and rice, oats, coconut, LSA and chia seeds, raw nuts and seeds) or a green smoothie made with fresh baby spinach, mango, banana, coconut water, kiwi fruit, spirulina and brown rice protein powder. Raw nuts and seed mix or a homemade energy ball is my morning tea and my favourite lunch at the moment is a big leafy green salad with roasted pumpkin or sweet potato, hummus, pumpkin seeds, avocado, fresh herbs, red onion and red or black rice with a squeeze of lemon juice. Fresh fruit is my afternoon pick me up and for dinner I go for a crispy Asian stir fry.. I also make sure I drink a minimum 2 litres of water every day.

Luk Lip Nourish

4) Why do you think toxin-free beauty is the way to go?

Toxin-free beauty is the way to go for your own health but also to support companies which are ethical in their practices. Going “toxin-free” can be daunting, especially when most women spend a lot of money on their favourite cosmetics that they love and have habitually used for a very long time. You don’t need to make the change overnight and if you cannot do it for the bigger picture than make the change for yourself and your (future) children. Our skin is designed to absorb what we put on it. The ingredients which are in the products you use on your hair and skin every day get absorbed into your body. Our bodies are overwhelmed with toxins from the environment. You cannot always control your environment but you can control the products which you use on your body in your own home. Chemicals in personal care products have been linked to numerous health problems in animal studies and are beginning to be correlated to cancers, infertility and birth defects in humans.

Not only do many of the products which you use daily are likely to contain parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, sodium laurel sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate, which are associated with negative health consequences, but the companies who produce these products support unsustainable practices, test on animals and are motivated by providing a low quality product with maximal profit. There is no winning for the consumer in this situation. By going toxin-free you are supporting companies which are doing the right thing in spending that hard yards researching and creating products which are free from harmful chemicals and you can also have peace of mind that you are not contributing to the toxic load on your body.

5) Who do you look to for inspiration?

Instagram is a huge inspiration for me, I use it as my own vision board to follow other people’s lives who are eating naturally and pursuing a lifestyle which is in harmony with their own dreams and environment. My mum has always inspired me to be a strong, independent woman and to strive to eat more ethically and to become more conscious of the impact we have on others.

6) What do you think makes a woman a natural beauty?

Natural beauty starts from the inside. A woman is a natural beauty if she spreads light, is loving, accepting and makes people feel happy and uplifted. Natural beauty comes from caring about the impact of your actions and pursuing your own purpose in life.

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7) What is your mantra; which quote do you swear by when it comes to feeling happy and successful?

To me honest, my mantra is “life’s a beach”. The only thing constant in life is change, to me this quote keeps me grounded and makes me focus on what is important in life which is being happy, grateful and valuing the people in life that you love and for me it means connecting with nature, the sand and ocean which makes me feel alive.

8) What is one beauty product you never leave the house without?

My ABSOLUTE one beauty product that I cannot leave the house without is PapPaw ointment. It has been a household essential from a young age and I have a tube in every handbag, the car, bathroom and bedside drawer. It is made in Queensland from local paw paws which are fermented and preserved without the use of talc, shellac, palm oil, glycerin or sodium lauryl sulphate. I use it on my lips but it can also be used on minor burns and scalds, sunburn, gravel rash, cuts, minor open wounds, chafing insect bites, splinters and thorns. It has so many uses, I love it!

9) What are your tips for healthy, radiant skin?

Beautiful skin starts from the inside, a healthy diet free from processed foods, added sugar and synthetic ingredients is key. Drinking plenty of water helps to relieve lymphatic congestion which can contribute to skin problems. Eliminating toxic chemicals in your body care or household products helps and looking into some medications which can affect your skin. Smoothies and juices made from fresh fruit and vegetables provide enzymes and antioxidants which can improve the clarity of your skin and eliminating dairy products may also help. I feel as though my skin glows when I am tanned, so Eco Tan and a mineral bronzer are essentials for my skin to feel and look radiant.

10) Which products from our website do you think are the perfect tools for creating a stunning, glowing makeup canvas and why?

Luk Beautifood Lip Nourish and 100% Pure Dark Chocolate Mascara are the perfect for a glowing, natural look. Chai Shimmer Lip Nourish is my favourite, it has a golden nude tone and is made with clean foods. It is soft and silky to apply, leaving your lips feel moisturised and looking beautiful. 100% Pure Dark Chocolate Mascara smells absolutely amazing and is the best cruelty free mascara that I have tried. It is coloured with cacao and coffee pigments and is water and smudge resistant.

Got a question for the lovely Nina? Leave a comment x

Natural Beauty Q&A: Emmily Banks from Depths of Wellness

Introducing a very notable natural beauty, Emmily Banks, natural makeup artist, blogger and green beauty guru who headlines www.depthsofbeauty.com.au. With 8 years of experience servicing the beauty and fashion industry, Emmily truly lives and breathes a holistic lifestyle and is passionate about encouraging wellbeing-conscious beauty regimes and awareness around the sustainability of our Earth not to mention natural, organic, nourishing and eco friendly cosmetics that WORK. What a woman! It’s so refreshing to encounter an absolutely authentic soul and because we’re such huge fans of her work, we consider it a very big deal that Emmily has taken the time to participate in a little Q&A with us. Read on!

Describe a day in the life of you!

My days vary – a lot! As a freelancer, I often work from home in my studio/office on my website, testing, trialling and reviewing natural beauty products and keeping on top of emails to clients, brands and online stores. Makeup Artistry also takes me all over Sydney for editorial photo shoots and events, from studio’s in Alexandria to location shoots on the beach in Northern Beaches, to Sydney Olympic Park! My days also involve meetings with like-minded business and I often pop in to some of my favourite natural brands offices to say hello! I’m also working on launching my Youtube channel soon so I’ve been spending a decent amount of time filming ‘how to’s’ and reviews! Aside from work, I ALWAYS find time in my day for exercise and a swim in the ocean or bake on the beach (in summer)!

Describe a day on your plate (what you eat, any particular ‘healthy food faves’ if any)?

My morning ritual involves a run along the beach as soon as I rise, then I stop by my local organic store for a coconut or almond milk piccolo and a cold pressed green juice on my way home. I then, fairly religiously, have lunch at home – organic poached eggs, half an avo with garlic mushrooms and spinach.. yum! I usually pick on nuts, popcorn and dips (hummus, baba ghanoush, avo) in the afternoon, then dinner often consists of plenty of vege and occasionally fish and meat. I LOVE cooking anything from broth, green soups, curries, spinach pie with sweet potato chips, fish and vege.. the list goes on! I also drink allll dayyy longgg… tea’s, water, acv and coconut oil with a dash of turmeric in hot water (its SO delicious) and im totally obsessed with juices and kombucha. I’m lucky not to have a sweet tooth, lots of bitter flavours or salt for me please! I’m fortunately to naturally love healthy food – it’s just normal for me to eat well.

Why do you think toxin-free beauty is the way to go? Oh there are SO many reasons!

Your Body & Mind’s Health – Between 60-90% of the ingredients in products we put onto our skin are absorbed straight through our blood stream. Absorbing toxic ingredients leads to a multitude of health issues, from hormone disruption to skin irritations and even cancer, tumors and neurotoxicity.

The Planet’s Health – Our environment is so precious and we need to do the best we can to look after our ecosystem. Using natural beauty lessens the demand for production of toxic chemicals that harm our environment and end up in our sewers and landfills. Toxin-free brands usually have a higher regard for the planet and often use recyclable packaging, etc too.

Animal Welfare – Disturbingly, almost all mainstream brands still test of animals and also use their fur for brushes. It’s horrific how they are treated and we need to be aware that we vote with our dollar.. we need to stop voting for brands who are still testing on animals and start supporting brands who don’t!

Who do you look to for inspiration? Everyone and everything! I am inspired by anyone who is driven, passionate, kind and is making a difference in this world for the better. These people are my friends, family, colleagues and clients. I am also highly inspired by successful, thriving entrepreneurs in the health and wellness sector – game changers who are living by their own rules and making a positive impact in other people’s lives!

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How did you fall into your role as a ‘natural’ makeup artist?

I started out as a mainstream makeup artist for several years before transitioning to all-natural and organic Beauty. I have always had a passion for health and wellness so it just made sense to start practicing with products I feel passionate about using and supporting. Plus there are so many beautiful natural, vegan, organic and cruelty free beauty and skincare products available these days! I am SO excited to be able to share my findings and encourage people to support healthier brands for their wellbeing. I guess the real turning point was when I was still a mainstream MUA and began receiving (toxic) beauty products to trial, review and promote. I just didn’t feel passionate or comfortable about doing it.. that’s when I knew I had to change direction and go all natural!

What do you think makes a woman a natural beauty?

First and foremost, a kind and happy spirit – I believe people radiate beauty with a big open heart! Secondly, a radiant, natural glow that comes from living and eating well; flawless skin, bright white teeth and clear eyes are all a sign of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

What is your mantra when it comes to feeling happy and successful? You can either think you can, or think you can’t… either way, you are right! I’ve always believed this and try to remember it’s all in my head, so I may as well think everything is awesome, right?

What is one beauty product you never leave the house without?

Lipstick/balm (usually tinted as I have quite pale lips and they’re often a bit dry)! It’s the one item I will always put in my beach bag, purse or pocket!

What are your tips for healthy, radiant skin? As mentioned above, it;s all about exercise to maintain healthy blood flow that gives you radiant skin as well as diet and lifestyle. Also, be sure to keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids – especially green juice and kombucha… they’re full of minerals and antioxidants that keep your skin glowing!

Which products from our range do you think are the perfect tools for glowing makeup?

Luk Lip Nourishes are really beautiful – creamy texture, nourishing ingredients and gorgeous packaging!

A SPECIAL OFFER FOR OUR NATURAL BEAUTIES

Emmily would like to offer Luk Beautifood Tribe a 30% discount for a one on one client consultation/make-over:

CONSULTATION & MAKEOVER – Original Value $160

– A professional Makeover using only Natural & Organic Products

– An introduction to a wide range of Natural Products plus the chance to test and trial colours and consistency

– Product recommendations for your skins needs and your preferred style of makeup

– Brush/Tools recommendations for you to create Pro Makeup looks at home

– Professional MUA Hot Tips, i.e application techniques & tricks of the trade

– Q&A on natural products, their ingredients and why its so important to use natural ingredients on your skin!

Duration – 2hrs total.

Location – Makeup Studio/ Office, Bondi, Sydney.

Mobile Option – Emmily can also come to you for a small travel fee.

Click here for more details (and don’t forget to mention you saw the promo here!).

Got a question for Emmily? Leave a comment below!

Nadia Felsch

Natural Beauty Interview with Nadia Felsch

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.

BUSINESS

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 “I 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.

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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, “… 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.”

 

FOOD

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!

Nadia Felsch healthy eating

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.

BEAUTY

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.

LIFE

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 “stand 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!

Nadia Felsch Yoga

 

To connect with Nadia or to download your copy of ‘Eat Well, Look Good, Feel Great’ head to her NEW website, facebook or instagram.

 

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Sasha Hawley, Founder of Yoga By The Sea

Natural Beauty Interview with Sasha Hawley of Yoga by The Sea

From the Alps in Austria, tropical islands of Asia, concrete jungles of South America and now Bondi Beach, Sasha Hawley (founder of Yoga By The Sea) has taught yoga in some of the most incredible locations imaginable.

With fresh coconuts in hand and a view of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, I found out how Sasha’s decade long ‘round the world adventure’ brought her to establishing one of Sydney’s most loved yoga studios, plus some of her top tips for glowing skin, finding balance and of course, yoga. Almost a local celebrity, it’s easy to see why Hawley is loved and admired by all.

Business

Tell us about your journey in becoming Sydney’s most loved yogi, has this always been your dream?

No! I actually studied Arts/Lit/Psychology at University, got fired from most every job I had, before deciding I wanted to be pursue acting (my poor parents!).  Then I did a TAFE course in Advertising & Events, landing a ‘corporate’ job (which I loathed, although I learnt a lot).  Basically I figured out what I didn’t want to do, saved some money, and took off to work out what I did want to do.  I travelled for years, survived as a travel journo, waitress and model, and studied and taught yoga, tai chi and meditation.  Writing and travelling gave me the time to ponder the greater purpose of my experiences, create a lifestyle I enjoyed, and think about how I could sustain it.

How did Yoga by the Sea come about?

I had been teaching yoga in these beautiful outdoor environments for so long, and I didn’t want to go back inside a studio. When I returned to Sydney, I was walking along Bondi with a friend, saw this place [Icebergs], and thought how awesome would it be to do yoga here, not just for me and the locals, but the tourists as well!  It just sort of blossomed from there.

At first I had to finance the venture by working at other studios but when I eventually began ‘Yoga by the Sea’ it was with a handful of students, a few yoga mats and me.  Due to the benefits of fresh air and sunshine, the sea life cruising past and the iconic location, the business grew organically over 7 years, making the most of Sydney’s incredible outdoor environment.  Not to downplay the hard work, sweat and tears I’ve personally invested, eventually opening more studios and hiring staff to help me manage.

Intent is important too – it makes me feel good to make other people feel good, and I’ve built the business on generosity, rather than the cut-throat business tactics I’d witnessed in my corporate job.

What can we expect at a Yoga By The Sea class? 

People no longer have to sit in zero oxygen, claustrophobic, over-heated studios!  The oceanic scene and soundscape at Yoga by the Sea helps the practice become more of an ‘experience’ than just a yoga class. We get splashed by waves, whale-watch, and enjoy perks such as the Icebergs sauna and pools, herbal tea and fresh juice after classes (all-inclusive).

Our styles – Yang yoga is a power vinyasa (flow) for people who want to improve fitness, strength and stamina, as well as Yin yoga, a traditional hatha style which is more meditative, relaxing and ideal for beginners. There is a spiritual side to the practices  too- not in a religious way, more in a connection to oneself, using techniques to calm and balance the body, mind & soul.

Yoga By The Sea at Bondi Iecbergs

Yoga By The Sea in action at Bondi Icebergs

How do you keep a work/life balance?

I work to live, not live to work.  I make a little pie chart in my head, with time for family, friends, exercise, work etc and try  to spend a little time each every week, although it’s much easier to lead a balanced lifestyle when you can dictate your own working hours and don’t have kids. Like everyone, I get sick or depressed when I lose that balance, so I make an effort to practice what I preach and take time when I need to.

People need to slow down and stop distancing themselves from what makes them happy, from who they are without the constant activity.  Yoga and meditation encourages me to stop and sit, to just be, to feel, mindful and self-aware, instead of running in circles stressing myself out. There is a completely different way to live your life if you have the courage to step away from the rat race.

BEAUTY

What is your daily skincare or makeup routine?

Lipbalm and sunglasses are my daily makeup, and I don’t put anything on my skin unless it is 100% natural (even sunscreen).  Everyday I use a natural rosewater and chamomile spray on my face, a light moisturizer with essential oils, and occasionally  I do gorgeous papaya, coconut oil, Manuka honey and yoghurt  DIY facial.  My skin does well when it’s left alone too, without over-cleansing or scrubbing.  Eating well and yoga helps you get that natural glow from the inside-out.

What is your best-kept beauty secret?

Virgin coconut oil! Put it all over your hair for healthy, strong locks and your skin for an intense nourishing treatment and moisturiser. I also use it for oil pulling each morning, which whitens teeth and helps remove bacteria that causes illness and teeth decay. That and lot of sleep – I’m called Sasha The Crasher amongst my friends! I sleep 8 hours a night plus a siesta if I can get away with it. 

I’ve heard that there are a number of yoga poses you can do to get glowing skin, is this true?

Yes, this is true.  Inversions, including downward dog are fantastic for glowing, fresh skin.  Anything where you’re upside down and all the blood and oxygen is running up to your heart and face, flushing away trapped toxins.  This includes backbends and shoulder stands and if you don’t want to do something where you’re holding your body weight, just try a simple forward bend in the shower each morning, which also decompresses the spine.

Sasha Hawley Founder of Yoga By The Sea

FOOD

What foods should people ideally be eating pre and post yoga?

Before yoga you don’t want anything to bulky because it will give you reflux when you’re upside down, and you’ll feel uncomfortable when you do twists etc. Smoothies or juices are a great option pre yoga, my favourite is a smoothie with maca, chia, spirulina, spinach, three fruits, and sometimes frozen mango ice cubes on hot days. Post yoga you’re on a wellness kick, so I’d say a green salad and sushi hits the spot.

What is your philosophy when it comes to food and diet?

I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to food, although I avoid meat except for seafood.  During the yoga retreats I run, we eat the most exquisitely healthy foods – beautiful seafood, vegies and fruit dishes, encouraging no other meat, booze, dairy, or sugar for a week.  I try and stick to that for awhile after the retreat, but then I’ll come back to Sydney, go out with my friends, have a bottle of wine, pizza and indulge because I’m a real food lover and I can’t say no to dessert. I call it Gin and Yang, everything in moderation.

What is your day on plate?

My morning smoothie gets me through to lunch time, when I’ll have some sushi or a salad, rice crackers and hummus.  Then at around 3-4pm I hit the organic dark chocolate or nuts as a snack.  Aside from being delicious, dark chocolate is an anti-oxidant, helps control blood sugar, is good for your heart, and full of vitamins and minerals. Then for dinner my husband cooks, so I get what I’m given which is usually vegies and fish. I’m in charge of dessert!

LIFE

What is happiness to you right now?

For me right now, happiness is space, like personal space, whether it be travelling, writing or simply lying in the bath. I give out a lot of energy to my students and relationships, so it’s essential to recharge with self-nurturing.  Space and time for myself is essential to maintaining the balance I need to stay happy.

What has practising yoga taught you about happiness?

To simply be content living and breathing in the moment I’m in, with the people, place, solitude or lesson that moment brings.  Yoga helps me look on the bright side, to be true to myself, to dance to the beat of my own drum, and respect my boundaries on and off the mat.  I remember feeling depressed in my twenties, often anxious and a little lost.  That’s when I found yoga and meditation, read ‘The Art of Happiness’ by the Dalai Lama, and reassessed.  Happiness is simply a state of mind, depending on how we decide to process what happens to us.

What’s next for Yoga by the Sea?

We’re about to kickstart our Winter Warmer Workshops, open another studio in Manly, and promote Yoga Rocks the Park, a yoga event I’ll be teaching later this year in Centennial Park.  I’m always scouting for new yoga retreat locations, with Broome, Sri Lanka and Fiji possibilities for the future.

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Ready to get your own savasana on?  Yoga By The Sea, Yoga from the Sky, and Yoga Under the Sea runs at 5 different locations with over 20 classes running around Sydney each week.  For more information on their schedule, workshops and retreats, head to their website or check outYoga By The Sea’s Facebook for daily inspiration on all things yoga.

Bondi Icebergs - just one of the beautiful backdrops to Sasha's classes

Bondi Icebergs – just one of the beautiful backdrops to Sasha’s classes

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Natural Beauty Q&A: Erin Weeks from The Green Pantry

Today in the natural beauty hot seat is the vivacious Erin Weeks from oh-so-colourful Instagram page The Green Pantry, and blog Sundrenched Organic Life. Erin is a certified health nut, fruit enthusiast, mama bear, wife, nurse and all-round lover of life and today this exuberant soul is chatting to us about what goes on in her beautifully sunny world and why she chose a holistic lifestyle centred around happiness and wellness.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Describe a day in the life of you!

I’m a registered nurse and I work in both the operating theatres and in recovery, three days a week. I love my job and I’m constantly learning and am always amazed by the human body. My work day always starts with a healthy breakfast with my two daughters, aged 8 and 10 before school/work and then after work it’s a walk/jog with my husband and the girls before dinner. We then sit down together for dinner and that’s my favourite part of the day (oh, the laughs).

2) What inspired you to start your beautiful Instagram page?

Initially I started my Instagram as a private account to keep a photo record of my recipes so they were easier to find (by picture) and then friends would ask for my recipes so I made my page public so everyone could see. It was then I started to notice other people’s interest and it all sort of grew from there. My blog was another thing that was requested by friends, it took me forever to start one and now it’s a little neglected as I find myself so busy with other commitments to food related projects/collaborations.

thegreenpantry2

3) Describe a day on your plate.

I tend to have four square meals a day! Every meal is a source of plant foods. Breakfast is usually a really big smoothie or porridge in these cooler months with endless cups of caffeine free herbal teas. Morning tea will be a big bowl of fresh fruit with or without granola with almond milk. Lunch at the moment is avocado + sprouts on buckwheat and quinoa crisp bread and a smoothie or a bowl of fruit in the afternoon. Dinner is usually roasted root veggies and salad or steamed greens. We also eat lots of spaghetti, rice and quinoa with endless fruit and veg. I adore preparing (and eating) nutritious food, and find that simple is best.

4) Why do you think toxin-free beauty is the way to go?

From a nursing background, I’ve intensely studied the physiology of our skin and I think it is incredibly important to apply the most natural, nurturing ingredients to it. Cars run on petroleum, our skin should not. We are over exposed as it is, to free radicals from the environment and processed foods and pesticides on our foods without applying those directly to our skin ie directly to our blood supply through the skin. I stopped buying moisturiser when I was at university and started making my own and my skin reacts to chemical laden products these days after using such natural products for so long.

5) Who do you look to for inspiration?

I am constantly inspired by the crew members of Sea Shepherd! And my husband, he is a really grounded, down to earth, intelligent dude and has the patience of a saint, unlike me.

6) What do you think makes a woman a natural beauty?

Her kindness.

7) What is your life ethos.

I try to always listen to my mind, my body and my soul. I cannot be around negativity, it tends to bring me down, so I distance myself from that and surround myself with a small circle of positive people who support me and have like minded ideas and aspirations.

8) What is one beauty product you never leave the house without?

Luk Beautifood Chai Shimmer Lip Nourish, hands down.

thegreenpantry1

9) What are your tips for healthy, radiant skin?

Drinking plenty of filtered water + eating lots of orange and green vegetables. A good cleansing routine and a sweet almond oil based moisturiser.

10) Which products from www.lukbeautifood.com do you think are the perfect tools for creating a stunning, glowing makeup canvas and why?

Obviously I’m a big fan of Cindy’s Lip Nourishes, but the black tea mascara and a little cheek tint over a light foundation base is all you need.

Got a question for Erin? Leave a comment natural beauties x

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Natural Beauty Q&A: Nat Kringoudis

Today we are thrilled to be chatting with Nat Kringoudis, a bona fide women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer with a big heart for natural healthcare. We couldn’t think of anyone more fitting to be featured on the website, especially with Mother’s Day fast approaching, as Nat is the pure picture of health, wellness and all things mama bears!

1) Tell us a bit about your career. Describe a day in the life of you!

I’m a Dr of Chinese Medicine, a speaker and an author – so that question really depends which day you get me!  I own and direct my clinic The Pagoda Tree, a hub for women’s health here in Melbourne.  I get to practice my TCM and integrative treatments there for my patients which I love!  As time has gone by, I have realised that what really makes my heart sing is sharing health and wellness information and helping women get a good sense of their own health so they can make informed decisions. So with this, I’ve stepped into speaking and writing to help share this vital message, to really shake it up for women and have them understanding themselves.  My passion really is for young women to have the chance to get to know their bodies, to assist them into their fertile years.

2) What inspired you to follow the career path that you did?

Oh now that is a very good question because I kind of feel as though it was decided for me!  After nearing the end of my very first degree (Bachelor of Health Sciences with a bio-science stream) I felt as though it didn’t really take me to where I wanted to go and I had a lot of unanswered questions.  I somehow found myself studying Chinese Herbal Medicine after some mucking about (I originally thought I was doing Naturopathy) and stuck with it until I opened my clinic around 11 years ago – The Pagoda Tree.  I once vowed never to treat women’s health but life had other ideas and after an influx of women wanting help with fertility, I decided I needed to lift my game and be the best at the lady part stuff!  So I invested so much time and energy into learning as much as I could about integrating TCM (acupuncture and herbal medicine) with modern knowledge of the body to really come up with a winning formula.  And then as life would have it, I followed on this path to soon to have the revelation as I released my first ebook (which is now all grown up as my published book Well & Good) that what if, I began reaching out to young women before things were broken, to pave the way for changing up the way we approached our health as women and get clued up to make well informed choices about our health – made perfect sense to me!  I’ve been holding on tight with this rollercoaster ride and it’s been nothing short of magical.

3) Describe a day on your plate.

I’m an eggs woman – feed me eggs and I’m one happy woman!  So I’ll generally start the day with a couple of poached eggs.  Lunch is typically soup, fish or a delicious curry and dinner we love slow cooked meals, soups and stews.  We are very lucky, my mother in law who is greek cooks for us a lot of an evening – I’ll never say no to somebody else preparing my meals!  That said, I do enjoy getting into the kitchen.  I rarely get a chance to snack at work, since I’m generally on my feet until I pick up the kids at 3:30pm from school.

4) Why do you think toxin-free beauty is the way to go?

Toxins in our beauty products and skin care (alongside all conventional household products) are a disaster for our hormones.  They raise our oestrogen levels, as our bodies see the chemicals as oestrogen like (xenoestrogens which mimic our body’s own oestrogen).  This can severely push our hormone balance out, contributing to a host of issues like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, some cancers, endometriosis to name a few.  Toxin free is absolutely the way to go.

5) Who do you look to for inspiration?

Not only do I totally look up to my wellness peeps (Jess Ainscough, Sarah Wilson, Madeline Shaw, Samantha Gowing, Dr Libby etc) but I am inspired by savvy business women like Rachel Zoe and Arriana Huffington.  Women who lead with heart – that’s what I love to see.

6) What do you think makes a woman a natural beauty?
Charisma, whit and integrity.  Like I said, a women that leads from a feminine place is a woman not to be messed with!

7) What is your mantra; which quote do you swear by when it comes to feeling happy and successful?
I have a mantra.  “I am empowered and euphoric, making a difference in this world.” It’s on my phone reminders and it flashes up daily at 11am.  It’s a constant reminder of who I am and who I continue to strive to be.
8) What is one beauty product you never leave the house without?
Mascara. I never ever leave without mascara.  It’s my absolute must.
9) What are your tips for healthy, radiant skin?
I’m a wild fan of oil cleanser.  For years I stripped my skins natural oils and could never work out why I continued to make more pimples!  Changing to oil has been amazing – oil dissolves oil!  I’m also a massive advocate for hydration.  I draw on the benefits of tea and water not only for cleansing but for hydrating!
10) Which products from www.lukbeautifood.com do you think are the perfect tools for creating a stunning, glowing makeup canvas and why?
My skin tone is quite uneven, so for me it would be drawing on the wonderful benefits of a natural foundation just like the 100% Pure Healthy Skin Foundation, followed by creating a healthy glow with golden peach to add some definition to cheeks.  Of course 100% Pure Black Tea Mascara and a lick of Luk Beautifood Lemon and Mint Lip Nourish and I’d be one happy camper!
11) What makes your mum so special?
She’s one of a kinda, she loves me unconditionally and truly one of the most dedicated woman to her family that I know.  If I can be half as good as she is, I’ll be very happy.
Got a question for Nat? Leave a comment natural beauties x
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Natural Beauty Q&A: Nina Smith from Nina Loves Summer

Meet Nina, a happy-go-lucky nutritionist and beach babe from tropical Queensland, Australia whose love for whole, nourishing foods, a balanced lifestyle and toxin-free environmentally friendly living makes her a green beauty warrior in our eyes! You might know Nina from the website Nourish & Namaste or her gorgeous Instagram page @ninalovessummer (which is simply brimming with all the colours of the rainbow, insatiable fruits and vegies as well as loads of health and fitness inspiration).We are positively thrilled Nina has taken the time to have a chat with us about what goes on in her beautiful, sunny world – and know you’re going to love what she has to say. Read on, natural beauties!

1) Tell us a bit about your career + describe a day in the life of you!

I have recently completed a Bachelor of Medical Science specialising in Nutrition, so my career is  only just beginning! I have been involved in an Australian, State and Territory Government initiative  under the National partnership Agreement of Preventive Health over the last few years to promote healthy lifestyle behaviours for parents and children. I have just launched my own website www.nourishandnamaste.com with my business partner, and hot yoga instructor Natasha Willness to spread our love of nutrition and yoga. At the moment, I am finishing off the last of the recipes in our Super Simple Smoothie eBook and am in the early stages of starting nutritional consulting online to connect and provide support to people who are unable to access support for healthy eating.

2) What inspired you to start your beautiful Instagram page @ninalovesummer?

I was inspired to start my @ninalovesummer Instagram as a positive outlet for my own health journey and love of a healthy, happy lifestyle. My page is about positive vibes, natural living and healthy beauty and body care. I really wanted to life back to basics and focus on the small things in life, to appreciate simplicity.

3) Describe a day on your plate (what you eat, any particular ‘healthy food faves’ if any)?

I start everyday with water straight after I wake up with lemon or apple cider vinegar to kick start digestion for the day. For breakfast I have either a muesli mixture which I make myself (it is super easy – just puffed non-GMO corn and rice, oats, coconut, LSA and chia seeds, raw nuts and seeds) or a green smoothie made with fresh baby spinach, mango, banana, coconut water, kiwi fruit, spirulina and brown rice protein powder. Raw nuts and seed mix or a homemade energy ball is my morning tea and my favourite lunch at the moment is a big leafy green salad with roasted pumpkin or sweet potato, hummus, pumpkin seeds, avocado, fresh herbs, red onion and red or black rice with a squeeze of lemon juice. Fresh fruit is my afternoon pick me up and for dinner I go for a crispy Asian stir fry.. I also make sure I drink a minimum 2 litres of water every day.

Luk Lip Nourish

4) Why do you think toxin-free beauty is the way to go?

Toxin-free beauty is the way to go for your own health but also to support companies which are ethical in their practices. Going “toxin-free” can be daunting, especially when most women spend a lot of money on their favourite cosmetics that they love and have habitually used for a very long time. You don’t need to make the change overnight and if you cannot do it for the bigger picture than make the change for yourself and your (future) children. Our skin is designed to absorb what we put on it. The ingredients which are in the products you use on your hair and skin every day get absorbed into your body. Our bodies are overwhelmed with toxins from the environment. You cannot always control your environment but you can control the products which you use on your body in your own home. Chemicals in personal care products have been linked to numerous health problems in animal studies and are beginning to be correlated to cancers, infertility and birth defects in humans.

Not only do many of the products which you use daily are likely to contain parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, sodium laurel sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate, which are associated with negative health consequences, but the companies who produce these products support unsustainable practices, test on animals and are motivated by providing a low quality product with maximal profit. There is no winning for the consumer in this situation. By going toxin-free you are supporting companies which are doing the right thing in spending that hard yards researching and creating products which are free from harmful chemicals and you can also have peace of mind that you are not contributing to the toxic load on your body.

5) Who do you look to for inspiration?

Instagram is a huge inspiration for me, I use it as my own vision board to follow other people’s lives who are eating naturally and pursuing a lifestyle which is in harmony with their own dreams and environment. My mum has always inspired me to be a strong, independent woman and to strive to eat more ethically and to become more conscious of the impact we have on others.

6) What do you think makes a woman a natural beauty?

Natural beauty starts from the inside. A woman is a natural beauty if she spreads light, is loving, accepting and makes people feel happy and uplifted. Natural beauty comes from caring about the impact of your actions and pursuing your own purpose in life.

Life is a Beach

7) What is your mantra; which quote do you swear by when it comes to feeling happy and successful?

To me honest, my mantra is “life’s a beach”. The only thing constant in life is change, to me this quote keeps me grounded and makes me focus on what is important in life which is being happy, grateful and valuing the people in life that you love and for me it means connecting with nature, the sand and ocean which makes me feel alive.

8) What is one beauty product you never leave the house without?

My ABSOLUTE one beauty product that I cannot leave the house without is PapPaw ointment. It has been a household essential from a young age and I have a tube in every handbag, the car, bathroom and bedside drawer. It is made in Queensland from local paw paws which are fermented and preserved without the use of talc, shellac, palm oil, glycerin or sodium lauryl sulphate. I use it on my lips but it can also be used on minor burns and scalds, sunburn, gravel rash, cuts, minor open wounds, chafing insect bites, splinters and thorns. It has so many uses, I love it!

9) What are your tips for healthy, radiant skin?

Beautiful skin starts from the inside, a healthy diet free from processed foods, added sugar and synthetic ingredients is key. Drinking plenty of water helps to relieve lymphatic congestion which can contribute to skin problems. Eliminating toxic chemicals in your body care or household products helps and looking into some medications which can affect your skin. Smoothies and juices made from fresh fruit and vegetables provide enzymes and antioxidants which can improve the clarity of your skin and eliminating dairy products may also help. I feel as though my skin glows when I am tanned, so Eco Tan and a mineral bronzer are essentials for my skin to feel and look radiant.

10) Which products from our website do you think are the perfect tools for creating a stunning, glowing makeup canvas and why?

Luk Beautifood Lip Nourish and 100% Pure Dark Chocolate Mascara are the perfect for a glowing, natural look. Chai Shimmer Lip Nourish is my favourite, it has a golden nude tone and is made with clean foods. It is soft and silky to apply, leaving your lips feel moisturised and looking beautiful. 100% Pure Dark Chocolate Mascara smells absolutely amazing and is the best cruelty free mascara that I have tried. It is coloured with cacao and coffee pigments and is water and smudge resistant.

Got a question for the lovely Nina? Leave a comment x

Natural Beauty Q&A: Emmily Banks from Depths of Wellness

Introducing a very notable natural beauty, Emmily Banks, natural makeup artist, blogger and green beauty guru who headlines www.depthsofbeauty.com.au. With 8 years of experience servicing the beauty and fashion industry, Emmily truly lives and breathes a holistic lifestyle and is passionate about encouraging wellbeing-conscious beauty regimes and awareness around the sustainability of our Earth not to mention natural, organic, nourishing and eco friendly cosmetics that WORK. What a woman! It’s so refreshing to encounter an absolutely authentic soul and because we’re such huge fans of her work, we consider it a very big deal that Emmily has taken the time to participate in a little Q&A with us. Read on!

Describe a day in the life of you!

My days vary – a lot! As a freelancer, I often work from home in my studio/office on my website, testing, trialling and reviewing natural beauty products and keeping on top of emails to clients, brands and online stores. Makeup Artistry also takes me all over Sydney for editorial photo shoots and events, from studio’s in Alexandria to location shoots on the beach in Northern Beaches, to Sydney Olympic Park! My days also involve meetings with like-minded business and I often pop in to some of my favourite natural brands offices to say hello! I’m also working on launching my Youtube channel soon so I’ve been spending a decent amount of time filming ‘how to’s’ and reviews! Aside from work, I ALWAYS find time in my day for exercise and a swim in the ocean or bake on the beach (in summer)!

Describe a day on your plate (what you eat, any particular ‘healthy food faves’ if any)?

My morning ritual involves a run along the beach as soon as I rise, then I stop by my local organic store for a coconut or almond milk piccolo and a cold pressed green juice on my way home. I then, fairly religiously, have lunch at home – organic poached eggs, half an avo with garlic mushrooms and spinach.. yum! I usually pick on nuts, popcorn and dips (hummus, baba ghanoush, avo) in the afternoon, then dinner often consists of plenty of vege and occasionally fish and meat. I LOVE cooking anything from broth, green soups, curries, spinach pie with sweet potato chips, fish and vege.. the list goes on! I also drink allll dayyy longgg… tea’s, water, acv and coconut oil with a dash of turmeric in hot water (its SO delicious) and im totally obsessed with juices and kombucha. I’m lucky not to have a sweet tooth, lots of bitter flavours or salt for me please! I’m fortunately to naturally love healthy food – it’s just normal for me to eat well.

Why do you think toxin-free beauty is the way to go? Oh there are SO many reasons!

Your Body & Mind’s Health – Between 60-90% of the ingredients in products we put onto our skin are absorbed straight through our blood stream. Absorbing toxic ingredients leads to a multitude of health issues, from hormone disruption to skin irritations and even cancer, tumors and neurotoxicity.

The Planet’s Health – Our environment is so precious and we need to do the best we can to look after our ecosystem. Using natural beauty lessens the demand for production of toxic chemicals that harm our environment and end up in our sewers and landfills. Toxin-free brands usually have a higher regard for the planet and often use recyclable packaging, etc too.

Animal Welfare – Disturbingly, almost all mainstream brands still test of animals and also use their fur for brushes. It’s horrific how they are treated and we need to be aware that we vote with our dollar.. we need to stop voting for brands who are still testing on animals and start supporting brands who don’t!

Who do you look to for inspiration? Everyone and everything! I am inspired by anyone who is driven, passionate, kind and is making a difference in this world for the better. These people are my friends, family, colleagues and clients. I am also highly inspired by successful, thriving entrepreneurs in the health and wellness sector – game changers who are living by their own rules and making a positive impact in other people’s lives!

db
How did you fall into your role as a ‘natural’ makeup artist?

I started out as a mainstream makeup artist for several years before transitioning to all-natural and organic Beauty. I have always had a passion for health and wellness so it just made sense to start practicing with products I feel passionate about using and supporting. Plus there are so many beautiful natural, vegan, organic and cruelty free beauty and skincare products available these days! I am SO excited to be able to share my findings and encourage people to support healthier brands for their wellbeing. I guess the real turning point was when I was still a mainstream MUA and began receiving (toxic) beauty products to trial, review and promote. I just didn’t feel passionate or comfortable about doing it.. that’s when I knew I had to change direction and go all natural!

What do you think makes a woman a natural beauty?

First and foremost, a kind and happy spirit – I believe people radiate beauty with a big open heart! Secondly, a radiant, natural glow that comes from living and eating well; flawless skin, bright white teeth and clear eyes are all a sign of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

What is your mantra when it comes to feeling happy and successful? You can either think you can, or think you can’t… either way, you are right! I’ve always believed this and try to remember it’s all in my head, so I may as well think everything is awesome, right?

What is one beauty product you never leave the house without?

Lipstick/balm (usually tinted as I have quite pale lips and they’re often a bit dry)! It’s the one item I will always put in my beach bag, purse or pocket!

What are your tips for healthy, radiant skin? As mentioned above, it;s all about exercise to maintain healthy blood flow that gives you radiant skin as well as diet and lifestyle. Also, be sure to keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids – especially green juice and kombucha… they’re full of minerals and antioxidants that keep your skin glowing!

Which products from our range do you think are the perfect tools for glowing makeup?

Luk Lip Nourishes are really beautiful – creamy texture, nourishing ingredients and gorgeous packaging!

A SPECIAL OFFER FOR OUR NATURAL BEAUTIES

Emmily would like to offer Luk Beautifood Tribe a 30% discount for a one on one client consultation/make-over:

CONSULTATION & MAKEOVER – Original Value $160

– A professional Makeover using only Natural & Organic Products

– An introduction to a wide range of Natural Products plus the chance to test and trial colours and consistency

– Product recommendations for your skins needs and your preferred style of makeup

– Brush/Tools recommendations for you to create Pro Makeup looks at home

– Professional MUA Hot Tips, i.e application techniques & tricks of the trade

– Q&A on natural products, their ingredients and why its so important to use natural ingredients on your skin!

Duration – 2hrs total.

Location – Makeup Studio/ Office, Bondi, Sydney.

Mobile Option – Emmily can also come to you for a small travel fee.

Click here for more details (and don’t forget to mention you saw the promo here!).

Got a question for Emmily? Leave a comment below!

Nadia Felsch

Natural Beauty Interview with Nadia Felsch

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.

BUSINESS

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 “I 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.

eat well look good feel 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, “… 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.”

 

FOOD

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!

Nadia Felsch healthy eating

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.

BEAUTY

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.

LIFE

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 “stand 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!

Nadia Felsch Yoga

 

To connect with Nadia or to download your copy of ‘Eat Well, Look Good, Feel Great’ head to her NEW website, facebook or instagram.

 

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Sasha Hawley, Founder of Yoga By The Sea

Natural Beauty Interview with Sasha Hawley of Yoga by The Sea

From the Alps in Austria, tropical islands of Asia, concrete jungles of South America and now Bondi Beach, Sasha Hawley (founder of Yoga By The Sea) has taught yoga in some of the most incredible locations imaginable.

With fresh coconuts in hand and a view of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, I found out how Sasha’s decade long ‘round the world adventure’ brought her to establishing one of Sydney’s most loved yoga studios, plus some of her top tips for glowing skin, finding balance and of course, yoga. Almost a local celebrity, it’s easy to see why Hawley is loved and admired by all.

Business

Tell us about your journey in becoming Sydney’s most loved yogi, has this always been your dream?

No! I actually studied Arts/Lit/Psychology at University, got fired from most every job I had, before deciding I wanted to be pursue acting (my poor parents!).  Then I did a TAFE course in Advertising & Events, landing a ‘corporate’ job (which I loathed, although I learnt a lot).  Basically I figured out what I didn’t want to do, saved some money, and took off to work out what I did want to do.  I travelled for years, survived as a travel journo, waitress and model, and studied and taught yoga, tai chi and meditation.  Writing and travelling gave me the time to ponder the greater purpose of my experiences, create a lifestyle I enjoyed, and think about how I could sustain it.

How did Yoga by the Sea come about?

I had been teaching yoga in these beautiful outdoor environments for so long, and I didn’t want to go back inside a studio. When I returned to Sydney, I was walking along Bondi with a friend, saw this place [Icebergs], and thought how awesome would it be to do yoga here, not just for me and the locals, but the tourists as well!  It just sort of blossomed from there.

At first I had to finance the venture by working at other studios but when I eventually began ‘Yoga by the Sea’ it was with a handful of students, a few yoga mats and me.  Due to the benefits of fresh air and sunshine, the sea life cruising past and the iconic location, the business grew organically over 7 years, making the most of Sydney’s incredible outdoor environment.  Not to downplay the hard work, sweat and tears I’ve personally invested, eventually opening more studios and hiring staff to help me manage.

Intent is important too – it makes me feel good to make other people feel good, and I’ve built the business on generosity, rather than the cut-throat business tactics I’d witnessed in my corporate job.

What can we expect at a Yoga By The Sea class? 

People no longer have to sit in zero oxygen, claustrophobic, over-heated studios!  The oceanic scene and soundscape at Yoga by the Sea helps the practice become more of an ‘experience’ than just a yoga class. We get splashed by waves, whale-watch, and enjoy perks such as the Icebergs sauna and pools, herbal tea and fresh juice after classes (all-inclusive).

Our styles – Yang yoga is a power vinyasa (flow) for people who want to improve fitness, strength and stamina, as well as Yin yoga, a traditional hatha style which is more meditative, relaxing and ideal for beginners. There is a spiritual side to the practices  too- not in a religious way, more in a connection to oneself, using techniques to calm and balance the body, mind & soul.

Yoga By The Sea at Bondi Iecbergs

Yoga By The Sea in action at Bondi Icebergs

How do you keep a work/life balance?

I work to live, not live to work.  I make a little pie chart in my head, with time for family, friends, exercise, work etc and try  to spend a little time each every week, although it’s much easier to lead a balanced lifestyle when you can dictate your own working hours and don’t have kids. Like everyone, I get sick or depressed when I lose that balance, so I make an effort to practice what I preach and take time when I need to.

People need to slow down and stop distancing themselves from what makes them happy, from who they are without the constant activity.  Yoga and meditation encourages me to stop and sit, to just be, to feel, mindful and self-aware, instead of running in circles stressing myself out. There is a completely different way to live your life if you have the courage to step away from the rat race.

BEAUTY

What is your daily skincare or makeup routine?

Lipbalm and sunglasses are my daily makeup, and I don’t put anything on my skin unless it is 100% natural (even sunscreen).  Everyday I use a natural rosewater and chamomile spray on my face, a light moisturizer with essential oils, and occasionally  I do gorgeous papaya, coconut oil, Manuka honey and yoghurt  DIY facial.  My skin does well when it’s left alone too, without over-cleansing or scrubbing.  Eating well and yoga helps you get that natural glow from the inside-out.

What is your best-kept beauty secret?

Virgin coconut oil! Put it all over your hair for healthy, strong locks and your skin for an intense nourishing treatment and moisturiser. I also use it for oil pulling each morning, which whitens teeth and helps remove bacteria that causes illness and teeth decay. That and lot of sleep – I’m called Sasha The Crasher amongst my friends! I sleep 8 hours a night plus a siesta if I can get away with it. 

I’ve heard that there are a number of yoga poses you can do to get glowing skin, is this true?

Yes, this is true.  Inversions, including downward dog are fantastic for glowing, fresh skin.  Anything where you’re upside down and all the blood and oxygen is running up to your heart and face, flushing away trapped toxins.  This includes backbends and shoulder stands and if you don’t want to do something where you’re holding your body weight, just try a simple forward bend in the shower each morning, which also decompresses the spine.

Sasha Hawley Founder of Yoga By The Sea

FOOD

What foods should people ideally be eating pre and post yoga?

Before yoga you don’t want anything to bulky because it will give you reflux when you’re upside down, and you’ll feel uncomfortable when you do twists etc. Smoothies or juices are a great option pre yoga, my favourite is a smoothie with maca, chia, spirulina, spinach, three fruits, and sometimes frozen mango ice cubes on hot days. Post yoga you’re on a wellness kick, so I’d say a green salad and sushi hits the spot.

What is your philosophy when it comes to food and diet?

I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to food, although I avoid meat except for seafood.  During the yoga retreats I run, we eat the most exquisitely healthy foods – beautiful seafood, vegies and fruit dishes, encouraging no other meat, booze, dairy, or sugar for a week.  I try and stick to that for awhile after the retreat, but then I’ll come back to Sydney, go out with my friends, have a bottle of wine, pizza and indulge because I’m a real food lover and I can’t say no to dessert. I call it Gin and Yang, everything in moderation.

What is your day on plate?

My morning smoothie gets me through to lunch time, when I’ll have some sushi or a salad, rice crackers and hummus.  Then at around 3-4pm I hit the organic dark chocolate or nuts as a snack.  Aside from being delicious, dark chocolate is an anti-oxidant, helps control blood sugar, is good for your heart, and full of vitamins and minerals. Then for dinner my husband cooks, so I get what I’m given which is usually vegies and fish. I’m in charge of dessert!

LIFE

What is happiness to you right now?

For me right now, happiness is space, like personal space, whether it be travelling, writing or simply lying in the bath. I give out a lot of energy to my students and relationships, so it’s essential to recharge with self-nurturing.  Space and time for myself is essential to maintaining the balance I need to stay happy.

What has practising yoga taught you about happiness?

To simply be content living and breathing in the moment I’m in, with the people, place, solitude or lesson that moment brings.  Yoga helps me look on the bright side, to be true to myself, to dance to the beat of my own drum, and respect my boundaries on and off the mat.  I remember feeling depressed in my twenties, often anxious and a little lost.  That’s when I found yoga and meditation, read ‘The Art of Happiness’ by the Dalai Lama, and reassessed.  Happiness is simply a state of mind, depending on how we decide to process what happens to us.

What’s next for Yoga by the Sea?

We’re about to kickstart our Winter Warmer Workshops, open another studio in Manly, and promote Yoga Rocks the Park, a yoga event I’ll be teaching later this year in Centennial Park.  I’m always scouting for new yoga retreat locations, with Broome, Sri Lanka and Fiji possibilities for the future.

dividers R1-beautifood left yellow

Ready to get your own savasana on?  Yoga By The Sea, Yoga from the Sky, and Yoga Under the Sea runs at 5 different locations with over 20 classes running around Sydney each week.  For more information on their schedule, workshops and retreats, head to their website or check outYoga By The Sea’s Facebook for daily inspiration on all things yoga.

Bondi Icebergs - just one of the beautiful backdrops to Sasha's classes

Bondi Icebergs – just one of the beautiful backdrops to Sasha’s classes

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Natural Beauty Interview with Lola Berry

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!

Business
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.

Lola working her magic in the kitchen

Lola working her magic in the kitchen

Beauty
 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.

Lola getting in her daily green smoothie

Lola getting in her daily green smoothie

Food
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

Life
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.

Lola at the farmers market stocking up on her fresh produce for the week

Lola at the farmers market stocking up on her fresh produce for the week

Want to connect with Lola? Check her out on her website (which has heaps of awesome videos we might add!) instagram  or facebook.

Read other inspirational stories and awesome tips from our other delicious women here. 

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Natural Beauty Interview with Natural Makeup Artist Carla Jones

You may not have seen her face, but you’ve definitely seen her work. Meet Carla Jones, hair and makeup artist to the stars and one of Australia’s first natural makeup artists. Based in Sydney, Carla is a true pioneer in the rebirth of the beauty industry in Australia, all while juggling a new family and her own business. With the help of lük beautifood, Carla has given her makeup kit its  own makeover now beginning to use a range of the top natural and organic products on the market.

Between work and looking after her beautiful daughter Sienna, Carla can be found in the kitchen whipping up some delicious, sugar-free paleo goodies, doing yoga, meditating and researching the latest trends, styles and products the hair and beauty industry have to offer.

We love how Carla truly embodies the lük philosophy whilst maintaining her own unique style, so much so that she will be joining the lük beautifood team as our go-to natural makeup artist to help you effortlessly achieve a simple, beautiful, natural look ! So, let’s get started.

BUSINESS
Tell us about why you think the beauty industry is changing the way it is?

People are realising that cosmetics can be harmful. Just because they’re on department store shelves doesn’t really mean they’re good for us. It’s an increased awareness.

People have the Internet now at their fingertips, so are researching in depth about ingredients and the effects. Toxic ingredients such a parabens, mineral oils, artificial colours and fragrances are not only irritating people’s skin but are also harming the environment, this in turn, leads to them detoxing their makeup bag.

You have just begun using natural and organic make-up products (like lip nourish!) Tell us why you have made the change?

The biggest thing for me was when I had my first baby two years ago and I developed this heightened sense of awareness of what was going in and on to my baby’s body.

I remember looking at these natural and organic bath washes and creams etc and I thought well, I want the best for my daughter so why shouldn’t I have that for myself as well?

Tell us about your journey in becoming a top hair and makeup artist?

I left school in year ten and began doing a hairdressing apprenticeship, which I didn’t finish because I ended up falling in love with doing makeup.

Back then makeup artistry wasn’t’ considered a career so my parents were very against it but I stuck to my guns. Since then I have gone from washing Dame Edna’s wigs in London, to being one of MAC’s first makeup artists in Australia, to doing makeup for countless celebrities including Sarah Murdoch, Keith Urban, Megan Gale, Kerri-Anne Kennerly, Joel Maddon, Ricki Lake, Mel C (Sporty Spice) and Lily Tomlin (just to name a few!) I’ve also worked on a number of television shows such as Masterchef and The Biggest Loser.

It’s been nearly 18 years now that I’ve been doing makeup and throughout this whole journey I’ve just followed my nose and did what I love to do. I never really listened to my mum and dad or anyone else; I’ve just done it my way.

Carla working her magic!

Carla working her magic!

 What do you love about doing people’s make up?

As a kid I always loved magic and doing magic tricks and illusions and the word makeup in italian ‘trucco’ actually means tricks or magic and it’s the magic of makeup that I really love.

That lady sitting in my chair can be whoever she wants to be and I can take her there and make her look and feel amazing.  It can be as simple as if you’re feeling sick or flat, just put a little bronzer on and you can trick your mind into looking and feeling a bit better about yourself.

For others out there wanting to start their own business, what is your advice?

I love having my own business and being my own boss. I would say to anyone out there wanting to start their own business to just go for it! There’s no reason to be shy, just put yourself out there.

BEAUTY
Tell us your personal makeup kit and your day-to-day skincare/make up routine?

My makeup kit is very minimal and my makeup takes me about two minutes to do, because I’m finding that with age (I’m 35) that less is more plus time is so precious to me these days.

In my 20’s my makeup was very theatrical, almost Lady Gaga like but now I just use a really good foundation, mascara and cream blush [which is my favourite because I find a bit of cheek colour is always a kind of ‘wake up look’ no matter tired you are or if you’re feeling flat]

For my routine, in the morning I’ll wash my face with a simple cleanser, and then put some rosehip oil on and follow with an SPF sunscreen, this is really important to me. And then at night it’s the same but using a more intense hydrating cream.

Also, about once a week I use vegetable based enzyme exfoliator and a coconut oil based hair treatment.

Your little girl Sienna is now two years old, after working in the beauty industry your whole life, what do you hope to teach her about what it means to be beautiful?

From my background I’ve seen the “fakeness” in beauty and I want to teach her what you see in a magazine is not real. I want to show her that in real life you don’t need to look ‘magazine cover’ beautiful to feel beautiful and also just to be an independent young woman that thinks for herself and has her own style.

What is your best-kept beauty secret?

This is one from Sarah Murdoch for the best lashes ever! So, use a traditional lash curler first then put your mascara on as normal, then warm up your two pointer fingers by rubbing them together and put them up to your lashes and almost “blink” into your fingers so its like a little mini curling iron. You’ll get mascara all over your fingers but you’ll have the most amazing lashes and they’ll stay that way all day!

What are the top three tips you’d give to people when doing their own makeup?
  1. Blend your foundation past your neck; the “tide line” is not a good look!
  2.  Lighten up on the shimmer powders, too much makes you look like a Krispy Kreme donut
  3. A big trend right now is the white eyeliner to make your eyes look bigger, a little is great but don’t go overboard, tone it down.

That’s the same with most makeup, you will look your best if you tone it down and give an effortless look like “this is how I woke up!”

FOOD
How do you nourish your body from the inside to keep yourself looking your best on the outside?

Water is a big one for me; I notice such a difference in my skin when I drink water. I aim to drink about 1.5 litres per day.  The other big one for me was cutting out sugar. Since going  ‘added’ sugar free (I still eat fruit and natural sugars) and adding a lot more good fats to my diet, I look and feel so much better, plus I’m fuller for longer and my brain is a lot less foggy.

I think if you eat as close to nature as possible that’s the way to go. It takes preparation and organisation but wow, the pay off is worth it!

Describe your day on a plate for us?

Ok so I’ll give you a good day:

Breakfast: chia pudding made with chia seeds, coconut milk and maybe some bananas or berries. I always prepare my chia puddings the night before.

Snack: a handful of nuts

Lunch: some protein with a salad, and maybe a paleo cracker that I’ve made

Dinner: meat and vegies or a vegetable lasagne (using zucchini instead of pasta)

And sometimes a sugar free, paleo dessert from one of my favourite cookbooks!

What are your top three ‘cant’ live without’ ingredients when you cook?
  1. Lemon for my morning cup of hot water with lemon and for salad dressings
  2. Coconut oil (coconut oil spray has changed my life!)
  3. Quinoa because I don’t have gluten and it’s a great way to bulk up a meal
Can share with us one of your favourite recipes for a mum on the go? 

My paleo breakfast loaf is great to make in bulk so you can freeze it and then in the morning rush just put it in the toaster and lather it with almond butter!

PALEO BREAKFAST LOAF

What you need |

1 cup mixed organic dried fruit, chopped

1 cup mixed seeds (great combination is linseed and pepita/pumpkin)

1 cup almond milk, or any milk preference

1 cup pre-cooked quinoa (any colour), cooled

1 cup of gluten free flour (or coconut flour)

1 grated apple, with skin on

½ cup dried coconut (shredded or flaked)

½ cup nuts (walnuts or almonds), roughly chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

a sprinkle of nutmeg

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking powder

How to |

  • To cook quinoa, the ratio is 1 cup quinoa: 2 cups water.  Place them into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 15mins-20mins, or until you can see the white curly tails become visible.
  • Soak the seeds and fruit in the almond milk, 2 hours or longer
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees, or 150 degrees fan forced oven
  • Line a loaf tin with baking paper
  • Add the cooked quinoa and flour together in a food processor and pulse until combined.
  • Add all the other ingredients and mix.
  • Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and pop into the oven for 55 minutes – 1 hour
Carla's delicious paleo loaf for mums on the go!

Carla’s delicious paleo loaf for mums on the go!

LIFE
What is happiness to you?

Happiness is really like an inside job; you’re not going to get it by buying that new handbag, that’s just momentary happiness. Mediation has really helped me to realise that and to see happiness for what it really is – it’s not a thing, it’s internal.

 What is the best advice you have ever been given and how do you live it?

This is not really advice as such but I’ve always lived by fact that you should always go with your intuition; it will never let you down. I can’t speak of that enough, because your head is so different to your heart, listen to that little voice!

Again, doing mediation really helps with this as it makes that little voice louder and easier to understand. I find doing 20 minutes of meditation twice a day is also great for bringing out creativity and great ideas.

 What is your personal Monday morning mantra? What gets you out of bed?

This is an everyday mantra, not just for Mondays but it is to think about how can I get the most out of this day? How can I make this day special? If you wake up thinking, “oh crap its Monday again” and you look at your day like that, then it will be like that.

Before we finish up, for all those inspired ladies out there, can you give us some tips on where to start to detox your makeup bag?

Start by making simple swaps of the basics, I would recommend starting with your mascara. Try an all-natural mascara (like the famous 100% Pure black tea mascara) and notice how your eyes won’t get super irritated and your lashes will looks and feel a lot more nourished. It’s quite amazing. Or another goodie to start with is moisturiser. With winter here many ladies look for a more hydrating one. A great moisturiser I use is the Weleda Skin Food. So lovely and it’s also Victoria Beckham’s fav!

Watch this space for more tips on how you can detox your makeup bag, tricks to getting the perfect naked glow, beauty tutorials, demos and updates on the latest natural beauty trends, products and styles!

Follow Carla on instagram to see what looks she’s loving or check out Carla’s Website to book Carla for your next event!

Click here to read more of our inspiration interviews with delicious women xx

Carla and her gorgeous daughter Sienna

Carla and her gorgeous daughter Sienna

 

 

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Mother’s Day Special: Naural Beauty Interview with Patricia Alice Mitchell

This month we’ve interviewed a delicious woman by the name of Patricia Alice Mitchell. Name not familiar? That’s because Patricia is none other than Cindy Luken‘s mum.

This month is about appreciating the woman who gave life to you, so for our May She’s Delicious interview Cindy has sat down with her own mum to reminisce and reconnect. Now, you don’t have to sit down for a formal interview with your mum, but simply taking the time to ask about her childhood, interests, opinions, passions etc is a fantastic way to connect on a deeper level and make your mum feel loved. Often it is the everyday woman who is actually a superhero in disguise so what better time to let her know how much she is appreciated…and you never know, you might just learn something!

INTRO + BUSINESS
Mama- one of the things I love about you is your caring and selfless nature. You’re also incredibly strong – can you tell me about how your life has shaped this about you?

I hadn’t realised that I was perceived as strong. I’ve suffered a few heartbreaks in my life but from each of these I have tried to focus on the good parts of those relationships and how they have strengthened my character and given me joy – such as my two children, a love of my home and an interest in antiques. I have become a much more resourceful person.

Apart from being a schoolteacher, you are also the best mum in the world. What do you think makes a good mum?

What makes a good mum? An ability to play with & enjoy children whilst guiding them to be kind & confident. My happiest childhood memories are of activities with mum and dad – backyard cricket, tennis, table tennis in our lounge room, and picnics. Mum and dad were very loving to each other and that set a wonderful example to try to emulate.

You’re nearly 70 and still working! Tell us about your business and why you love it?

My late husband Paul introduced me to antiques and collectibles. We both loved the business that we set up and now after 20 years I’m still just as keen. Through it I’ve meet people, shared information and above all kept learning – even reluctantly becoming computer and social media literate.

Mum searching for antiques for her shop

Mum at an antique fair in Newcastle with her goodies

When you’re not exploring and hunting for new antiques, what do you do to relax?

Home for me is a special place where I read, garden, cook and fiddle. I’m a great fiddler with all the bits and pieces that I buy for my shop. I also take a great interest in current affairs and am addicted to the ABC and Q&A but at the same time enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

FOOD
What did you grow up eating and how has this changed over the years?

Growing up we lived on the land and had our own milk, eggs, fruit and vegies. Only basic essentials such as flour, sugar, cereal, white bread and meat were bought in. Our meals were very predictable. Mum’s shopping lists were almost identical from week to week. A lot of lamb, stew, & grills with 3 vegies. Always a desert – stewed fruits with homemade custard, junket or ice cream made from eggs and fresh cream.

At 17, when I met Cindy’s father, a German migrant, he introduced us to many different food experiences such as continental cheeses, cakes and small goods. I loved these new tastes and experiences and with his help, developed my cooking skills to encompass these things.

Tell me about your diet now, what do you eat to give yourself the energy you need to continue being so active?

Now I’m more health conscious, looking for healthy fats, reducing salt and eating very few refined foods. Fresh vegetables and fruit are the main part of my meals with small servings of meat or fish. My energy comes from eating regularly the freshest home cooked meals. I have almost become intolerant of takeaway foods – they affect my sleep and don’t sit well in my stomach any more.

Mum looking gorgeous in her garden

Mum looking gorgeous in one of the beautiful wild flower gardens she loves to visit

What is it about cooking that you love so much?

I love trying new recipes – particularly savoury and we seldom have the same meal twice. I cook at least 80% of our meals and really look forward to preparing my evening meal and enjoying a glass of wine.

What are your top three ingredients when you cook?
  1. Fresh fruit and vegies
  2. Herbs
  3. Spices
Can you share with us your favourite recipe?

This is my own creation and all of my grandchildren absolutely love it!

Chicken, tomato & fennel with pasta & parmesan cheese

What you need |

600g boneless organic chicken thighs

olive oil

1 onion sliced

2 cloves garlic chopped

½ red chilli [optional for adults}

I punnet fresh cherry tomatoes

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 tspn fennel seeds

1 tspn raw sugar

silver beet or English spinach

salt & pepper

to serve

pasta

parmesan cheese

chopped Italian parsley

How to |

  1. Fry onion, garlic, chilli, fennel seeds and cherry tomatoes in 1-2 tbsp olive oil in wok or lidded pan until almost caramelised then set-aside.
  2. Cut chicken thighs into small pieces.
  3. Brown in wok.
  4. Return the sauted ingredients to the pan with the chicken. Stir in tomatoes. Add ground black pepper and salt to taste. Cook for 30 mins.
  5. Top with chopped silver beet and cover and simmer until wilted. Stir in. (note if using silver beet you may want to add in at step 4 as it takes longer to cook than English spinach)
  6. Serve with your favourite cooked pasta. Top with parmesan cheese and chopped Italian parsley.
BEAUTY
What is your skin/beauty regime?

As a child we were a weekly bath family with cat washes on other days. With no hot water or electricity until I was 10 years old, that’s how it was done.

With the connection of electricity, showers became a daily pleasure and skin care became easier and more a priority. As a teenager I suffered terribly from acne with very oily skin. But in some ways the oily skin has been a benefit – I’ve had almost no wrinkles and lines  until recently! I have religiously cleaned my face each night since my teens – mostly just with warm water, then moisturised. It’s become a ritual that cleanses my soul and skin for sleeping well.

What is your best-kept beauty secret that has kept you looking so young?

Religiously cleansing my face, applying my lip nourish and doing Tai Chi with U3A to keep me supple and relaxed.

What is your favourite lip nourish?

Vanilla & cinnamon!

LIFE
So much of what you’ve taught me, I’ve passed on to my own children Karl and Ciara- what were the core values that you instilled in my brother and I growing up?
  • A love of nature and nurturing. Being considerate of those less fortunate.
  • Sharing of tasks around the home so that you appreciated what’s involved and didn’t take things for granted.
  • Setting boundaries so that you knew where you stood.

I hope that my children have benefitted each in their own way from seeing how I have coped with life’s misfortunes. I believe that I have become much more self-sufficient but with an ability to empathise with and be interested in other people.

My little ones Karl and Ciara

My little ones Karl and Ciara

What is the best advice you have ever been given and how do you live it each day?

Be interested in how things work, whether it be money matters or home maintenance. You never know when you’ll have to be responsible for it all yourself.

What is happiness to you?

Feeling healthy and fulfilled. I believe it’s up to me to make the most of life – to try new things, stretch my boundaries and keep myself well both physically and mentally.

Also having my grandchildren come to stay with me. I love to have them engage with me in my love of old things, my garden, books and games. Karl tells me he loves Nanny’s old things. That makes my heart sing.

What is next on the cards for you mum?

For my 70th birthday, I’m going treat to myself – I’m off to the Kimberley region on my own, to join a small group bus trip in this remote and precious area. I’m very excited.

Well there you have it! This is my gorgeous mum. I hope you have taken something from this interview, even if it’s just the desire to sit and down and have a chat with your own mum. It definitely made us both a little emotional and nostalgic but this was such a beautiful way to learn and connect with each other. Happy Mother’s Day natural beauties! xx

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PS. Head here to check out the rest of our She’s Delicious inspirational interviews

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Natural Beauty Interview with Dr. Libby Weaver of www.drlibby.com

Australasia’s leading nutritional biochemist, author and speaker Dr. Libby Weaver is empowering women all over the world to take control of their health. Whether it be through a TED Talk to thousands of people, a one-on-one consultation or through one of her five number one selling books, Dr. Libby is turning everything you thought you knew about health, weight loss and happiness on its head!

What we love move about Dr. Libby is her way of breaking down even the most complex concepts about health and the body in a way that anyone can understand and learn from. This, coupled with her natural ability to relate and empathise with all demographics (especially with all the mum’s out there!) makes Dr. Libby one of our favourite holistic health gurus.

BUSINESS 
You were at university for 14 years studying nutrition and dietetics, as well as completing a PHD in biochemistry- did you always know this is what you wanted to do?

No, I had no idea what I wanted to do as a child. I loved school and I loved learning but I had no idea what I was going to do when I grew up. I’ve always loved writing so for a while I thought maybe I’d be a journalist but when it came down to it, I knew all I really enjoyed writing about was food and nutrition.

The other part of it was more emotional – I’ve always wanted to help people answer the question: why do you do what you do when you know what you know?

Once I started studying nutrition at university I loved it right from day one and fell more in love with it as I went as I was just blown away at what an absolute miracle we are.

Why do you think you have established such a huge following? What is it about you that people love and relate to?

I feel like my message really resonates with people. I understand what it’s like to be busy, even though my job is my passion, I do run my own business so my life can be very busy. I can really empathise with people especially with women who juggle 1000 things in a day including being the main provider of food so I speak to them from a place of understanding and not from judgement.

I also feel that the message has been so well accepted because it’s holistic. I don’t say that if you eat x y z then everything will be ok because it won’t necessarily, but I get people to explore how they eat, drink, think, move, believe and perceive and it’s that whole big picture that gives me a complete approach to a person’s wellbeing.

 At Luk Beautifood we’re about enhancing a woman’s natural beauty from the inside out, tell us about your book ‘Beauty from the Inside Out’?

‘Beauty from the Inside Out’ is something I feel so passionately about.

I originally wrote the book so people could see that all the ‘beauty bits’ so hair skin eyes nails etc. all of those things rely 100% on the nutrients that are available to them. When you eat real food, you provide those ‘beauty bits’ with the nutrients they need to drive all of the biochemical reactions that create amazing skin hair and nails etc.

An even bigger point that I hope came out of my book is that too many people today live with the fight or flight response turned on all the time. This response produces adrenalin, which is the main hormone that tells your body that it’s in danger and therefore all the nutrient rich blood is diverted to your peripheries so the last thing your body is going to do when it think it’s in danger is send calcium to your fingernails to strengthen them!

When you’re constantly living in that flight or fight zone all the nutrients are diverted to ensuring survival and are therefore unavailable to the beauty bits. So for some people, bringing restorative practises into their lives can be game changing as it gets them out of that stress response so a really great new beauty ritual would be to do some restorative practises like restorative yoga or ti chi.

Have you got any tips for keeping a work/life balance?

I could not do what I do without my own personal restorative practices. I’ve done them now for 12 years. I have a morning ritual with some restorative practises that I do every day and I also eat amazingly well.

Those are my physical rituals but the other big thing is my attitude. I am really in touch with how privileged I am. I want others to realise that they themselves are very precious and to treat themselves accordingly because when you’re in touch with that, the way you nourish yourself with food and with thoughts will serve you to be the best you can be.

For others out there wanting to start their own business, what is your advice?

Be passionate about what you do and be prepared to put in massive hours. The beauty of owning your own business is getting to do what you love with some flexibility. But in saying that, when you work for yourself it’s even harder to maintain that work/life balance as you’re usually 20 times busier than you ever were before and you really do have to make sure you take care of yourself through the journey- that’s critical when you run your own business.

My husband taught me a way to break everything up into three horizons, which helps me to view the whole thing as a process. So my advice is to be patient so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Bang on.

BEAUTY
What is your daily skin/beauty routine?

When I have a shower in the morning I wash my face just with water and then use a toner and moisturiser. I also cleanse and tone at the end of the day.

Sometimes when I’m working from home for the day, I have a combination of oils that I press into my face which really nourishes my skin.

I only use organic or bio-dynamically grown skin care and mineral make up because your skin is a direct route to your blood supply, I mean we’ve only got to think about the way nicotine patches work to understand that.

The gorgeous, glowing Dr. Libby Weaver

The gorgeous, glowing Dr. Libby Weaver

What is your best-kept beauty secret?

It’s to realise that life is precious and that each person is a miracle and we need to treat ourselves accordingly because when you eat, drink, move, think, believe and perceive in a way that serves you, you’re in touch with how precious life is, so that’s the beauty secret.

How do you nourish your body from the inside to keep yourself looking gorgeous on the outside? Can you see the difference that eating organic, nourishing, whole-foods has on your hair, skin, nails etc.? 

 The whites in your eyes become whiter very quickly when you first make changes to the way you eat.

Next, the skin clears and the texture really improves. Because the skin rejuvenates itself every 28 days, so you take better care of yourself with how you eat, you tend to notice the difference within about a month.

It’s really important that people understand that your skin is an organ made of three layers, but the outside layer is dead.  The cells that form the outside layer are born at the bottom of the second layer and the best way to influence the way the outside looks like is to influence the environment in to which the skin cells are born. The health of your new skin cells is directly influenced by what nutrients are available to them so I want people to understand that if they are only looking after the outside, they’re just trying to repair dead skin cells, you’ve got to nourish from the inside out to see a difference.

FOOD
What is one of the biggest misconceptions about food and diet you want to clear up for people?

That there is one way of eating that fits everybody. That’s not true. People need to be in touch with what energises them personally as opposed to following a trend or labelling themselves like ‘paleo’ or ‘vegan’.

I’m all for people sticking to something that they feel really passionate about and that serves their physical health and the planet but I can’t bare it when someone says ‘oh I’m paleo’ just because its popular right now. Do what serves you and your body.

Can you share with us one of your favourite skin-loving recipes?

Pumpkin Seed Milk Shake- this is the perfect shake for anyone with skin problems. The nutrients in the banana, pumpkin seeds and avocado are highly beneficial for troubled complexions. Have a shake as a snack and give yourself a healthy dose of zinc in the process.

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seeds, raw and unsalted

1 medium banana, peeled, chopped and frozen

4 fresh dates, pitted and coarsely chopped

¼ large avocado, or ½ small avocado

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 to 4 cups filtered water

Method:

  1. Combine the pumpkin seeds with the frozen banana and chopped dates in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Pulse until fairly smooth.
  2. Add the avocado, vanilla extract and the pinch of salt.
  3. With the motor running, start adding the filtered water.  When the mixture achieves the consistency you desire, stop adding water and serve in a tall glass
Dr.Libby's skin loving pumpkin seed smoothie

Dr.Libby’s skin loving pumpkin seed smoothie

 Describe your day on a plate for us:

Then, if I’m on the road I will have my green powder mixed with water. At home, if I feel like a green smoothie I’ll make one up using lots of green vegies with udos oil [a plant based essential fatty acid] and almond butter because fat really nourishes and satisfies me. (I especially love organic butter!)

Other times I feel like eggs with avocado, spinach and mushrooms.

Lunch- I’m usually out and about or travelling more often than not so I usually grab something from a local organic café.

Dinner- I make something from one of my cookbooks ‘Real Food Chef’ or ‘Real Food Kitchen’ or if I’m out or on the road I always order a big bowl of steamed vegies and sometimes I’ll add other things to that.

What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your diet?

I don’t eat anything artificial; no preservatives, flavours or colours and nothing artificial but I do try to remain really flexible. If I’m at a friend’s house who has prepared a meal for us, I take the gratitude in that offering as opposed to freaking out about what’s gone into it. I call myself a flexitarian.

What are your top three ‘can’t’ live without’ ingredients when you cook and why?
  1. Avocado because it’s got 19 nutrients in it and it’s so satisfying.
  2. Parsley because it’s high in chlorophyll and it’s just so good for your blood.
  3. Lemon because I love how it stimulates digestion and I love the sourness of it.
LIFE
What is happiness to you?

Seeing the light go on in someone’s eyes when they get back in touch with how precious they are.

What is the best advice you have ever been given and how do you live it?

My Mother gave me the serenity prayer when I was 8 years old:

‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, have the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.’

This prayer brings me a lot of peace because there are things that I see in the world that I don’t like and if I can do something about it then I will but there are times when I can’t and fighting with that can be really destructive and exhausting so I feel like that prayer has really served me.

What’s next for you and your business?

We’ve just done the photo-shoot for our next lot of recipes! I don’t know when we’re going to release this one but all the photographs have just been finished so that was a really fun project. I also recently did a TEDx talk, which was dream come true for me.

Later in the year I’m going to take all my books to the Frankfurt Book Fair and start to distribute them internationally, which is really exciting! And I will also likely bring out a new book this year because that’s one of my passions I just don’t know what that’s going to be yet it.

For more info, insights and amazing recipes, visit Dr. Libby’s website , or make friends on Facebook and Instagram!
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