Ahead of The Ultimate Wellness Workshop taking place this Saturday April 8th in The Radisson Blu, Dublin City Centre, I’ve shared some of my own experiences, insights and tips on living a healthy, holistic lifestyle…
- What are the benefits of switching to a plant based diet?
Everybody is built differently and different types of eating plans obviously suit different people, but I find that a plant-based diet really works for me. Switching to a plant-based diet really boosted my energy, cleared up my acne-prone skin, improved my sleep, fitness and digestive health.
If you could share one important piece of information from studying holistic nutrition what would it be?
Keep it simple, listen to your body and eat fresh. So many people get caught up in obsessively counting macros and calories, or basing their diets too much on processed foods. I like to eat as little processed food and refined sugar as possible, and I don’t watch my food intake or count calories. I simply listen to my body. I only eat when I’m hungry and I stop before I’m too full.
- What are your tips for boosting fitness motivation?
Having a fitness buddy can really help as it keeps you more accountable. I like to think of exercise as being as normal a part of my everyday routine as brushing my teeth. I make it a part of my lifestyle and treat it as time out for myself. If you’re a beginner in the gym, don’t be afraid to ask a professional trainer questions as it’s so important to avoid getting injured.
- What’s your favourite recipe from one of your books?
I definitely have a soft spot for the Squidgy Banoffee Pie from Eat Yourself Fit! It’s the perfect taste and texture, and so easy to make.
- I’ve a sweet tooth, what is your top advice for skipping the chocolate bar and beating a sugar craving?
Overcoming sugar cravings is never easy and I used to be a total sugar addict back in my early twenties! I find the best way is to reduce it from your diet or eliminate it entirely. The latter works best for me, as if it’s been recently in my blood stream, I’m more likely to crave it. I reach for a sliced apple with cinnamon and a spoonful of nut butter when a craving crops up, and that tends to help.
- You’re a busy lady, how do you recharge and have a healthy work/life balance?
I used to push myself with work, study and travel for work until I got ill and was forced to take a break. But nowadays I take a much more balanced approach, and while I still find it difficult to switch off completely, I stay away from emails at weekends and try to get out of Dublin as much as possible. My husband and I love going down to Wexford for weekends with friends. There’s no wifi and we go for lovely walks on the local beach to chill out. I also treat the gym and Pilates classes as a way to switch off and declutter my mind.
- What is your view on the mind/body link?
For me, the link between body and mind is such an important aspect of wellness, and I’m fascinated by the research looking at the association between brain and gut. It makes total sense that a healthy body supports emotional and mental wellbeing.
- What are your thoughts on mindfulness and nurturing mental health?
I find it essential to take time out each day or as often as possible to destress. Managing stress and supporting a healthy mind is as much a part of a healthy lifestyle as diet and exercise. My advice is to find what relaxes your mind and helps you focus on the present, and do it regularly. It could be a few minutes of deep breathing, listening to music, taking a walk, a yoga class or meditating for 20 minutes.
- Healthy eating tips on a budget?
Hit up the discount supermarkets for some great bargains and fresh produce, and look out for two-for-one offers. I don’t find it that expensive to eat well, and I make sure my kitchen is stocked up with dried grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, which can all be bought in bulk for pretty reasonable prices.
What are your favourite foods for boosting skin and hair health?
Leafy greens, berries, nuts and seeds, quinoa, sweet potatoes, lentils, lots of water and sufficient sleep are some of my favourite was to build healthy skin and hair. I’ve never found a product that works as well for beauty than healthy, fresh food and a balanced lifestyle.
- What is your top natural beauty product and why?
I think coconut oil is brilliant for so many things, from cooking to beauty! I keep a jar in my bathroom to use it as a body lotion, hair mask and lip balm. If I’m stuck, I’ll even use it as a makeup remover.
- Words to live by?
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind, always.