I’m so glad I started Inspired Wednesdays. Perhaps it’s a pretty selfish reason to write a blog post series, but I just loving getting to chat to inspirational peeps each week and ask them a stack of juicy questions. I hope you’re getting just as much of a Hump Day high from reading them, as i am from asking them.
Today we’ve hit the inspirational jackpot, with one of my favourite ladybirds in the health and wellness industry. Not only is Lola Berry a self confessed nutrition “nerd” whose enthusiasm is infectious, but she is one of the most authentic souls I’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with (she also teaches a pretty epic yoga class if you ever get a chance to go along to one).
Lola’s fourth cookbook, aptly named The Happy Cookbook is in stores March 1st. It’s full of healthy recipes, loads of info about life, yoga, meditation, the importance of sleep and heaps of other fun health stuff! I, for one, cannot wait!
Tell us a little about how you came to be the inspirational nutrition “nerd” that you are today…
When I was 18 I was actually a DJ, make-up artist and fashion stylist and I lived a very colourful life, but It wasn’t healthy at all. I mean my favourite food was lamingtons and giant caramello koalas!
Then one day (classic story) I had a crush on a boy and I wanted to go on a little detox so I would look great in a bikini. The looking great in a bikini thing just ended up being an awesome side effect. I had better moods, my energy was much better, my skin was clear and I slept well. It was just like I was an all round better version of me.
I then really got into food and how it can impact how you feel. I started reading about super foods like blueberries and how parts of them can cross the blood brain barrier.
Then one day my mate pushed me into studying a proper nutritional medicine degree but I never thought that I’d be smart enough to get through all the sciency stuff. Anyway, long story short I dove into the deep end and I woke up one morning and it was like a penny had dropped. “I’ll be like the Steve Irwin of fruits and veggies”!
You’re a truly inspirational human being, but you have a unique approach when it comes to spreading your message compared to your nutritionist counterparts. Why do you think your approach resonates so well with people?
That’s a very kind thing to say. I think I’m pretty honest. I mean I stuff-up all the time in life, and I own it. I think being real about things makes people realise you’re not some nutritional saint, you have bad days too. I can still demolish a whole block of chocolate (sure, it’s the raw healthy stuff but it’s still chocolate)! I’m pretty open about personal stuff too. Being real, and not really worrying about what other people think is key. I know I’m going to be judged and I’m okay with that.
Now that we’ve heard your inspirational story, what kinds of things inspire you?
Anyone who has the heart and guts to be living their dream. It’s rare, but when you meet someone who’s taken the risk to live their true calling (we call it dharma in yoga) then you can just feel their energy, it’s pretty amazing. But I love passionate souls like Steve Irwin and Jamie Oliver. Dad is my hero, he’s always saying “come on girl, you’ve got this” or “keep kicking goals girl”.
My next book The Happy Cookbook is dedicated to my two heros; Dad and Steve Irwin!
With four books on the shelf it’s no secret that you’re a massive foodie, what gets you excited in the kitchen?
For me it’s about making nutritious food taste ace. Food is here to share with the souls you love most and to nourish you, so that’s what I think when I create a book.
What foodie mentors inspire your culinary creations?
I love having new experiences so travel is a big inspiration. Meeting Gennaro Contaldo, one of my food heroes in London, and him teaching me about simple ingredients was pretty unreal.
Mindful eating is a huge part of The Inspired Table’s wellness philosophies, as a nutritionist what role do you see mindfulness playing at the proverbial dining table?
A huge one! I mean it’s all about being present and truly grateful for the gift of food. I think mindfulness enhances this. I always say thankyou for the meal and if i want to take a photo of the meal, then that’s fine, but the phone goes away before I sit down to eat. This makes food really sacred to me.
If you could only pass on one piece of advice for optimal health and happiness, what would it be?
Eat real food, try new things, enjoy the journey and be okay with the stuff ups. I stuff up in the kitchen all the time, that’s half the fun!
Can you name three people that inspire you?
- My Dad has always worked hard for everything he’s achieved and he’s got one of the kindest hearts I know.
- Steve Irwin for his authentic passion for animal conservation.
- David Rastovich: he’s a free surfer and talks about doing what he loves without understanding it. He seems really free too, that’s inspiring.
What’s your favourite inspirational quote?
“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half heartedly because I know if I do I can expect half-hearted results.” – Michael Jordan