Healthy Hacks with Lola Berry
Lola Berry has a secret – the most nutritious and healthy food is also the tastiest! With a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Nutritional Medicine, Lola knows her stuff, and in celebration of Profile’s Health issue, this vivacious nutritionist, author and yoga teacher shares the secrets to leading a healthy lifestyle.
profile: When did you realise you wanted to pursue a career in health and nutrition?
lola: At the beginning I was totally unhealthy. I was a DJ, and my favourite food was lamingtons and Caramello Koalas (they’re still amazing and I still slip every now and then). But it was summertime and I wanted to feel good on the beach in a bikini.
I went on a summer detox and the weight loss was a side effect. I could sleep better, my moods were better, I was a nicer version of myself, my skin was clear, my eyes were clear.
I fell right into it and I started obsessing over superfoods, and my friend said I’ve got to start studying it, but I thought I wasn’t smart enough. I did it anyway and I got 31 per cent on my first chemistry exam, so I bombed it. But I think for me, it was more about it felt right in my heart when I did it and I loved it, so started filming little docos – that’s how I started, online.
profile: What was your childhood like, food-wise?
lola: Mum used to take me to school with spirulina balls, and dried apricots were treats, so I was brought up pretty healthy. With Mum being a nurse and Dad being a vet, they were pretty conscious of health in the household.
Mum said I was always the last kid at the party eating from the party table, so I’ve always been told I’m an eater, so it was a natural progression.
profile: What is a day in the life of Lola Berry like?
lola: No day is the same, but it normally involves yoga and a smoothie no matter what, generally – although today I missed yoga and I had eggs instead of a smoothie.
Sometimes I’ll have meetings during the day, but then I’ll make sure I’m hanging out with mates, like right now I’m about to surprise someone with a big bunch of flowers. I try and do little things; biophilia is my favourite word, that’s the healing power of Mother Nature, so I’m always trying to send some love in any way I can.
I have days when I’m super busy and on photo shoots, and I have days when I’m sitting at the laptop editing manuscripts, or in another state doing a talk, or in America doing a morning TV show – it changes all the time. I like it that way, nothing is the same.
profile: How has the landscape changed in terms of health and nutrition?
lola: It’s become cooler – it wasn’t cool when I started! I was that annoying health-nerd-hippy and now all of a sudden it’s cool to have a health blog, which I love.
profile: With so many mixed messages out there, how do we foster a healthy relationship with health and nutrition?
lola: You do that by loving yourself first and by putting yourself first. At the end of the day, what works for you, may not be what works for me. It’s about listening to your body and doing it for you and not for someone else.
profile: Do you have any advice for people who don’t know where to start?
lola: Pull processed, refined junk out of your diet and come back to real food – bring in whole ingredients the body knows what to do with. That is the first step and that switch alone is quite massive.
Pearls of wisdom
- In career and business, get used to rejection and get used to the word no and ignoring it. No one sees the knocks behind the scenes, you see the happy Lola and you see my highlight reel on Instagram. You don't see me in serious meetings getting angry about a situation, you see the good stuff. Be aware that behind the really awesome Insta pictures, you’re working really hard to make your dreams come true. It’s about being realistic and going, ‘I love what I do and I’m not going to stop at anything until I achieve it’.
- When you look after your health, you give a better version of yourself to everyone else. It doesn’t matter what your career and life goals are, if you look after your health, you’re set because you have a clear mind and you can give a better version of you to everyone else out there.
- Eat real food and drink water. The first sign of dehydration is hunger, so you're probably thirsty and not hungry. Upping the water is a big thing I would recommend.
- Enjoy food mindfully. How lucky are we that we’re healthy and wealthy enough to have access to all of this great food? Think less about counting calories or being aware of what carbohydrates and what proteins are in things, and more about enjoying food with people you love.
Favourite savoury food: Crispy salmon and mashed avocado.
Favourite sweet food: Hummingbird cake from my most recent book.
Favourite ingredient: I’ve been going nuts over blueberries lately, so I’ve been using them every single morning in my smoothies, but I’ll also use them in a savoury salad to give it lightness and sweetness, and it’s delicious. They’re so high in antioxidants as well.
Favourite yoga pose: Ustrasana/Camel pose – it’s a heart opener, it makes you feel happy.