Lilian has been a contributing chef for Bare Blends for over a year, and she is always inspiring us with her healthy recipes and creativity.
Not only a brilliant chef, Lilian is now a full time fitness/food blogger and model. She will also kick your ass in a Muay Thai fight. This vivacious lady is one to be reckoned with, and one we love to have on board.
Two sentence character description about yourself. Go…
Passionate and slightly nerdy with a need for freedom and a laugh. Can’t live without Muay Thai, yoga, travel and nature time.
Tell us about Real Food Healthy Body.
When I decided to clean up my diet and focus on my health and wellbeing a few years back, I turned to blogs for motivation and ideas. Eventually I decided to start my own blog, Real Food Healthy Body, to share my recipes and experiences in the hope that it might help someone else. It’s a place for people to hopefully get inspired to look after their body and mind and live a happy life.
What does your everyday routine look like?
I like to start my day with some stretches to wake up, a short meditation, then a big breakfast. Work varies from day to day, but it’s usually a mixture of meetings, modelling jobs, answering emails, writing blog posts and creating content and recipes for my blog. I do a lot of my work from home, but like to get out to a café for a change of scenery. Then I have Muay Thai training in the evenings, followed by dinner, more stretching or a bit of yin yoga and reading before bed!
You used to be a lawyer, and now you’re a full-time health and fitness blogger/model. How did the change feel? Do you ever miss the corporate life?
The legal work that I did was often pretty interesting but I’m so much happier outside of corporate life. I think I’m a creative person at heart, so I love having the space to work according to my own timeframe. It has allowed me to obtain a much better work/life balance and I feel so much more like myself now.
How has nutrition helped shape your life?
Figuring out which foods work for my body has been a long process of experimentation, but I feel like I’ve finally figured out what I need to feel energised and satisfied. I spent years struggling with a number of annoying food intolerances and stomach issues. Healing my gut from years of too much refined sugar and gluten made a huge difference. I don’t believe in strict diets (I’ve tried them and failed) – the key for me is to tune in to my body because it’s pretty good at telling me what I need.
Where did your love of food stem from?
For as long as I can remember, I loved cooking. As a primary school kid, I had this little yellow cookbook with a bunch of recipes rated from easy to difficult and I remember working my way through the book, cooking things every weekend. I think I enjoyed the creative aspect of bringing a bunch of raw ingredients together to make something delicious and pretty. I was also obsessed with Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef series and Nigella Lawson’s cooking shows. I learnt pretty much all of my cooking skills from watching their shows and reading their books.
We know who not to mess with after seeing your Muay Thai videos! How did you get into it and is it your favourite thing to do for exercise?
Haha I promise I’m a very gentle person! I got into Muay Thai after joining a fighter’s gym near my house to do the fitness classes. While I was there, I would watch the fighters training and thought it looked like fun. So I worked my way through the gradings and eventually started sparring and now fighting. I met my current trainer while I was there and he has trained me ever since. It’s definitely my favourite way to exercise because it’s strength, cardio, interval and skill training all rolled into one!
How important is it to eat organically?
I try to buy organic wherever possible. I don’t get too obsessive about it, but I think it’s great to avoid chemicals and pesticides and to support local organic farmers and producers. I’m lucky that I live near an amazing organic food store that offers really affordable prices.
What are some tips that anyone can take to keep up a healthy routine?
I think the key is to introduce small changes one at a time. Make one positive change, stick to it for a week or so and once you feel comfortable with it, add another positive change. That way you avoid feeling overwhelmed and like everything is too hard. Once you get into a healthy routine, I find that when you let it slide (which happens in life!) you start to feel the negative impact on your body and end up wanting to get back to being healthy because it just feels better.
What do you do for fun?
Trying new cafes, restaurants and fitness classes with family and friends are always on my list, and I love having a laugh. I try not to take myself or life too seriously. I also spend a lot of time reading books. I have a huge range of books on my Kindle and alternate between books on nutrition, psychology, philosophy, biographies and fantasy (Lord of the Rings is a favourite).
What is your idea of adventure?
Travel is my favourite type of adventure. I love experiencing new places (and food) and immersing myself in other languages and cultures.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A really good tiramisu or anything salted caramel.
What is your favourite recipe at the moment?
I think it’s still my Raw Maca Caramel Slice! I make it most weeks and it never lasts long!
Favourite Bare Blends product?
It’s so hard to choose! It’s probably a tie between the Vanilla Bean WPI because it’s so versatile in smoothies and dessert recipes and Bare Berries because it’s just so delicious and adds the best colour!
Real Food Healthy Body