WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

Interview

Marysia Muse Well Being Feature

Anytime, Around the World, Interview, Lifestyle, Travel, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

Last week - after months of planning and trying to firm up a suitable location for the shoot (and one that fit my sporadic and unpredictable schedule) - Marysia and I teamed up to curate a beautiful Marysia Muse feature centred around well being, and travelling well. Set in Sweden (somewhere I spend a lot of time visiting my boyfriend), we spent a day in Länna exploring the woodlands and bathing by the lake. Scroll down to read my interview, browse the images and watch my exclusive morning yoga video which you can do anytime, anywhere. It’s my go-to sequence when traveling. Enjoy!

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“Though I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Danielle, she embodies everything that we look for in our Muses. From her clean range of breakfast goods (Qnola), to her dedication to yoga (we share the same teacher, Tara Stiles!) she is an inspiration to everyone out there looking to find balance. Below she shares a video of her energizing morning routine, and here she shares a recipe for one of her favorite snacks. I hope you enjoy reading her interview as much as I did.

TO YOU, MARYSIA IS…

Flattering, functional fashion, complete with true character and authenticity. The designs are super unique but have an edge of effortlessness, meaning when you wear them you feel a million dollars without feeling over the top. Each piece is incredibly flattering, not to mention comfortable and practical for all kinds of activities (even yoga!).

WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION? HOW DO YOU STYLE IT FROM DAY TO NIGHT?

I adore the brown bikini and wear the top with a high waisted skirt or trousers, either alone or under a sheer top. I'm also obsessed with the coconut maillot and style it with a skirt or shorts to take me from beach to bar.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR VACATION IN SWEDEN - WHERE DID YOU STAY, WHAT ARE YOUR ROUTINES AND SPECIAL SPOTS THERE?

Sweden is super special to me as it's where my boyfriend is from and currently lives. It's become my second home. In the summertime, Sweden is idyllic. After long, harsh and often dark winters, the atmosphere is so positive when the sun finally comes out. The countryside and the lakes in Sweden are what I love most. I could spend hours relaxing by a lake and swimming in the clean open waters, drying off with a cooling walk through the enchanting and quiet woodlands. It’s so peaceful and being in nature like this soothes my soul. It's so simple. 

I stay in Uppsala, just north of Stockholm, with my boyfriend, close to his friends and family. When we're not bathing in the lakes, we go for fika (coffee and a cardamom bun), hang out with friends, go on long walks, take a roadtrip to a nearby town and go thrift store shopping. We take it easy. It's a different pace of life here and thats what I love about it. I can truly relax and go with the flow when I'm here.

WHAT IS YOUR DAILY YOGA ROUTINE? DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS?

I try to do yoga everyday, and if I can’t make it to a class at my local studio, I'll do it at home or in my local park. Whilst travelling, I always practice in my apartment or hotel, even better if there's a balcony or some outdoor space. 

I trained in Strala yoga a couple of years ago and this approach to yoga is my favourite. It is all about 'your' yoga; developing a practice that is personal and that works for you as an individual.

My daily routine is usually an energizing sequence inspired by my strala guide, Tara Stiles. If I go to a class, it will be an invigorating vinyasa flow, hatha, ashtanga or jivamukti - occasionally kundalini. In the evenings, I also like to practice yin or yoga nidra, a more calming sequence of slow and still postures. 

For those new to yoga, I always advise that it takes time to get used to it, and to come to love it. I love the quote 'the teacher comes when the student is ready'. Applied to yoga, I think you really have to be ready and willing to learn yoga and make it a part of your life, rather than just having an impatient attitude towards it. Many people find that yoga is too slow or not challenging enough, whilst others might be put off by a teacher who is not helpful for beginners or who is too spiritual. It took me a few months to really connect with yoga and understand it is more than just a workout but it is a lifestyle and a practice you can continuously learn from and apply throughout all areas of your life. My advice to beginnings is to find a teacher you truly connect to and who's classes you really enjoy. Don't do yoga if you are in search of an intense workout. Do you workout some other time and use yoga to build strength, focus, stamina and mental clarity. It will become a workout in itself as your practice develops. Stick with it. It takes time to build up initial strength and to gain flexibility, but it is possible for anyone and it is deeply healing mentally and physically, and can even help to improve posture and injury over time. It is magical; trust the process.

WE LOVE YOUR COMPANY, QNOLA. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? 

Qnola is a range of quinoa based breakfast goods free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugars. I started making a simple quinoa granola recipe for myself as a healthier alternative to shop-bought granolas, and as something quick and easy to take with me on shoots. It then developed into a worldwide brand, one department store and health food shop after another, as I noticed there was a high demand for the product in the UK. I really wanted to create a more honest and reliable breakfast option that was ready-to-eat to give people a more functional start to the day, and to provide more sustainable energy that didn't require too much time to prepare and add to morning stress. Looking back, I'm not sure how I created such a popular brand, but I think it is down to the product being built on pure passion, rather than just as a way to make a quick buck. Most of the time since starting the business has been like feeling around in the dark. I didn't have business expertise or any food experience, I simply learnt on the job and crossed every bridge whenever I got to it. In a way, it has been for the best, as I haven't always had time to worry or overthink things before they happen. It's been stressful but I've learnt so much and its been an incredible journey. One thing I've learnt and that I love to share with people is that if I can start a business on my own, at the age of 20, then anyone can.

Danielle was kind enough to share one of her healthy snack recipes right here

In Interview with Pam Pam London (ft. Arthur Apparel & Cara Guthrie Ceramics)

Interviewdanielle coppermanComment
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Tell us about what you’re making for us today? 
Mmmm, it's one of my favourite drinks to make all year round; a healthy take on the classic hot chocolate. Come rain or shine, I'll make either a hot or chilled version of this energising drink made with powerful, functional, all-natural ingredients. You can make it in several ways, the foundations being a plant-based milk, raw chocolate or raw cacao powder, a little coconut or olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a selection of superfood powders, herbs, spices or tonic herbs (such as maca, ashwagandha, he shou wu, beetroot powder or something more familiar like cinnamon or ginger). Today we had some shop bought vegan chocolate, so we simply melted it down with some coconut milk and added olive oil, he shou wu and a pinch of salt. You could also add tahini or a nut butter to thicken. Today we enjoyed our hot, but you could also pour over or blend with ice for a chilled version.  

Where did this recipe come from and what inspired it? 
I guess it's inspired by the traditional hot chocolate, but it’s also something I’ve been making for myself for years. When I started eating really healthy and changed a lot of areas of my diet, I was super happy to discover cacao powder and raw chocolate as an alternative to one of my favourite sweet treats. I think somewhere along the way whilst experimenting with tonics and drinks that I would pack with all kinds of powders and herbal ingredients, I discovered using cacao resulted in something that tasted just like the hot chocolate or chocolate milkshakes from my childhood. Cacao is incredibly energising and I often turn to it instead of coffee for a more balanced and nutrient dense caffeine hit. I just love how powerful it is, and so I tend to enjoy a cacao-based drink like this once a week. It’s so easy to make, so delicious and has so many health benefits, from enhanced energy levels and cleansed skin, to elevated moods and improved concentration.  

What are you reading right now? 
Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. It sounds super woo-woo, but it's basically written by an intuitive healer, and discusses all kinds of approaches to spirituality, exploring religions, ancient teachings and traditions from several cultures, and energy. It’s fascinating. I am super into energy work and healing and believe everything here on earth and beyond is made up of the same energy. We communicate on an energetic level and we give off and absorb energy from other people, nature, situations, feelings and thoughts. I'm currently learning about correlations between illness and energy, and how this manifests physically in the body; it's blowing my mind. 

‘Well Being’ is the title of your first book where you talk about connecting the mind, body and soul, through holistic practices, where did this idea come from? 
This was genuinely such a natural progression of my own life experiences, daily rituals and wellbeing routines. I was approached to write a book a few years ago based on recipes from my blog, but I had to put this on pause whilst I set up my business Qnola. During this time, I travelled a lot, wrote a lot, learnt a lot and studying and trained in alternative therapies, which too my focus away from jus food and really expanded my knowledge or the human body and mind, spirituality, energy and overall wellbeing is about much more than just a healthy diet and consistency fitness. I just really wanted to share everything I had learnt and all the things that worked for me. With my business in full swing, I wasn't regularly able to update my blog or event my Instagram and I also think both online and social media are so crowded with information and content. a book felt like a much more special project and I really wanted to create something people could keep for a long time and dip in and out of at different stages of their lives; something that wouldn't get read once or scanned, and then forgotten about. It is more of a manual to support readers to live more positively, openly, calmly and healthy, long-term. 

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What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? 
Lie in bed for a few moments and adjust to being awake. I think about my day ahead and my schedule and just take a moment to breathe and stretch before getting out of bed. If I'm in the habit of it (it comes and goes), I will meditate for 20 minutes, but if I'm out of the flow which happens quite often, I will down 1-2 glasses of water, tongue scrape and cleanse my face, make a hot drink (herbal tea or a tonic) and start getting ready for whatever the day holds. Usually I'll do a morning workout or yoga before settling down to work, going to the office or heading to meetings, castings or shoots.  

How do you like to wind down after a stressful day? 
It depends how stressful the day has been and how affected I feel. I tend to absorb stress and hold onto it which manifests physically in my chest, shoulders, neck and/or stomach. If I'm super stressed, ill do yoga or go to the gym or for a run and listen to my music really loud to block out any thoughts. Using exercise to relax has made such a difference to my life, as I no longer feel like its a chore to keep in shape physically, but also a necessity for mental clarity. Other times, I will make time to see a friend, or speak on FaceTime to my parents or my boyfriend who lives in Sweden. This is always so calming. The power of people and connection is so underrated. Support, understanding and input from another persons point of view always helps to calm me down, ground me and bring me back to a more rational, open and accepting frame of mind. Then, there's always watching a series or an old movie if I really just want to switch off from work and fully surrender. Works like a charm.  

Do you think you will write another book, and what will it be about? 
I would love to write another book, and I already have some ideas. I'd love to share more about the recipes and rituals of other cultures, as I think in the western world our idea of living well and feeling healthy is so short minded. I have also been working on a smaller booklet / zine called Well Being & Other Stories. Its sort of an extension of my website, covering recipes, rituals and interviews from inspiring people from all over the world. I would love to do a few more of those, and also continue to create content for my website.  

You’re entirely self-driven and self-taught from seeing first hand how a poor diet can affect your health. Is there anything you would like to learn more about? 
Ah, there is SO much. I am one of those people who has this weird kind of hunger for life. I love meeting new people and I am so interested in other peoples lives and how people live, and although I never really loved school , I love to be constantly learning; there’s a difference now though in that I am interested in so many things that I genuinely want to explore more, unlike at school when I didn't feel engaged with most of the topics I was more or less forced into studying. I recently trained in holistic massage, and this made me relay want to learn more about aromatherapy and other energy and massage work and alternative therapies. Reiki has always interested me but I'm not quite ready for that yet. I would also love to study herbalism. and I'd love to spend time doing short courses in the future too; I never even did a business course when I started my business, so there are some basic things I think it could be worth knowing! And I'd love to learn something more hands on and creative, like textiles and pattern making or sewing, and screen-printing. I come from a pretty creative family so there is a strong artistic DIY streak in me.  

Could you tell us about a favourite ancient recipe or practice that you’d swear by? 
I love qigong and do-in, some techniques i picked up whilst studying Shiatsu. They are really energising movements and stretches aimed to work the meridians of the body, to release tension and enhance energy and movement within the body.  

You first lived in Stoke Newington when you moved to London, and the Qnola offices are based in Haggerston. Where is your favourite place to visit in East London? 
I love East London, its got such a nice village-y vibe and as a small town girl growing up in the countryside outside Bath, i love anywhere with a small, local feel. It’s hard to choose a favourite place but i love the canal, and i love my local park Clissold. An ideal weekend would be spent browsing the stores along Stoke Newington Church Street, and chilling in the park with friends.  

We recently read in an interview that you love to travel, what is the best place you’ve been to? And what made it so special for you? 
I love to travel, and it seriously soothes the soul. One of my most memorable trips was a few years ago with my best friend. We spent some time in Cuba and then travelled around Central America. I was super stressed before going, and the entire trip was so eye opening and inspiring. One thing I love most about travelling is the people you meet along the way. we met people who lived with so little, but who were amongst the happiest and most content people I’ve ever met. That was really grounding. I love travelling too as it really brings people together. Unless you're staying the best hotels and eating at the best restaurants, its like people are almost equals. No one knows quite where they are or what they're going to discover. No one has many belongings with them. And everyone is exploring and discovering new things usually on a budget. It is just really like getting back to basics and being present and that’s why I’m so addicted to it. There is always so much to see and learn from other cultures and countries; the experiences are literally endless.  

As a business woman, what’s the best advice that you’ve received and what advice would you give? 
I have received so much good advice from fellow female entrepreneurs, and also from my friends and family. I think a support system is the most crucial thing when starting your own thing. You need supportive people who get what you're doing, give you advice and won't be pissed if you can't make time for them as much as usual, but who will always be there for you regardless when the going gets tough. My mum always says 'stay in your own day' which really helps to ground me and to stay present, especially when I’m comparing my business to much bigger businesses, for example. She also said quite early on, when I was super stressed, 'it's just granola. No ones gonna die if they don't get their granola'. It sounds brutal, but this kind of mild tough love was just what I needed. When you have your own business, you get so caught up in your own little hustle, that it seems like the be all and end all. Any little thing that goes wrong seems like the end of the world and its especially hard if you are the only person who can sort it. But, remembering that its really so small insignificant in the wide scheme of things is really important keeping grounded, keeping it real, and not letting things get to you too much.   

We read in an interview that you began packaging Qnola from your kitchen and sending them out via post, How has the expansion of your business developed in the production line? And the structure of your business as a whole. 
Yes, it’s true. I used to spend my evenings and weekends off work baking and packaging Qnola in my kitchen until the early hours. My flatmates and family thought i was crazy. From there, I moved into a commercial kitchen when I started selling to stockists, just for space and storage and also to meet specific regulations. I continued to make it here by hand alone for a year or so before hiring my first employee. Since then, we have expanded and outsourced production to a local factory; where everything is still made by hand in small batches. We have a really great relationship with our manufacturers too, and are always working to improve the products and come up with new recipes. The structure of the business is pretty stream lined now, finally. But it takes a while to get there. I think I definitely learnt the hard way, and in future if I were ever to start something new, I think I would be much more prepared, and would probably seek to work with a manufacturer from the get go. But I wouldn't change any part of the process. The struggles have made all the successes so much more meaningful!  

See the full feature here.

Humans of Rixo Campaign & Interview

Business Stories, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Modelling, Interviewdanielle coppermanComment
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This week I worked on an online campaign for Rixo with a few of my favourite fellow female founders, from Female Narratives. Female Narratives is a female-only creative agency run by my good friends Tijana Tamburic and Franzie Klein. Add myself and three others from the agency - Nina Chanh, Lucinda Worth and Stephanie Sian Smith - and you've got the faces of their latest Human's of Rixo campaign, dressed head to toe in their newest collection.

See the full feature and read the full article here.

In Interview with By Sarah

Interview, Business Storiesdanielle coppermanComment
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1. Tell us a little about Qnola and why you started it?
Qnola is a range of quinoa based breakfast goods free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugars. I started making Qnola for myself as a healthier alternative to shop-bought granolas, and as something quick and easy to take to shoots with me. It then developed into a worldwide brand, one department store and health food shop at a time, as I noticed there was a high demand for the product in the UK. I really wanted to create a more honest and reliable breakfast option that was ready-to-eat to give people a more functional start to the day, and to provide more sustainable energy and set the tone for the rest of the day.

2. What's one thing everyone should know about quinoa?
It’s high in protein, fibre and healthy fats (which have incredible benefits for skin, hair and nails), and it comes in many forms; the whole grain / seed, flakes, puffs, flour and even oil (quinoa seed oil is in some of my favourite moisturisers).

3. Why is making natural food choices important to you?
I was always addicted to junk food, sugary snacks and anything unhealthy, and moving away from home and pursuing my career as a model I became more aware of how food influenced the way I look and feel. I am incredibly inspired by natural ingredients and the power they have to transform skin, hair, nails, weight and body shape, and also internal processes. Making more natural food choices is important to me as I truly believe natures ingredients have the power to heal; I have far more energy, better brain function and concentration, clearer skin and feel more confident in my body when I eat natural, healthful foods.

4. What's your favourite recipe to make?
Oh, that’s a hard one as I’m always experimenting with new recipes! One of my favourites is sweetcorn fritters from my book, and if I have people over for dinner I love the sweet potato gratin. Snacks I always make in bulk and keep in the freezer are raw tamari and avocado brownies, which are one of the most popular recipes from my blog.

5. What is your skin care regime like and what do you look for when buying skin care?
I have always had a very simple, stripped back routine when it comes to skin care and make up. I cleanse and moisturise daily, use natural and essential oils, exfoliate a few times a week, have a face massage ritual I do some mornings when I have time, and always always remove my make up, not matter how tired I am. I always look for natural and essential oils in skincare products, and buy as much as possible without synthetics or artificial ingredients. I have combination skin but it gets dry in the winter, so I try to avoid water-based products and look for those with more nourishing components, like oils and natural butters.

6. As a model, is there one skin care hack you could share with our readers
A de-puffing tool like a jade roller or even teaspoons chilled in the fridge or freezer is something I’ve been doing since I can remember. Another hack would be natural, pure oils. I love using coconut, sweet almond or jojoba oil or shea butter on my face and body - as, I believe, nature intended.

7. What does 2018 have in store for you?
I’m holding my first retreat abroad later this year at The BodyHoliday, and am planning a lot of events in the UK too, alongside working on a lot of new content for my website. We are also making some huge changes at Qnola and I'm super excited to be embarking on a few new projects and evolving the brand to inspire even more people to Wake Up Well.

See the full feature here.

In Interview with Live The Process

Interviewdanielle coppermanComment

Inspire + Share A Moment With Danielle Copperman
October 27, 2016 by Live The Process

The sought-after model first delved into wellness when she arrived in London to work at 18 years old. As her schedule grew more packed, she began cooking for herself and observing the unrecognizable ingredients in a lot of processed foods.

That interest grew into a passion and, eventually, a business: Now, in addition to modeling for everyone from Chanel to Burberry, she is the founder of food, travel and lifestyle blog, Model Mange Tout, and the creator of quinoa-based breakfast brand, Qnola. Though she believes that eating naturally is essential, her philosophy is more holistic, including a well-rounded, balanced lifestyle approach.

Here, Copperman explains why taking a beat to slow down could help us all:

LTP: Did you have a relationship to wellness or health food as a young person?

Danielle Copperman: I grew up in the countryside just outside of Bath in England. As a young child, I was kept healthy by my parents, who valued home-cooked food and plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, they didn’t subscribe to anything as drastic as a gluten-free, dairy-free or sugar-free diet. As a teenager, I was unhealthy whenever I could be and lived off junk food and fast foods and sweets.

LTP: How did your modeling experience impact your relationship to food and health?

DC: I got scouted at The Clothes Show Live when I was 15. At first, I remained at home and studied in Bath, so wasn’t inspired to change my diet or health. I was at the age where I was still growing, so anything I ate was used quickly, rather than stored, I guess! When I moved to London to model full-time at 18, I began to cook for myself more and became really interested in the strange ingredients I realized were contained in so many of the foods I was buying.

LTP: What inspired you to launch Qnola and Model Mange Tout respectively and what do they each offer?

DC: I was inspired to launch Qnola after I made it for myself as a quick paleo breakfast option. (I used to follow quite a strict paleo diet.) I then posted about it on Instagram and my blog and people began to email me, asking if I would make it for them. So I did, and then I expanded into shops. Shortly thereafter, I set up my online shop. Qnola offers advice on how to wake up well and stresses the importance of mindful mornings; Model Mange Tout offers a variety of gluten-, grain-, dairy- and sugar-free recipes, as well as travel stories, advice, products I love and discussion around well-being, spirituality, business and other things.

LTP: Your philosophy revolves around seeking mental balance and peacefulness. What do you personally do to keep yourself in a good head space?

DC: I meditate using mantras, breathing exercises and other techniques. I occasionally journal or list things for which I am grateful. I acknowledge and appreciate the small victories and small occurrences. I count my blessings. I meet new people. I travel. I read a lot about yoga and meditation and Chinese medicine and ayurveda. I practice yoga every day, and I exercise, which also helps to switch off my mind from time to time.

LTP: What does happiness look like to you?

DC: To me, happiness is laughter, light, peace and community. It is bright and energetic, and it involves everyone in my life who is close to me and whom I love. For me, a happy future would include a comfortable house, a healthy family, my amazing community of friends and the opportunity to travel. I guess happiness is pretty simple really.

LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?

DC: To me, living the process means living each day and appreciating each step of the journey rather than always planning ahead, looking to what’s next or living in the future. In this fast-paced modern day life, we are caught up in constantly doing and thinking and planning. We forget to live each part of these processes in the present moment. In order to “Live The Process” more, I think we all need to slow down from time to time. We need to take 30 minutes each day to tune into ourselves and what’s going on in our lives in order to be grateful for the present moment, proud of how far we have come and excited, but not stressed, about the future.