WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

Interview

Well Being With Friends ~ Amy Ward of Bug Clothing

Business Stories, Inspiration, Interview, Lifestyle, Essentials, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Wellbeing, Well Being with Friendsdanielle coppermanComment
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Amy Ward is the mastermind behind sustainable clothing brand, Bug Clothing. She seeks the objective to create garments by hand that reflect the ideology that we should all buy less and admire quality and consideration over quantity. She uses only natural fibres as the foundation of each garment, and each piece will be uniquely different as they are made by hand on a very small scale. The materials used are designer factory deadstock which would otherwise go to waste, meaning they aren't contributing to the reproduction of new materials.

Here, I catch up with Amy on some of her favourite and recently discovered lifestyle tips for living well and behaving ethically and responsibly in a consumerist society.

Favourite or recently discovered Book:

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, and How Should A Person Be by Sheila Heti.

Favourite wellness tip or tips:

I feel like I spend every moment of my day rushing from something, to something, to finish something. So I have decided to make sure I take time to feel and rub each part of my body when I bath. Squeezing and massaging your calves just feels great. We spend so much time stood, walking and using our bodies and I've only just started paying attention to my body and feeling grateful for everything it allows me to do. 

Favourite or recently discovered Podcast:

I'm really bad and listen to the same thing, I just adore The Moth. I love listening to it when i'm on a bus or walking. I really love to listen to stories of people from all different walks of life with a whole different set of experiences and perspectives, it really opens your eyes. I also listen when i'm doing long days/nights in the studio and have spent many'a'hours crying and laughing out loud. I also have really enjoyed 'Violet Sessions' - listening to inspiring people speak about their experiences and businesses is really interesting.

Favourite or recently discovered App:

MyFlo! My lovely friend introduced me to it. It's amazing for Women to keep track of their cycles and to get tips on which foods to eat and what exercises to do to relieve annoying symptoms of our periods. I was going through a phase where I was feeling really rubbish when I was due and said to my friend that I just always wanted to cancel my plans and hide inside, and she just said 'why the hell aren't you just doing that?'. Knowing your schedule and knowing when you might not be feeling great, and not overwhelming yourself with plans and events and taking time to just lay in the bath or just making yourself a lovely dinner that will make you feel good, is very very important.

Favourite or recently discovered Song:

Music, aside from food and cats, is one of my favourite things and is soooo important. My favourite song today is Angel by Fra Lippo Lippi

Sustainable / handmade fashion - tell us more about your contribution and passion for this mission, and give us a few simple tips for effortless changes in this area that anyone can make today:

I read an article a long time ago about how the rate of depression and anxiety is much higher in ours and the previous generation, and how this could be heavily linked to the fact that people spend a lot of their lives at desks on computers, as opposed to doing something physical with an actual physical outcome. The satisfaction I feel when I finish a garment, or a pattern, is just great, and seeing your accomplishments in a physical form is really rewarding. In our Grandparents generation there were far more makers, people mended things, made their own things, they were much more pro-active and nowadays so much of our lives is computer based and I think that can lead to you feeling far less satisfied with your days outcome. 
In the past makers, whether it be seamstresses/builders/carpenters/shoe makers etc weren't especially wealthy or valued, but in recent years people with skills and the ability to make are becoming much more valued. The skill and intelligence it takes to put something together is a wonderful thing and should be rewarded with equal pay. 

I think some people assume it's easy to make something. It's easy to take a garment from a store that you like, take this to a factory and to get it copied and produced, which is what a lot of brands do. And you could say you are getting things made locally, but do they know the conditions in which the people are working, what their rate of pay is, the hours they are working? I make everything within my studio, and currently am able to do this because my demand isn't ridiculously high and because me and my employees have the ability to physically make everything. I think people should delve a little deeper with what they are supporting and buying into. It's very easy with things like Instagram to be enticed by an aesthetic or the look of a lifestyle. But far past 'not currently recyclable', what does it mean to be ethical, anyone can say it, and a lot of people do without really assessing what that means.

Favourite or recently discovered Film / series / documentary:

Greys Anatomy. I don't know why. It just feels good and I love it. There's something nostalgic about it, the soundtrack reminds me of being a teenager and it has the same warming feeling that I get from watching Frasier.

Something you've done recently that felt really, really good:

Me + my partner got a dog! He's called Seabass, and he's very good for my soul. We leave our phones at home and take him for an early morning walk before work. It really helps to set your day up and an excuse to spend time outside whatever the weather is. Also seeing such a lovely innocent little creature running around and having fun is just the best.

Wellness tip to try today:

Look up at the sky! It's lovely and wonderful + we forget to look up at it.

Favourite or recently discovered sustainable fashion brand:

Penny Sage. Kate, the designer, designs everything and gets everything made by one lady who lives locally to her in New Zealand.

Favourite pieces from that brand:

They make a good range of styles and the pieces i've gotten are really well made staples that go with a lot of things. Like a pair of really durable jeans and an a-line denim skirt which I adore. Also, the trousers. Mostly they're the same cut which is super flattering and lovely. They have a button-up fly and are high waisted and just hold everything in place perfectly.

Favourite or recently visited country / city:

I recently went to Pollina in Sicily which was very beautiful, and the local wines were incredible 

A story from your favourite or recent travels:

I really love a lot of places, but my fondest memory that comes to mind was cycling around Southern Turkey collecting fallen Pomegranates. It was the end of their season (October) and they were just rotting on the ground. We rented a scooter and visited the fruit and vegetable market and bought so many wonderful things to eat, and also a bunch of walnuts which I also added to the dye mix. We also visited the local fabric shop and got some lovely Turkish cotton to use, I did some tests and different consistencies which was fun. The initial colour is a lovely pink, as you would imagine, but after rinsing the actual outcome was a really beautiful bright cardamom-y yellow. It was a really therapeutic thing to do. Especially as when you're in London it's quite difficult to find time to do fun, experimental things, there are always a lot of other responsibilities.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness product or tool:

Natural soap + shampoo bars by Funkysoap. They are based in Leyton so very close to me, and don't use plastic containers just lovely natural bars wrapped in paper. I felt really bad looking at my plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner and how we don't refill them we just throw them, so decided to use bars instead. And I love them. 

Favourite piece of advice, quote or mantra:

Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object - Hermann Hesse.

Something you live by - a mantra or general morals:

Everything will be better in the morning. Because sleeping on things always seems to be great for perspective.

Favourite remedy for illness:

Rest! Lots of sleep, baths with salts + oils. I have also recently taken to making some of my own natural remedies instead of using regular medical ointments. I sometimes suffer with impetigo when I am run down, and instead of using my usual cream, I instead made a paste of Tumeric mixed with coconut oil, and a lot of hot compresses, it seemed to aleviate the rash very quickly. My next task is that I am going to make a potion with sage to help with ulcers.

Best remedy for sounder sleep:

Hmmm, it's a tricky one because I could quite literally fall asleep in the middle of a motorway. I think fresh air and walking is a really great way to make sure you sleep well.

Favourite form of exercise:

I really love to stretch. Yoga is my favourite and only form of exercise. And when i'm home at waiting for the kettle to boil I like to stretch my body.

Favourite or recently discovered place / person for ultimate chill time:

I went to a Womens' Hamam in Kreuzberg, Berlin in December. The weather was rubbish out and the spa was so lovely and the people so friendly. There was a steam room and the tiled room with the metal pans for pouring warm water over yourself, which when you sit and do it for 20 minutes is super relaxing. After I sat upstairs in a towel reading my book and drinking Turkish tea and it was magical.

Favourite healthy food / drink:

Drinking vinegars! My partner just made a reaaaally great Rhubarb Vinegar that we drink with sparkling water and feel like we're being fabulous.

How do you achieve that work / life balance?

Oh boyyyy. Something I am very much still learning. I think it's just important to not overwhelm yourself (I do this often) and to remind yourself how important it is to do nice things, to appreciate the little things, and to eat a bunch of yummy things everyday. 

How do you remain mindful and conscious whilst successfully growing a business with purpose / promoting a more meaningful lifestyle and consciousness:

I think it depends on how your business came about. I struggle to separate myself from my business because ultimately I am my whole brand. I have to somehow be a business Woman when really I am a maker, so I never started a business with the intention of making money. I just wanted to make nice things and if I could create jobs for lovely and talented people and make clothes that supported other local businesses with buying fabrics and trimmings, then just great. I want to make sure the people I work with are happy, that they're enjoying what we're doing and also at the end of the day it's just clothes. I've never been driven by money and so this makes it really simple for me to produce new styles + clothing. I go by what I think looks great and hope that other people like it too. I think it's good to be transparent and I am working on a series of transparency posts, I want people to know what goes into a product. It's easy to idolise the things you see on Instagram and people are good at creating a mood, this is all well and good but I think it's very important to be real and to be humble. I have previously worked with large high street brands who have the ability to sell dresses for something ridiculous like £8. How is it possible? It's possible because everything is wrong. How is it that something that is better travelled than me and a lot of us, that is made up of material, that's been designed, that's been pattern cut, sewn, packaged and put into a commercial building, being sold for so little? This sets the precedent for how people value what they buy. Why would they buy an item of clothing for £180 if they think the worth of a garment is less than £8? Having a value is very important, things take time to grow, things need to be nurtured and cherished and in our consumerist culture we are all taught that things are very throw-away. I feel very passionately about it. And I myself have been blind in the past, we are raised the way we are and I completely understand that we are not all privileged enough to have the option to consider what goes into everything that we eat and wear, but luckily I do feel like people are becoming more aware. Hopefully big supermarkets will stop using 'not currently recyclable' plastics (idiots), and people will care more about who made their clothes, and the environments in which they are made. And hopefully people will have far fewer belongings, but they'll have really special things. Sorry about my rampage.

Favourite thing to instantly reduce stress:

Go for a walk and listen to a podcast, most likely The Moth, to get a little perspective and be reminded of the kindness of others. Also, I love to read poetry in the bath, things by Rupi Kaur, Key Ballah and Nayyirah Waheed.

First thing you do every morning:

Ask my boyfriend to make me tea

Last thing you do every evening:

I'm not religious but I have a little ritual of asking (in my mind) god/someone/the sky/whoever, to keep all the good people safe and happy and healthy.

Weekend rituals:

I like to have Sundays off, and I like to have a bath in the morning, read some of my book, drink lots of coffee, lay still for as long as I can.

Well Being with Friends ~ Josefina A. Theo of Casa Raki

Interview, Natural Living, Rituals, Well Being with Friends, Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

In my latest Well Being With Friends conversation, I chat to Josefina A. Theo - founder beautiful sustainable swimwear brand Casa Raki. I picked up some new insights in the world of sustainable fashion and manufacturing, along with other stories and suggestions for daily life and balanced wellbeing. From recent reads and favourite wellness apps, to travel memoirs and mantras to live by, I hope you discover a selection of new things to try and to apply to your own lifestyle, to assist and support your journey of self-development and prosperity.

Favourite or recently discovered Book:

Tokyo Blues by Haruki Murakami (English version)

Top wellness tip(s):

Do yoga every day!

Favourite or recently discovered Podcast:

I'm pretty old-school and still haven't gotten my head around to podcasts, yet.

Favourite or recently discovered App:

Vivino for wine ratings and reviews.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness guru, personality or website:

I’m a recent Goop convert, and love their amazing wellness tips.

Favourite or recently discovered Song:

Contra la Pared by J Balvin / Sean Paul.

Favourite or recently adopted daily ritual or habit:

Swapping coffee for decaf coffee.

Sustainable / eco beauty - your favourite beauty rituals and ingredients or products for good skin?

Gazelli Skincare.It's amazing.

Favourite or recently discovered Film / series / documentary:

Quicksand on Netflix

Something you've done recently where you felt super present, content and grateful:

A picnic I had last weekend with my best friends at the top of Col de Vence, the most beautiful natural setting, with the best company and the best food and wine. I felt very grateful for life in that moment.

If we were to try just one thing for our wellbeing, what would be your one tip:

Yoga changed my life, I would honestly recommend practicing it regularly, It's not only great for the mind, but it's a game changer for the body as well.

Favourite or recently discovered sustainable fashion brand:

I would say my own as I'm the biggest fan of our mission, but If I had to pick another one it would be Patagonia. They've been championing sustainability for almost over 50 years and are way ahead of the curve. They should be an inspiration to all sustainable brands starting out today.

Favourite pieces from that brand:

Weirdly I would say their wetsuits, they are amazing quality and they last a lifetime. I grew up surfing in them Punta Del Este.

What are your core values when it comes to sustainability and sustainable business and fashion? What are the key practices within Casa Raki and why do you do what you do? How do you evolve the business ethically whilst keeping up with trends and larger more commercial brands?

As a business we try to be as sustainable as we possibly can. We always pick a sustainable option for our production if there is one available. It is challenging for a young business to do, as recycled materials, organic cottons, etc are usually more expensive than the ordinary options but the options are readily available and of equal if not better quality. I don’t just want aspects of the company to be sustainable, that is no longer enough. I want the whole company to be sustainable; from our fabrics, supply chains to the way we treat our workers while passing on a fair price and wonderful product to the end consumer. I decided against trends because I believe it encourages an unsustainable consumer behaviour, so we are going against the grain with reasonless, timeless styles that are not trend-driven.

Favourite or recently visited country or city:

My favourite country of all time is Brazil. I would highly recommend everyone to go and explore the north of the country, especially. There are some amazing natural hidden gems and I am constantly finding inspiration for the new collections there.

A story from your favourite or recent travels:

Swimming with sharks on our honeymoon! So scary but exhilarating!

Favourite or recently discovered wellness product or tool:

Jade Roller, a bit late to the party, but wow what a great gadget!?

Favourite piece of advice, quote or mantra:

Take it easy and don't be too hard on yourself! My mother keeps repeating this to me weekly.

Your favourite remedies for illness:

My sisters tip: raw garlic! It's incredibly healing.

Tips for better sleep:

Eye masks! I’m a recent convert.

Favourite or recently discovered place or person for ultimate chill:

The Rectory Hotel in England; a lovely place for a city escape.

Favourite or recently discovered healer:

Acupuncture is awesome, I recently discovered it and it has helped a lot with anxiety and stress for me.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness cafe, restaurant or store:

Milk Beach in Queens Park.

Favourite healthy food or drink:

My old time favourite, Acai.

Advice for that work / life balance:

Switch off as soon as you come home, leave your phone and computer in your bag.

Business advice for business owners, self employed or anyone keen to start their own business:

Never give up! There's a lot of obstacles on the way, but don't let them bring you down. And always have a solid business plan in place first. Unfortunately, good design is not always enough to keep a business stable.

Favourite thing for instantly reducing stress:

Take three. deep. breaths.

Spiritual practise:

Meditation.

First thing you do every morning:

Meditation.

Last thing you do every evening:

Read a book.

Weekend rituals:

Walking our dog in the park.

Complete this sentence. What works most for me is:

Doing a lot of Yoga weekly and enjoying being present. Spending as much time as I can with all my close friends and family who make me happy every day just by being there.

In Interview for International Womens Day ~ with Daisy London

Interview, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Wellbeingdanielle copperman2 Comments

Model, founder of Qnola and author of the Well Being book, is there nothing that Danielle Copperman can’t do? To kick start our inspiring women series, we caught up with the beautiful Danielle for a coffee to discuss how she juggles such a busy lifestyle and left ready to take on the world and with a slight girl crush.

How did your journey into health and nutrition first come about?

It all started when I first moved away from home and began modelling full time. It was quite new to me to be buying and cooking all of my own food, and not only did I need to keep from going hungry, I also needed to keep in shape for the job. At the time, there wasn’t as much available or any truly reliable advice around. I began eating salad without dressing on and granola multiple times a day, as I thought it was super healthy. I soon decided to research things myself and eventually started studying an A level in biology and then a diet and nutrition diploma in my spare time, alongside modelling. It was this research that lead me to discover the many lies that are fed to us from huge corporations. I started asking loads of questions and eventually, having tried paleo and other diets, decided the easiest way was to cut out any processed manufactured packaged products and eat whole ingredients in their intended form. This was where I first got into nutrition, and as a subsequent, after starting my business, Qnola, and experiencing severe stress and burnout, I got into yoga, mindfulness, meditation and other holistic rituals that make up my current wellbeing ethos and methods.

Tell us about your Qnola business and how the idea of it came about?

Qnola is my brand of quinoa granola products and other all-natural, vegan and gluten-free breakfast goods. I was inspired to create the brand when, after making it for myself, I began making it for my friends to take to them during fashion week, since we could never got truly healthy food backstage at shows. From there, the concept just spread by word of mouth. I began to get orders from other models, and then as Instagram became big and people began using it more, people would post photos of their Qnola and tag me in it. Eventually a cafe approached me to supply them, so I decided to really dedicate all my spare time to it. I did a lot of research, registered my kitchen with the health & safety authorities, trademarked the name, got my insurance and then began developing a full range of flavours and eventually packaging. It snowballed from there, and my second stockist was Selfridges Food Hall. Madness.

 We love your book! Why a book and did you love the writing process?

Thanks! Well, it all started with my blog. It received so much interest and press that I was approached by publishers to turn it into a book. After a few years of focussing on my Qnola business, it was the right time to focus on a book. In terms of the writing process, it was intense. I was writing all day and often cooking well into the night, testing things a few times and getting so frustrated when things went wrong. I put a lot of pressure on myself during the 6-8 months of writing and literally poured my heart into it.  You battle with self-doubt and worry for how the book will be received and what people might think. You over analyse every single word!

The book is about well being in the modern world, and contains natural recipes and ancient rituals intended to ease the side effects of modern life. It focuses particularly on recipes and rituals to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, poor digestion and lethargy, and increase positivity, calmness and relaxation, energy levels, focus, concentration and general wellbeing, both inside and out. The book contains over 200 recipes for food and natural beauty remedies, as well as over 50 rituals. Each section is broken down into familiar times of the day; Morntime, Daytime, In Between Time, Evening Time and Night time. From a nutritious breakfast as you run out of the door in the morning and a quick meditation practice to take a breather from a stressful day to a functional pick me up snack for long, lagging afternoons at work or even a restorative bedtime drink to help slow down a busy mind and encourage sounder sleep, it’s in there!

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration all over the place. In the past I took inspiration from traditional recipes that I loved and replaced some ingredients with more natural, healthful ones. More recently, I find inspiration in the places I travel, the people I meet, the experiences I have, art, film, music, books, all sorts. Having my own brand and business, I never really switch off and so I could be having dinner with friends or just watching a crappy series and somehow find something that sparks a lightbulb moment. I think the key is to be constantly open and aware, and present, and then these kinds of coincidences or messages present themselves anytime, anyplace.

You are one busy lady! Is it hard to balance work life balance?

So, so hard. I really need help! I am in a kind of transitional period right now, and so the idea of hiring and delegating intimidates me. It is so hard to balance work and life simply because work is my life, and my life is my work. My daily life is how I communicate a lot of my ideas, and whilst I am truly passionate about what I do, it is really hard to switch off.  I would say that yoga, reading, painting and also sewing have been great for helping me separate work from actual real-time life. It can be easy to always live in planning mode; preparing for new collections, next blog posts, new events etc so these kinds of activities help to divert my attention when I need to most.

What’s a typical day in the life of Danielle Copperman?

There really isn’t one, however I try to ensure I have some kind of structure to my morning and evening routines, especially when I’m at home in London. I try to exercise once, sometimes twice, everyday. These are my non negotiables and the times in the day I try to really keep consistent, no matter what else I’m doing or how much I’m running around! Generally though, I’ll wake about 8, do some form of exercise or just 10 minutes of yoga or meditation in my room. I check emails and get onto anything urgent first, then I’ll get ready to work from home, a cafe or friends house. I usually have a few meetings, either with my modelling agents, prospective stockists, advisors, brands or press for collaborations. Everyday is unpredictable and whilst it can make me short of breath with anxiety and stress, it keeps me on my toes and I love it! I get bored easily and could never do exactly the same thing day in day out. I feel incredibly grateful I get to, most of the time, do what I love and set my own schedule.

What are your favourite healthy eating spots in London?

I can usually find a healthy option in most places, but if I’m going out specifically for a health feast, I love Farm Girl, The Good Life Eatery, Redemption, Detox Kitchen, Wild Food Kitchen, Farmacy, Hemsley Hemsley Cafe, Malibu Kitchen at The Ned – there’s so much choice these days!

How do you like to relax?

I meditate, do yoga, go on a run, chill with my boyfriend and have sleepovers with my childhood friends (it warms the soul so much), watch a movie, go on an evening walk with a mug of herbal tea, have a bath…the list goes on. I also love to go home to Bath regularly where I grew up and where my parents still live in the countryside. It’s such a nice peaceful escape from the big city life. 

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What does jewellery mean to you and what’s your favourite Daisy jewellery piece?

Jewellery has always been a major part of my life. From growing up and wearing heirlooms from my grandma’s and great aunts, I always felt jewellery held this meaningful value. As a teenager, I used to scour antique shops, car boot sales, charity and vintage stores to find pendants. I had all sorts and loved how each one told a different story, coming from different eras. As I’ve grown up and defined my own style a little more, jewellery for me is like perfume or lip balm – I can’t leave the house without it. If i forget to put earrings in I feel bare. I personally prefer gold plated things, and these days keep things quite minimal. I love that stacking is in style, and so wear multiple necklaces at once and too many earrings (i’ve got now 9 ear piercings), daily. I wear quite plain outfits most of the time, so I love to let jewellery bring things to life. I’m a sucker for statement earrings and love textured details too, like the Estée Lalonde ring and bracelet I have. My favourite Daisy piece at the moment I think is the Aphrodite Gold Necklace. I love the femininity of it, and love it even more knowing it is a helping raise awareness and support for those affected with cervical cancer.

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Marysia Muse Well Being Feature

Anytime, 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.

Meet The Model Changing The Way We Eat ~ For Refinery 29

Commisions, Interview, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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We're all pretty familiar with the model slashie whether it's a model/DJ, model/actress or a model/artist but Danielle Copperman isn't your typical multi-tasking clothes horse. The Burberry and Chanel face, who is signed to IMG, launched her own food blog Model Mange Tout in 2014 which now receives over 50,000 hits a month and not long after cooked up a line of quinoa-based breakfast pots, Qnola, made from the gluten-free, protein-rich superfood, which is currently stocked in over 30 stores across the UK, including Whole Foods and Selfridges. 

When she's not busy rustling up delicious recipes for her blog, at castings and shoots, or liaising with potential new international stockists, Danielle even finds the time to cater for events and create bespoke, tailor-made blends of Qnola for any occasion. We asked the foodie and fashion face to share two of her favourite recipes for spring and tell us more about building her healthy-eating empire.

When you launched Qnola in 2014, did you anticipate it would grow so quickly and that the response would be so great?
Not at all! It started as something I was making for my own breakfast and I never even intended it to last that long in my morning regime, let alone people's all over the world! It took a while for me to realise Qnola was something I should make on a bigger scale in response to the lack of genuinely healthy products in the breakfast market, and even then, I never anticipated people other than those asking for it would ever buy it, or even hear about it. 

How would you like to see it continue to grow over the next few years?
I'd like to start exporting to other countries across Europe, and eventually in the USA and Australia as they are so on top of the health game and I think it would fit really well in these markets. I'm developing bars, breakfast drinking powders and some other exciting morning products, and want to grow Qnola into an all encompassing wellbeing brand, not just a single product range.

Although juice bars and healthier eating establishments have really boomed in the past few years do you think we have a long way to go educating the general public on how to eat well?
Certainly. And since there will always be varied views and opinions within the industry, I feel we will always be teaching and learning new things. I think people need to start tuning into their own bodies and connecting with the earth and things that come naturally from it, rather than following trends like juicing and raw food, which at the end of the day, although they claim not to be faddy, are quickly becoming that way - just in slightly more innocent forms.

As a young model did you think you could have/should have had more guidance on how to look after yourself?
Yes, absolutely. I moved away from home at the age of 18 and all I knew about healthy food was that vegetables and salads were pretty much your only options. That, and cutting down on cakes and junk food. However, I started wanting to feel healthier and keep in shape, and the lack of advice and guidance I received meant it took a lot of research, trial and error and eventually study. But I learnt a lot, and now that I know the basics, I'm on a mission to provide useful information, guides and snacks for other models my age.

What's your favourite, quick and easy weeknight dinner?
If I can be bothered to cook I'll have baked salmon, baked sweet potato wedges and boiled or sautéed broccoli and kale. If I have leftover quinoa in the fridge, I'll have that with some salad and vegetables, olive oil, mustard, lemon juice and nutritional yeast, and any cooked fish like mackerel or tuna. If I'm running low, I'll chuck together a broth with leftover vegetables from my fridge, or a raw salad with a tahini dressing. If I'm really busy, I regret to admit I'll just have a bowl of Qnola, sorry not sorry.

How do you balance running Model Mange Tout, Qnola and modelling? What have been your biggest challenges and achievements setting up your own business?
It's hard to run everything at once and the biggest struggle day to day is knowing where to start and what to focus on, and how to prioritise. Qnola is taking up most of my time these days, and I don't have as much time to write and keep Model Mange Tout up to date as much as I'd like to, but I'm always testing recipes in any spare time I have, so new content is always being created. It's just a matter of needing time to write it all up and post it. 

With modelling, I have castings, jobs or fittings every week, and I just run Qnola around this. If I have a job, I'll do any Qnola admin early in the morning, on the bus, in a taxi, on my lunch break, or after the shoot. I kind of like that I can't always plan things, because things develop more naturally and I'm less likely to get stressed out trying to do too many things at once!

Where are your favourite places to eat in London and why?
I love Kurobuta for their sweet potato fries and sashimi. I love The Shed for its authentic, traditional, home cooked vibes and incredible flavours. I love Good Life EateryJuice BabyThe Detox KitchenJuice TonicThe Juice Well and Redemption for healthy food. I love The Good EggNewington TablePrimeur and Jidori as they're close to where I live and have incredibly unique menus and atmospheres. Ahh, I love everything edible pretty much!

Follow Danielle on Instagram @dcopperman and her brand, Qnola @qnolauk.

Read on and discover exclusive recipes 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.