She’s a nutritionist and qualified yoga teacher with 10 bestselling cookbooks to her name - so when it comes to health and wellness, Lola Berry knows her sh*t.
To celebrate the release of her newest project The Yoga Body, we sat down with the 32-year-old to chat all things healthy habits, her obsession with crystals and the importance of self-love.
You’re a nutritionist by trade and a self-confessed health nerd, if you had one food philosophy, what would it be?
It’s actually less about the food now and more about like loving who you are, and valuing yourself, cause if at the end of the day you’re not confident, you don’t like who you are, it’s actually really hard to stay on track with your health. So, do it for you.
What does your day on a plate look like?
It changes every day but I own a smoothie bar in Melbourne so generally, I would start the day with one after yoga. We sell this thing called ‘black detox’, it’s an activated charcoal drink. I LOVE it! You can put it with avocado, pineapple, or coconut water and ginger… Sounds like a weird combo, but it works a treat. Then, if I want a snack I’ll have activated nuts (yes, I’m a nerd like that) or mid-morning I’ll often have a raw treat, like a raw snickers slice or cookie dough ball. For lunch, I get this buckwheat bread and put oodles of avocado on it and I make a kale and like hemp oil pesto – delish! Dins is generally salmon and avocado. I like to get my protein in, and then for dessert, I’m a sweet tooth: I’ll always go for lots of berries and Pumpy Jackson’s (my favourite raw healthy chocolate.)
What’s your go-to healthy dish for winter?
I have a weird love-obsession with Brussel sprouts. I’ve got this trick with them: I boil them for 10 minutes, then I put them in a baking tray and use the back of an olive oil container to smash them. Then I sprinkle over garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil and roast them for 8-10 minutes until they go crispy. Then I just have that with avocado and a few boiled eggs. So good.
You’ve mentioned previously that you’re a huge fan of mindful eating, why do you think it’s so important?
Mindful eating is really just more about being aware and present in the moment, so you’re noticing who you’re consuming the meal with (is it someone you love? Is it your partner? Is it a family member?) You’re also noticing the flavours and the textures. It’s about soaking up every kind of moment of that meal and the idea is that it stops you overeating. It’s also more nutritious because you’re not eating on autopilot, so you’re absorbing the nutrient content of the food.
You’ve been so busy recently launching your new book The Yoga Body, can you tell us a little bit about your personal yoga journey?
I’ve been doing yogs for 10 years now. I started with Bikram and it was great and I got the yoga abs, all that stuff. And then you kinda start realising that yoga gives you so much more than the yoga body. It’s more emotional and it gives you mental clarity - you actually feel like you’re giving a better version of you to everyone. So, I guess my yoga journey has become definitely more of a spiritual gift that I give myself. But now I just practice yoga because I love it, and it feels right in my heart.
You’re always on the go – you share your time between Melbourne and Sydney - how do you sustain your health habits?
I absolutely stuff up all the time - there’ll be days where I’ll be like “well, that was a write-off!” A couple of weeks ago I was really tired and if I’m honest a little bit hungover, and I had a giant Caramello Koala at the petrol station - no regrets! 80 per cent of the time I eat really good food and I care about the way that I nourish myself and then 20 per cent of the time I totally fall off the wagon or I’ll always get dessert, or I’ll have a few vinos at dinner. I I think it’s just about finding the balance that works for you.
Is that 80/20 rule something you stick by?
I hadn’t until I found that I can maintain the body that I like and the health that I like and still go on fun dates or be able to travel. Six months ago I was in Mauritius and it’s a place that’s heavily influenced by French food. I had the best blueberry tart I’ve ever had in my entire life and I still think about it - to me, that’s also mindful eating because I shared it with someone I love, I met the chef that made it, and it was a whole experience - so there are no rules. Make it work for you.
What do you do in your downtime to take the pressure off?
Yoga is a biggie for me, I’ll often do yin yoga as well. I love going to the movies - before I studied nutrition I studied a bachelor of performing arts and drama (I thought I’d be the next Cate Blanchette!) So watching movies or Netflix for me is the ultimate chill time. ‘Byophelia’ is my favourite word, it means the healing power of nature – so I also like getting out into nature and reconnecting that way.
You’re totally obsessed with healing crystals – what is it about them and how do you incorporate them into your daily life?
I’ve done a couple of crystal healing training workshops and I’ve done my Reiki level 1 as well. The way that I believe in using crystals is to use them intuitively. So, if you walk into a crystal shop and you’re like ‘yo I feel like I need that,’ and it looks like a black piece of lava but it’s black obsidian and it’s great for protection on travel, grab it. There are no rules when it comes to crystals - it’s a bit like food in that way, just go for what feels right for you.
Do you have a personal favourite?
My favourite is labradorite and that’s the one for manifesting dreams. I normally have it in my bag but I kept it under my pillow today, it looks like a rock when you first look at it and then you pick it up and it’s got all these mother-of-pearl kind of colours through it. It’s a little bit tricky to find though. Peacock gold is another good one for new beginnings and positivity. I remember in the last year I went through a really crappy breakup and I was just carrying peacock around and rhodonite (which is a strong heart strengthener) and I felt great after. I’ll also have like different ones on me at different times, like for a date I’ll have certain crystals, if I’m going to a business meeting I’ll always have pyrite.