LAUREN PARSONS ON MOTHERHOOD, WELLNESS AND NUTRITION
“I feel honoured and truly grateful for every opportunity to help others realise just how wonderful and worthwhile they are and just how much life has to offer them! My clients never cease to inspire and amaze me, which I love!” explains Wellington-based Lauren Parsons.
Lauren’s mission is to equip and inspire people to truly boost their health and happiness through a holistic approach.
100% Kiwi but having lived in France for a number of years, Lauren adds a French flair to nutrition and teaches how ‘to love the skin you’re in”.
Turning her own health around, Lauren recognised the benefits of integrative health for her entire family and became focused on improving the lives of others.
I caught up with Lauren to learn more about her new venture, motherhood and her approach to wellness.
What has motherhood taught you?
So much! Perhaps the best thing has been to be present. Rather than wishing to be at the next stage (once they can talk, once they can walk, once they’re out of nappies…) to simple be present with them in the moment. To make the most of now. To play and have lots of fun and laughter. My children have really taught me to appreciate the little things.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given about motherhood?
Before having my second daughter, a friend recommended to me the order of three priorities, get your toddler sorted, get yourself sorted then get your baby sorted. (i.e. before sitting down to feed.) That was a huge help and ensured I had a quiet activity on hand for my toddler and a snack and water for myself. I think above all mothers (and fathers) need to realise the importance of taking care of themselves. When we do this it equips and empowers us to give our best to our children. Rather than being selfish, it is actually essential.
Can you tell us more about your background and your inspirations what you do?
I went from being a painfully shy, un-sporty high school student and then a gluttonous exchange student in France to somehow getting into teaching aerobics which led onto my career in health and wellbeing. I reckon if I can go from completely lacking confidence in myself physically and not being able to control my eating to helping thousands of people transform their health and happiness then wow – you can do anything!
If you are reading this, know that you are amazing and as you take hold of that and take care of your own health everything in your world will get better and better. That is my key aspiration – to see people creating a positive ripple in their lives and the lives of those around them.
My clients constantly inspire and amaze me with their fortitude, honesty and dedication. I feel very blessed to have a job that I love and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
What is your personal attitude towards health and nutrition for your family and you?
Gosh – big question to answer. I guess in a nutshell it’s about eating real food, enjoying a wide variety of foods mindfully and making meal times special fun occasions. We have a salad entrée before dinner every night and get our kids involved in the garden and in enjoying food prep alongside us.
Movement wise I recommend we all ‘snack on exercise’ and have an active attitude that keeps us moving every day. Taking up an active hobby will ensure you stay healthy and well life-long.
To quote my daughter “get healthy, get happy and have lots of fun.” Fun, laughter and play are under-rated yet essential parts of life, as is slowing down, breathing well and just being. Kids can teach us a lot in these areas.
How do you juggle your work and children?
I have set work hours, 3 mornings when my 2 year old is with her porse carer (who is amazing), and 2 evenings a week. From school pick up time onwards I focus on family time until the kids are in bed. My husband and I keep one night a week clear of all appointments, work or social events and have a date night.
Any time management tips?
Yes – time management is so vital for me! I use lots of strategies that Robyn Pearce (The Time Queen) has taught me. At the end of each day I prioritise a ‘top 5 list’ for the next day and often estimate how much time each will take. If I want to be really efficient I’ll set a timer on my phone when I’m working through the task to keep myself on track.
I schedule everything onto a week planner which I keep on a clipboard (I find scheduling much more effective than just having a to-do list.) I chunk similar tasks together. I use a lot of technology shortcuts and keep my desk clear (most of the time). I constantly ask myself what is the most important thing to do right now. And as the song would say, sometimes I just have to ‘let it go…” and accept that there is only so much that can be done in a given day.
And in the kitchen my best time saving tip is to quadruple batch cook whenever you do cook, setting aside three extra dinners in your freezer. This way you easily create a ‘library of meals in your freezer’ and you only have to cook 2 nights a week! This is something I share as one part of my meal planning system in ‘real food less fuss’. Also having a vinaigrette in a jar makes whipping up a delicious salad super quick and easy.
What is your favourite part of your day?
Probably having dinner with my family and asking everyone what the highlight of their day was. We often guess what each other’s might have been, which I find is a great way to create connected family conversation and to replay the positives from the day. Other than that, work-wise my highlights are definitely when I hear of a clients ‘wins’ or get to speak to groups – this always makes my heart sing.
Your favourite recipe at the moment?
I have been making a lot of pumpkin dishes lately while they are in season. To avoid chopping I find it’s easiest to roast the pumpkin in large pieces, then scoop out the flesh to make golden pumpkin pancakes or pumpkin pie. I also have a ‘Risotto That Cooks Itself’ recipe which cooks by absorption with stock, pumpkin, herbs and a good dose of parmesan cheese and black pepper. It is super simple and delicious every time.