I love Mondays and today is a very special one because I had the chance to catch up with the amazing, beautiful Claire Walters. Claire is a talented jazz singer and health nut.
I met Claire earlier this year in NYC and instantly knew she was a special one. Claire’s positive outlook to life and amazing energy makes her a breath of fresh air.
Meet Claire -
Current Occupation? I am predominately a musician with a bachelor of music majoring in Jazz Voice from the Conservatorium of Music in QLD. I work full time during the day with a wonderful family run and owned company.
Where do you live? In sunny, humid and relaxed Brisbane, Australia.
Tell us a little bit about your beautiful self? I have a major crush on Anne Miller, Audrey Tatou and Jennifer Hawkins I love the colour purple, I LOVE owls and have ever since I was a teeny tiny tomato.
Music is one of my main passions in life! I live and breath it and it keeps me sane... even though my friends and family would think otherwise. I work with numerous musicians interstate and overseas in local clubs, bars and corporate events. I also front originals band "Boss Cats" which also has my brother and closest mates in it. It's all about the funk and always will be about the funk. I love getting to work with my Brother too. Honestly one of the greatest men I will ever know and love.
I also love food. Always have and always will! At any spare moment I get I will be experimenting and making a mess in the kitchen! My work buddies & partner love it though! They are my baked good / raw treat guinea pigs. So far none have curled over in pain... I hope to keep it that way. Unless you mess with me...
What turned you into a healthy foodie? I guess I have always had an interest in good food as mum use to give us gourmet lunches when we were kids. I didn't know another kid at school that had the dilemma of worrying about garlic breath when she went back to class to recite her ABC'S... garlic tahini, fresh tabouli and hommus will do that ;)
A recent medical gremlin also decided to attach themselves to me. I had / have a pretty nasty case of Syringomyelia. I delve a little deeper into the specifics on my blog but I'm just going to say right now that it was a huge kick, uppercut and haidouken to the face. When working full time and performing late nights I really am pushing my body to the limit and I am lucky that I can still sing let alone walk and live! Green smoothies and real food that doesn't live in a packet for years has been my saving grace. I have also dubbed myself a VEG'AQUARIAN... I don't eat meat but I certainly enjoy fresh seafood. There is an awesome quote that I've heard a few times floating around, 'We're over-eating but starving ourselves at the same time." It is so true! When eating fresh, live food your body won't crave nutrients / more food within the next few minutes but when eating highly processed road tar, within a few seconds of finishing... you want thirds! I'm not going to say that I am perfect with what I eat and drink! I love a wine and chocolate just like the next person however, I have had such a wonderful response to eating and treating my body well so why stop? Plus... have you noticed the Organic, Preservative free wines out there? *wink wink* Cheers!
What are your go-to meals and snacks when you are super busy?
1. I love a good protein smoothie! Almond Milk or coconut water with vanilla pea protein, pears, ground flaxseeds, cacao powder. I like to keep it simple!
2. A green smoothie is always a winner too! Coconut water, lemon, cucumber, celery, pears, chia seeds and a yummy greens powder.
3. Apple slices with fresh almond butter. Droooool.
4. Veggie sticks with hommus. Double Drooooool.
5. Macadamia nuts and activated almonds.
What are your top 5 tips to stay healthy and happy?
1. Fresh Water... and music
2. Social time with friends and family... and music
3. Regular Exercise... listening to music
4. Eating REAL FOOD regularly... listening to music
5. You time. Being completely on your own. No Phone. No one else home. Be it meditation, yoga, pilates, walking, jogging, painting, sitting on the floor looking up at the ceiling... listening to music.
What are your big dreams, goal and aspirations? That is a tough question. I guess whatever it is I choose to do or wherever it is I choose to go I really want the respect and love from my family and friends and to never stop learning. I never want to give up my involvement and love for music. That honestly will be with me until the day my organs go bye bye. Creativity is so important and music is certainly my main canvas.
Can you please share your favourite recipe? Holy moly! This too is another tough question! I love a good smoothie so why don't we start there :)
Cacao Hemp Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 pear or 1/2 banana
2 scoops of Lariese hemp protein powder
1 tbsp. cacao powder
1 tsp. bee pollen
A few drops of stevia if you like it sweeter
1 cup ice
Method: Blend in a high powered blender... I use a Vitamix and wouldn't use anything else.
Connect with Claire -
A perfect way to start the week by chatting to the beautiful DeePaola Picasso.
DeePaola is a talented, wonderful yoga teacher based in Chicago.
I met DeePaola in a yoga teacher training earlier this year in NYC. I was instantly drawn to her positive energy and contagious smile.
DeePaola has studied under some amazing teachers in the industry including Maty Ezraty, Vinnie Marino, Sara Ivanhoe, Jesse Schien, Sarah Bell, and David Romanelli.
Meet DeePaola -
Current occupation? Yoga instructor
Where do you live? Chicago, IL
Tell us a little bit about your beautiful self: I was born and raised in Chicago. I was always very much into the arts and into the theater. I moved to Santa Monica after high school, I lived there for about 9 years. In my early 20's I deiced to give yoga a try.
I was auditioning a lot and yoga helped me perform in a natural and organic way, yoga also help feel fearless in front of an audience. I moved back to Chicago and started teaching yoga full-time and I love my love.
This summer I trained under Maty Ezraty in New York.
I am currently planning on leading a yoga retreat with Ashlee Jane in Tulum, Mexico.
What turned you into a healthy foodie? My mom turned me into healthy food. When I was growing up she would cook everything from scratch and nothing was out of a package or canned.
What are your go-to meals and snacks when you are super busy? I usually pack my bag with an avocado, banana, coconut water, berries and trail mix if I have a long day.
What are your top 5 tips to stay healthy and happy?
1. I walk everywhere and practice yoga 4-6 days a week.
2. I make sure I sleep 8 hours every night.
3. I have a morning and night routine and try my best to be consistent.
4. I hang around positive and silly people.
5. Avoid stress no matter what!
What are your big dreams, goal and aspirations? Right now my goal and dream is to get my yoga retreat a reality. We are shooting for February 2015. I think it's going to be an amazing adventure and life changing. Of course, to be healthy, happy, inspired and to find true love.
Can you please share your favourite recipe?
Zucchini with corn and cilantro
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups cubed zucchini (about 1 pound)
1 cup whole-kernel corn
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and corn; cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender.
Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro and remaining ingredients.
Connect with DeePaola -
The skin is the last organ to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to shows signs of imbalance or deficiency. It receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body and is the largest organ in the body.
Skin that is clogged with toxins and dead cells cannot function properly because the toxins are not being eliminated. Since it is estimated that the skin eliminates over one pound of waste per day, we should at least show it some love!
For the last few months I have introduced body brushing into my morning routine and I am loving the benefits!
Benefits of dry body brushing:
- Increasing the circulation to the skin can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells.
- Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with ingrown hairs.
- It assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively.
If you want to try body brushing here are some tips to help:
- You will need a brush with soft natural bristles for dry brushing. Do not use synthetic bristles.
- Make sure that the dry brushing is done softly in the initial stages so that soreness is avoided. Application of a little more pressure can be done as your skin gets used to dry brushing.
- Your skin and brush should be dry. Shower after skin brushing to remove exfoliated skin.
- Do not do any dry brushing over cuts, wounds or rashes.
- Pass the brush once over your body.
- It is only when you are dry brushing your stomach that you are going to apply clockwise brushing movements.
- The entire process should only take one to two minutes.
- The brush strokes should move towards your heart. This improvement in blood circulation is why so many people feel extremely refreshed after an energetic session of dry brushing.
Great diagram for the directions best used for body brushing