GET INSPIRED BY... CALGARY AVANSINO

By Saphia Haddouche
PHOTO: CALGARY AVANSINO

Tell us about yourself and what makes you tick?

I’m “mommy” to three little ones who I adore more with each day; I’m “Cal” to my beloved friends and I’m “that lady Calgary who’s always talking about healthy living” to anyone else who is interested. And those are pretty much the three things that make me tick: my family, my friends and a career I am deeply passionate about. I’m also a contributing editor at British Vogue and the author of Keep It Real, which I’m very proud of too!

When did your wellness journey begin for you?

To be honest, aside from a handful of rebellious teenage years, I have always been pretty dedicated and passionate about real food. I am a firm believer that healthy doesn’t have to be hard and it should always be delicious; what we eat is a great gift we can give our bodies, our minds and our health. I was raised vegetarian by very health-conscious parents who worked hard to ensure I grew up eating a balanced and nutritious diet full of “real” foods. They taught me how powerful food is for us – both physically and emotionally – and I still believe that today (see kids do listen to their parents! ) I always try and listen to what my body needs though and I try not to put too much pressure on myself. I believe no one should ever count calories or skip meals. If you are eating whole, real nutritious foods you shouldn’t have to do any of that. Food should be a glorious, pleasurable part of life and not a source of deprivation or negativity.

There's so much talk in the wellness world around the word ‘balance’ at the moment; what does balance mean for you?

Balance isn’t just about food or exercise! I think we need to look at the idea of balance from many different angles in our lives. How balanced is our relationship with technology? How balanced is our relationship with work vs. me time? How balanced is our time with family? How balanced is our relationship with food? How balanced is our relationship with moving and sweating? The list can go on and on….

I like this definition of balance: “to put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall”, because we all know that when elements of our life feel out of balance we can’t stand tall and face our life with a smile and positivity – it just feels impossible. Look at all the elements in your day-to-day existence that you would like to re-centre (they are different for everyone) and then take baby steps towards a more balanced approach. NO ONE is perfect, even if their recent Instagram post might look that way. Our flaws, hardships and struggles are what make us better beings and we shouldn’t want to wipe those away. Nothing should be “all or nothing” – most days I think moderation is the key to happiness

What is one thing you do every morning to make you feel good?

I get up at least 30 minutes before the rest of my noisy household – I seem to get more done in that peaceful time than any other. I answer emails, get dressed, prep breakfast, pack snacks and generally organise myself. Then I have a glass of warm water with lemon followed by matcha tea and breakfast. I never leave the house on an empty stomach; that’s a recipe for disaster.

What exciting plans have you got coming up in 2017 that you can share with us?

A kick-ass new website launching in January, lots of public speaking and some exciting collaborations. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy and learn a little from them all.

What is your favourite smoothie?

My tropical green smoothie – it is bursting with flavour, really refreshing and always reminds me of summer. It also only requires a few ingredients, which you can edit and play around with depending on what is in your fridge.

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup frozen strawberries (or fresh if available)

1 cup spinach

1 cup frozen kale (or fresh if available)

2 lemons (or limes), peeled

1/2-1 cup pineapple, peeled

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1 tbsp flax seeds

approximately 2 cups fresh room-temperature water

What's your guilty pleasure?

Long baths by myself

What inspires you?

The same thing I tell my kids all the time - “Try to be a better person today than you were yesterday”.

What are 3 words that describe you best?

Determined, loving, grateful

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