In this week’s ‘Friends of The Happy Pear’ interview, we catch up with blogger, actress and TV presenter, Holly White. As well as being a fabulous fashionista, Holly is also passionate about plant-based living and natural beauty.
We were delighted to have Holly join us for a Swimrise recently, so we decided to pick her brains about all things health and wellness, as well as get her best advice for brides-to-be, having recently tied the knot herself. We know you will love this interview. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Holly!
So, Holly, tell us about your morning routine?
I try to start the day with a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar in a large pint of warm water. I have to use a straw to take this; otherwise my teeth feel really sensitive. I go to a class in my gym about three times a week. I’m not one of those people who can motivate themselves, I have to have a class and people to be accountable to, or I’ll just stay in bed.
Once I am back home, I make a big smoothie with some vegan protein after a workout, or else some porridge, which I top with berries, cinnamon and my vegan Nutella that makes the whole thing taste like chocolate!
What is your favourite meal of the day?
I love dinner the most. By the time I am cooking it, the working day is usually done and I can take my time. I’m not good at sitting still for lunch, especially if I am still in the middle of a to-do list. I spend hours watching cooking videos on YouTube and I have a whole shelf of cookbooks and apps. I love trying out recipes while listening to a podcast.
What is your daily exercise routine?
I have trained with personal trainer, John Belton, at No.17 Personal Training, especially in the lead up to my wedding. At the moment, I am focusing on classes and getting outside as much as possible. Sometimes, on Sundays, Andrew and I will go for a big walk, which I adore.
What made you decide to change to a vegan diet?
I changed to a vegan diet overnight, after watching the documentaries Cowspiracy and Forks Over Knives, nearly four years ago. Initially, I felt a massive surge of positive energy. I was so excited and it felt like a new world had opened up for me. However, after about six months, I was in a serious rut food-wise and not eating well. So I signed up for a raw food online course and it was game-changing. I wasn’t really aware of fermentation, probiotics or living foods before then but, over the course of the ten weeks, I could see a phenomenal difference in my energy as I started to integrate what I was learning into my lifestyle. By learning how to make my own raw chocolate, kombucha and kefir at home, I also saved so much money.
Being vegan is important to me. Personally, I feel it’s one small way I can make a difference in the world. Knowing that I am saving up to 100 lives every year by not eating animals, really helps during the times when I feel a little hopeless about things. It has also encouraged me to learn different recipes, seek out new places to go and, essentially, have a different, more positive, life experience. I also blog a lot about beauty and only feature cruelty-free products. Bringing awareness to those kind of companies is a great feeling.
What is your favourite meal to cook?
Dessert! I love a good raw cake. Most recently, I made a lemon and raspberry layer cake. I love the sharpness of the lemon and berries are so gorgeous right now. This cake is like a beautiful celebration of all that. Here is the recipe
Congratulations on recently getting married! Any tips for stressed-out brides?
To be honest, I would advise opening yourself up to any help that is offered. People do genuinely love having little jobs to do, and I think taking everything on yourself is a recipe for getting overwhelmed.
One thing I did write about on my website, was that we only planned a very short mini-break after the wedding. I think the stress leading up to the wedding, moving house, and also having too much to process, led to me having some quite bad anxiety. There is pressure to be the perfect bride and to have the perfect day, but we all need to be a bit more realistic. I recommend taking time, if possible, to relax after and process it all.
I also think you need to take the pressure off it just being one amazing day and have lots of mini celebrations along the way. Every time I went for a dress fitting, I tried to squeeze in a lunch with a friend or bridesmaid. I can look back now, over the whole eighteen months, and say I loved the year. I vlogged the week before my wedding, which included going to a Swimrise with The Happy Pear gang.
You can check it out on my YouTube channel here.
How do you take care of your mental health?
Mental health is now being openly discussed, which is a great thing. I have experienced panic attacks and anxiety. I can usually trace it back to a situation or period in time when I felt I had no control. Learning how to say no has been one of the hardest and most important things for me. I have a whole post on my experience, which you can check out on my website. http://www.holly.ie/holly-white-blog/anxiety
How much sleep do you get?
Since we got rid of our TV, we sleep so much better. I think having stuff on mindlessly in the background makes it really difficult to switch off. We both find we are naturally in bed by 11pm and I wake up at 6.45am, if I am going to the gym. At the weekends, I’m embarrassed to say how long I sleep-in if I am really tired and I have no alarm set!
Do you have any beauty tips for our readers?
Loads! Most importantly, look at things from the inside and the outside. What you eat will show in your skin and overall beauty. Hot water and lemon or vinegar first thing, is great for overall wellness. Daily dry skin brushing is the best and cheapest natural exfoliant. Mineral makeup is incredible and is genuinely good for your skin. Using shampoos that are sulphate-free will make your colour last longer and are better for the environment.
Is eating healthily important to you?
Absolutely. It’s a really exciting time for food right now and I think eating healthily gives you a feeling of control in your life. I avoid processed sugar because of the effect it has on the mind, and I avoid animal products because I don’t want to contribute to any suffering, where possible. How we eat, and how we shop, is our way of having a very powerful voice in the world and we should all use it as consciously as possible.
I have always been interested in healthy eating. Being honest, vanity, to a degree, was an initial motivation. I think we are all attracted to vibrant health and positive, beautiful food. My mum cooked at home a lot and I grew up chatting to her and catching up on our day while preparing food. I think I just naturally absorbed it as being part of my day-to-day life.
I associate nearly all of my happy memories with my family with us eating a meal together. In my own life, it took me a while to integrate it into my online content, as I didn’t think people would care about what I make or eat. Then I realised that the beauty of the internet is that things don’t have to be perfect and if you’re passionate about something it will come across. If people choose to follow you, that’s up to them, but you should just share what you love, regardless.
Now for our quick fire round of questions! Where we grill our guests on a variety of topics to get to know them a little more!..
Our Happy Pear Happy Hummus or Sweet Beet Hummus?
Who is your biggest inspiration?
What is your coffee order?
Almond milk latte.
If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be?
An Irish Strawberry.
Our Happy Pear Country Veg soup or Tomato Red Pepper and Basil Soup?
Tomato Red Pepper and Basil.
Do you have a nickname?
My friends call me Schmolly and my husband calls me Lover!
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
My family – my husband and my cats!
Where is your favourite place on earth?
We just moved into a new home. I hope we will have many happy years here!
What is your greatest fear?
The destruction of the planet, by us.
Our Happy Pear Tiffin Bar, Raw Energy Bar or Chia Mulberry Bar?
Raw Energy Bar.
What are you working on right now to better yourself?
The biggest and hardest thing is building confidence in my work and also getting structure in a creative, ever-changing world!
What are some words of wisdom that you follow?
Beauty comes from the soul.
Thanks again to Holly for being our interviewee this week! If you want to keep up with what Holly is up to, be sure to visit her website www.holly.ie or follow her on social media at @hollywhite.ie on Instagram and @HollyWhite_ie on Twitter.
And, if like Holly, you’re interested in rebooting your wellness through wholefoods and plant-based food, check out our 4-week Happy Heart health & wellness online course here!