Feel Your Best During The Holidays: With Coco Tiekle
t'is the season for self-care
The holiday season is full of hustle, bustle, events, and sweets! Fun, right? All is fun and cheerful until it starts to take a tole on your overall health. So, to help you feel your best during the holiday season, I've interviewed London based wellness blogger and self-care advocate, Coco Tiekle to share her holiday traditions and best self-care tips!
Q: Coco, please share a little bit about yourself!
A: Hey! I'm Coco, an Aussie Brit yoga teacher, DJ, blogger and self-care advocate based in London. 3 years ago, I was working in media in an office in Sydney hating life until I lost my Dad to suicide a few months later. That was a game-changer for me and after an incredibly tough year stuck in the depths of grief and asking a lot of questions that would never be answered, I decided I needed to make some serious changes. They didn't happen overnight and I stumbled a lot along the way, but I can now honestly say that I'm living a life of my choosing! I do some super random stuff, but it's all about following my gut and tuning in to where that takes me. Sometimes it's the direct opposite of what I'm doing and means that I ruffle a few feathers, but I've learnt to trust in that....and know that it will eventually lead me to the right place. At this stage, I think I'm pretty much there! I'm very lucky that saying yes to many opportunities, (even when I was shit scared!) has led to become a speaker and ambassador at wellness festivals such as Wanderlust and work with brands on my blog that I adore!
Q: What are your favourite holiday traditions?
A: My husbands family are half Norwegian, so he and I have a traditional Scandinavian Christmas Eve and exchange gifts then rather than Christmas morning. We always have oysters and a bottle of champagne! It's become something just for us before the craziness of Christmas Day! Being away from Australia on Christmas Day means that we tend to host Christmas Day at our place and invite all the other 'orphans' in our friends group who aren't heading home either. It's always a lot of fun!
Q: What food do you look forward to at Christmas?
A: Duck fat potatoes. Oh god, they're good. What joy is there in depriving yourself at Christmas? I honestly think part of a balanced diet is going full hog and enjoying everything during the holidays. Just enjoy yourself! Life is too short to worry about a bit of extra food for a week a year!
Q: What are some simple self-care practices you recommend for anyone to try during this busy season?
A: I always ensure that I maintain my meditation practice throughout the holiday period. It's the one thing that grounds and centers me every morning before the day. That along with post-lunch walks in the park by the lake to feed the ducks and geese is such a simple way to incorporate mindfulness in such a busy period. Just being there. No distractions, just nature and me (and friends if they come along! no phones allowed!)
Q: Why is it important to practice mindfulness this time of year?
A: Mindfulness really is just about being present. Being present enough to turn these times into happy memories. You can't do that if you're constantly on your phone or stressing about how much you ate. The beauty of mindfulness is that when you quieten the chatter in your head, you really become more observant and realize that there's joy in the simple things. Like chopping potatoes with your mum. Having lost my Dad, those are the things I wish I could do with him. The simple chats, cups of tea together. Enjoy them!
Q: What are your tops tips for feeling your best during the holidays?
No matter what, I start with a green juice in the morning. I can eat whatever I want during the day, so long as I get my green juice in! It just makes me feel fresh! I usually combine celery, cucumber, lemon, carrot, ginger and spinach to give my body a little boost amongst all the turkey and potatoes. I don't feel an ounce of guilt eating all that good food because I know in the morning I've had a good dose of nutrients and greens. Like I said, it's only a few days a year, enjoy that delicious food. Post-lunch walks also help and get you outside. It's quite traditionally English that - to go for a walk in the countryside before a pub lunch!
Q: Finally, what is your favourite holiday cookie?
I'll admit - I love cookies, but I rarely bake them! I made one not long ago however and they didn't last long....
1 cup oat flour (oats blended)
1.5 cup almond meal
4 big tablespoons of natural peanut butter
1 cup coconut sugar
dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup oat milk
Mix it all together and spoon into tablespoon chunks and press down on your baking tray, bake for 10-15 minutes in a 180 degree Celsius (350 F) fan forced oven or until just browned!