Bursting onto the health scene in 2013 with her simple yet groundbreaking 20/20 Diet, leading Australian nutritionist Lola Berry hit the shelves, detailing her own personal weight journey after many years’ experience helping people to shed excess kilos. She has since released a number of other hugely successful cookbooks (my personal fave being The Happy Cookbook – check out those Raw Falafels!) with some more on the horizon.
Based in Sydney, Lola is a spokesperson on nutrition and wellbeing in print, online and on radio and TV. Since our first meeting, I had a girl crush. Hanging out with this chick at health events + even getting bendy in a few of her own yoga classes, I can honestly say Lola is one inspiring woman. She exudes sparkly passion and energy, coupled with an infectious personality that lights up the room. Her honest and balanced approach to nutrition is so refreshing in the current societal whir of ‘DO eat this, DONT eat this’, she really is one special gal making waves in the health industry.
In-between cookbook shoots, I catch up with her to again to delve a little further into her world…
1. HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY BEGIN TO BECOMING AN AUSTRALIAN NUTRITIONIST, TV PERSONALITY AND COOKBOOK AUTHOR BEGIN?
I’ve always been a bit of a health nerd growing up, I mean mum used to send me to school with spirulina protein balls she’d make from scratch. I defiantly rebelled a bit as a teenager when I was a DJ and make up artist I was more worried about partying and fashion than salads and green smoothies. But one day I went on a “summer time detox” in an aim to get the dream boy (shameless) and I realised how awesome I felt, my skin glowed and I felt like I was the best version of me. So I spent all my spare time learning about super foods and how they work in the body. And a mate said “come on Lols, I think you need to study nutrition” but I never thought I was smart enough to do that. But I still dove into the deep end and started a degree in Nutritional Medicine, and you know what, I did fail a few exams at the start, before I found my feet and worked out how my brain likes to study. Then about 3 months into the degree, I woke up one morning and I was like “I’ve got it, I’ll be the Steve Irwin of fruits and veggies” then I saved up, got three jobs (health food store, bar and cleaning toilets) then saved up to buy my first video camera and started filming my brekkie to camera each morning. That’s how it all begun really. Then we started an online web series about health that was housed on YouTube. The rest grew from there. And for me it’s just about creating content that is real, honest, full of heart and hopefully will inspire souls.
2. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Anybody who’s real and living from the heart. It takes courage to do what you love and to stay true to that, and when you’re around souls living in their truth it’s the best feeling, you feel gravitated towards their energy.
Plus my dad and Steve Irwin, I think they’re pretty awesome.
3. YOUR DAY ON A PLATE?
BREAKFAST: it changes all the time but I’m a bit of a green smoothie nutter, love having that first thing, I add frozen banana, avo, baby spinach, cinnamon, macs nuts and coconut water, and it tastes unreal. p.s adding chilie flakes is brill too!
SNACK: raw chocolate, nuts and seeds – i’m onto this few raw chocolate that sweetened with monk fruit so its pretty much sugar free, my mate has create it, it’s called Pumpy Jackson.
LUNCH: some kind of bright quinoa salad with loads of health goods in there like kale, pomegranates, pumpkin seeds and often a poached eggie
SNACK: I love teas in the arvo, I find they really helps when I feel like something sweet. My favo is Little Wildling…
DINNER: usually involves avo, salmon and something green!
DESSERT: as a treat, I have a thing for raw salted caramel slices at the moment, but usually something sweet is a raw choc avo mousse made with with avo, banana and raw cacao.
4: FAVOURITE WAY TO GET MOVING?
Yoga or exploring out in nature.
5. THREE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
- Real love
6. YOUR SECRET VICE
I love this TV show called “Vikings” and as a result I now have an obsession with getting braids in my hair.
7. TOP SONG ON YOUR PLAYLIST
Penny and the Quarters: You and Me
8. YOUR MANTRA
Just be real and have the courage to live from the heart.
9: Your top 3 accounts to follow on Instagram:
10. FINALLY…YOUR FAVOURITE RECIPE
Humming Bird + Lumberjack Cake with Almond Cream Icing
(from The Happy Cookbook)
For the cake:
- 2 cups of almond meal (same thing as almond flour, if you’ve like them lighter than used blanched, if you’d like them denser then use the whole almond meal)
- 3 eggies (go for organic)
- 1 granny smith apple grated
- ½ cup of medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 ripe banana smashed up
- ½ cup of fresh pineapple chopped roughly but small (can used tinned stuff if you’d prefer I just think fresh is best)
- 1 cup of roughly chopped pecans
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of ginger powder
- Scrapings of one fresh vanilla bean
- Pinch of salt
For the frosting:
- 250 grams of ricotta
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of almond butter
- Handful of pecans for decorating the top
Preheat your oven to 180; grease an 8-inch spring cake tin. Then I make this one in one big bowl. It’s such a walk in the park. So to you mega bowl add the almond meal, eggies, grated granny smith apple, dates, narnie (my word for banana), piney (pineapple), pecans and spices. Mix together real well, then tip into your cake tine and cook for 40-50 minuets. Then when it’s cooked (test with a skewer and check it comes out clean, if it doesn’t, pop some aliuminin foil over the top and bake for another 5 minuets. Then remove and let it cool. To a smaller bowl, add your ricotta, maple and almond butter and beat this until it’s smooth. Then frost your cake once it’s cooled and make it look all pretty with pecans!