Vladia Cobrdova is the COO and Wellness Ambassador for about life, nutritionist and cookbook author. After being involved in the hospitality industry for years at her home in Czechoslovakia, she moved to Australia where she pursued studies in Natural Health & Therapies. She's been working with the Organic Industry for 15 years, and has seen health & wellness go from alternative to mainstream (yahoo!).
This awesome lady has now combined her love for real food and business to create her dream job as the Chief Operations Officer of aboutlife, which just so happens to be one of my favourite healthy eateries in Sydney! A girl after my own heart, she hopes to reach thousands of people with her work and make a positive impact on their health.
Vladia has recently penned the Wholefoods for Wellness cookbook, which features some favourite aboutlife dishes that you can cook at home. She also is the co-ordinator of about life’s popular Wholefoods for Wellness classes held monthly at their 5 stores.
I caught up with Vladia before Christmas to find out what makes her tick.
1. HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A NUTRITIONIST AND HEALTH-NUT BEGIN?
It begun when I first arrived in Australia. I was inspired by all the amazing fresh produce – seriously I have never tried an avocado or mango before I came to Australia! Coming from a food background I was instantly inspired to learn more about this amazing produce. The climate in Australia makes all the fresh produce taste so much better and you cannot go pass the taste of organic and chemical free produce, farmed by families that are dedicated to work with nature and grow natural food. About 13 years ago I signed up to study nutrition and other natural therapies wanting to learn all about philosophy food is medicine. Since then I Live and Love this lifestyle every day.
2. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Professionally I am inspired by my two mentors Tammie and Jodie – the founders and owners of aboutlife. They have created such an empire by hard work, dedication and clear strong vision in providing accessibility for the industry in Australia.
3. YOUR DAY ON A PLATE?
Every morning I start my day with probiotics and big jug of hot water and lemon – to cleanse, alkalize and look after my gut health. Followed by aloe vera and chlorophyll shot – again great cleanser and gut health which is very important for our immunity and overall health.
I make a freshly squeezed carrot juice with turmeric, lemon and loads of zingy ginger – this is a definite wakeup call for body and tastes buds!
On the days that I work I usually pre prepare my breakfast the night before – cinnamon spiced quinoa, with sheep’s yoghurt, fresh fruit at the moment the stone fruit is great and of course berries are in season! I top it up with crunchy buckinis and bee pollen- all layered in aboutlife hydration jars for easy transportation.
I am so lucky to work in such an amazing place where we serve natural fresh food everyday. Lunch is a health inspiration! My favourite lunch option at the moment is kale pesto zucchini noodles from our raw bar in the superfood quarter.
- Snack :
Again about life makes it easy I grab a hydration jar smoothie or juice. I usually go for the Green Blast Juice. If I need something more substantial, I choose the Super Cool Smoothie which is green smoothie kale blended in with cucumber mango and mint.
I like to create meals that are quick and easy to prepare. My favourite dinner at the moment is pan fried sardines served with fennel, apple, cinnamon salad topped with goats cheese haloumi. Ten minutes and nutritious dinner is served!
4: FAVOURITE WAY TO GET MOVING?
I love to be active to keep me motivated throughout the year I rotate my exercise routine - in winter I ski and go to hot yoga. In the summer I swim a lot, get on my bicycle and go dancing. I often choose holidays that are based on activity too - my favourite trip was to the Mount Everest! That was epic.
5. THREE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
There are many in my life so to keep it till 3 I will go with a theme mind body spirit :
- A good book – at the moment I am reading book on genes called Inheritance: it is about - How Our Genes Change Our Lives, and Our Lives Change Our Genes. Genius!!
- My coconut body scrub – this body scrub was created about 5 years ago in our about life production kitchen – it is handmade and it is still made in-house we sell bucket loads - literally! You can find this scrub in our wellness section beautifully presented in self-serve buckets – this scrub is based on certified organic coconut oil so when you scrub your body in the shower you don’t need any moisturizer….all in one scrub, moisturizer and hydration for your skin.
- Creativity – I do creative things daily to keep my spirit alive! I believe that creativity provides the necessary spark to get the ball rolling.
6. YOUR SECRET VICE
Coffee!! Well it is not much of a secret - and it might not be such a vice as I drink a good quality cup of coffee from about life – we use organic sacred grounds coffee beans with organic milk. I go on it and off it and on it and off it, but I seriously love that stuff!
7. TOP SONG ON YOUR PLAYLIST
Iggy azalea black widow. It gets me singing in the car every time. I feel for the fellow drivers especially when I am stuck in Sydney traffic!
8. YOUR MANTRA
Live my passion - in all aspects of my life!
FINALLY…YOUR FAVOURITE RECIPE
Watermelon cake from Wholefoods for Wellness Cookbook - this has to be one of the most requested recipes! This cake is great for Xmas season it is fresh, cleansing and hydrating. A cake that is made and ready to eat in 5 minutes. A cake that is good enough to eat for breakfast! Oh, and it’s delicious too.
What you need:
- one watermelon (any size)
- assortment of fresh fruit for decoration
- shredded/flaked coconut to decorate the sides
For the icing:
- half a cup coconut milk
- chia seeds
- 2 cheeks of frozen mango (fresh is OK too)
What you do: Slice the top and bottom off the watermelon so you are just left with the middle section that is approximately 10cm high. Then slice the rind off the middle section. Ta da! Here is your cake.
To make the icing mix all ingredients in a blender until thoroughly combined. If you think the mixture is to thin, add more chia seeds. If you think it’s too thick, add more coconut milk.
Now it’s time to assemble. Spread the icing over the watermelon until completely covered. Then you can get creative and decorate the top with fresh fruit and the sides with shredded coconut.
Think I'll be making that cake to celebrate the new year - the perfect juicy summer treat!
Hang out with this chick here: