Founder. Editor in chief. Certified wellness coach. Model. Creative Director. Is there anything Brooke Meredith can’t do? If you’ve ever sat down at a Melbourne cafe, you’ve probably spotted her hugely successful (and free!) magazine, A Conscious Collection, where her team of experts dish out health advice for every area of life.
After a whirlwind year and a stint in Los Angeles, Brooke managed to squeeze us into her very busy schedule to chat about something we totally relate to: creating a balanced life.
You are one of the driving forces in the wellness industry with your magazine, A Conscious Collection (ACC). What is it about health and wellness?
Oh that is sweet, thank you. Health and wellness is at the core of everything I believe in. I started ACC to educate, empower and inspire our community to live a more conscious and mindful life, but also to educate our readers that it’s a journey - not a one-size-fits-all approach. I love to provide readers with resources to implement into their life, in ways that works for them.
What does wellness mean to you?
For me, wellness is an integration of being well mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I feel whole when I’m connected to my body, my relationships and my work. If I put in effort in all of these areas and am consistent with eating well and exercising moderately, I feel my absolute best. So, my philosophy is more about the non-negotiables; looking at wellness as a whole, not just diet,and remembering to make time to stop and smell the roses... so to speak.
Balance is one of those words that gets tossed around. How to integrate balance into your life?
Balance is a hard one, and one that I struggle to find the perfect antidote for. I like to look at balance as more of a “blend”; blending all the elements of life that I love (as mentioned above) to create the bigger picture.
You’re a busy woman! Do you believe in work/life balance and if so, how do you manage it?
I’m lucky I love what I do and it honestly fuels my drive so much. I believe if you are combining everything you love in life, it’s never a chore. HOWEVER, there are times as a business owner where you are exhausted, sleep-deprived and completely worn-out, because we give so much to our babies. I’ve definitely had my fair share of burnout, and I’ve learned it’s okay to slow down, say no and prioritise rest. I now have a policy: no work after 8pm or on Sundays; it’s certainly helped my overall mood and outlook.
How would you describe your relationship with food? Are you all-in healthy, or do you love the occasional treat?
I’m an absolute chocoholic, and I’m not talking the 90% cacao type - I’m talking Cadbury Dairy Milk! I’ve definitely had some really unhealthy relationships with food in my early 20’s and as much as it was a struggle at the time, I’m grateful for that journey because it led me to where I am today, finding my passion and my purpose. It led me to study nutrition to heal myself and is the very driving force behind why I started ACC, where I could share these learnings to help others. I eat what I want when I want, and I don’t place any restrictions on myself. I love whole foods, however - so my diet is pretty clean because it’s what I crave. If I feel like pizza, chocolate or wines with the girls…trust me, I won’t hold back. It’s just about moderation.
What do you love to do when you can’t be bothered doing anything at all?
Haha, I know those days all too well. There are those times when you just can’t fight it, usually for women around our cycle, and I’ve certainly had some CBF days. We put so much expectation on ourselves, but why? It’s ridiculous! I’ve learned that instead of trying to push through and be completely unproductive, I need to get up, go for a walk, exercise and refresh. If that doesn't work. I’ll probably head home and sit on the couch with a book and chocolate.
There’s a lot of research on the balance between a healthy gut and a healthy mind. How does eating the right food affect you mentally?
It’s imperative for me to eat well. I’m a huge believer in the gut and mind connection and as you have it…this is where your serotonin (happiness hormone) is actually formed. When I eat well and look after my gut-health, it helps my clarity, motivation and boosts my mojo. There’s some seriously great studies on these connections and I highly recommend EVERYONE to read more about this.
What are your 3 best tips for living a whole, balanced life — one that is healthy but also fun?
- No fad diets, learn to enjoy food in all its forms, no restrictions, just moderation.
- Your personal relationships (with your family, yourself and significant other) can have a huge impact on your overall health. Nourish these; not just your insides.
- Sleep is key. Key for your gut, your cortisol (stress) levels, weight control, skin, mood and energy. If you are prioritising nutrition over sleep, reverse it...STAT!