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Eleanor Coales is a biology student, trainee yoga teacher and nutrition enthusiast who is passionate about living in a more environmentally friendly way. Here, we learn more about her lifestyle blog, including her background and aims.
Please can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I love promoting sustainable, balanced health and wellbeing and steer clear of all fad diets and pseudoscience! When I was in my teens, like many of my peers, I struggled to stay fit and understand what a healthy relationship with food was – I was surrounded by girls skipping meals, picking apart tiny lunches and drinking meal replacement shakes, which really skews your idea of what is normal.
Luckily my enjoyment of cooking led me to start reading about nutrition and experimenting with making healthier meals as I approached adulthood. As I discovered yoga, weight lifting and the power of a good gym class. I want to help to simplify healthy living and inspire others to find their version of healthy.
What sparked your interest in yoga, veganism and health and wellbeing?
As a child, I was a gymnast, training for some 13 hours per week on top of sailing and spending my weekends being active outdoors. After I quit, my exercise took a nose dive and I really struggled to find a sport to replace it, going to dance classes and on half-hearted runs a few times per week and not much else. Soon after we moved to Yorkshire, my mum joined a yoga class and invited me along, and I was hooked.
I was still fairly strong and flexible from my gymnastic days, which gave me a bit of an ego-boosting head start, and the flowing movements really appealed to the dancer in me. I eat probably 95% vegetarian and maybe 80% vegan or plant based. I started experimenting with eating less meat as I’ve grown up in a very environmentally-conscious family.
My dad used to take big bins full of recycling to the local recycling centres back when home recycling collection wasn’t a thing. I’d heard about the impact that animal agriculture has upon our world and wanted to reduce my impact. Over the course of three years, I’ve been eating less and less animal products. like many people, my interest in health was influenced by aesthetic goals society told me I should work towards.
I had a big appetite and wanted to eat better rather than less, plus, I loved being active and wanted to be strong and fit. The more I ate well, the more I enjoyed food and as I discovered yoga and weight lifting the more I felt comfortable in my body, mentally and physically.
What motivated you to create Green+Aquamarine?
I had written a baking and cooking focused blog previously and really enjoyed the writing process. I started Green+Aquamarine because I needed a new project as I finished school and wanted to share my take on healthy living. Back then there wasn’t much of a focus to what I wrote, but I really enjoyed connecting with like-minded bloggers as I found my niche.
Where do you find your recipe inspiration?
I find inspiration from so many places. The most obvious is Instagram as I’m on there quite frequently, closely followed by Pinterest, which is where I store recipes that I find. There are so many talented recipe creators out there from dietician and nutritionist, McKel Hill, to dessert extraordinaire, Maxine Ali. I also like to look back to traditional recipes that I love and think about how I can rework them.
Out of your key areas, which is most important to you and why?
Yoga and nutrition are my two biggest interests. I don’t share too many articles on nutrition however; as I don’t have any qualifications and strongly believe that it is vital to only get your nutritional advice from an accredited nutritionist or dietician with an accredited qualification.
Yoga is my passion and I love how it benefits the mind and body. Nutrition is literally what fuels us and is such a complex, fascinating subject, although sadly with a lot of misinformation and confusion around it. I’m a scientist, so I like proper evidence!
How easy is it to embrace the Green+Aquamarine living for someone with a busy lifestyle?
I write Green+Aquamarine with a modern person in mind, so you can absolutely embrace my principles. A lot of what I talk about follows the middle road – it isn’t always the most glamorous of lifestyles to produce with everything in moderation, but I really believe that it is the most sustainable, achievable and effective way.
You don’t have to choose between being a high carb, ultra running vegan or a paleo crossfitter to be healthy.
I believe, that if following a so-called healthy lifestyle makes you stressed or unhappy, then it isn’t healthy.
What do you feel is unique about Green+Aquamarine compared to other blogs in the UK blogging community?
I combine my scientific learning with my interest in yoga for a pseudoscience-free approach to wellness. Whilst I am only at the beginning of studying yoga, which is thousands of years old, I’m taking nothing at face value and am not attempting to talk about something that I’m not qualified to do so.
I keep Green+Aquamarine a judgement-free space for the modern wellness advocate. Anything that could directly affect your health is backed up by science, and then there’s space to explore what interests you.
Where do you see yourself and Green+Aquamarine in 3 years’ time?
By this point, I’ll hopefully be graduated, qualified and therefore in a position to expand Green+Aquamarine beyond just it’s website. I’m still waiting on hearing about what next steps I can take, so won’t share absolutely everything, but I’m looking to combine my yoga teaching, degree and blog to create an integrated health and wellness space that will offer workshops, classes and more.
Do you have any other thoughts or comments?
Health, wellness and nutrition can all seem complicated and even conflicting, but keeping things simple and tailored to you is usually the easiest approach. We are all individuals; so don’t feel as though you have to follow what someone else is doing. Eat vegetables and you don’t have to cut out any food groups unless you have intolerances, move in a way that makes you feel good, and find sometime to relax. Do this and you’ll be most of the way there.
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