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Making Paleo Merry(maker)

Ashleigh Went

The Paleo Diet can sometimes get a bad rap from the media for it’s restrictive qualities. However, five minutes with Carla and Emma Papas of The Merrymaker Sisters and you’ll discover it’s a lifestyle filled with an abundance of health and happiness.

The Merrymaker Sisters are inspirational in what they’re achieving – following their bliss, spreading their message and encouraging others to make lifestyle changes that are not just healthy, but enjoyable too.

I’d lusted over the girl’s drool-worthy paleo desserts on their Instagram account, and jumped at the chance to get my mitts on a copy of their new cookbook hot off the press, Make it Merry: a Healthy Cookbook.

This book is gorgeous from cover to cover in it’s merry shade of hot pink with cute little illustrations.

A cake from the Merrymaker sister's book

A cake from Make it Merry: A Healthy Cookbook

The very first page of the book talks about the concept of “bio-individuality”, an idea that as health coaches, the sisters know all about. “It’s the idea that everyone’s ‘healthy’ is different, and everyone’s ‘healthy’ changes over time too! Bio-individuality is all about doing what works for you and what makes you feel good” say Carla and Emma.

For the girls, their paleo lifestyle works for them and makes them feel good, although it has certainly been an adjustment over time. “In the beginning we thought ‘what am I going to eat then?’ but now we are so used to living this way and feeling amazing that there’s no other option for us. We feel SO good from eating this way, why would you stop?” they say.

In starting a paleo lifestyle, the girls share their top three tips:

  1. Don’t be intimated by the ‘no’ list, concentrate on what you can eat and filling your plate with good food.
  2. Try new food, recipes, web sites, cookbooks, cooking styles and make the whole process fun and enjoyable
  3. There isn’t a one-size fits all when it comes to being healthy. Find what works for you and what makes you feel good.

Carla and Emma have long been sharing their delicious healthy recipes on their web site, and have garnered quite the following – their Instagram account alone has over 47,000 followers. It was their fans that encouraged them to put together Make it Merry.

“This book was inspired by our readers. In fact, we’re dedicating it to them! We kept getting emails asking for a hard copy book for an easy way to find Merrymaker recipes.”

The girls have written a number of ebooks in the past but Make it Merry replaces them, incorporating everything from smoothies and drinks through to breakfast, lunch, dinner, sweet treats and savoury snacks.

Another recipe from the Merrymaker sister's new cookbook

Another recipe from the Merrymaker sister’s new cookbook

“We’ve come a long way on our food/merrymaking journey. If you look back at our old books, we use a lot of natural sweetener and other ingredients we don’t use so much any more. We believe that we should only have products that we 100% believe in for sale, so that’s why we decided to take down our other books off the market and replace them all with this pillar book the captures our all time favourite recipes! Another huge difference is that it’s of course, available in hard copy version as well as eBook!” say Carla and Emma.

“A lot of our inspiration comes from our Mum’s old recipes. We love to take them and health-a-fy them! Plus we’re big Instagram and Pinterest lovers, so taking a scroll or search on those platforms always makes our taste buds go crazy! We might see something and wonder, ‘how can we make that healthy?’ The biggest thing we make sure is that our recipes are all nutritious, quick and easy. You don’t have to be a super chef to make it merry, you need a few simple ingredients and an open mind to try new things!”

While the girls share their love of healthy paleo foods, their tastes are slightly different, including when it comes to their favourite recipes from the book.

“I’m a big healthy sweet treat fan and I can never say no to our Good Fat Sweetener Free Cake. It’s so good for you that you can most definitely eat it for brekky” says Carla.

Emma, on the other hands says “I’m the savoury lover, so all of our chippie recipes make me ridiculously merry! We included sweet potato chips, kale chips, carrot chips and celeriac chips.”

The girls have not only been featured on national television in Recipe to Riches, but also podcasts like Six Figure Side Gig, The Art of Epic Wellness, The Marketing Lifestyle Show, magazines including Oxygen and Gluten Free Magazine, and of course were included in our 15 Women to Watch in 2015.

I don’t believe it’s just their uber delicious recipes that make these girls so successful, they’re a genuine pleasure to watch or listen to. It’s not only their knowledge but their genuine passion for living a healthy and happy lifestyle and encouraging others to find their bliss.

The Merrymaker Sisters

The Merrymaker Sisters

Carla and Emma share their secrets for happiness, explaining “we choose to always focus on the good. We are all so blessed to be alive. So when we do have moments of down (which, believe us, we’re not ALWAYS merry, merrymaking is hard and stressful sometimes!), we stop, breathe and focus on 3 things that we’re grateful for. It could be anything from the fresh air, to our healthy lunch, to a business opportunity, to our best friends, family, really, the gratitude list can go on and on and on! Being grateful will change your life. The more grateful you are, the more you find to be grateful for.”

“Plus, we focus on fuelling our bodies with nourishing ingredients that are going to make us feel and look our bests, as well as doing exercise that we actually enjoy. We don’t run, because we don’t like it! But we do love yoga, so we do yoga a lot! Simple as that: do what you love.”

What’s next on the cards for the Merrymaker Sisters?

“We’re in the middle of creating a really exciting product line… we can’t say too much else but definitely watch this space! We’re working on a new book for next year which will be all about the merrymaker life, how to live your healthiest, happiest life possible, as well as speaking engagements! Plus, always keeping the site full of amazing recipes and inspiration for anyone who passes through.”

To get your hands on a copy of Make it Merry, visit the Merrymaker Sisters website at www.themerrymakersisters.com.

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Ashleigh Went

Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. She’s currently furthering her studies in nutrition, but also has a Bachelor of Communication and is a qualified fitness instructor with over five years experience working in a gym. Among other things, she’s a lover of great food, coffee and fashion. She can usually be found shopping for activewear, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue More about the Author

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