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Lola Berry: The Happy Cook

Ashleigh Went

Lola Berry is one busy lady.

Following the release of The Happy Cookbook in March, the self proclaimed ‘little gypsy’ has been touring Australia and New Zealand, spreading her message of health and wellness and on Saturday 21 November she’ll be here to present a Wellbeing Workshop at Canberra Centre.

“The book is a best seller now, which is amazing. Since its release I’ve been touring, I’ve shot a pilot in conjunction with the book, which is sitting with producers as we speak. I ran my own retreat in New Zealand which was a lot of fun – I don’t think I’ve been in one place for more than three or four days!”

There’s more fun on the way for Lola, whose latest book, Lola Berry’s Little Book of Smoothies and Juices was released just last week.

“I’ve never brought out two books in a year before, so that was loads of fun to create. We literally shot it in 10 days, it was a quick shoot and it really is a little book, it’s baby sized!”

The Happy Cookbook is the first book that I’ve done that’s got a chunk of my heart in it. It feels like with every book I write it just becomes more and more ‘me.’”

Lola’s cookbooks are truly labours of love, with the author infusing herself into the pages through her involvement in every stage of the creative process.

“Normally an author will just rock up on cover day and to get the ‘incidental shots’ of doing something like sprinkling salt or chopping food, but I fly to Melbourne for two weeks just to be there and be on set. I want to be there so that the idea and ethos of me is there. I love the whole creative side of things.”

Lola has an active presence during the styling and photography, which translates directly onto each page of her books.

“I’m bringing out another book in February which we shot about a month ago, and I took my personal belongings with me to use. Things like my crystals or feathers from my dream catchers, often when you see a prop it is something that I own that we’ve used.”

“That would put a lot of pressure on the entire team because the author isn’t usually on set, but I love it. We all have a laugh, we’ll have R&B Fridays where I’ll make a playlist for us all – it’s super chill and lots of fun.”

That authenticity is part of what makes Lola so unique in an industry that has become popular to the point of saturation.

“I really believe in being honest and real, and if I can do that then hopefully the message that I’m spreading will inspire people.”

Lola has a massive social media following, but says that it’s what happens behind the scenes that leads to success.

“People see Instagram and Facebook as a highlights reel, but there are so many lowlights and failures that people don’t see. That’s where I think success is built – how quickly you can stand up and keep going.”

For someone with five cookbooks under her belt, Lola is refreshingly humble about her achievements.

“It’s funny, people say ‘Oh you’re successful’, and I never really see myself like that. I’m 30 and I’ve been doing this since I was 22. You wouldn’t have heard about me two years ago, but I’ve been working my butt off for eight years and that’s the honest truth.”

In addition to being authentic and “living from the heart”, Lola also has credentials to back her up, including being a fully qualified yoga instructor as well as a Bachelor of Health Science degree, despite failing her first unit and scoring 31% on her first chemistry exam.

“I’m completely non-academic, and yet I got through it somehow! I think people don’t realise that I have a degree – a lot of people in the health sector are bloggers that have done shorter courses, so people presume that I’m the same.”

The author’s hard work and determination has allowed her to live a life that she adores.

“I really love that I get to do what inspires me and then hopefully that will inspire other people. I teach yoga and I see that as a gift that I give myself and then I share that gift with others. But the writing and the speaking, that inspires me first and then hopefully that will have a trickle [down] effect and inspire others.”

Lola will be inspiring guests at her Wellbeing Workshop at Canberra Centre on Saturday the 21st of November, where she’ll be sharing her top tips for living a health lifestyle.

“For me it’s just about making people realise the link between health and happiness. When you’re healthy, you feel good, you’re nicer, you’re a better version of yourself and that therefore affects your happiness.”

“It can be a bit of a cycle because if you have a bad day or you get dumped, or something bad happens, the one thing you want to do is eat carbohydrates and a whole pot of Nutella or something like that. The reality is that that quickly affects your health, because 90% of your serotonin receptors are actually in your gut, so if you’re not healthy it’s really hard to be happy – the two are intertwined.”

If you’re interested in hearing more from Lola, be sure to purchase tickets from Canberra Centre for 21 November.

Slider image courtesy of facebook.com/lolaberryX

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Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author

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