When Jo’burger Cara-Lisa Sham, 29, quit her corporate job to found her own wellness brand, she had no idea she’d be so successful that Adidas would tap her to become a face of one of their campaigns.
We quizzed her on simple steps to happiness and healthiness that won’t cost a fortune. Read on!
1 Follow your dreams (and be willing to take a risk)
‘I studied industrial psychology and spent time working in the corporate world. But I slowly realised I needed to channel my energy into my passion – something that could wake me up excited for every single day. So in 2015 I resigned to start my own health and wellness brand, Caralishious, and I haven’t looked back since. So far, I offer pop-up yoga classes, wholesome healthy-food recipes and wellness coaching, and I have my own brand of vegan Caralishious ice cream.’
2 A holistic approach is key
‘I strongly believe in offering people not just a great product, but an incredible lifestyle attached to it, and that’s how my Caralishious services and lifestyle blog incorporate everything from lifestyle tips to great food ideas.
‘A healthy lifestyle means exactly that – a lifestyle. Our health is a long-term, lifelong goal that we must consistently work towards – there’s no such thing as a quick-fix health solution. Diets and fitness programmes offer short-term solutions – but what happens after you achieve that fit body? To maintain that body, you have to be willing to implement permanent and sustainable lifestyle changes every day for the rest of your life. That’s what leading a healthy lifestyle offers.’
3 Your health journey needs to be a personal one
‘So many people make the mistake of trying to fit in with other people’s diets or workouts. We are all different, so we all need different things – workouts and nutrition included. Before you embark on any kind of fitness regimen or diet, you need to figure out what works best for you.
‘Start by listening to your body. See how different food makes you feel. After eating, do you feel energised, or do you feel lethargic or bloated? Check in with your body to know which types of food work for you and which ones you should avoid.
‘Next, get moving in a way that you love. Exercise because it makes you feel good, not because you need to punish yourself for that piece of cake you ate. Be kind to your body, trust it and let it tell you what it needs. The more in tune you are with your body, the better it will respond and transform.
‘On that note, embrace your body type and exercise in a way that works for your body shape. Don’t lunge for hours on end if you’re naturally muscular and want smaller legs. Be smart about which exercises you do in relation to your body type and the outcomes you want to achieve.’
4 Healthy eating doesn’t mean deprivation
‘I don’t believe in saying “never eat these things” because that creates a mind-set of deprivation and restriction. I prefer to talk about what I limit, or eat in moderation, which would include any processed and refined food as well as sugar, dairy and animal fats.’
5 Start every day with this simple yoga move – you’ll feel ready to kick ass after!
‘A gentle vinyasa flow is a great way to start the day. This continuous movement gets the blood flowing, encourages good breathing, starts up the metabolism, activates the central nervous system and energises the body:
- Start with your feet together, arms against your sides.
- Breathe in, and raise arms up and over your head in a sweeping motion.
- Exhale out and travel your arms back down, coming into a forward fold with your hands pressed firmly on the ground, working towards stretching the knees.
- Breathe in, lift your head half-way, coming into a flat back with hands still touching the ground. Ensure your ribs and abdominals are contracted in.
- Plant hands firmly on the ground and, as you exhale, either step back into plank or jump lightly back into chaturanga (bent arm plank, with elbows squeezing tightly against the sides of the body to create support).
- Travel the body into upward-facing dog, breathing in and pressing up and out of the shoulders, with feet pressing firmly into the ground and thighs off the floor.
- As you exhale, begin to travel the body back into downward-facing dog, pushing the weight out of the arms and into the legs, elongating the back and opening the shoulders.
- Remain in down-dog for five deep inhales and exhales.
- Once complete, gently walk your feet up towards your hands and slowly roll up to mountain pose (standing position), taking care to focus on the breath.
6 End the day with a sweet (but guilt-free!) treat
‘My favourite healthy treat would be coconut ice-cream milkshakes – quick and easy to make.’
- 2 scoops Caralishious Coconut Milk Ice-Cream (vanilla-cinnamon flavour)
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1T macadamia-nut butter
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- Chopped almonds
‘Whizz everything together for the most decadently delicious (and totally healthy) milkshake.’
7 Got zero cash? These wellness things will cost you NOTHING
- ‘Prioritise rest, healthy eating and exercise – caring for your body is all part of loving yourself. This also connects you more to your own body so you understand what it needs. Celebrate your body and what it can do.’
- ‘Cut out the negative: watch your thoughts; speak positively; don’t moan or complain or gossip. All these things do is spread negativity.’
- ‘Listen to your body – and I mean really listen! Your body is smart and is in communication with you all the time – so tune in.’
- ‘Get moving – you don’t need a gym contract for this. Go for a walk in the park or a run with a friend, or do a few burpees in your lounge. There are so many online workouts that you can access for free, that require no equipment, and that you can easily do in the comfort of your home.’
- ‘Take time out for yourself each day to reflect, give thanks for all that you have and visualise all that you want in your life.’
8 Learn to practise mindfulness
‘Focusing on breathing is a very powerful way to gain clarity and focus. Just one to two minutes of focused and conscious breathing will help clear your mind and bring you back to the present moment.
‘Stress is caused predominantly by how we appraise situations – that is, whether we interpret them as threatening or not. Drawing from this, it would make sense to work on how we appraise situations, so that we expend less energy building them up in our mind, and focus more on being in the moment and orientating ourselves towards a solution. When our mind is dwelling in the past or in the future, we are expending wasted energy on things that are not of relevance here and now.’
Read more about Cara’s lifestyle blog here.