When I found Ange’s blog The Gratitude Project, I was instantly in awe of this woman. Her outlook on life, her gorgeous plant-based recipes, and her overall message are so motivating. Angela wasn’t always such a health-focused individual. She started dabbling in holistic health in an attempt to eradicate persistent health problems, to achieve greater happiness, vibrancy, and, well, gratitude. Now she is a certified holistic health coach through Institute for Integrative Nutrition (which is where I studied!) and has created a life out of helping spread the message. What I love most about her website is the inclusion of the word “Project.” To me, this insinuates continual improvement, a constant hunger to learn; a journey, rather than a destination.
Tell me a bit about who you are, including your journey to health and happiness.
Hi! I’m Ange and I’m a writer, speaker, holistic health coach and self love junkie. My journey to health and happiness started about 7 years ago.
I’ve suffered from debilitating migraines since I was quite young and as I got older, they intensified. I would be hit with one and need to get to a dark, cool space almost immediately to stop the nausea. They would last sometimes two days and I would lose my vision, be unable to string together basic sentences and have to deal with the sharp stabbing pains in my head as no medication I found would help ease the pain. It simply got to a point where I was so unreliable to the people I loved that I knew I needed to make a change.
I went to see a Naturopath for the first time just after I got engaged. She explained to me the importance of food and when we went through my diet she noted that I was eating almost no fresh, whole produce. Most of my meals came from a take away shop or a packet. No wonder my body was screaming out for help!
I was put on a whole food diet, only eating things that the earth provided for me without additives and preservatives and my life changed instantly. I felt amazing, my eyes were brighter, my skin cleared up and I suddenly had all this energy I wasn’t sure what to do with. This all took time and set backs but it was all part of growing. Over the years experimented to find the right way to nourish myself completely and while I’m confident that the way I eat now is right for me, I’ll always keep an open mind to change and never stop learning.
What inspired you to create The Gratitude Project, and what do you hope to accomplish with it?
I was a new mum and I really needed a creative outlet and somewhere to express myself. I’ve always loved to write and suddenly being at home all the time and having a baby who just slept and fed meant there was lots of time with my thoughts and I started to document them. I decided I wanted to study again so I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and now here I am! Being a Holistic Health Coach was never a dream of mine but now that I’m doing it, I can’t imagine life any other way. I want to help other mumas to see the beauty in being a parent and feel calm and confident through the journey. To see the challenges as an opportunity to grow and get to know your little one better. To know how to nourish themselves and their family through food, self care and gratitude so they have a blissful, calm household.
What does “beauty” mean to you?
Someone being 100% authentically themselves. When someone is so unapologetic about who they are and what they believe. I find that truly beautiful.
What are your daily health rituals?
I love waking up early for my morning meditation and to have some quiet time before my girl wakes up. My rituals always change depending on what I feel my body needs. If my digestion is feeling a bit sluggish I’ll be sure to have some ACV and lemon before I eat. I like to make sure I have a good amount of healthy fats and heaps of nutrient dense vegetables with my meals. Otherwise I just listen to my cravings and eat accordingly!
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 20 year old self?
To start my studies to become a health coach! The course really changed my life and having a 6 year head start would’ve been amazing. In saying that, I’m a big believer that we get what we need at the right time, so I’m happy my life has panned out in the way it has because it’s made me the person I am today with this amazing little family of mine!
I see you’ve done some work with Lorna Jane Active- how incredible! I love the brand that Lorna Jane has built, and how she encourages wellness in all aspects of life. What is your favorite way to move daily?
My body thrives on gentle movement and lots of stretching. I love to walk and living where I do I’m lucky to have some gorgeous beaches around. I’m not a big fan of ‘punishing’ exercise but a few times a week my friend and I hit the gym and she helps keep me in shape!
What’s the #1 mantra you live by?
It is not happiness that makes you grateful but gratitude that makes you happy.
How do you cultivate a “joie de vivre?”
Through gratitude! Taking everything as it comes and appreciating it all, the good and the bad!!
Head over to The Gratitude Project and subscribe to her newsletter to get your hands on her free Mason Jar Meals and 30 Days of Self Care e-books!