Connecting With Wellness Maven Eleanor Ozich

Happy April everyone. :) I am so excited today to be welcoming to the Nourish 360 community, Eleanor Ozich. Eleanor is a bestselling author, writer and mother to three children. She resides in a small beach house surrounded by native bush in the West Coast of Auckland, New Zealand. She delights in sharing recipes, ideas, and moments inspired by all things simple, seasonal and beautiful.

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I first came across Eleanor's work in my book club, when we opted to read and pull recipes from her beautiful cookbook My Petite Kitchen. I was amazed by the vibe that Eleanor had created in this cookbook, inspiring so many of us to see the beauty in her simple, healthful, and delicious approach to food. I am now so honored that she took time to connect with our community and share some of her wisdom with us below. We hope you enjoy the conversation. xo

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There are so many approaches to health and well-being. What does living a healthy life mean to you?

Living healthily to me, is about finding balance in each aspect of your life, whether it be your health, your fitness, your relationships or career. Life is full of continuous tests and trials, and daily distractions that can feel heavy. There’s work deadlines, bills upon bills, health challenges, or the struggles that can come with parenting. It’s with these challenges, that we often tend to pick up emotions along the way, causing us to lose our centre, become unbalanced or feel overwhelmed.

I have learnt that by letting go of the things that no longer make me feel good, and focusing on those that do, I’ve been able to find so much beauty and meaning in the simplest of things. These small, daily things, they’re essential for finding balance, clarity and a sense of wellness, particularly within this hurried world that so often surrounds us.

Can you describe for us what a typical morning looks like for you?

The things you choose to do when you wake in the morning, are not only an indicator of the quality of your day to come, but by extension, the quality of your life. It’s so important to enjoy a handful of simple, morning rituals not only to help us to slow down, but to connect with the lovely, everyday moments that we might have otherwise missed.

I usually wake with the sunrise, open the front door, and breathe in the fresh, cold air. Being an early riser not only helps me to connect to my body's natural rhythm, it also satisfies the need for a peaceful and relaxing start to the day, before my three little one’s wake up.

In summertime, we’ll enjoy a round of smoothies, usually a creamy concoction of banana, vanilla, coconut milk and fresh berries. In winter, we love the comfort in a steaming bowl of oatmeal, and the way it sets you up for the day, without being too heavy. We always endeavour to sit around the table, and enjoy breakfast together. It’s a beautiful way to connect, and check in before we start the day.

Your cookbook, My Petite Kitchen, is one of my all time favorites. Simple, delicious, beautiful, and healthy meals really speak to our community. What are some of your favorite meals and/or snacks you have been enjoying as of late?

I’m so glad you enjoy the cookbook, thank you, that’s so neat to hear! In New Zealand at the moment, we are heading in to Autumn, and naturally, I’ve been wanting to spend more time in the kitchen creating simple, homely recipes, such as cinnamon scented pie, fragrant vegetable stews and herby roasted chicken. There’s a sense of warmth and coziness throughout the home, afternoons seem somewhat slower, and the oven always seems to be humming in the background.

How do you make space for self-care in your life while fulfilling the roles of mama, author, and creator? What are your favorite ways to care for yourself and support yourself in feeling whole?

It's so important to love yourself, the same as you love your children, your spouse, or your friends. At least three times a week, I’ll indulge in a long hot bath, the kind with candles, essential oils and a good novel in hand. Most days, I’ll also go for a long walk around our neighborhood, it’s such a simple, yet achievable way to unwind and relax. 

You seem to excel at creating and seeing beauty all around you. Do you have any tips for us on creating beauty and falling in love with your life?

For many, the ebb and flow of our daily life can often seem mundane, and more often than not, we become too busy or distracted to appreciate the small, beautiful moments that knit it all together. We are generally good at taking notice of the bigger things, such as the milestones, accomplishments, and achievements we experience, but what would happen if we gave ourselves permission to celebrate the little things, too?

I know it seems like such a simple idea, but once you truly allow yourself to to slow down, you might be surprised with the abundance of beauty that already surrounds you. There’s a quote I love that says it all, really.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” -  Robert Brault

I love that! Often with creating connection online and scanning social media, we can glamorize other people's lives. As a part of the Nourish 360 philosophy in creating connection with others, we encourage each other by sharing and creating space for being vulnerable. Would you share with us something in your life or about yourself you would like to improve upon?

I want to make an effort to be more present with my children. It’s so easy to go on to auto pilot mode, replying ‘uh hum, yes, oh wow, that sounds great’ without truly listening to what they are saying.

But the truth is, kids are experts when it comes to finding joy and happiness in the smallest of things, they experience the world with a sense of openness, creativity and wonder, often only needing the simplest of toys to inspire them. It can be such a beautiful thing when the table turns, and we learn important lessons from our children, too. So long as we take the time to notice!

How do you create meaningful connection with others in your life?

Over the years, I’ve learnt how easy it is to lose touch with friends and family, and although we might think about them from time to time, or follow their lives in online world, the act of reaching out can so easily be forgotten.

And so, even when life gets busy, I try to make an effort to reach out to those I love the most. Sometimes, this might be a simple phone call to see how they are, or a quick message to let them know I am thinking of them. Or the best catch up, in my mind, is over for a cup of tea, and something sweet to nibble on, a nature walk is a lovely idea too.

Would you share with us some of your hopes and dreams for 2017?

This year, I hope to focus on finding simplicity in all areas of my life, to embrace things that bring me joy, and to let go of those that do not. It’s so easy to get swept up in a million and one things that seem all consuming at the time. I’m getting better at letting go, and it’s such a liberating feeling!

Is there anything else you would like to share with the Nourish 360 community?

I’ve recently finished writing a book on the subject of simplicity. It’ll be full of recipes, tips and ideas for living a life less complicated, and will be in stores and online in October. I can’t wait!

Yay, I can't wait to pick it up! Where can we learn more about you and what you are up to?

On my website www.eleanorozich.com, I share posts a few times a week. I also write a weekly column for Viva, a section in the New Zealand Herald. Sometimes I’ll share a recipe, and other times I’ll talk about whatever might be inspiring me that week! You can read them over at www.viva.co.nz. Also, my Instagram @eleanorozich and facebook @eleanorozichauthor.

Thanks so much for having me Nourish 360! It’s been lovely to share my little slice of the world with you! x Eleanor

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Thank you Eleanor! So lovely hosting all of your wisdom and ideas on the blog. Have a lovely day everyone. Here's to slowing down and relishing in what the weekend has to offer us.