Interview with Lauren Armes, founder of welltodo London

I’m WELL EXCITED to share this new post with you today. Ever since starting this blog, I’ve had the notion that I’d like it to be a place that not only shares my own ramblings on living a good life, but showcases other people’s ideas on the subject too. Now that we’re into 2015 and in the swing of productive New Years’ spirits, I approached my new pal Lauren Armes, founder of the gorgeous website welltodo London, to pick her brains on all things health & wellness.

Lauren ArmesLauren  grew up in a small country town in Australia, not far from the infamous Byron Bay (me? Jealous? Pah). She studied International Business and Marketing, working in the private sector for six years before moving to London for a change of scenery.

1. What inspired you to set up welltodo London, and when did you take the big leap?

When I moved to London I realised that it was a city without boundaries; where you could be anyone and do anything. Adopting a healthy, active lifestyle meant finding people and places that would inspire me and so I went on the hunt to find London’s hidden wellness gems. It was a tedious process and I quickly realised that if I was having trouble finding them, I probably wasn’t alone. So, whilst still working full-time, I launched welltodo London as a platform for news about health and wellness culture; a publication for trends, developments and practical ideas for living a healthier, happier life here. In October, 4 months after launching, I took the big leap and quit my job to grow welltodo London full-time.

2. What tips would you give to anyone trying to live a healthier, more conscious lifestyle?

I live by a concept called ‘the slight edge’, coined by author Jeff Olson. Basically he says, if you want to be, do, or achieve anything in your life, you have to consistently work at it every single day. The simple practices are the most important; the ones that are easy to do, but just as easy not to do. Living a healthier, more conscious lifestyle looks different to everyone, but the result is always made up of the daily actions you commit to practicing, however small. For example, practicing meditation for 10 mins a day might sound insignificant, it might even sound easy (or easy enough to put off). But if you commit to those 10 minutes every day for 12 months… I promise you that the 30 hours it equates to will cause huge shifts in your life.

3. What are your non-negotiable wellness practices?

I make my bed every morning. That might seem weird to highlight as a wellness practice, but I feel like it sets the tone for my day. If I’m too rushed or can’t be bothered with a simple task, it says something about how I face other aspects of my day. I work out for at least 30 minutes, not to any strict regime. Variation is important so I’ll do anything from yoga to road cycling. I get to try loads of different fitness studios across London as part of my job. I don’t have a lot of non-negotiable practices… instead I like to maintain a certain level of flow; freedom to do whatever feels right at the time. It’s all about feeling good, that’s the whole point!

4. Who or what inspires you the most?

My Grandmother turned 100 last August. She’s as bright as button, lives independently in her own flat, often enjoys a small glass of red wine and even plays lawn bowls occasionally. She says her secret to living a long and healthy life… is to always look for the best in people. She reminds me that wellness is primarily a mindset. When you’re at ease in your head and heart, and with those around you, the rest just kind of flows.

5. What do you eat to kickstart the day and stay energised throughout?

Poached eggs; organic ones with a lovely bright orange yolk. I’ll often have them with kale and toasted pepitas, or on rye bread with spinach and sunflower seeds. Mid afternoon I might have a smoothie as a pick-me-up with almond milk, banana, avocado and some kind of superfood like cacao, maca or baobab.

6. You must know all of London’s healthy hot-spots, are there any in particular you’d recommend?

I must say, I’m always shocked when I find out I’ve missed something. There are so many amazing new healthy hotspots in London. I particularly love Psycle and Xtend Barre for their two very different workouts. I love eating at Nama and Daylesford, both in Notting Hill. For cold-pressed juice and snacks I’ll head to LabOrganic, Raw Press or CPRESS. I’m also a big fan of Grace Belgravia for the complete wellness package.

7. What can we expect from welltodo London in 2015?

There are some very exciting plans in the pipeline which I can’t reveal just yet. I can say that welltodo London will be transforming into more than just an online wellness publication. The ultimate goal though, is for welltodolondon.com to be the go-to destination for Londoners wanting to live a happier, healthier life, without compromise. I’m so excited to share the journey with so many amazing people.

For your weekly dose of information on London’s health and wellness culture, head to www.welltodolondon.com and sign up for their newsletter. Thanks for the interview Lauren! 🙂

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