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  • Zoe Woodward / Q&A

    24th October 2018

    24th October 2018

    By Shivraj Bassi

    After 15 years in the corporate rat race, Zoe Woodward aka Aloha and Coffee, left her professional career in business development to pursue her passion for yoga, wellbeing and healthy living. Now working as a qualified nutritionist, life and business coach, yoga instructor and world traveller, Zoe has turned her passions into a new business and preferred way of life. We recently caught up with Zoe to find out more about the power woman behind the Aloha and Coffee name.

    “I’ve always been active and loved fitness. I got into yoga just after the birth of my last baby as a way to manage my anxiety and it just spiralled from there.  Yoga has allowed me to be more mindful and also more tolerant. Taking time to just breathe and be present has changed my perspective on everything."

    What’s your hustle?

    I’m a yoga teacher, content creator and director of a branding and communications company in a nut shell. I’m also a mom of four so I have my work cut out for me!

    What does #liveinnermost mean to you?

    It means to live your life as you, authentically and without apology.

    Favourite Innermost products, and why?

    The Health Protein. I usually stick to vegan protein as I find sometimes whey can cause me to bloat when I mix it with other ingredients. I love that the blend mixes well and tastes great. The Detox Booster. Because it doesn’t taste like grass!

    Usual breakfast?

    A HUGE smoothie

    Your last workout?

    CrossFit. I started this week and I’ve done two classes so far and I love it! I’m a regular in the gym, a runner and course love yoga but I needed something new to challenge me both mentally and physically so I thought I’d try CrossFit.

    Favourite inspirational quote/words?

    “Everything will be ok in the end, if it’s not ok it's not the end”. I had it tattooed on my neck during a really tough time in my life and I still live by it no.

    Where’s your happy place?

    Bali - I’ve visited three times in the past year and it’s magical. It makes me feel calm and relaxed and inspired all at the same time. I’d love to move there.

    Current fitness goal?

    Strict pull ups. At the moment they seem so far away but I’m determined!

    Best advice you’ve ever received?

    Find something you love, find a way to make money from it and you’ll never work a day in your life.

    Book currently on your bedside table?

    The Alchemist. I’m reading it for the second time because it inspired me so much the first.

    Best vacation ever?

    Getting married in Hawaii! It was magical.

    Number one reason for taking care of your body?

    Because you only get one! I spent way too long abusing it so now I’m making up for it. It took me a long time to be able to tune into myself and understand what I needed but finally i’m there.

    What would we be surprised to find in your fridge?

    Face creams and a jade roller for my face. It’s so much more refreshing when it’s cold.

    To see and hear more from Zoe, head to her Instagram page (@alohaandcoffee).

    Other Insights

    Making Time For Mindfulness With Alex Manderstam
    We sat down with wellness fanatic and Innermost Insider Alex Manderstam, who gave us the lowdown on all things mindfulness: its importance to her, how she makes time for it, and her top tips on how you can incorporate a little bit of it into your daily life. Read to the end to find out which Innermost product keeps her on track! Hey Alex! Could you introduce yourself to our readers? Hi! My name is Alex and I live in London. By day, I work at a food tech startup. By night, I’m a founder of Allright - a self care collection bringing back calm through the power of plants and wind-down rituals, launching later this year. I love all things wellness and like to spend my free time cooking up healthy recipes, trying new workout classes and indulging in self care rituals. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alex | Wellness | London (@alexmanderstam) Mindfulness has really stepped into the spotlight as an important aspect of wellness in recent years. How long have you been conscious of its importance / when did ‘mindfulness’ as a concept enter your life? Since I was very little actually! My mum is really into meditation and wellness and used to take me along to her meditation retreats since the age of 5, so mindfulness has always been a part of my life. Last year I experienced burnout and had a terrible time with anxiety so I tapped into the mindfulness tools I knew and they really made a difference. What exactly does mindfulness mean to you, and how does it benefit you day to day? For me, mindfulness means being aware of your thoughts, your environment and your body. By bringing mindfulness into my daily routine, I can be more present, less reactive and overwhelmed, and show up as the best version of myself every day. What activities do you do to be mindful? I like to start every day with a little mindfulness routine. This includes not looking at my phone first thing in the morning but taking a few minutes to do a guided meditation to set the right tone for the day, journal about my intentions for the day ahead, followed by daily movement. I find that exercise really helps clear my head and put me in a productive mode. Do you ever find mindfulness a difficult thing to achieve? What key tips can you give to people struggling with mindfulness? Absolutely! With being so busy in my professional life, it’s so easy to open up my laptop first thing in the morning and get lost in my to do list without looking after myself first. Things that worked for me when starting to incorporate mindfulness into my routine were starting small (you don’t need to start with 20 minute meditation) and keeping a habit tracker for activities I wanted to build into my morning routine. After a few weeks, it became second nature! Do you find that nutrition can play a part in mindfulness? Very much so, at least for me. I think it goes both ways - if I am more aware of myself and my body, I’m more likely to choose a more nourishing meal and really take care into what I put in my body. On the other hand, eating healthy can help me gain the self-care momentum and make me more motivated to stick with your mindfulness routine. Are there any specific occasions in which you felt particularly supported by staying mindful? As everyone else, I’m trying to juggle a million things and often get overwhelmed. Taking just a few minutes every morning to reflect and prepare for the day ahead really makes a difference on those busy days when you have so much to do and don’t know where to start. What time of day do you feel most mindful? How often do you give yourself mindful moments? Early mornings are my “me time”! I like to wake up slightly earlier and take 30 minutes to meditate, journal and set intentions for the day ahead. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alex | Wellness | London (@alexmanderstam) What are your favourite Innermost products and how do you typically use them? How have they helped you so far? I love The Detox Booster and The Digest Capsules the most! The Detox Booster is a great alternative to tea and coffee and is packed with superfoods - think matcha, turmeric, chlorella along many others. And digest capsules are an absolute must have too. Packed with prebiotics and probiotics, they are instrumental for gut health. That's a wrap! To keep up with Alex, follow her on Instagram, @alexmanderstam - and be sure to check out her upcoming wellness platform, @allrightwellness! Read more
    Staying Driven and Determined with Gia George
    For the month of April, Gia will be sharing how she stays driven in amongst being a DJ, Coach, Qualified PT, NLP in training and more. Always on the go, we delved into what drives her, and how her journey has shaped her into the person she is today. Read to the end to find out which Innermost product keeps her on track! Hey Gia, could you tell our readers a little more about yourself? Hey! I’m Gia, I’m from Essex, currently living in North London. I am a fitness and mindset coach, qualified PT and recently completed my NLP training. I am also a DJ and recently graduated from a music production degree. I used to work in the city for corporate banks as an event coordinator, but had a big mental health breakdown 5 years ago. This was the catalyst for changing my life and retraining. My purpose in life is to show other people that you can achieve anything you want with the right mindset, and I do that by transforming my life first. I’m big on energy of all kinds, I love fitness, festivals, music, fancy dress, traveling and fast cars/bikes. I’m here to show you that you can have fun and be fit and healthy with the right balance and self-expectations. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gia George 💖 (@giageorge__) How did you become an Innermost Insider and what’s your goal as an ambassador for the brand? I worked for F45 Stratford (check it out, its a WHOLE VIBE) and the Innermost range is stocked there, so it naturally became my go to protein; it bangs and it's vegan so it ticked all my boxes. My goal as an ambassador is to always to keep it realistic, promote balanced living and help people manage the expectations of themselves with the lifestyle they want to live. I’m passionate about helping people LOVE their bodies exactly as they are, no matter what stage of the journey they are at and encouraging sustainable habit changes which elongate happiness and life, without it completely taking over your life (unless you want it to of course!). Our topic this month is drive, how would you define drive? To me drive encapsulates a few different words. I believe it is the combination of vision, willpower and discipline that actually creates the forward motion/action that gets things done, AKA drive. The first step is to have the vision, to see your goal in your mind's eye and to envision the future you, so you have something to work towards. This doesn't have to be anything massive, it could just be to feel better about yourself, to feel stronger, to get fit for a holiday or for your mental health. Then it's a question of will power. I believe that each day we all have a certain amount of willpower (break that word down: the will to do something right?) and that once we have decided what our priorities are, then we can decide how that willpower will be used. Discipline is the feeding the voice in your head that says I want this, and I’m going to ignore the other voices and focus on how I feel when I have completed this ‘thing’. We all have 2 options but over time I believe that when you continually feed the 'I am going to get this done' voice, it becomes subconscious and you just do it automatically. DRIVE = VISION + WILL POWER + DISCIPLINE How has drive been important in your health and fitness journey? Drive is imperative in your health and fitness journey, you really have to want it and if you have no drive, you are kind of just floating around in a feminine energy flow (not attached to gender). Whereas drive is a masculine energy (not attached to gender); it's an action based word, so without it the ‘journey’ doesn't really start. Is there a time you struggled with drive and what’s your advice for someone struggling themselves? I had a huge mental health break down / break through almost 5 years ago and I questioned whether I wanted to continue with my life (there's a full video on my instagram @giageorge if you want to hear this; I've been told by many people that it really helped them understand ways to navigate and rebuild their life). When you are in that state of mind, drive is the HARDEST thing in the world, because your mind basically steals your desire to do anything at all. I, at least, was completely consumed by overthinking. I then discovered the golden ratio (google it) and realised that everything in life is just a pattern, thoughts included. I needed to change my thought patterns so I began SMALL and that's the best advice I can give. Do your BEST to not think about the big picture, think about the next hour, and if that's too much, the next 5 mins. Slowly, you’ll notice your thought patterns change for the better. One of the hardest parts of this is making new habits, so it's important to help yourself by making sure you’ve got things in place when you're first building 'habit loops’ (hit me up on insta for more info on this). For example, if your goal is to start exercising, and you're having a tough time getting going, break it down into small steps, start with 5 mins for 5 days, then 10 mins and so on. Get a programme to follow or join a class, make sure your not just going to the gym aimlessly, as that is not going to help you. Even if you're struggling to get dressed, think one sock at a time, literally break down item by item and eventually you’ll be dressed. Don't think about the gym/class/run until you’ve thought about getting out the house. Just keep breaking it down into smaller steps until it's manageable for you that day. Some days I’m fast, some I’m slow, but I keep driving forwards, one step at a time. What are three things that drive you? My determination to lead by example and show people you can achieve anything in this world with the right mindset. I choose to ‘spend’ my will power every day on my health before anything else, and everything else flows from this. The vision of future me, I will achieve my dreams, there's no other option, I am committed to her. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gia George 💖 (@giageorge__) Finally, what's your favourite Innermost product for staying on track? The Health Protein. Order it, have it in the house, in the kitchen, your muscles need it, get that into your daily habit loops. To keep up with Gia, check out her Instagram and coaching Instagram! Read more