Welcome to my Friday Foodie series where I get to feature my favourite foodies and wellness experts.
This week I am featuring Lisa Mattes from Rohtopia.com. Lisa has an amazing and inspiring story that she is sharing with us today plus some fabulous tips on living a healthy lifestyle.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
Hi my name is Lisa and I am originally from Austria, but have been living in Australia for a few years now.
I used to work as an air traffic controller for over a decade and it was probably the stress at work and in my back then relationship, combined with poor food and lifestyle choices that led to allergies which showed as itchy hives all over my body.
Doctors prescribed cortison steroids which successfully supressed the skin reaction, yet there were side effects like mood swings and a bit of weight gain. And even worse, the hives just kept coming back, stronger and more frequently.
Once I learnt through a naturopath that, like most medicines, cortisone steroids won't heal the cause, but only address the symptoms, I decided to in 2009 to go on a 5 week juice cleanse. I thought, I might as well give it a go - I can always go back to lifetime medication later.
I had also ended the unhealthy relationship I had been in, and started to follow my passions more again, yoga and freediving.
I kind of tackled the issue from a holistic point of view, and I am happy to say that I have had only one flare up since, when I was on a sailboat in the Atlantic, in storm so strong that I was expecting to be evacuated at any moment.
2011 was the year when I quit my old job and immersed myself in my passions even more. I had already done a yoga teacher training, but then also added a freediving instructor training and launched Rohtopia.com
What inspired you to start Rohtopia?
If you have ever been on a diet or cleanse, you may have noticed all kinds of cravings - I worked with mine by looking through lots and lots of raw food recipes, and started eating 100% raw for around half a year after the cleanse was done. And I was so amazed by the endless possibilities of the raw food cuisine that I started sharing about it. I wanted everyone to see how easily you can indulge while still treating your body well. Or, treating your body well while still indulging.
What exciting plans do you have coming up for the summer and 2017?
I am currently working on the German versions of several online courses for Rohtopia.
One is a digital, extended version of the live raw food workshops I have taught in the past, one is a detox course with smoothies and the third one is a month long course with tiny things that you can add to, change or remove from you life to increase your wellbeing in a holistic way.
The English versions will follow once this is done.
I am also spending time in the water, training for freediving, and teaching people to learn how to hold their breath and dive deeper than they ever thought possible :)
What tips would you give to someone who is just starting to make changes to their health and wellness?
Take it easy and be kind to yourself.
See the abundance of choice that you have, instead of feeling deprived from what you do not want to eat any more.
Be aware that you are always free to do what you want.
If you feel like everything and everyone else is more important than you, then remember that you can only take care of others if you are well.
And again, be kind + loving to yourself. You wouldn't treat or feed someone you love poorly, so why do it to yourself.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
If there are markets around, go there at the end of the day, many will discount perishables or even give things away for free.
Buy in bulk.
Buy seasonal and freeze foods.
Use frozen berries - they have more nutritional value, as they are picked and frozen immediately whereas the ones from the shelf usually travel for days before arriving at the shops.
Prepare foods in bulk, refrigerate and freeze them.
Oh, and make food that you like. Otherwise you won't eat it, trust me on that one :)
What healthy dinner options would suggest to someone who is time poor?
Prep foods twice a week, e.g. bliss balls (dessert first yay), spreads and dips, dressings and soups.
Pre-chop vegetables and store them in containers in the fridge, so you can quickly create a wrap or stir-fry.
Make smoothies the night before work, grab and go in the morning (ok that wasn't dinner, but if you struggle after work, chances are you are also busy in the mornings).
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
This is the beauty of what I do anyways - I love freediving and will go dive with friends as well. I love raw foods and will make some even if I am not recording a video or jotting down the recipe (which I usually regret later when I do not remember measurements...)
I also love to chill on the couch and read - Hung Like An Argentine Duck is the current one, and I love hanging out with my partner, going to the beach and squeal in the waves like a little kid.
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
I love smoothies - get my top 5 recipes in my free ebook - and bliss balls, so here is one Bliss Balls recipe:
Goji-Chocolate Bliss Balls
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts (or almonds or pecans)
- 3/4 cup dates
- 4 TBSP raw cacao
- 2 TBSP goji berries
Process all in your blender of food processor, shape balls, enjoy right away or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks (as if they would ever last that long...)
A little more about Lisa and where she can be found.
Lisa is a freediving instructor (diving on a single breath), yoga teacher and the creator of Rohtopia, a bilingual platform for holistic wellbeing. She has presented raw foods in Thailand, Australia, Austria, Canada, Mexico and Germany, published five raw recipe books and her videos have gained worldwide attention.
Lisa healed herself from allergic skin rashes through juicing for 35 days and eating raw foods, and her deepest wish is to move, touch and inspire as many people as possible.
On Rohtopia, she offers free recipes on raw foods, DIY natural beauty and body care, eco-friendly living for detoxed homes and guided meditation for self development. Lisa is available for private coaching, workshops and events via Rohtopia.com .
You can connect with her on: