This weeks Blissful Babe was brave enough to take the leap of faith many of us dream of! Brooke quit her high pressure job, moved to a beautiful piece of land and has created an organic lifestyle for her family. Brooke is one half of Organic Sisters (stay tuned next week to read about Sally) inspiring wellness through beautiful images and recipes, infused with a big dose of mummy-love! Meet Brooke Toholka...
Tell us a little bit about who you are.
I live on 7 acres with my husband and our beautiful 2-year-old daughter, Matylda. We grow a lot of our own veggies and try to make all of our food from scratch. To me, this is such an important part of our lives and I love teaching my daughter how to do this too. I also love yoga, walking, creating, cooking and getting lost in a great book. I haven’t always followed this healthy and holistic lifestyle and everyday I feel so grateful for the people and places that helped me to change and evolve into the person I am today. About a year and a half ago I created ‘Organic Sisters’ with my sister and best friend, Sally. I get such joy from being able to share something that we both feel so passionate about.
How did you get here? Was there a moment where everything changed?
After 8 years of climbing the corporate ladder in 2 different fast-paced industries and continually putting my own health on the back burner, I decided in 2011 to change my path. I signed up for a 10-day fasting detox at a retreat in Bali. A friend of mine ran it and they were just starting out so I really wanted to support them and I was in desperate need of some kind of ‘shake up’. I had just returned from an overseas holiday for a month and I was working long hours in a senior management role within a very time and energy demanding industry. I was, to put it simply, very unhappy. I was regularly taking antibiotics for different illnesses, fighting eczema and trying to cope with other anxiety and stress related disorders. My concept of ‘healthy’ living was way off the mark and I knew I had to make drastic changes. The 10 days I had in Bali changed my life forever. I was totally ready for it and embraced it wholeheartedly. I connected with myself on a level that I had never experienced before and felt like I had pressed the re-start button on my entire body and mind. I came home from the retreat knowing that I had to make some big changes. I resigned from my corporate job and was ready for a new chapter in my life.
What does a regular day looks like for you?
Most mornings, I’m awake at 5:30 with our active 2 year old and we share cuddles in bed before getting up and having a quick stretch to wake my body up. I always have 2 glasses of water on wakening, with either fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. We enjoy a family breakfast (when time permits!) and then say good-bye to my husband. We’ve got pigs, horses, chickens & ducks to feed so we go and do that and have a play outside chasing the chickens and our dog, Harry around. Matylda will play while I clean up breakfast, put washing on and all of those other fun household chores! She has a sleep for a few hours in the middle of the day when I get to work on ‘Organic Sisters’ and then the afternoon is usually playing outside, gardening, baking together in the kitchen or heading out to visit my sister and her girls. The evening is dinner, baths and then relaxing, which is usually reading, yoga, watching a great documentary on FMTV or chatting with my husband.
What are your favourite ways to get active?
Mountain climbing, bushwalking, gardening and yoga. I used to run years ago, but these days I prefer a more gentle exercise session. I do some form of stretching or yoga everyday and love adventuring out with my family on a bush or beach walk.
What are the three most important things that you do each day?
Check in with myself – this can be breathing through my whole body, yoga, stillness or just been present in that very moment, even if it’s just doing the dishes!
Nourish myself and my family with whole foods
Meditation, Prayer & Gratitude Practice before sleeping
In your eyes what does a Whole Housewife look like?
Someone who does the best they can, who has kindness in their heart and is comfortable in their own skin.
It’s my dream to …
Teach, inspire and empower families to embrace the simplicity and fun of fuelling our bodies with wholesome, real food and that it doesn’t have to be boring, hard work or time consuming to do so! Our children are the future and what we can teach them today will have a huge impact on the rest of their lives. Our health is so precious and something that we can look after if we know how to do it!
I believe that…
All that we need is inside of us (sometimes we just have to look harder!) and your intuition is always speaking to you.
Today I’m grateful for…
Matylda – our 2-year-old daughter, she is the best teacher I’ve ever had J and I feel so grateful that we were blessed with a happy, healthy little person.
For a better tomorrow we must …
Be kind and have compassion, even during the times when it’s difficult to show kindness - I think those times are the most important.
What is your favourite meal of the day?
I’d have to say breakfast. Unless my husband has to rush off for an early meeting then we all sit down together and enjoy a hearty meal. We get to chat about our plans for that day and we almost always talk about how lucky we are to live where we do (the kitchen bench we sit around looks out over our land so the view is always there to remind us!) We have cold-pressed juice and usually eggs with salad from the garden or and some fermented veggies (kim chi or sauerkraut). We always try to have something raw with every meal.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Oh so many! But one of my favourites is – ‘A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything!’ You know when you’re going through a tough time and you get together with your friends and they make you laugh or even just watching a funny movie and you laugh until you can barely breathe and then all of a sudden you feel almost cured? A good, solid, uninterrupted sleep always puts a better perspective on things as well.
Connect with Organic Sisters
LEMON SAGO - THE HEALTHIER VERSION
By Organic Sisters
You will need
1 cup of sago
4 cups of coconut water
1 tablespoon of coconut nectar
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
Juice of two lemons
Finely grate the rind of the two lemons
Put all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps. Keep boiling until clear and thick. Pour into glass dish and sprinkle shredded coconut on the top.