Donna Smith is a Holistic Wellness Counsellor who works with women to create a life full of vitality, confidence and inner glow, ready to pursue their goals and most of all their “hopes and dreams”. It is through not only her education, but through her own life’s journey with illness, that her true understanding of Wellness lies. Meet Donna…
Tell us about your journey, what sparked your passion for the health and wellness industry?
I am passionate about Health and Wellness because I know how hard it is to regain once you lose it, along with your dreams.
My life took an unexpected turn when at 29 I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. After traditional treatment of chemotherapy and 3 operations I regained my health. The legacy of this experience was that I felt like I could never waste time again. It left me feeling unsettled and propelled me on a journey to finding inner fulfilment, satisfaction and happiness in my everyday life.
Once again at 40 I received a challenging diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue. Challenging because I didn’t see it coming and part of the road to my wellness was no sport for twelve months. This was like a jail sentence for me having grown up swimming competitively and loving my current sport at that time of cycling. Needless to say this was my biggest challenge and wake up call.
From a young age I had learnt to listen to my mind and not my body. I didn’t understand that if my body was tired that I was supposed to rest and hence, this mindset carried right through my adult years and up until this point.
My mind struggled profusely with my inactiveness. Would I become overweight? How long was this going to take? Would I ever be 100% again? The change in my diet to accommodate my poor energy and digestion was initially the least of my concerns but has proven overtime to be a key component in my total wellness.
Gradually between then and today, 8 years later my good health has returned, however, not without changing my mindset, my eating habits and looking extensively at my lifestyle habits.
In essence my health issues forced me to become aware of “Wellness” in a Holistic sense.
What’s your number one wellness tip?
That’s a hard one….I think I’d have to go for “prioritising sleep”.
What’s your one non-negotiable when it comes to your health?
Health is my number one priority and at the top of my values list. As they say “if you haven’t got your health you haven’t got anything”, hence, anything that impedes or impacts on my health is a non-negotiable, whether it be my work, my relationships, how often I exercsie etc. etc.
What motto do you live by?
I believe everything in “balance”, I do not believe in extremes.
What is your proudest achievement?
Everyday walking my talk, I live my life Holistically, I practice what I preach.
What are your goals for the future?
To continue to focus on my health being the best it can be and to ideally create an awareness in others of how their food and lifestyle choices are impacting on their everyday and long term health outcomes and how this can easily be avoided.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
That’s a hard one because I’m pretty much an open book, what you see is what you get. I’ll have to pass on that one!
Can you share with us one of your favourite recipes?
Wow I have soooo many… One of my favourites is…
Curried Lentil and Pumpkin Soup
Olive oil spray
1 brown onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into 1cm-pieces
175g (3/4 cup) red lentils, rinsed (Mount Zero Red Lentils they keep their shape!)
1.25L (5 cups) water
1x 10g Massel Salt-Reduced Vegetable stock cube
90g (1/3 cup) natural yoghurt
Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Add the onion and cook, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
Add the pumpkin, lentils, water and stock cube. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin and lentils are soft. Set aside to cool.
Ladle half the lentil mixture into the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat with the remaining lentil mixture.
Place the soup over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until heated through. Season with pepper. Ladle among serving bowls. Top with the yoghurt and coriander to serve.
recipe from Taste.com.au
Where can we find you?
Like Donna, has your health forced you to make a major lifestyle change?