06 Aug Teresa Palmer
Aussie beauty Teresa Palmer is a vegan mum-of-three, an actress, a writer, a producer, a vlogger and when she has spare time, she and her director husband Mark Webber rescue animals in need.
Gently Vegan’s Shonagh Walker chatted to her about her plant-powered life, her beautiful family and of course, the launch of her new health and wellness business, Lovewell.
Shonagh Walker: Can you describe your journey to this compassionate lifestyle?
Teresa Palmer: It was actually my son, Bodhi (5), and stepson, Isaac (11), who turned me vegan. They are both very dedicated to veganism and are so encouraging of the family, and others, to make conscious decisions with their diet.
Bodhi saw some fish on display at Whole Foods Market one day and couldn’t understand why they weren’t swimming in the ocean. Once he knew that meat came from animals, he could not fathom the idea and that was that!
I had been a pescatarian for many years, but their influence, compassion and kindness has inspired me to adopt a more humane and considered approach to food.
SW: How beautiful! You’ve always been a huge animal lover and have many rescue pets. Do you currently have a menagerie?
TP: Back in LA, we have two dogs Koda and Kado, and at our home in Adelaide we have two cats, called Blackwood and Stormy Grey – named by Forest (Teresa’s two-year-old son). We also have three rescue sheep on our property, a mother and her twin baby boys. I had heard that they were going to be taken for slaughter, so I hired a ute, then drove up to the farm with my family to rescue them.
It was a very spontaneous decision and they now run loose behind our house. They’re not tame and are always running away from us, but the kids love them and I’m so glad that they’ll get to live out their days with us in freedom.
SW: I love that story! Who organises the cooking and meal planning in your home? Do your supplements make life easier for you as a busy mama?
TP: My husband, Mark, is the cook in our home. He is an avid watcher of any and all cooking shows and loves to replicate vegan alternatives to what he sees on TV. Mark has such a knack and a love for cooking, and is always whipping up delicious, adventurous meals. I’m not a natural in the kitchen and don’t have the same creativity when it comes to cooking, but I do enjoy being involved in the process, especially when it comes to the kids. I do a lot of the food shopping and love putting together lunches for the kids, making nutrition an exciting part of their day.
Lovewell is great for us, as we know that we can give the kids their smoothie every morning and have the peace of mind that they have had all their nutritional needs met for the day. Before Lovewell, I was finding that, because I was so busy, I was taking shortcuts in terms of the kids’ food and wasn’t meeting their needs as well as I should have, especially because they are vegan. Lovewell takes the pressure off Mark and me and gives our family such a good head start every day.
SW: Lovewell aside, what are your other secrets to great health?
TP: My main focus is about finding balance. I feel most healthy when I am in alignment physically, mentally and spiritually, and have found that a holistic approach delivers the best results for me and my family.
In my eating, exercise and lifestyle choices, I always try to lean into the things that give me joy. Health is all about being in tune with your body and I try to listen to what my body is telling me and take positive, holistic steps to ensure that I am feeling healthy and well.
It’s okay to treat yourself occasionally, if you’re feeding your body with healthy choices the rest of the time, and it’s okay to have a day off from the gym if you need time to rest. Life and food should be enjoyed, treat your body like the incredible vessel it is!
SW: What advice would you give to those embarking on a kinder lifestyle in terms of what they put on their plate or use in their lives?
TP: My biggest advice is to give it a go and see how you feel – a lot of people find that their body looks and feels better when they take meat off the plate.
Start small. Little changes and adaptations are the best way to begin, and an effective way to ease into a new way of living. Meatless Monday is a great way to start, and just generally looking for opportunities to find cruelty-free alternatives in daily life.
I think that it’s so important to be informed and do your research, so that you can make educated choices that are best for you. Not only is the cruelty-free movement so much better for your body, but it is so much kinder to the environment and you are positively contributing to the world that we live in.
Even if you don’t want to commit to a complete vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, know where your food comes from. Support local, educate yourself on farming practices and make choices that are good for your body and our planet. I also believe in being kind, positive and encouraging towards others who are looking to make changes and take steps towards conscious living. My husband and I are both plant-based, but we’re not the type to pressure anyone or force our choices on those around us. Everyone is different and on their own path, and the best thing we can do as advocates for veganism and cruelty-free living is to be a source of support for others. It’s about sharing your best vegan recipes with friends, supporting cruelty-free brands, living holistically, and finding positive ways to engage with this incredible movement.
SW: I couldn’t agree more! Now, on to your yummy smoothies … what prompted you, as a busy Mum and successful actress, to create this range of supplements?
TP: I’ve had an interest in wellness for many years. It began when I was living and working in Los Angeles, where I was fortunate enough to have access to the world’s leading nutritionists, holistic therapists and health experts.
I didn’t think my life could be any busier than my time in Hollywood, but since becoming a mother I’ve had to juggle a growing family, my career, my kids’ health – all whilst trying to find time to look after myself. My business partner, Christiane Duigan, and I have seven children between us and Lovewell really began out of a need for an easy way to ensure the nutritional needs of ourselves and our families were met each day.
It started by asking ourselves a question, “what would make life easier?” and the answer was simple: a daily pick-me-up that provides energy, health and nutritional support. It’s something that I think resonates with a lot of mothers and a key reason we are so proud of Lovewell. We’re making nutrition, health and wellness simple, easy and accessible to busy families like our own.
SW: Aside from being really delicious, why do you feel your supplements stand out from others that are around?
TP: Chrissy and I developed Lovewell because there wasn’t anything like it on the market that delivered on flavour, quality, nutritional value, practicality and cost. As mothers and wellness advocates, we are so conscious of what we put into our bodies and what we give to our children. Lovewell brings together so many brilliant, natural vegan ingredients to provide all our daily nutritional needs in one delicious, convenient product.
We designed Lovewell in conjunction with a team of international experts, and I am so proud that this little product contains countless health benefits that deliver everything your body needs to thrive, in one simple drink.
Lovewell also stands alone in its business ethos and practices. We value transparency and have adopted practices that foster a connective and positive environment where sustainable mindsets can flourish. We are all about community and want our customers to feel a part of something that can really help to affect positive change for our bodies, families and world.
SW: How long did it take from concept to creation?
TP: I am incredibly fortunate to be working with a seasoned entrepreneur and business guru in Lovewell’s co-founder, Christiane Duigan. Chrissy has been in business and, specifically, has owned and managed businesses in the wellness space for many years, and it was her experience and guidance that enabled us to take Lovewell from concept to creation in such a short period of time.
The concept first arose in September 2018 and we had launched by April 2019, so it was certainly a fast-tracked process. I was so fortunate that Chrissy had the relationships and industry know-how to bring Lovewell to life, and that I was able to ride her coattails through this journey.
SW: Tell me about the flavours/variants? What are the benefits of each, and which is your fave?
TP: Currently, the Lovewell range is comprised of two products, BLOSSOM and GROW. It was a conscious decision in the early days of the business to keep the range small and select, we wanted to do a few products, and do them really well.
My favourite is BLOSSOM. I have a real sweet tooth, so I love decadent chocolate flavour. It has a great blend of micronutrients, nootropics, vegan collagen, aqua minerals, protein, super greens and probiotics that are perfect for ensuring our busy bodies are equipped with all the essential vitamins and minerals we need each day.
GROW is a delicious organic smoothie for the little tummies of our young tribe. It gives little ones their vital vitamins, nutrients, probiotics and protein, helping to build strong bones to take them on their wild adventures, nurture their growing hearts and nourish their inspired minds.
It was originally vanilla flavoured, but our little taste-testers demanded chocolate, so we decided to change it to ensure it was something kids would devour. If my son Bodhi had any idea how many veggies are in it, he’d be shocked, he thinks it’s his dessert!
SW: It seems like you’ve made self-care pretty simple …
TP: A major benefit of both is their practicality – we are living in an age where self-care is typically last on our mile-long to-do lists, so it’s wonderful to be able to have something that is so easy, delicious and good for you. I feel like I’m practicing self-care by drinking my shake every morning and have noticed a difference in my children too; they’re not trying to snack between meals as much, they seem fuller, calmer and they also just love the taste. It gives me such peace of mind to know that I am meeting their nutritional needs every day.
SW: Obviously your vegan beliefs were an influence, but for what other reasons did you choose to go down the plant-based path for these powders?
TP: I am a big believer in plant-based nutrition. I understand the health benefits of plant-based food and have seen firsthand the power of this way of life. The world is starting to pay attention to the benefits of eating plant-based and there is a real movement towards being kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. Considering the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet, it was a no-brainer for us to follow this path when we created Lovewell. To find out more about Lovewell or to purchase the powders, click here
Lifestyle Editor Shonagh Walker