Life With Love
Christiane Duigan and Teresa Palmer are goals in every sense of the word; mama goals, friendship goals, entrepreneur goals, wellness goals. These two beautiful ladies are earth mamas, friends and now business partners as they prepare to launch L O V E W E L L; their wellness brand that they have poured so much love and hard work into, behind the scenes, for the past year. Their synergy is evident and their passion infectious. What I love most, is that with both of them, what you see is what you get. They are two of the sweetest, softest, kindest, nurturing humans on the face of the earth and watching them as mamas is watching poetry in motion. And they practice what they preach, truly living healthy, whole, plentiful lives reflecting their ethos that health and wellness begins from within.
Adelaide born and bred, both ladies have spent considerable time away building their careers and families – Christiane in Sydney and London and Teresa in Los Angeles, but now they each split their time with the majority of it in Adelaide, which will always be home. Raising their gorgeous tribe of children, it is evident that family comes first, and wellness is a priority for their families.
Being the epitome of wellness, their philosophy is healing from the earth and we are so excited that they are sharing their knowledge and expertise with the launch of L O V E W E L L (coming in May); their plant based, natural, nutrient dense, delicious, fair trade supplements for both mama (and dadas!); BLOSSOM and child; GROW. Their products will be available at a very accessible price point, without comprising quality (insert hands in the air emoji here!), they’ve had the tick of approval from their little loves and their hilarious
husbands (check out their rap on Instagram to see what I’m talking about!) are without a doubt their biggest fans. And, a after getting to have a sneaky little taste – I can tell you firsthand that you’re about to become obsessed, I’ve never tasted a protein / nutrient powder like it, it’s seriously delish and so good simply mixed with water – and when combined with your favourite ingredients into a smoothie, it will blow your mind and your tastebuds.
Their website – launching soon – is a mecca of wellness, so head on over to lovewell.earth (yes, .EARTH not .COM – how cool is that) and sign up to be the first in the know when pre-orders are open and products are dropping; they are starting with a limited run so take my word for it – you really don’t want to miss out. And follow them on Instagram (@lovewell.earth) for all the behind-the-scenes goodness, wellness information, product insight… and let’s be honest, alllllll the cuteness from their little tribe.
What do you love most about being a mum and how has it changed you?
CD: From a very young age, I always knew my life purpose was to be a mum. I had no career goals as such, it was always to be a mum. So for a while I worked as a nanny, babysat and worked at an after school care with kids to surround myself and practice and for me, being a mum has been the most fulfilling thing in my life and is what makes me the happiest.
TP: Pretty much the same! I feel the same way, I’ve always had such a strong pull towards motherhood and anyone who knows me well knows that my greatest desire was to be a mother. What I love most about it? It’s really hard to pinpoint any one thing but just nurturing these beautiful little souls and watching them blossom into the people that they are and creating the space for them to explore their world and their environment and grow into the little spirits that they are. Everything in my life is richer because I am a mother. It’s my greatest joy and as Mark says, I’m addicted to having babies so I may end up as a mum to an entire tribe of children but that would make me incredibly happy.
CD: It has changed my lifestyle, nothing does prepare you for the shock of having kids and multiple children because it does change your priorities and what you want for life. My perfect dream day pre-kids was very different to now, now it’s about the simple things. Now it’s spending time with the kids, doing family things with friends, having all the kids running around while we’re in the sunshine at the beach, it has changed priorities.
What is your approach to motherhood and parenting?
CD: I very much learnt along the way and tried to figure it out by making mistakes, until I got tired of yelling at my kids all the time, I didn’t like the person I became because it was a constant argument and that’s when I turned to a lot of parenting podcasts and books to find a more respectful way of parenting to get better results by tweaking simple things such as language and understanding the psychology of the kids and why they do what they do. It allows you to make a more calm, informed response rather than a heated reaction to a situation.
TP: I’m pretty chilled and laid back, I definitely have gentle boundaries in place with the kids but I’m one of those parents that is go with the flow, not regimented. I don’t have a specific routine, I meet their needs when the need arises each day. Every day might look a little bit different and that’s ok. We try to have a lot of fun and laughter and we’re always adventuring but I really try not to put a huge amount of pressure on myself to get everything done the right way, we’re on this journey together.
The greatest lesson your kids have taught you?
TP: I second that haha.
CD: And just love, the purest form of unconditional love and joy.
TP: I completely agree with Chrissy, that’s the perfect answer.
What does wellness mean to you?
TP: Feeling balanced in mind, body and spirit. Being in alignment with all three of those things.
CD: Yes, and peace.
TP: A big thing for Chrissy and I, we always say ‘keep it simple’, we love easy simplicity, nothing needs to be too overly complicated. I think as I’ve gotten older that’s something that I’ve really gravitated towards. For me, it’s also about exisiting in a conscious mind frame as much as possible, living my life as consciously as I can and really trying to maintain a state of presence is really important because we can get ahead of ourselves, we can future trip and I always find I’m in my most peaceful self and parenting with love when I’m just breathing, I’m present and with the children.
CD: A nice word is actually ‘mindful’, we tell the kids all the time ‘could you please be mindful not to hit your head on the table’ when we’re trying to get them to be aware so that definitely applies to us as adults as-well, to be mindful of being present.
Three of your wellness non-negotiables?
CD: Definitely, making sure through our L O V E W E L L shakes that myself and my kids are getting all the nutrients that they need during the day, beach walks and for me, nourishing my sweet tooth – I make sure I’ve got my daily dose of chocolate every day
TP: In our family we start the day with our L O V E W E L L shake for breakfast and I know the kids are taken care of health-wise for the rest of the day. I love a cold pressed green juice and my non-negotiable one hour of self care time is having a bath and listening to one of my favourite true crime podcasts.
What is your approach to nutrition with kids?
TP: Half of my family are vegan, the other half are vegetarian. My littlest son and I are vegetarians and my husband, eldest son and stepson are vegan. So for us it’s making sure that we’re eating balanced, whole foods based meals but ensuring we’re getting enough protein. That comes in all different forms, one of the main reasons why I wanted to create L O V E W E L L is because we are a vegetarian family, I knew that I would be able to reach my daily protein requirement through the shake as well as making smart food choices.But also when it comes to kids and nutrition, being flexible and listening to what they’re enjoying, what they’re gravitating towards, introducing new foods and trying to expand their palettes.
CD: It always comes back to the word balance for our family. We eat everything in a really balanced way, I make sure they’re getting some form of protein, carbs and healthy fats in each meal. We don’t have dessert every day but on the weekend they’ll get a sugar free ice-cream. However, if there’s a birthday party for example there’s always exceptions, they’re not not allowed anything. My aim is to teach them that balance is key and it’s ok to have a treat every now and then.
TP: Yes, I would say that being overly dogmatic with your children can really backfire, I used to be the mum that had zero tolerance for sugar at all and it made my kids way more obsessed with the idea of getting to have sugar so now we allow them to have a couple of small treats a week and I really agree with what Chrissy said, it’s all about balance. And I apply that to my views surrounding food too, if I feel like indulging in something I will do that.
CD: Actually there was something really cute that Charlotte said the other day because there are so many dietary types these days whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, pescatarian etc, Charlotte asked ‘mummy, how do we eat?’ and I said ‘we eat in a healthy way’ and she said ‘oh, so are we health-itarian?’. I thought that was really sweet.
Do you have any hacks on getting kids to eat better and how does L O V E W E L L play into that?
TP: The great thing about L O V E W E L L is that it is so packed full of nutrients but it tastes like an indulgent dessert treat for the kids so they love it. It’s not one of those sorts of things where with my two year old I have to sit at the table with him for a whole hour to get him to eat all of his broccoli and he stockpiles the broccoli in his mouth and isn’t interested because he doesn’t like the taste. So I think that we’ve really solved that issue by having a shake that tastes beautiful and they’re getting all their nutrients.
CD: They’re getting a real balance of nutrients in one hit so if anything during the day goes awry they are getting all their vitamins, minerals, proteins, probiotics but it isn’t a replacement for food. We try and hide carrots and zucchini in bolognese and sneak things into their diet as much as possible. I often offer my kids a veggie health platter before they eat dinner. Kids love raw versions – cucumber, peppers and carrots, dipped in hummus, so by offering them that first while I’m finishing dinner or plating it, they’ve already had a hit of veggies and nutrients while they’re starving.
Your best tip on staying healthy when traveling?
TP: I pre-plan and look into the organic vegetarian restaurants in that city and Mark and I always get excited about finding the local haunts that everyone is raving about that sells good, nutritious food.
CD: On the plane I would definitely say L O V E W E L L, I bring along and mix into water or milk.
TP: Definitely bringing pre-packed food for the plane, sometimes we’ll also get to the airport early and order a big meal at one of the restaurants so we’re full when we get on the plane, the healthy snacks get us through the flight and then the first thing we do when we get off the plane is go and have a beautiful, luscious, nutritious meal.
CD: Equally, if you’re going on holiday, don’t worry too much about it and enjoy the holiday.
Can you tell us about L O V E W E L L, the inspiration behind the concept and what the product development process was like?
CD: It really was inspired out of a necessity for us, as busy parents we needed this product to nourish ourselves, L O V E W E L L is a fast, efficient and tasty way to do it. The product development process has been fun, we worked with nutritionists from around the world to make sure we’re packing as much as we can in one dose for an accessible price, we work with an incredible Australian based manufacturer who sources ingredients from the best places in the world and makes sure that everything is fair-trade and as organic and natural as possible, we did sampling with our kids. Product development is my favourite part of the job, it’s what I love.
TP: Everything Chrissy said!
Did you get the taste test seal of approval from your tribe of children?
TP: We sure did, we have a video of Forest – who was the first one to try it – and he downed two full glasses in a row. He couldn’t stop drinking it and kept saying ‘more more’. And when we asked him if it’s tasty his reply was ‘it’s really yummy’. Raffi loves it too. It’s great because they are the littlest members of our tribe and so it was nice to see that the little ones loved it and then of course the older ones are obsessed with it too. And it was great because we got it first time round, we tasted it and immediately knew it was amazing, it tasted so good, we knew the kids would love it, we didn’t have to go back and forth with the manufacturer because we got it right the first time which was wonderful, and quite rare probably.
Your favourite way to have L O V E W E L L Blossom?
TP: We’re chalk and cheese the way we have it, I love a big thick chocolate smoothie so I do a huge tablespoon of raw almond butter, a full banana, a cup of almond milk, cinnamon, ice and put my L O V E W E L L in and blend it altogether. I like it to be quite rich and filling. Whereas Chrissy really loves it simply with water, she stirs it into a glass of water and it does taste amazing like that, I just prefer it to be really thick and to feel really full after my shake.
CD: I guess, you have your shake as your breakfast whereas I still have breakfast and have mine as a complementary drink to go along with it.
What do you love most about working with each other?
TP: We were friends first and foremost which is really nice because we’re really likeminded and enjoy doing all the same sorts of things and we have similar intentions for the business and products so it has felt really seamless. We’re also really different in terms of our strengths and what we’re passionate about in business. Chrissy has the more nerdier brain in terms of business, numbers, stock – all the stuff that just goes over my head and I really love doing all the marketing, PR, creative stuff and coming up with strategies. So, we really complement each other so beautifully, it’s been really fantastic.
CD: And anything that overlaps we’re always in agreement anyway because we’re very likeminded, but we both have our strengths and we haven’t needed to outsource anything because anything Teresa doesn’t do, I do – and vice versa.
As busy mamas and career women, what does work-life balance look like for you?
TP: It’s different all the time, I have a really supportive husband who knows that when I am working, he is completely in charge of school drop offs and responsibilities with the kids and we have a really great balanced relationship in that way so I have a lot of help from him. And also, it’s just about prioritising different things and utilising the time when the kids are in school to get a lot done. Chrissy and I usually meet after school drop off, get work done, then have a blast with the kids after school, so we get to do both things which is really nice and we set our own hours.
CD: For me, I’m still yet to strike a perfect balance because my type of brain is always on and I’m always doing a bit of everything at the same time unfortunately. I really need to take some inspiration from Teresa how she compartmentalises because I might be with the kids and emailing at the same time or on my laptop and have other things happening around me, so I’m definitely a pretty good multi- tasker but I’d rather not because that creates chaos in my mind because there’s so much going on in there at the same time.
What does your ultimate dreamy weekend with the kids look like?
TP: WOMAD! Haha. Chrissy and I just had such a beautiful three day weekend experience here in Adelaide at the WOMAD festival. The kids ran around in the sunshine and had lots of nature play, we ate yummy food and had deep, connective conversations with each other. We just had a remarkable time. My Adelaide weekends are always my favourite, surrounded by friends, kids and nature.
CD: Definitely that and if it’s not WOMAD it’s most definitely got something to do with being all together on the beach, Goolwa at the river or a weekend in Byron Bay – we love going there because of the beautiful beaches, healthy foods and slower pace.
Work done for the day, kids in bed, ultimate ‘me time’ is….
TP: Bath. Podcast. Lavender salts.
CD: Dinner with James.
Your 5 favourite things about Adelaide…
• Adelaide beaches.
• Goolwa; we love it because it has the river and the beach.
• All the di erent markets on the weekends
• The luxury of just being at home and spending the day with family and friends.
• The close proximity of beaches, trails, nature, city; everything is so accessible.
Your 5 favourite things to do with kids in Adelaide…
• March Madness (Fringe, Womad etc)
• Taking the kids down to the Kurangga Park BMX Track and riding bikes
• Plant 4 on the weekend; the amazing food and the kids love the playground
• Goodwood markets
• Royal Adelaide Show is the most popular thing in my household!