Women We Admire | Laura Wright of The First Mess
We've long been fans of Laura Wright's amazing plant-based food blog and instagram The First Mess, and we were so pleased to have her as part of our 21-Day Radiant Skin Reset. Her new cookbook is filled with seasonal, nourishing recipes and is a National Winner for Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2017 and was shortlisted for the 2018 Taste Canada Awards. Her passion for food and talent for storytelling makes her a Woman We Admire, so we asked her a few questions to get to know her better!
What do you eat for a power breakfast?
Lately I’m really into this smoothie that’s only a slight departure from one that I feature in my cookbook. The base is frozen banana, a whole roasted beet, a good handful of berries (preferably strawberries or raspberries). I add flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sometimes tocotrienols, vanilla powder, cinnamon, and a good scoop of salted almond butter. The liquid is a mix of unsweetened homemade nut milk and a big splash of fresh orange juice. It sounds like a weird combination on the surface, but I’m obsessed with the flavor and how good it makes me feel. The cheerful and gorgeous pink color helps with the overall enjoyment too. It’s like instant happiness.
When do you feel most like yourself? / When are you at your happiest?
I honestly enjoy the simple, easy, and free things in life the most, so I’m happy and feel fully present in myself quite often. But some examples: any time I’m near the ocean or surrounded by trees. When a big meal all comes together and I look around the table and see/feel everyone laughing and enjoying themselves. That soft cushion of a moment between my morning meditation and my first cup of tea. Collapsing on our cozy couch with my partner and our dogs after a very full workday. I live for those simple pleasures and everyday moments.
Who do you admire and why
I really admire Ella Mills of the Deliciously Ella enterprise. The way that her business has unfolded and expanded in such a natural and positive way is a constant inspiration. I also appreciate that she is unapologetically herself to her community of followers, always sharing the ups and downs and some of the less glamorous aspects of entrepreneurship. Her transparency, business acumen, and knack for developing instantly crave-able plant-based food just constantly blows me away.
How would you spend a perfect 'day off'?
I would get up early (because I always get up early), do my daily meditation, and have a tea or coffee by the fire. Then, I’d go for a hike with my partner and our two dogs. I’d make a lovely little brunch spread for us afterward, read a bit, maybe putter around in the garden or with some DIY project in the house. On a perfect day, we’re going out for dinner or entertaining friends. Then, I’d run a bath, do a little face mask maybe, turn my phone to airplane mode and tuck it away in a drawer, and just fully relax into the evening. Kind of a typical Sunday honestly! It’s simple, but deeply fulfilling on a spirit level for me.
What piece of advice would you like to offer to other women?
Stop measuring your worth by your level of productivity in work and life. If you’re in a creative field, the goal of constant productivity, regardless of where you are mentally/physically on a particular day, can be detrimental and counterproductive. You don’t have to do it all. You certainly can, but if you’re consistently forcing it, sooner or later the stress and pressure will catch up with you and your most cherished relationships, and I can guarantee that the quality of your work will slide as well. It’s not worth it to push yourself to be constantly “killing/crushing it.” When did the idea of success become so violent? For me, true fulfillment is an alignment of purpose, positive work, and a level of happiness that comes from a life in balance with a firm grasp of my limits. Gentleness is a healing balm that simultaneously refines ambition and rounds its edges. Nurturing this duality will take you everywhere you want to be.
What is your favourite 'indulgence'?
I have so many. Wine, chocolate, salty snacks, manicures, the odd afternoon nap on my porch with the dogs, root beer, burritos the size of my head, weekday pancake breakfasts, handfuls of chocolate chips (did I say chocolate already haha), sleeping in until 8… these are all pretty tame, but they tend to do the trick for me.
Laura Wright is the creator of The First Mess, an award-winning food blog and cookbook. Laura grew up with the farm-to-table movement as a way of life and began her plant-based food blog after attending culinary school and working in restaurants. She lives in the Niagara region of southern Ontario with her partner and two rescue dogs.
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