Friday Fab Foodie Friend: Celina Hage
It's Friday again, hooray! As we all wait in anticipation for the weekend and whatever beautiful adventures it may hold, I'd like to take the time today to introduce to another Fab Foodie Friend of mine - Celina. I have known Celina for the past three and a bit years, as we met when we both started out at boarding school in Year 10. However, it wasn't until we started to bond over our mutual love of healthy food and brunch that we became really close friends. Our friendship essentially consists of unlimited conversations about food, consuming copious amounts of Pana Chocolate whilst watching Wonderland (our favourite show in the whole world) and for a while dying together as we completed the 30-min workouts in Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Training Guide (more about that here). One time we also decided to tackle the Mt Lofty climb in Adelaide, which proved to be more of a thigh-burner than we had anticipated! It is hard to summarise Celina in just a few words: she is hilariously funny, honest, authentic, determined, confident, a loyal friend and carries herself with a poise that I have never seen in anyone else my age. Celina is also an incredibly talented (and also humble) dancer who is currently pursuing her passion for dance at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts). Sadly, as I am in Melbourne, this means we don't get to hang out very often, but nonetheless I hope that Celina and I have many more adventures ahead of us, most of which would include some sort of food. From here I will leave you to get to know Celina through the interview. Please feel free to put any comments (keep it kind) below.
Have a happy Friday, Erica x
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you are currently doing in life?
Hiyyaa my name is Celina and I’m a 19 year old, half Australian, half Norwegian from Adelaide! I am currently living in Perth as I am in my first year at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts studying dance under a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) degree. My training is contemporary and classical ballet based and consumes around 40 hours of my week, which is incredibly fun and challenging, but also sometimes exhausting!
2. What are your passions? What do you love to do/talk about?
I’m obviously extremely passionate about my dancing and hope one day to get into a contemporary dance company within Australia or overseas, but I am also extremely passionate about health and wellbeing. I have a strong belief in food being the fuel to my body and mind and enjoy staying fit.
3. What kick-started your interest in health and wellness? Was it a turning point moment or a gradual transition?
When I was younger I was one of those kids that could eat whatever and it not be a problem, so I certainly didn’t begin off as a healthy kid. Clearly my fast metabolism didn’t carry on through my enjoyable time of puberty, so my body certainly changed (as do most people's)! It was actually only when I really got to know Erica that my interest in health sparked. I had never had a proper understanding and sound knowledge on what healthy food was and how bad processed foods really were. I lived with Erica in a house in year 11 at boarding school and she really helped to open my eyes to health and wellness and I suppose ever since then I have become more and more fascinated with it - doing my own research and making new discoveries in regards to my own body.
4. In your opinion what is a healthy lifestyle?
I personally believe that a healthy lifestyle is living a life free from refined sugars and processed foods, having a clear understanding of what foods your body responds and performs best to, maintaining a balanced and sufficient diet, incorporating some form of exercise everyday and genuinely being happy in how you are living your life.
5. Describe your average day – what do you do, eat, wear, create?
My average day involves getting up at 7:15am to get ready for a full day in the studio. Breakfast is normally a smoothie bowl (frozen bananas and berries, avo, spinach, coco/almond milk, topped with cacao granola) or overnight cacao and chia oats (topped with bananas, berried, apple, gojis… you name it). Our first class starts at 9 but I like to be at the studio between 45-30mins early to do a pilates warm-up, otherwise my dancing is off for the entire day. We have around 5-6 classes a day, each class being 1 and ½ hours or more, so our days normally end around 5:30pm or later. My lunchbox is generally a mix of fruit, chia pudding, and a salad or left overs from dinner the night before. Depending on what time I finish at WAAPA I come home and either do a workout with my housemates or get to making dinner and sit on the couch like a lazy slob for the rest of the night, icing and massaging the body!! I try and stretch each night too but sometimes once I am home I just can’t move anymore haha
6. What is your favourite way to move and be active?
Obviously my favorite way to move is dancing, which is good because that is what I spend my days doing, but I also enjoy other forms of exercise to keep in shape. I prefer changing up the exercise I do, so I do a lot of either yoga, pilates, walking/hiking, sprints, swimming, cardio and strength circuit work, stretching. I have also grown up going to the river in summer so during the warmer months my family and I do a lot of water sports.
For me it’s important to be versatile in my exercise and get my body moving in different ways. But I believe it’s different for each person – it’s about what YOU feel best doing and what you are personally challenged in.
7. What do you like to do in your down time or to relax?
I really love spending time with my friends and family as I don’t get to do that so much living on the other side of the country! My housemates and I love adventuring around Perth to find amazing food - we even do a weekly weekend brunch!
But I also love to just cook, read a good book or be extremely lazy and lie on the couch watching Game of Thrones or some Grey’s Anatomy.
- What is a quote that resonates with you at the moment?
Not big on quotes but I found this thing on instagram and I really love it…
Nope. I just believe in honesty and being genuine with yourself and others. Do what you need to do and have the courage to do it.
10. Top 3 favourite foods?
I literally love all natural foods, they’ve all got something to offer but I really do love a good nana-nice-cream and some raw cookies.
(This was the most amazing raw cookies and vegan ice-cream sandwich my cousin and I had when we went to Melbourne together, from Ace Cookies & Milk)
11. What is one health/wellness/spirituality film or book that you would recommend to everyone?
The first documentary that opened my eyes to healthy living was one we watched in our year 11 nutrition class and it was called Food Matters. Give it a go if you haven’t already.
12. What is your advice to someone who would like to make positive health changes in their life?
Do some research, it gets you really interested and also educates you.
Find friends who are also interested in health – people bond incredibly over food and fitness.
Be wary that changing your lifestyle takes a lot of determination and persistence - it took me properly a year or two to completely change my life to be the healthiest version of myself, and I’m still discovering and changing now.
13. What is the best thing that has happened today?
Today I have simply had the pleasure of being around some incredible dancers and friends. We’re all in a bit of a tired, stressed and physically broken place at the end of our semester having just finished assessments and in preparation for our next performance season, so to have each other and share some laughs makes it a good day.
14. Other than a healthy lifestyle, what do you think are three keys to health and happiness?
I don’t think there are three specific keys. I think it’s different for everyone and everyone finds their own ways to health and happiness.
Personally for me it’s doing what I love (dancing) everyday and working hard for it. I strive to take care of my body and listen to it, whether I’m feeling down or sick and need to sweat it out or allow myself to rest and be treated. Surrounding myself with family and friends, and people who are genuine is also very important to me.
15. Anything else you would like to add? A recipe you would like to share?
These are probably my two fail-safe recipes that I always use. Otherwise, I don’t really use recipes too much… I just enjoy experimenting with my cooking.
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 ½ cups cashews
- 1 cup dates
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 2 tbs rice malt syrup
- 1 tbs vanilla exract
- ½ cup cacao
- 1 pinch of salt
Blend it all together, roll them into balls and flatten them out into a cookie shape, pop them in the fridge to set and voilà.
Dairy free, sugar free Pancakes:
- 1 egg
- 1 banana
- Handful or so of oats
- 1 tbs chia seeds
(Could easily turn these into blueberry pancakes or cacao pancakes instead - I alter the recipe all the time - even using almond milk instead of an egg… go for it)
Wizz it all up, chuck in on the pan. Top it with some chia pudding/natural yoghurt, bananas and berries and chocolate sauce (I just use some cacao, coconut oil and rice malt syrup).
Keep healthy and happy,