Welcome to the wellness edit. A popular notion that holds a different meaning across different generations, different age groups, different people. But really, it all just boils down to this: what makes you feel better holistically?
In this edit, we talk to two phenomenal women who come with very important perspectives about the wellness industry. They fuse modern notions of city living with age-old practices of living slow and eating well.
Creator of recipes that your body will be grateful for, connoisseur of the farm-to-table philosophy, huntress of seasonal, whole-grain and organic produce, founder of the food and wellness venture, Copper + Cloves and a health and wellness coach - Sarah mindfully juggles everything on her plate (pun intended) with feline grace. In this interview, she talks to us about the wellness industry, her personal take on the concept of wellness and the ever-elusive question of wellness while living in a city
Sun sign: Scorpio
What you do: I’m the founder of food and wellness venture Copper + Cloves. I create recipes, menus and food experiences to delight and nourish people. I’m also a health and wellness coach and I support people to achieve their wellbeing- related goals
What you would be doing if you didn’t do what you currently do: Working with NGOs in the education sector in urban India (because that’s what I was doing before)
City/town you presently live in: Originally from London, currently living in Bangalore
Your current favourite…
Beauty products: Bare Necessities Desert Dry Shampoo- I just can’t face washing and drying my hair every day, it takes so long to dry and style. This is a yummy-smelling powder that you rub into the roots and it absorbs all the dirt and oil
Self-care ritual: Meditating for 15 minutes sitting on my balcony. I do this almost every morning. Also, just discovered a gua sha (a jade stone which you use to massage your face) which feels really nice and I do that at night sometimes.
Podcasts: My favourite podcast is called Feel Better, Live More by Dr Rangan Chatterjee- a British doctor who is interested in taking healthcare beyond Western medicine. Also, The Guilty Feminist- about the realities of being a feminist in the modern world hosted by a panel of female comedians- is excellent
Book and/or film: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Home Going by Yaa Gyasi. So many! Also 10% Happier is a great book about the benefits of meditation for skeptics
Websites: Shameless plug for www.copperandcloves.com which is full of recipes and I also weave in practical advice for living well which draws from my habit-based approach to coaching
Haunt in the city: A gorgeous little bookstore and cafe near Cubbon park called Champaca. It overlooks a beautiful avocado tree, and has an unusual curated collection of books, and a small menu of homely, nourishing food. I designed the menu here and would recommend the Sri Lankan lentil soup which is topped with homemade coconut sambol and crispy fennel onions. Served with a big slice of sourdough!
Indian and international brands/designers: I love Nicobar for homeware and I am so pleased Matt & Nat, which is a Canadian brand, have launched in India. They make stylish, minimalist vegan bags
First thought/word that comes to your mind when you think about Lune?
Bright golden lines
Wellness industry: The wellness industry can set an impossibly high standard of what ‘wellness’ is supposed to look life, for sure. ‘Wellness’ as defined by the global multi-billion-dollar industry can be a new stick to beat us with and I saw this in the UK where it felt like unless you were a green juice-drinking yoga teacher with glowing skin, toned abs and luxe sportswear standing in tree pose on a beach, you had not reached true wellness and needed to buy more products and experiences! But ultimately I don’t believe it needs to be a negative force- in the same way, that a growing clean energy industry can be a force for good. It is possible for new brands that have something to offer within beauty, food, movement, outdoor lifestyle or mental health to come together and create something purposeful, driven by a mission to help people to feel better and live more vivacious lives- fuelled by innovation and good products and concepts.
What wellness means to you and how it fits into your daily routine: Wellness is a word that has been hijacked by an industry- and it is easy to be cynical and feel it is all about playing on our fears and selling us more things like supplements we don’t really need. But at its core, to me, it means recognizing that, given the world we have created for ourselves to live in, we need to purposefully take small daily actions to help us thrive and feel a sense of wellbeing and happiness. Some examples of actions I take are: not looking at my phone for 2 hours before bed to help me get a restful night's sleep, cooking nutritious food and meditating in the morning or before I sleep. There are lots more things I know are good for me- but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing and we shouldn’t be intimidated by portrayals of wellness in the media, with intimidating elaborate daily self-care rituals. We can introduce practices and habits which are easy for us gradually. Wellness is about recognizing we have to design our lives on purpose and do things daily which look after ourselves physically and emotionally.
On wellness, while living in a city: Of course being in nature, or living a slower pace of life more typical outside cities, can lend itself to a greater sense of wellbeing than being stuck in traffic jams, air pollution and higher rents for cramped apartments. But wellness can include consciously choosing to feel grateful for positive things in our life, choosing to go to bed early with a good book, or making time to speak to a close friend.
Sisterhood (and what it means to you now that you wish you knew 10 years ago):
Sisterhood means everything to me. Firstly - in the literal sense my sister means everything to me. I’m lucky to have met and created strong groups of supportive, loving and fascinating women from school, university and beyond. Since moving to Bangalore, I have met an amazing group of women through a football group I joined- literally called Sisters in Sweat (@sistersinsweat.in). A phenomenal group of inspiring women, who are also warm, welcoming and kind, and while we initially met and came together to play football, we now also have weekly dance classes, go camping in nature and party hard together. They have made Bangalore feel like home.
Lessons that disappointment has taught you: I’m trying really hard right now to learn that in disappointment there is also a chance to reflect and grow and that one day you will look back and see why that disappointment happened- in hindsight it may be a turning point that led to something wonderful. It’s hard to really feel that at the time though.
On love and kindness:
I used to feel that love is something that is set between two people- you fall in love and then it’s done- rather than something you shape and create. I’ve learnt that the underlying traits to work on when we want to give and receive more love and kindness in our lives are compassion and empathy. Understanding another person, what might have happened in their past and what is going on in their minds at a given moment, instead of projecting what we think is going on, makes kindness the only option. Being vulnerable and accepting another’s vulnerabilities with kindness and compassion is so important within family, friendship and romantic relationships.
This is the title of another great book by Zadie Smith! Seeing that modern beauty standards are a social, patriarchal construct and learning to let go of what I’m fed to believe is beautiful was very freeing, instead seeing beauty in strength and kindness. It is hard to let go of standards we have been fed through the media but it is so important that we see modern beauty standards for women and men as farcical so we can be free to get on with life!
The future is: It is very scary and depressing at the moment when I read the news about climate change or about politicians all over the world whipping up hatred between groups of people or about the rise of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity in India due to poor lifestyle change. But rather than dwelling on these things and compulsively reading about the problems, I do really believe in the power of positive thought and spending time and energy on envisioning the future we want to live in. I don’t mean live in a bubble where we avoid the reality, but directing energy towards a vision of how things could be can be quite powerful. My vision is that people feel inspired to cook more, to make ethical food choices and learn to love to be active in their daily lives.
Sarah wears Shop Lune jewellery: Mama Crescent studs and the Mama Crescent necklace in the first image, the Nori necklace set and Sade big tube hoops with spine pearls in the third and fourth, the Viper necklace, Moss necklace, Visage earrings and the Kaori toggle bracelet in the cover image. She wears an assortment of rings in all the images - the Mie sterling silver ring set of four, Taliha, Taima, the Mother Of Pearl Crescent ring and the Essential Crescent ring.
Photographed by Sameena Taskin.