On the road with Olivia Murphy, the beauty behind Breakfast Babes.
Olivia and I connected through social media when I spoke out about my own struggles with anxiety, coming off birth control which then led to depression. Olivia and I have had a very similar journey in many regards. Often sharing each other’s ideas, supplements, mindfulness and wellness methods. Social media definitely has its positives and can be a great medium for connecting like minded people.
Dotting mumma to beautiful Luca, Oliva shares her journey with us about her own struggles with anxiety, PND (post natal depression), her concept and theory behind Breakfast Babes and why wellness, mindfulness and nutrition is such an important and vital part of her day-to-day lifestyle.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and where you come from?
My name is Olivia Murphy, I am a mum to the most beautiful but cheekiest 1 year old boy, Luca. I live in Mount Maunganui with my partner and son, but I am originally from Dunedin. I love teaching and practicing yoga, long walks while listening to cringy music and food, I love eating and creating healthy but delicious food.
Tell us more about where you live and what a typical day looks like for you.
A typical day starts at around 6am when our little alarm clock yells from his cot for us to get up, I usually head out for a little walk before my partner leaves for work in the morning.
Breakfast and lunches made for myself and the wee man. Kohanga drop offs at 9 am and I start work at about 10 am.
On days when I’m working I try and head to the gym or to a yoga class, my partner and I take turns for afternoon activities during the week, so at least once or twice a week I will get a night off cooking and get to something for myself.
On my days at home with Luca, I love getting out for a big walk and or play dates in the park with the wee man, then home for a nap for luca and I will play around in the kitchen making something yummy to share on Breakfast Babes.
When was the first time you thought about starting Breakfast Babes and why?
It actually all started when I was working away on yachts, a few girls i worked with loved making yummy breakfasts that looked cute and tasted delicious, it was to inspire other yachties to stay fit and healthy, as it can be pretty hard going at times making the right choices nutritionally. I ended up leaving the yacht to go travelling with my partner and I decided to keep sharing some of the things I would make, we lived off smoothie bowls while we were in central america, (thank god for our freezer and blender at the surf resort we worked at) I carried on purely because I feel like when you’ve discovered something that’s delicious and healthy, you just have to share it, plus I love it when people use my recipes it’s such a nice feeling.
How would you describe the content and philosophy of Breakfast Babes?
That’s a very good question. Our content and philosophy is pretty simple, I love sharing Recipes I have tried and tested, recipes that you can make when you’re in a hurry, you have minimal ingredients or you just need a little inspo for your next raw treat. There are so many amazing health blogs, instagram accounts and websites that are oozing with great recipes, but you start reading the instructions or the ingredients list and realise there is items you’ve never heard of and it’s probably going to take two hours to make. I think health doesn’t need to be so tricky or so expensive, you don’t need every superfood under the sun to make a perfect smoothie or smoothie bowl, perhaps just start with one and go from there. you also don’t need a million followers or the latest protein to start, these recipes come from a messy kitchen made by a busy mum with a one year old clung to her leg, with probably half the ingredients she thought she had. If I can inspire people to just start somewhere or to make small steps on their road to health, then that’s all i could ever hope for. Seriously when someone tags me in a picture using one of the BB recipes it’s the best feeling ever!
What impact do you think social media has on your career with Breakfast Babes Life?
Without social media I don’t think my breakfast babes journey would have begun, i have always loved making yummy healthy food, but I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to start a blog without having started with instagram. As my journey has progressed I have realised my passion for being in the kitchen, but more so being able to share with others.
What part or impact do you think social media plays on mental health and wellbeing?
Another very good question, it makes me really worried for the new generation of girls and boys who have all these glossy pictures at their fingertips of perfect people and their perfect lives with all the great things they have, there are so many photo shopped girls and guys with perfect skin, hair, teeth that are encouraging the most unhealthy things like skinny me tea or fat blasting injections for your chin, it’s insane, it makes me think back to that awkward flat chested 15 year old trying to figure out her body and why her boobs haven’t grown yet, now that I am older I can joke about having tiny boobs but for a teenage girl looking at social media’s idea of what perfect should look like is scary and really sad. but then there is a really great side to social media, like awesome quotes or inspiring people to help get you through tough times.
What are your personal key things to having a better mentality, clarity and wellbeing?
For me it’s doing things that i love, like walking or yoga and on days when I just cannot be bothered, having someone to help motivate me, my partner, I always tell him if i don’t get out of bed for my walk unless I have a really good reason he has to make me go. Meditation is a great tool for me and also just having a good chat to a friend or family member, someone who just knows you.
What did having your first child have on your personal life and wellbeing?
Another very good question, best blessing I have ever been given but holey moley, you really just have no idea what it’s like or what to expect until you’ve had a baby. I’m such an independent person. My partner and I live away from both of our families apart from his dad who we lived with for the first year of luca’s life. Learning what having a baby actually means and ways to look after myself as well as my new babe was the biggest challenge I have ever had to go through. I was in denial for a long time about having PND or symptoms and was too scared to get help, now I am very proactive and I am not as scared as I was to talk about it, it is so common for new mums and it’s such a huge thing, for any mummas who have gone through or are going through it, I so feel you, you will get through it and if you’ve been brave enough to ask for help well done.
What are you thoughts on birth control and the impact it can have on your mental health, hormones and wellbeing?
Oh my god!!! another really good question, again I go back to my teenage self popping into family planning to go on the pill, without any idea of what that actually meant. It can be so tough, for me I am terribly sensitive to any kind of hormone altering birth control, so that’s pretty much all of them. I decided to get the Copper IUD which after 4 months is finally starting to simmer down, but I definitely believe it had a major impact on my mood and mental health, resulting in low iron due to heavy periods which makes it incredibly hard to stay motivated to keep moving or to exercise which is so important for mental health.
Have you suffered from or experienced anxiety and/or depression?
I have suffered from mild anxiety throughout my life and with the arrival of my son I have been dealing with severe anxiety and postnatal depression.
How have you learnt how to cope with it better when you experience it?
Talking is definitely a good place to start, if i’m feeling a little bit off or somethings on my mind, talking it over getting it off my chest. maybe a meditation if i have time or a walk, can always help calm things down.
I am also apart of a group called Mothers Helpers, which is a lady in Auckland who started a program for women with PND it is a free 10 week course, for ladies who do not live in Auckland, we do a big online session each week.
What would be your message to others going through a period of struggle in their life?
There is help out there and if your first try for help didn’t work, just try again until you’ve found someone or something who’s on your level, and when you’re in those dark times, when it’s the hardest time to remember, know that it is going to get better.
look after yourself, take a long bath, go to the yoga or gym class you’ve been meaning to try and for me little things like keeping a journal by my bed and writing things im grateful for… even if it’s being grateful for the pjs you have on it’s still something.
What are your thoughts on the impact health and fitness play on general health and wellbeing?
Health and fitness are such a big part to your wellbeing, make it fun, get outside, find that thing you love to do and make time to do it, on days when you couldn’t think of anything worse, that’s probably the best time to do it. Even if you’re a busy mum with little ones at home, look out for those mums n bubs exercise groups or head outside to run around the back yard. Food is just as important too, whenever I am cooking I always make sure there’s enough so that I can eat leftovers for lunch, which saves so much time and money. buying food out can be so expensive and there might not always be the healthiest options about, so a little prep really does save you.
What is your favourite quote or mantra you like to live by and why?
For me something I think I live by is knowing that life works in mysterious ways, all things happen for reasons, good or bad we are always learning something, and also a mantra a friend told me is ‘this too shall pass’ an amazing thing to remember when you have been up half the night with a teething baby.
Thanks Olivia! x
Check out more on Olivia Murphy and her beautiful journey at www.breakfastbabes.club or @breakfast_babes. She is one to watch!