We've teamed up with South Aussie based Nutritionist and host of the Happy Way podcast, Malissa Fedele, to chat about all things health and wellness. Malissa is well known in the industry for her work focusing on nutrition for anxiety prevention, and healing the body and mind through food.
Malissa is the ultimate picture of healthy living. This Girl Boss has released numerous online books which are filled with super easy and yummy recipes.
What spurred on your passion for nutrition and sharing on Instagram?
I have always had such a great interest in food, health and wellbeing. From a very young age, I would cut out articles from the paper and magazines that were about nutrition and read over them all the time. I loved learning the connection between how foods, nutrients and physical activity can help you to feel happy, energised and strong.
My love for creating recipes also stemmed from a young age. I come from an Italian family that loves to cook and share recipes.
Basically, I put the two together and made this my life. I combined my love for nutrition by studying nutritional and dietetic medicine (BHSc) and then sharing my love for food using Instagram as my platform. This has been my life for a few years now and I absolutely love it!
What does a typical day look like for you?
My days are always different. Typically, I always start the day by having warm lemon water, saying my positive affirmation, getting my butt to the gym and then rushing home to have a cold shower and get ready for work. I need to get up and get moving as this always helps me to feel motivated. My workdays always look different as I do a few different things like seeing clients in the clinic, record podcasts, content creation and whatever else I have taken on (always need to be doing 100 things).
To wind down, I am a big beach gal. I either head down to the beach for a dip or (if I have just washed my hair lol) will opt for a beach walk followed by journaling. Journaling is a HUGE part of my day. It helps me to stay grounded, relaxed and allows me to reflect and grow.
Why do you think it is so important to fuel your body with nutritious food?
You need to think of food as an exchange with your body. Everything you put into your body, you will receive an exchanged reaction. For example, if you eat a delicious whole-food salad that is rich in antioxidant-rich veggies, lean protein, vibrant healthy fats and fiber you are going to feel pretty energised, sustained and nourished after this meal.
However, if you eat a massive hot dog with all the toppings followed by a huge bowl of chips and ice cream (although this will taste yummy) you will probably feel sluggish, flat and maybe even have a bit of a tummy ache afterwards.
What you put in you get out. So if you want to feel your best, you need to give your body the best! This is called self-love, baby.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about balance and I love ALL foods but I know that when I eat these vibrant whole foods I feel a whole lot better.
What are your top tips for girls out there dealing with anxiety, and how can they treat this through nutrition and a healthy lifestyle?
Firstly, you are not alone, girlfriend. Anxiety is super common and we all experience anxiety in one way or another.
However, it does not need to define you. When looking for a way to manage and reduce the anxiety, your daily routines is where it is at.
It’s all about the little things you do daily that will make a world of difference. It is in these daily practices and routines that you actually give your body and mind all the self-love it deserves. In turn, this will help you to nourish all aspects of yourself, build confidence and become familiar with your big emotions.
Here are a few things you should start incorporating into your daily routine to help you manage your anxiety:
Eat balanced meals at least 3-6 times per day. You need to nourish your body and mind. A lack of nutrients such as B-vitamins, zinc, antioxidants, omega 3’s, magnesium, iron & vitamin D can lead to anxiety and mental health disorders. An unstable blood sugar level can also contribute to this. So, don’t let the tank get too empty and allow your mood to drop significantly. Stay nourished with whole foods.
Start the day with a self-care routine that does NOT involve social media. It can be as simple as making your bed, letting the sunshine in, drinking warm lemon water, deep belly breathing etc. Do something that feels good for yourself first thing every morning.
Nourish your gut. Gut health is a huge contributing factor to anxiety. Your gut microbiome is very closely connected to your nervous system and can contribute to anxiety. It is important to reduce inflammation in the gut and populate your gut with beneficial bacteria. Do this by supporting a healthy digestive system, eating pro and prebiotic-rich foods, reducing stress and staying hydrated.
Get out in the sunshine every single day for at least 20mins. Put on your MUSE swimwear and get out in the sunshine. Low vitamin D levels are a huge contributing factor to anxiety.
Stay hydrated. Aim for 2.5-3L of water a day. A lack of hydration is going to impact many bodily functions so drink up.
Move your body daily. Exercise is the best way to increase endorphins and help you to naturally boost your mood. Find an exercise that you love and works for you and do it every day.
- Journal. Pick up a pen and paper and write daily about your feelings, emotions, situations that trigger you and what you need to heal. This is the cheapest form of therapy that will have such a positive aspect on all aspects of your life. Follow my journaling page for more info.
Healing takes time, persistence and consistency. You can find out more and book an appointment with Malissa via email