Vegan, What? Blog

Interview with Teresa Palmer of Your Zen Life

Vegan, What? Blog   |   Written by Stephanie Williams

Teresa, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what is it like living in two different countries?

Teresa: Yes, of course! I am a mama bear, actress and founder / co-founder of Your Zen Life and Your Zen Mama. I am passionate about babies and parenting, health, wellness and overall well being. I grew up in Adelaide, Australia and split my time between there and Los Angeles, California. To be honest, they are both polar opposites. I discuss this in detail in one of my recent Tez Talks Q&A episodes; whilst LA is amazing, filled with atmosphere and holds more opportunity career-wise, there is nothing like being ‘home’ in Australia and the laid-back lifestyle we get to experience, they are both different experiences us for a family. I feel so blessed that we have the opportunity to live in two very different, yet equally amazing countries and our kids can experience growing up in both.

What was it like growing up on a private wildlife sanctuary? It sounds incredibly fascinating!

Teresa: Ha, it was! I think it cemented my love for animals and wildlife early on. There was something so special, serene and tranquil about it too and it really was the epitome of an Aussie childhood which is a big part of the reason why my husband and I decided to purchase my dad’s property when he decided to sell – we want to be able to give our kids a taste of that as they grow up.

Where does the name “Your Zen Life” come from?

Teresa: Your Zen Life was born out of a desire to try and use my profile to affect positive change and connect like-minded individuals. When my co-founder, Phoebe Tonkin, and I were initially discussing ideas and names, we wanted it to be something that summarised everything it stood for, but also belonged to the community. ‘Zen’ means something different to each and every person and we all have varied ways of constructing our lives around what works best for us, so it just fit perfectly inline with that philosophy.

How do you find time to stay zen with such an active career, being a mama of your son Bodhi, and now with your new bundle of joy; Forest?

Teresa: It can absolutely be hard, but it all comes down to carving out the time. There are days when I would love an hour to myself to relax, meditate, read but I try and make a conscious effort to carve out at least 15 minutes of ‘me time’ whenever I can to have a bath, meditate, read or listen to one of my favorite podcasts and take time out. I also ensure that I incorporate plenty of greens into my diet to ensure I am nourishing my body. My role as mama is my most cherished one and I love spending time with my boys; each day looks different and I adapt accordingly to make it work the best I can!

I find that mamas are always looking for creative ways to feed their kids healthier food options. What are some ways you get Bodhi to enjoy eating healthy meals?

Teresa: Yes!!! It’s all about sneaking the goodness in! Bodhi is pretty easy when it comes to food and I have really tried to make it fun for him (for example, we call broccoli little trees) as he has developed his tastebuds and discovered new food. I think if you make it exciting and allow kids to explore food it goes a long way in helping them to enjoy healthy meals.

You have amazing recipes on your website. As a vegan, I was super excited to see so many plant-based options on there, as well. What made you decide to add plant-based recipes to your site?

Teresa: Thank you! YZL includes all kinds of recipes on the site as I wanted to ensure it covers all the diets as a collective so our community can always find something on there for their diet preference. I am a vegetarian and love discovering so many of the plant based recipes and trying something new!

Can you name some of your favorite healthy food spots in Los Angeles and Adelaide?

Teresa: YES!! In LA I lovvvvveeee so many healthy food spots! My hubby and I are vegetarian and we love experimenting with different cuisines that have nutritious vegetarian options. Cafe Gratitude is my number one go to and I love my friend Moby’s restaurant Little Pine. When I am in Adelaide Bar 9 is our go to for breakfast! I also love Nature’s Providore and Nutrition Republic – all providing delicious and healthy food with so many plant based options.

Do you have any tips for someone who wants to achieve a healthier mind, body, and soul?

Teresa: Just start! It’s human nature to have a tendency to procrastinate and ‘start tomorrow’ but it’s all about taking baby steps. Start switching out one or two foods a week, adding in new ingredients, recipes or meals into your diet, go for a brisk walk every day and try and increase the duration of it bit by bit, begin reading as much as you can, research all things health and wellness and put together a mixture of what you learn that works best for you, your needs and your situation.

I love the quote on your website “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.” How are you creating the change that you wish to see?

Teresa: It is one of my all time favorite quotes and I feel truly blessed to be in a position where I can try to use my profile to affect positive change. I believe that by creating a collective community of conscious minded people, we can make a shift. This was the concept YZL was born out of and how the website came to fruition; YZL was born out of the desire to be the change by creating an online scrapbook for likeminded individuals so that as a collective, we can continue to be the change. My hubby and I are also both passionate about raising conscious-minded children and guiding them as they grow up.

What are your future plans with Can you share some of your upcoming zen projects?

Teresa: Your Zen Life has had some very big changes over the past year! I worked on the new design and concept for the website which re-launched a few months back and we have been busy putting together our Tez Talks Q&A series – we are currently sharing series 2 and I have been blown away with the love and support as we continue to drop each episode. I am enjoying taking things a little slow and spending precious time with my boys. I am looking forward to some very exciting things happening for YZL this year, we have projects in the works…stay tuned!