We Catch Up With Naomi, Founder of I AM Blends
Whether you’re trying to start the new year with better habits or are keen to find some easy ways to get back on track, who better to share their wisdom than 34STYLE’s special guest, I Am Blends, Naomi! From understanding stress to kick starting metabolism, read on to discover Naomi’s golden rules for feeling your very best…
Q: Tell us a little about your background and what you were up to before starting I Am Blends
A: Before I started the blends I was teaching ladies how to use all the individual superfood and adaptogen ingredients through Nutritional Cookery workshops which I started in Monaco nearly 6 years ago. I was also working with Restaurants and Hotels in Monaco, creating and rolling out healthy menus as well as coaching individual clients – I am a Nutritional Wellness Consultation and Eating Psychology Practitioner
Q: Have you always been interested in food, health and wellbeing?
A: My father is Lebanese so I grew up hugely inspired by his cooking and have always been a foodie. I took a real interest in health and wellbeing when we moved to Monaco seven years ago as my son who was one at the time stopped eating. Doctors in both Monaco and the UK said it was fine as long as he was eating lots of yoghurts and drinking milk, I knew enough about nutrition to understand this wasn’t healthy so I took matters into my own hands and started to study nutrition which started my journey both personally and professionally.
Q: What kind of approach do you take with clients?
A: I have a very holistic approach to nutrition and believe the food we eat is only part of our overall health and wellbeing, I look at all aspects of their life, fulfilment, stress, enjoyment, relationships.
I encourage all my clients to get to know their body and understand how food, exercise, stress etc effects them personally. We all uniquely different so what works for one won’t for another which is why I avoid faddy diets and encourage a whole food way of eating as close to nature as possible but with room for flexibility and fun (i.e. A glass of wine or two at the weekend or delicious dessert!).
Q: What are some of your best pieces of advice when it comes to nutrition?
A: Always eat a high quality balanced breakfast within 2 hours of waking – this kick starts the metabolism and sets the tone for how you eat for the rest of the day. Eat slowly and in a calm and peaceful environment – avoid eating on the run or when stressed.
Also, count all your small victories and successes. Human nature makes us more aware of negativities as we are programmed to look for danger/problems but through retraining your mind and focusing on small victories rather than what you think you should have done increases motivation and self-confidence.
Q: What’s your favourite, simple smoothie recipe to really boost energy?
A: Maca is my go-to superfood, it has so many amazing properties including boosting energy and endurance. It also helps to rebalance hormones and stress. My all time favourite smoothie is 1 cup of water, 1 small ripe banana, 1 cup of blueberries, 2 cubes of frozen spinach, 1 tsp Maca, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder and 1 serving of I AM Lean.
Q: We’ve spotted that you’re a big believer in adaptogens. What are the benefits of these?
A: Adaptogens are natural plants, roots and herbs that have been around for thousands of years and used for natural healing in Chinese and Ayuvedic cultures. They play a big role in healing the adrenal system which becomes depleted in times of extreme stress. They usually grow in very stressful environments and have had to ‘adapt’ in order to flourish (maca, for example, grows at a high altitude, whereas rhodiola is found in harsh, mountainous terrains). Their properties of greater resilience and strength are transferred to us when we consume these nutrient-rich herbs and roots, such as helping our bodies adapt to stress whether it be physical, mental, emotional or environmental.
Q: Do you take all of your blends in one day? How do you ever choose?! We would want to feel beautiful, cleansed, energised and lean all at once!
A: Haha yes it’s easy to want it all! I generally take one blend a day depending on what I need at that moment, I have learnt to tune into my body and follow it’s needs more so drink the blends more intuitively although when I first formulated them I was like a kid in a candy shop and was drinking them all, however the downside to that is you don’t know what is working, so I always encourage my customers and clients to try one blend at a time so they can feel the benefits and understand how the blend works for them. When I am stressed I will drink I AM Energised as it is really nourishing for the Adrenals which take a battering in times of high stress and at the moment post-Christmas I am drinking I AM Lean to get myself back on track, I travel with I AM Cleansed as I don’t usually eat as well when away and I also take I AM Beautiful when I travel as it is really rehydrating for my skin and the high vitamin C content keeps bugs at bay which circulate planes.
Q: What would be a typical day on a plate for you?
A: I always start the day with a glass of room temp water followed by hot water to rehydrate, breakfast is a protein smoothie (as in recipe above), lunch might be a soup or salad or curry depending the weather (all homemade), dinner could be something like fish tacos or dippy eggs with soldiers as I eat with my kids so like to eat healthy but simply without having to make different things for everyone. Otherwise I have a freezer full of prepped meals so always have something to hand. I try to avoid snacking but in the winter I love a healthy hot chocolate which is made with raw cacao, maca, dates, cashew butter and vanilla – it is really filling and keeps me full till dinner plus the maca energises me through the dreaded school run!
Q: Finally, where are your favourite spots to eat in London and Monaco?!
A: I love sushi and it is one of the only things that I wouldn’t attempt at home so I love Moshi Moshi and Maya Bay in Monaco and in London Zuma which has been my favourite for over 10 years!