A Chat With Carla Thomas

posted on: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

If you're looking for all things wellness and holistic living, then you've come to the right place. Today's post features a little chat with holistic living coach Carla Thomas, about her personal health journey, her favourite kitchen tools and on keeping a positive mind. And there's a recipe in there too!

Who Is Carla Thomas?

Carla Thomas is a Perth-based Holistic Health & Business Coach with a specialisation in mind-body medicine. As founder of The Juicy Movement, Carla’s mission is to inspire her clients and those who join the team to live their natural potential for wellness through wholefood nutrition, holistic practices of self-care and living within their values. Carla’s signature program, The Juicy Life Program, is a long-term health program covering all the holistic bases for a happier and healthier life. Carla’s group coaching Juicy Circles run once per month. She also offers business mentorship for empowered “Wellness Advocates” keen to spread the word of The Juicy Movement and build their best lives doing so.

For more information, contact Carla direct on hello@carlathomas.com.au

Or you can find Carla at:

Website www.carlathomas.com.au

Instagram @carlathomas_juicymovement

Facebook Carla Thomas The Juicy Movement

As a holistic health and business coach, what does wellness look like to you?

For me, wellness is living in a state that is a true reflection of your ultimate and highest potential for wellbeing. It means smiling for no reason, feeling content, at peace, full of love (for yourself and others) and just simply ‘be-ing’. 

As a Holistic Health Coach and specialist in mind-body medicine, my message is all about nourishing ourselves from the inside out and just how easy it is to get on top of your health through whole-foods and clean living. I teach this through my programs and my coaching of clients and team members within our wellness movement, The Juicy Movement. I also shared my ethos and inspiration in my book, The Juicy Movement: A Holistic Approach to Clean Living, which was published in 2017. 

WHAT IS THE JUICY MOVEMENT?

The Juicy Movement is our team of Wellness Advocates all spreading the “juicy” word of our programs, products and business opportunity to inspire as many people as possible to live at their best. That’s why it’s a “movement”, because it’s a way of life. The way I see it, I can only touch so many people directly. But by teaching others the juicy life and how to share that with their community and tribe, our ripple effect just gets bigger and bigger. I started off my coaching career working predominantly with clients. Now I spend half my time, maybe even more, coaching likeminded wellness warriors (you don’t need to be in the health and wellness biz already – we have all the training and resources you need) to build their own businesses and design their own lives around helping others as part of The Juicy Movement.

WHAT WAS YOUR LIGHTBULB MOMENT IN REGARD TO YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING?

There are two significant moments that stand out as game changers for me. The first happened at 22 years old when, after years of struggling with anxiety and depression and even the onset of rheumatoid arthritis and poor kidney function, a trainer at my gym (I believe this was the Universe stepping in!) introduced me to wholefoods and just how healing diet can actually be. It led to my first step towards better health, which was to start taking the wholefood supplements Juice Plus+ (still the same I recommend today) and also doing my own research into nutrition, gut health and mindfulness. From there, I enrolled in my studies in Holistic Health and eventually became certified as a Holistic Counsellor in Mind-Body Medicine. I was my number one client! LOL.

The second game-changer came a few years later while I was still on my journey to finding my “juicy” life. I had begun suffering from random allergic reactions and one of them resulted in a pretty scary episode of anaphylactic shock. It revealed I had developed an allergy to wheat – all at a time when I was feeling mentally and physically exhausted and my gut health was in disarray. This started my journey to understanding the crucial role our gut plays in our overall health and wellbeing.

Can you tell us a bit about your daily routine?

Sure ☺ During the warmer months I find I’m up with the sun between 5-6am. I’m a huge advocate for getting enough sleep and I aim for 7-8 hours a night to run at my best. An average week day morning starts with 500-600mls of water with freshly squeezed lemon and my Juice Plus+ (wholefood daily supplements). I aim to get moving for 20 minutes via some stretching/yoga in my living room whilst oil pulling. Other mornings I may head straight out for a walk with the dog. I then take some time for gratitude and priming before getting stuck into some replies while sipping on a cup of Fully Charged Coffee (it’s a milk-free, blended coffee with spices and coconut oil – the recipe is in my book and on my website). I like to get started when the world is generally still sleeping. It’s peaceful and there’s less chance of interruptions! If I haven’t gone for a walk then I head to the gym followed by a late morning brekky which is usually a smoothie or smoothie bowl. Then I’m raring to go for a day of meetings/calls/admin etc…my days are always so different!

How do you coach someone whose mental condition is impacting their physical condition and vice versa?

I’m a firm believer that the body wears the state of the mind and since everything starts with the mind, that’s where I like to start. I’m huge on giving clients the right resources or tools to be able to empower themselves. It’s so important to establish a deep seeded WHY and connection to where they are and where they want to be and the actions that will take them there. Of course, good nutrition and exercise plays a massive role in supporting the mind so we also work on ways to improve/enhance that area from the get-go.

You worked with Sarah Wilson (I Quit Sugar). Are there any major lessons and/or insights you gained from that experience?

I absolutely LOVED my time working as an expert panellist for the online I Quit Sugar Program and it was in fact my own experience with quitting sugar that led me there. I did the 8-week program back in 2013 just out of curiosity. I didn’t think I had a sugar addiction but during the program, I realised how much I craved ‘natural’ sugars – which inevitably is still craving sugar be it a candy bar or big bowl of fruit with dried fruit and honey. The IQS philosophy really teaches you how to read food labels, find hidden sugars, find out which ones are ok and which ones to avoid and mostly shows that eating sugar-free is actually damn simple and damn tasty! I’ve loved being able to pass down this knowledge to my clients and see the changes in them.

Above: Carla’s Fully Charged Coffee recipe is in both her book the Juicy Movement and on her website.

We all know that we should live as holistically as possible. In a perfect world that would be 100% of the time but we’re only human. How do you get back on track from a slip up in your health and wellness goals?

The verbiage we choose when it comes to our health is everything! I am not a fan of ‘cheat days’ or labelling something as being ‘naughty’ or ‘right or wrong’. Part of being a human and enjoying life is having your cake and eating it too. Sometimes you’ll have enjoyed a healthier way and other times you just want the full sugar-loaded indulgent slice. It’s ok. Just don’t do it every day. Sage Robbins (Tony Robbins wife) uses the analogy of ‘zigging and zagging’ which I really love. Most of the time you are zigging but sometimes you zag, be it special occasions, a shitty day or just because. Don’t dwell on it as you can always zig back into line again.

You mention that your wellness journey started with health problems and a chat with a trainer at your gym. Do you think you still would have found holistic living if not for these two moments?

Ooh, good question! Yes, I do because I’m huge believer the Universe sets us on the path we are meant to take and if you are blind to its signals at first it will keep flashing them until you get it! My health problems were actually my greatest gift and as you read earlier regarding my allergy developing a few years later, that once again was the Universe intervening when I was failing to listen to its signals. 

I love how simple your Juicy Movement book has made understanding holistic living! Was it difficult transmitting your philosophies and principles on wellness into a book?

Thank you! I love the fact you said ‘simple’ because that’s exactly what I set out to do. Make health simple! To be honest I actually found the whole writing element quite natural and easy, much to my own surprise! I think because I really just wrote from the heart and my own authentic practices and teachings that everything spilled out quite naturally. That’s not to say it didn’t take work and commitment – and a great team and editor/project manager Kami Ramini from Kami Ramini Media (@kamiramini) to help bring it to life! But it really is just a reflection of what I live and breathe and believe. 

Food is such a big part of our wellbeing. What are your favourite kitchen tools and gadgets?

Hands down my Ladyship blender. I make a smoothie most days so this machine is just life for me! And also my kettle and coffee machine. I’m old-school in the kitchen so I love the idea of cooking everything in pots and pans and chopping things manually. For me that’s where the joy in cooking comes from.  

What are beauty products or practices that you swear by?

I’m all about keeping it simple and focusing more on lifestyle factors vs expensive beauty ‘fix it’ products. I dry brush once a day using my Pure Home Body ‘Eco Max Jute Face Brush’ (works fine on the body!) before my evening shower to encourage circularion and lymphatic movement. And I use a loofer or my Enjo Body Glove with body wash in the shower. I use a basic shop-bought face cleanser, moisturiser, eyecream and rosehip oil (which I mix into the moisturiser) that’s free from all the main destructive toxins. I’m HUGE on keeping my skin from going dry, so always moisturise with a body lotion post shower and mix in coconut oil – I’m obsessed with coconut oil for the body, face, lips etc. I like to make my own toner, exfoliants and face masks which I share in my ebook ‘Beauty-ful inside and out’, available to my clients as part of The Juicy Life Program and group coaching, The Juicy Circle. Oh and I’m a fan of brushing my teeth with charcoal twice a week using Moon Dust Coconut Charcoal. Ultimately, adequate hydrating, exercise and sweat, nutrient-loading and sleep is what gives you the best chance to glow. 

So many people are worried about juicing because of the natural sugar content that comes with it but you’re a huge advocate for juicing, hence the Juicy Movement! Can you clear this up for us?

Haha! So many people think ‘The Juicy Movement’ is about juicing but it’s actually not. The name comes from word-play on the Juice Plus+ company I’m affiliated with and also the “juicy” zest for life we get through nutrient-loading and holistic practices of self-care. There is the same confusion often with “Juice Plus+” but again, despite the name, these aren’t juices but actually wholefood capsules and macro powders containing 100% real food from fruits, veggies and other plants, minus the sugars and salt.

That said, yes, I am also an advocate of juice cleanses, as long as they’re done right. I do a cleanse myself about once a month and have actually written an eBook, The 101 on Juice Cleansing, with a Juicy Movement team member, Liam O’Neil of Refresh Juice + Cleanse to help answer some of the questions and confusion around juicing. It also has a discount code to order through Refresh ☺ 

Like anything that can start out as good for us, juicing can be done oh so horribly wrong too! Yes there can be a higher sugar content in these but being a fan of one day juice cleanses each month, I can tell you that it’s a great thing to be able to give your digestive system a break without starving your cells of nutrition. This is why I recommend either owning a really great cold-press juicer and following quality juicing recipes and programs, or ordering through a reputable brand. This way you can ensure the juices are balanced. A good baseline is that they should contain way more veg vs fruit.

Do you believe in wellness trends? What do you see as a big one for 2019?

There are always going to be new things trending which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it leads people to taking a closer look at their health and incorporating better health habits. In saying that, not all wellness trends are what I would classify as beneficial, realistic or common sense. I believe more in long-term lifestyle philosophy vs a trend of the moment. A trend or fad I keep seeing at the moment is the whole celery juice detox. It goes over my head! LOL. Not for me.

I don’t know if this is more of a movement vs a trend but definitely the whole ‘self-love’ thing is really taking charge and I feel like this is going to be a huge topic and point of focus for many women (and men) this year – including myself. And that’s a GREAT thing! 

Any tips for thinking positively in a negative situation?

There are two books I highly recommend everyone reads which pretty much covers off on your question by using the power of presence and consciousness. The first being The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and the second being A Mind At Home With Itself by Byron Katie. 

Life changing reads!

I think letting go of the all or nothing approach is crucial.

Carla Thomas

Making wellness a priority. How can anyone implement wellness into their everyday life?

I think letting go of the ‘all or nothing’ approach is crucial. Wellness looks slightly different for all of us but however you like to practice it, be sure that it sits right with you and that the practices are something enjoyable that you look forward to vs grinning and bearing it. Start with one new habit at a time until it just becomes a way of life and you don’t really have to think about it. Then add something else and just keep building on it. It might be drinking more water, active meditation, more veggies on the plate, riding your bike to the shops instead of driving. It all counts!

And finally, what is your favourite meal for those days when you feel like you’ve taken a step back or just need a break?

Ohhh this is hard. I’m such a lover of all foods and I suppose never really view any meal I have as stepping back. I do love a good oven-baked pizza and I am a sucker for some good fries with aioli or sweet potato wedges with sour cream at the pub or during a night out! 

All photos provided by http://carlathomas.com.au