Welcome to my nutrition and wellness blog Caralishious, I am absolutely thrilled that you are taking the time to visit and share in my passion for healthy living. This is me, Cara-Lisa, South African wellness consultant and fitness fanatic, who is absolutely passionate about adopting a back-to-basics approach to nutrition, and embracing the powerful interconnectedness between body and mind.
I started the Caralishious brand because health is my complete and absolute passion. I have always dreamed of waking up filled with excitement, energy and zest in knowing that I get to live my passion every day. Today I can honestly say that a career in wellness has done exactly that for me! Anyone who knows me well, will describe me as a “health fanatic” because I truly live, breathe, eat, dream, and sleep healthy living. The incredible benefits that I have personally experienced through healing my own body and adopting a holistic approach to my health are endless, and I have a deep desire to help others in feeling this way too!
My health is and has always been my happy place, and the very vehicle through which I was able to heal my body and mind (read about my personal health journey here), but how I got to where I am may come as somewhat of a surprise…let’s just say I am definitely a good 360 degrees away from the career path that I initially envisioned for myself! I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur; however I pictured this to be in and amongst high powered corporates within the consulting space.
During my tertiary studies, I chose psychology as one of my subjects. I really grew to enjoy learning about human behaviour and gravitated quickly towards pursuing a career as an industrial psychologist. I went ahead to complete my undergraduate, honours and master’s degrees in Industrial Psychology. Throughout my studies, my passion for wellness would show up one way or another as I would find a way to integrate concepts pertaining to health into many of the projects I was assigned. My lecturers would even refer to me as the “fit one”.
After completing my studies, I proceeded to practice as an Organisational Behaviour Specialist. Many of the projects I worked on contained strong links to workplace wellness, which exposed me first-hand to the inextricable association between individual and workplace wellness. I soon came to realise that healthy habits in the workplace are directly determined by the personal health behaviours engaged in by the individuals operating within that space. While workplace wellness interventions provide some influence, they are not sufficiently tailored to the specific needs of the individual. This means that the outcomes envisioned for such an intervention are not necessarily sustained after completion. With this in mind, my interests began to navigate more and more towards individual wellness.
My affinity for health continued to grow as I began to progressively understand just how significant wellbeing is in all spheres of life. For me personally, my own wellness was being compromised - I just hadn’t managed to find any satisfaction in being an industrial psychologist whatsoever – not matter how challenging my role or how much I was learning, I always felt as if something was missing – as if my life hadn’t yet begun. One afternoon it dawned on me that I needed to pursue my passion: a career in wellness – this was my calling – not just a keen interest or hobby, but something I absolutely had to do, no questions asked! Finally I plucked up the courage to disconnect from my journey as an industrial psychologist (seven years in the making) and began to align my passion with my actions - to begin to do what I should have been doing all along…and here I am today – passionate, fulfilled and so excited to be building my brand as an entrepreneur, innovator and wellness consultant within the wellness space.
Nothing in the world compares to the feeling I experience when receiving positive feedback from my clients. To know that I have assisted the incredible individuals that I am blessed to work with each day is so incredibly rewarding. Through my own personal health journey, I know first-hand just how amazing it is to feel re- energised, alive and healthy again, and to be able to share that with my clients is the greatest gift. We all deserve to feel happy and healthy each and every day, and through my practice it is my top priority to be able to help my clients in feeling just that!
Through sharing my whole food recipes, nutrition and holistic wellness tips, and meeting some of you through wellness consulting, you too can experience a sustainable transformation in your own health. I am truly grateful for all your support in taking the time to get to know me on Caralishious, and I hope that you will come to learn the incredible benefits that healthy living affords. I promise you that my approach to clean living is no-nonsense and realistic– all you need is a little guidance along the way, and that is exactly what I am here for.
Synergy all the way!
Simply put, I am a Johannesburg (South Africa) based entrepreneur and wellness consultant who is absolutely adamant about holistic health. My approach to wellness is centred on creating synergy between the different dynamics that are constantly at play within our daily lives. Health is not something that we can segment; rather health is determined by our ability to create harmony within and between all areas of our lives. This is because each facet- be it work, relationships, nutrition, sleep, or exercise - overlap in some way and are therefore undeniably interlinked. If we are unhappy in one sphere of our lives a spill over into other areas may occur, which in turn may cause those areas to become affected too. This is why our journey towards health is multifaceted and continuous. We need to consistently work towards creating balance and harmony in each area of our lives to sustain a true state of wellness.
I believe that we all have the right to enjoy sustainable health and vitality every day of our lives; all it takes is the right mind-set, coupled with the introduction of small and effective lifestyle changes. So come and join me in the delights of clean living!
I believe that no degree or certificate exempts us from learning further. Knowledge is power and therefore I am committed to continuous learning to ensure that I keep up to date with the latest practical and theoretical changes, and new research findings pertaining to health, wellness and nutrition. I love to learn and grow each day and therefore view myself as a student of life.
Wellness is not only about nutrition and exercise -it encompasses our thoughts, the environments to which we are exposed and the level of mindfulness we practice within our daily lives. By way of a holistic approach to health, I am here to offer advice, share information and provide you with all the tools you require to implement the lifestyle changes that you personally wish to make.
My Coaching Style
I am absolutely adamant about applying an individualistic-holistic approach to coaching my clients. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all package to health that works. Each of us are completely unique – meaning that we digest, sleep, eat, move, live and experience the world differently; therefore our health must always be addressed with our differences in mind. I make sure that all my recommendations are tailored specifically to suit the needs of each of my clients in order for them to enjoy sustained optimum health.
From a nutritional standpoint, my primary focus is to provide back-to-basics knowledge about nutrition that is completely free from any myths perpetuated by conventional dogma, propaganda, and misrepresentation in the media. What is so important to remember is that food is an industry – one in which plenty of money is to be made, and one that will capitalise on food fads at all costs to make significant profits. It’s the cold hard truth – and one that we need to acknowledge, accept and work around. The more “nutritionally smart” we allow ourselves to become, the easier it is for us to navigate our way around any food-related deceptions. Modern nutrition has become so complicated when it really shouldn’t be at all! My aim is to strip away all the nonsense, debunk the myths and take nutrition back to wholesome and natural simplicity.
The field of nutrition is continuously evolving and ever-changing. As such, my ideas, thoughts and practices will reflect these shifts as I learn of new breakthroughs within the realm of nutrition and wellness. I do not believe in following bizarre dietary fads or crazes. I am fervently committed to continuous learning, development and personal growth, and therefore consider myself a sponge for learning from new techniques, practices, research, case studies, theories, and personal experience.
Am I the real deal? I can confidently and with utmost conviction say YES! Absolutely! I eat, breathe, sleep, dream, live health and wellness. I believe that you cannot teach others if you yourself do not live by the lesson; therefore everything that I recommend, I have personally tested on myself. I love experimenting in the kitchen and delight in sitting down to my own home-cooked meals. My favourite foods include avocados, nuts, strawberries, watermelon, dates and seeds. I thrive on exercise. There is just nothing better than that surge of endorphins after a great workout! I enjoy changing-up my routine regularly to keep it interesting and to ensure that my body is constantly surprised. I personally prefer body-weight training, yoga and Pilates as these provide strength-building, toning and length simultaneously. I have learned to prioritize rest and relaxation as much as I do work and exercise, and absolutely love writing, photography, visiting local markets, and spending time outdoors.
PS: the little guy sitting on my lap is Cielo (Italian for Sky), my gorgeous little pomeranian who is the cutest little ball of fluff that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He always keeps me company when I am working on my blog. He enjoys long walks in the park, a good tummy rub and only the finest meat or chicken (no chunks for him), but he is not a fan of bathing or teeth cleaning.
Having been a devoted ballet and contemporary dancer for 17 years, proper nutrition, exercise, and a balanced lifestyle became an integral part of my life from a very early age. Learning about health and wellness has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. From reading numerous nutrition and fitness text books, research and articles, to sampling a variety of exercises and testing out different eating plans along the way, I have built up significant knowledge about health and wellness…and more importantly, I really know what works! I believe that the knowledge and experience I have gained through living "by the book" as I have for the past 14 years has more than equipped me with the ability to share helpful information and techniques with others who are looking to improve their own health and wellbeing. To further my knowledge and take my offering to the next level, I have enrolled in a part-time course for Clinical Nutrition, which I aim to complete within the next two years.
I have three degrees: an undergraduate, an honours and a master’s degree in industrial psychology (all cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand, all specialising in workplace wellness.
Having practiced as an organisational behaviour specialist, I have been closely exposed to workplace wellness. I have worked on numerous wellness interventions and have provided employee counselling, nutritional and fitness education, and coaching to various corporate clients.
As a dancer, I completed all my examinations for both ballet and modern dance, and have had the privilege of experiencing a diverse assortment of supplementary practices including body conditioning, yoga and Pilates that drastically improved my strength and technique. While I am not currently dancing, I practice yoga daily, and engage in a vast variety of exercise - from core and body weight training, to HITT (high intensity interval training). When it comes to the physical body, I believe there is no better teacher than exercise itself. I have come to learn and understand so much about my body, my muscles and my mental endurance through exposing myself to different exercise approaches and techniques.
- International Diploma in Clinical Nutrition (pending 2016)
- Organisational Behaviour Specialist focussing on workplace wellness (2013-2014)
- Graduated Bachelor of Arts with Distinction (2010)
- Graduated Bachelor of Arts with Honours with Distinction (2011)
- Graduated Master of Arts with Distinction (2012)
- Member of the International Golden Key Honour Society (in recognition of academic excellence)
- Honours Dissertation 2010: The Relationship between Personality Characteristics and Victim Perceptions of Bullying in the Workplace (with distinction)
- Masters Dissertation 2011-2012: The Relationship between Workplace Bullying, Social Support and Organisational and Individual Wellbeing (with distinction)
- Published Masters Dissertation with Lap Lambert Academic Publishers, Saarbrücken, Germany
- Stephen Renecle & Associates Award for top student in Industrial Psychology Honours (2010)
- Awarded a Wits University Postgraduate Honours Merit Award (2010)
- Awarded a Wits University Postgraduate Masters Merit Award (2011)
- Awarded the Wits University Postgraduate Academic Bursary (2010-2011)
- Completed all ballet syllabi from Pre-Primary - Advanced II with distinction
- Completed all modern & contemporary dance syllabi from Pre-Primary- Advanced II with distinction
- Registered member of the Health Professions Council of South Africa PSIN 0129518