Choc Chats is moving to monthly and we’d love to know who you’d like us to chat to. Drop us a DM, tweet or email and we’ll see what we can do. email@example.com @doisyanddam
We chatted choc with Model, writer and Qnola Founder Danielle Copperman this month.
What’s Qnola you ask? Well it’s a London-based breakfast brand specialising in naturally honest breakfast granolas, created as a solution to the lack of genuinely healthy cereals on the market. With combinations like Cinnamon & Vanilla Oat Crunch and Cocoa and Cashew these will have you jumping out of bed in the morning.
Danielle is trying to change the way we think about our ‘everyday’. As it becomes more apparent that many aspects of ‘modern living’ are making us unwell, Danielle is passionate about promoting more natural and healthful rituals that can assist in handling certain stressors of the modern world (such as stress, digestive issues, fatigue and lack of energy, hormonal imbalances, mental illnesses and irregular breathing, to name a few).
Enough of the blabbering, let's get down to it...
Why did you start Qnola?
I started making Qnola for myself as a healthier alternative to shop-bought granolas, and as something quick and easy to take to shoots with me. I noticed there was a high demand for that kind of product in the UK and excitingly it’s developed into a worldwide brand one department store and health food shop at a time. I really wanted to create a more honest and reliable breakfast option that was ready-to-eat to give people a more functional start to the day, to provide more sustainable energy and set the tone for the rest of the day.
There’s a chill in the air and it’s making it so hard to get out of our cosy bed! What are your favourite morning tonics to help us wake up well?
Mmm, as the weather gets colder, I love to make something really warming in the morning. Sometimes I'll make a thick hot chocolate (with cacao powder or by melting chocolate like yours with my favourite nut milk). Other times I will just mix my favourite adaptogen powders (such as reishi, he shou wu, ashwaganda, pine pollen, rhodiola, tocotrionels, to name a few) with hot water or hot nut milk. And a lemon, ginger and turmeric in hot water always wins - especially when seasonal colds and illnesses are rife!
You gave up processed and refined foods, including sugar. How hard of a shift was it in your foodie life and what would your advice be to anyone looking to do the same?
Yes, I did. It was quite challenging in the beginning, but after a few weeks and through learning so much more about food, it was much easier and became second nature. The more questions I was asking about food products, the more I realised that often the things I was buying were hardly food at all, but a mix of chemicals and flavourings to make them taste like food.
My advice to people would be; don't necessarily believe what you read and, just because something is available from the supermarket, it doesn't mean it is 100% suitable or healthy to eat. A lot of supermarket packaged products are not essential for our wellbeing or survival, so my advice is for people to replace 'products' with more whole ingredients and foods that grow naturally, as nature intended. These are always most nutrient dense and they grow for a reason: because we need them.
The weather has been all over the shop recently, what rituals can you suggest to help us deal with the change in the seasons and these erratic temperatures?
There is constantly so much flux, and when the season’s change there is always a lot going on - both with the weather but also with our own human cycles and moods.
As the weather gets colder and darker, I like to use rituals that are energising, that boost positivity, and that help instil a sense of clarity and feeling grounded. I use yoga and exercise to keep things moving and to boost circulation. I love a massage or shiatsu to get stagnant energy moving and reduce any physical tension. I do meditation, setting intentions, brainstorming my goals and dreams, and pranayama breathing rituals to help me feel grounded and clear-headed, and to reduce stress or overwhelming thoughts. Meditation is a great way to boost positivity, as well as scheduling more time in with friends and family to slow down and just be.