ELI BRECHER: KEEPING HER COOL WHILST DOING IT ALL
We're a little obsessed with powerful women in the wellness industry (well, any industry for that matter), who are NAILING what they do whilst still maintaining #peakwellness.
And whilst the term "boss bitch" honestly makes us cringe a little, our interview with Eli Brecher has us feeling all kinds of motivated. Eli is a healthy recipe developer, founder of Eli’s Granola and full-time nutrition student, qualifying to become a Registered Nutritionist.
Starting one business is no easy feat. Starting two businesses is a whole new ball game. Throw in a full-time university degree, a social life, time to exercise, eat and sleep – and you have a taste of a day in the life of Eli.
WHAT LED YOU TO CREATE YOUR INSTAGRAM FOOD PAGE @ELIBRECHERNUTRITION?
When I was 8, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, an autoimmune condition of the digestive system, and I grew up with a long list of intolerances so I’ve been playing around with gluten-free and dairy-free baking for as long as I can remember. I started my Instagram account to help me find some healthy recipe inspiration and share the meals I was creating at university.
HOW DID THIS TURN FROM A PASSION TO A RECIPE DEVELOPMENT BUSINESS?
I never imagined that I’d be able to turn my passion into a business, but when I bought my first camera during my Year Abroad in Madrid, I began to focus more on the quality of my content – both the actual recipes and the images themselves. That’s when brands started reaching out to me asking me to create content and develop recipes for their social media. I started taking steps to grow my audience with things like recipe videos, email newsletters, collaborations with various companies, giveaway competitions and Instagram Live bake-a-longs.
HOW DID YOU START YOUR SECOND BUSINESS, ELI’S GRANOLA, AND WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND IT?
I’ve been making my own granola for as long as I can remember as growing up it was difficult to find gluten-free and dairy-free food that tasted decent and had genuinely nutritious ingredients! I started giving it as gifts to friends and families (in empty peanut butter jars!) and the response was amazing. Within a few weeks, I’d set up a website, ordered packaging and launched Eli’s Granola! Taking that leap of faith to launch your own business is a scary step, but I’m on a mission to help people enjoy a nourishing breakfast while savouring a moment of calm before a busy day.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?
My morning is incredibly important as it sets me up for the day. I make sure to enjoy at least one hour of “me-time” before starting work. This usually includes getting outside for a 20-minute walk, doing some yoga at home, reading a few pages of a book, meditating (even if I can only manage 60 seconds!), a cup of tea and of course a nourishing breakfast. Once I’ve had my “golden hour”, I look over my to-do list for the day that I’ve written the previous evening and ensure it’s in priority order. After this, I’m ready to take on the day!
YOU’RE STUDYING A SECOND DEGREE TO BECOME A REGISTERED NUTRITIONIST. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GO BACK TO UNI FOR ANOTHER 4 YEARS?
After graduating from my languages degree, my passion for nutrition had been bubbling inside me for years to the point where I was desperate to learn more. I realised how a healthier lifestyle had such a positive impact on my Crohn’s and the way I felt day to day, so I wanted to help others with their nutrition too! Diving deep into the science has been fascinating and complements my recipe development too. It’s so important to remember that life is not a race and it’s never too late to change directions as everyone is on their own path.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR STAYING PRODUCTIVE?
- Set yourself deadlines – that way you won’t procrastinate as you’ll want to keep yourself accountable.
- Plan your time – every Sunday I map out what I need to get done in the week ahead, and every evening I make a list in priority order of what gets done the following day.
- Divide your days by right/left brain – the right side of the brain is more creative whereas the left side is more analytical and methodical. I try to have content creation days where I focus on recipes, photography and editing videos, as well as admin-focused days which are for finance, spreadsheets etc.
- Switch off – there is no such thing as being productive 24/7 so give yourself a chance to recharge, socialise and do the things you enjoy. Set boundaries to avoid burning the candle at both ends.
- Look after your body– good nutrition, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, exercise and meditation all make a huge difference to your productivity levels.
WHAT ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLE HEALTHY HABITS?
- Gratitude – I started a gratitude journal last year where every day I list just 3 bullet point things I’m grateful for which could be anything from my morning cup of tea to a beautiful sunset.
- Mindful eating – I’ve found that eating mindfully has a hugely positive impact on my digestion and gut health. I make an effort to remove distractions at mealtimes, leave technology in another room and not eat in front of my laptop! This allows me to engage my senses, to tune into the colours, smells, textures and flavours, and to truly appreciate the food in front of me.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED?
Walking in nature, some restorative yoga, deep breathing and just a few minutes of meditation are all guaranteed to calm my mind when I feel overwhelmed. Other things that help are listening to a calming playlist and making a soothing hot drink like a golden mylk with turmeric, cinnamon and vanilla.
WHAT ARE 3 PIECES OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING A BUSINESS?
1. Make sure you are extremely passionate about the business you’re starting, because start-up life is not plain sailing – there will be highs and lows but it’s that deep-rooted passion that will spur you on through the tougher times.
2. I would also strongly advise writing a business plan early on in your journey as this really helped me get clear on my goals, define my ideal customer, know my products inside out, consider my marketing and pricing strategies and all the finer operation details.
3. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do everything, you will learn as you go along – I had figure out everything from building a website to food photography, collaborating with brands, packaging my granola, writing invoices and so much more. It always seems scary the first time until it’s done!
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