Meet the lovely Ashley Wood. I actually just met Ashley when she interviewed me on her amazing podcast Manifest This. She one of those people that makes you feel so comfortable and at ease. I really appreciate her cool and calm way of connecting and her ability remind you that you’re totally normal and doing a great job. I feel like I’ve known Ashely forever, yet haven’t even officially met her in person! She is passionate about plant based living, motherhood and her podcast which is so inspirational. Her story is really intriguing and even dramatic, she’s been though a lot and it’s a true honor to feature her today!
What is your morning routine like? Do you have one?
Well, I have a toddler. So I don’t exactly have a morning routine. I don’t wake up while she is still sleeping to meditate, exercise or journal. I used to feel guilty about this, but in all honesty, after an interrupted night waking up early would leave me feeling very tired. And when I wake up tired, I’m not nearly as grounded as I am when I have had a restful night. So I choose to sleep.
Even when I do wake, which is when my daughter wakes, I don’t begin an unplugged morning routine. I do all the wrong things. I look at my phone. I check my email. I check Instagram. I think about what I have to do during the day. And then my husband and I go to my daughter’s room and get her from her crib, hug her, kiss her and then my husband changes her while I have a shower.
This is when my routine begins. And I start with the most important part.
While the hot water is running down on me and I am able to think clearly, I set an intention for the day. How am I going to feel? How am I going to react? How am I going to carry myself? Usually, I say to myself “Today I am going to be joyful. I am going to be productive. I am going to be present. I am grateful for today, I am grateful to be alive.”
The intention sets my mindset for the day and helps me choose the thoughts and feelings I want to focus on. It also gets me excited for all the possibilities in the day ahead.
After setting my intention, ideas come to my mind. I think about people I want to connect with for my podcast, Manifest This!, and topics I want to address. When I get out of the shower, I quickly jot down the ideas I had and then get ready for the day.
My routine continues with a litre of water followed by vitamins, oatmeal, green smoothie and tea. While this part of my routine nourishes me physically, the magic happens for me mentally in the shower when setting an intention.
After my husband goes off to work, my daughter and I play. Sometimes we go to a coffee shop, sometimes we get groceries, sometimes we go for a walk outside or to the park…we do whatever we want!
What are three things you always do that make life easier and more gentle?
Give my husband, daughter and cats kisses and hugs all day (and night) long. Sing and dance with my daughter.
Give thanks in the morning and before bed and often throughout the day. Oh, and meditate. And pray.
What are your favorite food staples? Do you have a strong food philosophy?
I am a vegan and I eat as unprocessed as possible but I’m also not rigid and eat whatever I want usually. We tend to buy the same groceries every week and some of our staples include bananas, oranges, spinach, berries of some kind, broccoli, Larabars, coconut yogurt, oats, potatoes, avocados and granola.
Tell us a bit about you journey to finding health and wellness.
This is a long story so I’ll try to keep it short!
While in Sri Lanka for my 25th birthday, standing on the peak of Sri Pada, I made the conscious decision to rid my life of negative energy and embark on a journey towards a healthier life. Already an avid yogi flirting with a vegan diet, I was ready to change.
Two months later, I attracted love and met my husband, Ben. Also a vegetarian at the time, we decided to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle together. Driven by ethics and our love for animals, our plates were now cruelty-free. But they were also free of nutrients.
In March 2013, we were deep-frying quinoa coated onion rings in the kitchen of our Toronto apartment when the oil in the pot went up in flames. In an instant, the flames spread to the cabinets and throughout the kitchen. I called to Ben to collect our cats so we could evacuate, but he was struggling to catch them.
In a moment of desperation, I put on oven mitts, grabbed the burning pot, called Ben to open the door and ran outside with it. As I was running, the fire burnt my face and hair and the oil spilled down my legs and on my feet. Within
seconds, my tights disintegrated and half of my body was covered in second- degree burns.
The doctor suggested I may need skin grafting surgery, but since oil continues to burn the skin for days after initial contact decided to give it time before making that call. I trusted my body and its ability to naturally heal from the inside out and decided to take the healing into my own hands. Consuming only organic fruits, vegetables and grains and relying on natural healing remedies my body made such a rapid recovery that I didn’t need surgery.
I was outside running within three weeks after the accident and my burn scars faded in less than six months.
Not only had I healed from the fire, but overtime ailments that I had been experiencing all of my life up until that point (migraines, UTIs and yeast infections) disappeared without returning, I stopped catching common colds, my hair grew thicker and my skin became brighter. All since eating a healthy and balanced plant-based diet. I felt healthier and stronger than I ever had before.
In early 2016, when I became pregnant, I was charged with a new energy and discovered a deep sense of self-love. Throughout each trimester, I nourished my body with whole-food vegan meals and my soul with mindfulness, motion and gratitude. Avoiding all the typical pregnancy ‘symptoms’ from swelling to stretch marks and beyond, I enjoyed nine craving-free months of high energy and ease. I also found the strength and confidence to confront and beat my disordered eating demons through a balance of nutrition and motion that worked for my body’s natural rhythm. And the rest is history!
When do you feel your best? When do you feel your worst?
I feel my best when the sun is shining, I’m with my family and we’re outside doing something fun!
I don’t really ever feel my ‘worst.’ Sometimes I feel stressed if I have a lot to do and I haven’t slept a lot the night before (mom life) but I’m naturally a really grounded person so I’m able to work through it quite well.
I live in Canada and the winters are really harsh here. I definitely feel better during the summer than I do during the dark, cold winter.
How do you balance this and find your way back to middle ground?
I don’t place unrealistic expectations on myself to finish everything in one day. I’m realistic with my time and how much I can get done, I’m quite flexible and allow myself to have days when I don’t get anything done because I know it’s all an ebb and flow. I’m a mother first and a worker second and my daughter always comes first. So I’m constantly balancing it but I also show myself grace and allow myself to feel GOOD and happy and full of love and joy first and foremost.
Any tips for being productive and getting things done in the world of business?
Get off social media, don’t multitask, focus on one task at hand, and turn your attention inwards. Don’t compare yourself to other people, keep your head down and do your thing.
Tell us a bit about your day
I put my daughter down for her nap at noon and then I either interview a woman for my podcast, Manifest This!, or I work. She naps for about 2.5 hours and so I get as much finished during this time as I can. When she wakes up, I feed her lunch and then we do something together. We either go to the park or we go shopping or we meet friends.
My husband, daughter and I eat dinner together and then after we bathe her and put her to bed, I get a bit more work done. Then I go on the treadmill or do a yoga class online. I read in bed for at least half an hour before going to sleep and meditate with crystals for at least 10 minutes before I turn the lights out.
Who do you look up to in the world?
Mothers who are balancing raising their children, growing their businesses and caring for themselves.
If you left your physical body tomorrow would you feel like you lived well? If not, what would you change and why?
Yes! I love my life every day. Of course I want more in life and I’m manifesting
more, but in this present moment I am exactly where I’m meant to be and I’m so grateful.
What are you working on that you are most excited about right now?
My podcast, Manifest This!
It’s a show for change seekers, mystics and creators. We discuss everything from wellness and health to spirituality, entrepreneurship and motherhood. On Mondays I interview influential women who are living the life they want to live. On Thursdays, I share insights and lessons from my own spiritual journey. With high-vibe conversations and lessons in spiritual living and wellness, it’s my intention to connect to others to their Highest Self so they too can manifest a little magic in their life.
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