My Friend Passport – Interview With Mia Uren

If you are travelling to, laying over, or residing in the beautiful city of Sydney – please keep reading. Sydney is known as the Harbour City. It is the largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an enviable reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and liveable cities. Even after residing and travelling abroad for the last ten years, I would have to agree it’s harbour is one of the stunning I have seen.

For all things health, travel and beauty in the city that enjoys over 300 sunny days each year – I interview a young, glamorous, health savvy local, to give you her up to the minute guide and tips on how to enjoy your time spent, in her hometown.


Mia, otherwise known as “Chia Mia“, is a respected fellow health coach, blogger, my classmate and gorgeous green juice goddess. Mia loves nothing more than spending hours in her kitchen creating delicious recipes to share with friends, family and her tribe.

Friend Stamp – Mia Uren

The beautiful Mia Uren - aka Chia Mia

The beautiful Mia Uren – aka Chia Mia

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from and why living a healthy lifestyle is important to you?
I am a qualified health and wellness coach (just a few weeks until the course is finished) from Sydney Australia. I grew up in the Inner West of Sydney and have always lived either there or in the Inner Eastern Suburbs.

Living a healthy lifestyle is important to me because I always like to feel and look my best. In my early twenties all I cared about was partying and as a result I did not take good care of my body and I always felt tired and worn out. Once I started to improve my health I noticed a huge positive shift in my energy, mood, skin and general outlook on life.

Your favourite holiday destination to calm the mind body and soul?
Definitely Byron Bay; I love how chilled and relaxed the locals are there, it has a real hippy vibe which I love. I also love that they have a wide selection of health food stores and cafes and lots of healthy produce. My ultimate goal is to be able to work from home in Byron Bay and have my own organic garden and chickens, so I can have fresh eggs every day.

Let loose in Sydney for 24 hrs only, what would be on your list of must do and see?
I would probably start by doing the Bondi to Coogee walk first thing in the morning then stop off at one of the cafes along the water for breakfast. I would then head to Mosman, hire a kayak and kayak around the national park there and eat a pre-packed lunch on one of the little secluded beaches there. For dinner I would probably head to a restaurant at The Rocks like Sake, then finish off with a cocktail at Palmer and Co in the city.

When travelling, what staple items are in your carry on luggage?
I haven’t done a whole lot of travelling since I started on this health journey but I will be travelling to London in a few weeks. I will be taking some protein balls, salads, herbal teas, nut butter, coconut water to stay hydrated (I am assuming that’s allowed on the plane), face mist, a pro-biotic that travels well, some books and my laptop on board with me.

Where are your favourite places to shop in Sydney for healthy, organic wholefoods and supplements?
I love ‘The Source Bulk Food store’ in Balmain . It’s my idea of heaven and I always end up coming out of there with way more than I intended on getting. They have massive tubs of things like nuts, maca, grains, coconut oil, natural shampoo and natural cleaning products. You just get as little or as much as you want and it always ends up being so much cheaper than buying it from other organic stores. I also love About Life in Balmain (also located in Bondi Junction and Cammeray) for things like Kombucha, beauty products and co-yo (my all time favourite food). They also have a café attached to it that does a lot of organic meals, smoothies and hot drinks with almond milk.

In Sydney, where do you frequent for healthy café culture?
Bondi Beach and just the Eastern Suburbs in general are great for healthy cafés. There are so many great organic and healthy options to choose from, however, I don’t get there very often now as I have moved to the Inner West. Balmain is starting to open up a few great healthy cafes, including About Life as I mentioned above, so I have found myself eating around there a lot recently.

Are there any fitness classes or places to enjoy training outdoors that you would consider unique to Sydney?
When I was living in the Eastern Suburbs I used to do a boot camp with ‘Bottoms up’ at Centennial Park every Saturday morning which I loved. They also do classes in Bronte and on Bondi Beach. The girls who run it are so lovely and the workouts are so much fun. I used to go for runs in Centennial Park a lot; it’s such a beautiful place with all the trees and lakes, it’s hard to believe it is right in the centre of the city and is surrounded by a busy road. Since I have moved back to Putney I like to go for runs around there as there are lots of nice parks and areas that run along the water. The Botanical Gardens is also a really scenic place to exercise.

Do you have a recipe to share that we could prepare and transport onboard for a healthy mid-flight meal or snack?
These ‘Protein Balls’ are perfect for that; you don’t need a blender to make them either so they are the perfect thing to whip up in your hotel room.


Mia’s Protein Balls

4 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp almond butter
½ mashed banana
4 tbsp LSA or almond meal
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp goji berries
For rolling the balls in: chia seeds, cacao, LSA or coconut (optional)

Mix tahini, almond butter and banana in a bowl until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients until a dough is formed. If you find the mixture is still quite wet add in some more LSA.

Take small pieces of the dough and roll them into balls. If you wish, roll the balls in some chia seeds, cacao, LSA or coconut. Store in the fridge or freezer.

What tips do you have for people trying to eat healthy – on the go?
Preparation is key!

Mia's portable green smoothie

Mia’s portable green smoothie

Make lunch and breakfast the night before so that you have one less thing to do in the morning. Smoothies are always a great option when you are on the go: either blend it up the night before and store it in the fridge in a portable jar or bottle so you can grab it before you walk out the door, or just have all your smoothie ingredients chopped up and ready the night before so you can throw it straight into the blender in the morning. I find for lunches just bringing leftovers from dinner the night before is always a great time saver. Also on you weekends or days that you have free, whip up some snacks like protein bars, bliss balls, healthy dips or trail mixes so you can keep them in your bag throughout the week whenever you are feeling peckish.

Are there any organic beauty potions that you particularly recommend for the glamouset to stay looking gorgeous throughout our journey? Where in Sydney can we get our paws on some?
As I was telling Linda the other day, I am very excited as after trying many different types of natural deodorant I have finally found one that works by Fresca Natural. I buy it from Organics On A Budget.
For a good face mist to keep your skin fresh and moisturised, I like KORA organics Rose Mist. KORA also has a good tinted moisturiser and lip balm which you can get from David Jones and About Life in Sydney.
I have also found a coconut oil based concealer by RMS beauty which I love as well.

Thank-you Mia!

One thing I have never discussed with Mia is that I also would love to be able to work from home in Byron Bay and have my own organic garden someday. After travelling half way around the world and still not back, it’s amazing to realise that I was lucky enough to be raised in paradise (I grew up very close to Byron) and have that strong desire to return to my roots. I look forward to the possibilty of being neighbours, sometime in our future :-)

To get in touch with Mia, you can follow her via:
Chia Mia Blog

My Friend Passport – Shelley Audette

Shelley is another great friend I have met throughout my journey as a Flight Attendant and who I was lucky enough to have welcome me into her home, when I went to New York, for the recent IIN Live conference. As New York is my theme for the month and with so many things to see and do, Shelley offers another insiders choice on how to spend a fit and fabulous 24 hours, in the city that never sleeps.

Friend Stamp – Shelley Audette

Shelley Audette

Shelley Audette

Shelley’s take on how we met..
I met Linda in NYC on her birthday in 2011. This was our first face to face. We had a number of mutual friends but never happened to be at the same place at the same time. Everyone always spoke very highly about Linda and vice versa about me to her. We friended each other on Facebook and now the rest is history.

NYC Hotel foyer, whilst visiting on an impromptu pull out from standby! Happy days!

NYC Hotel foyer, whilst visiting on an impromptu pull out from standby! Happy days!

Which gorgeous part of New York City is lucky enough to have you as a current resident?
I live in Astoria, Queens, NYC. I get to have a friendly neighbourhood feel but am just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Tell me a bit about yourself…
I am a Canadian who was made the move to NYC 3 years ago after marrying the love of my life. I have a fond interest in cooking and sharing healthy lifestyle tips with my friends.

Let loose in New York City for 24 hours only, what would be on your list of must do and see?
My must see would include: Museum of Modern Art, Barbuto, Big Gay Ice Cream shop (for those with ad sweet tooth), a stroll through the west village, the Highline and 5 ptz graffiti park.

When travelling what staple items are in your carry on luggage?
I try and only pack a carry on. Having been in a long distance relationship with Bobby for 3 years before moving here, I need to travel as light as possible. I can fit a full weeks worth of clothing in my carry on. I have a real fear that the airline will lose my luggage.

What are your best tips for staying on track with regards to healthy eating and exercise whilst away from your homely creature comforts and routine?
I like to preplan where I can find green smoothies or juice. They are the key to keeping my body in check when I am away. When on vacation I typically opt to walk every where so I can enjoy the tasty delights of what ever city I am visiting.

Where are your favourite places to shop in NYC for healthy, organic whole foods and supplements?
Whole foods and Costco are my go to but we supplement with grocery delivery from Fresh Direct. We also frequent a few little organic shops in Astoria.

What would be your choice of New York’s number one, healthy dining hotspot?
Depends how you define healthy, our favorite spot to eat out is Bareburger. I know the source of all their ingredients and they are all organic and animal friendly.


Are there any fitness classes or places to enjoy training outdoors, that you would consider unique to New York City?
Central Park is always lovely for a walk through the park, bike ride or run.

What’s your favoured on the go, healthy snack choice?
Fresh fruit. We always have a fridge full so they are easy accessible.

Thank-you Shelley… oh and did I mention she is also responsible for getting me onto the green smoothie challenge in April….what a grand idea!!! Thanks again!

Having trouble sleeping? Try this relaxing breath technique….


Don’t forget to breathe!!!

Once you develop this breathing technique by practicing it every day, twice a day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep or go back to sleep. Use it to deal with food cravings. Powerful for mild to moderate anxiety, this exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

Information, credited to Dr Andrew Weil.

To learn more about Breathing Exercises, click here.

My Friend Passport – Interview With Beki Powell

Continuing with the theme of New York City I would like to introduce you to the beautiful Beki. Miss Powell offers some fresh, young and creative holistic health advice, for both travelling and spending time in her hometown ~ New York City Baby!

Friend Stamp – Beki Powell

The gorgeous Beki Powell!

The stunning Beki Powell!

Beki’s take on how we met….
An amazingly beautiful story that I tell everyone. Initially met briefly in Mexico. Several months later a 48 hour layover graced NYC with Miss Linda’s presence in which we spent the entire time together. I was fortunate enough to share her first snowman building experience on a rooftop in the Lower East Side – a snowy morning I will never forget! Then I had a dream I went to visit her in Dubai. She said, you should do it! So I did. It was awesome. Then one day on another rooftop in Brooklyn, I am sitting on a blanket telling someone the story of my trip to visit Linda. All of a sudden someone comes up behind me, and who was it? LINDA. AS I WAS TALKING ABOUT HER. That’s fate! May the serendipitous journey continue.

Building my first snowman on a New York  City rooftop with Beki -February 2011

Building my first snowman on a New York City rooftop with Beki -February 2011

Hit me with your elevator speech…
I am Beki Powell – a multi-media artist & DJ from New York City, inspired by the magic of the universe, touched by the soul of humanity, ready to change the world. I live my life like a lucid dream, treating it like a playground in which we can rearrange the elements to always create something new and exciting. Creativity is a never-ending impulse for me, and it’s not just about putting my ideas into the world. It’s about what those ideas will evoke in other people, and subsequently what they will in turn put back into the world. It’s an eternal exchange that I am indefinitely gracious for being a part of. I guess this was a bit philosophical for an introduction, add a hefty splash of silly & you got me in a nutshell.

Beki, hard at work in a career she loves!

Beki, hard at work in a career she loves!


Chicks with decks rock!

Let loose in New York City for 24 hours only, what would be on your list of must do and see?
Chelsea art gallery walk, Guggenheim, Hi-Line, live music in the park.

When travelling, what staple items are in your carry on luggage?
Headphones, note/sketchbook, Chirper (my small yellow stuffed animal bird).

What are your favourite tips for staying on track with regards to healthy eating and exercise whilst away from your homely creature comforts and routine?
Find the local marketplaces for fresh fruits and veggies, bakeries for freshly-made goodies, overall just avoid processed packaged stuff. Basically, if there are 100+ ingredients for a chocolate chip cookie, it’s probably not something a human being should consume. & WALK WALK WALK EVERYWHERE. This way you don’t miss a thing, and your body will be very happy about it! But don’t wear some bullshit shoes. Wear shoes with support.

Where are your favourite places to shop in NYC for healthy, organic wholefoods and supplements?
Chelsea Marketplace, Union Square Marketplace, Fresh

Your pick as New Yorks number one healthy dining hotspot?
I’m a vegetarian so I’m a big fan of all the veggie restaurants. Red Bamboo would be my favourite, because you can get ANY meat/non vegetarian dish you could imagine, all made with soy. HIGHLY recommend.

Are there any fitness classes or places to enjoy training outdoors that you would consider unique to New York City?
There are hula hooping classes in the park, yoga in Madison Square Park, or you could go dancing at South Street Seaport Water Taxi parties!

What’s your favourite healthy snack choice, on the go?
Banana! Boom!

Can’t live without natural beauty product?
Bare minerals all day!!


Thank-you Beki x

Connect with Beki

Resident Advisor

Make The best c…


Make the best choice from what’s available – Victoria Moran

This is what Victoria coins as then best piece of dietary advice you will ever hear, meaning the best choice from what you as an individual knows today, the best nutritionally, the best taste, at the right price.

When on the go so frequently, this is a great mantra to live by!