In the kitchen with Olivia Owens (@breakfast_babes)

A series where we take a closer look into how the everyday cook fills up their cup, fridge, pantry, and bellies.

Who are you and what do you do?

Okay wow big question. I am a Mumma to two beautiful little babes. Luca almost 5 and Coco who is 2.  I live in the beautiful Mount Maunganui. At the moment I am in the process of launching my raw treat business, which has been such an incredible experience and I’m so excited to almost have the wheels in motion. Before this I was a Personal trainer and fitness instructor, teaching Reformer Pilates and yoga. I do miss teaching and I’m hoping I can squeeze in a few classes somewhere as I really thrive helping people connect with their bodies through movement  


What’s your food philosophy?

My food philosophy is Nourish not punish, I saw an Instagram account with this name a while back and it really resonated with me.

For years I went through a punishing period of depriving myself of nutrients and actually just the enjoyment of food so that I could maintain a particular size. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with Luca, my first, that I realised how important it was to maintain a certain weight or image, I was terrified of gaining weight. It’s been a long journey and still something  I have to keep tabs on, or remind myself, food is nourishment. Nourishment to the mind body and soul.

I feel alarmed by our diet culture especially around the fitness industry, it’s labelling restricted eating as healthy and there couldn’t possibly be a one size fits all. Intermitted fasting for example, can be useful and beneficial to some but can be so damaging to others, I feel worried by this whole concept. Are you getting enough nutrients If you’re skipping meals, how do your hormones or adrenals feel about this.  I could go on but we’ll be here all day.  

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Smoothie, it usually includes avocado, cacao, protein, coconut milk or water, peanut butter and what ever potions I’m into at the time, like ashwaganda, greens powder, Medicinal mushrooms

Tips for feeding little ones.

Oh the golden question.

  • Not making a huge deal if they don’t like something or don’t want to eat - our thing is you don’t have to eat but there’s no more kai if dinner isn’t eaten… usually does the trick.
  • Not missing the 'food window' and trying to serve dinner too late, 5pm is a good time for us.
  • Make a little platter with a range of raw or cooked veggies, cheese, crackers, wrap or bread.
  • Hide them greens - sneak them into pasta sauces, patties and smoothies... Luca is on to me now though.
  • My kids don’t eat healthy because I do, I encourage as much as I can and bribe where needed. Ages and stages, if they ate a vegetable at dinner time I’m happy.

One kitchen tool / appliance you can’t live without and why?

Nutra bullet or Vitamix, I make smoothies every day, I feel lost without one.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
  • Every day is a good day it’d what you make of it, My late Grandma lived by this.
  • This too shall pass, from a good friend of mine. It will always pass, something I hold on to on a challenging parenting or mental health day.
  • What you put out you’ll will come back to you, try and remember this on the days I feel like being mean to everyone.

Where would we find you on a Friday night?

At home snuggled up on the couch watching a family movie enjoying some takeaways or having a cute little takeaway picnic at pilot bay. (Mount Maungnaui)

How do you relax?

My usual go to activities are along the lines of...

  • Practicing yoga or having a little stretch sesh in my little space I have at the back part of our home.
  • Watching something trashy on Netflix.
  • Gentle breath work exercise.
  • Doing a yoga nidra or meditation.
What’s always in your pantry or fridge?

Avocado, peanut butter, good quality tahini has to be middle eastern (European, NZ and Australian brands just are not the same), cacao, greens to make a salad and chilli from our garden.

Death row meal - starter, main and dessert  

Would have to be Lebanese/ Middle Eastern food - think hummus, babaganoush, homemade wraps, falafel, Tahini.

Dessert - raw snickers bar, hands down my all time fave.

Most hated food?

Kina, tastes like salty gritty disgustingness and steak. The thought of eating a steak really makes me cringe, I do eat meat but steak just does not sit well.

Quick fire:

Cook or clean - Cook

Tea or coffee - Coffee (decaf)

Sweet or savoury - Sweet

Dine-in or takeaway - Dine in, but if there are kids involved take out.

Smoothie or juice - Smoothie

Wine or cocktails - Both I love a red or gin

Breakfast or dinner - This is hard I love all food. Breakfast at home 100% dinner if we are wining and dining

Coffee or matcha - Coffee

Burger or pasta - Burger

Mild or hot and spicy - Hot as possible

Dessert or cheese board - Dessert through and through

Host or attend - Both