Kimberly Parsons is an author, speaker, naturopath, chef and entrepreneur. Her message is to teach people how to tune-in to their inner wisdom and learn how to listen to their body’s daily nudges and signs in order to find long-lasting, vibrant health and happiness.
The Yoga Kitchen Plan, is a soulful journey towards finding your best, most authentic self where a quiet mind and overall sense of calm are the ultimate goal. Through the use of pure, non-stimulating foods, the plan helps the reader reach a state of bliss and tranquility each day.
At the end of most yoga retreats I run, I generally get asked the question, “Kim, how on earth am I going to be able to keep all of this up when I go home?!” I wrote my book, The Yoga Kitchen Plan, because I realised that even though people do yoga, they don’t necessarily know how to be yogic all of the time.
I’m not actually a yoga teacher.
I am just a huge fan of the philosophy and have completely emerged myself in the beliefs and traditions of yoga without having learned how to get into every single pose or teach a class. I am way too shy to want to stand up at the front of a class and ask people to follow my lead!
“I live to inspire before I expire”
Making sure that I inspire people is my daily goal.
What does ‘wellness’ mean to you?
Meeting my individual, daily needs and staying true and connected to myself. That’s my definition of wellness.
I don’t see wellness as drinking green juice, following a certain diet and making sure I raise my heart rate above a certain level for 30 minutes a day. Wellness is about making sure I am loving me today and staying connected to whatever my mind and body needs without the input of anyone else’s influence.
Why did you decide to combine yoga and food?
I love food and I love yoga! So why not combine the two together? It was a simple equation for me.
Being a naturopath, I had always cultivated a wholistic view of a healthy diet and when I found yoga, I found another piece of the jigsaw puzzle to help create even more wholeness in peoples health journey. It just made perfect sense to me and it is a true expression of two passions in my life.
How important is authenticity in social media, and how do you make sure you are authentic?
I never post if I feel like I need to, only when I want to.
I don’t put any pressure on myself to post and therefore when I do it’s because I feel like I am ready to share. I also ask myself before I post if any part of me is looking for validation or feedback from the post because if I do then I know I’m not sharing in a healthy way for me. I see social media as a place to come and offer something creative, from a place of service not from a place of needing to get anything back from it, so that’s how I try and stay authentic.
Authenticity and social media is something I feel very strongly about and have even thought about writing a book about it.
I have seen the detrimental effects of social media on some of my friends and peers and I find it truly concerning. So I think this is something we all need to start talking about way more.
You have lots of things going on – how do you manage your time so you don’t get overwhelmed?
I know when to say no to something. Because I am lucky enough to do what I love, I always feel very connected and in-tune with what’s happening around me so if things start to pop up that don’t resonate with me, I immediately know not to spend any energy in that direction. It’s a skill you learn to cultivate over time and once you’ve got it, it’s a brilliant tool that means most of the time you can avoid meaningless tasks or requests that can add to overwhelm. A deep breath also helps now and then in the moment.
How do you make sure you give yourself time to relax and unwind when you need it?
Firstly – I do what I love to do. That’s the biggest step towards feeling relaxed and chilled each day – because I never feel like I am working when I’m in the kitchen. Life can sometimes get too busy though so when it does I make sure I prioritise my calendar.
Making sure I am in control of my own calendar and knowing when to say no to something is my way of making sure I always have time for me.
I love my ‘me time’ and after not having it for such a long time while I ran the cafes I made it a huge priority in my life. It’s being okay with being selfish but not beating yourself up for being selfish. Respecting the ‘me’ in my experience of life has been a powerful lesson.
What has been the biggest lesson from your own wellness journey so far?
I am a naturally very nurturing person and I love to look after other people. So for me, looking after myself didn’t come naturally – it’s something I’ve had to learn to do and make sure I maintain a regular practice for. It’s also been about understanding myself and then being able to put boundaries or habits in place to make sure my wellness is ensured. Such as realising I love team sports – so all those years I tried to be a gym bunny just because I felt like that was the way everyone exercised were fruitless and a waste of my membership – so when I returned to netball and had a team around me again I realised just how much it suited me and now it’s a regular part of my life.
I realised a long time ago that wellness is very individual so the biggest lesson has been to avoid the trends and go with what feels right for me.
How do you practice gratitude in everyday life?
By being kind to myself. Plain and simple. Over the years I have learned to not sweat the big stuff and pay more attention to my inner dialogue. I decided a while ago to let go of some of the rules I imposed on those around me and on myself and since then, life has a really lovely flow to it that means the simple things in life are so exciting and I find myself constantly feeling grateful.
What is your go-to healthy meal?
I love a big bowl of hearty vegetable miso ramen. Miso broth, mushrooms, soba noodles, Pak Choi, sugar snaps, sprouts, broccoli, and some shredded seaweed.
What one failure are you glad you experienced?
I don’t see life as a series of successes or failures. It’s not the paradigm in which I see the world. I see life as a series of experiences, chapters, adventures, decisions and moments in time that have led me to where I am in this moment today, with each one offering me lessons, challenges and opportunities to refine the person I am and hope to be one day.
Looking back over the last 10 years (the years from 25-35) the one decision I made that felt like a failure at the time – to close my three cafes – was truly the best decision I ever made and even though closing a business I had worked so hard to build felt like a failure at the time – the only reason I saw them as a failure was because I felt they never became what I had dreamt for them in my mind.
They never reached their potential and I couldn’t (for many reasons) fulfill the vision I had for them. But the lessons, growth, and experience I gained are insurmountable in comparison so it’s something I never dwell on and only find pride from now.