You know her as the founder of her eponymous activewear label, but Lorna Jane Clarkson is turning her hand towards her first cookbook.
NOURISH: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook follows the success of Clarkson’s first two books, 2011 fitness bible Move Nourish Believe and its 2013 follow-up, More of the Fit Woman’s Secrets.
The focus of the cookbook is firmly on ‘nourishment’, rather than dieting. It includes recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks, smoothies and elixirs, and incorporates meal planners and tips for establishing healthy eating habits, but steers firmly away from fad diets.
We had a chat with Lorna about the book, her guilty pleasures, and what you can do to improve your health and fitness.
What inspired you to start Lorna Jane?
As strange as it sounds, I never actually intended to start a business! I was working part-time as an aerobics instructor and was disappointed by the lack of activewear options available for women. The activewear category was very male-dominated and only available in the masculine environment of sporting goods stores.
I’ve always been up for a challenge, so I literally took matters into my own hands and started sewing my own activewear. I’d work all day, teach aerobics in the evening and be up half the night on my sewing machine. Lucky I like to keep busy!
The women in my class loved my designs and the orders started flooding in. I never had a business plan, finance or a team to support me, I was just a girl with a passion to inspire women to be active and the energy to make it happen.
Twenty-five years on I do have a team to support me, but my passion remains exactly the same. Seeing women wearing Lorna Jane still sends a shiver down my spine as I know in some way I’ve inspired that woman to embrace active living and improve her life. It’s an amazing feeling!
What motivates you to stay fit and healthy?
Ever since I was a child I’ve loved exercise and learned early on how much better you can feel if you move your body every day and nourish with healthy food.
Eating well and moving my body is non-negotiable for me. It gives me the energy and clarity I need to greet every day with a smile and I’m sure I would never have achieved what I have if it wasn’t for my active living philosophy.
How do you start each day?
As soon as I wake up I drink a glass of water with lemon juice, cayenne pepper and a dash of coconut water to cleanse my body and boost my metabolism for the day. Then I do some stretches, workout and walk my dog. Next is a nourishing breakfast and a quick catch-up of emails etc… then body brush, shower and off to work.
Why did you decide to write a cookbook?
The ‘Nourish’ component of my Active Living Philosophy is the inspiration and motivation behind NOURISH: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook. We’ve been featuring healthy recipes on Lorna Jane’s MoveNourishBelieve blog for a while now and our readers simply can’t get enough!
In true Lorna Jane style I have taken it one step further and included not only my favourite recipes, but also my personal food and life philosophies, hints and tips and even a few meal plans to get my readers started on the road to good health.
What was the writing process like?
I’ve always loved cooking and have been gathering my favourite recipes for a quite a while now. It’s exciting to be able to finally share them! The most time consuming part of putting Nourish together was writing my introduction, as I wanted to help readers realise how eating healthy food when you have a busy schedule is absolutely possible!
What does your family like to eat?
Nourish is a collection of all my favourite recipes, so you’ll find all the food my husband, Bill, and I love to eat within its pages.
Some of your current favourites are:
Dinner: Chilli and garlic prawns with quinoa and cauliflower pilaff.
Dessert: Banana, honey and macadamia ice-cream sandwiches.
Are the recipes user-friendly? Can everyone cook them?
Absolutely! My book proves once and for all that ‘healthy’ and ‘easy to prepare’ meals don’t have to be mutually exclusive. One of the things I really hope to achieve with Nourish is to teach women how easy it is to prepare healthy and delicious meals without spending hours slaving away in the kitchen.
What food is your guilty pleasure?
Like most women I enjoy eating a little dessert now and again, but my all-time favourite food indulgence would have to be CHOCOLATE! I do make my own so it is sugar-free and absolutely nutritious and delicious at the same time. (The recipe is in my book.)
What are some small things that people can do to improve their health and fitness?
My tips are simple really: When you wear activewear it is proven that you will be MORE active, SO WEAR MORE ACTIVEWEAR to be inspired to move your body MORE every single day.
Another tip would be to start your day with exercise; I find that when I exercise in the morning I automatically feel more positive and want to eat well for the rest of the day.
NOURISH: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook will be released on Tuesday 8 July in Lorna Jane stores. Check back next week for an exclusive recipe from Lorna Jane!