In this editorial, we had the pleasure of chatting to entrepreneur, content creator and a mother, Danika Nemis all about how she navigates a plant-based sustainable lifestyle. Danika shares with us her journey to veganism, how she is finding raising a plant-based toddler by the beach, her tips for conscious living and her famous Golden Milk & Matcha Latte ___ launching in Děti!
1. First of all, what has driven you to live a more sustainable life?
When you are a mother, sustainability becomes your reality. You realize that it’s not just a fad because the fact is, as a mother, you want your children to grow up in a better world. I started becoming more conscious of this when I moved to the beach. First, I realized that I didn’t need a lot of material things. My shopping habits changed, my plastic consumption was reduced, and I started to appreciate the abundance I found in nature. Next, when you are surrounded by the ocean everyday, it really becomes natural for you to want to protect it. Whenever Luna and I see trash on the beach, we pick it up even if it’s not ours. After all, it’s still our beach. It’s still our home.
2. Where is home for you and can you tell us how you ended up there?
Home is in La Union. My family and I live in front of the beach and we manage a resort with a healthy plant-based cafe. I moved to La Union when I met my partner, Luke. He also runs a surf school here. I fell in love with La Union and its simple yet enriching lifestyle. I quit the city life and chose to raise a family here.
3. How has raising a plant-based toddler been like?
It’s been easy because Luna has been plant-based since birth (except for breastmilk). She doesn’t really ask for other food like meat and dairy because she loves her plant-based meals! The only challenge is when we travel, we would always need to bring our own plant-based food and snacks because there aren’t a lot of plant-based options in other places. We bring a lot of our own snacks, some of which I make myself, just so we’re always prepared when we’re on the go. Plus you don’t want to have a hungry toddler!
I like raising Luna this way because I become more mindful of everything I give her. Every time I feed her is a chance for me to nourish her with good food. Luna has a great appetite and she always asks for fruits and green smoothies as snacks!
4. How are you beginning the mornings to start the day off right at this time?
I live by having slow mornings. I also wake up with a grateful heart because the first face I see is Luna’s. Luna is 3 years old but she still co-sleeps with me and Luke. When we wake up, we start the day by playing and telling stories. Luke and I love this part of the day because we get to reflect as parents. Then Luna and I prepare our breakfast. It is important that Luna learns how to make her own food at a young age. Our typical breakfast is a smoothie bowl with a peanut butter or avocado toast. Then we all get ready to go to the beach to swim or surf.
5. What would you tell someone who thinks “they could never go vegan?”
You start by thinking that it’s doable. It’s not an impossible thing at all. You take it day by day. You can transition as slowly as you like. For example, for the first week or month, you can quit dairy first. Then you can quit fish, beef, and pork. Or you can try to go meatless once a week first. Once you see and feel the improvements in your body, energy, and mood, you’ll want to make the complete transition sooner!
6. How do you incorporate sustainability into your business?
At Seabuds, we use wooden bowls, edible straws, and eco-friendly cutlery to cut out single-use plastic. Also, we serve a lot of fruits and veggies in our cafe. Instead of throwing the peels away, we use them as compost or fertilizer for our farm.
7. Do you have any personal life hacks for getting through the day in the most conscious way possible?
One of the most important “life hacks” is to learn how to tune out social media. It can be so easy to be consumed by it. You have to remind yourself that who you are in real life is more important than who your followers perceive you to be. Social media should be a fun tool to express ourselves. If we’re using it to compare ourselves to others, criticize others, or spread hate, then we’re doing something wrong.
8. What are life’s small pleasures for you right now that are helping to keep you inspired and optimistic?
Me time. Bonding time with family. Abundance. Daylight. Fresh air. Nature. Healthy food available on the table. A roof over our heads! And just being healthy everyday.
9. How are you winding down at the end of the day?
After a long and busy day, I treat myself with a long, hot shower. I do my skincare routine. Light a candle. Enjoy a cup of my Golden Milk and read a book. Then I also write 3 things that I am grateful for daily in my journal. I believe that just writing those things down makes me a happier and more grateful person.
10. What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability for me is making use of what you have. You don't need to buy a lot of material things. You just need to be creative and that will also help you to save money. Living more sustainably is living simply. I like this saying “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
Sustainability for me is also about helping the small businesses that also have the same beliefs and supporting the brands who care and give a fuck. Together, we can create the changes we want to see.
"When you are a mother, sustainability becomes your reality. You realize that it’s not just a fad because the fact is, as a mother, you want your children to grow up in a better world."
11. Lastly, can you tell us about your Golden & Matcha Milk? How did it start?
Amid the pandemic, I was determined to look for natural ways to protect my family from illnesses. I read up on ayurvedic medicine and I started getting more curious about turmeric. In Ayurveda, turmeric is known to be a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-viral medicine. I thought that making Golden Milk would be a fun and easy way to introduce more turmeric into our diet!
I posted my recipe online and didn’t expect it to take off! My friends and their friends started sharing how Golden Milk has helped them fall asleep and that it eases their anxiety. Then I learned that getting all of the ingredients in one place during the lockdown was a challenge. So I asked myself— how can I make it easier for people to enjoy the health benefits of golden milk?
That’s when I decided to make my own Golden Milk mix! Now you can enjoy all the natural ingredients, each carefully measured to give you a warm hug in a mug— exactly like how I make it at home!
Then after seeing how my Golden Milk recipe has helped others, I then shared another beauty and wellness secret: In the evenings, I like to unwind with Golden Milk, but in the mornings, I choose to energize with a Matcha Latte!
My personal journey to look for natural ways to keep myself and my family healthy has led me to discover the wonderful, mood-lifting properties of matcha. Matcha is a superfood that can boost your immunity and help curb your appetite to assist you with weight loss. Taking what I’ve learned from reading up on Ayurveda and ancient herbal medicine, I combined ashwagandha, also called winter cherry or Indian ginseng, with matcha and MCT oil powder to make my own Matcha Latte Mix!
Golden Milk benefits:
- helps boost immunity
-prevents cell damage
-improves mood and sleep
-calms the mind and body
-lowers blood sugar levels
-relieves menstrual pain
My other beauty secret: the Matcha Latte Mix
Matcha Milk benefits:
-helps in weight loss
-makes you feel full longer
-enhances energy and focus
-lifts your mood
-reduces stress hormone levels
-rich in antioxidants for healthier hair and skin