After working in the hair and beauty industry for more than 20 years, Lucy Marr launched Sans [ceuticals]: a range of products that are safe and good for both the environment and your body. A mother, businesswoman and co-founder of Lucy and the Powder Room, Stephen Marr, and The Department Store, Lucy shares her health and wellbeing secrets, favourite books and extensive food knowledge:
Do you have any daily rituals?
Look, I’m human, so if I said I exercised regularly and only drank green smoothies I’d be lying. I do yoga twice a week. 5 minutes of meditation on waking keeps me centered and gives me a clarity like nothing else. I don’t eat anything processed and keep sugar (including natural sugars from fruits) to a minimum. I really struggle to drink eight glasses of water a day so I mix it up with herbal teas. And I love a good glass of Pinot Noir!
What are your favourite books for inspiration and information?
Some of these books have been totally life changing for me:
- The Naked Buddha by Adrienne Howley
- The Wholefoods Companion by Dianne Onstad
- Raw Juices Can Save Your Life by Sandra Cabot
- Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko
- The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency by John Seymour
- Handcrafted Modern by Leslie Williamson
- Thai Street Food by David Thompson
- Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
- The Herb Book by Arabella Boxer—I grew up with this book, it was my bible when I was 13!
- Raw Food Kitchen by Dunja Gulin
- Ripe, Tender and Real Food by Nigel Slater
- The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall
How has your natural approach to food and wellbeing influenced your role as a mother?
Ha! Neurotic! No, my mother was an incredible chef and she imbued me with a healthy attitude and respect towards food. Obsessive preoccupations towards food, healthy or unhealthy, can be equally bad. I am lucky I just happen to prefer food when closest to its natural state—stuff that hasn’t been screwed with. And at the end of the day, food should be about pleasure right?
As a mother, I try to engage my kids in the natural world as much as possible. I think it has a very grounding effect both psychologically and physically. I also like to live in a way that naturally supports our system through nutrition and wellbeing. I view this as a long-term investment. Our bodies are so intelligent and have such awe inspiring powers of resilience, yet over time they are worn down by all manner of intrinsic and extrinsic factors until eventually chronic illness and disease takes over. I feel that providing the body with the right beneficial support, both nutritionally and remedially, creates a positive feedback loop—enhancing our system as opposed to it constantly having to defend and protect. I am also aware that I am very lucky to have these choices.
What environmentally conscious practices do you incorporate at home and at work?
I have got into the habit of turning switches off at the wall when something is not in use. I don’t purchase goods that come in a lot of plastic packaging—especially food—and I always find ways to reuse things. I don’t eat a lot of dairy; something that contributes significantly to New Zealand’s environmental footprint, plus, I actually prefer the taste of almond milk.
Where do you purchase your food from?
I buy locally as much as possible and opt for in-season produce—a great way to discover new recipes and food types. I like farmers’ markets and have discovered an organic shop that supports boutique growers and only sells in-season. I sometimes find organic shops a little misleading as their produce can mostly consist of imported goods, but an organic label does not always indicate ‘healthy’, for instance, organic soda made from organic lemon juice but loaded with sugar? Or, an imported can of organic tinned soup loaded with gums and thickeners barely resembling its original source? Knowing what to buy organically or non-organically can be really helpful—take a look at the Sans Dirty Dozen here.
What key ingredients or supplements do you use on a regular basis?
I have learnt from some of the best health professionals that getting your nutrients from a living source is paramount. Having said that, I always take a really high quality fish oil (purity is key) for inflammation—a primary factor in the development of chronic disease. A really good quality vitamin C (read more from Nobel Laureate Linus Carl Pauling on this topic) and supplementation of vitamin D as most of the population is apparently deficient. Vitamin D is vital for immune support and fighting certain cancers.
What life philosophies do you follow? Any words of wisdom?
Laugh. Be really grateful. Have a go at anything and everything—what have you got to lose? Be curious not defensive, and there is no right, only perspective.