For this months Waking With feature we’ve kept it close to home and in the family – so to speak. Leah Garwood Gowers and Daisy Payne of The Hardihood share with us both the industry in which we work, as well as the studio. We spend most of our days eating each other’s products and generally trying to brighten up days revolved around packaging deliveries and tedious admin.
What began as a friendship and developed into a mutual interest and culinary obsession, has now become a full on partnership. The girls had been friends for years, journeying together through trials of the newest health trends and the latest products, before they decided to create something themselves, and turn it into a full time job. With Leah’s background working at a raw food restaurant in London, and Daisy’s former job as a stylist, the two pulled together their culinary and artistic strengths to create The Hardihood – a London-based start up specializing in visually pleasing and nutritionally generous raw cheesecakes and desserts - made without the bad stuff, and all natural.
We sat and licked some bowls clean with the girls at the end of a busy day in the studio, and amongst plenty of the usual irrelevant and probably quite delirious chat, we got to know a little more about how they spend their waking hours, and the importance of a morning routine in achieving efficient, positive and productive outcomes of their busy days.
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“We spend our days making raw confectionary -mostly raw cakes - using only natural ingredients. All of our products are free from refined sugar, gluten, dairy, wheat and soy, but the final products don’t get approved unless they taste amazing and look beautiful too.
Each working day varies for us, which is great fun but also makes it hard to follow any real structure (like any start up business where you don’t have just one job title but are juggling hundreds of responsibilities). Depending on what we’re doing from day to day, the very first thing we do is always the same: snooze the alarm. Then there’s dog walking, probiotics, a workout if we have time, lemon and ginger hot water and a quick once over with the body brush. Breakfast usually consists of a mad rush, but happy faces once we’re chumping down an elaborate bowl of porridge (the more ridiculous the better!).
On the weekdays, breakfast tends to be rushed so we keep a few staples on hand to ensure our morning meal is quick but easily nutritious. Gluten free oats, mashed banana, raw honey, bee pollen and goji berries are all regulars in our breakfast bowls, but we like to rotate whatever we can get our hands on. Weekends tend to be less stressful and an ideal morning will be made up of sundried tomatoes, avocado, chilli flakes, eggs anda pinch of himalayan pink salt.
Our healthiest breakfast – especially if we’re in a hurry – is a quick-fix homemade juice with plenty of beetroot, carrot, ginger, red peppers, orange, turmeric. At the other end of the spectrum, our unhealthiest breakfast would begin with a hot cacao and banana smoothie followed by almond meal pancakes.
The secret, for us, to waking up well, is not necessarily about what we do when we wake, but depends heavily on what we’ve done before we’ve gone bed. We try to go to bed hydrated with a glass of water and a spritz of Japanese jasmine face mist. We sometimes light a Neom lavender tranquility candle to help us wind down well, accompanied by a good book. No room for scrolling.
The earliest we’ve ever woken up is 5am, every Friday, to deliver our cakes all across London. Actually though, you grow to love it. There’s something rewarding about watching the sunrise over the city whilst everyone else sleeps. The latest we’ve ever woken up is off the record. We both struggle with lie-ins, no matter what time we went to bed. It’s a curse.
The best places we’ve ever awoken include beside the sea on the tiny, tropical island of Ishigaki in Japan (Daisy), and under the stars in Dalt Villa, on the terrace of my home in Ibiza (Leah). Waking here would obviously make an ideal morning, but in a more realistic world, our ideal mornings would include waking on a Saturday to an announcement that we’d won the Euro millions. Pow! Why not? It could happen…
In terms of organizing our mornings in order to let our days unfold more efficiently, one thing we’d like to do more of is to make a packed lunch to take with us to work. One thing we need to less of in the mornings is to fall into a slumber of snoozing and scrolling.
Our best piece of morning advice? Get up, get out, look up. Oh, and Vanilla Chai (or Savoury) Qnola – all day, everyday!"
Follow the girls for decorative inspiration and general pudding porn @thehardihood.