Waking With . Lauren Armes
Since launching Welltodo in 2014, founder Lauren Armes has created a global community for the wellness industry to connect, meet, explore and inspire - both online and offline. Welltodo is not only an invaluable resource for the latest news and trends, but a platform for events, careers, consultancy and business advice. Recently released figures show that wellness is now a $4.2 trillion industry and with consumer demand for wellbeing still on the rise, it’s one of the fastest growing industries that shows no sign of slowing down. We caught up with Lauren to hear more about her morning routine, where she had the best breakfast of her life and the (at times) messy reality of running a business…
“No one day is the same with a real mix of running the business, supporting my incredible team, and working directly with clients. I spend a couple of days a week working one on one with some of the wellness industry's most influential entrepreneurs. Other days I'll be at our office in Mortimer House, focused on moving new projects forward, preparing for events, or thinking about expanding our business into markets! I am a little sporadic as far as routine goes, but I do try and 'theme' my days so that everything gets done.
Thanks to Jasmine Hemsley, I've recently converted to tongue scraping first thing! Some days I follow this with 20 mins of Vedic meditation and a hearty breakfast. Other days, if we're being honest, it'll be total chaos (and a few swear words) followed by a mad dash to the train. The ideal scenario is obviously the first one.
[On breakfast] My fiancé and I have a deal: he makes the overnight oats and I carry them to the office on the train (he commutes by bike). If I'm working from home, it could be eggs on sourdough or a smoothie! My ideal breakfast is: almond milk with Pukka cacao latte mix for work from home days (together it's a match made in heaven), a Workshop flat white for office days (sooooo good!), eggs (poached or scrambled), sourdough toast (supposedly quite good for you!), and avocado (because yum!). My healthiest breakfast would be a full breakfast of poached eggs, mushrooms, and tomatoes, with sourdough toast. Indulgent would be something more like pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.... OMG YES!
The best breakfast of my life? Gosh that is such a tough question... but last time I was home in Australia my brother made this Turkish pide (toasted in coconut oil) breakfast sandwich with avocado, bacon and a runny egg with home-grown rocket and mushrooms sautéed in garlic. I'm not kidding it was INSANELY delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about.
[On an ideal morning with no plans] If it was cold and grey it'd probably involve a home cooked breakfast complete with dressing gown and good company. If it was hot, sunny and at home on the Gold Coast in Australia... it would probably involve a brunch on the beach with an acai bowl and similarly, some good company! Good food and good people are everything.
[On morning routine] Get up an hour earlier than you think you need to... jump on the meditation bandwagon (there is SO much science about this now... for focus, lowering cortisol and anti-aging!), have a good breakfast and avoid coffee if you're highly strung like me. For the ultimate morning – 20 minutes of journalling and/or reading something inspiring is always a good option!
I once heard Elizabeth Gilbert talking about balance in a way that really resonated with me. I'm an ambitious, A type personality with a tendency to be hard on myself. Adding 'balance' to my to do list often feels more stressful that I'm certain it's supposed to feel – and Elizabeth says it's just another expectation for most of us. So instead of striving after it as yet another lofty goal, I just do what I can do look after myself whilst embracing the chaos that sometimes is life. I schedule a fortnightly massage, try and get to yoga once a week, take Sunday mornings a little more slowly, and drink much less than I used to (if at all). Sometimes the scales tip more in one direction than the other, but I've learnt that it tends to even out in the end.
Initially, I had hoped that by writing about the wellness industry – I might stumble across a gap in the market and/or my 'big business idea'. Ironically, it was in writing about innovation and trends in wellness that Welltodo became the business. I realised that there must be other people like me who are interested in the business side of wellness (rather than just the lifestyle itself) and thus our events and consultancy services were born.
[On how starting a business impacts eating habits] I used to make more time to cook. We recently went through a patch of eating out a lot or not having a nutritious dinner – and so trialled a few meal delivery kits! They are incredible. We've used Hello Fresh, Mindful Chef and Gusto – and they're all fantastic if your day job zaps most of your creative energy and leaves you hungry but not that inspired in the kitchen.
I love trying new things and am just as happy eating at Wagamama as I am at Annabel's. I'm a big fan of Japanese, Vietnamese, Italian and French cuisine – depending on the mood and the people.
The highlight of launching Welltodo is building such an incredible team around me. Being a sole founder, it's hard when you've got loads of ideas but not the capacity to execute. Growing a team of ambitious, hard working and passionate people to support me in bringing the Welltodo vision to life has been deeply fulfilling – I couldn't do any of it without them.
[Words of wisdom] Learn to embrace the messiness of it all. You'll make mistakes, you'll fail, you'll be totally lost and uncertain... but in the end you figure it out or you find someone who has the answer. Persistence is the absolute key. If you're passionate enough about the vision, then commit to make it happen no matter what stands in your way.”