Ashley, you've given a lot of thought to what it means to lead a healthy, balanced life. What's your definition of wellness?
Wellness isn't found in one area of ourselves or our lives; it's an all-encompassing golden thread that weaves through everything. It's really about being in tune with yourself enough to know what food, physical activity, friends, partner, life path and form of creativity feels good, then fuelling all these equally important aspects of life with the natural enthusiasm that comes because it just feels right.
What's one thing you do every day to ensure you're living a vital life?
I meditate. I feel most vital when I'm connected to the infinite energy at my very core. Meditation allows me to touch upon this place twice daily, leaving me feeling refreshed, awakened, recharged and more able to respond to life's demands with a sense of peace and flow.
What's your approach to beauty?
Using techniques like yoga and meditation, or anything that connects me to myself such as journalling, a solo walk in nature, a hot bath, or doing something creative, allows me to feel beautiful. I also really enjoy treating myself to some sort of self-care: a massage, getting my nails done, going to the hot springs or swimming in the ocean, cooking myself a meal, even having a wine with the ladies, going dancing or buying something new – it all feels so good. I believe one of the biggest keys to beauty is feeling happy and treating ourselves with caring love. Because I'm always travelling, I use the Swisse Skincare Hydration range; it's perfect for giving my skin an instant moisture boost.
What are your best tips for staying well from the inside out?
On a basic level, hydration and optimal nutrition is so important – lots of fruit and veges, vitamins and minerals. There are some incredible supplements, herbs and superfoods available to us now. The new Swisse Ultiboost Radiant Skin supplement is great for nourishing your body from the inside. It helps support a healthy, glowing complexion while maintaining a healthy skin barrier function, which really suits my holistic approach to beauty. And let's not forget sleep! Everything can snowball if we haven't had enough sleep. I love getting the good old eight hours and fitting in some sort of physical activity daily.
With such an on-the-go schedule, how do you make time for yourself?
When I meditate it feels like a daily date with myself. It was challenging in the beginning (it almost felt selfish and unnecessary) but after feeling the benefits – how much more connected, calm, happy and at peace I am – I make it a priority. I also schedule a whole day to myself at home between long trips away; it's an essential part of regrouping and acclimating. It's become one of my favourite rituals: unpacking, washing, cooking, a long shower or bath, a swim, home yoga practice, paying the bills and catching up on emails and admin.
What is your favourite meal to make at home?
A new favourite is courgette pasta with pesto, pine nuts, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. It's quick, easy and delicious. Curries and soups seem to really hit the love spot, too.
And what are your best healthy snacking tips?
I always have small but high-fat and high-energy snacks on me, to just take the edge off between meals when I'm on the go. I love sugar-free and dairy-free dark chocolate; the high fat keeps me sustained and the cocoa stimulates me without having a big high followed by a massive drop.