Morning habits of successful and healthy women



What’s the first thing you do upon waking to ensure you have a healthy, happy day? Mornings are called the most important part of the day – the way we spend them affects our mood and achievements for the next 24 hours. But how do you get your mind and body into gear?

focus asked five successful and healthy Bay of Plenty business women to share their morning habits and how they get ready for a new day. We spoke to Stephanie Olver, Mount Yoga; Libby Whaley, Epsilon Hair; Sharna McElligott, The Nourished Eatery; Sian du Plessis, Nomad Nutrition and Hellen Faulkner, HZP+Co.

focus: What do mornings mean to you? Do you like waking up early?

Stephanie: I’m so in the habit of waking up early that I rarely sleep in, even on a day off. I prefer to get things done and then take a nana nap later in the day.

Libby: Lately, I’ve become more of a morning person. After a day at work your brain is buzzing and your body is tired, so you value mornings for feeling refreshed and recharged. If I can stand and just be present for a minute in that early morning light, it sets me up for the day.

Sharna: To be honest, I’m not a great morning person – usually stressing about the day ahead. I prefer being alone at the café, baking and getting the prep done. I love late mornings with takeaways and Netflix on weekends!

Sian: My father is a baker so growing up in our family meant you really had no choice but to be a morning person.

Hellen: I love waking up early to join the dogs, cats and birds in welcoming the sun – a peaceful moment that gives you energy.


focus: What is your morning ritual?

Stephanie: I have hot water with lemon. I’m trying to add meditation into my daily routine but this is easier said than done.

Libby: I always let my doggy out and get her breakfast first thing. In the shower I do my gratitude ritual. Anything that pops into my head gets acknowledged and thanked – even if it’s just for hot water on a cold day. On days off I take a cup of orange and bergamot tea back to bed and read for an hour or so – feels so decadent!

Sharna: Waking naturally, without any disruptions.

Sian: I have done many types of cleanses and one in particular had me scrape my tongue each morning. This Ayurvedic practice is so invigorating that I have carried on with it as a daily ritual.

Sian’s Nomad Nutrition cleanse. The focus team were lucky enough to experience the delicious new Summer Menu before the official 8th January launch. Read what they had to say!


Hellen: Normally I sit outside with a fresh-leaves green tea for five minutes (or at least until my boys wake up).


focus: Do you exercise in the morning?

Stephanie: I either teach or practise a yoga class every morning at 6am. There is an intangible quality about Sun Salutations done at sunrise.

Libby: I’m not a runner or a gym girl! I only do yoga and dog walking and a bit of Pilates.

Sharna: Is baking counted?

Sian: A good all over stretch, from jaw to toes!

Hellen: My kids often take me to skate or ride a bike before school.


focus: What is your favourite breakfast?

Stephanie: My favourite go-to food is a green juice from Vitality Organics in the Mount.

Libby: Gluten-free toast with Marmite. I started really craving Marmite after not having it for 15-20 years. I have limited animal products in my diet so was probably low in iron and B12.

Sharna: A cup of strong black coffee and our amazing Nourished Loaf topped with char-grilled capsicum pesto, creamy avocado and pea tendrils – 10/10!

Sian: I’m a real sucker for poached eggs!

Hellen: Avocado on toast! And I never skip NZ honeycomb.


focus: How do you take care of your skin and hair?

Stephanie: I use the Murad range of products from Caci Mount Maunganui.

Libby: I apply Eleven Miracle Hair Treatment before blow drying, for thermal protection. I don’t wash my face in the mornings, just splash it with water, then use oils to moisturise and apply Bare Essentials BB Cream.

Sharna: I’m really into using natural, locally sourced products. For my skincare I use Minimalist and Lush and oils from Beauty Tofu (local small business). Other products I source from iHERB.

Beauty Tofu


Sian: I prefer to eat my way to healthy skin than apply products. Eyebrows are the exception – I do like to fill in my eyebrows. Occasionally I’ll use bareMinerals SPF Foundation and Lime Crime Lippy.

Hellen: A gentle massage with a few drops of fresh-leaf green tea around my eyes. After my shower I apply my favourite HZP+Co All day Hydra-Defence Serum.


focus: Do you have a favourite morning smoothie recipe?

Stephanie: It’s called Vampire Juice – beetroot, orange, carrot and a generous portion of ginger.

Libby: I love green smoothies in summer but can’t face them in winter. I would rather have coffee!

Sharna: A peanut butter, banana smoothie made from our barista blend (watermelon seeds, macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds) plus banana, creamy peanut butter, cacao and maple syrup.

Sharna’s favourite smoothie


Sian: A giant green smoothie filled with loads of fibre, sprouted greens and good fats. Avocado, chia, linseeds, broccoli sprouts, banana, kale, almond milk and whatever else I need to use up!

Hellen: I’m not a smoothie fan, but I eat an apple every morning!