Danielle Copperman encourages us all to take a moment to ourselves.
The sought-after model first delved into wellness when she arrived in London to work at 18 years old. As her schedule grew more packed, she began cooking for herself and observing the unrecognizable ingredients in a lot of processed foods.
That interest grew into a passion and, eventually, a business: Now, in addition to modeling for everyone from Chanel to Burberry, she is the founder of food, travel and lifestyle blog, Model Mange Tout, and the creator of quinoa-based breakfast brand, Qnola. Though she believes that eating naturally is essential, her philosophy is more holistic, including a well-rounded, balanced lifestyle approach.
Here, Copperman explains why taking a beat to slow down could help us all:
Live The Process: Did you have a relationship to wellness or health food as a young person?
Danielle Copperman: I grew up in the countryside just outside of Bath in England. As a young child, I was kept healthy by my parents, who valued home-cooked food and plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, they didn’t subscribe to anything as drastic as a gluten-free, dairy-free or sugar-free diet. As a teenager, I was unhealthy whenever I could be and lived off junk food and fast foods and sweets.
LTP: How did your modeling experience impact your relationship to food and health?
DC: I got scouted at The Clothes Show Live when I was 15. At first, I remained at home and studied in Bath, so wasn’t inspired to change my diet or health. I was at the age where I was still growing, so anything I ate was used quickly, rather than stored, I guess! When I moved to London to model full-time at 18, I began to cook for myself more and became really interested in the strange ingredients I realized were contained in so many of the foods I was buying.
LTP: What inspired you to launch Qnola and Model Mange Tout respectively and what do they each offer?
DC: I was inspired to launch Qnola after I made it for myself as a quick paleo breakfast option. (I used to follow quite a strict paleo diet.) I then posted about it on Instagram and my blog and people began to email me, asking if I would make it for them. So I did, and then I expanded into shops. Shortly thereafter, I set up my online shop. Qnola offers advice on how to wake up well and stresses the importance of mindful mornings; Model Mange Tout offers a variety of gluten-, grain-, dairy- and sugar-free recipes, as well as travel stories, advice, products I love and discussion around well-being, spirituality, business and other things.
LTP: Your philosophy revolves around seeking mental balance and peacefulness. What do you personally do to keep yourself in a good head space?
DC: I meditate using mantras, breathing exercises and other techniques. I occasionally journal or list things for which I am grateful. I acknowledge and appreciate the small victories and small occurrences. I count my blessings. I meet new people. I travel. I read a lot about yoga and meditation and Chinese medicine and ayurveda. I practice yoga every day, and I exercise, which also helps to switch off my mind from time to time.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
DC: To me, happiness is laughter, light, peace and community. It is bright and energetic, and it involves everyone in my life who is close to me and whom I love. For me, a happy future would include a comfortable house, a healthy family, my amazing community of friends and the opportunity to travel. I guess happiness is pretty simple really.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
DC: To me, living the process means living each day and appreciating each step of the journey rather than always planning ahead, looking to what’s next or living in the future. In this fast-paced modern day life, we are caught up in constantly doing and thinking and planning. We forget to live each part of these processes in the present moment. In order to “Live The Process” more, I think we all need to slow down from time to time. We need to take 30 minutes each day to tune into ourselves and what’s going on in our lives in order to be grateful for the present moment, proud of how far we have come and excited, but not stressed, about the future.