For Phoebe Tonkin and Teresa Palmer, a healthy lifestyle has always been a given.
Growing up in Australia, the now models-come-actresses were always active and surrounded by fresh food. It wasn’t until they relocated to LA for their respective careers that they became conscious of wellness as a choice and bonded over a shared desire to create an online community that encourages people to live healthfully and happily. Out of that, their website, YourZenLife.com, was born.
Both women spend a lot of time on set, where craft service snacks can be a dangerous pitfall. (Among other projects, Tonkin stars in Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals and Palmer can be scene in the upcoming remake of Point Break.)
Here, the actresses describe how they juggle busy careers, self-care and their desire to affect positive change:
Live The Process: How did your formative years inspire your interest in wellness and health?
Phoebe Tonkin: Growing up in Australia, we both had very outdoorsy upbringings. Healthy, fresh and local produce was very easily accessible, so I kind of took being healthy for granted. It's not something that I actively seek out, so much as it is ingrained in me to look after myself.
Teresa Palmer: As Phoebe said, growing up in Australia, we had it all at our fingertips. However, I don’t think I was ever really consciously aware of it until I grew up and moved out to LA, where healthy food and lifestyle options are so prevalent. It then became a lifestyle choice, and now it is just a way of life that I don’t even think about.
LTP: How did you come to create Your Zen Life and with what purpose in mind?
TP: I remember meeting Phoebe at a movie screening in Sydney in 2009, but then really getting to know each other in 2011 on a drive to Coachella. That’s where our bond for life was cemented! We both have a passion for health and wellness. We wanted to use our profiles to be of service and create an online community around that, where everyone has a voice and is able to contribute.
PT: Yes! That Coachella road trip was definitely when we bonded! We founded Your Zen Life in 2012. It really came about one night during dinner, ironically over a few cocktails (balance is key!). We were discussing the industry we work in and how we can use our profiles to affect positive change, and it organically evolved from there! Tez and I wanted to create a beautiful portal for like-minded individuals, where, as a community, we could encourage one another to live our happiest, healthiest lives possible.
LTP: What are your particular challenges to living healthfully? How do you keep your rituals up and yourself in line?
PT: For me, after working such long hours on set (sometimes 16 or 17 hour days!), I make sure that weekends are my downtime. I really use that for “me time.” It’s important to let your body and mind rest, whether that means exercising, sleeping, reading, catching up with friends or watching a movie. I am also super conscious of making sure I drink a lot of water and, when I am at work, that I have nutritious snacks on set, so I can ensure that my body is getting what it needs! I always have carob, goji berries, kombucha and rice crackers in my dressing room. It's hard in the South, where I work. Someone is always offering you fried chicken and grits (which are both delicious in moderation).
TP: Whilst it is a challenge with the hours we work, it is important to always carve out time for yourself. Even if it's just 20 minutes a day! My ritual is my bath. It is my “me time” and my chance to read, meditate and/or relax. On set, I find that if I plan ahead and bring food, I don't have to worry about making poor food choices.
LTP: What’s the most meaningful insight that’s come out of the site?
PT: We love hearing feedback from people, whether they are 16 or 60 years old, who have been inspired on their path to wellness by YZL.
TP: Yes, I agree. Phoebe and I started YZL to create an online community from around the world and affect positive change. And that is what we love most: Knowing that the site has helped someone discover something new or get pushed in the right direction on a wellness journey warms our hearts. That is why we created it in the beginning!
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
PT: I am my happiest when I am looking after myself, surrounded by positive people, being with my family and being by the ocean.
TP: Happiness to me is my family, being full of love and giving love.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how do you do that every day?
PT: Finding balance, learning from mistakes, educating yourself and having a positive outlook.
TP: Living a life full of love and positivity, vibrating at a high frequency and putting out into the world what you want to achieve.
Editor's Note: other interviews you might enjoy include A Moment With Hemsley + Hemsley and A Review With Lily Simpson.