29 October 2015
After discovering Lucy Bee’s coconut oil and learning about all the wonderful ways it can be used, we were really keen to find out how Lucy herself discovered it and in turn became the UK’s unofficial ‘Coconut Queen’. Not only is she queen of the coconut world though, as the Lucy Bee family/reign is quickly growing with her whole new range of exciting and essential cooking products launching. In the midst of her busy schedule we did however manage to chat to her about all things LB, so without further ado, enjoy.
LUCY’S DAY ON A PLATE
I start the morning with warm water and lemon, followed by green tea throughout the day.
As it’s getting colder, I often have porridge with Lucy Bee Maca Powder stirred in, topped with apples sautéed in Lucy Bee Cinnamon Powder and Coconut Oil.
I’m obsessed with sweet potato jackets at the moment. Today, I had this with avocado, lime juice, chilli flakes, black beans, tomatoes and Total Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan salt and pepper.
Homemade soup with lots of the ingredients from the garden. We have lots of delicious recipes on our website for soups.
I am trying to lower my intake of natural sugars so I have been snacking on almonds and also had a couple of rice cakes with homemade hummus on.
I also try to drink lots of water to flush out toxins!
SO LUCY, PLEASE TELL US HOW AND WHEN YOU DISCOVERED THE WONDERFUL BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL AND WHAT MADE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH IT SO MUCH SO THAT YOU STARTED YOUR VERY OWN COMPANY?
In 2007, a friend from Hong Kong brought over some coconut oil for my family and we soon realised how much we loved it and wanted to share its versatility with everyone. The reason for our interest in healthy eating is that, I was diagnosed a coeliac when I was eighteen months old. This meant that my parents and I have always had to check labels and ingredients and it made us very aware of what we put into our body. I am also a beauty therapist, so coconut oil for me is the perfect ingredient both for cooking and as a natural beauty product, fitting easily into my lifestyle!
YOU ARE UNDOUBTEDLY THE LEADING COCONUT QUEEN, DID YOU EVER EXPECT LUCY BEE COCONUT OIL TO BECOME THAT BIG?
No not at all – my dad is the business man behind Lucy Bee. He was already in the food business with an organic brown rice pasta so it was he who decided to bring out the coconut oil. He asked me to look after social media – which was just twitter to begin with. At first I was a little unsure with what to tweet as a coconut oil jar!! So, I started posting the food I was eating, quotes, pretty pictures, walks/jogs outside or anything I found interesting. Gradually this side of things grew so much and we introduced our Facebook and Instagram accounts which Meg helps with. I was still doing my beauty full-time, up until quite recently and then decided to devote just one day a week to this as there is so much more work for me to do with Lucy Bee, which I absolutely love!!
WE LOVE HOW YOU REGULARLY RE-POST YOUR FOLLOWERS FOOD PHOTOS OF CREATIONS USING YOUR PRODUCTS. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU FEEL IT IS FOR A BRAND LIKE YOURS TO CONNECT WITH FOLLOWERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
For us, our brand has become what it is, thanks to our social media and followers. It’s very important to us to communicate over social media – it’s something that Meg and I spend a lot of our time doing. I love the fact that people leave a shop and take a selfie of themselves and a Lucy Bee jar. It’s brought the product to life, rather than a standard jar on the shelf.
WITH MANY ONLY USING COCONUT OIL IN THE KITCHEN, IT HAS NOW BECOME ONE OF THE NATION’S FAVOURITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO USE IT WHEN YOU’RE NOT COOKING WITH IT?
I think beauty wise, it will have to be taking off my make-up. It’s the best make-up remover, even for waterproof mascara. It’s great on the skin because it’s high in vitamin E and lauric acid (approximately 48% and the only other place you get this is in mother’s breast milk), which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. I also find it helps to condition your eyelashes, helping them to grow and nourish them! If you haven’t tried it yet, I would really recommend it!
YOU NOW HAVE A WHOLE LUCY BEE FAMILY OF MUST-HAVE-COOKING PRODUCTS INCLUDING MACA, LUCUMA AND CACAO POWDER (EXCITING!!). WE NOTICED THAT MANY OF THESE, AS WELL AS YOUR COCONUT OIL, ARE FAIR TRADE – IS THIS SOMETHING YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT AND WANTED TO USE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ACROSS THE ENTIRE LUCY BEE BRAND?
For us, Fair Trade is one of the key factors when looking at products to bring out and we try to encourage Fair Trade where possible.
We are certified by the Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance (FairTSA). In our efforts to source new products, we encouraged our lucuma and maca producers in Peru to become Fair Trade, in order for us to buy from them, and also our new Sri Lankan coconut oil. We’re really proud of this as it means we’re helping to spread the great work done by FairTSA.
So far, with the help of our loyal followers, we have helped to build two wells in the villages in the Philippines, giving them clean, safe water; helped to buy solar panels for their one-room wooden homes; and given school scholarships. In the Solomon Islands, our Fair Trade contributions supplement daily essentials plus provide solar energy.
The more we work with FairTSA, the more we realise that really the question is not ‘Why are you buying Fair Trade’ but more ‘Why wouldn’t you buy Fair Trade?’
Not all Fair Trade certifications mean the same thing. When buying with our Fair Trade certification, you are buying a product that guarantees no animal cruelty involved, no child labour, fair pay for workers and producers, contracts for all workers, improved and safe working conditions and funds for community developments. I think it’s important to educate people on this. It’s something we hear about but don’t realise the huge impact that a Fair Trade product actually has and how we can all help make a difference to lives.
If you’re not buying FairTSA certified do you know if that item was ethically produced?
WE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE A STRONG ADVOCATOR OF EATING NATURAL AND UNPROCESSED FOODS. WHAT IS YOUR MAIN REASON FOR ADOPTING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?
As I mentioned above briefly, I was diagnosed a coeliac at eighteen months old. Back then gluten free foods were not so easy to come across. My parents had to check labels all the time, they also cooked everything from scratch. Which was great for me as they are both amazing cooks – most of the time my friends would want my homemade gluten free pizza over their bought one! Growing up reading labels made me realise the amount of rubbish added to food and it also made me really interested in nutrition and the effect foods have on us.
Even though I’m not a nutritionist, I love learning about it and try to fuel my body in the best way possible. I’m really interested in reading up on ingredients and their benefits to my health. This is why I think it’s so important to eat as close to nature as possible!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS STRUGGLING TO STICK TO THIS WAY OF EATING?
My first thing would have to be, don’t be so hard on yourself – we’re all human. It’s all about balance and it’s important to love food. Food shouldn’t be something you punish yourself with, it’s here to enjoy and get creative with! I would say, get stuck into some cookbooks and get experimenting, healthy eating isn’t boring. It’s about changing your mind set and swapping processed foods for natural foods!
DO YOU HAVE ANY GUILTY PLEASURES?
Cocktails – mostly frozen strawberry daiquiris!! I am 24, I still love going out with my friends and having a good time! Like I mentioned above, it’s all about balance!
ON YOUR WEBSITE YOU EXPLAIN HOW IMPORTANT YOU THINK EXERCISE IS AND SHARE WITH US YOUR FAVOURITE FITNESS TIPS. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FORM OF WORKING OUT AND HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRY TO SQUEEZE A WORKOUT INTO YOUR WEEK (WHICH WE ARE SURE IS NO DOUBT VERY BUSY!)?
For me, exercise is so important as it makes me feel much more energised. It’s great for stress and makes you feel good inside and out.
During the summer and better weather (even though I can’t complain too much about the weather at the moment as the sun’s still out) I went on a lot of runs outside…… well I say runs, it was more of a jog, walk, jog! It’s so good getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views. I was also doing a lot of TRX and working out as much as possible outside.
Now the weather is changing, I have re-joined the gym and try to do body pump and spin classes as much as possible. I love them both. If I can’t make it to the gym or only have limited time, I will do a HITT workout. I try to vary my workouts, as I must admit, I do get a little addicted to things and then over-do them and lose interest. I try to work out first thing, unless I am doing a class as I find this works best for me!
YOU ALSO HAVE YOUR VERY OWN LUCY BEE COOKBOOK! NOW WE KNOW THAT COOKBOOKS AREN’T SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DONE OVER NIGHT AND TAKE A LONG TIME TO COME TOGETHER, SO WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO A COOKBOOK?
I still can’t believe we have a Lucy Bee Cookbook out! We got approached last January by the publishers, Quadrille. When, their email came through, we thought it was spam!
After our initial meeting with them I literally had to pinch myself the whole way home. It takes a lot of hard work, cooking, eating and panic but the outcome is so worth it and I am so pleased with the outcome. The Lucy Bee team did a great job! 🙂 It’s also thanks to our followers that the book is out, as Quadrille noticed us from our social media!
IF YOU WERE TOLD YOU COULD ONLY LIVE OFF ONE MEAL FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I am going to go with the first thing that comes to mind and that is pancakes. But, I am sure this will change as the day goes on. I love pancakes as you can have sweet or savoury and so many tasty toppings for them!
NOW WITH WINTER FAST APPROACHING, HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY AND KEEP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY DURING THE COLDER WEATHER?
Firstly, I take a Vitamin D capsule every morning. We have a blog on vitamin D and its importance on our website. After oil pulling when I wake up, I drink a glass of warm water and lemon juice. I regularly make a Lucy Bee Coconut Oil and Himalayan Salt body scrub (it’s equal amounts of both, mixed together). This is great for dry skin and detoxifying. The coconut oil is soothing and nourishing for the skin! I make a lot of soups with cold fighting ingredients. I love drinking Lucy Bee Cacao Powder and almond milk hot chocolate. Cacao has so many benefits and is also very comforting, after all, who doesn’t like chocolate on a cold winters evening… or morning! It’s really about fuelling my body with organic natural ingredients and including exercise into my daily routine.
FINALLY, WITH LUCY BEE ALREADY RAPIDLY EXPANDED WITH NEW PRODUCTS AND A COOKBOOK, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE LUCY BEE PIPELINE?
As I have a background in beauty, I would love to look at bringing out beauty products that are 100% natural. I have been looking into this but it’s proving quite difficult, so, for now, it’s on hold. We are always looking to grow the Lucy Bee family of products so watch this space!
Lucy is a 24 year old, CIBTAC qualified beauty therapist with a love of healthy living including eating foods close to nature and exercise. Diagnosed as a coeliac at a young age, eating a well-balanced, healthy diet has always been important and has been the driving force behind Lucy Bee.
Visit the website to discover more here: www.lucybee.co