A day in the life and on a plate of lifestyle motivator Dani Stevens
Have you ever dreamt of a coastal move? You know, the kind you see in movies - a move from a sleepy country town to a dreamy beachside haven like Byron Bay. Well, Dani Stevens not only dreamt it, she recently made it her reality. The mother, wife, entrepreneur, influencer and motivator (in no particular order) recently made the bold move with her four kids and husband in tow. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Dani made the move to fulfil her lifelong desire to live by the sea where her mind, body and soul are most at ease. Nowadays, when she is not busy juggling the demands that come with raising four children and her rapidly growing website, Dani enjoys her days on the beach watching her hubby surf.
As a stay at home mum of four, Dani is no stranger to juggling and multitasking, a role she has taken in her stride. Sharing her journey with her dedicated followers, Dani has become renowned for her relatable and achievable tips of anything from food and fitness to lifestyle and raising children in a digital age. A keen motivator who was able to capture the attention of Richard Branson, this mum’s ‘can do’ attitude is both inspiring and infectious.
Naturally, we just had to ask Dani to share a day in her life. Enjoy.
I wake up at: 6am
The first thing I do when I wake up: At the moment it’s been an automatic 6am wake up as my darling husband’s ‘surf’ alarm goes off at 6:30am. This allows me to stretch, do my yoga and breathing which helps me get focused for the day. Then from 6:30am I put a load of washing on, prepare our kids breakfast and school lunches before our 4 children awake around 7am. We always try and do breakfast together and Adrian is normally back from his surf by the time we leave for school.
How has being a mum changed your morning routine: During the last 12 years motherhood has changed a lot for me! In the early days, life was all about changing nappies and lots of sleepless nights, taking care of our four kids under the age of six. Fast forward to today, I feel I am a little more balanced but I still have some crazy mornings. Being organised keeps me calm, as I don’t function well when I’m frazzled. As mentioned, I try to squeeze in an extra hour of activity before our kids wake up. Most nights I try to beat the morning race against the clock by preparing the kids lunches in advance.
To get organized for the day: I definitely need Mama Dani time (wellness movement, breathing, stretching etc.) Being a Mum of four with Noah turning 14, Oscar 12, Mietta 10 and Zali 8 this year and a wife and leader of my team, there is a lot to take care of. So taking care of myself is paramount, otherwise I don’t function well for my team.
What helps me tremendously is working with both a physical calendar as well as a digital planner. Technology can be distracting, but when we use it to our benefit, it can be extremely helpful. I try to stay with my plans and be on time as much as possible, but I no longer beat myself up if I am a few minutes late (sometimes more than a few) here and there. Life happens and your best varies from day to day.
My go to breakfast is: homemade muesli/granola with coconut yoghurt, fresh berries and chia seeds (download my free eBook recipes on the Dani Stevens 365 app available on Android and App Store).
But the kid’s love: banana chia smoothies. We either have fresh or frozen bananas prepared and they add their favourite milk with a sprinkle of cinnamon, chia seeds and that’s it! It's a vitamin, mineral and protein-packed meal to get their little bodies nourished and brains learning for the day!
Managing 4 children in the morning is: a blessing. I am forever grateful and honoured. It’s also a full time job. You must be organised, as chaos never calmed anyone so my new approach has been to stay cool, calm and collected. I try to organise as much as I can the night before. I also always make sure that I kiss and hug our children goodbye so that love and positive energy spreads to other children throughout their day.
I never leave the house without: Here it goes. The things that really matter like hugs and kisses from the family, telling our children how much we love them, sending our children to school in a happy and confident mood. I also try to never leave the house without a positive attitude and mindset
As for material things: I never leave the house without my keys, my phone and a bottle of water. Also a touch of lipstick and mascara!
My first appointment for the day: is usually a school drop off or a business meeting, photo-shoot or walking our little Frenchy Nina (walk and talk meetings).
Next stop: Various errands and shopping. They say abs are made in the kitchen, I say they’re made in the supermarket! Most women will meal plan after they finish a long day at work via their local supermarket. This is a huge roadblock to a lifestyle change, as we tend to buy what we are familiar with, rather than what we need for a new and healthy food plan.
Then it’s Skype meetings, interviews and reading/replying to emails.
To keep motivated throughout the day I: try to always eat healthy. Keeping a positive mindset is also really important. Finally, it's about accomplishing little thing (e.g.: get out of bed, make my bed, shower, brush my teeth, eat breakfast) it’s all the micro changes that make the ‘macro moments’ achievable.
Lunch on a plate looks like: I always try my best and aim for fresh, rainbow Buddha style salads or if I know I’m travelling or on location without healthy choice, I pack my emergency snacks e.g.; fresh fruit, water and protein bars.
Next I: call a loved one to tell them how much I love them (typically an SMS to my husband Adrian). I ensure I’m on time for my next meetings. I try really hard to be on time! Then it’s also about ensuring I have fun with whatever work or play I’m doing.
If I need a healthy snack I reach for: Produce and protein, this can usually mean a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. I also like to have chia or acai puddings, veggies sticks and dip.
I always make sure my children have access to: (This one is an important one) in terms of family life I always make sure my children have access to present and approachable parents. We live in a very fast paced and distracting world. Being present and listening are the keystones of our family philosophy.
In terms of food, I make sure they always have access to fresh fruit and vegetables cut up in container in the fridge to “grab and go”. I also try and always keep things like carrots, hummus, wraps, salads, falafels, and yoghurt on hand.
We also place a big emphasis on love. Hugs are a big part of our happy home. We live off of oxytocin, which is a natural hormone that is often dubbed as the “cuddle hormone”. This hormone is closely linked to important aspects of relationships such as trust, devotion, and bonding.
To keep the kids active during the day I: we are an active outdoors family everyday!!! We surf, skate, walk, pick flowers, play Uno in the backyard and use different colours or key words for our fun fitness challenges e.g.: yellow means star jumps!
My last appointment for the day: is a management, content or creative meeting.
Winding down looks like: sitting still, preferably in nature simply breathing slowly. I am practising diaphragmatic breathing as we are all busy running around and tend to breathe via our upper rib cage, which leads to short and shallow breaths leading to anxiety.
Deep breathing via our diaphragm (the way our babies breathe like a wave from their belly to their chest) helps you relax, lowering the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body.
The other things that help me wind down are family hugging wrestles, floating in water (even if its for 5 minutes), reading a book and writing a journal.
My signature dinner dish is: usually a Rainbow coloured Buddha bowl or a crispy fresh vegetable bowl with either falafels or quinoa salad.
I am Currently reading: The Awakened Family - by Shefali Tsabary
Apps, which keep me organized: Plann for Instagram, iCloud Calendar + notes and Dropbox.
Tabs currently open on my laptop: Are Squarespace and Shopify, Mailchimp and various wellness sites.
The last thing I do before I go to bed: my diaphragmatic breathing to calm myself and prepare for a restful night. I also like to do band stretching exercises to undo any backaches and pains and core stomach exercises which aid with my lower back (after giving birth to 4 kids, pelvic floor and core exercises are my bible!)
Life mottos: (One is not enough!)
- If you don’t take a chance you don’t stand a chance
- Dream Big, Believe, Make It Happen
- A happy place makes you healthy