Tanika Douglas created Electric Wellness in order to provide a place where people could easily access healthy, delicious recipes. Ones that most importantly were just as enjoyable as the not-so-healthy versions.
Being vegetarian, gluten intolerant, Tanika places a lot of importance on consuming whole, natural foods that nourish the body. and is equally inspired by using fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients that help keep her body functioning the best it can. Much like us, Tanika doesn’t believe in excessive amounts of processed sugar, artificial additives, preservatives, colours or flavours and everything else that infiltrates our food in today’s age.
Her recipes are quite a melange of things, thus tending to use a small amount of dairy and eggs here and there, although having many vegan recipes on her official website.Let’s explore this interview with Tanika the delicate food junkie, to find out what formulated Electric Wellness and how opportunities saw it turn from a hobby to a legitimate side-hustle.
Can you share a typical 24 hours with us Tanika?
Each day is completely different for me which I love! Generally I’ll have a long to-do list that I focus on, otherwise, it’s very easy for me to stray and just want to bake and eat all day! I write my to-do list every night before bed, and it’s always in order of priority. This has been a game-changer for me sleep-wise, as I have everything out of my head and written down. Most days I am in the kitchen, testing recipes – whether they are for clients or for Electric Wellness – which is definitely my happy place.
Then I will get creative, style the food and photograph it. Of course, there is also the website admin, editing, and emails to attend to, and considering I’m more of a tactile, creative human, I try to accomplish these tasks first when I have the focus. Being an actor as well, means that when an audition or job comes through I need to be ready to put my to-do list on hold and throw myself into the script. Essentially, I have come to realise that if each day includes connection, good food, time outside, and space to immerse myself in my creativity, I am at my best.
Can you talk to us about your career prior to launching Electric Wellness?
Prior to launching Electric Wellness, I was completely focused on acting. I would attend auditions, work on jobs, and absorbed myself in as many classes as I could. Growing up, I was obsessed with cooking and was constantly in the kitchen developing ideas and recipes. I baked cakes for weddings, cafes, and birthdays, and also catered dinners and parties.
As a vegetarian yourself, you started back in 2014, how did you get started?
Electric Wellness initially began as a way to share my kitchen experiments with close friends and family who were eager to try my recipes. At the time, I was experiencing some significant health challenges which encouraged me to cook food that was both nourishing and delicious, and that gave my body the fuel it needed to help heal itself. Most weekends for me involved baking souffles, cakes, biscuits, risottos, and pastries – basically all the good stuff – so I started amending my recipes. I began using wholesome ingredients to create recipes that not only tasted wonderful but were also full of goodness nutritionally. And so, Electric Wellness was formed.
How much research did you undertake prior to launching Electric Wellness to understand the market better?
To be completely honest, I did next to no research! I threw myself into the deep end head first and focused on quality content, connection with my followers, and a healthy attitude. Electric Wellness ultimately began as a hobby, and only when opportunities started to emerge, did it turn into a legitimate side-hustle. In saying this though, I had been cooking, reading food magazines, and absorbing myself in food trends and blogs for almost ten years at that point. This, combined with my newfound commitment and passion for health, I believe gave me the building blocks necessary to start a healthy food blog.
You are also gluten intolerant so you really understand the importance of consuming whole, natural foods that you feel nourish the body. On a scale of one to ten, how easy is it for you to maintain a healthy standard?
I can confidently say now that it is relatively easy for me to maintain healthy standards, although I have not reached this point easily. Back when I was going through health issues, I was extremely focused on nutrition and was rather strict on what I consumed. Now though, I have reached a point where I feel I eat a very balanced diet. Most days, I load up on nourishing ingredients that help me feel my best, like good fats, leafy greens, plant-based protein, adaptogens and lots of water, and then on weekends, I love indulging in a glass of wine, pizza and a scoop of ice cream. I am very relaxed and never restrict myself, I simply eat good food, that feeds both my body and my soul.
From Sage, Garlic and Roasted Pumpkin Pasta to Kale & Potato Hashbrowns. Can you talk us through the recipes that you offer and what makes them stand out?
My recipes focus on bringing together nutritious ingredients, with delicious results. They are vegetarian, gluten-free and low in refined sugars. Basically, it’s FEEL GOOD FOOD. I think what makes them stand out is that they are healthy alternatives, but just as delicious as their traditional counterparts. For example, my Snickers Truffles combine wholesome ingredients to create a treat that tastes brilliant, but also gives your body fuel to do what it needs to do!
You are also a TV and film actress, with so much going on, how do you find time to relax?
It can be incredibly difficult to turn off your brain when you love what you do. It’s such privilege to be able to do what I am passionate about every day, although I’m a very good over-thinker, really creative, and have a crazy imagination, meaning that my brain wants to go non-stop. I find turning off my phone is wonderful, as it allows me space to just be with my own thoughts minus distraction. I am also a podcast addict so I adore getting lost in podcasts. In addition, I love music, going for long walks, watching films, swims in the ocean, and being with family and friends. You need to make time to unwind as recharging your batteries is so important!
What about any challenging times you have had to overcome? When were they and how did you learn to overcome them?
I have experienced many incredibly challenging times in my life where every day has been a struggle, and where you don’t know if or when you will breakthrough. Health has always been a balancing act for me, and 2014 was a time when everything really went haywire. During this period a positive mindset, supportive family and friends, and focusing on my passions was essential to overcoming the challenges. I love Mark Manson’s philosophy though that life is about solving problems, and that challenges will always move us forward as we learn and grow from them.
Have you ever had to deal with any doubts of contention or lack of support from relatives or friends? If so how did you push through?
Yes absolutely! There have definitely been times when I have felt that my family and friends doubted the path I was walking down, and I did not feel supported. These times though really meant I had to dig deep, back myself wholeheartedly and trust that the only person that needed to believe in what I was doing was myself. I came to the realisation that often people’s own insecurities are provoked by your actions, but that their reactions are not your responsibility! It is up to them to change their lives, and have the courage to achieve what they truly want. All you can do if the focus on you, your goals, surround yourself with people who love and support you and live your life as authentically as possible. Do what you love and be relentless in the pursuit of what you desire for your life.
What outlets do use to market Electric Wellness?
I am only on Instagram and prefer authentic marketing rather than paid! I love interacting with fellow bloggers, doing interviews like this, and cross-promoting.
What methods are you using to build your audience in Australia?
Growth is always a big focus of mine, although currently I’m loving interacting with the audience I already have! The Instagram algorithm is causing havoc for most bloggers, including myself, so presently I have been building via other avenues such as website development, collaborations with brands, and of course engaging with the food blogger community and my readers.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
1. If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
3. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place,
Are there any particular food blogs that inspire you?
Yes, I love Miss Marzipan! Marisa is always so authentic, generous and willing to share herself with her audience. I also love Amelia from @ztastylife as she as not only shares her love for cooking but the rituals surrounding it.
What Youtube or online space channels are watching currently?
Considering I am so busy lately, I adore podcasts as they are wonderful to listen to on-the-go. I adore Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations – they are seriously phenomenal. I also love This American Life and Radio Lab for interesting conversations and investigations by talented journalists, and The Hollywood Reporter – a must for those in the film industry.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Mark Manson’s ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. It is truly one of the most practical, no-nonsense books about life I’ve read. I’ve highlighted so many brilliant bits of gold through it and know I’ll continue to read it again and again.
What does success look like in your eyes?
Success in my eyes means I am happy, healthy and doing what I love every day, surrounded by my friends and family.
What would be the top 3 ingredients you can recommend to us, to help ensure our bodies are functioning the best they can?
My top three ingredients are so accessible and brilliant for your health!
1. Lemons: I always have lemons in my house because they are packed with vitamin C, are great for digestion and are incredibly alkalizing. I like to have 1/2 a lemon squeezed into a cup of warm water every morning before breakfast.
2. Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil: Good Fats are an essential part of my diet, keeping me satiated, my skin and hair healthy, and are brilliant for the brain. I eat plenty each day and love drizzling olive oil over my meals – an easy way to get some healthy good fats.
3. Water: The most underrated ingredient on the planet! Water should not be underestimated and can drastically improve your health. The easiest way to hydrate and assist your body to work at it’s best! I aim to drink 3 liters every day and do this by drinking lots of herbal tea and lemon water.
Lastly, what is next for you throughout 2018?
2018 for me is going to involve continuing to do what I love each day, achieving my goals, growing Electric Wellness, and traveling back to LA to for some acting adventures! Excited to see what the rest of the year will bring.