Renee with children Luca and Georgia
When we asked Renee how she defines wellness, her answer was simple: “It’s a part of me!”
So it comes naturally for Renee to make wellness a priority for herself, her kids, and her husband, Matt.
A qualified nutritionist and health coach, Renee is now a full-time mum to Georgia and Luca. Renee helps plant-based mums find wellness in every busy day by sharing her delicious recipes, favourite products, and daily wellness practices through her books and Instagram page.
She discovered Chia Sisters drinks at her local wholefoods store, and they quickly became a weekly staple and family favourite. We caught up with Renee to learn more about her wellness journey and how our drinks play an essential role in her routine…
Food is the foundation of health and wellness for Renee and her family.
Renee’s Instagram feed is a rainbow of creative recipes – green juices, ‘nice’ creams, salads, and pasta. It’s an inspiring showcase of meals that are quick, nourishing, and sneakily delicious even for discerning little ones – Georgia and Luca clearly love their food!
Renee is focused on building a foundation of everyday foods providing maximum nutrition for her whānau and her clients.
“As a nutritionist, people would come to me taking about twenty daily supplements but not eating properly. I think we’ve got it around the wrong way there, food should be first! We have to make the most of nutrient-dense foods that are easy to absorb, then use supplements when we need some extra support.”
We share this food-first philosophy at Chia Sisters.
It’s exactly why our founder, Chloe Van Dyke, has spent years using her background in neuroscience and herbal medicine to formulate drinks that are packed with nutrition for rapid absorption.
Choe says “tasting food stimulates your digestive system to prepare to digest it, which enables us to break down and absorb nutrients more easily. But when you take a supplement or capsule, your body doesn’t know what’s coming.”
Chloe Van Dyke, Chia Sisters co-founder
Renee’s been plant-based for 10 years, but her approach has evolved since becoming a parent.
In her final year of study as a health coach, Renee learned about the many benefits of a vegan diet and decided to make the switch. She went cold turkey and never looked back!
Renee’s approach became more nuanced as she experienced situations when it wasn’t possible to get all the plant-based foods she needed to feel her best.
When she was pregnant with her daughter while on holiday, Renee found it hard to access the nuts and seeds she would use to get essential nutrients at home. She listened to her body and reintroduced eggs temporarily.
This brought her to the common challenge of navigating wellness choices and identity.
“I’ve let go of the ‘vegan’ label because I don’t want to hold it as an identity and ignore the signs my body is giving me that it needs something. I say that I’m about 95% plant-based with room for ‘life’ – and that goes for my kids, too.”
By loosening up on labels and restrictions, Renee can respond to her body’s signals and encourage her children – Georgia and Luca – to make their own choices as they become more curious about food.
While they’re mostly plant-based, there’s room for consciously choosing certain treats and animal products.
Discovering our Cacao Superfood Smoothie (with 94% RDI iron) was a huge win for Renee.
Maintaining iron levels should be a priority for everyone, especially for pregnant women and plant-based families.
Chloe suggests “During pregnancy women’s daily iron requirements increase by 50% to 27mg. That’s a significant boost, so it’s important to consider your diet to ensure you can get enough. If you become iron deficient you might need to take a supplement to get back to normal, but you can use foods rich in iron and vitamin C, like the Cacao Superfood Smoothie, to maintain those iron levels.”
Every mama wants to make sure their kids get enough iron, and Renee is always looking for tasty and convenient snacks to fuel her family on the go.
When she found the Chia Sisters Superfood Smoothies at her local wholefood store, Renee was immediately drawn to the iron content from hemp protein and chia flour.
“When I saw that it’s 94% of our daily iron requirements, I was shocked! Now they’re a weekly staple and ticking off an iron source with a cacao smoothie is such a win! It makes my life so much easier.”
Our Superfood Smoothies nourish busy people from all walks of life and break the craving cycle so you can feel and perform your best without reaching for caffeine or sugar.
They’re perfect for plant-based families like Renee’s – mums love them for their nutritional power and convenience, and kids love them because they’re yummy!
The Superfood Smoothie comes in two flavours – Cacao and Berry.
Both smoothies are fueled by hemp – one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all the essential amino acids (just like meat!).
And for anyone wishing to do their bit for the planet, hemp protein is a double-win: it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, making it a significantly more sustainable protein.
Our Cacao Superfood Smoothie smoothie is iron-rich (94% RDI per bottle) because our team has sourced the most potent sources of cacao. We use strawberries, containing vitamin C to support iron absorption, so your body puts every sip to good use.
Our Berry Superfood Smoothie contains antioxidants from the blueberries and blackcurrants grown throughout the South Island. By harnessing local goodness and hemp and chia flour, we made a drink that provides 72% RDI of magnesium and importantly tastes amazing too.
Chia Sisters drinks help Renee and her growing family get the most from every snack and every day.
Renee uses our Superfood Smoothies and Chia drinks to fuel her family without worrying about a sugar rush or a crash afterwards.
“I use the drinks as a morning tea snack because I’m all about adding as much goodness as possible at the start of the day – and the kids are happier with fuller tummies. I pair the drinks with avo toast, it’s a beautifully balanced snack for them.”
If you’re looking for some plant-based inspo for your growing family, check out Renee’s eBooks here – and keep an eye out for her online course, Nourished Mama, available for enrolment in 31 August 2023.
Seeking convenient fuel for yourself and your little ones? Take a look at our box of Superfood Smoothies and Chia drinks or keep an eye out for our stockists.