coming clean

I’ve always dreamed of baking sweet treats. And then selling them. 

I’ve been on the “clean train” for several months now and I see so much potential for the two to go hand in hand……..

The clean-sweets idea has been baking a while, but I’ve held off. I’ve got enough going on; what, with 2 other businesses – how can I possibly contemplate a third? (We all know the #1 reason entrepreneurs fail is because of lack of focus).

So For the next 15 days Cookies & Clean is a little experiment. Rather than blogging about content marketing, HR, leadership and technology trends I’ll be blogging about fitness, wellness and……sweet, clean eating!

About me

Hello there. My name is Vanessa and I live on the Mornington Peninsula, just an hour and a half out of Melbourne (Australia). It’s a spectacular farm-to-late / wine destination and is known specifically for its cool climate Pinot Noir.

Cafe’s, wine bars, restaurants, pubs and eateries are literally on every corner. The coffee is amazing and the seascape, sublime. Where I live, Mt Martha, I have to pinch myself whenever the sun comes out; I feel like I’m holidaying in the Aegean.

Clean eating on the Mornington Peninsula

I can see SUCH potential for the clean-eating phenomenon in this incredible food and wine region.

Given that I love raw / paleo / vegan desserts so much, I’m keen to create some buzz and then take a slice of the pie :O But HOW am I going to do that if I’ve already got too much on my plate? (literally and figuratively?!)

Why I’m starting now

The impetus for starting the Cookies & Clean blog is that I’m participating in the 15 Days To Freedom : 2015 New Year Blog Challenge” led by the uber-smart-successful-crazy-cool Suitcase Entrepreneur: Natalie Sisson. I’m revved up: over the next two weeks I’ll be rubbing shoulders over 200 online entrepreneurs from around the world as we all work toward our goal of building an online business.

So Yah. Let’s get this partay started.

But before I do….. I need to come clean.

If I’m really serious about this, I’ve got to be honest.

Three and a half years ago I was smoking up to a pack of cigarettes a day. I also used to be 12 kilos heavier.

Yes really.

2011 was one of those g0d awful years – there was a dramatic end to a long-term relationship, which led to the loss of a job.

It was absolutely earth-shattering. I never thought I could recover.

And although I’ve made my way back in to the land of the living (and kicked the cigs long ago) scaling the north-face back back to life was incredibly hard. It was even harder than building my own start-up.

But I did it.

If you met me now, you’d never believe that I was so depressed that I could barely get out of bed for almost a year. That I could not hold a conversation (could simply not get the words out) and could not read a book. All I could do was sit in my local cafe and stare in to a skinny flat white…….and smoke.

Life was not grey. It was black.


If you met me now, you’d never believe it. I LOVE to exercise. I’m a long distance runner and I rarely drink. I jam my diet full of raw / paleo / vegan and I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’ve still got some more to go, but overall I’m pleased with what I see.

Today, I’m still on a journey.  I’m hopeful Cookies & Clean is one of the next steps.

Daily Success Plan

I awoke this morning to an email from Natalie, with a link to her first video. Just when I wanted to roll over and sleep in (because that is what I’ve been doing for several weeks now), I suddenly felt accountable; something I’ve not felt in a VERY long time.

“Think about your mindset when you first wake up,” she said, and “understand how it impacts on the rest of your day.”

Now I’ve never stopped to consider this before. But perhaps sleeping in to 9 am and then working haphazardly throughout the day (and night) with very little plan is NOT effective way to grow a business. Or indeed, manage your life.

So I did this

1. I got out of bed, had a shower and got dressed (as soon as I woke up = the first time)

2. Ate a bowl of coconut and almond milk soaked oats

3. Put the lead on Miss Cookies & Clean (my little Kelpie) and drove her to the lake for a walk….. but MAN she needs some training (well, probably I do).

Today, Miss C&C was such an embarrassment that I had to drag her all the way back to my car and take her home. I felt like one of those mother’s who can’t control her toddler. Only, Miss C&C is a DOG. Note to self: puppy training, stat.

4. Despite my best intentions, it’s been one of “those” days. After heading to the market and buying lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, I discovered that my juicer is BROKEN :/ Note to self #2 Call Sunbeam on Monday (the juicer is new).

5. To de-stress, I did an Ashtanga yoga session before hopping on the computer to check my emails (just once!) and the freelance – I operate from (oDesk).

6. Then, I cut the procrastination cord and opened Cookies & Clean ….. after getting past the guilt of doing it …. because surely it’s detracting from my “real” work?!

So, even though I don’t feel like I achieved a huge amount today (and I still want to go and sleep) I created this blog, set up an Instagram account and my mind is already buzzing with the things I can do here.

Believe in wellness

Believe in you.


Vanessa X


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