How do wellness experts stay well? We asked Amanda Winwood, founder of Made for Life Organics skincare brand.
What’s your overall goal when it comes to wellness?
For me, the overall goal of wellness is about finding peace. Most recently I think my husband and I have established that in our move to Spain.
We now spend a lot of time there and it’s my spiritual home. I think a lot of people had a moment of clarity during the pandemic, and for us it was why are we not spending more time in this place that makes us happy? We drove through Spain on the motorbike twice to find our house. There I can step out of the front door and hear the birdsong - day and night.
We have 127 acres of woodland and we're 4.5km from the nearest village so we have dark skies at night and lots of quiet. We have a bench outside the front which I call ‘the bench of contemplation’ because it’s the perfect place to sit, be still and think.
What do you do to stay fit and healthy?
I walk through the vineyards with our dogs every morning and we punctuate the end of the day walking the dogs in the evening as well. We often see the sunrise and the sunset. There's something on a deeper level, which gives you this wonderful recognition of the passage of time and a connection with nature. I have always wanted to be able to achieve this peace but I haven't always lived it but we made a conscious choice to make it happen.
I take my hat off to anyone who goes to the gym everyday - I used to! As I get older I am mindful of needing to think about muscle and tone etc. However, living in an old Spanish house means work and having to bring in drinking water from the village. So, my weightlifting comes from filling up five-litre bottles!
Do you have an actual wellbeing routine?
Yes, but I think for me it’s not about having one thing that you do all the time but having a holistic approach that really resonates with you.
Every morning and evening I have this ritual of walking with the dogs. I will occasionally run into the village too. Then, because we're only 35-minutes from the sea, our new rule has been to go to the beach three times a week either at the end of the day to throw ourselves in the ocean and just to sit and watch the tide rolling in.
Maybe I should have more of a routine but there's a joy in life that’s just about being in the moment.
What do you do for skincare?
I always use organic skincare ingredients that are as natural as possible. I am not a fan of botox etc. Using organic and natural skincare has always been my bag - I use the Made for Life products and have done for 20 years. We still make them in an artisan way - our herbs and flowers sit in maceration jars for a full lunar cycle for example.
Do you have particular habits when it comes to diet?
Nutrition is very important. I was actually just listening to a speech on it by the nutritionist Ian Bell. In broad terms I think it’s just making sure you limit processed foods and eat good seasonal produce.
There's something about eating good, wholesome, local produce that makes you feel well. We're blessed where we live and work in Cornwall too, because there's lots of that. Now that I'm in a hot, sunny country most of the time, surrounded by local produce and growers, I eat lots of salad because it's gorgeous. Since living in Spain I eat more raw food; fresh fruit, vegetables and salad from the local stores and market.
We don’t really eat much processed food at all. I'm not vegetarian or vegan, I love fish but I don't eat much red meat, and an excellent paella is always welcome. I don't tend to use things like mayonnaise - just olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I love toasted sesame oil on salad too.
What’s your main piece of wellbeing advice?
I think it’s important to understand that there's a lot happening outside our sphere of control - you can't control wars, Brexit and that kind of thing. I believe it's important to choose your attitude wisely because it's the only thing you're in control of. Waking up in the morning with a smile on your face and counting your blessings is my prescription for health.
Don’t focus on what you can’t control. Look at what you can change for the good then you will find life and your perspective changes. It isn’t healthy to absorb everything going on in life all the time. So, be mindful about social media, reading too many newspapers and watching the news. Simply live a good, rich and full life - look after yourself and others.
Amanda’s products are used in therapies at a number of UK spas, including The Waterfront Hotel Spa & Golf.