Martina Camilleri: 'Always follow your heart and do whatever makes you happy in life'

22-year-old Martina Camilleri started Food Therapy For A Conscious Living back in 2016, hoping to create awareness and help others to adopt to a healthy lifestyle through a variety of sweet and savoury snacks and treats which are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and even sugar-free

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I check the time as soon as I open my eyes to see how late I’m running for wherever I need to be or whatever I need to do. Then stretch and do some yoga.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Always follow your heart and do whatever makes you happy in life. Something my mother and someone I met in Bali emphasised a lot on.

What do you never leave the house without?

My car keys.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Independent, determined, curious.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Starting my business, Food Therapy For A Conscious Living.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Cleaning out the blender or bowl. I love the last bit of whatever is left in the blender after I’ve just made a nut butter or the bowl after I’ve tempered the chocolate. I never let a drop get away.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To always be grateful for what you have and to live your life the way you want to! Life is short and we only get one.

Property aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Probably my DSLR. I love photography.

Who’s your inspiration?

Alyse from Raw Alignment. However it’s the qualities in others that inspire me, certain qualities in people who are determined and chase after their dreams, who do good for others and volunteer and who spread good vibes.

What has been your biggest challenge?

A few years ago I was struggling mentally, big time. My mental health was completely neglected and I was not in a good state. It was hard for me to reach out; I thought no one would be able to help me or understand where I was coming from. If you’re reading this and you’re also struggling, reach out guys! I promise you’re not alone in this and everything will be ok.

Do you believe in God?

Yes.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Mother Teresa. She has helped so many people.

What’s your worst habit?

Biting my nails and being late for practically everything.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Depends a lot on my mood, I’m usually the one that wants to stay out till the sun comes up.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Shaileen Woodley.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I deplore closed and ignorant people, those who are unkind and have a big ego – thinking they are better than others.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Never thought of this… definitely nothing sad and depressing.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My camera and my laptop with all my recipes!

What is your earliest memory?

When I was about three I was bouncing around and I cracked my head on the coffee table... I have a clear vision of that happening and waking up in hospital.

When did you last cry?

I saw ‘the best of me’ last week – the best of me. Balled my eyes out.

Who would you most like to meet?

There isn’t one specific person that I want to meet. I want to meet everyone, I want to listen to people’s stories and journeys. The more the merrier, right?

What’s your favourite food?

Raw lettuce wraps and my morning zucchini oats with my cashew carob spread.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Alyse from Raw Alignment.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

1960s.

What book are you reading right now?

‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Book’ by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

To help everyone heal themselves from all illnesses, mental and physical.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

One thing only? Travel around the world, open my own cafe and have children.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Obsessed with Florence and the Machine.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

In the shower it’s always Coldplay or Florence and the Machine... working out would be house classics.

TELL US...

How did you start your journey with Food Therapy For A Conscious Living? And what has been your hardest challenge?

Food Therapy started after I came back from a month in Bali. I have always been passionate about cooking, however it was always the unhealthy kind. After changing my lifestyle to a completely plant-based one, I was determined and excited to start creating healthy, yet indulgent chocolates and sweets. I started showing up at Vincent’s Eco Farm every Saturday where I would sell vegan baked rice (Ross il-Forn) and my chocolates. I started to realise how much I enjoy doing this and started to get really busy.

The hardest challenge was taking the decision to doing this full-time and being self-employed. You get a lot of people questioning you and asking, ‘How can you possibly cope with money at the age of 21?’ Thankfully I have an amazing, supportive family and group of friends who have always been there for me.

What advice would you give anyone who is interested in becoming vegetarian or vegan in Malta?

Set out your intention as to why you want to follow a vegetarian or plant-based diet. Do your research and see all of the health benefits, the large impact it has on the environment and most importantly the way animal products are actually produced and end up on your plate. Don’t beat yourself up, if you have any slip-ups and end up eating something that isn’t vegetarian or vegan, don’t give up. Listen to your body and eat what feels right for you.

What are your goals for 2019?

My personal goals are to travel as much as I can and get my Yoga Teacher Training in India. Food Therapy’s goals are to keep on producing chocolates, spread more awareness and knowledge of living a vegan lifestyle through articles and also workshops and to inspire others to live their dream life!

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