Tell us a little a bit about yourself…
I am a cook, an author, a mother, a wife, a lover. And mostly a bon vivant!
Do you have a nickname ?
Mimi. That’s why everyone calls me Mimi. Growing up in Hong Kong, no one could pronounce my name correctly, so everyone has always called me Mimi, including my parents!
Where do you call home ?
It’s always been a complicated question to answer, as I feel like I have always been a nomad. I grew up in Hong Kong, lived in Singapore, London, Reykjavik and Paris. And, for seven years now, in a tiny village called St Yzans de Médoc. Home is where your heart is, where you have found passion and love, so for now it is in this tiny village, surrounded by an infinity of vineyards.
Do you have any special Health + Wellness attributes at home ?
Good wholesome food.
Photo credits: Oddur Thorisson
“I’m definitely an early bird. I love the sense that there is a brand new day ahead and find that entirely motivating in itself.”
Who or what do you turn to when you have had a bad day ?
A long bath with essential oils, a glass or two of champagne, a long walk, online shopping…
Tell us about your Health + Wellness journey...
Since I was a little girl, living in Asia, born half-Chinese, half-French, health has always been about prevention. We ate consciously, so I connected food with a health purpose. In winter, lots of chicken soups with ginseng, in summer, chrysanthemum flower teas and melon soup with duck eggs to cool down your body. My mother gave me a tablespoon of bird’s nest with coconut milk every morning, she said it would make me beautiful! So I really grew up in an environment that was all about wellness, in the most natural way possible. It’s funny, but I didn’t think about the importance of all this then, but now, looking back, I feel so privileged to have been exposed to such a culture.
Where is your favourite Health + Wellness destination ?
Phuket and Bali were always my favourite destinations when I was younger, now it’s Italy. I recently discovered Sao Lourenço de Barrocal in the heart of the Alentejo in Portugal – it was a truly amazing experience and has a fabulous spa, especially the head and face massage, the best ever. And the surrounding landscape is just incredibly beautiful.
What is your Health + Wellness routine ?
I have to admit, in the past, I was not into sports, except for a bit of pilates and walking. But recently I have changed my routine completely, so here it is:
Exercise – Everyday, I do 15 exercises for 30 minutes, from push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks. Two to three times a week I run 10km through the vineyards. And in between I enjoy my Ballet Beautiful DVD, with beautiful piano music and elegant exercises.
Nutrition – Depends where I am, the season, the occasion. But generally, for breakfast a small bowl of raspberries, a cup of English breakfast tea, a boiled egg. Or a bowl of Irish porridge with berries.
Spirituality – My parents were both raised as Catholics but are now Buddhists. I believe in a spiritual force and I keep my faith and strength through that knowledge.
What are your favourite Health + Wellness essentials ?
Water, green tea and Pu Erh tea. I drink three litres a day, or more.
Beauty – I keep it very simple. I love oils and massages, especially for the head and face. I use L’Occitane Immortelle range of creams and oil for the face. I massage my face day and night for 10 whole minutes as a ritual.
I use Ortigia’s Fico di India shower gel and Eau de Toilette, and Christophe Robin shampoos and conditioner. And for make-up its Chanel, especially their lipsticks, foundation, eye shadows and blush. I also enjoy visiting French pharmacies and discovering their wide range of products and brands.
Nutrition – A balanced diet, with lots of vegetable and nuts. I roast a lot of fish and also love grilled meat. I think we must be one of the families that eat the most vegetables! My kitchen is filled with seasonal vegetables everywhere.
And I love to dress with a bit of designer flair, traditional well made cut coats and trenches as well as amazing vintage dresses I source during my travels. Always and only antique earrings. Basically I want to look ‘out of time’!
What’s your go to health food ?
Walnuts, hazelnuts and bananas.
Photo credits: Oddur Thorisson
What’s your devilish indulgence ?
Butter and cream.
What’s your favourite yoga position ?
I actually don’t do yoga, but do a lot of deep breathing.
What makes you laugh ?
Good old-school British humour, like Harry Enfield and Monty Python.
What do you fear ?
Losing my mind.
How do you find serenity ?
By closing my eyes and staring at the sun. The ‘white’ light it produces in my eyes is very powerful and chases away all negativity.
What is it about IKIGAI Global that appeals to you ?
It’s direct, honest and authentic.
What is the one book that has helped you discover your path and yourself ?
All of Sigmund Freud’s books.
How, what and why have you changed over the last 10 years ?
When I moved to the countryside seven years ago with my husband, kids and dogs. I have changed a lot since then… I have grown stronger as a person, closer to nature, and realised what my priorities are. I follow my passions, from cooking, writing, loving and being a mother. My husband and I have recreated our universe so that we can live our dream life. For us, the ultimate success in life is love. And love is what we have created together, from our children, our lives, the food we grow and eat…
Photo credits: Oddur Thorisson
What do you do to make be more sustainable ?
We grow our own fruits and vegetables. I cook my own delicious meals!
And try to inspire other to do the same.
Do you have a quote / song / painting / photograph / or yoga position that you would like to share ?
Do you have a good luck charm ?
A tiny little pyramid I got in Turin.
Who inspires you ?
My husband inspires me to be the love of his life.
My children inspire me to be a better person.
What is your mantra ?
Be brave and kind.
And finally, what is your ikigai ?
My main purpose is to create love and happiness around me. I do it by loving my family, through cooking and creating beauty around me. Gathering and nurturing the ones you love, that’s a nice and meaningful mission.