I was privileged to meet and interview the lovely Zara D’Cotta, inspirational founder of the hugely popular wellness blog Oh My Goodness (OMG).
Zara’s breast cancer diagnosis just prior to her 30th birthday inspired her to take a leap of faith and leave her decade long corporate communications career to combine her passion for health and wellbeing with her love of storytelling and bring Oh My Goodness (OMG) to life.
A finalist in the 2014 Bupa Health Influencer of the Year Awards, Zara has appeared on The Project and Today Show, been featured in the Herald Sun, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, I Quit Sugar, Lorna Jane’s Move Nourish Believe, Show & Tell Online and Sport Luxe.
Zara’s attitude to life is infectious. The journey to pregnancy can be all consuming, especially when struggling with infertility. We often focus so much on what we don’t have, that we forget to appreciate and enjoy what we do. Zara’s positive approach to life is something we can all benefit from, not matter what stage of your journey you are at.
So Zara, what inspired you to work in the field of health and wellbeing?
My breast cancer diagnosis just before my 30th birthday helped me discover my passion for health and wellbeing. I felt so inspired and empowered with everything I learned on my road to recovery.
I was working in a corporate communications role at the time and wasn’t feeling fulfilled. After everything I had been through, I knew I owed it to myself to spend my days doing things that would light me up inside.
I believe the greatest gift we have is our health and a huge part of leading a healthy lifestyle is doing things we love.
I loved the story telling element of my job and saw a huge need to make it easy for people to lead a healthy lifestyle within the context of their city. There was inspiration all around me in the city of Melbourne. And so I took a leap of faith and left my corporate job to create Oh My Goodness.
You’ve overcome some major challenges in your life/health. What would be your advice to others struggling with major life/health issues such as infertility?
It is so easy to become focused on what we don’t have, on the things that aren’t going right in our lives. Having a daily meditation and gratitude practice have been the most powerful things in helping me overcome challenging times.
At the end of each day, I write down three to five things I am grateful for. Not only does this help me finish the day with positive, appreciative thoughts and feelings, but I also find it prompts me to pause at various moments throughout the day when something good happens. As I make a mental note to put it on my gratitude list for that night, I pause to soak up that moment.
So often we just move onto the next thing instead of stopping to truly appreciate the good things that happen in our lives.
Meditation also sleep better, gives me more energy, mental clarity, and greater awareness of destructive thoughts that I need to let go of.
Having a creative outlet is also really powerful. I didn’t think I had a creative bone in my body until after my breast cancer diagnosis, but with every challenge I have faced has come the inspiration and desire to create.
I think it’s also really important not to be kind to yourself, and not be afraid to ask for help and lean on those around you for support.
What are the top 5 things you recommend to help people live a happy, healthy, life?
- Make self-care a priority – this isn’t something that comes easily to us as women but I truly believe that when we look after ourselves it makes us better friends, parents, partners and workers. Having a daily self-care ritual is a great place to start – it might be as simple as having a bath, doing a 10 minute meditation or going for a walk.
- Do the things you love – not what you think is expected of you
- Surround yourself with people that fill you up
- Practice gratitude on a daily basis
- Have fun – indulgence and letting our hair down is, to me, imperative when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle
You’ve just launched a product range, what motivated you to develop this and what is the philosophy behind the range?
Oh My Goodness (OMG) is all about making healthy living easy and fun.
My dream is a world in which we don’t have to scour product labels with our detective hats on, in which we can work into any store or supermarket knowing that every product we pick up is toxin free and good for us. I am filled with disbelief and sadness when I walk into supermarkets and see sugar and chemical laden products. If we are serious about addressing chronic illness we need to be make great tasting products that are better for you, the norm, and this is what I hope to achieve with the Made with love by OMG product range, which consists of:
- Walking On Sunshine organic turmeric spice mix
- Light My Fire sugar free hot chocolate mix
- Shake It Out detoxifying bath salts (the key ingredient in my favourite self-care ritual)
The products are all things I make and enjoy on an almost daily basis and they are made with the best quality, 100% pure, certified organic ingredients available.
Lastly, if you had to choose one or two quotes that inspire you, what would they be?
That’s a tough one – I’m a quote fiend, but here are two I love:
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” – Dalai Lama
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes, the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl
If you would like to try some of Zara’s scrumptous ‘Made with Love by OMG’ products, Zara is kindly offering all Conceive Baby readers 15% off! Just visit the OMG shop, enter the code CONCEIVE BABY and enjoy!