I first connected with Phil and Jess through social media two years ago when I was travelling through Phuket and discovered their Instagram accounts. I then had the pleasure of meeting Phil during my detox holidays at Phuket Cleanse - he was working there as director at the time. I only got to meet Jess some time later when I went to London - at the time she was working for Deliciously Ella and I was intrigued to join the team. Maaaan I just love social media - in this day and age, it's so damn easy to connect with like-minded people and to find 'your tribe'. Without Insta, I would have probably never met these two super inspirational people! Case in point: check out Phil's Ted Talk that he did a couple of months ago on "how to get your mojo back".
These two have now joined forces in a new venture - Nana Bowls. As you can guess from the picture above, it's all about mouth-watering delicious smoothie bowls! Read the interview below on how they got started + some more insight, or scroll straight down if you want to recreate their Rosewater Berry NanaBowl for yourself. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about the concept of Nana Bowls.
NanaBowls are protein smoothie bowls that smash nutrition. We like to think of ourselves as the Ben & Jerry’s of smoothie bowls… a cross between a protein shake, a fruit smoothie and a creamy ice cream; that’s NanaBowls! High protein. Dairy free. No added sugars (not even dates or honey). Thick. Cold. Creamy. Crunchy. Smashing nutrition. Dreamy!
How did the two of you meet?
We met about two and a half years ago at Phuket Cleanse. At the time, Phil was the director of Phuket Cleanse, and Jess had joined as the first ever intern. Once we realised we had a love of smoothies, Instagram and gyming in common, we knew this friendship would be for the long haul!
Phil, you were working at Phuket Cleanse prior to this. And Jess, you were living in London and working for Deliciously Ella. How was the idea of Nana Bowls born, and what made you decide to take a leap of faith?
We both love smoothie bowls, but we couldn’t find them Thailand (or at least ones that didn’t leave us bloated and with a sugar crash). So we got our thinking caps on and knocked our heads together. If healthy smoothie bowls are what we want, surely others would too?! That’s when we set ourselves the vision of being ‘the healthy Ben and Jerry’s of protein smoothie bowls’... NanaBowls was born!
Having both worked at the the meccas of healthy food and nutrition, we merged our passions to revolutionise the common smoothie bowl. We made it our mission to create a brand that stuck to the non-negotiables we live by - no added sugars, high protein, healthy fats, dairy & gluten free, photo worthy and of course delicious!
Taking that leap is scary, going into the world of unknown without any certainty, but when you’re passionate about something - especially when it’s about promoting a healthy lifestyle - sometimes you have to trust your gut and roll with it!
Why the focus on high protein?
Protein is something that is essential for a healthy lifestyle. It’s the building blocks for muscle growth and recovery. That’s why we chose to add a good clean protein powder to our NanaBowls to guarantee that we’re tucking into a nutritionally balanced meal (and not just a bowl of fruit puree).
We always go for plant proteins like pea, brown rice and hemp as they’re dairy free and won’t leave you feeling bloated like many whey and dairy based proteins tend to. This simple addition will have you powered up for the rest of the day, whilst also making smoothie bowls the perfect workout fuel for all you gym bunnies and flexi yogis out there!
What’s your inspiration behind your recipes? And what is your personal fave?
We take inspiration from our classic ice cream go-to flavours and get experimenting to put a healthy spin on them! Everyone’s a fan of indulgent sweet ice creams, so we made it our mission to create something we could still enjoy, without all the nasties and sugary business.
Our faves have to be the more indulgent flavours - we’re talking Salted Caramel Cashew, Choco Almond Chunk and Peanut Butter Crunch! Who would say “no” to a thick, cold and creamy bowl of Salted Caramel, knowing that it’s filled to the brim with only goodness?!
And lastly, do you have any tips for any entrepreneurial-minded individuals out there who are hesitating to take the next step in their business idea?
One of the biggest things we’ve learnt from our new venture is to just DO! The fastest way to stumble upon your personal masterpiece is to just DO more, and maximise your chances of discovering what works. Just go out and do it! It doesn’t need to be perfect, it doesn’t need to be the final version, you just need to take that first step.
We can all spend hours and days perfecting something, often going round in circles trying to get it right. Of course it’s great to plan ahead, but getting it “perfect” can delay us. Everything we’ve learnt on our NanaBowls journey has been from the feedback and experiences since launching. So why not give it a shot and learn on the job?! Nothing is ever set in stone, ideas and concepts are constantly evolving. All you’ve got to do is just trust in the process!
Remember, you’ll never be fearless, but you can most certainly choose to fear-less!
And without further ado, here is their Rosewater Berry NanaBowl Recipe
Rosewater Berry NanaBowl
2 frozen bananas (peel before freezing)
80g frozen blueberries
20g vegan protein powder (pea, brown rice or hemp are best)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1. Blend all the ingredients together using a top loading blender (not a NutriBullet) or food processor (you won’t need to add any liquid). Mix using your blender plunger until a thick, smooth and creamy consistency forms.
2. Pour into a bowl and top with your favourite toppings - we love a sprinkle of bee pollen, fresh juicy blueberries, raw pistachio nuts and a spoon of crunchy homemade granola!
P.S. Feel free to share this with any of your smoothie lovin’ friends!