Interview: Larrissa Cunningham Sol Cleanse
Can you tell us more about your passion for health and wellness and what inspired you?
I think anyone who is deeply curious about life naturally lands on a path of wanting to take great care of themselves. I can though, trace it back to an early memory, being 12 years old and gifted a book - Girlosophy by Anthea Paul, where messages of mindfulness and treating yourself with respect were imprinted upon me at such a prime age. I also delighted in the endless wonders of my grandfathers abundant vegetable garden as a young girl where a deep curiosity and connection to where our food comes from sprouted within me.
For me, health and wellness is really a manifestation of the interconnectedness of life! How connected we are to ourselves and our environment can be seen in how much we are thriving.
You are the director of Sol Cleanse, can you tell us about Sol Cleanse and how it all began for you?
Sol Cleanse is a beautiful diverse offering that helps people to reconnect to themselves. We do this primarily through organic cleanse programs that utilise cold pressed juices & wholefoods, holistic rituals, natural supplementation and offering a deeper, soulful health education that ties everything together.
My Business partner Miriam created Sol Cleanse in 2012 and I have a rather unconventional path in joining her in the business. 2015 is when I entered the equation, I was working as a freelance marketing consultant for local holistic health brands at the time. I had a special morning ritual where I would buy a Sol Cleanse green juice from a local cafe each day on my morning walk and sit on the beach in Rainbow Bay to drink it. I remember having such a visceral experience as I would sip down that green juice each morning, it really left an impression on me. I could feel the purity, the integrity in the juice and I loved the way it made me feel radiantly alive, and so I reached out to Sol Cleanse to see if they needed any help within the company.
After working closely with Miriam for a couple of years, in 2017 she invited me to become her business partner which was a dream come true for me. Sol Cleanse combines all of my passions in life - health, wellbeing, spirituality, sustainability, community, and conscious business. We have such a beautiful business partnership (we truly are each other’s yin / yang) that supports us to both simultaneously raise families and redefine what it means to be a balanced, multi-passionate business woman in this new era, and it feels so whole!
We are so passionate about powerful natural ingredients in our skincare, how important are the ingredients you choose for your juices at Sol Cleanse?
You are what you eat (and put on your skin!) so using the very best ingredients is simply a non-negotiable for us. We’ve been down a really interesting path learning so much about the agricultural industry through Sol Cleanse that has deepened our knowledge and respect not only for the produce we use, but the people that grow it, the systems they use, and the cultural heritage of land practices that have gracefully been in practice for eons.
I personally love witnessing the emergence of people reclaiming a connection to where their food comes from. Our food literacy is increasing and people are showing a deep interest in regenerative agriculture, permaculture, biodynamic farming, & certified organic produce - all tenets we thrive learning about from our farmers that we get our produce from at Sol Cleanse. We are so proud to work with passionate land custodians that deeply care about what and how they literally grow life!
We know sustainability is an important part of the driving force behind Sol Cleanse, can you tell us more about this?
I think the first thing to consider is that we are nature - we are not separate from it. Our world - the environment we live in, is the macrocosm, and we as individuals are the microcosm. The health of our planet is a direct reflection of the health status of us as individuals - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. What we do to our planet directly affects us because we are of it, not separate from it. I think we’ve largely lost, or forgotten that connection to our macrocosm because we are so distracted, and we’ve lost a deep connection to ourselves in the process.
Everything we do at Sol Cleanse is us constantly coming back to one fundamental question, “how can we help people to reconnect to nature, and thus to their true inherent nature”. This lens can naturally be filtered out to everything we do as a business - the messages we share, the packaging we choose, the holistic nature of programs we design and the way we treat our staff. It’s about looking at sustainability more broadly than as it’s typically thought of (as eco-friendly packaging choices), and shifting to asking “how are we contributing to the sustainability of a thriving macro & microcosm physically, mentally, spiritually & emotionally?”
Being a busy business owner, and soon to be Mum, how do you take time for yourself and to practice self care?
I am incredibly grateful that “work” feels soul-filling for me, and it is my outlet for my creativity, passions, community, connection & purpose, so doing something that you love everyday goes a looooong way to not contributing to your depletion.
Of course, I do fall victim to pushing myself too hard at times and I have to remind myself to reign it in and do things just for myself. I do this through exploring new passions just for fun - right now that’s learning abstract painting, and studying permaculture which I’ve loved experimenting with in our home garden. Other daily practices that make me feel whole include reading, beach walking with my dog, listening to inspiring podcasts, yoga, breathwork, and my secret nerd hobbies - sudoku and large complex jigsaw puzzles!
Do you have any rituals you practice daily which help you slow down and focus during a busy day?
The quickest, most potent way I know to slow down and reconnect is breathwork - best of all, it’s free and available to all! When I feel my mind skipping too far ahead of my body rhythms, I breathe in for 4, hold the breath for a short pause and exhale for 8. It only takes a couple of these breaths to slow the mind train down and feel more grounded in the body.