Well Woman Interview: Alison Wu
Girl crush alert, human crush alert, creative crush alert!
I’ve been following Alison’s beautiful journey in food, wellness and self-care for quite a while and I love the colorful world she lives in, her eye, her stunning food creations, the causes she supports and perhaps most of all her honesty and realness. She’s rad.
I fell in love a little more when I found out she had a second wedding at Burning Man too <3.
Alison does a range of creative things from recipe creation to menu and content development and beyond. She lives in the PNW in Portland in a dreamy home with a dreamy kitchen and family. If you follow her you know she makes a mean smoothie bowl too.
She’s a woman who I felt an instant friend connection with, despite us not having met — yet! I feel like this may be the year we meet IRL and for those in Toronto, stay tuned for a potential workshop collaboration between us, and please send me a note if you’re interested in attending!
I’m thrilled to share her interview, I hope you enjoy it and her wisdom.
Hi Alison! Tell us about you. How do you define yourself? What is your favourite quality in yourself?
Hi! I’m Alison Wu. I’m a Portland-based artist. I’m passionate about food, whole body wellness and finding and creating beauty in everyday life. I have a keen eye for detail, and I’m very inspired by form, texture, the natural world, color, connection and energy.
Do you have any morning rituals? What is the first thing you do when you rise?
I usually spend the first 10-15 minutes of my morning lying in bed. Letting my body and mind slowly wake up. Savoring the quiet and stillness morning brings. I usually start with morning with 16 oz of pure celery juice or lemon water. Caffeine is definitely my vice, so not long after my celery juice/water, I make a cup of Yerba mate or matcha. I enjoy my warm beverage in my living room, usually with my husband and our fur babies, Tilly and Rue. I usually spend this time reading inspirational passages from a number of different books I have. About 3-4 times per week, I head off to a morning workout class. If I’m not working out, I usually meditate for 10 minutes. If I am working out, I’ll meditate when I get back.
What is your philosophy on food + nourishment?
+Eat what makes you feel good! Very similar to my philosophy in life. It looks different for everyone.
+Be grateful for what you have. I fully believe that the nourishment we put in our bodies holds energy. Infuse your meals with love, gratitude and any other qualities you want to cultivate.
+Support your local farmers as much as possible. And be conscious of where your food comes from in general.
+Share meals with the people you love and the people you want to be closer with. Gathering around a table and sharing food is one of my favorite ways to connect with community.
Quality of food is very important and so is quality of mind. How do you feed your mind?
I love the idea of a fresh start, and in actuality, every moment is an opportunity to start fresh. I try to focus on that. There is limitless potential that exists in the universe. It about learning to believe in yourself, working hard and being okay with potentially failing. And when you think about each moment as a opportunity to start fresh, failing doesn’t seem like the worst thing that could happen. If I’m feeling disconnected, ungrounded or like I’m stuck in an unhealthy mental loop, I try to carve out time for myself to sit, to breathe deeply, to go on a walk if I need to get out.
I love EVERYTHING you do! How did Wu Haus come to life?
Honestly, sort of on accident. I started it as a way to share recipes and tips with my friends and loved ones. I never really anticipated it would evolve in the way it has. It’s been such a humbling journey. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about how to run a business.
Where do you find inspiration for all your delicious recipes?
All over the place! Books and magazines of course. But I think I gather most inspiration on my travels. I love traveling to new places and trying different styles of cuisine. I usually get inspired by different ideas then bring them home and put a Wu Haus spin on them. I also gather a lot of inspiration simply by going to the farmers market here in Portland. There are so many dedicated farmers in this region growing beautiful, nutritious and unique varieties of vegetables.
What does self-care look like while running your business?
Self care is a non-negotiable for me. The quality of my work and my business diminishes when I’m not taking care of myself. It looks different day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month. It really comes down to listening to my intuition, to checking in with my mind, body and spirit to see what I need in the moment.
What does a typical day of work/life look like for you?
After my morning rituals, I start my day. Usually catch up on emails, figure out my schedule for the day, and what I need to accomplish and what meetings I have, etc. I practice intermittent fasting almost every day, so I don’t eat my first meal until around 10:30/11am. I’ll break for lunch, usually shoot some photos of what I’m eating to share on Instagram. Afternoons are usually spent shooting and planning content for my blog and Instagram, running errands to prep for content shooting, working on any special projects I have on my plate, more emails, usually a phone call or two. I typically work until around 6 or 6:30 p.m. when I start to make dinner, and I eat with my husband around 7/7:30. Then I clean up the kitchen and the rest of the house and walk my dog, Tilly. I spend the last couple of waking hours of my day doing a variety of things, usually hanging out with my husband and our fur babes, reading, writing, watching, sometimes working. I try to go to bed by 10:30/11.
What are you excited for? Both personally and professionally.
I’m excited to expand Wu Haus in new ways. To move from being solely a digital brand to creating something more tangible. I’m also working on a new business venture with a friend that I’m super excited about. Personally, I’m excited to keep traveling the world and making beautiful memories with my loved ones.
When do you feel your most radiant? Has your idea of beauty shifted over your life?
I feel my best when I’m taking care of my body with good food and exercise, getting lots of sleep, drinking lots of water, meditating, spending time with people I love and nurturing my spirit through ritual practices. I felt a lot less confident in my 20s. It’s been really nice feeling more secure, confident and content in my life and with myself in this new decade.
What advice would you share with other woman to empower them to feel strong and confident?
You are enough. There is absolutely no shame in being who you are. You can be as soft or as strong as you want to be. You can be both. You can share and be vulnerable or you can contemplate and be introspective. Whoever you are and whatever you want to be is exactly as you should be. There’s no need to compare yourself to anyone else because you are the only YOU. You are rare. You are golden. You exist for a reason. You are completely worthy of being loved just as you are.
What would your last meal on earth be?
Honestly, probably a simple rice bowl with lots of avocado and other veggies. Seasoned to perfection and drizzled with some sort of delicious dressing. Simple meals are my favorite.
What does it mean to you to be a Well Woman?
To feel confident and content with who you are. To listen to your intuition to help guide your journey. To live your best life, whatever that means for YOU.