Interview with Danielle Glover + Gluten Free Mixed Seed Bread Recipe May 22 2014 by Simone Denny
I met the lovely Danielle from DnA elements when she was recently visiting Sydney. The first thing that struck me about Danielle was that she was absolutely glowing, her skin was flawless and she was was a picture of health (a great advocate for her organic skincare range).
This woman has a lot on on her plate (a mother of three, a business owner, a compounding pharmacist, a complimentary medicine student just to name a few) as you will read below Danielle takes it all in stride and seems capable of anything
DnA Elements was started by Danielle and Amanda, a pharmacist and designer both passionate about pure, organic and holistic living. Realising there was a gap in the skincare market for truly certified organic products without 'aqua' as the main ingredient, a collection for both babies and adults was researched and developed to fill this gap.
Q/ Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What has been your own journey to where you are now?
My life has been a whirlwind of travel, laughs, losses, constant change and more than my fair share of occupations along the way! People often ask how I came to co-found an organic skincare company and I can honestly say that the universe chose this path for me, not the other way around.
I have Bachelor of Biomedical Science majoring in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and a Masters of Pharmacy. My studies have taken me on a never ending learning path of how the body functions, to the chemistry of drug molecules and how they work in the body, to complementary and holistic medicine and most importantly to dealing and working with people from all walks of life.
I studied to become a Compounding Pharmacist (which I still do 2 days a week). Compounding involves the customization of a specific pharmaceutical product to fit the unique needs of the patient. It is beautiful to watch so many people finally seeing positive results, and even cures, after conventional medicines have failed to help them.
Q/ Can you tell us about DnA elements and what motivated you to create this company?
DnA Elements really came about as a natural progression from what I was already doing. I can still remember the exact day I walked out of the lab and into the shop to have a look at the ingredients contained in skincare products. I knew every single ingredient I was making for therapeutic purposes but genuinely had no idea what ingredients were going into the products I was putting on mine or in fact my children’s skin. I am a scientist and what I found was horrifying, even from many brands claiming to be ‘natural’ or ‘organic’…. Realising there was a huge gap in the market for truly organic skincare products, DnA Elements emerged. From a place of complete transparency and using only 100% certified organic ingredients, Amanda (“the A in the DnA”) and I set upon building a luxurious skincare collection.
Each formulation is based solely on nature, and is packed with an abundance of pure botanical extracts which nourish, heal and promote natural beauty. We hand make EVERY one of our products in small batches to ensure the consumer receives a superior formulation with ultimate freshness and potency. We have a firm belief that what we feed our skin should be safe enough to eat.
The beautiful baby range from DnA Elements - available here.
Q/ You have created a beautiful organic baby range that, can you share a bit more about these wonderful product with our readers?
The baby range was created after I had my third child. I remember looking at the lists of ingredients on some of the baby products I came across at the time (including brands claiming to be ‘natural’ and ‘organic’) and feeling horrified that there was an expectation by these companies to actually use their products on my precious newborn. I called Amanda straight away and said “we have to have a baby range!”. Acknowledging a huge gap in the market for simple, organic baby skincare products we decided to develop one.
Having lived in the tropics a few years earlier, I was already obsessed with the amazing properties of coconut oil so it was just a natural progression to include this as our signature ingredient in our baby range. Referred to as “The tree of life” by many Asian and Pacific communities, coconut oil not only softens and nourishes our skin but also acts as a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent, making it the perfect choice for the delicate skin of babies.
Q/You are an incredibly busy women – a pharmacist, an alchemist of natural skin care products, you are qualified in natural medicines and are continuing to study, plus you have 3 children. How do manage do you to balance these demands?
I think the more you do, the more you actually fit into your day! The key for me is being very organised, sticking to strict deadlines and routines, and taking time out of every day to find some inner stillness and re-focus on the days priorities, whether it be work, family or myself.
I am really lucky to have a work-life balance that enables me to spend a lot of time with my children. They are young for just a fleeting moment so I try to be with them as much as possible. Above else they will always be on the top of my priority list (although my passion for holistic health and organic skincare definitely comes a close second!). Oh and let’s not forget my occasional mother meltdown!! That’s when I know it’s really time to take some time out, breathe deeply and slow down.
Q/What makes you happy?
A/I know it’s a cliché but I honestly can’t think of anything that makes me happier than seeing my children growing up to be healthy and happy individuals. It’s when we’re all together playing board games or cards, sharing stories from our day, at the beach or just dancing around being silly that I’m truly at my happiest
Q/ What are your own personal practices for keeping a healthy body and a healthy mind?
As a pharmacist I obviously see a lot of unwell people both physically and emotionally. I work very closely with a mental health clinic every week so I know all about mental illness and the debilitating and devastating effects it can have on patients’ and their families. For me, keeping a healthy body and mind is about balancing all aspects of my life. I see an overwhelming number of people placing unrealistic pressure on themselves and then falling down when they can’t meet their expectations.
I don’t wake up every morning thinking today I’m going to eat all things raw and organic, I’m going to exercise for an hour and then I’m going to spend an hour and a half meditating, because it just wouldn’t happen! What I do think every morning when I wake up is today I’m going to spend each moment “living mindfully”. Conscious awareness of how we’re living moment by moment actually empowers us to make decisions that will ultimately lead us to a healthier body and mind.
Q/ If there were 3 tips on health and well-being you could share with the world what would they be?
1. Adopt some “mindful living” tools to live by. These may include meditation, acceptance of both life and the people in it, letting go of unrealistic expectations or living for the present. Make sure you continually remind yourself of your guidelines. You won’t believe how much better you feel.
2. Eat foods high in chlorophyll . Chlorophyll is known as ‘the green blood of plants’ and its DnA is almost identical to our blood’s meaning it has the capacity to cleanse our blood of toxic impurities whilst also increasing oxygen levels throughout the body. Disease promoting anaerobic bacteria cannot live in the presence of oxygen so in short:
Chlorophyll = oxygen = powerful tool for disease prevention
3. Eat more dark green leafy vegetables. Not only are they high in chlorophyll they are rich in vitamins and minerals (particularly Vitamins E & K, and folate) as well as disease-fighting phytochemicals. The health benefits of eating green vegetables are exhaustive but have been associated with lowered cholesterol levels, increased energy, improved bone health, prevention of colon cancer and overall health and well-being.
Q? What are 3 health products you can’t live without?
I can’t live without are coconut oil (the amazing properties of coconut oil warrants its own article!), chlorophyll and water.
Q/ What are your dreams and aspirations for the future?
A/To growDnA Elements to be a leading worldwide organic skincare brand and to continue to educate people on the holistic approach to mindful living. I hope that one day it’s just the normal way of living rather than a ‘subculture’ in what is still predominantly a processed world.
Q/ Do you have a life mantra or affirmation you live by?
I don’t really have a life mantra or affirmation I live by but I do love the quote “Live for a higher purpose” and believe that you really can make a change, no matter how big it is.
Danielle's Mixed Seed Bread
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup linseeds
- 2 tbsps. black chia seeds
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 1 ¾ cups quinoa flakes
- 1/3 cup psyllium husk
- ½ tsp. sea salt flakes
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsps. rice malt syrup
- Grease a medium 12cm x 22cm loaf pan. Line base with baking paper.
- Place seeds, almonds, quinoa flakes, psyllium husk and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Combine water, oil and syrup in a medium jug. Add to dry ingredients. Stir until well combined. Spoon into prepared pan. Press in with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
- Cook in a moderately slow oven (160C) for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
- Cut cold bread into slices. Serve with your favourite toppings.