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Wellness Diaries: Aisling Cullen, founder of Thanks Plants

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by Aisling Cullen
22nd Feb 2023

Aisling Cullen, the founder of Thanks Plants, shares her self-care insights, tools and rituals, from tech gadgets to lunch prepping.

I wake at… 6.20am every second day when I am going to the gym, otherwise, its 7.30am if I’m bringing the kids to school.

The first thing I do every morning is… empty the dishwasher while my husband puts on some French press coffee and makes the kids their lunches for school. I try to fit in a few yoga stretches in the morning but usually, it’s a race against the clock!

My morning routine is… either racing out the door to go to the gym or organising the kids for school. At the weekend, I’m usually out doing a tasting in a supermarket on a Saturday and then Sunday it’s a chill weekend brunch with the family.

I can’t go to work without… a lunch that I’ve prepped the night before from home. Every day is full-on so I like to have something healthy and wholesome that I can just throw into the microwave for a quick lunch.

The self-care tool I use every day is… my FitBit app. I love tracking the ‘zone minutes’ achieved every day.

The best part of my day is…coming home from work. The kids and our dog always rush to the door once they hear me opening it and give me a big hug.

The most challenging part of my day is… my job. Every day is a challenge but I love it. I love to problem-solve.

I engage with self-care every day by…walking. I like to walk with a purpose of going somewhere, not just for fun. So I try to get over to the Asian supermarket on Capel Street every week, which is 20 mins away, and to the bank which is a similar distance.

I think my self-care routine is instinctual rather than an official list. I try to carve out some time for myself every day, whether that’s getting to the gym, going for a walk, making wholesome dishes for the family or catching up with a chapter of a book.

The quickest, smallest thing I do for myself every day is… eat well.

I know it’s been a good day if… I’m not wound up by the end of the day!

I switch off from work by… spending time with my kids and cooking.

Before I go to bed, I’ll… check my phone. I know it’s so bad and I need to kick the habit of looking at screens before bed.

After a long work week, I destress by… going for a walk with my family up to the Hellfire Club or Massey’s Estate in Rathfarnham, followed by a bite to eat in the Timbertrove Cafe. They have loads of vegan options so I’m spoiled for choice.

My go-to comfort meal is… our Everyday Roast with all the trimmings! I love a good Sunday roast and I’ve never been a fan of meat even before I went vegan, but I do love the meatiness of this product.

When I really need a moment to myself, I always… take our dog for a walk and listen to a podcast.

Something I try to do for myself every day is… eat better. And eat more fruit.

The most reflective moment in the day is… the morning drive into work. This is where I reflect on the day before and figure out what tasks I need to tackle today.

The one person, place or thing guaranteed to give me joy is… my husband, Fergus. I don’t know if he’s guaranteed to give me joy every day but he sure makes life a lot more fun!

I wish I could go clothes shopping more mindfully… I used to love fashion and spent a lot of my career in this industry, but since having kids and starting my own company, I just grab whatever is in my wardrobe and get out the door as quickly as possible.

Everyone should try… going plant-based for a month! Even if it doesn’t stick, I don’t think anyone ever regrets eating more plants in their lives, and you always feel better for it. It also opens up a whole host of ingredients that you might have been reluctant to cook with before, like legumes, beans and tofu.

thanksplants.co