Self-Awareness and Healthy Living: Q&A with Tessa Ang

Self-Awareness and Healthy Living: Q&A with Tessa Ang

As we are beginning a new journey into 2023, we took the time to sit down with Tessa Ang from @tessaholi, to talk about self-care and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Tessa is a certified holistic nutritionist based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Monika: Tessa, thank you so much for taking the time to collaborate on this Q&A. We have been following each other on Instagram, and I have always been interested in the self-care and nutrition tips that you share in your posts.
At Maison Noelle, we aim to be a place ‘where self-love meets love for other.’ We believe that our love for others flows from self-love. When we don’t spend time nurturing ourselves, emotionally and physically, we might find it challenging to be there for others.
What we love about your posts is how you help others maintain a balanced life by sharing simple tips that anyone can try.
For readers who are yet to get to know you, would you mind sharing with us a little bit about your background and what you do as a certified holistic nutritionist?

Tessa: Thank you Monika for this introduction, it is a pleasure that you reached out for this Q&A together, since we have indeed similar views of self-love. This subject is one of the reasons that led me to create my own business, to guide people into this inner work and encouraging this vision.

As a holistic nutritionist, I help women by guiding them to achieve health, serenity and fulfilment through personalised holistic nutrition and a mindful lifestyle. Our goal is a sustainable and flexible way of eating that supports different phases of life, emotions and states of being - with no diet, no restriction.

As a young girl, I always liked reading fashion and wellness magazines. At that time, I didn't notice the impact it had on me and my perception of the "ideal" female body. I was comparing myself to this constructed image, and noticed that the majority of women were often doing the same. When my loved ones felt ashamed of their body or behaviour, I often found myself supporting them, and eventually it became a necessity to make it my purpose. 

One day, I read the quote “Be your own best friend” and “love yourself because that’s who you’ll be spending the rest of your life with”. My studies of holistic nutrition and yoga teacher training helped me to understand better the necessity of taking care of ourselves. The more I learned and worked on myself, the more it fueled my desire to guide people on this way of feeling good about yourself physically, psychologically, and spiritually.

M: Thank you for sharing your story - that is such a beautiful reason to pursue what you do.

Before you started training in health and nutrition, you were living what you thought as a healthy lifestyle, and you didn’t realize anything was wrong until you noticed yourself feeling fatigued and exhausted. This led you to become aware of the importance of a balanced life.
What would be your advice for someone who is trying to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle?

T: Yes, indeed, I was thinking that being healthy was defined by doing sports very regularly and eating “balanced” all year long. Often I was also influenced by “food trends” and beliefs. Through my studies and personal experiences, I realised that the actual concept of being “healthy” wasn’t the definition I was thinking all this time. My previous beliefs of “health” led me beyond my limits, and I was actually surprised to find myself feeling tired and misaligned in my life. 

My main advice for a healthy and balanced life would be to first take a step back and pay attention to yourself. 

Start observing the times you experience sickness or discomfort: the environment, your body signals and your way of eating. Also, learn a way to connect with your body and mind through ways that help you to feel. 
Meditation and yoga are helpful, but there are also many other ways, such as painting, journaling, drawing, making pottery, breathworks… Find what suits you.

Self-awareness helps to build self-love, so get to know yourself better and learn to be more honest with yourself. Once you become more self-aware, you also become more in touch with yourself. You will notice whether your values, eating habit and lifestyle are aligned and in harmony. 

It is important to realise that our life and needs continually change - they can be compared to seasons of nature. Getting in touch with your changing self and needs demands compassion, softness and patience, so it is not always easy but it is definitely worth it.

M: Speaking of eating habits, I love the healthy recipes you share on your website, as they seem to be relatively easy to try. My favorite is probably the Vegetable Tiramisu, which surprisingly contains tofu (!)
We often hear that becoming vegan or vegetarian is better for our health. But for someone who is not quite ready to become vegan/vegetarian, are there easier ways to make adjustments towards a healthier diet?

T: Thank you! It is really nice to hear, as I try to share recipes that contain the minimum of ingredients and have only a few steps of preparation. The plant-based Tiramisu is definitely one of the most successful recipes… and yummiest!

Most ingredients in my recipes can be adapted and personalised to one’s intolerance/allergies, value or culture. For example, silken tofu in the Tiramisu can be replaced by mascarpone, the water of chickpeas (aquafaba) or mashed bananas (considering it will bring a banana taste).

Concerning the second part of your question, indeed, in today’s society, a way of eating that includes mainly vegetables is healthier, because we are often in an inflammatory state due to environmental causes and ways of living. It is very relevant that you bring up this subject, since it is one of the main topics around nutrition at the moment.

First of all, I think that the most essential thing is to not think about becoming vegetarian or vegan, but more about looking for what’s best for us and how to reasonably achieve it step-by-step. For some people, it can start by replacing meat with natural plant-based alternatives such as legumes (chickpeas, beans, edamame…), tempeh, or seitan. For others, it may be replacing dairy products with plant-based milks, cheeses and creams. The choices are personal, and vary from a person to another.

It is important to choose what’s best for you, giving yourself time and space, without judgment. And you can always seek help from a professional, to be supported and guided in this transition.

As a holistic nutritionist, you also have some training in Hygiene of Life. Could you tell us a little about it?

T: Hygiene of Life’ means I help others to optimise their lifestyle in a personalised way that is linked to their goal. I support them by developing various rituals for the body as well as the mind, such as through yoga and journaling exercises. Every advice will be adapted for each person according to their needs, lifestyle, environment, etc.
I always make sure that my client agrees on the next step, then we see how it goes in practice. Slowly but progressively, we work together to create positive changes that last.

It’s been such a pleasure to chat with you about healthy and balanced lifestyle. For anyone interested to learn more about this topic or other life advice, is there a way to connect with you to ask further questions?

T: I am happily available on my professional account @tessaholi, by email or on my Linkedin profile Tessa Ang.

So please, feel free to connect with me for any question, talk about a personal situation. I will be pleased to answer you as soon as possible.

Also, I gladly welcome you in Geneva or work together through online.


M: Thank you so much for your time and advice on healthy living, Tessa. I hope we can continue our conversation again next time, as there is much we can learn from you.

T: Thanks to you Monika, it was a sincere pleasure. I am glad we could work together and I am looking forward keeping in touch. I deeply appreciate the story and purpose of Maison Noelle, thank you for sharing your messages of self-love and sustainability.

Thank you for reading, and if you are interested in learning more about Tessa and her healthy-living advice, please follow her on Instagram and visit her website*


Tessa Ang @tessaholi

Photography courtesy of Tessa Ang @tessaholi



*note: the website is in French, and can be translated into English via Google Chrome


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Nice, inspiring and enriching interview

Stella Siu Lie

Nice, inspiring and enriching interview

Stella Siu Lie

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