Name Evita Ochel
Stopped keeping track after I grew up 😉
Where are you from
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I grew up in a family of teachers, where both my parents and closest relatives were all teachers of various subject areas. Throughout my education I studied the biological sciences with a keen interest in health, healing, nutrition, and our environment, though I vowed I would never become a teacher. And yet, my true calling found me quickly enough, as by the end of my second year of university studies I experienced a deep calling to teach teens and adults these very subjects that stirred great passions within me. Immediately after graduating, I landed a position as a high school science teacher and after seven enjoyable and deeply fulfilling years, moved on to teach adults worldwide, beyond any formal classrooms.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I recently wrapped up the creation and launch of three new online courses. One, is for any parent or guardian on how to get kids to eat healthy. Two, is for anyone interested in improving their health, weight, or diet by understanding the power of green smoothies. And three, is an introductory course on the 8 limbs of yoga for anyone interested in yoga, personal growth, or spiritual evolution.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Outside of any mandatory writing in school, I’ve been writing since my pre-teen years. It all started with elaborate letters, poetry, and journalling, and in my adult years transformed into articles, essays, and books. From a young age, I had a natural inclination to write, and throughout the years I had various calls and desires to express my talents via writing. I felt deeply drawn to the written word and its power to transform us, whether by igniting our imagination, or educating us by expanding our awareness.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I began to officially write online in 2008.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was “Healing & Prevention Through Nutrition” and the inspiration for it stemmed from my desire to help people. I wanted to write a book on health and nutrition that went beyond the diets, sensationalism, and reductionism. I wanted to help bring people back to the basics and share how easy and natural healthy eating can be. And I wanted to remind us about the power of our food when it comes to creating our health.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really. The way I naturally write incorporates both, an educational and conversational tone.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Although I love coming up with all sorts of creative book titles, when it came to that first book “Healing & Prevention Through Nutrition” I wanted the title to be a direct representation of the book. This meaning, reflecting its simple and straightforward approach to health and nutrition; no gimmicks or alternate agendas.
Fiona: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Most definitely, several in fact, with the two main being: that eating in a healthy manner can be very easy and that our food choices directly create our health or lack thereof. It doesn’t take a nutrition degree, or lots of time or money to eat healthy. It all starts with coming back to our own innate knowing of what real food is, stepping out of the modern-day nutritional madness, and deciding to get responsible and accountable for our health given our modern-day challenges.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
All of it. But of course reality is in the eye of the beholder, so what one person may consider realistic may be obfuscated from the reality of another.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My personal journey of learning about, and then living and applying optimal nutrition has greatly influenced all of my work. And I share a little about that in the book. However the underlying theme and need for this book, comes from the experiences that are all too common in our society today and found all around us, where most people live in a state of “sick and tired” all too regularly, and medicated on substances that are not addressing the root issues.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There are two main streams of influence that have had a great impact on my life, but for the purpose of this interview I will focus on the health and nutrition one. In this arena the works of leading-edge health and nutrition experts like Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Bruce Lipton, and Dr. Gabriel Cousens have influenced my personal and professional life.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
“Béchamp or Pasteur? A Lost Chapter in the History of Biology” by Ethel Douglas Hume
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
No one that comes to mind recently.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
A major content and design revamp of my websites. As I shared earlier, I started writing back in 2008 and currently house hundreds of articles. I always aim to have any content I share be as relevant and helpful as possible, but naturally as we each grow and change, and as new research emerges, regular updates are needed to maintain a high quality of work.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
A really good friend who came into my life in 2010 and whose presence and support in my life has been most loving, kind, and thoughtful, and in ways that continuously humble, surprise, and delight me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing as one way of expressing my teaching talents. Could it solely be a career path for me? Yes. However, these days, thanks to much liberation on many fronts in my life, I don’t seek for anything to be a career any longer, rather an expression of being, if and when it feels right.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fortunately at this time, no. I released the book’s first edition in 2011 and when it came time for its updated second edition, I thought, “I’ll only change a few minor things” and ended up nearly doubling the book in size! But, this is what can happen when we look at the past through the lens of the present, with our newly expanded views. And so I don’t want to consider at this time what will happen if I decide to do a third edition in the future. Ultimately, I think we each need to find that right balance for ourselves as writers between updating and accepting to leave old works as they are.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I cannot say that I do. It was just something I always seemed to enjoy.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
When it comes to writing, I have begun the preliminary work on an illustrated recipe book based on the Healthytarian philosophy of eating and living.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I have enough writing ideas to last several lifetimes, though I must say that I find the starting of a new writing project a bit intimidating as I know the work ahead that is involved. And this has largely prevented me from putting out more books than I easily could up to this point. However, once I step into it and start writing, that then comes with a strong and natural momentum.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I cannot say that I have one favorite author. But what really appeals to me about the work of authors I resonate with is when the writing tone is clear and coherent, and the content is based on a higher level of awareness, out-of-the-box thinking, and empowering ideas.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I could, but have thus far chosen not to. Just as I teach others to engage in proper self-care and optimal wellbeing, I follow my own advice to know and apply what is best for me. In this sense, I thrive in my nature-centered world. I rarely visit cities, and prefer a simple and peaceful way of life that does not include what typically comes with business travel. Perhaps one day I will be more drawn to it, but at this point any travel I do is almost solely done for pleasure, not business.
Fiona: Who designed the cover?
For this book it was a joint venture between myself and my husband—my co-creative life partner. I knew the image I wanted to have on the book, for which I provide an explanation in the book, and he helped put it all together.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Coming back to it after a period of other work that took me away from it. As shared above, once I start writing I flow easily, but to get going is the tough part. And so whenever possible, I prefer to see projects through from start to finish in one focused and continuous endeavor, rather than write over isolated periods of time.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Most definitely. In fact I wrote a whole essay on what I learned entitled 6 Qualities that Writing a Book Can Help You Develop. These revolve around the themes of confidence, vulnerability, acceptance, perfection, humility, and perseverance.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you approach your writing from an internal drive and passion, you will likely never be short on inspiration. However, if you approach your writing as something you think you “should” do, this path will almost always be filled with challenges and frustrations. Live from the heart, and write from the heart.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Life is such an incredible gift and journey, and we can experience so much joy, beauty, awe, and wonder thanks to it. However our quality of life, no matter who we are, where we live, or what we have is instantly diminished by an inferior state of wellbeing. Don’t settle for a mediocre life. You can have and enjoy an incredible quality of life, but it does require that you get responsible and accountable for your lifestyle choices, with food being one of the most influential. Love yourself enough to give yourself the very best.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not at all. Though I do recall loving the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series of books as a child, as well as the original “Chronicles of Narnia”.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh: many things! The main ones beings my husband, my furry wild friends (especially chipmunks), and my nephews. Cry: luckily not much. Though I do tend to tear up in positive ways by random acts of kindness or compassion.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I’d probably have to say present-living, spiritual author, Neale Donald Walsch because his books have had some of the biggest impacts on my initial spiritual awakening.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I cannot say that I would actually want a head stone, as my views on death and graves and such are quite different from the mainstream. But if I had to have one, have it say “Find the answers you seek within yourself.” because this holds our greatest truth.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
My two biggest hobbies are observing nature and edible gardening. But my hobbies also include hiking, yoga, canoeing, photography, reading, and learning new things.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I gave up owning a TV or watching mainstream TV at the start of 2010. Today, I am very selective with my entertainment choices, and mainly enjoy on-demand shows or films that have some foundation of love and joy, or out-of-the box and higher-level thinking, as opposed to the common fear, drama, and negativity that is all too often portrayed.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Foods: Mmmm, because I have a joyous love affair with real food, this means almost anything that is fresh, wholesome, and plant-based that I make, depending on the season. Colors: Earth tones of blues, greens, and browns. Music: Latin.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Nature photography in the Earth’s wildest places would be super exciting, and healing people with herbs and homeopathy would be very fulfilling, but for the most part I am super grateful to be living my life’s purpose exactly as I feel it calling me at this time.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My main website is www.EvitaOchel.com, which shares my various written and video work, and from there readers can also enjoy any one of my six websites depending on what topic most interests them.
Amazon Authors page http://www.amazon.com/Evita-Ochel/e/B005LOE9XO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Thank you Fiona!