February is a kind of love and hate month in London. Normally, it’s cold, wet, dreary and we’re probably still recovering from the expenses of Christmas and New Years. Not to mention desperately trying to avoid the office cold going around. But lucky for us this year, spring seems to have made an early appearance!
We are all looking forward to getting out the winter fashion, going for crisp morning outdoor runs before bringing friends and family together for pub patio weekends. As we approach International Hygge Day on February 28th, we have Lawrence Price; personal Trainer, father, ex rugby player, model, ambassador and family cook lend his wise words in how to make the most of your time with the small amount we have.
Lawrence, a warm welcome from us! So what does Hygge mean to you?
Well when I think of the word Hygge, I think of cosy safe interiors away from the stark hostile weather they celebrate in the middle of Scandinavia (haha).
So how would you best like to achieve that Hygge feeling? That warm cosy atmosphere?
I’m very much a primal bloke. I love fires and warming up beside it. I grew up with them and would often disappear with my brother to wales or the highlands of Scotland where we would hike to these huts and camp there for the night. One of the most special things about it was the sense of place it gave us. Especially with the large scale bonfire. Strangers would join us as we sat around it. They say fire has these magical qualities of extracting truths from people, it makes people open up.
So you’ve really grown up with the outdoor, and have quite a personal relationship with environment and weather. What do you think of London then in that sense?
I moved to London 10 years ago and absolutely love this city. If you work hard you get places. I’ve been lucky enough to work with celebs, professionals and have become good friends with some inspiring clients. There really is so much opportunity but I’ll always have a calling back to nature and just greenery. In the last few years I’ve had to split my time a bit with Hampshire and the busy London life. I wouldn’t change anything though.
You seem to have the best of both! You’re a dad, personal trainer, and constantly on shoots. How do you do it or rather keep yourself sane? How do you know what to compromise on?
Haha yes, I very much do lead a kind of double life. It does not stop for the 4 days in the week that I’m in London; networking, and just being a dynamic Individual. Then it all calms down when I get to reside in the countryside for a few days. It’s not about me being an individual anymore, but more about the collective with my family. I seek to slow things down.
Structure must be so important then. Did you use to not have structure in your life?
Well when you start out, you get sucked in to saying yes to all work that comes your way. I suppose there wasn’t a clear parameter. Structure is typically something many self employed people like PTs for instance find difficult to organise. We want to help others, and very much enjoy it but it’s important to be able to hold back. It’s easy to just think about your career development and forget about yourself.
Absolutely, sometimes less is more. So how long have you been a PT? and what was your journey from then to now?
I’ve been a PT for 12 years, but had always come from an elite sporting environment. I started out playing professional rugby for wales, whilst studying journalism at Cardiff Uni. However, it wasn’t until injured by ALC and meniscus that things really changed. The Injury turned everything for me. I decided to Moved to Bristol where I obtained my PT qualification.
That’s really tough when your life is sport, but I’m glad you’re better now. And now you’ve found your way to London. Considering London is so fast paced, Do you think you can really achieve a sense of Hygge in London?
Yes absolutely. Benefits of a fast pace environment is that the contrast is even greater. Because it is so hectic, when you find yourself in a quiet, cosy place you definitely notice it more.
Along with all you do how do you deal with your nutrition and food? What is your diet like?
Like I said, I’m a very basic primal bloke. If i get my food and sleep right, I’m happy. I think people seem to forget these basic needs. If you skip these you are far less likely to achieve what your goals. For me nutrition, how and when I eat is very important. We have to learn what bests works for us to get the best out of our day.
I like that. Nice and simple. So tell me your thoughts on intermittent fasting?
I do believe that it’s beneficial for different reasons; but in the end it’s calorie intake vs calorie output. The most important thing is for people to educate themselves. I do use it myself if I’ve had a couple of days where I have eaten more, drunk a bit more etc. I think it’s handy when you want to have a bit of a digestion reset.
Now heading on the other side of indulgence, Hygge is equally all about cakes, alcohol and comfort food. What do you think about the balance of eating to feel good, when and where you want?
I believe the aspect of ‘breaking bread’ with someone is something no one should miss out on and I think it’s a shame when they do. I have friends who at birthdays will turn down a slice of cake for instance purely due to your nutritional or calorific restrictions, which I think is far more ‘unhealthy’ – there are certainly other considerations that come into play.
I think life is about the full experience and having a healthy culture of being able to sit down with, healthy, hearty food. It is just about practising that in the right measure and using one’s intuition. For our family, food forms the pillars of our weekend – lunch outings and visiting farm shops for the local produce. The money I make is for food and snacking. It’s so important.
What are your favourite comfort foods, especially to have in winter?
As we’re going international with Hygge one of my favourites stems from my childhood. This Austrian comfort food called Kaiserschmarren. If you don’t what what it is, it’s basically a pancake cooked messily in lots of odd chunks. It comes think and thin, and messily sprinkled with sugar and jam. We would always get that as a Sharing platter when we go on holiday.
Finally, what would your advice me to other working dads like yourself be?
Well as a dad you soon recognise that you have much less time to yourself than before. It’s good to remember that minimal dose for maximum effect. You’ve got to be more selective with what you do and how you do it. But this should be viewed with a huge strength. It cuts out the meandering, and makes you better with the more you do. You’re perhaps competing with people with more freedom in their lives i.e no kids etc. This means that you have to be more streetwise, and more concerned with your fitness and wellness. There was a time where people joked about the dad bod. The idea that training goes out the window, because you have other priories but that whole psychology has changed. Being fit actually helps those priorities. You have to find some time – even 30 mins to be fit. Be smart and intelligent guys. Being a dad now means no choice but to be clever with what you do.
What is your favourite comfort food from Maple & CO?
For the sweet things, I love their gluten free brownies. They’re so moist and indulgent. Also because I love fruity puddings, the raspberry and white chocolate muffins were definitely a tick in the box. I’ll be coming back for more thank you.