Now, where do I begin to tell you what journey this whole book has been for me, and still is. I don’t want to go into much detail, but feel that it’s important and fair to get all of you on board.
2016 started a little shitty for me
Simply, I was heartbroken and therefore unusually (as in, unusually for me) sad and low in energy. I figured I needed a project that would distract me, and as it has been my dream to write a book one day for a long time, I decided I would just do it anyway. I didn’t have a publisher at that time (few attempts to persuade agents in London with my book idea in 2015 failed), but: I had a vision, a strategy, tools (can you tell I’m a marketer?) and, most importantly, passion for the topic (also, a notebook, and yes, I actually started to structure the book as pictured below – oh well!).
Looking back, I must have been crazy
I started one day after Easter this year – and was done with my book just three months later. Four chapters, 100 recipes and additional photo shoots for the book cover and fitness and yoga part were all done by that time. I may actually make it sound as if it was all very easy, but the truth is, I’ve never been more taken in by any kind of “project“ like with this one. Besides my full-time MBA, my freelance writing and photography jobs and my shifts at Hej Coffee, I sacrificed every second for the book. In fact, even when I did something else, my head would be with my book. I have told you about my poor sleep before, so, you may well imagine that I went through quite a few sleepless nights while working on the book. But it was so much fun! But also struggle. Stress. Fulfillment. I am certain I experienced every possible feeling throughout the progress.
Together we are strong
I’m a perfectionist, so obviously I wanted my book to look pretty, too. Luckily I am surrounded by amazing people who were happy to help: Kamila and Lina did the graphic design, Sarah edited the editorial texts, Casey edited all the recipes, Karin filmed Youtube videos (which are available via QR code in the book), Yelda did the cover shoot, Elena and Lydia sacrificed their time to take additional photos, and then there was everyone else who told me to keep going or calm down, depending on my current state of mind.
The books is done, and now?
Yet, it didn’t all go that smooth in the end. I used a beautifully lay-outed mock-up and proposal to – once again – approach agents and publishers in London. This time I didn’t just have an idea for a book, but a well put together 260 pages thick book.
However, people either didn’t get back to me, or they told me I had too little followers. Yet, one agency was kind enough to meet me, and they were keen enough about my book to advise me to sell it to a German publisher. So, I did that: Translated my proposal into German and sent it to a variety of publishers in my home country. This time I was lucky! A few weeks later I got a call from the publishing house ZS in Munich. They said they were keen to publish my book. OMG! I will never forget that moment!
I am beyond happy to tell you that in just a few weeks’ time you can already preorder “Happily healthy“ via Amazon (have a look at ZS’ preview for Spring 2017)! And as of May 2017 you can buy the book in in stores, like actual bookstores! Can you imagine the excitement of my parents!? Hihi, well I, too, am pretty excited.
What is the book about after all?
In the book I talk about FOOD, FITNESS, HEALTH and HAPPINESS. I have written extensive chapters with tips, suggestions and my own experiences for a healthy and happy life. Plus, there’s a HIIT session and a dynamic yoga session in the book, completed by 100 vegetarian recipes. I call the whole thing a “holistic lifestyle guide“.
For all you English-speaking people
I am extraordinarily lucky that my publisher allows me to self-publish the “original“ English version of the book. “Happily healthy by Lea Lou“ is the book how I wrote it “from scratch“, with no help and money from any publisher involved, just with my own energy, creativity and brain, and, of course, with the help of all my friends! The self-published e-book and hardcover version can be bought on Amazon now!
OK, I will come to an end soon. But, I mean, all this had to be said. After all, how often is one able to announce the launch of their book?! (Obviously, I hope this is just the start of a long journey, I clearly want to write a few more books in my life-time.)
Ah, finally, today’s recipe
Now, there’s also a recipe involved in today’s blogpost (told you I’m a perfectionist – sigh). But given that these vegan almond coconut macaroons look that pretty in the pictures, I assumed you may want to make them yourself? They’re amazing for the upcoming Christmas time, or just as a treat to yourself after you’ve been reading this super long text. Sorry!
Thank you for reading all of this, and thanks for following along, it really means more than you guys can imagine!
Vegan almond coconut macarons
Makes about 15 macarons.
200 grams shredded coconut (unsweetened)
40 grams ground almonds
4 – 5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch sea salt
70 grams (vegan) dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Add the shredded coconut to the bowl of a food processor, pulse for a couple of minutes until the coconut becomes wet and sticky.
Add the ground almonds, 4 tablespoons coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt, and blend again until just incorporated.
With the help of a teaspoon and your hands form little macaroons, place them on the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Allow coconut macaroons to cool.
Melt the chocolate over a hot water bath, dip the bottoms of the coconut macaroons into the chocolate, or sprinkle the chocolate over the macaroons. Allow the chocolate to set, then serve the macaroons or transfer them into an airtight box to store (for up to a week).