Daily Rituals with Lily Montana
We visit mother, model and media communications specialist Lily Montana and her son Teddy in their Auckland home, to speak about her love of food and the importance of sustaining a disciplined practice.
On daily rituals
As a mother of a three-and-a-half-year-old with a full time job I have to be fairly flexible with my time outside of work hours… I am a creature of habit and do like to plan things way in advance, so the last few years I’ve been trying to not get too caught up on routine and schedules. Weekly rituals that are a must: Yoga twice a week and at least some form of cardio once a week (I recently ran a half marathon and have really enjoyed getting into running).
Lily’s moment with tea each day
Without fail, Teddy will sneak into my bed just before 7am each morning. I usually put on a cartoon to keep him entertained while I prepare his breakfast and make myself a cup of tea to start the day. I spent quite a bit of time in Tokyo in my early twenties and have always loved the grassy flavour of Matcha – I find there’s just the right dose of caffine in there for me to power on throughout the morning.
We heard you are a fantastic cook! What are some dishes you love to make for yourself and Teddy?
I love cooking, it’s a passion that’s been with me since I was a child and I feel like I have my French heritage to thank for that. To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art. I always admired my mother’s way of making the most spectacular meals from literally nothing – fearless and creative. I always respect and appreciate the effort and thought when somebody is cooking for me, and I really enjoy cooking for others. I have a few favourite dishes on repeat but pasta is so quick and easy and can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. I often have a veal and pork ragout in my freezer that I cook as a 2kg batch to disperse amongst friends. I’ve been trying to master some desserts and perfect a range of cherry, apple and lemon pies… It’s still a work in progress. Thankfully, Teddy loves to bake and is blessed to have Jordan Rondel (The Caker) as his godmother, so maybe I’ll leave her to impart that knowledge!
On maintaining a healthy lifestyle
It’s a constant battle and balancing act. I have come to recognize and acknowledge that two things I need to maintain a healthy lifestyle are: times of solitude and to be physically active... without the two I find myself becoming easily overwhelmed. I did an 8 week meditation course at the Grey Lynn Buddhist Centre before I started working full time again, which was incredible and something I recommend everyone try… but I’m sad to say I now only practice around 3 times a week, so this is something I’d like to continue to work on and implement into my daily life.
I’ve had moments in my life where things haven’t worked out as I’d have liked them to and so have learnt to direct my energy into things I can control. I think it’s important to set goals to work towards… to grow and learn and remain curious. For me, they have been as big as building up to running a half marathon and as small as hiding the TV remote a couple times a week and finding the time to open that novel that’s been gathering dust by the bedside table for half the year.
I am an active relaxer, so while I love peace and quite and very much need times of rest I find it hard to switch off and stay still. I love swimming, running, yoga, walking, and dancing with teddy before bedtime. A lot of my spare time is also filled with cooking and cleaning, of which, anyone who knows me, will agree with me when I say are probably my favourite past times of all.
On keeping creative endeavours fuelled, alongside motherhood and a full time role at Pead
Creative endeavours… are kind of on the back burner for now, but I try not to get too caught up on that and trust that things often come in waves and stages.
As a mother you are probably the most creative you’ll ever be, but it’s a sort of pragmatic creativity, or it is totally pure, and through the teaching of your own child it gives you the chance to see the world and ideas again through their eyes… its magical.
I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work on both sides of media… it’s less and less as a talent, but I am really more interested in the behind-the-scenes and production side of things.