Surf's up: Mona-Jane Hannemann on wellbeing and living in Hawaii |

Surf’s up: Mona-Jane Hannemann on wellbeing and living in Hawaii

Surf, sun and smoothies: we caught up with Mona-Jane Hannemann (check her out on Instagram @rocamoon) to talk about moving from New Zealand to Hawaii, being a mama to Roca and how she stays in shape…

Photography: @breehawaii and @ambermozo | Go to

Can you talk us through your morning routine?

With my son going from baby to toddler things are constantly changing. But now I generally wake up about 6ish. I set my alarm for 6:30am every day, but my son is usually my alarm clock. And if he sleeps in then sometimes I like to hit snooze a few times. I like to take 10 minutes or so to actually wake up – say morning prayers, meditate and think about the things I want to accomplish in the day then I’m up to fix my little guy some breakfast. I’ll often have a small snack just to get something in my system. I like to get some exercise first thing so if there is waves and my husband is free we’ll surf, otherwise I’ll get a workout in. I love taking a dip in the ocean after a good sweat it energises and refreshes me for the day. Then home for breakky!

What’s a typical breakfast for you?

Breakfast is usually pretty simple and quick, so a basic smoothie, or smoothie bowls topped with granola and fresh fruit. Sometimes it’s just a bunch of fruit, or if I’m feeling like I need more “oomph” avo and tomato on toast with sweet chili sauce.

What about your son - what kind of food does he like to eat?

This little guy loooooves smoothies and fruit, and can sniff chocolate from a mile away, (he may or may not take after me ha). He’s not the biggest fan of vegies… yet! But I sneak them in smoothies. He also likes rice or noodles with any kind of flavoring or sauce. I just recently stopped nursing him, so now I gotta knuckle down on the vegie situation. I try my best to give him fresh stuff before packaged things.

What are your tips for handing sleep deprivation?

Sleep is for sure one of my weaknesses. As much as I love it I find myself staying up way too late but somehow I manage to get through the day fine. I definitely credit exercise for giving me energy and keeping the body awake. And generally eating good wholesome foods compared to other stuff that makes me feel stuffy and gluggy. For example, smoothies, fruit, salad filled sandwiches, veggies and rice – foods that are bright and vibrant and keep you feeling light when compared to oily or heavy foods such as fried chicken. I’ll have an ice-cream or a candy bar occasionally. I also love jumping in the ocean, taking a cold shower or even just rinsing my face with cold water – it always refreshes me and wakes me up too.

What has motherhood taught you?

Motherhood has taught me more than I have space or time to share. I love the quote by Donna Ball “Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and wellbeing ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is… and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.” It has taught me to be confident in myself and my potential. Not everyone is going to agree with what you do or how you do it, but sometimes you have to follow your gut and trust yourself. I have learnt the importance of time. Spending time, allowing them the time to try things over and over and be patient, and managing time so that there is good balance in life. One last thing is I have learnt is the importance of personal wellbeing. It is so important that we nurture our own being, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually so that we can nurture our children to our best ability.

What are some superfoods you eat?

I love berries, they are full of antioxidants. I guess I eat acai quite a bit too, we make a lot of acai bowls, and that is definitely a ‘trendy’ superfood at the moment. But keeping it simple, lemons are something I usually always have in the house and use in water, on salads, in juices, or even just with salt (if you haven’t tried it’s pretty dang good) and it’s great for alkalizing, metabolism, energy, immune system and lots more. I also looooove broccoli, anything that green is either really good for you, or really bad ha ha. I especially love it with cheese sauce.

What about exercise?

My day feels incomplete if I don’t break a sweat or lose my breath. Though it sometimes sucks while I’m doing it, I NEVER regret it, and I always feel good afterwards. It makes me a happier person and better wife and mother. I prefer outdoors always, it’s more energizing and feels more freeing. If there are waves, I surf. I like to keep things interesting switching it up here and there between cardio, HIIT, Pilates and yoga. But, generally I love a good HIIT circuit followed by a solid run and dip in the ocean.

How do you unwind?

If I’m stressed or frustrated, I like to get outdoors, breathe the fresh air, run, surf or swim in the ocean. It calms me and breaks me away from the chaos. Relaxing to me is laying on the beach or taking a walk, or even just listening to some good beats and scrolling through Pinterest and random searches on Google. But most nights are spent unwinding to a movie with my husband and sometimes ice-cream.

How would you describe life in Hawaii?

I’m pretty sure most would agree that it is nothing but amazing. It truly is its own kind of paradise. Don’t get me wrong though, just like anywhere you live you have responsibilities and things to take care of so not every day is a holiday. But we are pretty lucky with my husband’s flexible schedule our days mainly revolve around the weather and the surf, as ridiculous as that might sound. If there’s good surf and sun we always try to get in the water. If it’s a beautiful day and we don’t take a swim or at least go to the beach it feels incomplete. For the most part I try to spend more time outside than inside. If there’s no waves we’ll just cruise at the beach or go on a hike – there are some really beautiful short hikes and waterfalls nearby. We love to go on bike rides too and explore different parts of our area. Getting fresh produce is always fun, or trying out good food spots. The people are super nice, and there is always a good energizing vibe, or I guess the spirit of Aloha. Though it may get a little crowded on the small island at times, there is plenty to do. It is a huge playground and picturesque in so many ways. Simply put, Hawaii works wonders for the soul.