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Getting to know… Maria Elena Siasat of Bikini Babe Tea

Bikini Babe Tea was born as the helping hand to reignite the babe and to empower her to be the best version of herself. At Bikini Babe Tea, we celebrate all it means to be a bold, confident woman in today’s world.
Tell us about yourself
I am a mum of two kids who are 6 and 4 years old. Previous to having my daughter, I was working as a product manager at Optus. When I was pregnant with her I started to think about how I wanted my life and relationships to be. My priorities were flexibility, time with my kids and family, but at the same time I wanted something to challenge myself. I enrolled in an online course that was only supposed to take 8 weeks but it took me 1.5 years. It got me thinking of different types of businesses I could explore so that my goals and priorities were met. One of the pain points for me was lacking energy and I felt I had let my health go because of time and sleep deprivation.
A lot of my priorities were to get back to being myself and feeling more energised and vibrant. One of the first things I did was introduce tea – especially just the practice of drinking tea and being mindful when drinking it. I thought that maybe it was something that I could create into a business. I started to research it and found wellness was a big market. I was introduced to a herbalist and a naturopath and started looking at it from a detoxification and weight loss perspective.
As a mum I’d get into weeks of unhealthy eating and would need to get myself back on track by following a systematic process. We ended up developing the 14 and 28-day tea detox as a result. We tested the flavours with over 50 women and received some great feedback with amazing results. At that point we thought this business might have legs. The tea is simple and nice to drink that has beautiful healing properties.
What is Bikini Babe Tea?
It’s a natural 14 and 28-day wellness tea detox kit. It has been developed for busy mums who at some stage have let their eating habits go by over indulging, and they want to stop and reset. We developed the morning cleanse with ingredients like Lemon myrtle, Nettle, Green tea, Liquorice Root and the Night Cleanse has Dandelion and Senna which is good for gently cleaning out the tummy.
The programs are accompanied by a healthy eating plan put together by our resident nutritionist. The plan provides you with a list of recommended foods and those best to avoid. It’s all about how to feel more energised, flatten the tummy and even drop a few kilos and being proud, being mindful when eating and evaluating what you are putting into your body. We want to focus on those things that nourish and cleanse. It should be a mindful process, and we have included affirmations to help support positive thinking. For just 5 minutes, try to be by yourself and read through the affirmations each morning and night. At the end of the program you should feel more energised, vibrant, and your skin should look radiant. Your clothes should feel like they are fitting a lot better and that you are on your way to feeling your best again.
We have collaborations with other mums in the community and one mum from Vigor Personal Training has offered a free personal training session with every purchase of the 28-day program. She will come to you to discuss your goals and go from there.
How did you discover that drinking tea formulations could help women feel better and kickstart their health plans?
When we developed the tea we had 2-3 formulations that we received from China but they were really bad quality. We started sourcing locally and found a family who produced tea that is hand blended. We wanted to ensure that the product was the highest quality and as a result our tealeaves are uncut and unspoilt. From opening the packet you can smell the quality and fragrance, which is just beautiful.
The formulation was tested to market on over 50 women and from the responses and the feedback we received, at least 75% of women who followed the detox program and healthy eating plan felt more energised and their bloating was gone. Many responses came back saying that it was what they needed to kick start them into healthy eating. We found that the husbands and partners started to get on board too.
What results can women typically expect from the 14 or 28-day programs?
We have a website that links to real results of women who have been through the healthy eating plan and the results can vary as our bodies are all different. With the 14 day plan a woman could lose 2-3kgs and it also depends on the level of exercise. One lady was always doing HIIT training lost 3.5kgs then some women have shed 1.5-2kgs in 2 weeks. It all depends on the body and metabolism.
Regarding exercise, the purpose of the program is to focus on detoxing the body. Gentle exercise such as yoga or Pilates is best to do while on the 14-28 day programs. Too much exercise can slow the detoxification process because the body is too busy to keep up with the exercise needs.
We recommend that you spend the 14 or 28-days to focus on everything that can nourish your body and taking care of it. It should be about what can I eat, what can I be listening to and thinking, to make myself feel better. It could be going to bed early or doing some meditation. Often we see mums who aren’t mindful of the days and one day leads to another and 3 months later the time has flown and changes haven’t been made.
We created the 14 Days 14 Ways Challenge because each day there are key words or odes to focus on and implement such as “I’ll be bold, I’ll be confident, I’ll be strong” and trying to act like that for that day. It’s fun but it’s also a mindset changer. It’s not just about weight loss it’s about being empowered, alive and energised.
We often hear that these types of programs are great when on them, but what happens when you go back to eating what you normally do?
The detox is the beginning stage of an overall plan on how you want to be eating for the future. For the 14 or 28 days it is being more mindful about what you are putting into our body and using this as a future plan.
We have a closed Facebook group that supports mums to continue with healthy eating choices and members share recipe ideas and meal prep plans for the week. We have our newsletter and Instagram that gives ideas and tips on healthy eating, mindset and exercise. From that we find you will subconsciously start to make better choices as it makes you rethink what you are doing. Sometimes it’s just the small things that we try to encourage for the members.
We also have the Morning Maintenance program, which is tea you can drink every day and it’s a good morning boost. The mums love the flavour of the tea and we have found it has sold really well because the flavour is beautiful and it helps reduce sugar cravings.
We recommend that the detox cleanse should only be done twice per year but with the maintenance program it can be used year round if you wish.
What does the overall brand, Bikini Babe Tea, stand for?
When we gave it the name it sounded cute at the time, and when we started to develop it we realised there were a lot of connotations such as “do I need to fit into a bikini to be beautiful?” For us, it’s really about feeling good and making yourself feel empowered – not necessarily the way that you look or the size of your clothes. That has been what has been great with the take up of the product – women of all sizes and shapes are starting to feel better about themselves and are uploading their progress on Instagram.
I think many women can relate to feeling unlike themselves after having a baby as not only their identity that changes, but their body does too. How else do you think women can get back to being themselves again?
One of the biggest things is sleep. I didn’t realise how important it was. With my son he was waking every 2 hours and that went on for a year. When I went back to work 4 days per week and he was still getting up twice in the night I just had to deal with it. It was only when he started sleeping through that I realised I wasn’t myself for 2 years! That is what leads to poor choices in food and healthy eating as you just don’t have the energy.
The other thing is trying to keep a positive and healthy state of mind. Try and see a lot more people, for me I went from working in a company with 5,000 people and then being alone with a baby was a big adjustment.
What would be the top 3 health tips you could provide women?
The biggest one is to cut out the sugar. I was previously a banana bread and jam on toast kind of girl. Once I gave up the sugar not only did I feel my tummy fat was reducing but I wasn’t as volatile.
Exercise; try to get out and do as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be joining the gym but just to get your body moving.
Finally, completely getting rid of fried foods. This again made a huge difference of my tummy fat. These are the 3 things I implemented as well as drinking the tea.
What gets you up out of bed in the morning, what’s your inspiration?
For me it’s my business and getting it to that next level. It’s great to have a focus and a vision and it’s a business that is helping women get back on track. That makes me feel inspired!
Favourite spots in Sydney’s Inner West?
I live in Pyrmont and we have the James Watkins Reserve that overlooks the harbour and the wharf. If you get there at 6:30am you see the sunrise with the sky with pinks and oranges. There’s also a rock carved into a seat that you can sit and enjoy. I do my mediations there. Also now that the boats are over at Rozelle they go past which is nice to watch.
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