Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the internet. I’m a self-care junkie, wellness entrepreneur, body positive fashion model, and lover of sharing the real human life stuff with my community.
I’m a Whole30 mega fan (and coach), recovered bulimic and food addict, and full of passion when it comes to helping others find peace, freedom, and self love. I believe in over the top self care, meditation, manifestation, vulnerability, realness in food/thoughts/relationships/social media/business, empowering women, and trading things for experiences.
I just wrapped up an 8-month tour around the US for my Brunch Series events. Along with my Chef Bill Haley, we hosted 66 events for close to 2500 women all centered around self-care, wellness, and creating the life of your dreams. Currently, I’m settled into a little home in Costa Mesa, CA where I’m building/leading exciting personal growth experiences and spending time with my incredible team over at Model Meals as we set ourselves up for expansion.
Danika found her own natural healing by adopting a wellness-minded approach to life and personal growth. A recovered bulimic, binge eater, and Food/sugar addict, Danika turned her worst enemy (food) into her most powerful medicine. Fed up with the effects that prescription pills, drug/alcohol abuse, and processed foods were having on herself and the people she loved,
She was committed to finding a better solution to being her absolute best.
In 2014, While living in NYC and working as a plus-size model, Danika embarked on the Whole30 challenge during her first month as a resident in the big apple, and her life was forever transformed. She emerged from the challenge 15 pounds lighter, off her ADHD meds, with glowing skin, and with more mental clarity and energy than she’d ever felt in her life. She thought, if she could change her experience of life this much in just 30 days, what else could she do?
She embarked on a year of monthly challenges. Adding something new each month and keeping the new habits from the months before. From journaling, to fitness, to meditation, she saw her life completely transform in front of her eyes.
Danika continued to fight her lifetime pattern of binge eating, and after an 8000-calorie binge on “good” foods like apples, eggs, almond butter, and the like, she had an epiphany. It wasn’t about the food. The food was just the band-aid. Her preferred way of numbing the things she didn’t want to feel.
But the food was still quite important. Because when she ate foods that caused inflammation in her body (hint: dairy, sugar, grains, processed or artificial foods) she found her brain fogged and attention span depleted. Without the right fuel in her physical body, she had no way of creating the awareness around the deeper internal issues. And they needed attention.
Danika became committed to her self-care. She knew that if she could take care of herself physically (clean eating, healthy movement, meditation, sleep), then she would have the energy and clarity she needed to really tackle a lifetime of food and body issues. Armed with her new 100% natural superpowers, she became committed to doing the inner work.
But after a few months of this new lifestyle and self-care routine, she ran into a problem. She’d lost significant weight and nearly all of her plus-size modeling jobs. She was stuck in the middle where there wasn’t much work for her. She was months late on her rent and quickly accumulating debt. She had to think quickly.
Doing something she was passionate about was a non-negotiable for her. She knew that the secret to an additional stream of income had to be hidden in what she was already doing when her hours were her own, and so she did a daily inventory. every 15 minutes, she wrote down how she spent her time. She was cooking, sharing recipes, hosting healthy dinner parties, answering emails from others who wanted to transform the way they ate. And so she had an idea.
In her tiny 5ft by 3ft West Village apartment kitchen,with zero culinary training, business school, or even a dishwasher, she began cooking the same healthy meals she’d been feeding herself, and delivering them by foot and subway to friends around NYC. She called it Model Meals, playing on the fact that it had completely transformed the way she looked, but more importantly, because she wanted to serve as a role MODEL for others to live their own best lives. The “model” referred to the recipes she shared and the YouTube videos she created to educate others on how to create this life for themselves.
Though she was loving following her dreams, money was super tight, and she got herself into nearly six figures of debt. She While juggling model meals, she got a job at a juice shop and would rent her apartment on AirBNB to make any extra money she could. The stress of her financial situation really started taking its toll and she found her self binging on food to soothe. Danika began attending meetings with others who struggled with food addiction. Food was a challenge because it wasn’t just something she could quit. She had to eat. She learned in this program that she could just take her recovery one day at a time. When lumped together, a series of happy days would eventually create a happy life.
That was it. A great life is just a series of great days which is just a series of great hours and moments. Creating a great day for herself was MUCH more manageable than the overwhelming concept of creating a great life. And so she created a tool to help her create great days.
She started monitoring her daily habits and behaviors on something she coined her “Daily Self-Care Checklist”. "Avoided sugar. Check. Meditated. Check. Kept her environment clean. Check. Learned something new. Check. Sober from all alcohol, drugs, pills. Check." She started writing three things she was grateful for. Three affirmations. A daily biography of herself in her dream life. A journal entry from her future to get herself feeling how that life would feel. Knowing that our thoughts shape our reality, she used this checklist as a way to get them down on paper. And slowly, she watched her life transform.
As her year long stint in NYC came to a close, Danika made the decision to shut down Model Meals on the east coast and move back to her hometown of Newport Beach, CA and into her parents’ garage. She knew that living there would allow her to pay off her debt and build Model Meals in the right way. In August of 2015, Danika teamed up with two business partners to launch Model Meals in California. They now serve thousands of healthy pre-made organic meals to California and Arizona, and are quickly expanding.
During her time living in her parent's garage (two years!) she used her self-care checklist daily to manage her binge eating and to stay accountable to the habits and thinking that she knew served her. Danika signed with her new modeling agency, IMG Models, in 2015, and with their support has rebuilt her modeling career in a way that she can work at whatever size she feels healthiest. You can see Danika modeling for clients like Benefit Cosmetics, Bare minerals, Old Navy, target, and more. A naturally curvy woman, Danika feels grateful to serve as a body positive advocate and to be the type of model she so desperately needed to see while she was growing up.. She paid off all her debt, found authentic food freedom, moved into her own home, met the love of her life, and began sharing her tools with the world.
Danika and her partner, Chef Bill Haley, began hosting self-care and empowerment events at their home in Southern California in January of 2018 and in April decided to take the show on the road. They moved out of their home and sold most of their belongings for a more minimalist and nomadic lifestyle. Along with their 200lb English Mastiff, Kingsley, They are currently on tour for nearly 8 months traveling the United States, living in an rv (covered with signatures and affirmations from all of the women who have attended their events) for their The Brunch Series Tour. The tour stops in over 40 cities with over 55 events and provides an experience for women to get together with other like-minded individuals in their community to discuss everything from self care and self worth, to manifesting their dreams, finding body positivity, mindful relationships, and so much more. The tour wrapped up in November 2018.
You can find Danika on YouTube (or on the videos tab here) discussing topics like My Trader Joe’s Shopping List, 5 Ways I Practice Self-Care Daily, and Navigating the Dating Scene when You’re on a Libation Vacation. Danika is a “Tastemaker” for Tastemade, a Two-time contestant on The Food Network’s Chopped, and regularly shares daily tips and tricks for a more healthy and mindful life on her instagram account @danikabrysha
Danika’s ultimate goal in life is to help others achieve their highest level of happiness. To help them find what their unique contribution is to this world, and to start living it. She has a deep passion for those who struggle with food and body issues and hopes that sharing her story can give relief to others who may feel defeated or alone.
The Model meals story
Check out our menu and delivery radius on www.modelmeals.com
Once or twice per year I offer a Whole30 group (usually January and September). Doing a Whole30 Challenge with a group can mean the difference in success or falling off the wagon. I always weave my passion for self care and community in to my groups as well, and pride myself on creating a safe space for all, whether you finish your Whole30 or not. Sign up for my email newsletter to be notified when the next Whole30 group will take place and receive my FREE Whole30 Starter Kit. In the starter kit, you’ll receive:
My 10 Tips for a Successful Whole30
My Favorite Whole30 Recipes
My Whole30 Shopping List
A Guide to Traveling While On Your Whole30
How To Deal with Friends, Family, Dating, Social Situations, and Life Stuff During Your Whole30
Danika is a curve model represented by IMG Models Worldwide. You can see her modeling for brands like Old Navy, Bare Minerals, Target, NYDJ, Lucky Brand, Forever 21, Benefit Cosmetics, Kohl’s, Spanx, White House Black Market, Talbots, and More!