What is your business?
I have two businesses. I work as a freelance medical & health writer (I have a background in pharmacy and medical science) and my second business, I’m still developing it. It’s based on my passion for real food and holistic living. This business will tie in with my blog, The Mindful Foodie, where I’ll be offering health coaching and whole food cooking programs in the future. I’m studying to be a holistic health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. On The Mindful Foodie blog right now, you’ll find my whole food recipes, and tips for healthy and mindful living.
Why did you decide to start your business?
I started my freelance writing business because I wanted more flexibility than what a 9–5 job could offer. As for The Mindful Foodie, that is where my true passion lies – nutrition, health and simple cooking using real foods. I also have an interest in where our food comes from, as our food choices not only impact our health, but also the planet.
What does your diet consist of?
Real foods! I try not to label my diet. If you were to call it something it would be a flexitarian diet. At home, I mainly eat organic, local and seasonal plant-based foods, and occasionally have some organic chicken and fish. I try to include as much vegetables as possible in my diet and have started to include green juices – not daily because it’s too cold in Melbourne at the moment! I generally tend to avoid wheat and cows dairy (because of an autoimmune condition). But when I’m eating out, I pick the restaurant and will go for vegetarian meals (as I’m really against factory-farmed meat). That way I feel like I have a balanced approach without losing my sanity.
What do you think the biggest misconception is about eating healthy?
In my opinion, there are way too many misconceptions! But lets go with “low fat”. To me, low-fat food means processed foods. They’re usually full of sugars, poor quality fats (like trans fats) and refined carbohydrates. Vegetables are low fat, but you don’t see anyone labelling them that way! May be they should be labelled “low fat”, so people eat more vegetables.
Besides, we shouldn’t be scared of fat. Fat that is natural and unrefined – like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado – is actually really good for us. We need fat for our bodies to make hormones and to absorb nutrients, like fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
What is the number one thing you would recommend to a person who wants
to improve their health?
Reduce the amount of packaged foods and eat (cook) at home more. Cooking doesn’t need to be fancy or time consuming. Things like steaming, baking, stewing and stir-frying are very easy to do and don’t take much effort at all. You can also cook in bulk and have a few meals over the week to save time. And it’s ok if it doesn’t work the first few times – the more you cook the more comfortable you’ll be with it. So don’t be hard on yourself.
Recipe: Kale Omlette
2 organic, free-range eggs
3 leaves of Tuscan kale
1 small potato* cut into small cubes for quick cooking
1 tsp fermented, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (optional)
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
salt & pepper to season
Squeeze of lemon to get absorb iron from greens
*Be creative here as much as you want. You can use leftover cooked sweet potato or pumpkin, or even sauté some fresh corn kernels or mushrooms with the kale.
Boil the potatoes in some salted water, until cooked (about 5–10 minutes). In the meantime, lightly whisk the eggs with the vinegar (if using), and set aside. Next, shred the kale, then heat oil in a fry pan over medium heat and sauté the kale for a couple of minutes. Add the potatoes and sauté for another minute. Now, pour the egg mixture in, gently swirling to coating the base of the pan. It may not cover the vegetables entirely, but that’s ok. Turn down the heat, and scatter the coriander on top. Cook for a minute or so until the omelette has become firm enough on the underside and can be folded over.
After folding, allow to cook in pan for another minute before turning out on a plate. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and enjoy as is, or with a side salad and some real bread for a more substantial meal.