1) Why did you start Renee Naturally?
I started the blog back when I was still studying to become a Naturopath, as I wanted to share all of the fascinating information that I was learning with other like-minded people. The community has grown rapidly in the last couple of years, and the blog now includes more than just health articles. A team of specialists now also explore other “green” categories such as Eco-fashion, travel, parenting, and healthy recipes too. I’m really lucky to have other health and green living experts on board in the form of a doctor, scientist, yoga instructor, chiropractor, environmental journalist, parenting specialist and green fashion and beauty editor. This has allowed us to take a balanced, modern, fun, and integrated approach to presenting health and sustainable living information.
2) What sparked your interest in health?
When I was 11, I became very ill with chemical poisoning and Glandular Fever, and after 2 years I was almost entirely bed-ridden. I was diagnosed with the debilitating illness ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’ (ME) which unfortunately has no known cure. I was sick for the most part of 7 years, in which time my family and I really started exploring natural health alternatives in our search to get me better. I found the principles and practices of naturopathy extremely beneficial and by the age of 19, with the help of alternative medicine, I had rebuilt my health. However, it wasn’t for another year or so that I realized that I wanted to be a Naturopath, so that I could help others struggling with their health. I absolutely love the industry and find blogging a fantastic way for me to be able to spread (free) information to others on their own health journey!
3) What does your diet consist of?
A lot! I get great pleasure out of creating (and eating) food, and love experimenting with loads of different ingredients. Staples for me are loads of fresh fruits and veges, soaked nuts and seeds, coconut oil, almond meal (the best for baking!), and a variety of spices and herbs for flavoring. I avoid gluten where possible, but don’t adhere to any strict diet of food philosophy. I believe in eating whole-foods as close to their natural state as possible, eating seasonally, and enjoying an indulging treat every now and then too.
4) Aside from your diet, how do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
I love yoga and have been practicing for 10 years. It keeps me feeling strong and balanced both mentally and physically and I plan to be doing it for the rest of my life! I also make sure that I get at least 20 minutes of sunshine (or at least fresh air) every day, drink green juices, have acupuncture and take time out to enjoy ‘just being’ with friends and family.
Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
1 cup of hazelnuts
1 cup of dates (I prefer Medjool)
½ cup of boiling water
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
½ teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of grape seed oil (probably add 2 next time)
Extra stevia or agave are optional for sweet-tooths, although it is sweet enough as it is.
1. Pit dates (if not pre-done) and then in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
2. Heat oven to 180˚. Place hazelnuts on baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
3. Grab small handfuls of nuts and rub between your hands to remove the skins of the nuts. Don’t worry if there are still specks of brown.
4. Place nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the dates and remaining water
5. Add vanilla, salt and oil. Whizz until smooth.
6. Add extra oil or agave syrup to get a smoother/sweeter consistency if desired.
6) What is the number one thing you would recommend to a person who wants to improve their health?
Make sure that you don’t just assess and change physical things in your life like diet and exercise. In a bid to make sustainable changes and see and feel results, we have to look at our thought processes too and be open to changing the way we think or perceive ourselves. Toxic and detrimental thoughts don’t help us to reach our health goals and can occur very sub-consciously, making them hard to spot!
Do you have any questions for Renee? I’d love to know what ideas from this interview you’re going to implement to improve your life and health, please leave a comment below and let us know. And if you found this post valuable please share with you’re friend :)