I grew up in a family where food was valued as the foundation of every celebration, and the majority of our meals were prepared with love from scratch. Our lunchboxes were filled with home baked treasures, as we could not afford fancy packaged food. I rarely remember meals being prepared from a packet, and eating out was an occasional treat. This passion and joy for homemaking and cooking that I observed from the women in my family, is one of my most favoured memories, and one of the biggest influences on who I am today.
With this whole food foundation growing up, I was a very active and healthy child- from dancing to netball to Sports Captain; I wanted to be part of it all! At the end of one school year I was even awarded a certificate for not missing a single day of school, such was my vigor and enthusiasm for learning, sports and socialising.
Being the independent, social butterfly I was, I flew the coop earlier than most. I found myself prematurely in the real world, with little direction and working hard to pay the bills in a very unsatisfying job, and relationships that ate away at my self worth. I didn’t notice it at first- my slow decent into despair. But then a series of illnesses unfolded including glandular fever, frequent excruciating abdominal cramps, and inflamed glands that eventuated in my tonsils being removed. I hit rock bottom with my final straw, an unbearable bout of chronic fatigue. My body ached all over, and I struggled to stand for more than a few minutes at a time. I was stressed, depressed, exhausted, and had lost all enthusiasm, and this was a stark contrast to the vitality and joy for life I was used to experiencing.
The more I sort the help of conventional medicine, the sicker I got. There were no answers for me in the doctor’s office, only more pills that caused even more side effects, and my lifestyle choices that led to my sickly state were never addressed. I was so tired of being sick and tired! I thought, surely I’m entitled to a life better than this?
Never one to sit back and be a victim to my circumstances, my instincts kicked in and I began commencing my own research. The day I took responsibility for my health was the day I started to get my life back, and what began to unfold was a colossal realisation that the wrong foods and lifestyle choices were fueling my illnesses, and therefore the right foods and lifestyle would be the only ‘medicine’ that could heal me.
I am deeply grateful for this journey of discovery, as it has taught me one of life’s greatest lessons—food and emotions are fundamentally connected to who we become and what we achieve in life, and WE are responsible for what we choose to do and eat, and how this affects our body.
I am now living an energised, grateful, fulfilled and passionate life, which is a far cry from the lethargic, depressed, and unmotivated state I was in back then. I know every choice I make today is leading me down either a sick and depressed path, or a happy, thriving and healthy one, and I feel driven to instil these values into my children so they can have a bright future too.
I also learnt that along with food, living with passion is fundamentally connected to our well-being. We all deserve more than to settle for a job, relationship and life we hate. I used to live my whole weekend worrying about Monday, and that’s not really living at all!
Thankfully this experience lead me to my passion and work in the health & Fitness Industry, where my hunger for more knowledge and more qualifications is never satiated! The more I research the diseases of modern society, the more I am thoroughly convinced it’s the lack of movement combined with the abundance of chemical additives and man manipulate fats, grains and sugars in our diet that are responsible for so much preventable disease. In addition we have become a generation of slaves to the sickness industry. We are taught to rely on pharmaceutical drugs to ‘cure’ us, rather than acting responsibly by eliminating the food and lifestyle choices WE made, which led to our sickness in the first place.
My mission is to share this wisdom- that the food, attitude and thoughts we nourish our bodies with, are the greatest preventatives and healers of all. Disease does not happen by chance, it is created by the choices we make every day. Our food, environment, attitude and emotions have the most significant impact on our health, and our greatest hope is that we have the power to recognise this and make changes. Once I experienced this for myself and realised how good I was born to feel each and every day, there was absolutely no turning back!
Lets be real- there have been many bumps and detours in my journey to health, and that’s life. My addiction to sugar is a daily struggle, but I do my very best in each present moment. My barometer of how good I feel is always a great motivator to stay on track.
When I was blessed with my first beautiful baby girl, nothing prepared me for this new lifestyle, and having recently moved across Australia, I was without any family support. I found myself slipping back into old habits, and I had a brush with postnatal depression. I had to learn how to nourish my mind and body on an even deeper level to overcome this, and once again I consciously redesigned my life to find the peace and happiness I needed. In life there will always be new seasons, and need for little adjustments, because being healthy is a journey, not a destination.
Consequently I also found my passion for inspiring women, in particular mothers, to live their most empowered life too. As a mother it can feel like you’re filling up everyone else’s tank before your own, while we run on empty. But I know I have to be conscious of taking time for myself each day to do the things that nurture the best version of me- when I give to myself first, I have so much more to give to my family! It’s not always easy, but my partner and I work together to fit time for ourselves into our busy schedules- and date nights for our relationship too! For me living empowered is about balancing the 5 F’s- family, fitness, food, friends and fun! When it comes to fun I make an effort to get outside of my comfort zone as often as possible by doing something new and adventurous. In the past few years I have learnt how to headstand, handstand, skateboard, paddleboard and so much more! It’s great for confidence building, and helps me feel young at heart too.
Another important part of my life is my girlfriends- we make a conscious effort to connect on a fortnightly basis. Our hubbies take charge of the kids, and we take turns organizing a mid week catch up. Sometimes we plan something outrageous like yoga on paddleboards, but often it’s just a movie or a very long chat over chocolate and coffee! Having this strong support group has contributed so much to who I am today. Finally, it’s absolutely essential for me to move daily in ways that I find enjoyable- life is too short to hate every second at the gym! I personally love a combination of solo barefoot runs and walks on the beach, yoga, occasional strength training, pilates, skateboarding and stand-up paddle boarding.
I’m continually surprised at where this journey is taking me! Last year I started my website to share clean eating recipes with my clients, and I wrote my first recipe book ‘Wholesome Kids’, to help parents build healthy food cultures in their homes. Then came the very unexpected Master Chef ride. It’s so exciting all the opportunities the universe has to offer, if only we have the courage to ask. One year ago I was too shy to hold a dinner party for my dear friends, and suddenly I find myself on master chef, my food being judged by the entire nation! Facing my fears and getting out of my own way- way outside my comfort zone- has helped me grow in all the ways I needed to overcome my shyness and fear of failure. Now I can step up to a bigger platform with my passion, and expand my dreams beyond what I thought possible. This has brought me here, in my dream job, writing, creating and sharing the vision of clean eating with you now!
Finally, my philosophy for living the best life ever in one sentence- Eat clean, drink lots of filtered water, start each day with gratitude, use your innate gifts, surround yourself with positive relationships and like -minded people, move daily, mediate, chase adventure, drink green smoothies, accept responsibility for where you are, set goals outside your comfort zone and love yourself first. You deserve it!
“If diet is wrong medicine is of no use. If
diet is correct medicine is of no need”
~Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb
“Everything you eat contributes to you being happy, or fit, or lethargic, or full of energy, or susceptible to colds and flu, or being able to think better and hold your concentration. Your hair, your fingernails, your height, your skin- everything you are is made form the food you eat” Jamie Oliver
“If you do not take care of your body,
where are you going to live?”