Ever wanted to make a living from healthy food..? Check out my interview along with two other successful Sydney foodies in this month’s Women’s Fitness Magazine. See my extended interview with Women’s Fitness Editor Lucy Cousins.
What does healthy eating mean to you?
Healthy eating means everything to me. Without our health we have nothing! I recently wrote down a brilliant quote from a conference with Superfood guru David Wolfe. He said our aim in life should be to “die young as late as possible”. In other words: by eating a diet that keeps our body in tip top condition we can slow down the aging process and avoid many modern day lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Do you have any daily healthy living rituals?
I don’t know if I have any rituals as such as I am quite and easy going, go with the flow, type person. Obviously I eat my veggies everyday and this includes a stack of raw veggies in salad or green smoothie form. Keeping my fruit bowl and veggie crisper full at all times is probably the closest thing I have to a healthy living ritual.
I keep active and manage stress as best as I can. I use only natural plant derived personal care products and enjoy sunshine on my skin often.
What are your tips for healthy eating?
I believe American Journalist and Author, Michael Pollan, has some of the most common sense tips for healthy eating in his New York Times best selling book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. One of my favourite rules reads: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”. This book is a brilliant and enlightening read and this quote pretty much sums up my philosophy.
I 100% believe in the importance of eating foods (plants) in their whole and raw form. By eating whole food we get it’s entire nutritional value, the way nature intended it. By sourcing the best quality ingredients you illuminate the need to do anything too complicated with your food preparation. Nothing is as satisfying for your body and mind as a luscious piece of in season, organic, ripe fruit or a crisp salad carefully constructed with leaves, avocado, nuts, seeds, herbs and other veggie gems.
Keep it simple and if it comes pre-prepared in a packet… don’t eat it!
And… Your mum was right when she told you to “eat your veggies”.
What is your background?
I was born in Hobart and grew up in a very outdoor orientated, health conscious family. My childhood home had a large vegetable garden, chooks for fresh eggs and was minutes away from stunningly beautiful bush tracks for walks and our family’s yacht for sea adventures. My friend Hana and I switched to a vegetarian diet together when we were about 11 or 12. Both of us have never looked back and Hana is bringing up two adventure loving little boys in Melbourne on a plant-powered diet.
My school holidays were taken up with casual jobs in my Aunt and Cousin’s restaurant as well as others around Hobart. While other kids were hanging with their friends I was elbow deep in veg prep, soaking in all that I could learn by watching the chefs I was working side by side with.
When I was 18 I moved to Brisbane to go to Uni. I studied and have worked in the field of photojournalism for many years. I think of myself as very luck as this type of works has allowed me to have a great deal of amazing experiences including meeting my amazing photographer husband James, working in Sydney and for one of Europe’s biggest sports photography agencies in Dublin.
What is the idea behind your website?
The site is intended as a place of inspiration and education. It is easy to make a beautiful food blog about cakes and chocolate but not so easy to make one just as appealing about eating your veggies! Here lies my challenge and motivation.
How and when did you decide to start it?
While bike riding through the Killarney National Park, in Ireland, on my 30th birthday I was overwhelmed by a need for knowledge about better nutrition for myself. Shortly after I enrolled in my first nutrition course in Dublin and in April 2011 I started the Veggies & Me blog and have been dedicated to ‘the cause’ ever since.
What is a lesson you have learned throughout the process?
I have learned that keeping a positive attitude and inspiring people with your own success is the best way to capture your audience. Nobody wants to hear about the long list of foods that are bad for you… but they will listen if you show them all the great healthy alternatives easily available.
Do you have any advice to people who’d like to follow in your footsteps?
Just do it… starting the blog is the best decision I have ever made. It keeps me inspired, motivated, seeking further education, trying new foods and products and meeting amazing people. Sign up to WordPress, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc and experience the satisfaction of pressing the “publish” button for yourself.
Anything exciting on the horizon?
I am currently compiling content for the first Veggies & Me book which will be available soon as an ebook download through the blog.
Aside from that the future is looking bright and on the horizon for Veggies & Me readers will be more inspiring interviews, simple and delicious recipes as well as tips for keeping your dishes filled with veggies while traveling and eating out.