A wise woman told me the other week ‘that to become the most beautiful and empowered version of ourselves, we need to first and foremost nourish ourselves with life-giving food (food that keeps us vibrant, energetic and provides us with mental clarity to do the things we need to do), with a focus on healthy living and well-being.’ This inspiring woman was Kemi Nekvapil of Kemi’s Raw Kitchen and Raw Beauty Queen, who spoke at the Big Hearted Business Conference I attended in Melbourne.
Kemi’s words really resonated with me, as I too have a passion for healthy living and well-being. It has been quite the food-journey for me in my adult years… A predominantly Vegetarian diet (with some fish), Lactose-Intolerance, then finding out I had Coeliac Disease so a Gluten-free existence too, then experiencing Gestational-Diabetes during my second pregnancy in 2011 led me to abstain from sugar which then became a fructose-free diet too (see Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” and also David Gillespie’s “Sweet Poison“). I’ve had help along the way from my gorgeous Ayurveda naturopath, Vicki at Ayurasa, and I’ve done a lot of my own research along the way.
I often get asked, “So, what CAN you eat?!” It’s simple really. I stick with mainly vegetables (and some fruit), wholefoods including rice, quinoa, lentils and other legumes (chickpeas, mung beans, kidney beans etc), nuts, eggs, some fish and cheese. I drink water, herbal teas (especially Rooibos!), organic decaffeinated coffee, sparkling mineral water with lemon, and occasionally alcohol. It is about going back to basics, staying away from nasty additives and minimising processed foods (I’d love to avoid them altogether, but who has the time to ALWAYS make their own gluten-free bread/crackers/pasta etc?!) And yes I LOVE food, so I’m always looking for new and interesting recipes… thanks to the amazing resource that is the internet there are plenty to choose from! I’ve also learnt how to adapt recipes from my cookbook collection. Some of my current online faves are Lee Holme’s Supercharged Foods , Leanne Vogel’s Healthful Pursuit and also Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Cookbook who all share similar philosophies on health and well-being… AND they also have great CAKE recipes! Yes its true, there are MANY recipes out there for ‘sweet treats’ that are still gluten-free and sugar-free, and super delicious! Since kicking the sugar-habit, I no longer crave sugar like I used to, so sweets are a much rarer occurrence now, but its nice to know that there are still options out there in times of need!
I’ve recently started getting an Organic Fruit & Vegetable Box delivered here to Ballarat from Captains Creek Organics which is reasonably local, just near Daylesford. They also deliver to Melbourne if you’re interested in checking them out. The large box is AMAZING value, at $30, and it is packed full of delicious organic seasonal produce. They can do this price because they cut out the middle-man, and deliver direct. You can’t even buy the same amount of conventional produce at a big chain supermarket for the same price, and this is ORGANIC and picked fresh from the farm the day its delivered! One day I’d love our vegie patch to provide us with most of our meal’s ingredients, but until then, these boxes are awesome!
So, I hope I’m already well on my way to becoming the “most beautiful and empowered version” of myself thank to this first step, which is nourishing myself with good energy through good food choices. Kemi reminds us to ask ‘Will I feel good after I eat that?’ and you know what, these days my answer is a big YES! If I ever slip-up, or make a bad choice, then I sure do pay for it, so I’ve learnt that its just not worth it.
For me to live a sustainable healthy life, it starts with sustainable healthy food choices, after all, we are what we eat!