What's your food philosophy?
My food mantra is green, clean, mostly plants, some organic chicken, the very occasional grass-fed meat, clean, sustainably sourced seafood, lots of lactofermented veggies and always low GI and low HI, low human intervention.
What do you prioritize most when it comes to nutrition?
One of the most important things is getting antioxidants. Antioxidants mop up damaging free radicals. Some free radicals arise normally during metabolism. Sometimes the body’s immune system’s cells purposefully create them to neutralize viruses and bacteria. However, environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides can also spawn free radicals.
Often, the body can handle free radicals through a healthy diet and through our body’s own production of antioxidants, but if antioxidants are unavailable because free radical production becomes excessive, then they can become more damaging, and they are one of the main culprits when it comes to premature aging of the skin and body. As we age our bodies' production of antioxidants declines.
Free radicals are exacerbated by poor diet, UV, pollution, stress, cigarette smoke and medications and they cause oxidative stress and inflammation which can lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin the body. Antioxidants found in the foods we consume can help mop up these troublesome molecules. This is why it’s important to get a broad range of antioxidants from a variety of different foods such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables, tea, grasses, algae, cocoa, mushrooms, legumes, nuts and seeds as different antioxidants protect against different types of free radicals. Studies show antioxidants can help protect the skin against inflammation. So a daily intake of these color coded foods helps maintain our antioxidant defense system as well as skin health and beauty.
I also believe in a synergistic blending of foods to optimize antioxidant protection. For example, tomatoes are rich in carotenoids which are oil soluble antioxidants, so when you eat it with good oils like avocado for example, the availability of those antioxidants are more readily available.
Do you have any food or supplements you incorporate daily?
Every day, I boost my intake of antioxidants with The Beauty Chef’s Antioxidant Inner Beauty Boost. This probiotic concentrate is rich in biofermented papaya, biofermented pomegranate, green tea and vitamin E to help combat free radical damage and boost gut health with natural digestive enzymes and probiotics.
What is in your fridge?
In my fridge is The Beauty Chef’s Inner Beauty Powders and Boosts, sheep’s yogurt, activated cashew cheese, tempeh, wild caught whiting fillets, activated buckwheat and herb lavash, cultured butter, tamari almonds, fruit, pesto, veggies, eggs, coconut yogurt, fermented veggies, coconut milk, bircher muesli, chicken soup and bliss balls and raw bars that I make using GLOW, CLEANSE and BODY Inner Beauty Powders.
I’ve also got carrots, kale, grapes, spinach, red and green cabbage, blueberries, olives, miso, some leftover cauliflower rice with fish curry, some salmon rillettes I made and some almond meal for baking. I also have a little bit of the basics left that I cook and prepare every week on Sunday for lunches for the week ahead, including herb pesto, roasted tomatoes, homemade sheep’s cheese, homemade aioli, nut butter, poached chicken and cooked quinoa. These basics make it really easy to throw snacks and lunches together!
What's always on your weekly shopping list?
On my weekly shopping list is always lots of greens, veggies, seasonal fruits (loving figs at the moment), fruits to stew, green olives, yogurt, Meredith Valley goats cheese (love this stuff), wild Alaskan pink salmon, quinoa, tempeh, chia seeds, coconut milk, maple syrup, organic nuts like almonds and brazil nuts, garlic, lemons, onions, spring onions, fresh turmeric, Roma tomatoes, English spinach, avocados, dark chocolate, miso, seaweed, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves for curry. Lots of herbs! I grow my own but always buy more as I eat lots of them in curries, smoothies, etc. Love my herbs and spices! I shop mostly organic, but there is often conventional thrown in when I run down to the shops to get last minute bits and pieces.
Do you have a favorite treat?
My favorite treat is Green and Black's organic dark chocolate or Pana raw organic homemade chocolate. I also love making warm egg custard using cashew milk or coconut milk and stewed fruit with a coconut flour based lemon cake. For breakfast I love poached eggs with mushrooms and tomatoes and spinach, but also a warm porridge I make with quinoa, brown rice, miso, apples, nut milk and maple syrup. Yum! Or I do love a congee for a savory, porridge-y experience!