You mightn’t believe it, but years ago I was addicted to processed fast foods and drank two litres of diet coke a day! As you can imagine, it didn’t do me any favours — I was plagued by constant cravings, low moods and major health issues. But as life ran its course, something inside me awakened and I began to yearn for a different experience. I wanted to feel nourished and fulfilled instead of depleted and unsatisfied. As winds of change moved through, the world I knew was turned upside-down. Empty calories that had filled my pantry were replaced by fresh organic produce and wholesome provisions. New possibilities began to emerge and my love affair with wholefoods began…
I set out to learn everything I could about real food and optimal wellness:
– Through studying Nutrition at the Australian College of Natural Medicine I discovered the connection between food and vitality.
– By expanding my food knowledge I learned how to fulfill personal dietary needs and provide the body with optimal fuel.
– My culinary skills developed from working with ‘Australian Personal Chef’ (providing meals to busy families); assisting macrobiotic cooking classes with chef Tony Chiodo; cooking vibrant organic food at ‘Earth Canteen’ St. Kilda; and working in my own kitchen to develop an intuitive cooking style and strong connection with natural, quality, seasonal ingredients.
In 2003, I started Nourish For Life as the principal wholefood chef. The aim was – and continues to be – to reinvent health food and prove that pleasure and nourishment go hand in hand. By making nutritous food appealing on several levels: visually, sensually, physically and soulfully, my approach has introduced wholesome alternatives to a wider audience and empowered many to embrace a new approach to cooking – one that satisfies individual tastes and dietary needs (such as food intolerances) without compromising flavour or enjoyment.
My unique approach to food has been influenced by many other enriching experiences:
– Connecting children to the origin of their meals through work with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program and the Bangalow Cooking Sschool, I learned that early exposure to cooking directly impacts one’s relationship with food and developmement of basic life skils. I also savoured the delight kids experience through new food discoveries.
– Catering for retreat groups in Byron Bay, I saw how positively shocked people are by experiencing ‘healthy’ food that’s vibrant, luscious and satisfying. Old stigmas were dropped and food boundaries broken as our guests discovered new flavours and textures. I relished in their desire to learn more and gladly shared information to enhance their daily eating habits. These beautiful encounters propelled me to write ‘Nourish’ – a comprehensive wholefood bible /cookbook.
– Building strong relationships with local farmers, fish-mongers, butchers and organic grocers in Byron, I felt the love and passion they infuse in their work and admired their dedication to providing qualtiy produce for the community.
During three years in Byron Bay. I created many fruitful projects to support the locals and spread the word about vital wholefoods:
I created recipes for Munch Crunch Organics (MCO- a local farm that provides exceptional produce throughout Byron Shire) to share with market customers – giving new ideas for using their fresh produce. In partnership we also organised a ‘Summer Harvest Feast’ where locals visited the farm and enjoyed a gourmet vegetarian spread made with MCO produce.
My vision of teaching group cooking classes came to life: At a scenic retreat venue I taught a series of intimate, hands-on classes that were fun and informative for everyone involved.
I also provided personal chef support for families and people on detoxification programs; began food writing for websites (glutenfreepages.com.au; holisticasia.com) and magazines (‘Options’; ‘Australian Natural Health’); and made my way around the East coast to promote ‘Nourish’ (food tastings and demos).
In February 2010 I was drawn to a move back to Melbourne and my dear husband. Where this adventure leads is yet to be seen, but I have no doubt it will involve many beautiful experiences and copious amounts of delicious, wholesome food! I look forward to supporting and inspiring a new community through this important work and helping others experience their fullest potential.