I’m far from being an authority on the subject of eating healthy in your twenties as even at 25 I’m absolutely hopeless in the kitchen and admittedly have only an elementary level of comprehension when it comes to the cause and effect relationship between food and flub. It’s a simple relationship, I know, and maybe I’m just choosing to ignore it, but I’m still very interested in the general area nonetheless.
How come? Mainly because what seems to be my personal Everest – to learn about, prepare and eat healthy food – appears to bring a lot of happiness to those who can and do. So why wouldn’t I want my own slice of that sweet, sweet health pie? That’s not pie pie, though, cause, you know…
To get a better understanding of what it means to really be healthy in my twenties I sat down with my nutritionist/blogger/spritely zen health orb of a friend, Kate Levins from Brunchfast Club.
Before I relay what I learnt from Kate, I should tell you why I asked to chat with her in the first place. For years now I’ve followed her on Instagram and seen all kinds of healthy food that she’s made, created and experimented with populate my digital feed. Now that she’s finally started her own blog (after much encouragement and nagging from her followers), I couldn’t wait to check in with her again and see what she was creating.
Her new website, Brunchfast Club, which actually started in 2012 as a joint passion project between Kate and her friend Tash, is full of simple recipes, advice and insights from Kate’s own learnings. Check it out for further information on some of the delicious and healthy treats featured in this post.
From the moment I stepped into Kate’s workspace I knew that this was what a kitchen was supposed to feel like. There was fresh produce strewn about the place, food mixers filled with bright but natural looking colours, leaves, stalks and stems still attached to vegetables and a noticeable and enveloping sense of complete calm.
“I was the type of person who would fall asleep at 7 o’clock at night after having had ten hours of sleep,” Kate said as she whisked about the place, adding ingredients into pots and sprinkling this and that over what seemed like rather complex organic concoctions. She was talking about the point in her life when she decided to turn everything around. She had finished her degree in media and English and much to the disapproval of her parents and friends, chose to take her nutrition seriously and enrol at the Nature Care College.
Since adapting her life from initially not consuming any dairy to becoming a fully fledged vegan, Kate has felt the positive changes that come with a healthy diet first hand. She explained that she has more energy now, can focus for longer and doesn’t spend time watching TV. Instead she reads up on interesting non-fiction books and dedicates time to developing new recipes to share on her blog.
“I pretty much just want to be my tutor,” she said, reflecting back on the past year that she’s spent studying. “The most important thing for me is teaching other people how they can do this for themselves. It’s all well and good to say ‘hey, I made this great thing, but what does that really mean?’”
She surmised, “the most important thing anyone can do on their mission to better health is to fix their diet.”
DON’T PRESSURE YOURSELF
I spent the afternoon with Kate and Cam (Cam took all of these awesome photos) learning about some of the fundamental benefits of eating raw and organic produce, like its ability to fight free radicals, benefit your sleeping patterns and reduce your levels of stress.
But the most profound thing that Kate advised me to do was not to put pressure on myself and not to feel guilty about missing the gym, eating a burger or enjoying chocolate.
“Eating food is really fun and really delicious, but you need to listen to your body. I’m really against people who reward and restrict themselves. As soon as you let go of that idea you will reap the benefits.”
That surprised me, because I didn’t think that I was holding on to any particular idea when it came to food. But maybe I was, and still am. I had to think about if I did or didn’t make myself feel guilty when I didn’t need to when it came to eating food. Do you? I don’t know. I’m still thinking about it…
Whatever the case, I understood that changing the way that you eat starts not with feeling poorly about your past decisions or ashamed of all of those chocolate bars. It starts with a positive outlook and perspective.
THREE THINGS TO REMEMBER
After a few hours talking about nutrition I was admittedly approaching the point of overload. As a complete novice I asked Kate for three simple pieces of advice to help me and my readers on our respective journeys. She said:
- Eat seasonally – you can do this by shopping at farmers’ markets
- Eat well – meaning that you should consume nutritious, filling and delicious food
- Base your diet around whole foods – create the foundation of your diet with food that hasn’t been overly processed.
It seems easier said than done, but every bit of good that you do for your health now will benefit you tenfold in the future. I know that sounds painfully cliche, but that’s what Brunchfast Club is for – helping people take those first few steps towards a healthier diet. Start with tomorrow’s breakfast.
Here’s what Kate prepared for us on the day:
- Herbal Tea – star anise, lemon balm flower, goji berry and liquorice.
- Her favourite smoothie – Lemon, silver beet, beet root, blueberries, raspberries, turmeric, ginger, bee pollen, banana and herbal tea (containing burdock and calendula).
- Berry cheesecake with a cacao base – cacao, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, coconut oil and dates topped with coconut, cashew, maple syrup, blueberries and raspberries.
- Seed crackers – buckwheat, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flack seeds, chia seeds, za’atar, garlic and salt.
- Roasted carrot dip – carrot, pomegranate, molasses, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini.
- Healthy chocolate crackles – puffed quinoa, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, goji berries, inca berries, cacao, tahini, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.