Here are some of my Frequently Asked Questions!
What is your Food Philosophy?
I thrive, glow and radiate happiness and well-being when I am looking after myself through my diet and lifestyle. I eat a diet made up of organic fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds and healthy fats and very minimal processed foods. Eating well directly influences my mood, emotions and well-being and I believe that it is the same way for everyone else. I therefore base my cooking around the food that I know is beneficial for my mental health, and I have a huge enthusiasm for sharing this with all of you.
I have a deep rooted respect for our planet and feel that we have a responsibility to care for our home, so I try to live as cruelty free as possible. Most of the recipes on this blog are vegan, and always vegetarian. Whilst some of my recipes contain exotic fruits, vegetables, seeds and powders that will have been flown in from outside the UK, I always advocate buying local fruit and vegetables and keeping track of seasonal produce.
I’m dubious about the link between diet and mental health?
That’s OK! A lot of people are. You may not have consciously made the link between diet and depression or anxiety. I would like you to sit and take a moment to go through some things – what have you been taught about diet and physical illness? What foods would you eat if you wanted to build muscle? What would you eat if you had a cold? What would you eat or drink if you feel exhausted?
If you have suffered with, or are currently suffering with depression or anxiety, think about what your body craves and experiences during this difficult time. Headaches? Weakness? Exhaustion? A craving for sweet foods, or filling carbohydrates? Or barely any appetite at all? When our body is telling us it wants these things, what could it truely be craving – a huge slab of chocolate, or what you find in the chocolate: magnesium, the natural muscle-tension relaxer, and tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin?
I have written an entire page full of information about this HERE (it’s practically a thesis!)
Are you a vegan?
Yes and no. As a consumer, I do not purchase animal products. However, if a loved one was to cook me a meal with vegetarian animal products in that they have already bought, or if I were made a cup of coffee with cows milk, I would not turn it down. As with any lifestyle, I believe that it is extremely important to educate yourself on your options, make decisions based upon what will harm others the least and what will work best for you. I support whatever choice you make, whether that is using a label to describe yourself or not!
How do you make the time to cook?
I prioritize it. I know that my diet directly influences my mental health and it is therefore a priority, even though I am hugely busy. I work 40 hours a week, I am in a long distance relationship, I spend hours every week on this blog and I still have time to cook for myself. This is because it’s a top priority – I make time for it. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the thought of making time for this on top of everything else on your plate, check out this article I wrote here, which has some hints, tips and tweaks for prioritising healthy eating and cooking from scratch in a busy lifestyle.
How are you able to afford to eat this well?
Let me put this simply – easily. I have written a post with some hints and tips on how to eat a wholesome, plant based diet for £15-20 a week. Find it here.
What is ‘Tweaks and Hacks’?
The ‘Tweaks and Hacks‘ section is little life hacks, legs up and everyday lifestyle tweaks that really helped me out of my fog. I want to share these with you, as I really believe that when battling with depression or anxiety, it is very important to take one small step at a time. Here is a section of my blog that is dedicated to those small steps.
Are you a trained chef?
No, I am not! Everything that I post here is a result of years of practice, mistakes, whooping and/or facepalms.
How do you know all of this stuff about what is good for me?
All of my knowledge is ingrained from growing up with a herbalist and nicking and poring over my Mum’s books on herbalism, wholefoods, macrobiotics and traditional healing. I could never know enough, and I would experiment with particular herbs, spices or foods that I had read that were beneficial for me and come up with my own natural remedies for my ailments. This could be lavender and dandelion bread, a facial moisturiser, a fermented jar of carrots, a mug of turmeric and ginger milk or a huge bowl of foods full of iron and b vitamins! Working at Lush for 2 and a half years has given me an immense knowledge on the benefits of natural ingredients and aromatherapy for mind, body and soul. It has equipped me with the amount of knowledge that I could look at your skin, or hear about your problems, and know exactly what oil, herb, flower, balm or food you need to heal yourself with. Each of my blog posts takes a long time to write as not only do I write the information from the top of my head, I fact check it from the books or from online. If I look up and use information that I found online, I add the source at the end of each post.
Awesome, I am feeling really inspired and would like to turn ovr a new leaf – what do I need?
Aw yisssss! A mahoosive slap on the back to you, my friend, and have a look at these two pages:
– Here are my most used kitchen tools, which I really recommend that you have when leading a plant based lifestyle
– Here is a printable shopping list of all you need to create plant based staples – I suggest starting with everything BUT the fresh produce, and then checking this seasonal calendar to see what is in season.
So are you trained in wellbeing, nutrition or herbalism?
Whilst I do not have certified qualifications, I have years of self study, practice and experience that keeps on growing. Whilst I will always have a preference for traditional medicine and remedies I have respect and a level head towards both traditional and modern medicine and therapies. I understand that the research into eating for mental health is ongoing, and some of the information and/or facts that you will read here aren’t scientifically proven – yet. However, I fully believe that eating a wholesome, nurturing diet full of fresh, organic, plant based foods directly influences our emotions and well-being and will do you the world of good.