I first met this beautiful woman at her second book launch last year, at the divine whole foods and yoga cafe Egg of the Universe. After following her blog and recipes for some time, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. While I love a pretty food book as much as the next person (okay, perhaps a little more), I was delighted to find a good portion of the book was dedicated to educating readers on all manner of fats, sugars, antioxidants and more, so that not only could we follower her recipes, but understand how to best nourish ourselves away from her insightful pages.
Cookbook author, mum, nutritionista, Bupa Health Blogger of the Year, this gal has some serious accolades. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia in 2006, everything changed everything for UK-born, Sydney-based Lee Holmes. Bravely, she decided to take her medical destiny into her own hands to explore whether a change in diet could restore optimum health. The result was her first book Supercharged Food: eat your way to good health, which has since been follower by three other books, and soon be a fifth (watch this space!).
I recently caught up with Lee to ask some all-important questions.
1. HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY AND SUPERCHARGED FOOD BEGIN?
It all started about five years ago when I was diagnosed with an auto immune condition and had to simplify my diet. That’s when I began using food as medicine as a healing instrument in my life. I became really interested in cooking and began my science experiment with food and went traveling overseas to discover healing herbs and spices. I started by concocting a whole bunch of different recipes using fresh and ingredients and put them up on my blog Supercharged Food. There were a few pre-requisites to the Supercharged Food recipes and that was that they needed to be made with fresh ingredients using real food and also free from any ingredients that would exacerbate my condition. I started to eat more of an anti-inflammatory diet and included more vegetables and fresh produce into my diet. I noticed that it was a lot easier on my gut which is central to auto-immune issues and fibromyalgia which I had been diagnosed with. I started noticing all of the hyper-processed food available in our supermarkets. Marketers of food products are not as angelic as they would appear, products are addictive and full of unhealthy ingredients, salt sugar, bad fats. Eating fresh and seasonal produce is full of nutrients and for me it became the best health insurance policy I had. As I became more aware of the gut central to health, I turned to foods which would cleanse and detox the gut and provide my body with key nutrients and that’s why they became such an important part of my tool kit. I then started my Heal Your Gut four week online program which is the essence of my own healing and philosophy for health.
2. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I am inspired by anyone who is following their own path and blazing a trail whatever that may be.
3. YOUR DAY ON A PLATE?
- Breakfast: Porridge or a smoothie for breakfast or scrambled eggs
- Lunch: usually soup or sardines and steamed veg
- Dinner: salmon and veg or a stir fry or a slow cooked lamb roast
+ I drink dandelion tea and water throughout the day and water
4: FAVOURITE WAY TO GET MOVING?
I am a yoga teacher so love to do gentle hatha yoga and also take my dog Cashew for a walk.
5. THREE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
My dog Cashew, my daughter Tamsin and my partner Justin.
6. YOUR SECRET VICE
7. TOP SONG ON YOUR PLAYLIST
Portugal the Man, Hip Hop Kids
8. YOUR MANTRA
Take each day as it comes and enjoy the moment.
FINALLY…YOUR FAVOURITE RECIPE
Raw Berry and Chocolate Torte
Makes 1 Wheat Free | Dairy Free | Gluten Free | Vegan
If you want to make friends, this tantalising torte is a sure-fire way to do it. Who could resist a rich, chocolatey dessert that is completely guilt-free? You and your new best friends will be bursting with bliss after just one bite.
- 175 g (6 oz/11/2 cups) raw walnuts
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup dried berries
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) melted extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon stevia powder
- 155 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) raw, unsalted cashews
- 40 g (11/2 oz/1/3 cup) raw cacao powder
- 115 g (4 oz) cacao butter, grated and melted
- 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup, or 1 teaspoon stevia powder
- 2 tablespoons additive-free coconut milk
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups mixed berries, plus extra, for decorating (optional)
- Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with filtered water and soak for 2 hours. Drain.
- To make the base, place the walnuts in a food processor and blend until they are finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon zest.
- Place the coconut oil and dried berries in the food processor and blend. Add to the walnut mixture and combine well.
- Press the mixture into a 20 cm (8 inch) springform cake tin and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- To make the filling, place all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth.
- Remove the base from the freezer and spoon the filling over the top.
- Chill for 2 hours in the fridge, or 1 hour in the freezer, until set. Scatter over the extra berries before serving.
- This will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge, or 2 weeks in the freezer.
Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her new book! You can also pick up some awesome new skills and tips from Lee in person by catching attending her wellness cooking classes held regularly at AboutLife stores across Sydney. I’ll be attending her Clean Green Vegetarian Cooking Class on Wednesday 11th February. Hope to see you there Fitties!
Get Clean and Green with Lee here:
You can also buy Lee’s new book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian here.