We love interviewing fabulous women. And in today’s Q&A we are chatting to two: Emma Ellice Flint and Jill Keyte, authors of The Happy Hormone Cookbook.
Emma and Jill adopt a fabulously holistic approach to wellness. As well as eating right, they stress the importance of daily exercise, taking time out for yourself, and being kind to you body.
Emma and Jill’s recipes are predominantly plant based, full of antioxidants and naturally gluten free. The Happy Hormone Cookbook offers a collection of balanced and delicious whole food dishes crafted to generate a hormonal balance in your body.
Emma and Jill have discovered that by shifting the balance of food that you eat daily, you can begin to bring about change in your hormones and help boost your energy levels, sleep better, have clearer skin maintain a healthy weight and elevate your mood.
Now, along with one of their favourite recipes, Emma and Jill are sharing five food rules for a well balanced healthy life:
The five food rules Emma and Jill want you to know
1. Chose wholefoods over processed foods
Wholefoods are unadulterated, still have their fibre, natural flavour, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in them and are so much better for your body. They nourish it. Processed foods have been changed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre often removed and to counter this flavourings and colour added in. Your liver and gut thrive on wholefoods and this is what keeps your body healthy, regular and happy.
2. Fresh is best
Fresh food has more colour, texture, flavour, phytonutrients and vibrancy. It’s what our bodies are designed to eat. When eating fresh food our bodies seem to have more energy and are better regulated enabling us to sleep better and feel more balanced. There is nothing like a fresh, colourful vegetable-dense salad for your body and that of your family.
3. Make it yourself
By making it yourself, you know what all the ingredients are. This helps you to eat foods that you and your body like. It also ensures you can manage your energy intake. Processed foods and foods made by others often have ‘hidden ingredients’ which can unnecessarily add those unwanted kilos. We find there is real satisfaction when you make a meal, serve it to yourself, or your family, or friends and they just love it. Even better, you know you are keeping you healthy.
4. Enjoy your time in the kitchen – on your own or with family
We love nothing better than to share food with others. Jill says, “I had my daughter-in-law over for the weekend and we made Puttanesca Green Beans and Broccolini with Poached Eggs from the Happy Hormone Cookbook for lunch. It was lovely chatting and cooking together. We got to know each other a little better in a very relaxed way. Even better still, our partners just loved the result. I love cooking with friends, sharing stories and tips as we cook, then eating what we’ve cooked afterwards. It really connects people.”
5. Grow your own.
Gardening nurtures you, and your harvest nourishes your body. Putting produce from your own garden on the table can give a real sense of achievement.
Jill says, “I love harvesting strawberries and tomatoes in summer; Kale, carrots, parsley, beetroot, lettuces, broccoli, asparagus and cabbage at other times of the year. The produce from my garden is so flavoursome. I find the time I spend in the garden gives me time out, time for reflection and ideas and tilling the earth nourishes me. It helped me a great deal in my recovery from breast cancer some years ago. I found myself gaining strength and wellness with each hour I spent in my garden.”
Emma says “ as my children were growing up I gave them each their own patch of soil to grow a favourite vegetable or herb. They looked after it and harvested from it. Often they would just hang out with friends around their patch, as if their presence would make the plants grow more! When it came to harvesting, there was so much excitement, they were bursting with delight, and into the kitchen they would proudly come, ready to cook up whatever was bundled up in their hands.”
Small changes can have big benefits
This isn’t actually a food rule, but it is important to know that even small changes can make a big difference. Jill says, “I have been following The Happy Hormone eating plan and way of life for over four years now and experienced my body gain balance in a relatively short period of time. It didn’t require much change, just some small tweaks here and there. Being conscious of the food choices I made when shopping and eating out, ensuring I did some exercise that suited my body each day and remained mindful, especially when any pressure was on. I find I am much more relaxed, energised and peaceful.”
Emma says, “The small eating or lifestyle changes I introduced to my family as I learnt more and more about health and nutrition made a big difference. As they were small incremental changes, no one balked at them, barely realising change had come about. I noticed calmer kids and greater energy from the teens in the mornings. When I reflect back, I can see from around the time changes, colds became less frequent and the mood around the household lifted.”
Jill and Emma’s Super Green Smoothie recipe
Smoothies can be a convenient and fast way to have breakfast. And if you pack in the nutrients as these do, to heal your body’s menstrual or menopausal problems, then they can be therapeutically beneficial.
This super green smoothie recipe contains phytonutrient rich vegetables, good oils, probiotics and prebiotics.
This recipe serves one:
- 1 handful spinach, kale, silverbeet or chard
- ¼ large ripe avocado
- ½ handful parsley leaves, washed
- 2 pitted dates
- 250 ml (8 fl oz) iced water
- 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened yogurt
- Blend all the ingredients together in a smoothie maker or blender until you get the consistency you want.
- Add a little ice if you wish.
- Drink straight away.
Thanks to Emma and Jill for sharing their wisdom with us, and their Super Green Smoothie recipe! The Happy Hormone Cookbook is available online from New Holland Publishers, RRP $35.00.