The Healthy Whole Me Philosophy
When I first started out on the amazing journey that is Healthy Whole Me – of nourishing myself in a wholesome way, I must admit I was utterly confused. Still in shock from my breast cancer diagnosis, I cut out major food groups and overnight I stopped eating all refined sugars, wheat, gluten, meat, dairy products, alcohol & coffee. Of course, initially I did not think that I had many options so my days were consumed with searching for new ingredients and I often found myself cooking three meals at each family mealtime. One for the children, one for my super sporty husband and one for myself.
And if you now think that’s crazy…then yes, I totally agree. It was. So over the past four years all of my passion has been put into creating wholesome and balanced meals that can be enjoyed by all of us! My aim is to eat a diet that I can sustain for the rest of my life. This is why I do NOT cut out entire food groups 100% but I increase what’s good for me and reduce what’s not.
I often get asked if I’m Vegan, or if I follow the Paleo diet, or whether I’m plant based. The answer is no.
I eat a balanced, healthy diet, full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that serve my body, from my gut health to my feelings. I’ll break it down for you:
- I make sure that most of my meals contain loads – if not the majority – of veggies. Raw, cooked, steamed, grilled – anything goes. On top of that I eat fresh fruit and I often try and remember eating a ‘rainbow’, which means mixing lots of varieties of fruits and veggies to receive all their amazing benefits.
- I eat lots of carbs – yes you hear correctly. Complex carbohydrates, such as oats, brown rice, rye, spelt, buckwheat, veggies and legumes (beans, peas and lentils) play a vital role in nourishing our bodies and providing us with energy. They are also full of fibre and as 70% of our bodies immune function is found in our gut I can’t stress enough how valuable these complex carbs are for us. All these ingredients are so yummy that I hardly eat anything containing wheat and I stay away from white rice.
- I cook with the right types of fats. I use rapeseed or coconut oil for frying and baking and a virgin olive oil, a flaxseed oil or nut oil for my salads and sauces.
- I stay away from most animal products for about 80% of the time. These are often full of bacteria, antibiotics, hormones and a host of other toxins which is the reason that I personally stay away from them. However, I really enjoy eating a beautiful piece of fish from time to time, supplying me with healthy Omega 3’s and good quality proteins. I also cook an organic roast chicken for the children and my husband once every week and I also eat eggs. I use nut milks instead of cows milk. I’m in the ‘milk is meant for cows’ camp here.
- When I’m invited to someone’s house for dinner or when we eat at restaurants, I do eat puddings! Oh yes, I would not want to miss the wonderful feeling of eating a beautiful piece of cake! And as this is not very often, I enjoy it even more so! And yes, in case you are wondering I try and reduce my sugar intake as much as possible. I don’t buy chocolate bars or any other sugary snacks etc but I love a bit of dark chocolate.
- I have stopped drinking alcohol since I’ve been diagnosed as research shows that alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol also may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells. And as I want to do everything possible to decrease my risk of a recurrance this one’s a no brainer. For more info read what the experts have to say: http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/alcohol And who knows, maybe one day I’ll even have a glass of wine or two, but right now I’m so in love with feeling as good as possible that a hangover really is no option!
With Healthy Whole Me I hope that I can inspire some of you to embrace a more wholesome, nourishing way of eating. I want to take the confusion out of healthy eating by making it simple, straight forward and delicious.
I DO NOT believe that cutting out entire food groups is a good idea or necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle. Unless you have food intolerances or allergies, or suffer from ceoliac disease there is no reason to eliminate certain food groups. However, I do believe that it is important to massively reduce the intake of certain food groups. Say gluten: as I don’t have an intolerane to it I don’t see the point of cutting this out of my diet entirely, BUT: so many ready made products contain it alongside other stuff that isn’t great for us, like preservarives, high amounts of salts, E numbers, food colourings, hidden sugars etc. These are products from biscuits to ready made sauces.
It’s the amount of certain food groups that we consume that is more worrying than the food group itself.
I know I have inspired my own children: they love seeing how quickly our beans and spinach in the garden grow & I can’t tell you how happy I feel when they tuck into a bowl of Quinoa Risotto! But yes, of course, they like a pizza just as much! 🙂
Everything on this Blog is based on my own experience, my own taste buds and my family’s likes and dislikes. I have successfully completed a fabulous short course at Leiths School of Food and Wine, accredited by the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission, which has helped give me more insight into the nutritional background of it all.
Food is there to be enjoyed together! Let’s focus and celebrate on the good stuff! Love Dani xx
“Being able to even think about ‘what’ we are going to eat is a huge priviledge in today’s world and I am ever so grateful for it.”
“Did you know that some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy life?”
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GIVE * DO * CARE
Ever since our baby twins were born prematurely and we received huge amounts of help from our amazing families I wanted to give back to society. I felt so lucky and blessed to have all these wonderful people in my life helping us but it also made me very aware of the fact that so many people have no help. I was also inspired by my own mum who feels a great deal of social responsibility and has always helped in her community, but also by my mother-in-law who has fostered and adopted children along her way. And then life got in the way and then along came cancer and I found myself, yet again, on the receiving end of tremendous help and support. I will never be able to thank everyone enough for helping us through such difficult times but I have decided to give back a little – to people who are less fortunate and perhaps don’t have anybody in their lives who could help them.
So for the past two years I have volunteered and visited elderly and often isolated people in my local community. It’s often that one cup of tea and a little chat that can make a huge difference to their week. And in return it gives me huge amounts of happiness! Did you know, it has been scientifically proven that people who give their time or money away are much more happy that people who don’t!
There are millions of worthwile causes out there, choose one that is close to your heart and make a start – trust me – I promise, it’s the best feeling!
Besides, what’s the point otherwise? We come with nothing & we go with nothing but we can always leave lasting impressions and memories that will carry on in other people’s lifes.
The charity I volunteer for is based in Surrey, U.K and here is the link http://www.staywellservices.org.uk/
Or perhaps you are really short of time but could spare a few pounds each month, then make it your ‘thing’ for 2016 and donate and see how good it makes you feel.
Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Care are amazing charities to support as well!