What kick-started your passion for living a healthy and nourishing lifestyle?
Since I was little I’ve always suffered with chronic eczema, I used to describe its as a snood of eczema as it covered all around my neck and all over the rest of my body. I was never diagnosed with any allergies or treatments that cured it, so decided to take matters into my own hands. I set out to research the effects different foods can have on the body and noticed a strong link to dairy, sugar, meat & gluten and inflammation. I cut all these foods out and instantly saw a difference, not only in my skin but in my confidence. – it was freeing. I started a plant based diet and thrived of learning how to cook in a completely new way. It was so empowering being able to make all the flavours i loved with entirely unrefined nourishing food. My blog, Naturally Sassy, is the result of many hours researching a way of eating that supported every aspect of my life, and (of course) is delicious too!
What do you enjoy most about working in the healthy and wellbeing industry?
This industry is always changing you never stop learning, and the journey really never ends. I love being able to make a small difference in my readers lives, whether it’s as simple as a little recipe inspiration. I’m always hearing stories about how Naturally Sassy has changed peoples lives for the better, that must be the best thing about the work I do.
What is most important for you when it comes to meal times? Do you cook for flavour? Nutrient value? Energy? All of the above?
All of the above! I think one of the most important things about eating healthily is for it to be delicious. It’s not about depriving yourself, it’s about using natural unrefined, unprocessed food in combinations that are not only wonderful for you but satisfy your tastebuds too! Through experimenting over time,I’ve developed delicious recipes that target the exact problem I’m was facing that day; sore muscles, fatigue, inflamed skin. It’s incredible the benefits different foods can give you, so I’m all about taylor making meals that suit me best each day.
Being a pro ballerina-in-training, you must be so busy! How do you manage to maintain a healthy diet?
Preparation is key when It comes to eating healthily on the go. Overnight oats are my go to for breakfast and I always schedule in 30 minutes on a Sunday to prepare some bits and pieces for lunch on the go during the week. I cook a batch of quinoa, lentils and buckwheat – grate vegetables, and always have some avocado, crackers and hummus handy! Then during the week I take around 5 minutes the night before to make a pick and mix salad with one of my tahini dressings from the blog. I am also a keen snacker and always bring raw energy bars with me to work and sometimes a smoothie too!
What tools / pieces of equipment would you suggest for healthy newbies getting funky in their kitchens?
My spiralizer, Vitamix and a Magi-mix food processor are definitely three things I couldn’t love without! They’ve all been added to my kitchen overtime, so to start off with I would say get the spiralizer and a blender.
Let’s chat a little about “In The Hip & Healthy Kitchen” our e-recipe that you created the recipes for. What was your main aim for the book?
My main aim for all the recipes I create is to create something delicious, decadent and wholesome with natural unrefined ingredients. They don’t take long to make, and everyone can enjoy them; Your daughter to your grandmother – they’re classic dishes, made with a healthy twist.
What is your favourite recipe from the book?
It has to be the Sweet Potato & Coconut Korma, so perfect for the colder months to come!
Where do you get all your inspiration from for all your delicious recipes?
My inspiration comes from all the meals, dishes and flavours i used to love when i was younger, those oh so naughty but delicious meals that certainly wouldn’t be very Naturally Sassy now! I love to take them as inspiration and turn them on their head with a healthy twist. My blog is full of those classics, but made completely Vegan, Sugar Free and Gluten Free! Everything from Banoffee Pie, Chocolate Mousse & a Peanut Butter, Chocolate Cheesecake to Lasagne, Burgers and Risotto.
What are the three foods you couldn’t live without?
So hard, as there are just so many foods I love. I find myself going through different favourites each season. My all year favourites are Avocado, Coconut and Sweet Potato.
Do you ever have off days – where you just can’t be bothered at all?
Totally! Who doesn’t. I actually love those days, I make a really simple dinner and watch a marathon of friends. I normally go for avocado on toast with a little tahini, or my favourite at the moment a veggie and brown rice noodle broth.
Do you have any advice for those making the change to adopting a healthy diet?
Get creative! The stigma with healthy eating is that it can be really bland, boring and hard to maintain. But in fact, it is anything but! You can make everything from chocolate brownies, cheesecakes, mousses to lasagne, currys and pizza – all completely healthy and natural! You just have to be open minded, and be playful!
What’s your dream holiday?
Sun, smoothies, hot yoga and friends!
images: Pepper & Mayne