Hi Lee! Tell us a little about yourself, your health journey, and how you entered the health industry?
About seven years ago I was diagnosed with a non-specific autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia. My experience with doctors was very interesting because they seemed to want to test different drugs on me to see which ones would work as they had no diagnosis for a long period of time. More interestingly I found the complex medical system that I had to navigate through a mind bender especially when you are suffering from brain fog, as I was. I spent six months pretty much in a blur, shuffling from one test to another with no answer on the horizon. It wasn’t until some months later a diagnosis was reached and I was advised I was suffering from a non-specific autoimmune disease and fibro-myalgia. The cocktail of immuno-suppressants, steroids, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories I was given subsequently made me feel worse. I wondered at the time whether if I altered my diet, and found foods which would not irritate my condition, in the process building up my immune system, that it may have a positive affect on my health. It was a long process, it didn’t happen overnight, I spent at least a year figuring out what I could and couldn’t eat and it was two steps forwards and 5 steps back at times. I researched a lot and made friends with new herbs and spices I hadn’t heard of before, but the good news was that I was no longer having to rely on drugs. I discovered foods which could be used as a healing instrument in my life and ones with an abundance of nutrients. I noticed that there was alot of conflicting advice on the internet and recipes were either way too complicated or had ingredients in them I couldn’t even pronounce. I wanted to create something simple and easy for people who needed inspiration and recipes that would supercharge them. At that point and eager to share my recipe creations, Supercharged Food was born.
How did you become involved with Ayurveda? What is your favourite aspect of it?
Last year I had the pleasure of spending time in Kerala, India and was fortunate enough to study Ayurvedic practices and philosophy along with taking part in a hands-on Ayurvedic cooking and nutrition course which was absolutely wonderful and very eye opening. Ayurveda is an ancient healing system, originating in India, that takes a holistic approach to feeling well and living in harmony with yourself and your surroundings. My favourite aspect of it is that it’s holistic and a union of the mind, body, senses and soul. Through nutrition, yoga and meditation, it focuses on treating the individual as a whole rather than a specific issue or disease, so that you can achieve balance and good health, not only in your physical body, but also in your mind and spirit.
What are your health non-negotiables?
For me it’s just about being simple. I feel that now more than ever we need to get back to basics and we need to get back to real food. Food is a source of our energy, our health and our nourishment and it should be respected and celebrated in equal measure. I have a deep respect – a reverence for real food.
Do you have a favourite quote or mantra that you live by?
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
The ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, encouraged people to view their food as more than just a perfunctory basic need. Little did he know that, more than two thousand years later, his philosophy was to change the quality of my life forever.
How do you begin your morning?
I usually do some Ayurvedic practices in the morning such as oil pulling and some meditation and then I always make a dandelion or turmeric tea.
What is the greatest health advice you have ever been given?
There is no one-size-fits-all diet, and when it comes to food, I think we need to listen to our inner wisdom. My motto is find the foods that feed you and check in with your internal intelligence. What we need to be healthy is different for everyone.
How do you unwind or centre yourself in moments of stress/doubt?
I’m a hatha yoga teacher and also am trained in meditation so I like to do some yoga and also I like to walk in the park near my house. I find getting outside really helps me to change my perspective.
What is your go-to easy snack?
I love buckwheat crackers and hommus.
What supplements do you recommend to support a healthy lifestyle?
I love the Southernature brand of supplements as they specialize in high quality natural supplements. I use their milk thistle and flaxseed on a regular basis. I chose this brand as it uses the highest quality ingredients currently in Australia and it is sustainably sourced. It’s important to choose quality and effective natural supplements and know where their ingredients come from.
Please share your absolute favourite plant-based recipe when needing to impress!
LEE’S CAULIFLOWER & RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE
WF DF GF VEG VG
This unusual combination will surprise you with its silky, sweet enchantment. Creamy cauli and bright pink raspberries are a pleasant pair-up; a perfect use of plant-based produce in delicious dessert form.
- 120 g (3/4 cup) raw, unsalted cashews
- 65 g (1 cup) additive-free shredded coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut butter
- 310 g (2 cups) raw, unsalted cashews
- 1/2 cup coconut butter
- 300 g (15 cups) cooked cauliflower (about 1 small)
- 125 g (1 cup) frozen raspberries
- 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup or 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder
- 80 ml (1/3cup) additive-free coconut milk
- 60 g (1/2 cup) fresh raspberries, for decorating
- Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with filtered water and soak for 2 hours. Drain.
- To make the base, place the cashews and shredded coconut in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Turn out onto a clean work surface and roll out into a dough. Press the dough evenly into a 16 cm (61/4 inch) cake tin and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- To make the filling, combine all the ingredients, except the fresh berries, in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Remove the base from the freezer and pour in the filling, using a spatula to smooth it over. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes, or the fridge for 1 hour, until set.
- Top with fresh berries and serve.
This will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge, and 2 weeks in the freezer.