Monthly Wellness Guru: Lee Holmesposted July 13, 2015 - health & wellbeing
Our July Wellness Guru is the gorgeous Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food. Now a health-conscious foodie, believer of balance and maestro wholefood chef, it was chronic illness that served as the catalyst that saw Lee seek out the natural healing power of good nutrition. Gathering a wealth of knowledge on her journey, Lee continues to inspire us with endless divine recipes (spinach bread anyone?) and her grounded outlook on being healthy while remembering to enjoy life at the same time!
What started you on your health journey?
About six years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and Fibromyalgia. I ended up very sick in hospital with an endless list of prescription medication. It was whist I was in hospital that I decided to look at using food as medicine for the symptoms. I began by researching foods that helped nurture my health and my gut which has strong links to the immune system and really began listening to my body to see the effects that various foods had on my health. I now eat more of a plant-based diet and include loads of fresh vegetables and product into my diet, as well as meat occasionally.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Be open to new possibilities and don't always buy into marketing hype. Another important lesson would definitely be to trust your instincts. If it feels right, go with it. If you are a bit unsure, ask more questions and make sure you are 100 percent okay with it. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to wellness.
What's your typical day on a plate?
My plate is filled with a variety of fresh seasonal product and sometimes a serving of meat. I'm a flexitarian and eat meat on occasions when my body tells me I need some extra protein or iron. I try and eat at least four cups of vegetables a day and of a variety. You need to keep your stomach on its toes and able to digest a range of nutrient dense produce and I stay away from too much raw food and love slow-cooking.
You promote a message of balance when it comes to health. Can you share more about this?
I follow the 80:20 principle. With this I believe in sticking to your way of living 80 percent of the time and allowing yourself little treats 20 percent of the time. Cutting whole food groups out of your diet is not very sustainable in the longterm and can lead to your body building up an intolerance to food products. Eat what works for you, when it works for you and I'm sure both your mind and body will thank you for it!
What do you feel is the biggest nutrition misconception you encounter out there?
At the moment there is a massive increase in the trend to go gluten-free. I mostly follow a low-gluten diet but am also very careful when I see a new product out there claiming to be gluten-free and healthy. In fact, some people would be better off eating the packaging than some of the sugar-filled gluten-free products that line the shelves of supermarkets. It's good to read labels and nutritional information before making any rash decisions. Try to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible.
What is your best business tip?
Find your niche and go with it! Don't try and copy someone else or compete with the high-flyers. Your message will resonate a lot better if you believe in it and you are speaking your own truths. Once you have found your voice and your message, don't give up! Keep on trying because if you help change one person's life, everything you have done is worth it! Once of my favourite quotes by Oscar Wilde is 'be yourself; everyone else is taken.'
Do you have any tips for people looking to live a healthy lifestyle on a budget?
Buy seasonally and from local markets. Fresh product is cheaper if it is in season as it does not need to be grown artificially or stored for long periods of time. Head down to your local market on the weekend and stock up on your weeks supply of fruit and vegetables. You can be quite cheeky too and get there just before closing time when the store holders have great bargains. I also love doing it this way because you end up buying what is available and on sale - allowing you to be creative in the kitchen!
Can you share a favourite recipe with us?
At the moment it would have to be my Eggplant and Green Bean Curry from my new book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian. Recently I have been travelling a lot and with this comes the cravings of comfort home-cooked food. This curry is super tasty and fresh and makes me feel at home immediately.