Welcome to the latest edition of my Friday Foodie series, where each week I feature my favourite health and wellness stars. Each week, they share their tips for healthy living and their favourite recipe.
This week I am featuring Amy Crawford who is a CTC therapist, Health Coach, Speaker, Author of wholefoods eBook series, ‘A Nourishing Kitchen’ and Founder of the online wellness hub, The Holistic Ingredient. I came across Amy and her beautiful site in 2013 and I have been hooked ever since. Her recipes and eCookbooks (which I own two of) are full of healthy and inspiring recipes, two of which, I have adapted and shared on Becomingness - Carrot Cake Smoothie and Chocolate Walnut Breakfast Mousse.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
I’m an ex corporate career girl who chose not to listen to the signs from the universe (for many years) and ended up with a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis early 2011.
Without realising it at the time, CFS was to mark the end of my 18-year recruitment career. During my recovery I immersed myself in reading - anything and everything about CFS, nutrition, wellness. I had been put on a strict diet of whole foods and good saturated fats geared to eradicating heavy metals from my system – so diet combined with gentle yoga, meditation, Far Infra-Red saunas and rest, became my life.
In 2012, when I was well enough, I commenced studies with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York to become a Health Coach. At around the same time I completed both Reiki 1 and Reiki 2 and am now a Reiki Master. My learnings continued and I am also now a Practitioner of Hypnosis, NLP and EFT and Reiki that combined form a two-hour life transformational session called Combined Therapy Cocktail (CTC).
I founded The Holistic Ingredient, an online wellness hub, at the end of 2012. THI combines my passion for food and cooking, toxic-free living and healing therapies. We recently launched the 3rd recipe eBook in the ‘A Nourishing Kitchen’ series.
I’m the adoring mother of a 4-legged furry bestie, Wilson the labradoodle. Wilson is almost now deserving of his own instagram account ;-)
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
Simplify your diet. As far as possible buy whole foods and eat as nature intended it. Whole foods don’t come with numbers on the back of a packet that we don’t understand. They don’t come with hidden additives, chemicals and a low nutrient value as a result of over processing. Feed your body the goodness it deserves.
Also, don’t strive for perfection. Allow yourself to nourish your soul and your body.
Become aware of the products you use each day – on your body, in your hair, in the processed foods you eat, the cleaning products you clean your bathrooms and kitchens with. Start by looking at the ingredients lists – many are riddled with toxic chemicals, numbers, additives – lists as long as our arms. Replace harmful products with products made from natural sources.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
A quality food processor makes the world of difference if you are cooking to a budget. You can turn nuts into nut butters, milks, cakes and biscuits; grains into flours – you save money simply by converting your own whole foods.
Become more aware of waste; throw as little away as possible. For example, turn your veggie off cuts into scrumptious soups, your meat bones into a healthy broth.
Consider shopping at farmers markets at the end of the weekend when produce is not only in season but markedly reduced.
What are your favourite foods?
Activated nuts and seeds – they’re my biggest weakness of all! I make nut butters, nut milks, mueslis, raw bars and protein balls…you name it, there’s a nut or seed in almost every meal. I love them for their versatility, their nutrient value and most importantly, their taste and crunch.
I’m mad for avocado. It’s such a wonderful fat to include in the diet - great for our heart, our skin and a renowned anti-inflammatory.
Finally, it’d be anything living and green – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, kale – probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food and detoxifying at that.
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
Walking my dog (Wilson) - in the parks, on the beach, in nature. I can’t tell you the daily joy these outings bring me. Wide-open spaces are my ‘thing’. If not walking the dog, swimming with the dog in the ocean.
What is your favourite recipe to cook?
My absolute favourite recipe for this time of the year is my porcini mushroom and kale buckwheat risotto. Super simple to make it is full of flavour and goodness to boot!
Porcini Mushroom & Kale Buckwheat Risotto
- 2 cups stock (bone broth, vegetable or chicken)
- 1 cup raw buckwheat
- 1 heaped cup mixed mushrooms, sliced (I used shiitake and field)
- 1 heaped cup of kale, finely sliced
- 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 heaped teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- A good couple of pinches of salt
- Ground pepper to taste
Pop your dried porcini into a small dish and cover with boiling water. Set aside.
Pour your stock into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil whilst preparing your other ingredients. Once boiling, lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
Heat a large saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, followed by the onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the buckwheat and sauté for a couple of minutes until well coated, stirring continuously. Pour in about 1/2 cup of broth and stir gently until the liquid has absorbed. Drain your porcini mushrooms and slice. Add them to the saucepan with the other mushrooms and another 1/2-cup liquid. Stir gently until the liquid has absorbed. Now add in the kale and another 1/2-cup liquid and continue the process. With the last 1/2 cup of stock throw in your parsley and some good pinches of sea salt. The process of adding liquid and absorption will take 15-20 minutes. Buckwheat has a good chew so don't expect it to go soft. Once the liquid has completely absorbed add the coconut milk and heat, stirring for 3 minutes or so to thicken and heat. Season to taste.
Serve with extra chopped, fresh parsley on the top.
Find out a bit more about Amy and where you can find her
When chronic fatigue syndrome put a swift end to a million-mile-an-hour corporate career, it also created the most incredible life transformation imaginable. Now free of CFS, Amy credits her return to health to a whole food, sugar/toxic free lifestyle combined with extensive energy healing and a range of therapies called CTC (Combined Therapy Cocktail) of which she is now a practitioner. Amy's business The Holistic Ingredient and her whole foods eBooks, A Nourishing Kitchen & A Nourishing Morning and Nourishing Kids combine her passion for food and cooking, toxic-free living and healing therapies.