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 Lisa McInerney from Mummy Made.It. Lisa loves creating and sharing her healthy desserts which are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free as well as being paleo friendly. Lisa has also created two amazing eCookbooks 'A Healthy Christmas' and 'A Healthy Easter', both are packed full of yummy desserts. I am really excited to be featuring Lisa as my Friday Foodie this week.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
My name is Lisa and I am a Mum to 2 boys and a bump (due in August). I work as a Chiropractor and have held many community leadership roles over the past decade. I live in country Victoria where the air is clean, the mountains are close by and the produce is fresh and delicious. I love to bake (especially with slightly odd ingredients), spend time in my kitchen and exercising (I become addicted to running and Obstacle Course racing last year).
Early on in my professional career I attend a series of seminars by a Canadian Wellness Chiropractor who first introduced me to the concept of paleo eating, functional body training and movement for brain health. It inspired me to change my diet and training, which led to a change in the way I practised.
As a Chiropractor I have always taken the view that it is part of my role to help educate people on the proactive role that they can play in their own health care. Being healthy does not simply mean a lack of disease or pain; it means making daily choices that will give your body the nutrition, the movement and inspiration to be the best you. Knowledge is power and with that power people can start to make informed decisions, and sometimes this even means taking responsibility for their inaction. I have tried to live by example and raise my family to give them the best opportunity to grow well; which has often led to my sons having the weirdest lunchboxes!
A couple of years ago I was placed in an extremely stressful situation which saw my mental health suffer. I used exercise and focusing on my nutrition as a stabilising influence throughout this time. Whilst I had very little control of the rest of my life I could choose how healthy I was during this prolonged trauma, which was a major factor in coming out of the other side with a new perspective and passion. My blog, Mummy Made.It, was started as a result of this newly directed passion into creating healthy and delicious dessert and treats.
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
Don’t try to do everything at once. Focus on one goal at the time and celebrate each success. For example; don’t change your entire diet at once. Start by reducing your sugar intake (giving up or decreasing soft drink is a great place to start) and adding an extra serve of vegetables to your meal.
The next week (or even longer if needed) add a new challenge; start a walking program and increase your water intake to 2 litres per day. Every week (or so) change 1 or 2 items until you have reached a happy, healthy goal.
I believe it’s super important to celebrate each win (and conversely not punish any slip ups). A celebration doesn’t have to mean an unhealthy choice (like a chocolate bar); a special trip to the movies, a new t-shirt or a visit to see a special friend can reinvigorate you and spur you on for the next challenge.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
Plan and buy in bulk! Fresh fruit and vegies are often cheaper (and tastier) from a farmers market, and nuts can be bought in bulk and frozen.
Sometimes it’s about priorities; there are some foods that I refuse to budge on (like free range chicken which is more expensive) so I will need to balance this with a more generic choice on another item (like toilet paper!).
Eating at home and preparing your meals from scratch is also cheaper and you will always know what you are putting in your body.
How do you deal with food struggles from your children and/or family?
We have many food allergies and intolerances in my wider family (many around the table each night) so I try to make the food as ‘normal looking as possible’. Healthy food doesn’t have to look like a lesser version of a meal (take a look at the cakes and desserts on my blog and you’ll see how healthy can be impressive too!) and adding extra flavour by using spices can help lift the flavour of the meal.
It also comes down to the way you ‘sell’ the food. I try not to over emphasis the hidden veggies or odd ball ingredients and focus on the taste.
What is your favourite food?
I eat a lot of spiralized Zucchinis but my weakness is homemade Caramel Sauce and Whipped Coconut Cream. They are my not-so-guilty sweet treats that I can whip up quickly and have curbed a craving immediately!
Who is your favourite foodie and why?
I have long been a follower of dessert bloggers, hence my website dedicated to healthier desserts and treats. I have a long term crush on Martha Stewart, and I gain a lot of inspiration from Not Quite Nigella, Sugar Hero and Averie Cooks. These women have such creative flair when it comes to desserts and they use flavours in ways I had never thought of before. Adriano Zumbo is a food genius; the way he fuses flavours is so bizarre it just works!
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
Until recently I did a lot of middle distance running and strength training and would often take myself off on a long run or compete in an Obstacle Course Race. Now, with a growing baby bump, back pain and the extreme exhaustion that only pregnancy can bring, my ‘me time’ is spent baking or crafting. Sometimes I think I may be a reincarnated 1950’s house wife, complete with a pearl necklace and a crochet hook.
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
*****My favourite dessert of all time is my Donut and Strawberry Valentines Trifle but that’s probably too detailed for a profile piece*****
My new addiction is my Healthy Fruit and Nut Chocolate.
Healthy Fruit and Nut Chocolate
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
- 2-3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (increase for a sweeter chocolate)
- 2-3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (increase for a sweeter chocolate)
- Dash of Salt
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa
- 1/3-1/2 Cup Walnut pieces (other nuts can be substituted)
- 1/3-1/2 Cup Macadamia halves or smaller (other nuts can be substituted)
- 1 Cup Sultanas (can be replaced with, or a combination of used, Raisons, Craisons, dried Fruits)
- 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
Melt the Coconut Oil in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat. Add the maple syrup, vanilla and stir til combined.
Add the cocoa and salt and stir until well mixed and no cocoa lumps remain.
Add the nuts, sultanas and seeds (or which ever combination you choose) and stir to coat all the add ins.
Pour the fruit and nut chocolate in lightly greased chocolate moulds, ice cube trays or a lined and lightly greased medium sized baking tray or a 20cm (8inch) square cake tin.
Place the chocolate in the freezer to set for at least 1 hour (longer is fine) before serving. Keep the chocolate in the freezer between serves.
A little more about Lisa and where you can find her.
Lisa McInerney is a mum and a Chiropractor from Victoria who has a passion for healthy, creative baking. With 2 young sons (and anoher baby on the way) she knows the value of providing the best possible nutrition to create healthy bodies and minds. Lisa believes that making healthy choices doesn't mean you have to miss out on great tasting food. Her website, www.mummymade.it, features healthier version of your favourite desserts and treats using gluten free, paleo friendly and natural ingredients. Lisa has a fascination with using sweet potato in desserts and many of the recipes use vegetables and fruits in ways you have never imagined. Healthy can be Tasty!