Welcome to my Friday Foodie series, where I interview my favourite health and wellness stars. Each week, they share their tips for healthy living and one very special recipe.
This week I am excited to be featuring Louisa Larado from Happiness Starts Here. I am a massive fan of Louisa's and love all that she stands for. I highly recommend you check out her her beautiful website. It is one of my favourites!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
I am a happy mum of two young girls, aged three and five, and am on a mission to live my best life. I am passionate about all things to do with health, wellbeing and the Law of Attraction and love learning new things and sharing this information with others. I am also a big fan of setting goals and watching my dreams become a reality. In my pre kids life I was a primary school teacher but I have spent the last five years at home enjoying watching my children grow. Now I am ready to start a new chapter in my life and am currently studying life coaching, with Sandy Forster’s Inspired Spirit Coaching Academy. Helping others fills me with so much joy so I am really looking forward to seeing where this journey takes me.
Almost two years ago I made a huge change in my lifestyle. After reading Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, I completely overhauled my diet, favouring low fructose whole foods, rather than the sugar laden processed foods I had been eating my whole life. After seeing such positive changes in my energy and my happiness levels with making better food choices, I slowly began to change other aspects of my life, like adding yoga and meditation and being more mindful in my day. This holistic approach means I get so much more out of my life. The best thing is eating this way isn’t something you do for a few weeks to lose weight. It is such an enjoyable way to eat that makes me feel great and full of energy and it doesn’t make me feel like I am missing out on any of the sugary treats I use to eat daily.
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
Eat lots of fresh vegetables and healthy fats to fill yourself up and make yourself less likely to cave into hunger with a processed treat or that chocolate biscuit you were hanging out for. There are so many great recipes out there to make this way of eating so delicious (like the Becomingness website). Whenever I fancied something sweet or felt like eating for the sake of it, I use to make myself a herbal tea.
But my biggest tip is to don’t change your diet with the only intention to lose weight. Change your diet because you want to feel more vibrant and you want to improve your health. This simple change in focus makes you so much more likely to succeed.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
Recipe plan! This is the best time saving and money saving tip. I always do a weekly meal plan based on what I already have in my house that needs to be used up, and what vegies are in season. I then write a shopping list of the other ingredients I need and stick to this list. I also love leftovers and often eat leftovers for breakfast or lunch. Also I love buying in bulk when I see something on special. I have a big freezer so freeze any bulk meat I have purchased once I have divided it up into smaller portions. Also, when meal planning, I see if there are any meals I can make a double batch of. This not only saves money but saves so much time, because I always have backup meals in the freezer. This stops those last minute fast food runs when we are too busy or can’t be bothered cooking dinner.
How do you deal with food struggles from your children and/or family?
I have become an expert at this because my girls can both be extremely fussy at times! I only ever cook one meal for the whole family, I refuse to give into their fussy ways. I always make sure that there is at least one thing I know they like on their plate so they won’t go hungry. I am big a setting an example to my kids on eating all the foods that I want them to eat. I never force them to eat anything but I encourage them to eat or at least try it by telling them why the food is good for their body.
I also get sneaky and hide heaps of veggies in whatever I am cooking, like meat patties and pasta sauce (and anything else I can). My secret weapon I use is Super Food For Kids, Vital Veggie Powder, which I add to EVERYTHING (even my pizza dough isn’t safe from getting a sprinkle of veggie powder)!
What is your favourite food?
I would have to say coconut in any way shape or form it takes. Coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk. I never go a day without a bit of coconut in my life.
Who is your favourite foodie and why?
I am a bit obsessed with Pete Evans at the moment. I have been cooking a lot more Paleo foods for my family at the moment and I love his recipes, which are so delicious and easy and the kids love them. I love his whole philosophy on food and think he is such an inspiration. I also think that it is great that he is bringing whole food eating to the mainstream, educating us all on better ways to eat.
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
Reading. I could happily spend my days buried in books. I love learning new things so lots of the books I am reading at the moment are personal growth and self development books which are just so inspiring. There is so much information out there and each day is an opportunity to learn something new.
What is your favourite recipe to cook?
I have so many and it’s always changing. I love trying new things and so I am always trying out new recipes. At the moment I am loving a quick and easy healthy energy snack that I made up recently, using a new product called Clean Energy (by Nutra Organics) which I love!
Chocolate Energy Bliss Balls
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 Tablespoons linseeds
- 2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 Tablespoons cacao
- 2 Tablespoons Nutra Organics Thriving Protein (cacao choc)
- 2 Tablespoons Nutra Organics Clean Energy (apple mint)
- 1 Tablespoon rice malt syrup
- 4 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- Shredded or desiccated coconut for rolling
Place all dry ingredients (except coconut) in a food processor and process on a high speed till fine (like breadcrumbs). Add the rice malt and coconut oil and pulse a few times till combined and the mixture comes together (if still quite dry, add a bit more coconut oil). With wet hands, roll the mixture in ball and coat with the coconut.
Or alternatively, you could press into a loaf tin to cut into slices when set. Leave in the fridge to firm up then enjoy.
A little more about Louisa and where you can find her
Louisa is a passion fueled Law of Attraction Life coach who is ready to guide you towards the life you desire. She wants to help you live a life that lights you up each and every day, and is passionate about health, wellbeing, prosperity and anything else that makes life amazing.