Welcome to my new series, FRIDAY FOODIE, where each Friday I will feature my favourite foodie and wellness stars. I first met Tegan Westra (in an online sense) when I was invited to submit a few of my recipes for her Body Love Revolution 21 Day Transformation Challenge and I have been a big fan since. Tegan has an amazing website teganwestra.com and she is very passionate about helping people to love who they are and to take control of their health. Tegan's next 21 Day Transformation Challenge kicks off on March 9 and you can get more details HERE.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
Firstly, thanks Ness for inviting me over to join you for foodie Friday! I’ve loved getting messy in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. My mum was always really encouraging when it came to me experimenting with recipes from a young age and while my first memories are of making batches of Anzac cookies and pikelets, today I enjoy re-creating healthier versions of old favourites with as many nourishing ingredients as I can.
Looking back, my passion for wellness really began to grow a few years ago now when I went searching for ways to heal myself from an eating disorder that I’d struggled with for many years. There’s a direct link with the food we eat, our emotions and how we feel about our bodies so it made sense to start looking at my eating habits and how I could change them in order to heal.
I learnt so much during my recovery journey that it inspired me to want to help other women who were going through similar struggles with food and today as a Body Love Wellness Coach + EFT Practitioner over at www.teganwestra.com I empower women to get off the crazy diet roller coaster so they can reconnect with themselves and make peace with their bodies free from the guilt and shame that often come hand in hand when we have a troubled relationship with food.
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
Start small and take it a day at a time. There is so much information out there that it can quickly become overwhelming with all of the ‘do’s and don’ts’. I’m still learning too but my top 3 tips that you can start following right away are:
- Familiarise yourself with ingredient labels and steer clear of any that contain numbers which are a good indicator of unwanted additives aka artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.
- Reduce the ‘convenience’ packet stuff in your trolley and load up on wholefoods like fruits, vegies, nuts, seeds and meat. Set aside a few hours a week to do some prep for the week ahead. I usually make a big batch of something like a curry or bolognaise and a couple of healthy sweet things like muffins and bliss balls then freeze some off. Yes it takes a little bit of effort but it’s so worth it and will stop you falling into bad habits and ordering unhealthy take out mid-week when you’re too tired to cook.
- Steer clear of white refined carbs. Bread, pasta, rice etc. They have little nutritional value and there are so many more nutritious options out there. Ditch the bread altogether or make your own like Ness’s Quinoa & Chia Seed Bread , go for zoodles (zucchini noodles) in place of pasta and quinoa/millet over rice.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
I love shopping at my local farmers market each weekend. The produce is so much fresher and you can pick up loads of bargains depending on what’s in season. I also love having a chat to the stall owners and supporting my local community.
How do you deal with food struggles from your children and/or family?
Seeing that I’m not married and don’t have kids I’m lucky as I only have myself to feed! Bubbayumyum and A Healthy Mum are two ladies I know of who are doing brilliant things when it comes to getting kids to eat healthier though.
What is your favourite food?
Tough question! I love simple, wholesome food with great flavours. On the savoury side I’ve always had a soft spot for Mediterranean tapas with ingredients like eggplant and halloumi. Or homemade wood fired pizza. For sweet, a smoothie loaded with tropical flavours like mango, creamy coconut, banana and passion fruit.
Who is your favourite foodie and why?
There are SO many brilliant blogs out there these days sharing amazing recipes. I often get lost over on Minimalist Baker pinning recipes like a mad women – everything just looks so delish! I’m also a big fan of Pete Evans and Sarah Wilson’s food philosophy’s. Simple, nourishing, goodness.
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
Simple things suit me. Getting outdoors in the sunshine, catching up with friends, reading a book or watching some trashy reality TV (Vanderpump Rules anyone?) ;)
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
I’m a bit of a make it up as you go kinda cook but I made this Chocolate Pudding recently that takes just a few minutes to throw together. Perfect for when your sweet tooth strikes!
Luscious Chocolate Pudding
- 2 cups of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
- 1 dessert spoon of cacao powder
- 1 cup of coconut cream
Place all ingredients in your food processor and whiz to combine.
Serve topped with berries
A little more about Tegan and where you can find her
Tegan Westra is an IIN trained Body Love Wellness Coach + EFT Practitioner. She empowers outwardly successful women who secretly struggle with the diet-binge cycle to transform their relationship with food and with themselves. Whether you want to take control, create real lasting health or simply feel more confident, Tegan will teach you how to stop waiting until you’re ‘skinny enough’ to live a life you love.
Download her free 7 day eCourse “End Emotional Eating - Ditch Diets for Good + Make Peace With Your Body” here