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 the gorgeous Amelia Harvey who is a Health and Life Coach and runs the program, The Soul Sister Sessions. I recently discovered Amelia through the Bright-Eyed and Blog-Hearted community. Amelia is one inspirational woman and her website is really beautiful.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
I'm a Health and Life Coach and I live in Perth in Western Australia with my wonderful boyfriend and our dog and cat. I also write a blog at ameliaharvey.com.au and coach my clients privately or in groups as part of my program, The Soul Sister Sessions. I was inspired to live a healthy lifestyle after years spent battling with dieting and binge eating. I know there had to be a better way so I stared to focus less on the food and more on how I wanted to feel (I have as Honours in Psychology - go figure!). It made such a big difference that I my love for wellness just grew and grew, expanding from food, to emotional well-being, to spirituality.
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
Be gentle with yourself. There will be times that you're great at drinking your smoothie and exercising and there will other days when you'll want to lie on the couch all day and eat chips. Far worse for you than a bag of chips is when you beat yourself up for eating them. It's really important to try to let go of guilt and see these moments as opportunities to learn and observe yourself.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
Shop at the local farmers market or find out if there is a fruit and veggie co-op near you - the produce is great quality and it's cheaper than the supermarket because you're buying what's in season.
How do you deal with food struggles from your family?
The biggest thing I've learnt when it comes to influencing my family to eat well is that I have to lead by example and trust that they'll catch on! Preaching just puts them off. I'm really proud of the interest my boyfriend has taken in healthy eating since we got together! Also show them that's it's not about giving up yummy food and treats by cooking up some healthy treats and hearty dinners - they'll be eating healthy and be none the wiser.
What is your favourite food?
That's such a hard question! I'm definitely a chocolate girl so I'll say beautiful raw chocolate.
Who is your favourite foodie and why?
I adore Chris from talesofakitchen.com. I met her for the first time about a month ago and her passion for the food she creates is so infectious! She makes the raw treats for the Soul Sister Sessions and my workshops and meet-ups and every time they are so divine!
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
I love taking a long bath with essential oils and epsom salts in Winter or spending time at the beach in Summer. Both with a good novel in hand.
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
I have always loved baking so when I started getting into healthy eating, I thought I'd have to give it up. What I've actually found is that I can create even yummier healthy versions of almost all my favourite baked treats - here's my recipe for carrot cake made with coconut flour:
Coconut flour carrot cake
You will need:
For the cake:
2.5 cups grated carrot, firmly packed (about 4 large carrots)
1 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup arrowroot (also know as tapioca flour)
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped or blitzed in the food processor
1 cup sultanas
1tsp baking soda
6 organic, free range eggs
- 100g organic, grass fed organic butter or extra virgin, unrefined and organic coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup rice malt syrup/raw honey/pure maple syrup
Pinch of salt
For the icing:
50g organic butter or extra virgin, unrefined and organic coconut oil, melted
250g organic cream cheese
1 tsp mixed spice
1/3 c rice malt syrup/ raw honey/ pure maple syrup
Juice and zest of one lemon (taste it and add more if you like!)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line and grease a 25cm cake tin (or 2 smaller ones).
In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot, cinnamon, baking soda. walnuts, and salt. In another large bowl whisk the eggs then stir through the butter, rice malt syrup, carrot and sultanas.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until well combined and pour into the tin, flattening the mixture with the back of the spoon.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, combine all the ingredients with electric beater until smooth. Spread onto the cooled cake.
If your feeling fancy, garnish with coconut flakes, walnuts and a drizzle of rice malt syrup.
If dairy just ain't your thing, you can make icing by substituting the cream cheese for 1/2 cup raw, soaked cashews, 3/4 cup coconut cream and 1/4 cup coconut oil blended into a smooth paste then add the other icing ingredients. You'll also want to substitute the butter for coconut oil in the cake.
Try and find organic ingredients where you can, not only are they better for you, they taste better as well!
A little more about Amelia and where you can find her
Amelia Harvey is a soul centred Holistic Health and Life Coach, and expert on living a happy and healthy life with ease from Perth, Australia. She works with women in her private and group coaching programs to guide them to heal their relationship with food, find emotional balance, and practice divine self love.
Amelia is the creator of The Soul Sister Sessions, the Happy, Healthy, Ease online community, inspirational artwork, and the blog ameliaharvey.com.au. Her mission is to empower young women by showing them how to align themselves with their dreams and desires on every level– body, mind, and spirit.
She believes that a healthy and happy life is all about staying present, trusting your intuition, and finding your sweet spot so you can do it all with ease.