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 Scott Gooding, who first appeared on our TV screens in the 2013 series of My Kitchen Rules. Scott has since gone on to release several cookbooks and become one of Australia's most passionate health, well-being & fitness experts. You can find Scott over at the Scott Gooding: Project and also at Scott Gooding Fitness. I am really excited to be featuring Scott as one of my Friday Foodies.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
I'm originally from the the UK where my folks ran pubs in and around London for nearly 40 years. The places they ran were were very food-centric pubs so from an early age I've been around kitchens and food. I moved to Sydney in 1999 and became a PT in 2005 based in Bondi - since then I worked hard to get my message out around health, training and well-being. Since 2013 I've released 5 books, which are packed with lifestyle tips and recipes to lead a healthy life. I have a son, Tashi, who is 7yrs old, and I guess having a child has made me determined to improve the food choices we have currently in Australia. Thankfully there are a legion of people with similar values to me and are working tirelessly to improve our food landscape and i'm happy to say there is tangible groundswell happening towards improvements.
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
Take small steps - the path to optimal health is a long one and requires education, knowledge and discipline. My best advice is to make incremental changes over time rather than radical changes overnight. There are a million ways to bio-hack your health but for someone starting out it can be quite overwhelming and confusing - try cutting out sugar, grains and working up a sweat 5 times a week and you'll be well on your way to great health.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
Absolutely, healthy food is certainly not for the privileged as its often labelled. I'm a huge fan of cheaper cuts of meat, perfect for slow cooking and packed full of flavour - ask the butcher for oxtail, osso bucco, mince or liver. Another great tip is to make your own nut butter, nut milks and even butter - if you're like me and get through heaps of butter in your cooking, then making your own can save you a few dollars and it's so simple to do.
How do you deal with food struggles from your son?
Tashi is generally very good with food and will always try new things which is a admiral at his age. However, there have been periods when he simply turns his nose up at his usual favourites and his appetite dramatically declines - both send me into a spin, but I'm learning to ride the storm and accept that children have these shifts in tastes and appetite. From a young age I've always steered Tashi towards healthy food by leading by example and education - I've found the gentle approach to education has worked rather than creating a strict dogma around unhealthy food. He now makes choices based on the information he's soaked-up over the years. We recently watched That Sugar Film together which has had a profound affect, I think it was good for him to hear the message from someone other than his dad.
What is your favourite food?
Oooh tough question - if I had to pick one it would be pork belly...or beef cheeks
Who is your favourite foodie and why?
Jamie Oliver for the impact he's had on encouraging families to cook at home again and bringing attention to the dire situation with school canteens in UK. I'm also a big fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingtsall, he was the first person I'd seen on TV doing the whole nose to tail thing and embracing food sovereignty. I also love Rick Stein for his passion and enthusiasm for local producers and keeping dishes simple.
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
I admit I'm a bit of a Natural History nerd so I'm often found absorbing the nocturnal habits of hog-nosed bats via a David Attenborough doco or two. I recently bought a motorbike so that's a new hobby or jumping in the ocean for a surf.
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
This a recipe that I've cooked a few times recently, it's quick, simple and affordable.
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 brown onion – finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch coriander – stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped
- 1 leek – sliced
- 1/2 bunch English spinach – roughly chopped
- 1 can coconut cream
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- Splash white wine (optional)
- 500 grams mussels
- 1/2 lemon - juiced
- 1 tbs of Nature's Way mushroom blend
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
In a large fry pan heat the butter on med heat, add the onion, coriander stalks and garlic and cook til softened. Add the chopped leek and add the stock and/or white wine and turn up the heat. Add the spinach, coconut cream, mushroom blend and stir. Add the mussels and ensure to coat the mussels with the sauce. Once the mussels are open they are ready – serve in a deep bowl and garnish with some coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy.
A little more about Scott and where you can find him
Scott Gooding became a household name in 2013 when he shot to fame on Australia’s highest ratings TV show ‘My Kitchen Rules’. A health and fitness ambassador, who won over the nation with his healthy approach to tasty food, Scott strongly advocates the path to optimal health and is the ambassador for Nature's Way superfoods and a number of charities close to his heart. • In addition to being a health coach with a background in exercise science Scott is also an author of five successful books under the Clean Living series released in Australia and the UK. • Scott’s approach to health and nutrition is holistic and progressive and believes “It is our genetic blueprint to be lean, strong and healthy. Eating nutrient-rich foods and food in it’s natural state will ensure good health.”