holistic chef
IMG_6484Our retreats focus on how to make the science of nutrition real and applicable to daily life and how to make healthy food and cookery exciting, interesting, outrageously delicious, educational and inspiring.

Hayley has been working as a holistic chef for over 10 years in many different environments – from retreats, training courses, recipe development and consultancy, in peoples homes and much more. There is a recurring theme with what people ask, feedback on, have opinions around or want to learn more about. Here Hayley shares with you the top 6 things she gets asked the most….and her answers!

1.I love this way of eating but I just don’t have the time to do it at home.

To this I always answer with a question, which sometimes is a bit controversial. Read more…

2. I love eating healthy food but my family/partner won’t go for it.

My response to this is that’s fine, they are not you. Don’t expect them to join you in this, remember you do it first for yourself. Read more…

3. I am so confused with the amount of information available and all the conflicting advice and ideas. I just don’t know what to believe anymore or where to start.

To this I respond that nothing and no one knows YOU like you know you, and this we have to remember. Read more…

4. I can’t cook!

So many people say to me ‘It’s alright for you, you’re a chef and this comes easy to you, but I can’t cook’. My answer to this is that ‘Yes, you can cook!’ you just don’t know it yet!

Ok, so my years in catering give me a certain amount of knowledge and understanding that others may not have. But this is only experience and practice. Read more…

5. Help! I’m a sugar addict!

Yep, I know that one!

I’m a recovering sugar addict too and I know how hard it is to manage on a daily basis. Read more…

6. And finally…
People always say to me on retreats, half jokingly, ‘Can I take you home with me?’ Well the answer in essence is yes. Read more…

Feeling overwhelmed?
Food shouldn’t be such a big deal in our life. We need to eat, we need nutrients and energy, we need food. Basic!
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If you allow yourself to, you will feel every cell in your body say YES to clean, fresh, vital foods and wellbeing practices. They feel so great that you find you are no longer interested in many of the unhealthier foods and lifestyle choices you may have enjoyed before.

* You can join Hayley and explore the Holistic Kitchen on our up and coming Summer retreat. Here she will be demonstrating ways to make eating and cooking healthy meals stress free!

Download her Holistic Kitchen ebook here.

 

 

 

1. I love this way of eating but I just don’t have the time to do it at home.

To this I always answer with a question, which sometimes is a bit controversial. WHY?

man-and-soup

If we are so busy that means we NEED the energy and stamina to be able to fulfill all these responsibilities and tasks. We NEED the support and nourishment to function, without draining ourselves over time.

What are we choosing to do with our time and energy that we can’t find the time to feed ourselves or family properly?

My number one advice is always to start slowly. Small changes lead to big shifts so choose a place to start that feels doable. I suggest to make it a priority to prepare as much of your own food as possible. Again starting with what feels manageable and the least stress.

Seek the best suppliers you can find for your produce within your means. Make it your business know and care about where your food comes from and increase your basic nutritional knowledge if you need to. Sit down to eat and connect to the process. Keep on top of hydration, get outdoors, breathe fresh air and move your body!

It may sound like a lot and believe me I do understand the difficulties in changing habits or making time in an already packed schedule. But this in my view is non negotiable and our quality of life depends on it.

The point is we DO have the time, it just all depends on how we are choosing to spend it. Remember, what seems like a lot of hard work now, quickly becomes routine and effortless. When the response from your body is one of gratitude and satisfaction you will WANT to do these things for yourself! (Go back…)

2. I love eating healthy food but my family/partner won’t go for it.

My response to this is that’s fine, they are not you. Don’t expect them to join you in this, remember you do it first for yourself.IMG_8599

You will no doubt face resistance and sometimes social eating situations will also present challenges. You will be required to stand firm and secure in the choices you have made for yourself. It isn’t easy, I know. I have faced the resistance, the sarcastic comments, the remarks about all these weird products, foods and habits etc. I have also found myself triggered by this at times and becoming defensive. Thankfully that stage has passed.

Stay true to what you know you want for you. Lead by example and I guarantee that soon your family, friends and colleagues will start asking questions and becoming intrigued. Maybe even joining you! (Go back…)

3. I am so confused with the amount of information available and all the conflicting advice and ideas. I just don’t know what to believe anymore or where to start.

To this I respond that nothing and no one knows YOU like you know you, and this we have to remember.

Only we know what feels good or not and what supports or deplete us. When we look outside of ourselves for the answer to what we should do it leads us further away from the answers we seek.

All the information, tools, advice and practices available are amazing resources. They help give us the guidance we need to follow our inner truth. But they can also be misleading. We need to see through it all and have a strong filter system in place. Gather what feels right and resonates with you and discard that which doesn’t. We feel a response inside when we come across something that feels right to us. Whether it be a concept, a piece of information, a product etc, we feel a yes in our bodies. (Go back…)

4. I can’t cook!

So many people say to me ‘It’s alright for you, you’re a chef and this comes easy to you, but I can’t cook’. My answer to this is that ‘Yes, you can cook!’ you just don’t knowpestle it yet!

Ok, so my years in catering give me a certain amount of knowledge and understanding that others may not have. But this is only experience.

The kitchen is both a temple and a playground. I see it as a creative alchemical space where there is no right and no wrong. The art of creating amazing recipes, balanced meals and having variety comes from getting in there and doing it! Some things will taste better than others, some combinations work and others don’t. Some ingredients go together better than others. This is all something you learn along the way.

The important thing if we make a ‘mistake’ is to learn from it and see how to make it better next time. Or discard the idea if it doesn’t work and don’t feel bad about it.

My advice is to use recipes, blogs and resources as a guide, there to inspire. Use a recipe here and there by all means, but as much as possible try to find an intuitive place within you to cook from. Cooking by recipe is a bit stop and start and we lose our flow. Weighing everything all the time also makes us lose our rhythm and flow. I like to use hands as much possible to take a pinch of this or that, mix a cake batter, toss a salad or weigh out portions of grains and beans. I like to use cup measures too, they feel nicer to use than scales. At times though we do need to measure (like for cakes!).

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to feed yourself nutritious and delicious meals, far from it! For a while you may need to prioritise cooking until it starts to become natural and normal. Let go of any pressure and cooking could well become an enjoyable activity, maybe even a meditative practice.

Get going and soon you will find you want to cook for yourself, because of how good it makes you feel when you do. (Go back…)

5. Help! I’m a sugar addict!

Yep, I know that one!

20160411_094659I’m a recovering sugar addict too and I know how hard it is to manage on a daily basis. I can only share from my own experience of this and hope it offers some tips and ideas for others on their journey. Accepting it as an addiction that it is emotionally influenced is when we can start to do something about it. I have found that there is essentially an emotional undercurrent, as with any addiction.

Sedating ourselves with sugar laden sweet foods is a way of ‘checking out’ and not feeling comfortable with what is. Without looking at this aspect, a sugar addiction will be hard to manage from foods alone and we never get to the source and find balance.

The most success I have had around this with food has come from increasing my intake of raw and alkalising foods. Including green juices and smoothies, micro algae such as chlorella and spirulina, seaweeds and great quality oils such as coconut and extra virgin olive oil regularly, helps maintain a stable blood sugar balance and manage sweet cravings. Only using pure sea salt or rock salt, consuming fermented foods and getting hydration and water intake levels right also play an important role.

Understanding the 5 basic natural cravings of the body (for sweet, salt, hydration, fat and protein) was a light bulb ‘a-­ha’ moment for me. From this things began to make so much more sense. I had NO idea how to naturally satisfy a sweet craving. I would eat packets of biscuits, bars of chocolate and whole cakes trying to feel satisfied, but it was never enough. Meeting a craving with a natural food source satisfies it quickly. It all depends on how we choose to respond to the craving and with what. Macrobiotic and Ayurvedic approaches to nutrition and cooking are amazing for helping with this as they focus on balance and emphasise more neutral foods.

Another thing that may not be easy but makes a huge difference, is eating a savoury breakfast. What we eat for breakfast determines the blood sugar balance for the day and protein is ideal at breakfast time. A green smoothy, veg based with high protein ingredients such as chlorella, pea or hemp protein powder or chia helps a lot. This can sustain you through until lunch without any mid morning crashes or blood sugar dips. Miso soup or a broth based soup packed with veggies and algae is also a good choice. Eggs or grain free pancakes made from plantain or tiger nut flour can also be a good option. (Go back…)

6. And finally…

People always say to me on retreats, half jokingly, ‘Can I take you home with me?’

Well the answer in essence is yes. Obviously not physically with you every day preparing all your meals for you! But I can share with you fundamental tools, invaluable for gaining clarity around what works for you and what doesn’t. I can also show you how to apply it to your life and how you can create your own holistic kitchen and self care practices.

Through the various aspects of my work I bring myself into your homes in many ways, giving you access to all the help and support you need. (Go back…)