August 3, 2016

Q and A: Part Two


You can catch Part 1 of this Q and A over HERE, I loved answering all your questions!  In Part 2 I’m covering:







  • You mention work sometimes. .. what is your day job?
    • I’m a full time stay at home mum which I LOVE, and I also work about 25 hours a week from home running The Whole Food Diary and Whole Kitchen worlds, which is a business both online, consulting, recipe developing, writing, teaching classes, and also locally supplying our baked goods to local businesses and catering to private orders and events.
  • Do you have general nutrition facts for your donuts? 
    • I don’t know them but you could use the recipe book and an app like my fitness pal to work it out!
  • And do you ship you baked goods? 
    • I can’t ship my baked goods at all, getting a food license it tough and it only covers local sales – I’m sorry!  But if you’re ever in town, come and find us!
  • Would you let others use your doughnut recipes to sell to local coffee shops in their town? I live in Ashland,OR! ?
    • Yes, I’m always happy to try and make this work, I’ve create reciped for coffee shops to use, worked with staff to train them, etc and I love it – just shoot me an email
  • Do you use your phone for taking all these Instagram photos, or do you use a ‘real’ camera, what app do you use for text on photos?
    • Most of my photos are snapped on my iphone while the family is patiently waiting to eat! (thanks guys) A few are shot on my trusty 30D Canon, and usually if I blog a recipe I’ll shoot on that ‘real’ camera, or sometimes if I have a moment to shoot ahead of eating.  I keep it pretty simple though, all my editing is in Instagram only, and if I ever use text, it’s through Wordswag!
  • What are some of your favorite organic health/beauty products like shampoo, face wash, etc. 
    • I don’t have a fully organic personal care and cosmetic routine but I try to buy the least toxic things that I can for our home and bodies. You can read a blog post about our home and cosmetic detox HERE with all the products we use listed. If I had to choose some favorites though it would be Dr Bronners soap, raw ACV, and Tallow Balm, just because they are economical, 100% clean and have so many uses!! For all personal products I use the EWG ratings (see and like to keep everything between 0-2 on their scale.


  • Have you always eaten healthily?
    • I grew up in a pretty healthy home, my mum made most of our food from scratch, there was no white bread, we ate organic before it was ‘cool’ and I had the most boring (aka real, healthy food with no shiny wrappers!) lunch box for my whole school career! I’ve also been on my own journey since I went vegetarian at 12, and my least healthy days were probably in university, where I was a mix of cooking frugal bean stews from scratch, to drinking my weight weekly in diet coke. I was raised with a value for putting good food in my body but it’s been a personal journey, and really I only feel like now approaching 30 I’ve landed on what rounded balance and health looks like for me.
    • For Jared, he grew up on a fairly standard American diet, you can read more about his healthy journey HERE.
  • Do you or did you have food intolerances? 
    • Jared and I both feel lucky that, within the bounds of our normal healthy diet, our bodies do pretty well with whatever we eat. I do notice that dairy makes my stomach feel heavy and bloated so I tend to avoid that, and I’ve had some reflux issues since birth but I can avoid them fully with our normal healthy diet. Jared does also have a peanut allergy. 
  • I know you used to be vegan and have gone back to some animal products- can you talk about your thoughts on that? Do you have certain standards you pick animal products by? Are you mostly vegan again? 
    • Yes, I feel like I’ve eaten every different way under the sun! I’d say I now eat meat 0-5 times per week depending on the week. I’m definitely not vegan as I eat a load of eggs, and some raw honey.  When we do eat meat and dairy yes I have high standards. I’ve worked in that industry and I know that it matters. We only buy organic meat and dairy, and our beef is always 100% grass fed and finished and usually locally raised too.  When it comes to dairy I prefer raw dairy and always buy raw cheese and kefir but sometimes our yoghurt is the pasteurized version.  One day I’d love to have our own goats.  I love farm living and loved fresh raw milk every morning!
  • When you were vegan & even now how did/do you add calcium to your diet? I struggle with knowing that my boys who are dairy intolerant are getting enough calcium.
    • The good news is that if you pay attention it’s actually not hard to get a rich calcium intake with no dairy, but it does take thought and a little work. When I was vegan (and still now eating very little dairy) my calcium comes from lots of dark leafy greens (stick them in a smoothie if need be!), broccoli, collards, kale, molasses, almonds, almond butter, and tahini, along with smaller amounts in different things across the varied diet I eat. At times I’ve used an app like My Fitness Pal to track and make sure I’m getting enough rather than just guessing, so that could help you have peace of mind as you figure it out.
  • I’m currently moving closer to raw veganism, I am curious to hear more about your raw days, what it looked like for you, and why you stopped.
    • When I moved towards eating raw I was on a long personal quest for what eating was ‘supposed’ to look like for the human race! This lead me to look at and research so many different things and when I started to read about raw food, it made sense to me. I don’t jump on bandwagons easily, and at heart I’m a scientist so things need to check out and make sense and this one really did for me, so I dived in. I ate a fully raw vegan diet for about 3 years. For the most part I ate very simply.  I didn’t concoct the elaborate meals you find in raw restaurants or recipe books.  I ate a lot of different salads and simple vegetable dishes, bowls of sprouted lentils, beans, and quinoa, nuts, seeds, fruit and dried fruit, a lot of mono meals (read: a 2lb bag of carrots, or 2 avocados for lunch!) and only occasionally with friends did I do the fancy ‘cooking’.  I felt good, so good. I had noticeably more energy, I needed less sleep, my body felt vibrant and healthy.  I honestly thought I would never look back.
    • However, about two years later my body just wasn’t thriving on my version of a raw food lifestyle.  I say my version because I think it’s completely possible to thrive eating that way but you have to find balance.  A lot of people, myself included, can get unbalanced and not get enough protein, and then swing too much to the ‘fun’ sweet desserts that the raw food world offers. My body just wasn’t getting what I needed, my mum actually challenged me on it and I realized she was right and began introducing some other foods.  I started with whole spelt bread and eggs, and then some grass fed meats. It wasn’t hard for me to introduce those things, my quest had always been for the healthiest way to eat and 100% raw vegan food wasn’t the answer any more.  That said, raw and unadulterated food continues to make up the majority of my diet, and that’s how I feel best.  Some days and weeks I eat completely vegan, and raw, and love it.  Another factor in my journey is relationships.  When I started dating Jared we began to both find ways to move towards a more common way of eating which has pushed us both to find a new kind of balance, food isn’t all about nutrition, its also about community and being with people, and I want our dinner table to always be a happy place where we share food well as a family.
  • What are your thoughts on raw milk vs nut milks and on traditional sourdoughs vs gluten free breads? I’ve read a lot about keeping things raw and traditionally cultured. So basically: do you think that nut milks and gf is superior to raw dairy and long fermented wheat? 
    • I don’t think nut milks and gluten free are necessarily superior and actually things carrying those claims on the label are often far far worse due to additives. But assuming a good quality, clean version, I think they are just different – that is unless you have allergies/sensitivites that make the raw dairy/sourdoughs impossible. I’m not an expert at all but we do eat organic sprouted grains and sourdoughs and have no problems with them in theory or in practice, I love integrating them into our diet and when our son is older I’ll introduce them to him too. I think a lot of the problems people experience with grains and dairy are due to bad quality grains and dairy, but equally, a lot of people also don’t have access to the good options. So then I would say nut milks and non wheat/grain breads can be better. Notice I didn’t say gluten free, because, (and I’m just going to jump up on a soap box here!!) gluten free does NOT MEAN HEALTHY! This is on of the biggest lies people are buying into currently. The only thing that a gluten free label means, is that someone with coeliac disease won’t have a reaction.  That’s it.  You can read my full thoughts on gluten in my post on Gluten: Fact, Fad, or Fiction HERE.
  • What’s the fat/carb/protein ratio in your meals? I’m trying to be more balanced in life.
    • I’ll be honest I have no idea and I don’t track my macros. I do look roughly at how I’m balancing my meals but it tends to be by the day not by the plate.  If I don’t eat much protein at breakfast I’ll make sure I get lots the rest of the day, I try to eat protein and a good dose of healthy fat at eat meal but other than that I don’t analyze it.  I just make sure I get variety, and feel balanced.
  • What is your favorite fancy clean(ish) treat? What’s you’re favourite easy clean treat that you try to always have on hand? 
    • Fancy treat: Raw desserts all the way! Ones like this banoffee pie, and this chocolate heart slice – complete indulgence and decadence but also nourishing and not a compromise. Easy clean treat – simple homemade raw chocolate, or fruit and nut clusters in raw chocolate – they’re pretty much always in our freezer.


  • Was wondering when you started baby on solids? And does he have any teeth yet? My baby girl is 6 months now and no teeth yet, so I’m just wondering how you’re going about self feeding whole foods with only gummies?
    • We started Clayton on food at 6 months when he could just about sit up by himself. You can read about that more in a blog post HERE. He actually cut his first tooth on that same day and got three more over the next 2 months. Babies do very well with just gums given the right foods so I wouldn’t worry about that. We’re not feeding him hard apple slices, but things that gums can easily manipulate, like soft eggs, and well baked soft sweet potato.  And at this point (pre 1 year old) my feeding goal isn’t predominantly nutrition, that still comes mostly from breastmilk.  The food he gets is about tasting, and learning, not about ingesting large quantities.  So a lack of teeth isn’t limiting!  Some great books to help are Nourishing Traditions  and Baby Led Weaning, I also loved the blog BLW Ideas and read the whole thing over and over!
  • Do you do eat specific foods to boost your immune system and baby’s immunity?
    • I don’t think about this much on its own as I plan our meals but in managing our overall health I know I’m taking care of our immune systems. By eating good quality, local, unprocessed, and seasonal produce I know I’m eating a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients to strengthen our bodies, and build good immune systems.  However, I do make sure we’re eating lots of gut/good bacteria nourishing foods like raw fermented kefir and yogurt, some bone broth, raw garlic and ginger, vegetable juices, sauerkraut, as well as local raw honey.
  • How do you decide which foods to try first with your baby?
    • You can read in depth about our process HERE but in short, I knew I wanted to go down the route of finger foods rather than purees and therefore start on fruits and vegetables rather than grain cereals The information can get overwhelming so I’ve done as much of my own research as possible, and then gone ‘with my gut’ on what feels right to us.
  • My baby is sensitive to certain foods in my diet, dairy being one of those things. Did Clayton have any aversions or symptoms of any allergies while breastfeeding only? If so, how did you transition him to whole foods with that in mind? 
    • I wondered for a short time if he had an aversion to dairy but after cutting it out nothing changed, (I barely eat it, just a little yoghurt/kefir) and since feeding him solids he’s had no issues other than some minor skin rashes from acidic foods, and bananas.
  • What do you think is a normal age to still breastfeed your baby? 
    • Yes, that’s a big question! Honestly I don’t know what we will do but I don’t have an opinion on ‘normal’. The WHO recommends breastfeeding until at least 1 year so that could be classed as a worldwide ‘normal’ age to still be doing it, but not a correct or normal age to stop.  I think it’s up to the mother and baby and your lifestyle and wishes.  My goal is to make it to one year of age and then we’ll see.


  • Did you make any changes to your diet when preparing to get pregnant and during pregnancy? Did you follow a particular diet during pregnancy?
    • I didn’t follow any particular regime for eating in preparing to get pregnant or while pregnant but talked to my midwife and worked out what was right for me.  In terms of supplements I took a general prenatal (I started 4 months before I got pregnant and will continue until I finish breastfeeding), as well as a DHA supplement.  Having not been eating dairy I started again, eating some yogurt each day.  Happily I found my body didn’t bloat the way it did before pregnancy so I kept going but also took a calcium supplement to make sure I was getting enough.  Aside from that, I paid attention to eating a varied, local and organic diet with lots of protein, good energy, and healthy fats.  Having a clean and healthy system, I tend to trust my cravings (even outside of pregnancy) so I ran with them in pregnancy too as they weren’t anything unhealthy, and I ate a lot of cottage cheese and sourdough spelt bread.  I also binged for a few weeks on grass fed beef hotdogs, and I wanted nothing sweet at all, just salt! For the first 3 months I avoided all caffeine and then allowed myself one cup a day.  I also avoided raw eggs but introduced them again from good sources about half way through, and limited my fish intake throughout (due to mercury).
  • Also, what did you do in terms of fitness to get back into shape postpartum?
  • What was your journey with body image after birth?
    • I wrote all about that in THIS blog post so you can get more of the story there!  In general it wasn’t a huge issue for me, but yes I did have some moments where I wanted a flat tummy again, or didn’t know why weight wasn’t coming off, or had no idea how much I needed to eat while nursing, but I made sure I took those emotions in hand and directed them somewhere productive, and closed out any lies that I was believing – like ‘if magazine covers say celebrities can look perfect on the red carpet 5 days after birth so should I.’ Yeah, that’s ridiculous.  I told myself: I’m healing, and still growing a human through milk, and I want to make good milk so I’ll eat heartily with lots of fat, I need sleep to recover so I’ll rest, and I’ll not hurt myself by working out, and I’ll let it be a journey!
    • One thing that definitely made it easier was planning ahead.  I knew I didn’t want to have extra weight to lose after birth so I made a point of eating well and staying active through pregnancy.  It took work, getting up early, making time but I knew it would be easier not to put it on than to take it off after so I was motivated! I also kept eating really cleanly through pregnancy.  When I walked out of the hospital after birth I was up 10lbs from my normal.  And I did have some amazing stretch marks.  I had made it to about 7 months without any, and meticulously oiled my bump in hope but one morning I work up and there they were.  Yes I’ve read all the things about mums being tigers who earn their stripes, but I didn’t want to be a tiger, can I not be a lioness instead?!  I was really disappointed but to be honest, after birth I couldn’t have cared less about them, they were the story of Clayton.  (That said, 8 months on they’ve basically disappeared, and I’m not sad!)
    • I’ve never had any big body image issues but I do know the way I like my body to look and I work to keep it there.  It’s easy to have a big belly when there’s a baby inside but afterwards I was ready to have a flat tummy again. But I let it be a journey, for me the struggle was less about losing those 10lbs but more about how to maintain a new body with the new demands of life and a new schedule and new responsibilities.  My ‘normal daily life’ was completely turned upside down.  That swayed me for a while but you have to let it be a journey, so I did, and with a very supportive husband, we made it. But read the blog post ‘Beer, A Meltdown, and the Perfect Post-Baby Body’ I say it all better there!


  • Do you do any workshops in regards to clean eating, and also about food photography/food writing?
    • Yes! I periodically run cooking classes that I advertise on my Instagram so watch out for them there!  Twice a year I also run a really fun class that’s an overview intro to healthy living with the amazing Lauren Dahl called ‘The Clean Life’, we LOVE to host that one!  We’ll be running our next one in September so watch out for details!


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