Hello! Today, Danielle is telling us a bit more about her own international journey to nutrition…
I met today’s guest a few years ago when I attended a nutrition student clinic for the first time and realised how this career was resonating with me. A few years later, it was then a great pleasure to work with her in a different company. And now that I am in Perth, I can even enjoy her amazing Bliss Balls in the naturopathic clinic and health stores I am working in! Danielle knows how to explain in simple words how your food choices are so important for you and the range of products she is now developing is amazing….so please meet Danielle!
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Danielle, a passionate cook and a qualified nutritionist. When I’m not busy eating and cooking food you’ll find me running with my dog Jack, at my local crossfit gym, at the beach or just chilling out with a good book. I’ve worked as a nutritionist for the last 8 years and last year I founded Food to Nourish. I help inspire people to eat better through teaching them about nutrition and showing them simple and easy recipes to make at home. I also launched a range of health food products that range from tasty bliss balls, activated almonds, delicious spreads, healthy lunchbox bars and premade muffin mixes.
What is your background? Where have you lived? Or where have you travelled?
My background is Dutch, I moved to Sydney, Australia with my family when I was 12 years old, and I’ve pretty much lived on the Northern Beaches ever since.
In my early 20s I spent 9 months travelling around Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, India and Nepal. This was a terrific chance to unwind, meet amazing people, enjoy phenomenal food and immerse myself in a completely different culture
What do you think your international experiences taught you?
Moving to Australia when I was 12 certainly taught me a few things! It was such a dramatic change of scenery and culture, to go from ice-skating on the local waterways to joining Nippers at Manly Surf Life Saving Club! To be honest initially it was a very challenging experience that taught me about change, feeling different and not fitting in. But eventually that turned into strong friendships, some great adventures and amazing opportunities.
My other international travels to South East Asia and India taught me a lot about humility, the simple things in life and the incredible culture, food and people of these places.
How did you become interested in nutrition?
I became interested in nutrition when I was about 18 years old and I began studying nutrition soon after that. I’ve always been interested in how what we eat makes us feel, look and function. Of all of the things we can do for our bodies, what we eat has to be one of the strongest influences in determining our state of health. I have had my own struggles with my own health and learned through diet how to treat my Hashimoto’s (Thyroid Condition) and PCOS. I don’t like to say that I’ve cured myself of either of these conditions because they will always remain dormant in the background, they are a weakness in my health. However, what I feed my body and how I look after it will determine whether they will ever have the chance to flare up again.
What does ‘healthy eating’ mean for you?
Healthy eating for me is about filing my plate with the best quality and most nutrient dense foods available. This means focussing on seasonal vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meats, free-range eggs and chicken, organic dairy products, small amounts of nuts and seeds, and good fats and oil, like olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee and avocado’s. But it also means incorporating foods that traditionally used to feature in our diet, such as fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir.
It’s also important to get the right balance of the above foods on your plate. For example eating fresh fruit and some coconut yoghurt for breakfast isn’t a healthy balanced meal and it’s not going to produce a healthy hormonal response, nor is it going to keep you full until lunch. Instead create a healthy breakfast by combining some protein, such as eggs, with fresh vegetables, avocado and some sweet potato. This creates a much better hormonal response in the body and gives you much longer lasting energy throughout the day.
Lastly, it’s important to not overlook other factors that help create good health. You can’t eat yourself out of stress, poor sleep and over-training. You need to think of your health as a bank account. Deposits into your health account include healthy eating, minimal stress, good sleep and healthy exercise. While withdrawals from this account include a poor diet, a late night, a stressful situation at work etc. The trick is getting the right balance and making more deposits than you make withdrawals, don’t only focus on one element of health.
What is your favourite ingredient for a salad and why?
My favourite salad ingredient would have to be avocado hands down! I almost always have avocado in every salad I make. I love it because it adds this nice creamy flavour, but also because it’s full of healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E and other nutrients and anti-oxidants
Do you have any salad recipe or green advice you would like to share with the readers of enSalades?
Click the following link to view the recipe of Danielle’s Smoked Salmon Salad: Food to Nourish Recipe Smoke Salmon Salad.
You can connect with Danielle on social media.
Thank you for answering all my questions.
Have a lovely day!
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