Beginner’s Guide for Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet

Why the focus on fresh, raw wholefoods?

Aside from curing my own ailments through a raw, plant-based wholefoods diet, growing up on an organic farm meant I always had this connection to fresh wholefoods. While I didn’t appreciate my farmhouse lifestyle at the time, it really has been a wonderful gift long term – most importantly, it allowed me to experience where real food actually comes from and how much effort goes into growing your own watermelons, or raising your own animals. The effort and value in growing real wholefoods is something most of us take for granted, the status quo of mass manufacturing and ‘convenience’ food has left us largely disconnected from the process, and how our choices as consumers impact the world around us.

Beginner’s Guide for Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet Photo Gallery

When and why did you launch Little Bird Organics?

Once I realised I could take my passion for food and do something good with it, I began creating a range of sprouted ‘grawnolas’ and macaroons in my home kitchen. After experimenting with the products, I had the opportunity to try them out on some consumers at a health talk by international health guru David Wolfe. My clever husband made some labels the night before the event, and off I went to see if anyone would want to purchase my goods. Despite my nerves, I got through the evening and to my surprise, sold out of everything. There happened to be a couple of buyers and that’s when the phone calls started coming in. After several late nights and a lot of hard work, I managed to get myself ready to supply their stores. After that, the next 40 stores were by word of mouth.

When did you first get inspired to launch your own vegan café?

I had wanted to open an organic wholefoods café for a long time. I wanted to show people what a purely plant-based diet could look and feel like, that it could be incredibly satisfying, delicious and enjoyable. A plant-based diet isn’t just about our own health or being compassionate to animals, but most importantly to me, it reduces our impact on the environment, which supports all of us. Environmental destruction is happening at a rate that is far from sustainable, and choosing a plant-based diet – as well as being more conscious about all our consumer choices and consumption habits – is the best way to individually make small changes, which all collectively amount to a much larger impact. You’re very hands-on and take pride in making your own nut milk, culturing nut cheese and even fermenting kimchi.

Why is it so important for you to make these elements from scratch?

Making your own wholefoods basics is incredibly satisfying, and much easier than you think. There is often this assumption that the almond milk in the health food aisle at the supermarket is ‘healthy’, but once you turn the packet over, it only contains four per cent almonds, added sugar, water and preservatives. Making your own wholefoods basics from scratch means you know exactly how it was made, where it came from, and what it contains – it is also much more economical!

What are some wholefood hacks that people can adopt to create easy, plantbased meals at home?

My top hack would be to make your own wholefoods basics at home. Not only do they taste delicious, but they’re also incredibly easy and straightforward to make, and last in the fridge for weeks. I like to make sure I always have some cooked grains, such as quinoa or millet, and some kind of protein source, like sprouted nuts or marinated tempeh, ready to go in the fridge. When I need to put together a lunch or dinner quickly, I just chuck my vegies in a bowl, add some quinoa, tempeh, avocado and top with some homemade cashew aioli or tahini dressing – simple, quick and delicious! Healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated; it just requires a little planning.

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