Healthy Q&A’s with our founders Anne & Susan

Life is moving very fast these days and it’s important to stay on track and not forget about our health. In the current climate with coronavirus, it is important to keep our health and wellness as a priority. 

We asked Su and Anne, the Australian women behind The Whole Kitchen, to share with us their daily routines and some insights that keep them on track. You may find some of their quick and practical tips useful. Even though having access to healthy gluten free The Whole Kitchen bakery items and snacks everyday may seem like a head start, it is important to see health holistically, with diet being only a part of a healthy lifestyle. We hope you enjoy reading! xx

How do you stay healthy?

Anne: For me many aspects of life need to be in balance to feel my best. Eating well is only one part of staying healthy. 

Family, work, relationships, good sleep, nutrition, self care and movement all play a part. Moving my body every day is something I love to do. Depending on how I am feeling this may be a run, a yoga class, laps of the pool, a bootcamp, bike ride or it may be a simple walk and play with my son down at East Coast Park. (Moving outdoors is my soul food!) Consistency and doing what you love is key. Another target is to try for 10k steps a day, which can be quite challenging!!

Susan:  Physical and mental health is important for me when running a business and raising a family. Currently I am finding that doing 2 yoga sessions a week is working well to keep me motivated throughout the week although I still think I need more than this. 

Quality sleep is also key to staying healthy with -/+ 8 hours a night and eating dinner early to help digestion before bedtime. Weekends are a time to chill and hang out with the family. It’s essential to be able to switch off from work and be present with whatever I am doing...

 How do you plan your meals? 

Susan: With an active lifestyle and high metabolism, I need to eat regularly to keep up my energy levels. I avoid lots of coffee and focus on a balanced diet with smaller portion sizes. “Less is more” as they say and this also relates to less food waste. But I am lucky as most of my days are spent in the TWK kitchen either testing our new gluten free bakery goods or checking in on the current ranges. 

Anne: With running a business and a family, no two days look the same. I try to follow some simple principles that help me stay on track.

In the morning I either fast, don’t have breakfast, just lots of water and a black coffee and have my first meal as lunch. This helps to keep my energy levels up, feel lighter and more motivated during the day. On other days when I feel like having breakfast, I will enjoy one  filled with healthy fats which fill me up, such as eggs, avocado and TWK gluten free toast, yoghurt with TWK Pecan Coconut Granola or a green smoothie made by my husband.

For lunch and dinner I am trying to focus on eating more plants and plant based meals. Every week I fill our fridge with as many colourful organic vegetables and fruits as possible and create our meals from these as a base, adding protein sources or grains. If we have a lot of vegetables left at the end of the week we will make a big coconut milk based curry, stew or soup so that nothing gets wasted. 

My go to snack is nuts! They are nutrition power-houses and so satisfying!

Which eating plan works for you? 

Susan: I don't follow any strict eating plans but the newly coined term "intuitive eating" would be the closest. The question is "what do I feel like eating" rather than "what did someone else tell me to eat" and I appreciate being able to have this choice.

Having spent most of my career in restaurants, the food I eat needs to taste good as well as be healthy. Knowing what the ingredients are on my plate is really important as is the quality of ingredients. Yet I am a carb lover and I love all things bread and potatoes!

Anne: As much as I love carbs, they don't love me. If I eat too much of them I feel bloated, lethargic, less motivated and it impacts my mood and sleep. So for me I focus on a low carb, low sugar approach, focus more on healthy fats (which I eat a lot of!) and try to choose healthy low carb alternatives to my favourite foods.

What’s always in your fridge?

Susan: Our family fridge is full of a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables which is versatile to suit any cuisine with a top shelf of condiments and sauces, good wine and a freezer full of sauces and breads etc. I love using fresh herbs in my cooking so there is always fresh coriander, mint, basil etc. We have a big garden and I'm lucky to grow tropical fruits like papayas and bananas which end up in my fridge or in my neighbours hands!

Anne: TWK Low Carb Nut & Seed Bread is my favourite go-to at the moment as a snack or breakfast. There is always organic yoghurt, berries, pickles, eggs, fresh fruit & veggies in our fridge as well as salmon and frozen spinach in our freezer!

What’s your favourite treat? 

Anne: Hands down a cheese/mezze board with a good glass of wine! I like TWK Muffins & Cakes as a sweet treat - I love enjoying them and still feel good afterwards, being made with nutritious nut flours instead of refined flours and sugar. Or a little dark chocolate!

Susan: The Whole Kitchen products are my favourite treats as they are so nutritious and rich. I love them all - like my children. No favourites please!

What are you working on this year for yourself?

Anne: I’m working on being more present in every moment. Less screen time, more real life connections, living more naturally and simply and doing more meditation. Every year meditation is one of my new years’ resolutions and every year comes and goes without me fully embracing it. I am starting slowly and working on incorporating it into my daily life without all the expectations and perfection.

Susan: Honestly, this year is about shifting focus to the things that matter and doing away with meaningless efforts. There are many distractions in the world so it's important to recognise those things that make you a happier person, better mother and (gulp) a better wife. Food and music is the key to my soul and put together I am definitely in my happy place in the kitchen.