Nutrition expert Jacqueline Alwill on how to make natural foods inspiring
Eating natural foods doesn’t need to be a chore. Here are four simple ingredients to get you feeling better
Between wholefoods catering business Brown Paper Bag and a nutrition practice, Jacqueline Alwill still finds time to write, present and eat well - in addition to raising her young son Jet. And she says it is easy for people to start eating better using natural foods. “I’ve always loved health, food, fitness and supporting others as they find their way to feeling fantastic,” Alwill says. “My interest for it started as a teenager and I feel very grateful that something I feel so passionately about has ultimately become integrated into all aspects of my life.”
Despite her busy schedule, Alwill says she still finds time to cook and prepare healthy meals and snacks, inspired by flavour and plant-based foods. Alwill’s first book, Season To Share reflects her passion to make healthy food easy, with 130 recipes she describes as “unfussy”. For Alwill, the diversity of what she does keeps every day interesting. Her love of nature and health keeps her passionate – and authentic. “I think if I were doing the same thing every day I wouldn’t feel the same - one day I might be writing – the next working in a television studio. The following day I might be managing an event with our team from The Brown Paper Bag Kitchen. It forces me to constantly think outside the square and challenge the way others understand health too”.
So how does the nutrition goddess practice what she preaches? “I totally embrace plant-based foods in my life. I love them, their nutrition is insane, so that’s a start, but the fact that plants are so bountiful in colour and flavour helps too. Most importantly, their diversity makes integrating them into the diet and enjoying them in meals all the time so easy.”
Alwill advises anyone keen to improve their health to look at eating more plant-based foods.
“If you’re moving toward eating more plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains) then aiming for five big handfuls a day is a great step,” she said.
When she’s not working or cooking, Alwill says she finds mornings one of her best times for relaxing and feeling natural. “I usually wake earlier than my six-year-old and meditate for 20 minutes to start the day, Jet often wakes just as I am finishing and potters in to find me for a cuddle - not sure how anything can beat that kind of heavenly feeling in my day. If I do have time some ‘me time’ in my day, I love heading down to the beach to hop in the ocean - the ultimate nourishing release.”
Alwill’s favourite plant-based ingredients
Can’t live without them for seasoning, sipping in water throughout the day and I love the juice of a lemon in warm water to kick off the day and give my liver a nudge. Always remember to nurture your liver - it’s such a vital organ for us to live.
Creamy, delicious, wholesome, nutritious and versatile. Avocado is a simple snack with lemon and black pepper, scooped into smoothies, over my favourite homemade bread or just sliced over some poached chicken with a herby quinoa to up the nutrition in a meal. One of my favourite ingredients.
This ingredient always confuses people because it is totally unrelated to wheat but is instead a fruit seed, is deliciously grounding and satisfying to eat. I substitute rice to accompany meals, to toss through salads and one of my absolute favourites is within a bread with nuts, seeds, psyllium and coconut oil. It’s so hearty and wins people over onto Team Buckwheat all the time.
They’re rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which help support cardiovascular health and ultimately are just a delicious little snack when you’re on the go. While I love all nuts, I find cashews’ gentle flavour quite easy to cook and when making raw cakes and treats in particular. The raw cashew coconut ice cream with a date caramel that comes out of our freezer over the summer is a pretty great example of the cashew’s diversity.
This Be You, Be Natural profile is presented by Be Natural – Inspired by Plant Power