1) Where were you at before starting Small Steps to Wholefoods?
Before I started small steps, I thought I had a pretty healthy diet. I ate everything low fat: skim milk, low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, no butter, no fatty meats, virtually no nuts, and occasionally some avocado, I used to use sweeteners (not stevia) and drink a lot of “diet” drinks. I ate low fat canola spread and cooked with canola oil spray. I ate a lot of pasta, rice and bread because I believed that would make me feel full. I relied a lot on packaged foods for snacks and breakfast for myself and my children. I thought eating breakfast cereal was healthy. Luckily I’ve always enjoyed cooking so having take-away and eating out was not a problem for me as I cooked our meals most of the time.
2) What made you take the plunge?
I bought a Thermomix a few months before starting Small steps and I was already starting to become aware of additives and preservatives in food. Eating healthy has always been very important to me so more so since having children (Adrian 5 years old and Skyla 1 ½ years old).
I started on the first round which was the 28 days to wholefoods and I loved it so much I signed up for the next round.
3) What were the most important things you learnt through the program?
The program changed my way of thinking about food quite dramatically. The most important thing I learned is the importance of eating healthy fats and the impact high processing of foods can have on their nutritional value.
4) What did you love most about it?
What I enjoyed the most about this program is the flexibility. There is no set menu to follow so you can adapt your learning to your families preferences. The community environment with our own FB group had been great to share recipes and get advice. I love seeing what other people are doing.
5) How would you say your life has changed since participating in Small Steps?
My diet has changed dramatically since doing the program; we no longer have cereal and toast for breakfast but enjoy eggs poached in chicken broth, sweet potato hash, porridge, chia pudding, etc. I try to eat real food as much as possible. I used to exercise 3 times a week and would take a while to recover and always feel really hungry that day. But now I have so much more energy I usually work out 4 to 5 times a week and don’t feel the need to eat much more than usual, I work 4 days a week full days (9 to 5) and do pick up and drop offs for the 2 kids, I do all the cleaning and washing, cooking etc., but don’t feel exhausted at the end of the day as much as I used to. I lost 7 kilos by simply swapping foods. I’ve never been one to diet, I need to eat! I just can’t be hungry so when I started wholefoods I was not looking at losing weight but it was a very nice gain for me. I also, now make all my kids snacks from scratch and give them more fruit and veggies to snack on, I make my sons school lunch box and have only given him a sandwich once (and it really isn’t that hard!).
I still enjoy some beautiful sourdough once in a while, I still eat dairy because we tolerate it and I love cheese! I still drink wine but try to get organic when I can. We have some not so good foods/desserts every once in a while but that doesn’t make me feel guilty about enjoying them because I know that the rest of the time I am nourishing my body.
I’ve learned to listen to my body more and do what feels right to me. Cooking a beautiful nourishing meal does not need to be complicated or hard work.
6) Any advice for those who are considering starting their journey?
Don’t expect to change everything at once as the title says it’s a small steps to wholefoods. Which is very important I’ve been on this journey for nearly 9 months and I am learning new things every day and incorporating new changes slowly.