Ally is a mum of 2 tiny people, a Naturopath and an avid home cook, amongst many other colourful things. I have asked her to come and chat to you about cooking at home in an easy, quick and nourishing way. This is something that she is super passionate about, so let’s see how she goes with my pressing questions.
Q. Why do you do what you do?
As a Naturopath, health and wellbeing are one of my top values both in life and in my work. My belief is that the single biggest thing that we can do to influence our health, and that of our families, is cook delicious meals at come from whole and natural ingredients.
So this is why I created my Nourishing Meal Plan subscription. To fill up big and little tummies with healthy delicious food, and also to take a load off of mums and dads who organise the family’s food, meal planning, shopping and cooking.
You can read more about the meal planning subscription here.
Q. What are wholefoods and are they important?
Wholefoods are basically foods in their natural form, the way that nature intended. They don’t have any added chemicals, flavours, enhancers or preservatives, which cause a myriad of health issues and disease. What they do have is an abundance of vitamins, minerals, fibre, healthy fat and so much more that our body needs to thrive.
They are vital for lifelong health, disease prevention, healthy weight maintenance, high energy, a strong immune system, happy moods and a whole lot more. Food really is medicine, and no amount of exercise or supplements will help if your diet is filled with processed foods.
Q. How can busy mums find the time to cook nutritious food for the whole family?
The key is to make meals that are simple and quick. The meals inside my subscription use basic whole foods that you can get at the supermarket and are cooked in quick and easy ways. No-one should be spending hours in the kitchen each day, least of all busy parents.
Some key tips to managing the family meals in a quick and sustainable way are:
- Make a meal plan for each week – do this on a weekend or day off each week
- Make a shopping list based on your meal plan
- Order the groceries online for delivery
- Have veggies chopped and ready to go in containers in your fridge. You can also buy pre-cut veggies which is a real time saver.
- Use a slow cooker often, or an insta-pot. These are both fantastic time savers.
- Bulk cook family favourites, so that you have meals in the freezer ready to go when needed
- Have one day a week where you can spend an hour in the kitchen making snacks for yourself and the kids.
Q. Other than nutritional health, is there anything else you do personally to keep yourself healthy?
Health is multifaceted, with mind, body and spirit all needing care on a daily basis. These are some of the things that I do to feel fulfilled and healthy.
Hydration is one of the simplest places to start. Making sure I have 8 glasses, or 2 litres water daily really helps with energy, lovely skin, good digestion and so much more.
Movement. I try to move my body every day, but it can feel hard to find the time. It’s one of those things that I never regret though, and it does greatly improve my energy and mood.
Stillness. This is another really important factor for me in my health. After the girls go to bed at night I like to do a meditation, or some journal writing to connect to my soulful self.
Playing with my kids! This one is really important, as it helps to keep me and the kids sane and mentally healthy. One of our favourite ways to spend time together is at our arts and crafts table! My girls love to paint, cut, glue and stick; it’s a beautiful way to create and bond as a family. Check out Ros’ “For the Love of Art” Children’s Art-making Kits here.