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1.

What is Livelifood? And why?

LiveliFood is a digital platform I created so you can learn how to transition to a healthier lifestyle. It’s an invitation to follow my research and discoveries about food and its effects on our bodies. I want you to feel inspired and empowered to live a healthier, longer life—both for your own benefit and your loved ones. Yes, you will end up quitting some foods and losing some weight along the way—but forget about deprivation; we’ll fill your plate with variety, flavor, and plenty of delicious sugar-free desserts and snacks!

2.

Where do you get all your scientific information from?

I read… a lot. My curiosity leads me from one thing to the next and the next. Through the years, I have become a bit of a nerd. I have enjoyed reading and listening to all sorts of health topics, from food and biology to cellular genetics. 

I like doing my research and checking through the endnotes of the books I read to dig deeper into topics. I’m inspired by the work of groundbreaking researchers like David A. Sinclair and Yoshinori Ohsumi. I follow their work via their books and websites where the latest research is published. I follow Instagram accounts, listen to podcasts and watch Ted Talks. When I was a “commuter,” I listened to a book or two each week! 

I have designed a Resources section on the LiveliFood website where you can find some of my favs and dig deeper yourself. 

3.

What am I going to learn from LiveliFood? 

LiveliFood is your one-stop-shop for understanding how some food affects your body. Here you will learn what to eat and what NOT to eat to enjoy a healthy and long life. At Livelifood, we educate, inspire & help you transform your eating habits. You will also learn:

● What is really healthy? 

● How to remove malicious ingredients from your life - Starting in your kitchen, then in the grocery store aisles, and on to restaurant menus. 

● How to cook healthfully by cutting out the bullshit - 

You won’t find a brownie recipe with a cup of coconut sugar here. Our recipes don’t have sugars, refined grains, nutrient-poor carbohydrates, or vegetable oils, yet they are fun to make and delicious for the entire family.

4.

What is your background... are you a doctor or something?

I’m not a doctor with a background in medicine—I am a designer, a surfer, a wife, and a mum. Studying Industrial Design taught me to understand how we make things. I’d take them apart, learn about the mechanisms that made them work and put them back together in a better way. It makes sense that with my interest in healthy eating, I started to look at my own body in the same way—peeking inside to understand the effects of where food goes, what the body does with it, and how I could optimize for health. 

5.

Do you eat meat or fish? 

Ahhh, this is a complex topic for us! Our family’s answer is “Yes, but we try not to.” Our reason has more to do with the health of our planet than with the health of our bodies. In particular, I have had higher than desired LDL cholesterol levels in the past, and I managed to drop it by removing meat from my diet. So this is another reason why in our home, we make our meals primarily plant-based. 

When we do eat meat at our house, we eat kangaroo. If you live outside Australia, maybe this sounds surprising? But kangaroo is very lean meat, and kangaroos are an abundant species. They can’t be farmed and have to be caught in the wild, so the meat is free of the antibiotics and grains that farms feed their livestock. When we lived in the U.S, we ate buffalo for similar reasons! 

6.

Sounds like you don’t eat many carbs, gluten, meat, processed food or sugar, so... What Do You Eat?!?

Great question! This is what my friends ask me the most, with great curiosity. “So, no carbs?! No cereals, no pasta, no bread...? How do you do it??” 

Over the years playing in my kitchen, I’ve learned that there are many delicious foods and ingredients to cook with. I’ve fallen in love with avocados, olives, all types of nuts, coconut, lentils, chickpeas, beans, fermented vegetables - I make my sauerkraut every two weeks - and 80 - 90% dark chocolate. I also like eggs and cheese - although I try to eat them in moderation! :) 

In my mind, it’s relatively simple: If I know something might give me a mental disease in the long term, or arthritis when I’m old, why would I eat it? 

This is why LiveliFood reveals what can happen inside your body if we damage it over and over, day after day, week after week, month after month... you get my point! 

7.

How long will it take to get sugar (and my cravings for it) out of my system?

It took me three solid weeks. 

During those somewhat excruciating weeks, I fed my cravings with nuts, avocados, pasta, very dark chocolate. I made myself stay out of the kitchen when it was evident that the cravings were leading me there and went surfing instead! 

It can be difficult, and you will need to exercise your willpower, but I can assure you that it will be gratifying and worth your hard work. After months of being sugar-free, your body will recover quickly if you decide to eat something sweet. You won’t have to start over and suffer through cravings for another three weeks. You might just feel a little more hungry the next day. 

8.

What are the main health benefits you’ve experienced from changing your diet? 

Becoming as healthy as I am now didn’t happen overnight. For me, it was a slow process of learning, experimenting, and changing my habits. I felt better and better each step of the way, which was my encouragement to keep going. 

Quit sugar was the first thing I did. My body felt like I had a new superpower! I gained so much energy to do all the things I love in a day. I started to sleep well, I lost

weight, and I became less hungry altogether. A bonus was the time and money I saved in the supermarket. 

When my husband was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, we cut way back on carbohydrates and gluten. This alone helped strengthen our immune systems. We stopped getting the common everyday illnesses we had frequently been getting and maybe caught one cold a year. The change helped me heaps by reducing the painful joint inflammation I had in my hands. My after-pregnancy belly fat just disappeared. 

In early 2019, I started fasting. It has been a game-changer. My memory came back! There’s been a very noticeable improvement in my general brain function, including much better focus. And it’s probably no coincidence that this was when I decided to create a health-focused start-up - Hello LiveliFood. And, of course, I lost a few kilos. Although fasting isn’t for everyone, I have to say it works for me, and I love it.

9.

 How does LiveliFood work for families with kids? 

The beauty of LiveliFood is that it works for the whole family. You’ll find simple, easy-to-make recipes and how to organize your week to cook them ahead of time, which I call ‘batch cooking.’ We’re a family of four, and it works great for us, with excellent health benefits. My husband and I work full time with two little ones, 3 and 6 years of age. Our kids don’t eat excessive nutrient-poor carbs and only minimal sugar—mainly honey and sweets for special occasions like birthday parties. None of us eat highly processed foods, meaning most food that comes in a package. The only packaged foods around our kitchen are rice crackers and seaweed, which our daughters love. We all enjoy seeing what is freshly available each week and getting to feast in sync with nature’s seasons. 

And I’m not militant about what my kids eat. At home, we only have healthy food and snacks - the pantry is always open to them. If they spend the day with their grandmother and she wants to give them a not so healthy treat, I think it’s better for them to have the treat than feel deprived. 

10.

How can I still eat healthy when I’m not at home?

Get curious about how your favorite restaurants prepare their food and make a mental list of the ones that are serving healthier choices. It’s totally fine to ask questions about how they like to cook their menu; you deserve to know what’s going into your body. Sometimes it’s more obvious… like don’t pick the corner bakery as your go-to brekky stop when you’re trying to eliminate sugars from your system. 

What are we looking for?

Leave restaurants that use vegetable oils OFF the list—however, if they use coconut oil, olive oil, or no oil at all, keep them on your list. Once you have cut processed oils from your diet, you’ll probably feel a bit ill if you eat at a restaurant that is using them. When you're ordering, go for uncooked, aka raw, foods like salads. Instead of the standard salad dressings, get a simple olive oil drizzle with a squeeze of lemon. Steamed rice and vegetables are also great - steaming is a suitable cooking method for preserving nutrients and flavor. 

Toast with natural avocado and poached eggs works when you feel like eating some carbs, especially if you can get it with high-quality bread.

11.

Diets seem to always fail eventually… How do I keep this up? 

Nothing is more accurate than that. This isn’t a diet!l We focus on changing habits and growing into a new lifestyle here at LiveliFood. I have found that understanding how food works in our bodies is key. How can we fix a problem if we don’t know what causes it? This knowledge may scare the shit out of you (it sure scared me!), but it also empowers you to change the way you think about food, which is a lot different than just following a diet. 

When we focus on deprivation, which most diets do, you’re left to rely on your willpower alone. The day you’re feeling sad or stressed (we’ve all been there), you might say to yourself, “Fuck this— I’m having some chocolate,” because up till then, you’ve only known that it makes you feel better. LiveliFood focuses on teaching our community how to have healthy, delicious snacks available in your kitchen at all times for those exact moments.

12.

What are the must-have ingredients I need in my kitchen to be able to cook all these yummy desserts? 

Okay, attention here! 

This is your (and my) list of ingredients that we always need in the kitchen: 

● Coconut oil 

● Olive oil 

● Berries (fresh or frozen when not in season) - blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries 

● Shredded coconut 

● Walnuts & almonds or other favorite nuts - get them raw, not toasted or salted!

● Coconut cream or coconut milk (in a can) 

● Raw cocoa powder 

● Almond meal (if you have a food processor, you can easily make your own)

● Chia seeds 

● Natural vanilla extract 

● Cinnamon

● Raw natural honey or brown rice syrup- this is if you are just starting your sugar-free lifestyle or making something a bit sweeter for your kids. The aim is to remove honey or any other syrup eventually, as it is pure fructose. 

● Frozen ripe bananas - you can always freeze your overripe bananas!

● Nut butter of your choice - nuts should be the only ingredient—no added oil or other ingredients. If the nuts are raw, not toasted, even better. If that’s hard to find, you can make your own! (See Resources for instructions) 

● Buckwheat flour 

● Gluten-free rolled oats - A word of caution: regular and quick oats MAY CONTAIN GLUTEN. Many people are not aware of this. Look around for GLUTEN-FREE oats, even better if you can find them organic.

13.

How much time will I need to spend in the kitchen every week? What if I don’t have time to cook everyday? 

I don’t know how much you’re currently spending, but it doesn’t necessarily have to cost more. For me, it’s been pretty much the same amount spent. I stopped buying most animal protein and highly processed and sugary foods like chips, cookies, deli meats, and cereals. I put that money into delicious nut kinds of butter, walnuts, almonds, more fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, coconut oil, and good olive oil. Cost depends on the quality of the products and whether or not you buy organic, local, and in season. 

My rule is “Never take shortcuts when it comes to what you are putting into your body.” 

If it feels like there’s a shortage of money for groceries, I prefer to save money from other areas like entertainment or cleaning and beauty products. When you prioritize feeding yourself and your family only healthy foods, you save a lot of money—and difficulty—down the road by preventing the pain and medical expenses that illnesses carry with them. 

At the end of the day, transitioning to a LiveliFood lifestyle won’t cost you more if you factor in all of the positive health benefits - aka ‘externalities’ if you’re an economist. 

14.

Does it cost more to eat this healthy? 

I don’t know how much you’re currently spending, but it doesn’t necessarily have to cost more. For me, it’s been pretty much the same amount spent. I stopped buying most animal protein and highly processed and sugary foods like chips, cookies, deli meats, and cereals. I put that money into delicious nut butter, walnuts, almonds, organic seasonal fruits and vegetables, coconut oil, and good olive oil. Cost depends on the quality of the products and whether or not you buy organic, local, and in season. 

My rule is “Never take shortcuts when it comes to what you are putting into your body.” 

If it feels like there’s a shortage of money for groceries, I prefer to save money from other areas like entertainment or cleaning and beauty products. When you prioritize feeding yourself and your family only healthy foods, you save a lot of money—and difficulty—down the road by preventing the pain and medical expenses that illnesses carry with them. 

At the end of the day, transitioning to a LiveliFood lifestyle won’t cost you more if you factor in all of the positive health benefits - aka ‘externalities’ if you’re an economist. 

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