When it comes to all things food, health and wellness Michele Chevalley Hedge is your lady. For the past 10 years, Michele has dedicated her career and studies to nutrition and is now one of Australia’s most highly regarded nutritionists, health writers and presenters.
Known as the ‘Modern Nutritionist’ Michele runs her own Sydney based practice ‘A Healthy View’ where she teaches that good nutrition is the key to vitality, balanced hormones, disease prevention and optimal physical and mental health. Her infectious passion and love for health will have you inspired to ditch the high sugar, high processed junk and opt for wholesome, clean eating – the easy way [ as a mother of three and the owner of her own business, Michele can ’empathise with all types’! ]
MICHELE’S GORGEOUS BUSINESS
Michele before you entered into the world of nutrition, you were in a marketing role at Microsoft, tell us about why you made the transition, is it something you always wanted to do?
Yes indeed, I have an Italian Mum and French Father so food was always a huge part of our home when I was growing up. I had a wonderful career with Microsoft but after having three babies, I wanted to find out more about how I could feed myself literally and figuratively…so I became a nutritionist and learnt how to feed my soul.
When did you start up A Healthy View and why? What was your driving motivation to set up this practice?
I started A Healthy View a few years ago, and prior to that I ran The Heart of Nourishment Cleanses around the world.
My motivation for starting a healthy view was multifactorial:
1. I could see everyone I knew- super smart professionals to growing teenagers- could benefit with personalised nutrition plans.
2. The whole food cooking classes came after many clients requested it.
3. Listening to the needs of many mothers, I formalised Cleanse & Nourish Retreats as short escapes with nutritional knowledge and a launch pad into clean eating.
What is your business philosophy?
Nourish yourself on all levels and there is no end to the joy you will receive physically, mentally and emotionally.
What is a typical work day for you? How do you juggle a family, a business and keep ‘life balance’?
5.30am I put my sneakers on and head out the door for a run, spin, or yoga with my girlfriends.
6.30am I grab a quick coffee
6.45am I get home, pack the kid’s lunches, give the kids kisses and drop them off at school
8.00am Tidy the house
9am-5pm I start my work with patients, writing, speaking, or cooking. I cherish this time.
6pm Is always family dinner time
For others out there wanting to start their own business, what is your advice?
1. Seek out the people in your industry that are true professionals and try to work with them, seek a consult, or even try and get work experience.
2. Educate yourself as much as possible on your interest.
3. Be passionate, if you are passionate about your business, it is contagious.
What is your daily ‘beauty regime’ (if you have one)?
Hmmm, I cannot say I follow one with lotions and potions. I nourish myself from the inside out. I eat well, drink lots of herbal teas and water, and sleep well. When I don’t- it really shows. Although, I don’t beat myself up anymore if I have ‘derailed’ from the optimal healthy life , I simply get back on track.
What is your best kept beauty secret?
When my heart is happy my face is happy.
How do you nourish your body from the inside to keep yourself looking gorgeous on the outside? Can you see the difference that eating organic, nourishing, whole-foods has on your skin, eyes, hair and nails?
Food is the key to health and beauty. For me, it’s all about eating whole foods, this means eating foods in their natural state with little or no processing, additives, modifying agents or preservatives. When you eat foods whole you are getting the nutrition intact with all the intrinsic vitamins and minerals like vitamin C for collagen production, vitamin D for immunity, vitamin E for its antioxidant properties, silica for your hair and nails, protein for cell growth and repair and fibre for digestion & removal of toxins.
I eat a diet that’s low in sugar and high in good healthy fats. Not many people know that sugar actually ages you. Eating sugar causes the production of AGEs (advanced glycation end products) which reduce elasticity in the skin and reduce collagen formation, which therefore causes premature ageing and wrinkles! By also eating a diet high in good fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish etc it prevents me from over eating. Fat is also necessary for hydrating and repairing skin cells.
For anyone who doesn’t believe in the difference eating whole, nutrient dense food can have on their skin, they should come to one of my Cleanse & Nourish Retreats. I have hundreds of emails and comments from my guests that they look 10 years younger!
What would be your advice for busy mums who want to look and feel beautiful but struggle to find the time to take care of their bodies from the inside out?
I would tell them that eating well is not a luxury, it is a necessity. As mothers we are the ‘linch pins’ that hold a family together, the mother creates the mood of the entire home. If a mum is nourishing herself with a low sugar, whole food diet- she will have energy, vitality and balanced moods. I know- I am mum of three busy teenagers. If you need to seek out support via cooking classes, nutritional consults or cleanse retreats- do it – it is not a luxury, you are the key to your peaceful home.
What is your favourite ‘skin loving’ recipe?
I love Luk Beautifood’s ‘go and glow’ smoothie recipe full of avocado and greens. My skin and my insides dance when I drink this!
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about food you want to clear up for people?
That you should eat no sugar. That is silly. Sugar should just be kept to a minimum. If you’re a sugar addict and many people are, they may need to come off sugar until come back to good health and balance.
Fruit should be loved and enjoyed. Food should be loved and not feared.
What is the most common ‘food related’ problem people come to you with and what do you tell them?
We see lots of people who lack energy, continually have ‘brain fog’, mood swings and irritability because they are on blood sugar roller coasters. Balance a person’s blood sugar and you can have an entirely new person.
What do you eat for breakfast to get the most out of your day?
My favourite breakfast is sautéed red onion or leek, two organic eggs, with a handful of left over roast veggies from the night before. I then scramble it all together and place onto a bed of rocket and a half of avocado.
My daughter and I also make these amazing ‘bliss balls’ that are low in sugar, high in protein and are just the perfect on-the-go sweet treat! [ Why not try luk beautifood’s ‘Glow Ball’ recipe. ]
What are your top three ‘can’t’ live without’ ingredients when you cook and why?
1. Cocoa powder- powerful taste and good for you
2. Coconut oil-a medium chain triglyceride so you can burn it unlike other fats.
3. Vegetables- some at every meal. They are delicious, filling, nutrient dense.
What is happiness to you?
That is a big question but I truly believe that one cannot be happy until they find internal happiness and self love. Not in a pompous way, but a ‘hey I am going to be kind to myself- kind of way.’
What is the best advice you have ever been given and how do you live it?
The best advice I have been given are not words they are actions. It has been the actions of others that I truly respect and observe that I try to model.
Caring, Compassionate, Kind, Truthful, Grounded and Centered actions (and that doesn’t mean without laughter!)
What is your personal Monday morning mantra?
Yeah, it’s Monday- damn I am one lucky girl!
What gets you out of bed?
I get crazy if I sleep too much as I feel like I might miss something so I have no trouble getting out of bed.
What’s next for A Healthy View?
Oh my word, 2014 is going to be a cracker…. FOS…stay tuned!
We love Michele’s simple words of wisdom, everything she says just makes so much sense! If you agree and would like to learn more about Michele’s philosophy head to her website where you can find out about her wholefood cooking classes, cleanse and nourish programs, personal nutrition consultations, school programs, corporate wellness programs, events, recipes and MORE.