Meet Rachel Gorney from My Wholesome Kitchen. We were lucky enough to be invited into Rachel’s kitchen to talk all things, business, food, beauty and life…plus try a few of her goodies along the way (in fact we couldn’t get enough of her more-ish spiced rosemary nuts and seed mix!)
At only 24 years of age Rachel has created her own home cooking and catering business which is quickly becoming well-known for its delicious, nourishing snacks. Rachel only uses the highest quality organic ingredients to create her products that are refined sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan. Her goal is to help people “fall in love and enjoy eating healthy, wholesome and extremely tasty food.” So please sit back and enjoy Rachel’s inspiring journey to leading the life she loves.
RACHEL’S BEAUTIFUL BUSINESS
Ok let’s start from the beginning; tell us about yourself and your journey in creating My Wholesome Kitchen
After school I struggled finding a career, at the time I thought I wanted to be a makeup artist but from quite early on in my training I knew it wasn’t for me. I thought it’s what I wanted to do for all the wrong reasons and it only got worse once I began working in the industry. After an unexpected surgery, the recovery time at home made me realize I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was run down and I was beaten up, every day I would have to try and reassure myself that today would be better.
One day I guess I just had the ‘click moment’ that something needed to change. When I quit everyone was so surprised because I was good at what I did but I couldn’t explain why exactly I had to quit, I just knew it wasn’t right. This was only a year ago.
So you hit rock bottom, how did you pull yourself up again?
One night I was scrolling on the internet and I saw this health coach advertised… by the next day I was signed up on her 6 month program! I was at the point where I knew anything I did would be better than what I was doing. That’s really where it started.
She [the health coach] began to introduce me to all these amazing new ingredients to cook with. I’ve always loved cooking and I’ve been doing it from a young age but suddenly now there was this whole treasure chest of ingredients I’d never even heard of like chia seeds and goji berries. I started to do a lot of research, went to health food stores, I was in the kitchen every single day just cooking with these new ingredients and by the beginning of this year I had decided that this was it, I’m going to go for it!
What is a typical work day for you?
I can go and go and go so on a typical day sometimes I actually need to pull my self back and slow down. For me, a typical ‘order day’ starts at about 8am and doesn’t stop till about 6pm. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are order days where I prepare, I cook and I pack orders. I spend the morning cooking, then at about 1pm I’ll catch up on emails and have some lunch, then 1-3pm is packing everything and 3-6pm is deliveries.
Tuesdays and Thursdays I do admin work, ‘catch up stuff’ or in-house cooking. A lot of my customers have become close friends now; I really make the effort to keep a relationship with everyone at the most professional level possible so I like to dedicate time on Tuesdays and Thursdays to send follow up emails and things like that.
But it doesn’t stop at Monday to Friday; I haven’t had a full weekend off since I started!
Tell us about your in-house cooking what sort of things do you make?
Well it differs for everyone. For example last week I spent a day cooking for a hard working business woman to help her nourish herself on a poor time schedule. I spent from 8.30am to 6pm cooking main dishes, snacks and sides for her to eat fresh or freeze as she didn’t know how to cook and didn’t have the time.
Some of the things I made were slow roast lamb with vegetables, lentils and beans, salmon patties, zucchini frittata, egg cups with roast vegetables to heat up for breakfast…I do about 8 main meals for them and sides like sweet potato and lentil soup, cauliflower mash and healthy muffins.
For others wanting to start their own business, what is your advice?
I would definitely encourage any one to go for what they love doing. I was in a job I hated and now I’ve created a job and a business that I love for myself and there is such a difference. S
ome days I still have the fear or I’m nervous about the future but my advice would be if there is something you love you’ve just got to do it. Also if your starting a business you need to be willing to put in the hours, work hard and be organised. It really helps to be organised and prioritise.
And finally, don’t rush. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. I don’t like to do things half effort so for me it was a challenge to take my time and let the business grow organically with what I had at the time, especially in respect to my finances and what I had to spend on the business.
Have you always loved wholesome foods?
From a very young age I have loved to cook and have always been fascinated by food even though back then I didn’t look at food as something to nourish my body. When I was a kid, even though my mum was a great cook, she cooked for convenience so from the age of about 13 I began cooking for myself because I wanted to eat healthier foods.
Describe your day on a plate for us?
For breakfast I would maybe have my homemade granola, quinoa porridge, a smoothie or eggs. My weekend favourite is shakshuka – which is a North African dish with a tomato base and baked egg.
For lunch I would maybe have some hummus with crackers, salad with tuna or smoked salmon or even break up some crackers as I love that crunch factor in my salads. I also love fish. Sometimes I’ll grill salmon and flake it myself instead of buying the tins, or I’ll boil an egg to have some protein with my meal. For dinner, I might have something my mum has cooked or I will grill some fish, make a stir fry or a soup. A
s much as I love food and I love flavours, I am very simple. Some days I eat plain and I’m really excited to eat plain. Plus the produce I get from the farmers markets is so delicious it does not need much done to it!
What is your top 3 ‘can’t live without’ ingredients?
1. Pumpkin. I’m the pumpkin queen! I’m known to cook baked pumpkin to perfection
What are your favourite beautifoods?
Good healthy fats are really important. Growing up, low fat yoghurt and fruit was breakfast for me and I did not allow any fat into my diet which meant skim everything and sweeteners. But now I know that eating the right fats are really important, especially for your skin. I also drink alot of water.
What’s the biggest nutrition misconception you want to clear up for people?
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about food. I think in general people don’t have a great relationship with food and don’t really understand it. I never used to eat to nourish my body but now it is so important to me to eat a balanced wholesome diet.
I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching but I think this is a really important attitude to have. I also think the idea that ‘low fat’ products are better for you is a huge misconception, they are so full of sugar and others ‘nasties’, that it is just not the case.
What is your favourite place to eat out and why?
My two favourite cafes would have to be ‘Kitchen by Mike’ and ‘Bread and Circus’. I just love their concepts and their food. To be honest though, I don’t really have favourite places, I will eat anywhere – I’m not a fussy person so I’m happy to go with the flow. I love trying new places and exploring different menus. For me going to a café is a special treat as I eat most of my meals at home or just don’t have the time at the moment. Wherever I go, I make sure to enjoy the experience.
Can you share with us one of your favourite ‘go to’ recipes?
My raw chocolate cupcakes are a fantastic little snack packed full of super-foods. These cupcakes are made using good quality fats like walnuts, avocadoes and one of my personal favourites super-foods, cacao powder. They are gluten-free, vegan and also refined sugar free. Keep them stored in the fridge in an airtight container and they will last up two weeks, in my fridge they don’t usually last that long before they are all eaten. You will need… For the cupcakes
- 500g walnuts
- 2 heaped tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 pitted fresh dates
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate mouse
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 ripe avocadoes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- Combine walnuts, cacao powder, cinnamon and sea salt.
- Process until ground, but not too fine. Then add the dates and vanilla.
- Process again. Test and see if the cake starts to come together when pressed, if not add some melted coconut oil or a little splash of water then process again.
- Scoop out small portions of the mixture and roll into balls. Then using the back of spoon flattens the balls so that the mouse can sit nicely on top.
- These cakes are raw, they just need to be placed into the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill and set.
- Now time to combine the chocolate mouse. In a blender add the following honey, avocado, vanilla, cacao until thick and creamy. You may need to add 1 tbsp. of water if it’s not combining.
- Spoon the chocolate mouse mixture over each cupcake.
- I like to decorate my cupcakes with shredded coconut, goji berries, chia seeds and bee pollen. Use whatever super-foods you have on hand.
- Set the cupcakes in the fridge for ½ hr. before serving.
What is your beauty ‘philosophy’?
Because of my background I do love playing around with make up but I never really wear it. When I go out I like to dress up and have fun with make up but generally I’ll wear tinted moisturiser or nothing really! On the days I do wear make I cant wait to get it off, I hate having all that junk on my skin.
Do you see the difference that eating wholesome food had made to your skin?
Yes definitely. Within 1-2 weeks of changing my diet when I started on the 6 month program with the health coach, I noticed a good change in my skin. My skin just looked better and glowed.
My eyes became so clear and bright. I think a lot of that was because I started eating good healthy fats from things like avocados, fish or olive oil and drinking lots of water which really make a huge difference to my skin and eyes.
People need to learn to start with their diet when it comes to skin.
What is your favourite skin loving recipe?
Salad for sure. I absolutely love salads because you can fit so many amazing ingredients and super-foods in them like avocado, nuts, olive oil, lemon, green leafy vegetables etc. You can get all the nutrients you need. When my friends come over I actually have ‘salad parties’ where I set up a salad bar of all the great ingredients and they love it!
What is happiness to you?
This is a hard one. For so many years I was striving to be happy, I used to love shopping as I thought new shoes and clothes and handbags would make me happy but it never really did. I’ve now come to realize now that happiness isn’t a place you need to get to. Happiness is a state of being that you have within yourself. I also think gratitude is so important.
I’m so grateful for everything I have, having the opportunity to be in a career that I love and again that makes me happy. I think happiness also comes from not comparing yourself to others and accepting and loving yourself.
What’s the best advice you have been given?
That you don’t need to go beyond yourself to be happy. You don’t need superficial things to be happy, it’s about loving yourself and what you are doing.
What is your personal Monday morning mantra? What gets you up and going an the start of a long week?
What gets me out of bed is my business; it’s my purpose and my love for cooking that gets me going! My business makes me feel needed and appreciated by others and most importantly myself, so getting up and cooking for others who need it always gets me going.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future in terms of you personally and for your business?
I would love to open my own café own one day, which is a dream of mine. I’m also currently writing a memoir so it would be great to finish that and see it published.
Want more of Rachel and The Wholesome Kitchen? You can visit her at http://mywholesomekitchen.com.au/ where you can also order your own box and taste her amazing nourishing products yourself! Not only is everything made fresh and taste amazing, everything is so beautifully presented and packaged that you’ll feel like you’ve just treated yourself to personalised gift.
You can also follow her on instagram @mywholesomekitchen and like her on facebook https://www.facebook.com/mywholesomekitchen