Introducing health coach, yoga teacher, author, blogger and all-round wellness goddess- Lee Holmes, founder of Supercharged Food. When we met with her at Watson Bay's Dunbar House, Lee was glowing from the inside out, this is a woman who lives and breathes health in the most holistic way possible.
Read on to find out how Lee built Supercharged Food from the ground up, how she nourishes her body and soul, and how her new upcoming yoga movement will take Australia by storm. There's not much that this girl can't do.
Award winning author & blogger Lee Holmes at the Farmers' Markets
LEE'S GORGEOUS BUSINESS
What was your driving motivation to create Supercharged Food?
The Supercharged blog began roughly three years ago when I found myself in hospital and basically unable to function properly. I had gotten to the point of being so sick that I just couldn’t get out of bed anymore. I was absolutely exhausted all the time, I thought I had chronic fatigue but I tried to push through it, like many women do, we think we're invincible!
In hospital I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and they put me on a cocktail of drugs; immuno suppressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-cancer drugs and a lot of steroids. The drugs weren't working; in fact they were making me feel worse, so I slowly weaned myself off them and decided I was going to use food as my medicine.
I started researching different healing ingredients and travelling overseas to learn more and more. When I came back I started creating recipes using the ingredients I had learnt about, and they were so popular, everyone wanted them so I created a website where everyone could have access to them, and it evolved from there!
Tell us about your work in improving the food in public hospitals and why you are so passionate about it? How can we help?
During my time in hospital I was astonished at the food they served. It was high in sugar, salt and preservatives and was so processed I couldn't believe it. At the moment, the system relies on friends and family to bring patients fresh food but it's hard enough already for those who have a loved one in hospital let alone having to prepare food and bring it to them, so I started a petition to lobby for change within the NSW government, which you can sign here.
I challenged the minister of health to eat hospital food for a few days she didn’t take me up on the challenge but as a result of the petition is rolling out a new hospital menu in selected hospitals across NSW.
Tell us about your new book 'Eat Yourself Beautiful'?
'Eat Yourself Beautiful' is my third book and it focuses on delicious recipes made with anti-inflammatory ingredients. All of the recipes are sugar-free, gluten-free, and yeast-free and many are dairy free.
I was inspired to create a book based on eating an anti-inflammatory diet because of the amazing effect it has had on my own body. My skin is glowing, my hair is thicker and my eyes are whiter. In terms of beauty, an anti-inflammatory, nutrient rich diet is the way to go.
What is your business philosophy?
I feel that your business philosophy is not set in stone, it changes as you and your business grows. My philosophy at the moment is to keep following my passion and as long as I’m still enjoying it and being inspiring to others I’ll continue to do it.
The other philosophy for me and my advice to others is to make gradual, small changes and steps towards your goal. Take one day at a time; if you just do little things towards your business, one thing every day, then you’ll reach your milestone.
Have you got any tips on maintaining a †˜work life balance’?
For me having a routine is really important. In the morning I’ll get up and have a hot water with lemon and do some yoga poses to come into my body and clear my mind for the day ahead. I find that this little routine gives me energy and focus.
At night I meditate to clear my mind and write a to do list for the next day so I don't lose sleep stressing and I can wake up fresh and ready for the day.
For others wanting to improve their work life balance I encourage them to create a routine for yourself and also to practice meditation
What is your daily beauty and skin care regime?
In the mornings I’ll do a dry body brush then jump into the shower. After my shower I’ll put rose hip oil on my face and coconut oil all over my body.
Instead of perfume I have some essential oils that I put on my neck, and then finish with my favourite lip nourish - the NUDE - vanilla and cinnamon (which my daughter always steals because she loves it so much too!)
What is your best kept beauty secret?
I make up a little mixture of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar that I dab on my age spots and any dark spots from the sun to fade them. It absolutely works.
How do you nourish your body from the inside to keep yourself looking so gorgeous on the outside?
I do it by eating a clean, anti-inflammatory diet filled with real, mostly organic food. Good fats are also an important part of my diet like coconut oil, krill oil, olive oil and sardines as I find they give my skin a beautiful, natural glow.
I also do a yoga routine that energises the body from the inside out and makes my skin appear fresh and 'blushed'.
What is your food philosophy?
My food philosophy is to eat organic food as close to its natural state as possible and eating local produce to support local farmers.
I also think it's important to celebrate and appreciate your food by sitting down at the table, savouring each bite and enjoying food as an experience.
So through your Health Coaching how do you get people to apply these philosophies to their daily lives?
The way that I do that as a Certified Health Coach, is I give them a couple of little things to do every day. The client and I will put a plan together and we do everything gradually, one step at a time.
So for example, it might be starting your day with a hot water and lemon and then having a green juice every other day and we build on that. Once they start to feel the positive changes and see the physical benefits, people tend to get motivated by themselves to do more and more and they become open to making bigger changes.
Describe your day on a plate for us?
When I wake up I have a hot water and lemon and then a green juice after yoga which usually has spinach or kale, celery, mint, cucumber, coconut water and a green powder. For days that I need extra energy I'll add nut milk or coconut oil. I tend to have a light breakfast and not eat until lunch time because it gives my body the chance to heal and cleanse itself. That's what I do but it’s not for everyone, everyone is different.
If I’m hungry before lunch time I’ll have sardines and then for lunch I’ll have some left over’s from the night before or some stir fried veg, salad or fish.
For dinner I have some sort of grass fed lamb or slow cooked meal that I’ve made during the day with vegetables. I always eat dinner before 7 pm.
What are your top three †˜can’t’ live without’ ingredients when you cook and why?
My 'can't live without meals' are avocado and sardines on chia and flaxseed loaf, slow cooked lamb shanks and my shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash.
Can you share with us your favourite †˜skin loving’ recipe?
Yes of course! Here is the recipe for my amazing cranberry and walnut granola:
300 g (101/2 oz/11/2 cups) quinoa or brown rice flakes
90 g (31/4 oz/3/4 cup) chopped walnuts
75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) dried cranberries
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 tablespoons almond flakes
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) coconut oil
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) rice malt syrup, or sweetener of your choice
1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
15 g (1/2 oz/1/4 cup) coconut flakes
almond milk, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Kale- I’m obsessed with kale
- Herbs- for flavour
To serve, place in a bowl and top with almond milk. It also tastes great on its own.
This granola keeps for 4 weeks in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
- Combine the quinoa, walnuts, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pepitas, almond flakes, flaxseeds, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well to combine.
- Place the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat and heat until it has melted. Add the rice malt syrup and vanilla and stir for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well, ensuring the dry ingredients are coated thoroughly.
- Transfer the granola to the baking tray in a single layer, then cook in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up any clumps that form. Remove from the oven, add the coconut flakes, and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
Visit the bookshelf to read more about my recipe books.
Lee's delicious cranberry and walnut granola
What is happiness to you?
At the moment, happiness to me is having peace of mind and clarity.
What is the best advice you have ever been given and how do you live it?
To never stop having the ability to believe in yourself and be inspired by others. Don’t give up after the first time you get knocked back, keep on trying and keep on believing in yourself. I believe you can always get to where you want to be, you just have to find ways to get there because it may not always be the straight and narrow, and it could be the scenic route!
This has not been advice, this is something that I have learnt from myself from when I was in hospital thinking that my life was over but I overcame that through self-belief.
What is your personal Monday morning mantra?
'Rome wasn’t built in a day'
I say to myself that I can’t do everything; I’m just going to take small steps to get to where I need to be and do it brick by brick.
What’s next for Supercharged Food?
For me personally, I'm creating my own yoga movement which is going to be yoga for older people because I feel we are a very ageist society and we don’t look after our elderly. I'm calling it 'foga' - yoga for fogies!
I'll be working with Seniors Week and at all the age care homes and rehabilitation centres to create a community using yoga to get people socialising, moving their bodies, getting their blood circulating and getting them meditating. Part of the program will incorporate old school music in class so it's going to be a really community focused movement and I’ll be taking it all over Australia.
I've also got another 3 books coming out this year and between all of that I’m going to India in June to further my studies in Ayurvedic medicine!
Supercharged Food is THE go to website for health and wellness and is currently the 2013 BUPA health influencer blog of the year! So if you want to learn how nutrition and lifestyle can make you look and feel amazing, or you've been running low on energy or unwell, be sure to visit Supercharged Food and follow Lee on Facebook- you'll find a range of super healthy recipes to suit all tastes, researched articles on the latest health trends, weekly food planners as well as competitions and reviews of the latest health and wellness products.
The gorgeous Lee Holmes