Today we chat to Michelle Hunt, the person behind one of our favourite healthy eating blogs, Peachy Palate. Michelle’s personal journey to a healthy lifestyle has inspired a range of delicious and nutritious recipes that will suit anyone who wants to kick start a lifestyle change.
Can you please tell us a little about your background and what led you to starting Peachy Palate?
When I originally started the blog it was having stumbled upon the likes of PBFingers and Sweet Tooth Court in the US. I loved the idea of blogging about my health, fitness and interest in food. At the time I was vegan and other bloggers such as Oh She Glows provided a great source of recipe inspiration. I was still building my relationship with food having suffered from eating disorders the previous ten years.
I’ve made quite the journey over the past four years and food blogging and the online relationships that have come with it played a major part in helping me to reach the point I’m at today. I deem myself to be fully recovered. I am also still crazy madly deeply in love with food, all things health and fitness related.
I worked in business and marketing for years and then left to work in the food industry. I now have several different jobs, have far less money, but I’m a million times happier. I’ve made some sacrifices along the way but I wouldn’t change my decisions for the world. It is true what they say…if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.
Why do you think we should ignore fad diets and focus on a lifestyle change?
What works for one persons won’t necessarily work for another but I do believe we all need to make a lifestyle change that long term works for us. I restricted to the extreme for years and no the suffered the ill effects it has on health first hand time and time again. We only live one life and there is no point in being miserable!
Food can be a source of happiness and frustration, and its important that we build a healthy relationship with it so that we can not only enjoy it but ensure that it doesn’t control our lives and our minds.
Fad diets are generally calorie and/or fat restricted. Our metabolism is like a muscle…if we don’t use it we lose. We need to feed and fuel our bodies to achieve optimal health and wellness!
What are your top three tips for someone who wants to change their lifestyle, a little at a time?
Be realistic. Decide what will fit in with your lifestyle, set goals and actions so that the bigger changes don’t overwhelm you.
Plan and prepare. It’s important to not only plan changes to your lifestyle but also to prepare the practical bits and pieces to ensure you can achieve your goals. From food prep, to activity schedules…they don’t have to be strict but having them in place and thinking ahead will mean you much more likely to stick to changes.
Go easy on yourself. Don’t run before you can jump. I suppose it’s similar to being realistic in a sense, but really you need to be a little lenient with yourself at times. Plan for sticking to your new ways 80% of the time..indulge a little here and there but in a planned way and in the same way make plans for jumping back on the wagon once you’ve had your fun!
What are your top three food swaps to start us on our way?
Plant oils…to Coconut Oil!!! It’s super powers go far beyond the time I have to share them but are definitely worth reading up on.
Sliced processed meats…to canned fish! Similar price, just as handy, no added ingredients and a much healthier clean alternative loaded with body loving nutrients!
Store bought mayo to either 2 minute paleo mayo (on the blog!) or a ripe avocado seasoned and blended with lemon juice and little water or non dairy milk. I eat at least half a large if not a full avocado a day; if I miss a few days I feel a little undernourished and definitely notice the difference in my skin!
You are an advocate of listening to your body, and feeding it the nutrients it needs – can you expand on that?
We’re all different, we go through different phases in our lives, our bodies cry out for more of certain nutrients at different times. There is no one size fits all model diet…I tried to fit into that idea of “perfect nutrition” for far too many years and set unrealistic unsustainable goals which my body didn’t thank me for.
I was vegan for years (about 5), vegetarian for about a total of 10 and just over a year and half ago decided to listen to my body…which was suddenly craving meat, fish and eggs. I now can’t imagine my life without them. Having not listened for far too long I opened my ears and just went with my gut in the end and feel a million times better for it.
Can you give us a rundown of your typical food diary?
Right now I follow a paleo diet that airs on the side of ketogenic at times. I’m fuelled by a large amount of fat, calorie dense foods that sustain my love of all things fitness.
I usually start the day at about 6.30am with a glass of sparkling water with raw apple cider vinegar, a coffee with non dairy milk (almond) and a chunk of fat bomb keto fudge before I hit the gym.
After the gym I’ll refuel with protein and carbohydrates..either banana egg grain free pancakes or more often than not sweet potato in some form, leftover meat, eggs and some sort of homemade slaw.
I typically eat two large meals, so I’ll have a couple of substantial snacks throughout the day if I’m going training in the evening as well. From nuts with coconut cream, to cans of salmon, sardines, smoked salmon if I’m feeling fancy, hard boiled eggs and grain free flax bread with mounds of avocado.
In the evening then I’ll have another meal similar to the savoury breakfast option. I love all kinds of meat and poultry but tend to go for the fattier cuts and darker poultry with skin…legs, wings, short ribs, pork belly…
Before bed I’ll have another fat dense “snack” if you could call it that as it’s more like a meal. Nut butter, coconut cream, coyo yogurt or homemade, toasted nuts or homemade “nutola” bars crumbled over the top, sometimes with a little coconut oil stirred through!
I make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, usually sparkling, more often than not with raw apple cider vinegar..I just find it so refreshing!
What’s in your fridge right now?
Leftover beef bolognese, cauliflower, courgettes, red cabbage, homemade slaw, paleo mayo, fat bomb fudge, coconut cream, a couple of coyo yogurts as well as a jug of homemade coconut yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, sauerkraut, two large bottles of sparkling water, an organic chicken waiting to be cooked, 3 avocados and a pack of streaky smoked bacon! I also store all my nuts in the fridge..hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans (my favourite!!!) as well as ground flaxseed and whole chia seeds. I don’t keep my eggs in the fridge but always have at least a dozen on hand!
What three recipes would you recommend to a cynical foodie show them that healthier doesn’t mean flavour-less!
I’ll have to give you three sweet and three savoury!!!
My ultimate paleo sandwich bread is also a must!
- Beef Short Rib Ragu
- Twice Baked Pork Belly
- The Ultimate Salmon Salad
- Grain Free Chicken Pesto Quiche
- Omelet Roulade…
- Cauliflower Crust Breakfast Pizza
Loving Michelle’s work? Click to Peachy Palate for mouthwateringly delicious recipes, that work. We’ll see you there!