I am a mother to a beautiful little boy and I love preparing delicious healthy dishes for my family. I’m also a NZ Registered Naturopath who has worked in the natural health industry for 11 years and ran my own private practice for 5 years in Auckland, New Zealand. I gave up my practice to be a full time mum, my priorities changed and I no longer wanted the demands of running a busy practice. While I feel very blessed to have been able to do that, the nutrition nerd in me started to miss certain aspects of my career so I decided to put together my love of cooking with my knowledge of nutrition to share on this blog. I love being creative in the kitchen and coming up with new recipes as well as putting a healthy twist on traditional recipes.
I love eating food, sharing food with others and I get a kick out of making food that I know is nutritious and healthy and turning it into something yummy! I get excited by small things such as knowing that by adding a little bit of this you can help support the liver and a little bit of that you can help alkalise the body and this other ingredient is packed with b vitamins and so on……. you get the idea….Call me a health nerd but oh so exciting!
My husband and I have always loved to travel and we continue to do so with our little boy, traveling with a little one is slightly more challenging than it used to be but the experiences that you can share as a family are invaluable. I love experiencing different cultures and the different cuisines that the world has to offer.
About this blog
Most of the recipes you will find here will be gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Even if you don’t have diagnosed food intolerances, allergies or sensitivities to any of these foods, I truly believe many people can benefit from having a little less of these foods in their diets and eating a diet with lots of unrefined wholefoods. This does not mean that I believe everyone needs to avoid gluten and dairy - not at all - we are all different and what works for some does not work for everyone. Some people can tolerate raw forms of dairy better than pasteurized, some people can tolerate goats milk products better than they can cows milk, some are ok with yogurt but not milk and some are fine with all types of dairy. However for the purpose of this blog and all my clients that couldn't eat dairy I decided to keep this blog mainly dairy free, although you will find the odd post with a bit of goats feta.
Working as a Naturopath gluten and dairy were certainly the most common food allergies/intolerances that would come up for people, followed closely by adverse reactions to sugar and most of my clients would experience a significant improvement in their health and energy levels from removing or limiting these foods in their diet. For some it would just be avoiding these foods for a few months while doing some gut/immune work and then limiting or rotating these foods going forward and for others it would be eliminating these foods altogether. The main question I was so often asked was “So if I can’t eat these, what can I eat?” I would send my clients some ideas for meals but unfortunately I was so busy running a full time practice it did not allow me the time to put together in detail what I would like to, which is why I started this blog 🙂
I do believe food is our medicine, we have all heard it before but we really are what we eat, what we eat metabolises into the cells of our body and the food we eat becomes literally us! What we eat affects every cell in our body and our mood and our emotions. Our diet can truly be our friend or our foe.
What is your food philosophy? Paleo? Clean? Vegetarian?
I don’t believe in rigid labels or the latest diet fads. So often with these diet trends people get stuck in rigidly following them and in the meantime missing out on various foods that are highly nutritious. I believe everyone is different we all have different genes, we have different stressors in our lives that affect our health, we live in different environments and are exposed to different toxins, we all metabolise our food differently and what diet fad is good for one person is not necessarily good for another. So I’m not strictly paleo, vegan, vegetarian or even clean but lover of nutritious wholefoods and my recipes are mainly gluten, dairy and sugar free. For the purpose of this blog and to help my readers easily find recipes when following a certain diet then recipes have been labelled and tagged paleo, vegan, grain free etc where appropriate.
About my journey to becoming a Naturopath
I originally trained as a Naturopath to help quench my interest in the field of natural medicine and nutrition, but also to help get to the bottom of my own health concerns where I had found no help from orthodox medicine. I experienced severe PMT and was diagnosed with PMDD, thyroid issues, adult acne and eczema and also experienced bouts of depression and anxiety. All things that that are so very common in the fast paced world we live in. I always thought I already ate a healthy diet but I was to learn so much more about food and how it affects the body that I realised my diet wasn’t as healthy as I thought. By making gradual changes to my diet and by learning more and more in my journey to becoming a Naturopath, these issues all resolved. I did go completely gluten free and dairy free for a couple of years and after working on my digestive and immune system and bringing inflammation down (Naturopathic talk here) I can now have those in my diet in small amounts. My little boy and husband are dairy intolerant so you could say we are lucky we are all on the same page on that one and as a family only have small amounts now and then.
In my clinical practice I found that removing various food intolerances i.e gluten, removing dairy etc just wasn’t enough. Going gluten free does not necessarily mean that you are eating healthy, it means you are doing a really great job and have potentially made some positive changes in your journey to good health if gluten was a problem for you. Your original symptoms usually have decreased, you have taken a load off your immune system and your digestive system may be breathing a sigh of relief….but unless you are putting lots of nutrients back in, it so often isn’t enough to feel vibrant and healthy. Living off gluten free toast isn’t going to make you feel vibrant.
I found that clients were confused about what could they eat if they took x, y and z foods away….and were left feeling like would they ever eat nice food again? What would they snack on? Can they snack on anything other than rice crackers? What could they make for their kids for lunch? I am writing this blog to bridge that gap and bring you nutritional whole food that is easy to make and most importantly tastes good!
Thank you for visiting Love Food Nourish! I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do.
Hope Pearce is a New Zealand Registered Naturopath with Naturopaths & Medical Herbalists of NZ (Inc).
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Disclaimer: The information on this website are my thoughts, ideas and personal experiences around food, nutrition and wellness and hence all information presented on this website is for informational purposes only. This website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and is not intended to be a replacement for any medical treatment. This site is not intended to be used for therapeutic purposes, as medical advice or offer a cure to any health or medical condition nor intends to provide a substitute for the advice provided by a physician or other healthcare professional. Please seek the advice of a healthcare professional for your specific health concerns.