GoodnessMe Transformation: Meet Our November Wholefoodie!
We love seeing how we have helped inspire people in the GoodnessMe Fam on their wellness journey - from learning how to read nutrition labels, making healthy food swaps and adopting lifelong habits from our regular challenges. This month, we chat naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist, Sally Sherriff. Keep reading as she takes us through her health story!
How did you eat growing up?
I grew up with my mum, dad and 2 older brothers. My mum has always been into natural health and made a lot of vegetarian meals from scratch. She would make a lot of incredible vegetarian meals such as tofu cheesecakes, nut burgers and lentil pies with her own whole-wheat pastry. She would cook many alternatives for meat several times per week. I was always aware of natural health from an early age and I thank her for that. My brothers and dad were meat eaters but I was never a fan of eating animals so naturally ate a vegetarian diet. As I got older and had access to other foods I would make poor choices but came back to my core beliefs because I had that knowledge and foundation from the beginning.
How do you feel now that you eat wholefoods?
Wholefoods, are living foods so they make me feel alive. Living foods, contain energy and living enzymes which means like us, they contain a vital force. Consuming these foods, in turn feeds our vital force, making us feel amazing. When I eat processed foods, low in nutritional value I feel low. Sluggish, tired and moody. It just isn’t worth that awful feeling.
How would you describe your food philosophy?
I am a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist so my belief is guided by Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” It is my belief that food is our medicine in that nutritionally dense whole-foods provide us with what we need to heal, achieve our goals and be the very best version of ourselves.
What made you switch to wholefoods?
I didn’t really make a switch as such, I’ve always had a passion for wholefoods. However after studying Naturopathy, Nutritional medicine and Western herbal medicine and becoming qualified in these fields and taking this knowledge to start my own business I really took it to the next level. There is a lot of misinformation out there so this education really empowered me and gave me the tools and know how to be able to pack as much nutrition into every day.
Was the change difficult and if so how did you overcome this?
I have always been into natural wholefoods, it was more portion size rather than food quality for me. Getting out of that binge and restrict cycle was a huge thing for me. My mental health is a very big driver in how I treat myself now. It’s not about how I look and I think that is the biggest thing I had to realise to make a true change.
I have always been up & down with my weight and varying degrees of fitness so for me it had to be about finding balance and holistic health was the way to do that. Learning not to punish myself for eating something I would label as “bad”. I never do that now. Food to me now is to be enjoyed and if I eat something I try to mindfully say to myself “I enjoyed that but at the next meal I think I need something rich in nutrients as I don’t think I’ve had much fibre or essential fatty acids” or whatever it may be. This is where really listening to your body is key.
A must for me to stay focused on what I put into my body is exercise. To overcome the negative self-talk I had to identify my triggers relating to mental health by finding enjoyment in exercise and a way to move that I wanted to do most days. For me that is boxing. I’m no pro but I have a decent bag, gloves and wraps and I just “cut sick” if you will, on the bag. It makes me feel powerful, not just physically but it mentally gives me that fight to deal with anything the day brings. It’s incredible just how much it changes your mind set and naturally you want to fuel to your body efficiently.
I also avoid alcohol as I find it incredibly derailing. It depletes nutrients and interferes with my sleep, sparking negative feelings and self-talk. It then leads to eating high energy foods that are low in nutritional value which all feed my anxiety. I’m also a mum of a beautifully talented 10 year old girl, Lilly, who is an amazing skateboarder (she will be a pro one day). So it’s incredibly important to me to make sure I am a positive role model to her.
Any tips or advice for those out there trying to make the switch to a wholefood lifestyle?
Make the foods you already enjoy, just find a healthy version of it. Presentation is also important, when meals look appealing you will be more attracted to them and you will start to crave them.
Take it one step at a time. Don’t go in too hard and try to do everything at once. I think 3 changes at one time is more than enough, any more than that may be easy to implement at the start when motivation is high, but will be difficult to maintain. Real change takes time.
I think a good place to start is to look at the quality of the bread you’re eating and the milk you are drinking. Bread and milk are such staples in so many peoples diets and the cause of a lot of inflammatory diseases. Start experimenting with breads such as a sprouted wholegrain, pumpernickel or rye sourdough and quality plant based milks. I like activated almond and coconut but always mix it up for variety which I think is best for our health.
Getting a good sleep is also key, it will mean you have the energy to plan your meals and make better choices in the moment. Sleep deprivation will have you looking for that quick energy hit. Preparation and planning is key. Keep a to do list and write what you need to do to stay focused, every morning or night and stick to it.
After making the switch, how did you feel after and did you notice things you could do that you couldn't do before?
After doing my studies to become a natural healthcare practitioner, I gained an incredible understanding of the intricacies of the human body and how nourishing it correctly make such a difference to energy and mental clarity.
The most noticeable difference is that I no longer suffer from panic attacks or crippling anxiety in the night. Even when my anxiety was under control and I would manage to sleep there was a time I couldn’t get through a day without having or needing a nap and I thought that was normal, now I wouldn’t dream of it!
Is there anything you can do now or you have done, which you once thought would have been possible?
I launched my Nutrition business, Essess Nutrition, this year and if I wasn’t practicing what I preach that would never have happened. I can say whole heartedly I am pursuing my life purpose and I’m more content and happier than I have ever been. There was certainly a time when I thought this would have never been possible but I now know that you can achieve anything you have a passion for in life. You just need to nourish your mind, body and soul and be willing to do the work.
What are 4 staple products that are always in your shopping trolley?
Organic rolled oats
Organic/Australian frozen blueberries and raspberries
How has GoodnessMe helped you on your health journey?
GMB helped me by introducing me and my daughter to new products that I would otherwise be apprehensive to buy. It’s inspiring to have a bunch of healthy treats delivered to my door that I may never think of purchasing for myself.
My daughter Lilly is always so excited to see new healthy treats and is willing to try them because of the way they are prepared and delivered, there are many new things she wouldn’t have even considered trying had they been seen on the shelf at the supermarket, so it has been really great for her too.
What has been your all-time favourite product in our box and why?
I definitely have to say the Nutraorganics lover’s latte. I am incredibly passionate about Nutraorganics products now and GoodnessMe was where I first tried a product from them. I now stock them and recommend them to my clients regularly within my business and use them daily myself. Absolute game-changer for me!