GoodnessMe Transformation: Meet Our October Wholefoodie!

From learning how to read nutrition labels, making healthy food swaps and adopting lifelong habits from our regular challenges, we love finding out how members of the GoodnessMe community about what they've done to overhaul their health and lifestyle! This month, we chat to wholefoodie, Hannah Phillips who takes on her health journey. 

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How did you eat growing up?

I am one of five children to a single parent, and surprisingly none of us were fussy eaters. I grew up on a simple healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and meats compared with other families in the 1980’s. We always tried to eat together, and our meals were simple and had a heavy reliance on vegetables. Some of my favourite memories were of the meals we shared as whole family, usually sharing lasagne or pastitsio. My mum did a great job of ensuring that we ate well, there were never biscuits or other sweet foods in our house and our snacks were more often than not fruit or sandwiches.

What made you switch to wholefoods?

My youngest son had digestive problems as an infant which required me to really evaluate our diet and to look into the ways different foods impacted his health in both a positive and negative way. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that required me to eliminate gluten completely and reduce dairy from my diet. This lead me to do a lot of research into the idea of food as medicine, and lead me to start my degree in Nutritional Medicine.

Was the change difficult and if so how did you overcome this?

My diagnosis made the transition to gluten and dairy free wholefoods easier as I had no choice. The more I learn through my degree in Nutrition, the easier the choices have become as I learn about how food functions to bring health to the body. My family supports me by keeping a gluten-free house and avoiding dairy in communal meals. We all eat the same things rather than having ‘special’ meals for those of us with dietary requirements.

How do you feel now that you eat wholefoods?

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and had to stop eating gluten and limit my dairy intake that I realised how much better I felt. I had no idea how tired I always was, how off my digestive system was, or that I could feel much better with a simple dietary change. Since changing my diet to a more wholefood diet, I feel better than I ever have and have more energy than ever. I can also tell the difference when I let things slip as my body is quick to let me know.

How would you describe your food philosophy?

Being a parent of two very active boys, our diet is very much a wholefood-based diet that is based around the importance of providing enough energy, satiety and nutrition as quickly and simply as possible while keeping things as sustainable as possible. Some mornings I feel as though I am stuck in the kitchen until lunchtime feeding my hungry boys, but the days when we stick to wholefoods, that are rich in fibre, plant-based fats and proteins, we are content and feel our best. My cooking is simple, I don’t over season as I love the way fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds taste.  

Any tips or advice for those out there trying to make the switch to a wholefood lifestyle?

Increase the amount of vegetables that you eat and try to include them in most meals of the day. Vegetables are an incredible source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, helping you to feel the difference between processed foods and wholefoods.

Focus on eating foods that are as close to their original, wholefood form, and try to steer clear of foods that are processed, I always ask my boys to read the ingredients list of any foods that they are wanting to try and we talk about where the ingredients are grown and whether the ingredients could be grown in our garden… if they can’t, then we really consider whether we should be eating the food.

After making the switch, how did you feel after and did you notice things you could do that you couldn’t do before?

Switching to wholefoods gave me the energy I never realised I was missing! I went from feeling like I needed a nap every afternoon, to being able to get through the day with enthusiasm. My health and digestive system specifically really calmed down and became much more reliable with the switch to wholefoods and my many food intolerances seemed to calm down and resolve. Rather than eating less, I was able to eat more.

Is there anything you can do now or have done, which you once thought would have been possible?

With a wholefood diet, I am able to get more out of each day, which is so important as I need to keep up with my boys who love nothing more than spending a day at the beach, skateboarding, climbing trees or jumping all over the place!

What are 4 staple products that are always in your shopping trolley?

Fresh fruit and vegetables, Nutty Bruce Coconut and Almond milk, Mayver’s Peanut Butter and eggs.

How has GoodnessMe helped you on your health journey?

I look forward to receiving my GoodnessMe Box each month as I love trying out all of the interesting and new products. I have loved learning about so many new health products, how to use them and how they support health.

What has been your all-time favourite product in our box and why?

That’s a tough question… although, every time there is a Blue Dinosaur or Krumbled Food Beauty Bite in the box, there is a rush for it in our house!

Images: @hannah_phillips_nutrition

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