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Q & A with Food Matters

  1. How did Food Matters come to be?

Food Matters was born out of desperation. We wanted to help my father get well, he was on six different medications, bedridden for five years and we knew that nutrition and natural medicine could help. We started interviewing experts around the world, which became the Food Matters film. After watching it, he transformed his health, lost 25 kilos, came off his medications and completely turned his life around. That was 11 years ago. 
He's still going through the journey of healing as he starts to uncover more and deeper aspects of these being, but ultimately his physical body, and he was able to make a new life. It has been fantastic for us as a family.


  1. When creating Food Matters what was your favourite place you travelled to and why?

Laurentine has lived in so many places around the world, and I've been late to the travel party but also blessed to have seen and experienced my fair share. When we were creating Food Matters, we seemed to be really intrigued and infatuated by Southern California just because of the energy and the optimism around “anything is possible” in that part of the world. It's a real vortex of innovation and creativity and we sort of tapped into that and marked it as a place where we'd like to live and connect with our friends and more people in the future. When we released Hungry for Change, our second documentary, we went and lived in our favourite part of Santa Monica, right behind Rawvolution and Earth Cafe on Main Street, just near Pressed Juicery. Out son, Hugo was born there, so it was a really special time and that's still one of my favorite places in the world. 

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  1. What was your childhood like? Did it involve eating a wholesome balanced diet? 

No! My childhood was pretty calm and peaceful. I didn't have a lot of trauma, I didn't have a lot of travel, I didn't have a lot of crazy stuff going on but my parents were subscribed to the ideology that the government guidelines and the “heart tick” and what's in supermarket shelves must be safe and must be good for you. And, they did their best! I think we just really handed over all of our philosophies and dietary advice to what was being sold to us. Of course, we ate fruits, of course, we had vegetables, of course, we ate healthy things, but we had a certain lack of consciousness around food. I think that was just born out of the environment and is so common for most people. 


  1. What is your favourite health food that you have come across?

For me, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds! They just blow my mind! I mean far out, it's amazing that you can have them taste so good and they’re so amazing for you. It's such a beautiful transactional relationship. 

But if it was to be one ‘health food product’, I think one that could have the biggest impact for people, and had the biggest impact from me, was having wheatgrass, spirulina and barley grass powders, and grass juice powders.
Where they take these organic grasses and cold-press juice them, freeze-dry them at low temperatures to maintain the nutrients and then you mix that powder into water daily. Amazingly transformative in terms of alkalinity, energy production and making you feel good! 

  1. What do you do in your downtime/when you are not working?

Surfing. Connecting in with my children, Hugo and my eldest boy who recently joined us, Rangi. Also, being with Laurentine, and just talking about life and what we want to do now, next and forever and what do we want to explore about who we are, and just discovering deeper elements of our being. I think it's exciting to be on that journey with somebody and I really feel grateful to have that in my life.

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  1. What is your favourite treat?

Raw chocolate for sure! Raw chocolate with some sort of salty nut combination. I love Pana Chocolate and there's a really cool chocolate manufacturer in Vanuatu where I'm living at the moment, called Gaston. They do a really good salted caramel one, with Nangae Nut, which is a local almond nut from the Island. Mind-blowing! 
  1. What is your all-time favourite recipe/meal?

That's too hard. I love so much food. 
I'm into simplicity, I don't really like to overcomplicate things. If I could have a piece of grilled fish and a raw salad, that would be mind-blowing. Or, if I could have a Miso Soup and a seaweed salad, that's also mind-blowing to me. I really Green Papaya salads too! 
  1. What is your morning routine?

Get up and connect with a higher power, no matter how briefly. Even just “Oh my God, I'm alive!” That is step one. 
Then I'll move through a routine of a few different things. I'll always move my body in some way, shape or form. It might be a really quick five-minute yoga flow, it might be an hour of surfing, it might be a bike ride or a run or it could be push-ups, sit-ups, dips. But I'll do some form of movement. 
Then I'll go into some form of hydration ritual. I tend to move and do things before I hydrate. I'll do a lemon juice or I'll do a ginger shot, which would be just a big chunk of ginger and half an apple juiced. Then I’ll have a green juice. Some sort of structured hydration. That’s a big thing for me; hydrating and internal cleansing, acknowledging those cycles of the body at different times of the day and that's what it needs in the morning. Then I'll move to an external cleansing, which will be like a shower combined with cold exposure. Finishing off my shower with cold exposure and some deep breathing in the shower at the same time. 

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  1. What are the most common obstacles you believe people face when trying to change to a healthy lifestyle?

They don't believe that they're worth it. I think internally we all have voices that control and direct the undercurrents of our lives and our awareness of them oscillates between nothing, they're not there to, I'm self-sabotaging myself. I think all of us have them, no matter how powerful the matter, how successful we are and oftentimes people who are successful and powerful are using that outer sense of their identity to shield themselves from some of these internal dialogues and voices that they have. And they might not be actual language or voices, it just might be this “don't worry about it, you’ll be okay, we’ll figure it out tomorrow” and just putting yourself down. I think those in the dialogues and voices need to be really handled carefully.
  1. What is the biggest misconception when it comes to eating a healthier and balanced diet?

The biggest misconception would be that it's all about diet, so that what you eat matters wholly and completely and that's just not the truth. It's a much more equally and heavily skewed towards the mind as well. And I think that's the next bastion of human understanding around health and nutrition. 
  1. What are your 5 tips to help people live a healthier and happier lifestyle?

# 1 
Be true to yourself. Listen to your intuition. If you feel like resting, rest, if you feel like having a break and cleaning up your diet, do that. If you feel like going out and having a bit of fun, do that too. But listen to your body. 

# 2
Know that a morning ritual and how you behave in those first precious moments after you wake up can really set you up for a day and a life of continued growth, contribution and success. 

# 3
Hydration. Falls under the morning ritual thing, but hydration is a game-changer. It’s more important than ever before because of the challenges we're faced with toxicity and bad foods. 

# 4
Cultivate more meaningful and deeper relationships in your life. When you get really busy and on a mission, you start to disconnect emotionally from people closest to you. Try to identify how you can deepen a personal relationship with the people close to you. Really see people and feel them a little bit more deeply and connect to them and let them know that you're there for them.

# 5
Happiness. I think happiness is predicated on comfort and freedom and really the dance between those two. Encourage yourself, your family, your friends, your partners, and your team that you work with to take the opportunity to experience as much as possible. 

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  1. What would be a game-changer for the food industry? What would be the 1 change you would like to see for REAL change?

An ethical rating on all meat would be the biggest change I could see because I think that consuming any type of animal product is consuming some form of a lifecycle and that involves pain and emotions. The discussions around eating meat or not eating meat are blurring into the discussion around eating more plants. That's becoming the norm now and people are moving towards that more and more which is great. And so, the people who do choose to eat animal products, I think for them to have a clean rating system or a rating system that would help them identify, what's the welfare level of the animals that are going through their life cycle in order to be not only in communion with people, farm, planet and animals, but also to be a part of the food cycle.

In speaking to luminaries like John Robins, for instance, one of the forerunners, of promoting veganism and vegetarianism, it's less about converting the entire masses to veganism, but moving the needle to more plant consumption, more conscious animal consumption and more sustainable animal product consumption. 


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