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Featured Foodie: Amy Crawford - A Nourishing Kitchen

Looking back through the archives we realised that we've been connected to Amy for close to a year. First when she took part in our Kale Competition and now as a Featured Foodie. In between times, Amy has achieved many milestones, both professionally and personally. Read on to learn the secret to this foodie’s success and how she survived a week without technology!

When & how did you first begin cooking? When did you realise how much you loved it?

I remember having THE best time in the kitchen as a young girl. My mum just let us go for it – irrespective of the mess we’d create, she’d leave my girlfriends and I to create to our little heart’s content. I think the first recipe I ever created was green, or possibly blue, muesli biscuits. They tasted pretty (clearly I wasn’t so concerned about food dye back in the 70’s). I’ve always been very creative though for most of my career didn’t work in a creative role – the kitchen therefore became my outlet. It was probably in my early 30’s when I really started loving cooking. In fact, I’d often grin to myself as I sat down (often on my own) to eat dinner, at a plate of food that looked like it’d come straight from a Donna Hay magazine. I have always needed my plate of food to look AND taste really good.

What inspired you to start the Holistic Ingredient website?

The Holistic Ingredient started by default as part of my healing journey – and then it simply took on a life of its own. I started blog writing during my recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, towards the end of 2012, with no idea where it would lead. At this point I had been unwell for about 3 years and my corporate career was over. I had no idea how my future would look, all I felt was absolute faith that it be amazing.  There is always a blessing in a challenging situation!

The blog was initially a means of sharing my journey, in the hope that I could inspire others to wellness. I had learnt so much - it had to be shared. 

How has the website developed and what have been some milestones for you?

 So much has happened in a year – in fact I often pinch myself. There are some key milestones. In September 2012 I set up an Instagram account for fun and started taking photos of my daily diet. Quite surprisingly (to me), the feed quickly developed interest and it occurred to me then that perhaps food needed to be a part of my future. As more and more people started asking for my recipes I decided to share them on my blog. It was Instagram that provided impetus to write the first of a series of recipes books, A Nourishing Kitchen, which was launched in May this year and currently graces my website.

Studying to become a Health Coach this year was a means of further satisfying my thirst for knowledge and that qualification has provided a little more depth to the information that I share.

Around February this year, I made the best decision of my life; I became a CTC Practitioner and am now blessed to be facilitating huge life transformations in others.  I share lots of information around this and my learnings from CTC on my website.

There is soon to be a big development though – I am about to launch a brand new website which will house my plans for a book series and other very exciting initiatives.

Tell us a bit about your philosophy towards cooking, are there any individuals you look to for inspiration or motivation?

My philosophy is to eat food as close to nature as possible; to eat food in it’s most simple form, avoiding packets with numbers on the back that I don’t understand, that have little nutritional value. I eat a combination of raw and cooked food every day. I eat intuitively - foods that feel right for my body.

I couldn’t name just one individual, no. There are so many. I certainly have my favourite Instagram accounts though and all of these people inspire and motivate me on a daily basis.

What are your "non-negotiables" when it comes to diet & lifestyle?

No toxins, as far and wide as possible. I won’t buy anything with a number on the back, whether it be food or skin care. Everything I consume in any way is natural, it is not over processed, and it isn’t full of preservatives and other nasties. Most of my food is organic.

As for my lifestyle, I need to be very careful with my energy these days and for that reason I plan my weeks carefully, ensuring there is lots of down time. If I allowed it, my work could consume me 24/7. For this reason I have had to learn to say no.

I notice you have embarked on some tech free time, what inspired you take time away from your digital devices and what were the  results?

In the end I had no choice. When you’ve had CFS you really appreciate how amazing your body can feel, you become terribly sensitive to fluctuating energy. As my social media feeds grew they consumed my time more and more. I was perpetually ‘connected’, responding here, there and everywhere. The problem for me is that this business journey has never felt like ‘work’ – so it never felt ‘naughty’ playing around on social media all weekend. The flip side is that by not allowing enough down time, cracks in my health started to appear.

The result of my tech-free detox was ultimately a gentle reminder of how much better I feel energetically (and more productive) when I am rested. There is a lot more calm.

When did you first become aware of Loving Earth?

I have been a Loving Earth supporter for years now, I couldn’t tell you the first time I discovered your wonderful products. I do remember being excited about the fact you were a Melbourne based business though, and even more excited when I began to understand how your products were sourced and manufactured with sustainability and fair trade in mind.

What's your favorite way to use our foods?

Need you ask? Cacao! I am a chocolate fanatic, in fact I have to work hard not to eat it every single day. I love your raw cacao; it finds its way into many a recipe – smoothies, raw chocolate, quinoa muffins…you name it. Second to cacao would be your maca powder (which I do eat every day), sprinkled on yoghurt, in smoothies, on muesli. The list is endless, I have a pantry full of Loving Earth product, it’s just a matter of seeing the woods for the trees in there ;-)

Visit Amy's website or follow her on Instagram for more nourishing recipes and meal ideas!

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