Friday Night In with Tara from The Nutrition Guru and The Chef
The internet makes the world seem like such a smaller place. You know that feeling you get when you connect with someone you've never met before, but just know you'd be friends in "real life"? A person who is so likeminded in an aspect of your life that conversation flows so easily, even if it is via Instagram, Facebook or email? Well Tara is one of these people for me.
We seem to have this mutual appreciation for what we both promote - healthy, wholefood living, without, as Tara puts it, the 'wankery'. Health is not about pushing your body to extremes, having all the latest superfoods, downing green smoothies by the barrel full, or being the one with the most "food intolerances", (if you do medically have these intolerances, you typically wish you didn't!).
So I am absolutely thrilled to have The Nutrition Guru Tara feature on tonight's Friday Night In.
Stay warm, pour a cup of tea, and dream about making the recipe below for the week to come!
Happy Friday Night In,
Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m 4 foot 9 (143cm) so have to wear platform shoes whenever possible
I used to compete on the Australian Pistol Shooting team
I’m a social media addict
We live in beautiful Noosa, QLD
How did The Nutrition Guru and The Chef come about?
While I was studying Nutrition and Dietetics at uni, I started the Facebook page and blog as a way to pass on the nutrition knowledge that was overflowing in my busy, information-thirsty brain. During university, cooking was my stress relief so it was a great way to share the recipes that I was creating. Jeff is a Chef and has a wealth of experience and knowledge of food and cooking and we are always talking food when we get to spend time together (which is rare).
What does a typical day look like for you?
I conduct nutrition consultations via skype and telephone as well as in person and write nutrition articles for publications. I also work for a social media agency specialising in food and restaurants. I cook, I bake, I walk, I try and get out in nature each day. I’ve recently had a baby so now my day now involves staring at my beautiful Lucy-Belle all day.
The most rewarding part of your job?
I specialise in helping treat patients who are fearful of food to the point where it has affected their psychological and physical health and their diet has become very limited. Many people are now frightened of grains, gluten, dairy, fruit…the list is endless. I spend time educating them on the benefits of eating a varied diet and not being hung up with all the latest diet fads and incorrect nutrition information that is rife on social media now. I enjoy that special moment during the consultation where the patient suddenly has a weight lifted off their shoulders afte realising that treats are ok in moderation, grains aren’t going to cause their brain to explode and gluten isn’t the devil for everyone. When they realise that you can be healthy without being a nutrition fanatic, their life changes.
What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?
I’ve met a lot of my idols in recent years but I would love to meet Jamie Oliver. It is also a secret dream of mine to be on TV spreading the guru nutrition love!
Favourite place in the world?
Bellingen, NSW where I grew up.
If you were a spice, which would you be?
Definitely schezuan pepper. It’s a pepper but just that little bit different.
5 things you can’t live without?
· Coconut oil to tame my crazy frizzy hair.
· The Chef, because he’s my best friend in the world
· My small stools scattered throughout the house so that I can reach things as I’m under 5 foot tall
· My tea cupboard (total tea addict)
· My oven to cook delicious healthy food in
If you could choose to eat anything in the world for your next meal, what would it be?
I would have The Chef cook me a piece of fish, no one can cook it quite like him.
What was for breakfast?
Simple honest food with no fancy-pants expensive powders or superfoods.Warm oats with strawberries, linseeds and macadamia nuts
How would you classify your eating style?
It’s ‘nutrition wankery free.’ We eat fresh, real foods grown in the earth. Local where we can. We obtain our nutrition from real food rather than supplements, protein powders and superfood bars.
Your favourite way to stay active?
On the dance floor with some pumping music
Your new ebook comes out soon – what can we expect?
It is! Simple nutritious recipes which use a handful of ingredients in many different ways. With the Chef’s cooking skills and my nutrition knowledge, the ebook combines the best of both worlds – Nutritious and delicious!
(link to join mailing list for pre-release - http://wp.me/P4yTTp-RX)
Your best advice for living a wholesome, healthy lifestyle?
Preparation is the key. Cook double batches of everything to save time in the kitchen. For example, cook a double batch of steamed broccoli. Use half for dinner tonight, then blend the left overs tomorrow night with stock to create a delicious soup.
Also, don’t feel that you have to be drinking green smoothies with bee pollen and macca powder and following a raw only, gluten free, vegan diet to be healthy. There’s nothing wrong with eating that way but I do see many people become discouraged, thinking that this is the only measure of health. Health is highly individual and can be as simple as eating more fresh, wholesome foods, moving more and making healthy swaps.
How can readers find you?
Would LOVE if you came and joined us in Guru Land!
RECIPE: GLUTEN-FREE SWEET POTATO, COCONUT AND CHAI LOAF
- 2 cups of almond meal or ground nuts (see method)
- 1/2 cup grated coconut, dessicated coconut, or coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 cups grated sweet potato (skin included)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup sunflower or olive oil
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 tsp baking powder (choose gluten free baking powder if coeliac or highly sensitive to gluten)
- 1 tbsp vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp chai powder OR 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. For this recipe you can simply use 2 cups of almond meal (ground almonds). I didn’t have almonds already ground, so I blitzed 1 cup almonds in the blender then added 1 cup of macadamias. This is your flour. The macadamias need to be added last, as they have a higher oil content and will turn to butter quickly when blended. Alternative nuts are brazil nuts (don’t over blitz), cashews, pistachios.
3. Place ground nuts in a large bowl
4. Add coconut
5. Grate the sweet potato and add to the bowl
6. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs lightly
7. Add the oil to the eggs and whisk lightly to incorporate.
8. Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl containing the oil and eggs and mix to combine.
9. Add this wet mixture to the dry bowl of nut flour and coconut.
10. Stir with a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine.
11. Pour mixture into a greased and lined loaf pan
12. Optional: you may wish to sprinkle with crushed nuts or seeds such as pumpkin or sesame to decorate
13. Bake for 30 minutes, until brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
14. Remove from oven and leave in tin to cool.