I believe one simple thing, a healthy life is a happy life. And I want to teach this to all the people that I can.
I recently moved from Perth with my partner and two small children to become Australian Certified Organic farmers – as complete novices. We embarked on this journey because the lives we were leading in Perth were not enough – we craved more. Uprooting our family to start a venture in something neither of us had a clue about took courage and determination. It was the perfect decision – we are so proud to be a part of the health food movement, where we grow nourishing, nutrient dense food.
Organika Farm is my platform to share our story and our knowledge about healthy living. My mission is to empower people to make a change in their life and to have the courage to be different. I believe healthy living starts at the soil from which our food grows. And you can obtain the healthy living, one step at a time.
Tell us three things about yourself
- I would love to be a rally car driver. Or at least drive in a rally car as a passenger.
- If I could have one person in the whole wide world come over for dinner I would chose Jamie Oliver. I think he has done some amazing work with his Ministry of Food project.
- I would love to relocate to France for 12 months. Just for the experience of living in another country, learning the language, eating the great, tasty, fresh produce and drinking the wine.
What’s been the biggest health challenge you’ve overcome and what did you learn from this experience?
My biggest challenge was as a baby. I was born premature and nearly lost my life. Of course I cannot remember this, the lessons learned from this experience were to come many years later.
I was administered antibiotics from birth. This put me on the journey of un-wellness. Every year I would be consistently unwell with respiratory infections, candida overgrowth, asthma, and ear, nose and throat infections, and digestive ailments. In one year alone I had tonsillitis 12 times. I was always treated, but never really got well. I spent the first 25 years of my life having mediocre health. I never really stood out as unwell, but I was not thriving.
Knowing something had to change, I started to look at my health from a holistic perspective and this is when my life changed dramatically.
A holistic approach to health promotes exploring your whole being – emotionally and spiritually, not just physically. Treating the symptom will never cure you, you must find the root cause to truly get well.
What’s your top tip for getting your day off to a great start?
It’s simple and everyone can achieve it – drink a litre of water with a little bit of Himalayan or Celtic salt before you eat. This flushes the system and provides the hydration and energy you need to get moving. This is a little tip I learned from David Wolfe.
Your brekky usually consists of…
I’m a busy Mum, so breakfast needs to be easy and something I can share with my kids. At the moment I am really enjoying my homemade seed mix soaked overnight in my homemade milk kefir.
Which foods do you eat to nourish your body and give you vitality?
I eat real foods – traditional food. Organic fruit and vegetables – in season. Grassfed, organic, free-range meat – from happy, well looked after animals. I try and eat raw dairy where possible and always organic.
I have suffered leaky gut syndrome, so bone marrow broth is incredibly healing and an excellent first food for my children. I also eat a lot of good quality fat – butter, coconut oil, nuts and avocado. Cod Liver oil is a supplement I take daily.
Why is fitness an important part of your life and do you have an exercise routine?
Without exercise I am an empty, grumpy shell waiting to crack. So exercise is essential to my happiness. I have always loved sport and exercise, it makes me a better person.
Right now, having just relocated my small family from Perth to QLD, I am just getting back into the swing of things. I do conditioning work 3 times a week and I am going to include a yoga session once a week.
If I cannot fit in a whole session, kettlebell swings are my favourite. Burpess are a good one, but I despise them 🙂
Your ‘perfect day’ in a nutshell would be…
Waking up to the sounds of birds. Followed by a light, freshly prepared (by someone else) breakfast with my happy family, overlooking the crop on our farm. Then being teleported to the beach where the day is spent reading, swimming and eating. The night ends with a red wine and falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. And I’ll squeeze in a massage there too.
Describe what motivated you to choose your current business or career path?
It’s a really long answer. I’ll try and be brief. There were two pivotal moments in my life. First was when we were visiting a friend’s farm when my son Darcy was 13 months old. Darcy was so content and seemed at peace. This spurred on the thought that maybe this is something we need to do. Maybe we need to relocate to the country and start a farm.
The second moment was when my Mum was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and died 5 months later. This was last year. I was pregnant with our second child. It was harrowing and dark. Death made me realize that life does in fact end and that I need to make the most of my life. So Zac and I brainstormed, and together we decided a farm was the best option for us.
We are now a part of the health food movement. I could not be prouder or happier. Organika Farm is my platform to share our story, and to inspire people to make a change in their own life, and to have the courage to be different.
What business or career challenge have you overcome and what one piece of advice would you like to pass on to others?
Deciding whether or not to stay in our comfort zone or challenge ourselves. Before relocating from Perth we knew absolutely nothing about organic sweet potato farming. We decided to move our young family, Olivia only 7 months old, to a place where we knew no one, had nowhere to live – we basically had to start from scratch.
We could have chosen to stay in Perth, in comfort, with our nice house, well-paying job, and with all our familiarities – friends, family, yoga, tennis, markets. We were set up. But we were not that happy. We knew there was more to achieve – there was an even better life out there. It was just going to take a lot of effort and most importantly a lot of courage.
I want people to trust themselves and to realize they control where they end up. If you want something, go get it – we only live once.
And if you are looking for advice, ask your 80 year old self – are they happy that you stayed doing what you are doing? Or do they wish you had the courage to make the leap into what you really wanted to do?
Your favourite book or movie of all time is? And why?
Pretty Woman. I just love it. It takes me back to my college days. It brings back really fond memories of friends and of happy, free times.
And lastly, do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us?
Slow Cooked Brownie
I love this because there are only has 6 ingredients, it is simple and easy to make, and it is healthy and delicious. It does take patience however, 12 hours worth 🙂 Cooking at a low temperature ensures that the enzymes and antioxidants are preserved. It’s a delicious treat for both young and old. This recipe is also dairy, nut and grain free – so helpful for those with allergies. If you are concerned about the stimulating effect of cocao you can substitute with carob.
4 cups of pumpkin seeds, freshly ground
½ cup cacao
½ cup honey
½ cup chopped nuts (I generally choose activated almonds)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup filtered water
Mix all ingredients together. The dough should be very thick. Line a 9 inch by 13-inch pyrex pan with baking paper and pat dough to a thickness of ½ inch. Bake for 12 hours at 80 degrees. Serve with fresh, organic (preferably raw) cream and frozen berries. Store in the refrigerator.