This week in Kitchen Farmacy – our food lover's blog where good health and great taste come together, with recipes to nourish the soul and body – we bring you Heidi Sze, real-food obsessed Australian blogger, photographer and mindful, butter-loving dietitian, from Apples Under My Bed.
3 Feb 2015 - 9:39 AM  UPDATED 25 Feb 2015 - 10:12 AM

Her whole life, Heidi Sze has lived and breathed all that the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, has to offer. She grew up eating fresh cherries in December and eggs from backyard chooks, cooking pikelets from scratch after school and a one-bowl chocolate cake for special occasions. As she gained a taste for healthy, fresh food, she also lapped up a real satisfaction from her kitchen creations.

When it came time for Heidi to consider careers, she heard about nutrition and dietetics. “I thought: ‘You mean, I can talk about food all day long and get paid for it?’ I was in,” she tells us. “My passion for health was sort of secondary to my passion for food. Through learning about disease and seeing the impact a poor diet can have on health, I developed a new respect for the power of food. I was in my early twenties at this point, and noticed that I felt a lot better drinking smoothies than cheap wine.”


You’re an advocate for mindful eating. What do you mean by that?

“Mindful eating is a practice that helps us be more present and enjoy food on a new level. You're slowing down, getting rid of distractions and using your senses. If you’ve prepared a meal yourself, you have a greater appreciation for the food, which helps you to be more mindful, connected and, in my opinion, healthier and happier.”


What’s your food philosophy?

“Real food, really enjoyed. I just thought of that now, but it sums up my feelings pretty well.”


What exactly is real food?

“Real, whole foods are not highly, or rather, unnecessarily, processed. Some degree of processing is normal - and even required - to get food from field to plate, but overly processing foods and engineering ‘food-like substances’ (as Michael Pollan notes) is where things go wrong.

“We all have different bodies and what is healthy for one person can easily differ from the next. For me, pasta is my power food. For my husband, it’s rice. For my brother, it’s eggs. With all the loud messages out there regarding diet, it can be really confusing. We need to learn to trust ourselves again and eat what makes us feel our best.”


Tell us of your sincere appreciation of breakfast.

“During uni holidays, and after graduating, I travelled, which opened my eyes to various breakfast options, from rice porridge in Asia, to brioche and gelato in Sicily, and msemen in Morocco. When starting my blog, which is my food diary, four and a half years ago, it became clear that breakfast would be a key feature.

“So I started a Wednesday Breakfast Club for a bit of mid-week fun on the blog and Instagram. Like-minded folk share their morning eats of a Wednesday with the hashtag #wednesdaybreakfastclub and we all snoop and gather inspiration.”


Your childhood sounds delicious. Who taught you to cook?

“My mother. A home-cook and self-taught, she’s intuitive and adaptable. I learnt by watching, absorbing her methods and movements in the kitchen, whether slow-cooking and braising or assembling a quick meal. The most valuable cooking lesson she taught me was to be fearless and to taste as I go.”


What are you excited about this year?

“I like to set informal cooking goals, and this year I hope to get my fried chicken game down pat, which, as a dietitian, may come as a surprise. I don’t mind a little fried food, I just do it myself (like my favourite ricotta doughnuts). It’s cooking from scratch with unabashed enjoyment, which is deliciously within my food philosophy.”


Apples Under My Bed’s top picks

1. Roasted chickpea and carrot salad with miso tahini dressing


2. Salt and vinegar potatoes

Salt and vinegar potatoes

3. Baked apple pie oats

Baked apple pie oats

4. Flourless chocolate pots



Kitchen Farmacy editor Kris Franken

Kitchen Farmacy is our food lover's blog where good health and great taste come together. Each fortnight we'll feature a health and wellbeing foodie blog, with recipes to nourish the soul and body. Here's to eating well (and satisfying all kinds of cravings). View previous Kitchen Farmacy blog entries.