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 Lee Holmes from Supercharged Food: blogger, health coach, cookbook author and self-proclaimed high priestess of healthy cooking.
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24 Feb 2015 - 1:52 PM  UPDATED 13 Mar 2015 - 9:12 AM

Lee Holmes’ love of fresh food was in full bloom as a child; she recalls catching apples in her jumper, collecting and roasting chestnuts, and picking juicy berries. Her family had their own greenhouse, vegetable patch and fruit trees in the small house with a big backyard in England where she grew up.

Her mum was a simple cook, but  when Lee turned 21 she studied Food and Nutrition in Perth and attended cooking school. Graduating with a diploma and qualifying as a wholefoods chef, it would be almost 20 years before Lee put her skills to good use. She has since gone on to complete further study in integrative nutrition and works as a holistic health coach and has trained as a Hatha Yoga teacher.

 

A nourishing childhood and chef qualifications didn’t sway you into a food career, so what did?

"Six years ago, when I turned 42, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called fibromyalgia. I had been tired for a while, but I woke one day and literally couldn’t get out of bed. My body felt arthritic, tight and achy. My hair was falling out, I got hives, and quickly lost a lot of weight. I was a single mum and I couldn’t work. I was put on about 20 pills a day, with loads of side effects.

"Until then I wasn’t that interested in food. I ate on the run and I never really cooked. One day in hospital, I thought maybe the disease was food-related. That’s when I started to omit a few ingredients from my diet - mainly gluten, yeast, wheat, soy and sugar, and eventually dairy."

 

How did you decide what to eat?

"With so many conflicting views around food and nutrition, I decided to simply listen to my inner voice and my body to see how I felt with various foods. 

"I put myself on a restrictive diet to work out what wasn’t working for me. After a while I started to feel better, so I gradually weaned myself off the drugs. Once I realised how central the gut is to health, I healed my gut and added in foods with high nutrient value - supercharged, healing, medicinal foods."

 

How did you heal your gut?

"A healthy gut is so important: a balance of good bacteria and microbiota gives the immune system a health boost. The key is to eat a probiotic-rich diet, eventually eating fermented foods, but it takes time to heal."

 

Did you start your blog when you were feeling better?

"Yes, I started Supercharged Food in 2010 because people wanted me to share my recipes, to see how I got better. The focus of my blog is cooking and recipes - I love the healing and curative aspects of food. I want to make the recipes really easy to create and bring them to life by way of video, beautiful photos and easy instructions. 

"One of the big elements of my blog is my Heal Your Gut online program and eBook (print version available September 2015). I wanted to go back to the beginning and create a book about how I actually healed my gut and became well."

 

Tell us about your new book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian (Murdoch Books, $34.99, pbk).

"Growing up I was taught the value of homegrown, homemade, seasonal and the curative value of vegetables, so it comes naturally for me to talk about plant-based diets. All the recipes are vegetarian and can be veganised. There’s cauliflower and raspberry cheesecake, spinach ice-cream, and loads more."

 

What do friends and followers beg you to share with them?

"Friends love it when I make my hazelnut-crusted salmon, or a beautiful green pea pancake. And the most popular recipes on the blog have been my spinach bread, lemon herb crackers and mint choc chip smoothies."

 

 

Supercharged Food’s top picks

1. Tuscan kaleslaw

2. Mint choc chip smoothie

3. Red onion bhajis with minted raita

4. Raw berry and chocolate torte

Raw berry and chocolate torte

 

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.