A Bit About Me
Welcome to my blog! Here is where I spend much of my week having fun creating nutrient dense recipes to share with you all! I am Rosannagh, I am a chef and self proclaimed plant-based greens gal and I fill my life and diet with wholesome, nourishing food (as well as Australian Masterchef, cycling and generally gooning around). I really hope that you enjoy the blog and that on the way you are inspired to add some truly nutritious and nurturing recipes to your repertoire.
For me, food is more than just our fuel. It is our medicine and our very life blood. As a result, my aim with this blog is to show just how delicious and fun healthy food can be so that you are equipped with the tools that you need to help you to be very healthiest and happiest version of you.
My food and all of the recipes on this blog are 100% nourishing – you will find that they are majority plant-plant based and include an abundance of good fats, whole grains, pulses, bucket loads of green vegetables and generally natural foods. I am all about making all of the things that you KNOW are good for you, inspiring, delicious and fun.
Personally I don’t really like labels when it comes to food. I am not a vegetarian, I am not a vegan and I am not a coeliac. I eat. And I enjoy it – its as simple as that! I don’t say no to anything but I do know how to steer my body and my diet in a more health centric direction. So here is a little overview of my approach. I must just add though that this is in no way concrete and we must always allow ourselves room to be adaptable.
1. Meat: I very rarely eat meat but from time to time I do – I’m talking maybe once or twice a month especially as I am so often exposed to beautifully reared meat and game when I am out cheffing. I never order meat at a restaurant or cook it for myself at home, simply because one day meat kind of just dumped me and left my plate. Not really for any reason in particular, we just drifted apart, and well, it just left! I am glad it did though because I really do believe that I am better off without it and that the health benefits of a life filled with a small amount of meat and large amounts of plants are huge. Sorry meat!
2. Sugar: For me, my own food and all of the recipes on this blog are void of refined sugar – I am not a fan of the stuff. But guess what? When I am out for dinner and someone offers to share a gooey chocolate brownie with me then I might just go for it! Life is for living after all. But finally the white stuff is being slayed by the media and I think we are now all much more aware of the dangers of an abundance of refined sugar in our lives. I promise you it is so easy to get rid of the stuff and find replacements – you will find lots of help with this on the blog.
3. Cows dairy: I grew up with a mild allergy to cows dairy, as a result, I actually don’t really like it, nor do I believe that it is terribly good for us (especially in the quantities in which we now consume it) so I don’t tend to cook with it – except perhaps for a little grass fed organic butter here and there.
4. Gluten: I am not a coeliac or allergic to gluten and I can never resist the bread basked at a swanky restaurant. I just think that like sugar, gluten is now in everything on the supermarket shelves and we need to mix things up a little. When cooking at home I tend to avoid flours and grains with a high gluten content and opt to use flours such as spelt and rye and grains such as pearl barley.
Just to be clear from the outset, I am not a nutritionist (yet) but I know good food and I know healthy food. I think the world is entering a bit of a transitional phase when it comes to eating. We now know more about what we should and should not be eating than ever before. Constantly we are told to cut this out of your diet, stop eating that and start your day by eating 24 different really expensive supplements. Don’t get me wrong, I think all of us need to focus some detailed attention on our diet – we have one life (potentially) in which to get it right, but I do think that there are extremes, fads and con artists out there. Underneath it all I think we all know what is and is not good for us. It takes some tuning in. But once you learn to listen to your body, I think you become your own in-tune nutritionist. Only you know what you need, but hopefully with a bulk of simple recipes and ingredients, you will find this blog the tool that you need.
I grew up in the North of Scotland and was pumped with home grown organic goodness from the day I was born. That attitude has kind of stuck and I love it. I have one of the best families anyone could ever ask for and we all LOVE food. In Scotland we have access to one of natures most incredible larders – the best seafood, game, vegetables and arable crops and having sampled this, and having made Victoria sponge cakes at least 4 times a week, at the age of 17 I decided to train to be a proper chef at Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. My eyes were opened to the unending amazingness that is the world of food and I have been cooking ever since – that was 10 years ago!
Since then I have been cooking all over the world, in some seriously inspiring kitchens and with some seriously inspiring people. I learn something new on every job I do and I love it.
I now live in London with my boyfriend Nick. He is a bearded food lover who happens to work in the tea industry. He grew up in Asia so encourages me to get my spicy Asian food hat on a lot. He also shares my intense love of all things Australian Masterchef.
I have spent the last two years working for the amazing Honestly Healthy Food creating recipes, teaching cooking classes, updating the website and doing the marketing. It was an amazing two years and my eyes have been opened once more to the wealth of healthy ingredients out there that we can use in the place of refined sugar, gluten, cows dairy and meat. I am now a fully fledged alkaline expert and love it.
Ask anyone whom I was at university with and they will tell you that I was always the pale one with a runny nose and a terrible cold. It was not a good period of my life health wise and I am sure hundreds of other students would say the same.
When I left university and moved to London I quickly found myself in quite a bad place emotionally – I had to take the giant step into in the big wide world and I did not adapt to the change well. Before long, I found that I needed to go to counselling because a great big lump of worry and panic had lodged itself deep into my chest. My brain was taken over by still and misty grey fog that left me unable to think about anything but the way I was feeling, a feeling that anyone who has been diagnosed with depression will be able to relate to. I honestly did not know what to do – I went out with my friends to try and shake the feeling, but alcohol only made me feel worse and poor Nick then had to deal with me crying ALL day instead of for just part of it! I comfort ate and curled up on the sofa while constantly asking my family ‘why’, ‘why am I feeling like this’? The answer, sadly or not, is that nobody can answer that question for you but you.
It was then suggested that I start on a course of antidepressants and just continued with the counselling in the hope that I could dislodge this dammed lump in my chest and get rid of it. I completely went against this suggestion. This was a route I did not want. Pills were not the journey for me. If it was not for the financial side of things, I would have loved to continue with counselling – my advice to anyone would be to never be afraid of counselling, it can be a lifesaving tool and can provide a profound release. Having counselling does not mean you are a nutter – and nor does depression for that matter. Together with my Dad, we decided that it was TOOLS that I needed and from that moment, the word ‘tools’ has become central to the way I live and intact to the very ethos of this blog. We all need tools in life, and never more than when you are reaching rock bottom. These were the three tools that I turned to in order to get better:
- Nutritious food
- Outdoor exercise
- Routine & stability
Thankfully, after some time, these tools began to work. I would focus on one at a time and then slowly introduce the next. For me, I just don’t know how I would have got through that period without those tools and they are still tools that I turn to every day. I never EVER want to feel as low as I did and now live life preventing rather than curing a feeling of depression while I believe that these three tools are also helping me to prevent rather than cure a whole host of other illnesses – everything from the common cold to cancer to thyroid problems.
So if any of you find or have found yourself in a similar position then I hope that the work I do with this blog will help you too. I hope it acts as a TOOL for you as from my own experience, I found that there were far too few out there.