Here's an interview from my friends at Beauticate on how antioxidant rich whole foods can make your body glow. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is about my skincare routine and what I eat, which helps keeps play an important role on how my skin looks. The team at Beauticate recently took a sneak peak inside my home and got the scoop on my natural beauty tips, my skin care routine and my favourite whole foods to keep me nourished from the inside out.
How did you get into your profession?
I’m a classically trained chef in the French tradition and I’ve been into cooking most of my life. I started learning how to cook with my Polish aunt (Ciocia) when I was about three or four. Ciocia and my uncle (Wujek) were my inspiration – through them, I began to find out about food in all its glory. They had an organic garden and the food was quick, simple and nourishing. That no-fuss style of cooking has stayed with me ever since.
After finishing Year 12 at high school, I started my chef’s apprenticeship in a newly built hotel and so my passion became my career. Healthy Chef has been a life long journey of creation. My husband Paul and I moved to Sydney from Perth and we opened the The Healthy Chef Café, in Avalon on Sydney’s stunning Northern Beaches. I played French music on the iPod when I baked my homemade granola, cookies and banana breads as it made them look and taste better. It was important for me to put positive energy into the food I gave my customers so they felt great eating it. My café was also a local hangout for celebrities and athletes such as Elle McPherson, Megan Gale and Kelly Slater. After selling the café some years later, I launched The Healthy Chef Functional Food Range made from the best natural whole foods available on the market. Today, I bring the simplicity and freshness of what keeps me healthy every day and combine it with my training as a chef for my recipes I create as well as my whole food product range.
Did you always want to do (your profession)?
I wanted to be an artist when I was young. I wanted to be a painter and exhibit my paintings all around the world. My mum was an artist back in Poland, she was amazing and she taught me how to draw, paint and use colour.
What do you love most about your job?
I get to create and cook delicious recipes every day. It’s like play time in the kitchen. I make sure the recipes are quick, healthy and easy to make. Cooking isn’t supposed to be complicated it should be fun and effortless. I also love the fact that I have a hands-on approach in the design and creation of all Healthy Chef products. It’s a time consuming process sourcing the right ingredients from all over the world and making sure it’s the best it can be to support health. I work with an awesome support team, we create, we laugh and have fun - that’s what work is supposed to be about.
How would you describe your beauty look?
My beauty look is simple and natural. I love my rose hip oil and use it morning and night before I go to bed. I also love spritzing my face with rose water it stops my skin from drying out during the day and keeps me fresh. I also drink tons of water to keep my skin hydrated.
What’s your approach to beauty?
For me beauty comes from the food you eat as well as your lifestyle. I eat clean nourishing wholefoods that include lots of antioxidant rich leafy greens and berries, good fats with a little protein. The nutrition from whole foods give strength and structure to your skin and will help it glow. I have a health spa holiday every year at Kamalaya which keeps me on track and helps me relax and renew.
What's your daily beauty routine consist of ?
My beauty routine is quite basic and simple, I cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize. My days start by dry body brushing as soon as I get up - it smoothes and detoxifies my skin and stimulates circulation. I jump in the shower, cleanse and exfoliate my face using a little olive oil to cleanse and a hot face cloth to exfoliate for about 1 minute. Exfoliation keeps my skin glowing and looking so great. I also apply a little olive or cold pressed almond oil over the rest of my body whilst still damp out of the shower and lightly pat it dry…..it makes the best moisturiser ….I sometimes scent it with rose petal or sandalwood essential oil which makes it glorious. My Polish born mother taught me how to look after my skin when I was growing up. She looked like a young version of Brigitte Bardot – I’ve followed her routine ever since. Mum also taught me her natural face mask recipe that consisted of natural yoghurt and a little honey – brush over the face and leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse off. Yogurt is rich in lactic acid which is a natural exfoliant as well as moisturising on the face. Honey is great to hydrate the skin. Use 2 parts yoghurt and one part honey. I also spritz rose water over my face several times a day….it keeps me fresh and I just love the smell of roses – very nurturing for the soul.
Who was/is your biggest beauty influence and why?
My great Polish grandmother was a big influence in how I cook and the simplicity of fresh natural whole foods. She taught me about the value of good food and the benefits to your body which will show through your skin, hair and overall health. Her skin care routine was like my mothers.. nothing fancy. She loved olive oil and avocado and it’s what made her skin look fresh and vibrant. I loving eating avocado and using olive oil in my recipes - I also make an wonderful face mask made from olive oil, avocado and matcha that helps my skin stay soft.
How do you relax?
My daily walks around the park are like meditating with nature. It’s the most relaxing thing I love to do. I also love baking cakes, making bread or cookies in my kitchen……Using your hands, kneading the dough…it’s very therapeutic for the soul. I love soaking in a warm bath with candles and essential oils such as sandalwood, lavender or rose….I add magnesium oil or some mineral rich salt to help relax the body.
What were the first beauty products you used? Any funny beauty memories?
I used to use my sisters beauty products and remember going into her room to try stuff out….she’s 2 years older and had a draw full of Maybellene eyeshadows, foundations, lip gloss etc.. I wasn’t the best at the make up thing so I didn’t like how it looked on me.
My sister experimented on me when I was 10 years old. She shaved my legs and plucked all my eyebrows off and mum had to draw them in for school.. it was terrible, but we laugh about it now. She’s an amazing make up artist in Perth and owns her own beauty salon, and I attribute it all to her practicing on me when I was young - she does amazing eyebrows !!!
I also had a DIY experience with waxing when I was 16 and still in high school. I over heated some wax in the microwave and applied it to my upper lip and when I pulled off the wax it took a few layers of skin completely off both sides of my lip - It was horrifying and I ended up putting mercurochrome on my face with a few band aids and pretended I had an accident on my push bike….That was the last time I did my own waxing !
How do you take care of your body?
I feed my body the nutrients it needs….I move my body regularly and I try and give it quality rest.
What's your diet consist of?
It’s important to know where your food has come from and to treat it with the love and respect it deserves. Extreme diets or people who push strict dietary ideologies are not helpful. I find that a lot of people stress over finicky nutrition details rather than focusing on the broader picture – that is, that one should eat natural whole foods, focus on fresh fruit and veg and keep it simple.
Nutrition isn’t as complicated as it is often made out to be. There’s a sense of ‘food anxiety’ among many people who are trying their best to do the right thing. When it comes down to it, we’re all different and it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. What works for you may not work for the next person. My best advice would be to take a step back, breathe and listen to your body. We should all take the time to think about what foods make us feel good nutritionally and what foods don’t. My advice is to eat whole foods and customize your diet based on your unique needs.
Every morning I have my wheatgrass juice made with water and a squeeze of lemon. It helps get me started for the day. I love smoothies made with coconut water, frozen banana, blueberries and add a scoop of my protein and Organic Super food. It’s a complete meal I can make in 1 minute any time of day. I also love Yoghurt bowls made with thick Greek style yoghurt topped with berries, roasted almonds and a little honey. I flavor the yoghurt with a spoonful of Organic Super food that helps boost antioxidants plus supports my digestive system.
I mostly have a large salad made with leafy greens, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, apple, avocado and beetroot. I generously add aged balsamic and a good splash of cold pressed olive oil. I love to snack on roasted tamari almonds and organic dried pineapple.
A few pieces of Lindt dark chocolate – there’s always a block in the fridge… or a glass of my Naked Chocolat made with almond milk. It's awesome icy cold !
Any special supplements/daily practices and why?
I pretty much take all the supplements that I design for The Healthy Chef brand. The whole reason I design them in the first place is because I couldn’t find anything out there that suited my needs to support my health and lifestyle.
I mostly eat a vegetarian diet so getting enough protein is a must for my health. I make sure I have at least 1 protein shake a day, either made as a meal with my Vitamix or mixed with coconut water during the day in my Blender Bottle. I love the Native Chocolate WPI and Organic Pea chocolate maca mixed with coconut water….it tastes like a bounty bar.
I add my Organic Superfood to my smoothies or yogurt bowls in the morning….it’s a nourishing prebiotic which is great for the digestive system as well as a whole food antioxidant supplement and it keeps me energised all morning.
I have our Cold-Pressed Wheatgrass juice powder in the morning with lemon which just energizes my digestive system and supports my liver. We are the only ones in Australia that do an organic cold pressed wheatgrass juice powder – it’s something I got into at Kamalaya – the health spa I go to once a year….your skin glows and you feel amazing.
When I’m run down or stressed I load up on Natural Immune Support as It’s loaded with vitamin C, turmeric and ginger and reduces inflammation in the body. I’m really into the natural way of healing, and like to use food as my medicine as often as I can.