This is a huge privilege to interview this wonderful woman – Stefanie Neal founder of Food Fix Up, Super Mum and Yogi. Stefanie’s recipes are stunning and her style is totally fresh and nutritious, not surprisingly Stefanie radiates beauty and warmth.
Thanks so much Stefanie for taking time out of Food Fix Up to chat to Food For Kids, I know that you are incredibly busy right now.
So tell me, how did your food journey begin…?
My food journey began from very humble beginnings, I hadn’t been educated about food – living in England growing up everything was straight from the freezer pretty much. When I moved to Australia at 21 I began to cook for myself. Roast dinner was my favourite so I’d finish work and make myself a mini version; going out could wait! As time went on I learnt more and more about food and what I liked to cook. Jamie Oliver was my go to in terms of following recipes and then eventually I’d make up my own. Cutting out gluten, sugar and dairy made creating new recipes a little more limiting initially but soon it became a way of life and I haven’t run out of ideas yet!
You have such a fresh approach to food, all your recipes are unique and balanced – where do you get your inspiration from?
I usually get inspired by food in it’s purest form. Some fresh figs or mangoes at the market for example. When I need to come up with new dishes I simply go to my local health food store have a look at what ingredients stand out to me and work on from there.
There are lots of great chefs and cooks out there – do you have any particular favourites?
You have a daughter – has your daughter inherited your love for food? Does she like to get involved?
Absolutely – my 3 year old loves helping me prepare food. She runs and grabs her steps from the bathroom then gets stuck in. She’s basted ribs, cracked eggs in (and around) bowls, measured out imperfect tablespoons of this and that… you name it. She loves making smoothies with me as I think she loves the instant gratification. Her favourite is the app’s Banana Salted Caramel one and I think it’s mine too!
Do you have any tips you can share with our readers who are trying to ‘eat better’?
Eating food as close to it’s natural state as possible is one way to instantly rid yourself of a lot of the crap we consume. If its in a packet with lots of ingredients you don’t recognise forget it. I also think a little of what you fancy does you good – knowing that come Friday evening you can have that slice of cake/glass of wine/bag of chips does so much for willpower. When we try and deny ourselves of everything it’s a lot easier to become unstuck.
It can be hard as a parent with so much conflicting advice out there over nutrition – What is your advice?
Again it goes back to eating unprocessed food, if you take it back to basics it becomes simple to work out what to give them. Yes, cooking from scratch is more time consuming but it’s also fun and so worth the effort. If you are really time poor then cook up a big pot of something on a Sunday and freeze in batches. I also think it’s good to just feed your kids what you’re having, maybe making a few adjustments like no added chilli for example.
When you aren’t busy working what do you like to do to relax and unwind?
One of my goals this year is to meditate, I find it hard to relax and am always on the go. It’s not a good habit and one I intend to work on. That being said I love yoga, camping and just hanging out at the beach.
What is your kitchen gadget that you can’t live without?
Well actually there are three; my juicer, my blender and my food processor. I simply can’t choose..
Do you have any advice for our readers who are thinking of starting their own business?
I would say just to go for it, the hardest part is always the act of ‘doing’ so if you have an idea start making baby steps toward it. I think we look at the bigger picture too much sometimes and don’t focus on the now which in turn overwhelms us and puts us off. By just taking one day at a time, growing and learning little by little it’s easier not to get so consumed by things.
Do you have a motto?
Yes – Don’t deny yourself! I think so often we think that being healthy means eating lettuce leaves and drinking green juices for the rest of our lives but there are so many delicious super healthy recipes out there to be enjoyed. Food should be relished and savoured, not eaten wishing it was something else. And also eat chocolate once a week – it’s good for the soul. Fact.
I know things are pretty exciting for you right now – are you able to reveal any exciting projects?
There are a few things in the pipeline actually but I’m afraid I can’t reveal all of them just yet! What I can say is keep an eye on the app – which is updated monthly, there is an exciting new lifestyle section coming soon.
Thanks so Much Stephanie for talking to us – we think you are brilliant! Good luck with your exciting projects. Thank you also for kindly offering to share a few of your favourite recipes with us – coming soon!
Download the Food Fix Up app at foodfixup.com