Wednesday, November 06, 2013

wholefood mama: georgia harding from well nourished

A big warm welcome to Georgia Harding who is here for today's wholefood mama interview. Georgia is a wife and mother of two healthy, happy kids aged 9 years and 5 years, a lover of whole foods and creator of fine food memories. Professionally, Georgia is a naturopath with 18 years experience and has recently developed a 'simple recipes, whole foods, inspired health' based blog called Well Nourished.  I love Georgia's non preachy style and her beautiful recipes and photos. Non preachy, healthy, wholesome and delicious, sounds like just our cup of herbal tea don't you think?

1. You launched Well Nourished this year, can you tell us a bit about your blog and why you started it?
After my second child was born we moved to QLD and I became a full time mum (and studied a post grad to keep my brain functioning), whilst my husband developed a new business.  My youngest started school this year and whilst I toyed with the idea of developing a new naturopathic practice, I realised that with no family support and husband that works away a lot, it was a commitment I wasn't ready for.  Writing a blog seemed the obvious choice as I love writing, developing recipes and sharing my passion for food and healthy living.  I had very little experience with the 'online' world but I just sort of dove head first into developing Well Nourished.  It has been a very steep learning curve for me, right down to having to be shown how to use social media which I'd not even glanced sideways at.  I'm still coming to grips with technology and social media and wish I had learned to type at school rather than learning Japanese (which I subsequently can't speak a word of anyway)!

2. Who or what started you down your wholefood path? 
I think this path was inevitable for me really.  I was raised by a very health conscious mother and a nana that had me vege gardening, raising chooks, cooking and creating throughout my childhood.  We used to cook and bake all weekend and I still have my nans Golden Wattle cook book and her notebook where she wrote out her recipes.  Even then I had a thing for chocolate and coconut (we created a chocolate and coconut cake and she wrote it in her book).  Through my own health challenges and treating many unwell patients, I have further developed my health philosophy to where I am now - a good place I think!

3. Can you tell us about your approach to feeding a growing family?
My kids love food.  The first two things they ask me after school is whats for afternoon tea and what's for dinner.  Unbeknown to them they have a real connection with food because my husband and I have made an concerted effort to make it so.  Like you need to teach your kids to use the toilet or a knife and fork, you need to teach them to eat well and develop a palate and appreciation for whole food.  We role model healthy eating, always sit down together to eat and have lots of variety in our diet.  I prioritise our health as I believe without good health, there not much else and I just don't have the time or money for any of us to be sick.  I could write pages here but I'll leave it at that.  I try to share as many healthy family tips as I can on my blog.

4. What do you find challenging when it comes to following a wholefood path?
Maintaining a well stocked pantry within our budget is a little time consuming and requires me to be very organised.  To manage, I do buy in bulk and have a developed a routine for shopping for supplies.  Also finding the balance between this processed world we live in and not letting eating well become stressful.  So we limit all refined foods and, as much as I'd love to, don't ban them all together, rather give the kids choice with treat days and teach them to try to self limit (doesn't always work but they will live and learn what makes them feel good or not). 

5. What are your top 3 tips for people wanting to make a change to their family's diet but feel overwhelmed?
Do the majority of your shopping at a farmers market (as a family) and get the kids involved in what you buy for the week.  It's amazing how getting kids involved can spark their desire to eat whole foods.  If most of what you eat is from the market, then you're off to a great start nutritionally.
Keep it simple - meat and salad or vegetables is a perfect start for a meal.  Eating whole foods is not hard!
If time is an issue, then double up on meals to have for lunch the next day eg; roast two chickens, one for dinner and the other for the next few days lunches.

6. What is your go to family meal when you are short on time?
Oh this is a hard one as much of what I cook is generally easy and quick to assemble, but often takes a while to cook (like a slow cooked casserole).  But for those days where I haven't thought ahead and need something ready to eat in 10 minutes with limited pantry stocks,  but still wholesome and a complete meal - Eggs (boiled, baked or poached) with salad or steamed veges (or an omelette or fritatta).

7. Who are your wholefood heroes and why?
Jamie Oliver and Stephanie Alexander for their work with developing food awareness in children.  Jude Blereau for her grounding, wholesome recipes and for making my lunch for many years (her cafe was around the corner from my practice).  She is an amazing baker too - something I'm not disciplined enough in the kitchen for!

8. Your two favorite ingredients and why? 
Only two? Eggs, because I always have them in the fridge, they are so versatile and a powerhouse of nutrition.  Anything coconut - oil, dried, water, milk, cream, flour - because I love the taste and it makes me feel full and good.

9. Sugar or salt, which do you crave? And when you do what satisfies you?
Sugar, probably because I largely avoid it and I think it's human nature to want what you can't have.  I stopped eating fructose all together in April, as an experiment to see what the hype was about and surprised myself how much better I felt for doing so.  I underestimated the addictive nature of fructose and as with any addiction the propensity is always there.  To satisfy - one of my fructose free chocolates or slices normally does the trick.  I occasionally need to remind myself how crap it makes me feel when I'm tempted by an ice cream at a local artisan ice cream shop or dessert at a nice restaurant.

10. Favorite cookbooks and food blogs you'd like to share...
The only blog I had followed prior to starting Well Nourished was Sarah Wilson and now I have no time or inclination after spending much of my day in-front of a screen working on WN (I suffer with a serious case of screen aversion which has been resolved a little by investing in a lap top that I can take outside to work).  I hope that as I come to grips with my own website I can spend more time exploring the cyber world.  I have to say I am a Jamie Oliver fan and own two of his cook books. I also love Stephanie Alexanders Kitchen Garden Companion (helps me in my vege garden a lot).  I also often buy food magazines like Delicious or Gourmet traveller for food inspiration - though I'm very much a freestyle cook and never follow recipes.  Lots of baking disasters as a result!

11. What are you loving about your life right now?

Lots! Watching my kids grow into independent, unique little people, living in a place with access to abundant, fresh, whole foods and the endless possibilities of creating delicious dishes (yes I love food).  I cherish being in good health and I feel after searching for most of my life for a healthy, balanced way to exist - I'm nearly there and generally in a very happy place.  Timing in life is so important and I think now is the perfect time for me to share what I have learned with the cyber-world.  

Try some of Georgia's recipes:

Healthy Grain Salad

Nourishing Anzac biscuits

Strawberry chia pudding

Thanks Georgia! It is so great to have you in the blogosphere sharing your wholefood knowledge and passion. I'm looking forward to reading more Well Nourished. Visit Georgia on facebook too.

More from the wholefood mama interview series:


  1. Hi Nikki, thanks for introducing me to another inspiring blogger. That salad looks delicious (and we happen to have all the ingredients), so I'll be making it for dinner. x

    1. Oh great Imogen I'm glad to hear you liked this interview. I sometimes feel like I am 'failing' in this space for not providing enough recipes but the truth is I'm not really a recipe writer it is much more freestyle, whatever is on hand that is served up at our place. Also, when I started my blog I didn't want to be 'just another recipe site' but I think by sharing other people's great recipes that ticks all the boxes. Enjoy your salad xx

    2. You can't fail at your own blog Nikki! It is your space to do with as you please. And you certainly aren't just another recipe site. I first enjoyed visiting your blog, not for your food, but for your passion and complete belief in your ideals. I find such strength admirable, and hope that one day some may rub off on me! Since I've continued to visit, I've enjoyed hearing how you are, and about your family and friends and adventures. Im x

    3. :) thanks Imogen you are very kind. You are right, one can't fail at their own blog! I am though a hard task master when it comes to myself, a trait I learned from my dear mother. I was thinking of you yesterday as I am attempting to quilt a patchwork quilt for the first time ever (and expecting it to be perfect first go! of course) and I was thinking of those beautiful hearts you stitched...may my quilt be near as beautiful as those! Thank you for visiting and for your encouraging words xx


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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