By Paola Bassanese
Q: When did your passion for healthy eating start?
A: I have always been passionate about food, but I guess the true healthy side of it started after my second pregnancy. Because I was over 35, I found it harder to get back into my normal shape and level of energy. At the same time while I was on maternity leave, I used to go to the playground after school everyday and I was a bit horrified to see that pupils’ snacks were not looking very healthy.
So I started to question my own diet and began to read articles on food & health. I made a few changes but it was last October after a fitness and wellbeing retreat I attended when I read more about health and nutrition, sugar addiction and metabolic effect that I decided to change my family’s habits further more (and forever) because small changes were not working on the long term.
Q: Tell me a bit more about the GOSH food philosophy and when did you start your blog?
A: GOSH food is the illustration on my eating habits and lifestyle. That is why my posts will always talk about my life and my personal tips. Because I want my family to eat healthier, because I need to please all of them at the same time, because I can’t spend too much time in the kitchen as I am very busy and because I need to find additive-free ingredients… Gourmet Organic Simple Healthier food is the concept behind the name. It means that you can cook tasty, additive-free, simple things and feel healthier by doing so.
That said, GOSH food goes beyond eating habits, it is a whole concept. You need to involve your body (being active) and your mind (sleep well, fight stress, feel relaxed) as well.
According to some tests, my main problem was sugar, so I to gave it up (almost completely but I still eat natural sugar like fruit). I stopped eating the celebration cookies, cakes and doughnuts at work, I started to have vegetables for snacks (as well as my partner and my children) and surprisingly I started to feel more energized, fitter, better. Then people around me (family, friends and colleagues) were asking a lot of questions on my diet & lifestyle… and one day my partner told me “why don’t you create a website?” and I thought “why not?”. That was in December 2011 during my Christmas holidays. It took me then till April this year to finalise everything and launch GOSH food concept blog, Facebook page and Twitter.
Q: How important is fitness in your routine and how often do you train?
A: As I said according to GOSH Food philosophy “wellbeing is a wild territory” so it goes beyond your diet. But ultimately you can’t feel good if you don’t feed yourself properly. You can’t have tons of sugary cakes just because you exercise.
I wish I could train more. Time is a real issue for me as I am busy all the time. Nevertheless fitness is unconditional; it helps me to stay alert, energized, fit, and also to feel better and happier. I attend outdoor classes twice a week (British Military fitness), I try to do weights workouts at home (20 min) once a week as well and I do long runs once or twice a week as I am currently training for my 2nd marathon. I sometimes go to the swimming pool with the kids and try to walk as much as I can at the weekend. I regularly register to race events because it is a good motivation for going out running.
Note that running is more than fitness for me as I can be depressed sometimes; it helps me go through it. Running makes me feel happy.
Fitness is a family activity: my partner , my children and me we all swim, run, ski, play tennis (I am very bad actually at that one)…
Q: How important is massage in your day to day life?
A: For me massage has got 2 sides, it can be almost painful but for a great feeling afterwards or it can be relaxing for the same great feeling.
Massage is complementary to sport and wellbeing. I see massage as a great post workout stretching session. It helps to release these toxins out of my body and to fight muscle pain.
It helps to relax too, to release stress and to feel more beautiful (love the face massage and its lifting effect).
Q: What is your advice to parents to help their children like fruit and vegetables and steer them away from junk food?
A: Look at the ingredients when you buy food or drinks for your children and think: “do I really want to feed them this?”
No matter what, if your children are hungry they will eat what is available. Hence if no junk food sits in your fridge or kitchen cupboard they won’t get any.
The sooner you start to teach them good habits the easiest it will be.
Teaching takes time, don’t be impatient, healthy eating is an investment for their future.
Several books on healthy eating for children are available; it is always good to know why they should be eating this way and not the other so you can teach them the impact of good or bad food on their body and health. Children are smart, they like to learn, once it makes sense to them, they will find it easy to embrace healthy eating.
Fruit and vegetables taste really good when you eat additive-free food.
If you want your kids to eat well, start to eat well yourself. You are a model for them.
Ange Randrianasolo is the founder of GOSH Food. See also Paola Bassanese’s guest blog for GOSH Food on massage.