WFH - Debbie Stranack, Wholefood Wakeup
I know, I know - this is the season of indulgence. My five a day at the moment are the fruit in mince pies. But if like me, you do like eating healthily, I wanted to share with you Debbie Stranack's business that she started in her kitchen, Wholefood Wakeup.
Debbie hasn't always worked with food although she confesses that she has always been a foodie. She's an ex City worker who used to feel sluggish, unable to lose that last bit of weight and more interestingly, she used to fall asleep after about twenty minutes of anything - uni lectures, films, at the wheel (she always avoided actually falling asleep at the wheel but she could feel the onset of drowsiness).
Doctors couldn't help her, told her that there was nothing clinically wrong and she thought she was destined for a lifetime of unplanned naps. But then whilst living in Auckland, NZ she made friends with a doctor who advised her to take some high quality pharmaceutical grade vitamin and mineral supplements. Debbie's brother had recently died of cancer and, horrified by what he'd gone through, she was looking for alternative routes to health, digesting the "Optimum Nutrition Bible" by Patrick Holford too.
A few months later, whilst on a road trip she managed to stay awake in the car for a whole nine hours! And then it started to dawn on her that her sleepiness had been caused by some kind of nutrition deficiency - no one had ever suggested this to her before.
From then on Debbie read every book on nutrition that she could and as she says, "I still do because it’s an ever evolving science." She trained as a health coach in 2016, and applied what she learnt to her own eating habits. Debbie dabbles and creates in her Hadlow kitchen with her juicer and dehydrator among other things using
- only healthy ingredients,
- no processed foods,
- lots of vegetables,
- more raw food,
- more whole food healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds;
- plant protein.
She substitutes refined carbohydrate with nutritious options, cutting out sugar and replacing it with nourishing, delicious treats and let me tell you, they really are amazing!
All of the above is good for you! Clockwise from top left: raw buckwheat crackers containing kale, carrot, kiwi, apple and ginger served with sweet potato and turmeric hummus; pear, caramel, pecan and chocolate food cake; raw cashew blueberry cheesecake with a walnut caramel crust, blueberry white chocolate drizzle, cranberry chocolate smears, topped with raw blueberry white chocolate almond coconut balls and fresh blueberries; marbled raw white chocolate swirled with cranberry/raspberry cashew cheesecake.
As an IT trainer by profession, Debbie loved to teach and was excited about sharing knowledge, so it was a logical step to want to share this life changing information with others.
Debbie understands that changing eating habits are difficult but she’s here to help! “As Wholefood Wakeup [get it?!], I conduct ‘in the kitchen’ hands-on personalised consultations with my clients to show them how to think about food differently; how to shop and stock the cupboards and fridge in ways that make it easy; and how to make very quick, super easy, addictively tasty meals, snacks and treats that fit in with their time and taste buds, harnessing the most nutrition from their food as possible.”
But why is eating like this so important? We don’t all fall asleep after 20 minutes so why change?
Debbie evangelises about the importance of a healthy gut, the human microbiome, good bacteria vs bad. I have to admit that I thought advertisers pushing products to promote good and fight bad bacteria were speaking a load of old tosh until I went to lunch with Debbie and now, I'm asking her how to make sauerkraut! (Fermented food helps the good bacteria...) Helping your good bacteria to survive and thrive supports your immune system, fights inflammation, enhances your gut health, helps you lose and maintain a healthy weight effortlessly, and helps your body protect itself from disease.
So, Debbie, just like the plot of a classic Christmas Day film, what can we do over the festive season to help the good (bacteria) defeat the bad?!
“As a basic guideline, your good bacteria thrive on fibre (veggies, nuts, whole grains) and your bad bacteria thrive on sugar (not just sweets but anything made from white flour too). Your microbial profile can change dramatically in just days, and bad bacteria tend to be hardier than good bacteria which makes it hard to reverse the damage, so it’s really important to go through the festive season with this in mind. Eat loads of fibre, keep sugary refined foods to a minimum, and you’ll be feeding the right team!”
If this seems like a tall order, don’t worry, Debbie understands all too well – she’s friends with me! But it's worth keeping in the back of your mind as you reach for that next Quality Street!
Early next year, Debbie and I plan to host a lunch in Tonbridge for you to sample her food and hear what she’s learnt. If you’re interested, please comment on the Eat Around Tonbridge website, the Eat Around Tonbridge Facebook page, tweet me, @eat_tonbridge or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to meeting you!
Follow Debbie on Instagram @wholefoodwakeup to see her amazing creations and you can contact her that way too.
Last eating establishment review is here - have a read and take a visit!