Meet Bianca Slade – from ‘Wholefood Simply’
I am privileged to welcome Bianca Slade from Wholefood Simply, who kindly accepted my offer to be interviewed for our Kids in Harmony Holistic Parenting Community. I first came across Bianca’s recipes and love of wholefood on her Facebook community and quickly fell in love with the person who created it. Bianca’s down to earth, kind, gentle, compassionate and generous nature is seen throughout everything she does. Bianca is the author of 3 amazing Wholefood Simply Recipe Books and they are not your average every day cook books. The stories woven and the connection to food, health and relationships is what captured my heart. With a focus on wholefood, Bianca also keeps it real in her aim to support people on their journey of health and wellbeing. I hope you enjoy the interview, I loved every second of it.
Let’s get started…
Can you share how you became so passionate about wholefood, that first moment when it dawned on you or that you could change your focus on food?
I was in my late teens when my interest in whole foods began. I had been unwell and after countless doctor appointments realised that I needed to heal myself. A few years later I started working at an Organic Health Food Shop. I met many inspiring people and heard many amazing stories and this is when my passion for whole foods went to an entirely new level.
What was the inspiration behind your books and the journey of choosing the recipes?
Putting together a book took me completely by surprise! I had been blogging for around 6 months when I started getting daily requests for a book. I could completely understand why people wanted to cook from a book as opposed to a computer screen, so I decided to give it a go and I am so glad I did.
For me, I love the stories and connection to the recipes. It ripples what you value.
Can you share what you believe some of the values of wholefood cooking are? And why?
I think the term wholefood sums it up perfectly. If it is made from real food without a long list of ingredients and numbers that are hard to understand then you are on the right track.
I love your random act of kindness in sharing a recipe of a lady you have never met or may never meet and especially the recipe for her birthday. So heart-warming. Can you share with us some of the special things you have received and learned from in creating a wholefood community?
The Wholefood Simply community amazes me; it is overflowing with beautiful, kind hearts. Recently I gave birth to my third child, my angel baby. The Wholefood Simply community has not only been a source of healthy distraction but it has also been a place where I have been supported. Where others have shared their stories and where I have been free to speak of how I have felt during this time.
“There is always room for compromise. To keep the little one happy l needed to remain on my hip. To keep the bigger one happy we needed to start straight away”. I adore this opening line of the Chocolate Brownie bars page. As a parent and parent educator I couldn’t agree more. Time deprived or time poorness seems to be a common challenge for parents in the kitchen regardless of food choices.
Can you share 3 things that could encourage parents to be more consistent and stay on the wholefood path?
To be honest, I don’t think it matters if you detour every now and then. I am all for flexibility, for balance, for being ourselves. This Mum gig isn’t easy and some days we just can’t get it right. My three tips for transitioning to whole foods would be –
- Find recipes you and your family are excited about, do what you can to ensure you enjoy the journey.
- Be gentle on yourself and take it as slowly as you need to
- If you have the time, it may help to plan a little in the early stages. Seek out wholefood options for the things you and your family already enjoy.
Coming to your better than Muesli. Many of us can relate to our first initiation into grain free.
This recipe is divine and can you share any tips or ingredients to have handy to enjoy and embrace grain free for those starting out on the path?
Grain free can be a huge change, some find it easier to go gluten free first and progress from there if necessary.
Some grain free ingredients that we love to have on hand are nuts, seeds, desiccated coconut, nut and seed butters, medjool dates and an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables and proteins.
Your gratitude to the special person in your life and the whole-hearted way it was written and shared. THANK YOU! To have the stories thread through your book are truly a blessing, they remind us to be grateful, to appreciate all the abundance that surrounds us and to nourish our relationships too.
Today, what are you most grateful about in your whole-food health journey?
Today, and every day, I am so grateful for the two babies whose faces I kiss each morning, for their smiles that make me smile. I am grateful for the incredible man who took that crazy step and married me. Who helps and helps and helps me. Who without I am incomplete. I am grateful for my beautiful Mum, for my Gran long gone, for the Aunty, the Cousin, the in-laws and friends who believe in me. I am grateful for the fabulous Wholefood Simply community that I am so fortunate to be part of.
Much is written about with regards to sugar and how we have replacements like dates, honey, agave, rice syrups. Do you think it gives us more permission and we eat it in excess or is there a way to cut down on our sugar and still have the treats?
I think treats are treats and we do practice moderation at our house. I love that my kids can have caramel slice that tastes every bit as good as the caramel slice that my Gran made me, but it comes with benefits and not adverse effects. This doesn’t mean they can eat the whole slice. I think many people, myself included, find that when they switch to whole foods the desire to just keep on eating is greatly reduced. Many find that Wholefoods fill you up, that they sustain you. My Mum is often amazed that she only needs a small piece of our treats when she could easily eat a large amount of the regular variety.
Who are your inspirations in cooking and all things wholefood?
My inspirations in cooking are my memories. Most of these come from my childhood, from recipes that were made with Marie biscuits and tins of condensed milk. My inspiration for whole foods comes from listening to and respecting my own body. It comes from a handful of amazing natural health experts that I have met over the years.
What are the 10 ingredients you couldn’t live without? (or 8 lol)
Medjool dates, hulled tahini, nut butters, apples, bananas, green veggies, sweet potato. OK, all veggies and mangoes, because days are certainly brighter when started with mangoes
In all we have been sharing here is a nice straight to the point question. What is whole-food and WHY whole-food for families?
I think I covered my interpretation of this earlier when I said that for me whole foods are real foods, ones that come without the long, incomprehensible ingredient list. Why I do it for my family? Because I know the difference it has made to my life. Because I know how processed food makes me feel and how whole foods make me feel. Because I want to do what I can to help my precious little ones be the best that they can be, unaffected by sugar highs and reactions to additives or intolerance’s.
Raw food seems to be riding a wave and some of your recipes are raw too.
Do you think it is a sign that we are striving to be healthier or a bit of a fad or riding a wave?
To be honest I think raw foodies have a lot to offer, as do paleo gurus and anyone else out there doing what they can to encourage us to eat a wholefood diet. I don’t know that I consider it fads as such; I think everyone is doing what they can to feel their best and what works for one may not be the same as what works for another.
With allergies and intolerances your book, your blog and community is a blessing. I see many many of my friends and Kids in Harmony parents sharing on your page. What message can you give parents that have found out their children have allergies and have to change the way they view, prepare and cook food?
My advice is similar to what I would give to anyone transitioning to wholefoods. Be gentle on yourself. Find recipes that you and your family are excited about. Reach out for help if you need too. Give yourself time, don’t strive to be perfect and don’t despair, it will get easier.
I love your attitude to ‘’My little boy loved it today, who knows what tomorrow will bring”.
Can you share how you cope or what messages you have for parents with fussy eaters? Any miracles?
At our place we just go with it. I am a big believer in choosing your battles and food is a battle I don’t want to have. My little boy struggles with dinner. Now that he is a bit older we do have some simple rules in place, he does need to try what we are having before refusing it. However, he eats well for his other meals and my kids snack on vegetables each afternoon so I try not to get to wound up in what he won’t have and instead focus on what he will. I am lucky that his older Sister is a perfect role model and I can already see the many advantages that this has. I am sorry to all of you Mums and Dads out there dealing with fussy kids, all I can say is I understand your frustration and hang in there!
What do you love most about preparing and cooking food?
- Reminiscing! Food has an ability to transport me back to being an eight year old girl sitting on my Grans kitchen bench.
- Helping those on restricted diets and / or adjusting to whole foods
- Sharing delicious things with those I love.
When you have nothing left in the fridge what is your go to take-away or food source?
When we have nothing it is eggs on toast or porridge!
As a Mum, what has been your biggest joys in sharing whole-food and cooking with your children?
My daughter makes it all good fun. She is a treasure. No matter what I make or how bad it is, Lu pretty much always turns to me and says, ‘It’s great Mum, I love it. 100 out of 10!’
While both my kids love the eating side, my son is actually quite interested in the cooking side. I love having him sit at the bench and chat to me as I whip things up.
What are your three favourite recipes right now?
Can you share any secrets you have for balancing your life and your passions for whole-food and family?
Be supported! Surround yourself with people who love you for you, with people who bring out the best in you. Don’t strive for perfection, love and accept yourself exactly as you are.
If you could whisper into the ear of a new parent or share some words of wisdom, what would you say?
I would say what I said above. Love and accept yourself exactly as you are, you are doing just fine. Follow your own rules, find your own way, do what sits well with you.
What a beautiful answer to finish with. It’s very much a Kids in Harmony philosophy too! Before we close off Bianca I want to say what an absolute soulful read your Wholefood Simply book is! It is in my top 5 Cookbooks. The stories and connections you share with your message and recipes are truly the essence of living a whole-hearted life! Thank you for saying yes to our beautiful Kids in Harmony parenting community and sharing your wisdom with us.
To join Bianca’s online Facebook Community visit https://www.facebook.com/wholefoodsimply
OR the amazing Wholefood Simply website www.wholefoodsimply.com
And I can’t help but leave you with my all-time favourite whip up healthy yummo breakfast, lunch or dinner wholefood treat.
Thank you so much Bianca for sharing your wisdom and for being such a creative and meaningful inspiration to all those on the wholefood path.
We wish you every success in all that you do!
Happy, whole-hearted parenting.