It is not uncommon to hear the benefits that wholefood diets can have for our bodies, physically and mentally. With a constant flow of processed foods being offered to us, it can be hard to know where to look. Author and influencer, Sophie Steevens lives a healthier and happier life by eating a wholefood, plant based diet. Recently having published a recipe book, Simple Wholefoods, after recovering from autoimmune disease, she believes that your diet is the key to good health. Sophie swears by the many benefits and loves to educate and inspire others by encouraging them to make delicious, healthy meals with the promise of a more nourishing, wholesome life. Below she shares how her diet changed her life and her tips on how you can change yours.
You’ve said that you reversed your autoimmune disease naturally, through a plant based diet. How do you believe a plant based diet could help people achieve a healthier lifestyle?
I reversed Graves’ disease by eating predominantly raw fruits and vegetables which I believe allowed my body the right environment to correct the many underlying causes of the disease. A wholefood, plant-based diet (including fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and legumes) is focussed on fuelling the body with natural, minimally processed foods thus encouraging life-long healthy habits.
The diversity of conflicting information about the ‘right’ nutritional pathway can feel confusing and overwhelming but I think something we can all agree on is the power of including more fruits and vegetables habitually into our diet, whatever that may be.
What most surprised you about changing your diet?
The way I felt, both mentally and physically. And the respect I developed for the food that I was eating. The experience of transforming my diet has truly revolutionised my perspective on what it means to eat real food.
What are the benefits of a plant based diet?
So many! The health benefits associated with eating an unprocessed, plant-based diet are extraordinary. For me personally, I noticed an increase in energy, clearer skin, significantly improved digestion, stronger hair and nails and an overall feeling of better health than I had ever experienced before. Not only does a plant-based diet have the potential to improve our long-term health and well-being but it also prevents animal cruelty and lessons our human footprint on the environment.
Simple Wholefoods also includes valuable tips to broaden your wholefood, plant based lifestyle. Alongside food, what other measures would you recommend implementing towards leading a nourishing, wholesome life?
I believe what we eat, drink, breathe, put on our skin, think and feel are the main factors that will either positively or negatively affect our overall health and wellbeing. Regular exercise and sunshine are also important. We’re all unique so it’s about finding the right balance that works for you.
How can people overcome hurdles that they face when transitioning to whole food and plant based diets?
I think any new lifestyle change will come with its challenges along the way. My advice – don’t give up! Take it slowly and educate yourself as much as possible. If need be, seeking professional guidance can be both helpful and reassuring.
There is a wide range of recipes in Simple Wholefoods from Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowls and Raw Chewy Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls, to Spiced Roast Cauliflower, Green Lentils and Toasted Almonds. What is your favourite thing to make?
Hmmm… this is a tough one! Haha. I enjoy so many but one of my go-to recipes to make from the book would have to be the Harissa Yoghurt Roast Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Rocket and Toasted Almonds – such an easy and delish salad!
I have heard you describe your food as “drool worthy”. What do you think classifies something as that?
You’ll have to try the Smoky Spinach Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes or the Chunky Shortbread Toffee Bars and let me know what you think!
If you do not class yourself as an obsessed foodie, what do you class yourself as?
Just a regular mum who learnt a big life lesson and had to re-learn how to cook for both myself and my family. I’m big on eating to nourish, but I’m also passionate about helping others to eat better (including my family) by creating wholesome food that tastes amazing while remaining as natural as possible. I do enjoy bold flavours.
Photography by Lottie Hedley