Bouncing Back From Depression with Plant-Based Whole-Foods and Meditation
Wellness knowledge is a good thing to have - if you’re putting it into practice. In this interview series, we get up close and personal with our FMTV members; finding out their insider wellness hacks and hearing the advice that has resonated with them. Kylie calls a small beach town in New Zealand home, who thinks her plant-based, whole-foods diet is just the beginning of something great.
Where do you call home?
Kylie: I live in Omokoroa, a small beach settlement in Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand.
How long have you been apart of the Food Matters community?
Kylie: I have been following Food Matters since the documentary came out around 2007, from a kindy fundraiser evening. Over the years I followed and revisited the doco when I needed to get back on track. I took advantage of the free offerings that came out often, but it wasn’t until 2017 once the sh!t hit the fan and I gave myself the gift of an FMTV membership for my 42nd birthday, to get my life back.
What’s your motivation to be healthy?
Kylie: It’s totally about my mental health. After suffering from depression and anxiety for over a decade whilst raising three young kids, I totally do it to keep me sane. Weight loss just happened to be an added benefit.
How would you describe your eating style?
Kylie: I say “whole-food, plant-based” to anyone who will listen. When people ask what it means, I say “basically anything that is as close to nature as nature intended”. As much as I don’t like labels, sometimes I’ll just say “wholefoods”. I’m not rigid with it - I just do it as much as I can, which is probably around 90% of the time. I also eat seafood and will sometimes bend to chicken. They’re still whole foods after all… as close to nature as nature intended. It’s mainly red meat and processed foods that I try to stay away from.
Would you describe your community as health-conscious?
Kylie: Unfortunately, no. I’m still trying to find my tribe! I have met some people with a similar philosophy, but we seem to be into labels here, particularly vegan. I mean, I love animals too, but they’re not my motivation. I tried to start a WFPB Meet Up group and it lasted about a year.
How do you stay motivated to stay healthy?
Kylie: I don’t want to go back to that place. Now I know what to do and how to do it to ensure the wheels don’t fall off - or don’t roll away too far – when I feel myself slipping, that’s all I need to get back on track.
Also, I donated one of my kidneys to a work colleague in December 2018, so although a secondary reason, I guess that’s pretty important too. I think this also keeps me motivated because of the 18 months leading up to the operation, I had so many tests and each time the health professionals would comment about how healthy I was and what was I doing? When I told them mainly WFPB their eyes glazed over and they said: “well, just keep doing whatever you’re doing”. So I am. Living proof. Oh, and I just ran a half marathon at the end of November, within 12 months, of the operation – so something’s working.
What is your go-to breakfast?
Kylie: Green smoothie, every morning. Kale, frozen bananas and blueberries, apple/pineapple/ berries (whatever I have), ground flaxseed, chia seeds, spirulina, cacao beans, and a couple of dates. Just with water.
What is your favorite film on FMTV?
Kylie: Oh, this is hard. I’m going to have to go with Mindfulness Be Happy Now. I was a sponge when I watched that for the first time and it spoke to my heart and uplifted me.
Do you supplement?
Kylie: Does what’s in my smoothie count? Otherwise, no.
What’s your biggest takeaway after joining FMTV?
Kylie: Food is just the beginning.
What is your favorite dinner that’s on the menu most weeks?
Kylie: Umm, most nights?! Salad fresh out of my new little garden, rice and either tinned tuna or fresh salmon.
What is your weekly food budget?
Kylie: When it’s just me, it’s around $50 – when I have my 3 kids with me it’s about $250! I have my kids week on/week off with their dad. I gave up trying to encourage them into it – now all I want to be is a walking sandwich board. I’m sure it’s sinking in …
What’s your favorite piece of content on Gaia?
Kylie: I’m still exploring Gaia. I have discovered Sally Kempton’s meditation series “Falling In Love with Meditation”. That’s been great so far. However, I have to say your Ira Israel Beginner’s Guide Series was my pivotal moment – days 5 and 9 changed my life.
Are you a meal prepper? Or do you cook daily?
Kylie: I cook daily. Just keeping it simple.
What are your weekly staples in your grocery cart?
Kylie: I must return to the supermarket 2-3 times per week for kale and rocket. Definitely the fruits and vegetables – LOTS of fruits and vegetables! Rice, tuna, tinned tomatoes, tinned beans, coconut milk, fresh seafood and herbs, and spices.
Do you have a trade secret healthy eating hack?
Kylie: Not that I can think of right now. And I wish I did!
What’s your daily non-negotiable? Meditation? 1L of water straight up in the morning…
Kylie: Oh, both of those. I got that from the Food Matters documentary. Ever since then I drink a bottle of water as soon as I get up so I’m hydrated for the day. Also my meditation at night before bedtime. When I let that slip for too long, the wheels start to fall off.
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