I was thrilled to be on the cover of Savvy Magazine on the 6th of August for their foodie edition. It is so nice to be in amongst my local area where I grew up in Northland, New Zealand.
Here is a copy of the interview that I did:
Caralee – Real Food Pledge
Caralee’s Real Food Pledge blog was created in 2013, initially to keep her new found way of eating on track but it grew into something a lot bigger than expected. Suffering from a negative relationship with food, numerous diets and a food intolerance that couldn’t be pin-pointed, Caralee found that by eating only real food there are so many positive benefits. She’s achieved a much happier, healthier lifestyle and is now passionate about inspiring others to find that balance.
1.) Caralee, you are from Whangarei, a local girl? Tell us a bit about where you grew up, your history here?
I was born and raised in Whangarei and spent the majority of my childhood growing up in Morningside Road where I have loads of very fond memories. We had a huge back yard and my parents had loads of fruit trees, a veggie garden and chickens. My dad is a keen sailer so we spent lots of time on the boat in the Whangarei Harbour and in the Bay of Islands, we were always diving for fresh seafood and fishing from the boat. Food was a huge part of my upbringing, this is probably where my love of food came from. I went to Whangarei Girls High and worked at various places around town once I left school and then moved to Auckland and then finally the Gold Coast.
2.) What got you started on the real food journey?
I was one of those girls who was always on a diet, you name it I have tried it!
They all worked but when you stop, they stop working and it is a bit of a vicious cycle. I also suffered really bad tummy aches and problems my whole life but hadn’t really connected that to the food that I was eating. About five years ago now I went to Thailand for four weeks and only ate Thai food, which is mostly made up of fresh meats, seafood, veggies and fruit. After four weeks I felt really amazing, full of energy, balanced, lighter and my tummy aches were gone! It all just clicked for me that the process food that I ate at home was not doing me any favours and that I should not eat it. But of course when I came home I slipped back to my normal way of eating and I felt the same old way I always had which was not good. I decided that I needed to break up with processed food and commit to real food so I started what I called my ‘real food pledge’ I started the blog as a way to keep myself on track with my real food pledge but it grew and grew because people were interesting in following my real food journey.
3.) What is your main focus, your motivation?
I love to experiment with recipes and make healthy versions of my old favourites, I am passionate about creating yummy food from real ingredients. I really enjoy helping other people see how easy and tasty it is to be healthy and that we don’t have to over complicate the way that we view food. Just eat real food and love it.
4.) What is your most popular recipe?
One of my most popular recipes is a super yummy chocolate brownie that is made with kumera. This recipe is in my new book Real Food Everyday and also on my blog Real Food Pledge. As with all of my recipes it is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. It is also nut free so it’s perfect for lunch boxes and is so easy to make and really delicious.
5.) What is the main thing that you would like readers to come away with?
I love inspiring people to cook simple meals using a handful of everyday real ingredients. I am focused of it being easy and full of flavour, if it isn’t these two things then why would you want to do it. I want people to know keeping it simple is the key, you don’t have to be on the diet roller coaster and that you can can enjoy amazing food guilt free.