Hi there and welcome to Be Good Organics, my haven of plant-based health, nutrition and wellness. Since 2013 I have been sharing my love for plant-based whole foods here, as well as ideas on how to achieve your best ever health through a natural organic lifestyle. I focus on a holistic approach to health, combining plant-based nutrition with organic living, a strong love for animals, and a passion for improving the state of our planet. I truly believe there are so many benefits to living this way, and once you embark on the journey I promise you will feel amazing both inside and out.
Thanks so much for visiting - it's hard to believe that there are now over 100,000 of you around the world visiting my blog every week. I hope you enjoy reading my articles, trying my recipes, browsing our store, and being part of our community.
In late 2011 I was diagnosed with Graves disease. Graves is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks itself and causes the thyroid gland (a small butterfly shaped organ in front of your throat) to enlarge and become overactive, or "hyperthyroid". It's also an endocrine/hormonal disease, as the thyroid controls the hormonal system (hard to imagine given it's up by your throat).
The thyroid is the pace maker of the body, so an overactive thyroid means everything goes into speed overload. My resting heart rate increased from its normal 50-60 (I was pretty fit) to close to 100. Walking up a small hill would quickly push that closer to 200. I had terrible insomnia, body sweats, hand shakes, greater than usual anxiety and irritability, overactivity in the nether regions, and a bulging eye (google some pics if you will). I also lost a lot of weight (BMI below 18), and my reproductive and hormonal system completely shut up shop.
I embarked on a course of treatment with antithyroid medication, but the prognosis was always that most cases can't be cured and need to eventually have radioactive therapy (like a type of chemotherapy), to kill the overactive thyroid off. Alternatively I could get my thyroid cut out, which results in a rather ominous looking long horizontal scar right across your throat. This effectively gives you hypothyroidism, so you have to take another drug for the rest of your life to recreate the function of the destroyed thyroid. Hypothyroidism has a host of other problems associated with it. Not to mention the fact that removing the thyroid doesn't do anything to address the underlying hormonal imbalances and causes in the first place.
I was in my late 20's. I was healthy and fit. There was no genetic history of the disease in my family. The 'random chance' argument suggested to me that my specialists didn't seem to be well-informed or sufficiently supported by research. So I embarked on the Western medicine course of treatment as advised, but also went about my own research as to the true underlying causes of my health issues.
I discovered the following - that organic healthy plant-based foods have the ability to heal, while conventional processed animal-heavy foods have the power to harm. That a toxic and stressful environment is a key trigger for a number of diseases including autoimmune and cancer. And lastly, that there are hundreds of toxic chemicals in our everyday skin care, make-up, body lotions, body wash, haircare, perfume, and household cleaning products, that can cause disease in the body.
After much thought, I decided to quit my job of almost 8 years - the only thing I'd done since University and the only thing I knew I could do. I took a few months off, and tried to focus on relaxation and healing. Not long after I started this blog, Be Good Organics. I was inspired by the idea that I could share my knowledge and experience from my health journey and recovery with others. That I could apply my research skills and yet talk about topics that I truly cared about - health, animals, and the environment. That I could support people to live healthier lifestyles, closer to nature, how our bodies and ecosystems were meant to be. And that I could encourage others to be more mindful of how animals are treated in our society, and how our actions impact our environment.
I hope I can make a positive change in your life. Thanks for being here and sharing in my story - I'm truly honoured to be a part of yours. If you'd like to get more of my recipes and health and wellness articles, you can sign up for my newsletter here. You can also connect with me on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ .
I am also able to offer a small number of one-on-one health coaching consultations. Read here for more details and to book.
Along my journey, I had many people ask me what products I used, foods I ate, and where they could get them from. So my partner Tony and I together began our online organic plant-based store. My hope was that it would allow more of you to be able to access the absolute best in plant-based organic food, skin care, and other health products, that had helped me so much in my health recovery. Our Be Good Organics store has since flourished, and we now have a small team of lovely staff helping us to run the day to day side of things. This is allowing me more and more to refocus back on the blog and providing you with recipes and advice, which is what I love most.
Prior to Be Good Organics, I worked as an Executive Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst at Goldman Sachs for almost eight years. My health scare led me to a more natural organic lifestyle, and the beginnings of Be Good Organics. In my previous role, I spent my time researching companies, writing research reports, and presenting my analysis and recommendations to clients. A far fetched world from that of nutrition and health! However the research and communication skills I learned have proven to be invaluable in transitioning to researching and communicating information on health and wellness to others. You can therefore rest assured that all of the products in our store have been personally researched, trialled and tested by me (as opposed to on fluffy white bunnies), to be truly good for you, animals and our planet.
In addition to running our Be Good Organics store, creating new and delicious plant-based recipes for you to try, and writing wellness articles for our blog, I am also completing my final year of a Bachelor of Naturopathy, Nutrition and Herbal Medicine. On completion I will be a qualified Nutritionist, Naturopath and Medical Herbalist, specialising in plant-based nutrition.
BA: Bachelor of Arts in Languages (Spanish, Japanese, Danish), University of Auckland (2004)
BCom: Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Finance, University of Auckland (2004)
CFA Charterholder: 3-Year Post Graduate Chartered Financial Analyst Qualification, CFA Institute (2009)
BNat: Bachelor of Naturopathy, Nutrition and Herbal Medicine, Wellpark College New Zealand (completing final year)
DipNut: Diploma in Nutrition, Wellpark College New Zealand (completing final year)
I live in Auckland in beautiful New Zealand, with my partner Tony, our baby girl Mila born in February 2015 and our two adventurous burmese cats Zeus and Luna. Outside of writing for Be Good Organics, cooking up a plant-based storm, helping others with their health, and campaigning for animal welfare and our environment, I love going for walks in nature, practicing yoga, travelling to far-off lands, learning about new cultures, speaking different languages, watching quirky Indie movies, hanging out with friends and family, hosting and partaking in pot lucks, eating amazing food, laughing, playing with my cats, and reminding myself to live every day in the present moment.
I'm also a perpetual student and a lover of learning (thus my reversion back to University, yet again). Following completion of my current Naturopathy, Nutrition and Herbal Medicine degree, I would love to pursue a PHD in plant-based nutrition, and it's ability to heal autoimmune and chronic disease.
I love hearing from you, and try to reply to as many questions as I can. Unfortunately I can't always get through all my emails, so the best place to contact me is on my Facebook page here, Instagram here, or in the comments below any of my blog posts.
If you're interested in working with me, and for all media and guest speaking enquiries, you can find out more here.