Janneke Williamson is the founder of the website Mother Nourish and a culinary genius when it comes to ferments and homemade chocolate! She’s passionate about squeezing dense nutrition into each and every meal that comes out of her kitchen, and believes we can all take a leaf out of our ancestors cookbooks.
Janneke and I connected when we were both studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and her Instagram account, which bursts with mouthwatering colour and inventive masterpieces is a constant source of inspiration for me. . . Her weekend smoothie combos are the best!
She holds regular fermentation workshops (I have GOT to get myself to the next one) and is currently working on a very exciting (and top secret) film project with her hubby, Rory.
Tell us a little bit about how you developed Mother Nourish and what it means to you.
I’ve had a healthy passion for food for as long as I can remember becoming a mother really brought my interest in nutrition to the forefront. Oh my gosh I have to feed this little person! I better make sure I’m feeding him the best food I possibly can!
Mother Nourish started one day when I made a commitment to myself to start afresh with a healthy year and I didn’t want to bore all my friends with pictures of food in my normal insta feed so I started a whole new one just for my own food journey. I quickly became addicted to learning, experimenting, cooking and sharing everything I was up to in the kitchen and beyond. I really am fascinated by the studies of Weston A Price and I fell in love with Nourishing Traditions and the whole ethos behind it. I love experimenting with fermenting, and broths, and traditional preparations of foods. Not being able to kick this hunger for learning about health I enrolled into the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to learn more and loved every minute of it. Mother Nourish combines my passion for healthy food and making it the most delicious it can be. I love trying to find the right balance between making a dish the healthiest, most nutrient-dense meal whilst still tantalising the tastebuds.
Starting Mother Nourish really has brought my skills and passions together. I really love cooking and being in the kitchen, but I love the challenge of then snapping it in the most interesting way (and fast way so it’s still hot by the time it gets to the hungry mouths at the table!! Haha!)
Now that we’ve heard your inspiring story, what kinds of things inspire you?
I’m inspired by my parents and how they’ve made a life following their creative passions. They are both artists living in the Hunter Valley and I think growing up with them as role models definitely steered me in a creative direction. I ended up on both sides of the camera, acting and also editing, producing and directing and I’ve always had a passion for photography.
What gets you excited in the kitchen?
I really love learning about and experimenting with what foods are good for me and what foods don’t serve me so well. I have pretty much worked out what gives me the most energy and what holds me back so I usually love experimenting with ingredients that I know will make me feel great, but also striving to make them as tasty as possible.
I particularly love making chocolate! The easiest thing in the world to make and the best thing is being able to customise it to your tastebuds and know exactly what’s in it – no nasty additives and not loaded with refined sugar! Most of the time the chocolate I make is so full of goodness you can have it for breakfast!
Check out Janneke’s Raw Chocolate Wonder Bites.
What foodie mentors inspire your culinary creations?
Well I love seeing all your delicious creations Jordanna!! I love Instagram because it’s a great place for inspiration and a great place to share photos, recipes and advice with like minded people. I love trying new delicious foods or maybe if I see something out at a restaurant I love the challenge of trying to make a healthy and delicious version of that dish. I love discovering new places that are embracing healthy food and seeing what they are offering up. I prefer more rustic style real food and even though I’m not vegetarian I’m always looking for creative plant based inspiration to help tip the balance of meat/vegetables in our family.
Mindful eating is a huge part of The Inspired Table’s wellness philosophies, as a nutritionist what role do you see mindfulness playing at the proverbial dining table?
As a holistic health coach, this is one of the key things I loved learning about in my studies. We live in such a fast paced world. Fast lifestyles. Fast day-to-day lives. Eating in cars, on the way to the bus stop, in front of the TV it’s so easy to forget about the importance of nourishing yourself. Every day I remind myself to slow down, particularly when it comes to food. I keep reminding myself to take my time, chew properly, savour each mouthful, be thankful for the beautiful food I am lucky enough to eat and appreciate the moment of sitting down with my family to enjoy it. I have a passion for digestion and the first stage of your digestive system is in your mouth. Even being aware of the importance of chewing I still need to remind myself to take the time to chew my food. Everyone forgets to chew properly and as I heard once in a talk, you don’t have teeth in your stomach so best to make sure you chew thoroughly before you swallow! It will aid your digestion and also help to stop over eating and it helps you savour each delicious mouthful more.
If you could only pass on one piece of advice for optimal health and happiness, what would it be?
You can eat all the kale, all the organic food, all the superfoods you like but if you are not digesting your food properly what’s the point? If you don’t take care of your digestive system then all those nutrients you are eating could be going to waste. Ever since I introduced fermented foods and broths into my life my health has completely changed. I’ve lost weight, I have more energy and I’m digesting my food properly. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial probiotics and are not only more nutrient dense than their raw counterparts but they help enrich your gut with the good guys to help you digest and improve your immune system. I was and still am like a kid in a science class when it comes to having fun with fermenting.
Can you name three people that inspire you?
- My parents inspire me to follow my dreams and be true to myself.
- My husband inspires me to be the best I can be and the best version of myself. We work together and we have a shared passion for health and making each other laugh. We are currently working on an exciting film project that I look forward to sharing soon!
- All the amazing women in my life inspire me no end. I have such a strong support network of incredible women who I look up to as role models and who keep me fired up in times of need. My mum, my mother in law, my dear sister and sisters in law, aunties, my amazing girlfriends, and peers in this health community all inspire me. Thank you darlings I love you! X
What’s your favourite inspirational quote?
And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make – The Beatles.
It’s so on the money! You gotta share the love to appreciate the love! xxx
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