Last Saturday I got to meet the wonderful Jude Blereau.  In case you don’t know, Jude is a whole and natural foods chef, award winning author, speaker and cooking teacher.  Jude has been living a wholefood life long before “wholefood” was a buzzword for healthy living.

Jude was in Albany to run her “Meals for Everyday and Surviving the Busy Days” workshop and to launch her latest book, Wholefood from the ground up and I was lucky enough to be asked to MC the event.

Me & Jude at the workshop

Me & Jude at the workshop

I knew I was going to love Jude’s work when I read this on the first page of the book:

“Long after we’ve achieved everything on our list, long after we’ve tried to do it all by skipping meals, grabbing the latest energy bar or eating the fastest 30 minute meals, we will still do best, and indeed thrive with whole, real food.”

Jude really goes deep in this new book about how food is so important to live a happy and fulfilling life and I would recommend Wholefood from the ground up as an essential part of every kitchen.

Here are my 3 biggest lessons from both the book and from spending time with Jude.

1. Good things take time

Jude suggests it might take 2 to 5 years to live a fully wholefood lifestyle.  What??  When I asked her about this she said that it might even take a whole year just to figure out where to shop!  She says to make small changes over time and at each step you will be getting healthier.  This is exactly my philosophy when it comes to living a healthier (and less stress) life.  Just take small steps because that need for “everything right now!” just adds to the stress.

2. Start your own supermarket

I’m not suggesting you try to take over Woolies, but part of living a wholefood life style with less stress is a bit of forward planning and a big freezer!  Jude suggests making double batches of your favourite staples like stocks, sauces and pastries so that you always have some spare in the freezer or the fridge.  This means you will always have it on hand when needed.  And then it’s just like having your own mini supermarket, 24/7.

3. Be a bit of a control freak

Before the event started I complemented Jude on how beautiful the book and asked her about the photographic process.  She said the shoot took 5 days and that she  can be quite a “control freak” when it comes to her cook books.  Well of course she is!  It would be weird if she wasn’t!  Her recipes are like here babies.  I think we should all be a bit more like that when it comes to the things we are most passionate about.  If you are anything like me, sometimes “being nice” trumps what I really want because I don’t want to offend anybody.  I think from now on I’ll take a leaf out of Jude’s (cook) book and be gentle but firm about the things that are most important to me!

What’s an unexpected lesson you’ve learned from reading a cook book?  Share them in the comments below.

A weekly healthy recipe from some of my favourite cooks is part of the Body Love Club, an online personal training program that encourages women to empower themselves through regular exercise, healthy eating and meditation.  More info is available here.