Be your own healthy chef + some simple and quick snack ideas.

Health & Lifestyle

By Rachel Gorney from My Wholesome Kitchen.

Anyone can be there own chef!!

Eating home cooked meals should be apart of everyone’s diet, and no that doesn’t mean reheating packaged meals or ordering in. It means cooking a wholesome and nutritious dense meal for the family. Many clients I meet often tell me they have never used their kitchen or they can’t cook. I believe one of the most important skills anyone should be equipped with is, knowing how to make a nutritious home-cook meal.

Below are some simple tips and ideas that may encourage you to cook more often. Cooking should be simple and most importantly enjoyable so hopefully with these tricks you can find your inner chef.

Tips and Tricks:


  • The number #1 most important thing before cooking any meal is to be organized and prepared. Know what you want to make, have the ingredients ready and plan your meals, especially if you are a very busy person who wants to spend minimal time in the kitchen.
  • Get a hold of the best quality produce you can afford. Using good quality produce usually doesn’t need much work and preparing simple meals will still taste absolutely delicious.
  • Don’t overcomplicate a meal; keep everything simple with simple flavors, simple herbs, simple spices and you will have a fantastic dish.
  • Be well equipped with the right tools. No I don’t mean you need to have the most expensive and luxurious kitchen equipment, once again get a hold of the best quality utensils that you can afford. Many people I’m sure spend a lot on having knives sets, pot sets and all the rest, half the time you only ever need one or two knives. I would recommend purchasing one or two great quality knives that you would use everyday rather then purchasing these 8 piece sets. Having the right equipment really can make anyone a great cook and a lot of the time they will save you lots of time in the kitchen. Here is a YouTube link of Jamie Oliver, explaining what tools you should all have in the kitchen.
  • Use less tin products and canned sauces; rather make things fresh with fresh produce. There are so many tomatoes sauces on the market but if you take a minute to read the ingredients you would be shocked to see what’s really in them. Using fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, herbs and spices you can have a very simple and delicious tomatoes sauce within minutes.
  • The food processor can be your best friend. I use my food processor for everything, to make sauces, pestos, shred and chop vegetables and herbs. It will save you so much time in the kitchen especially if you are time poor.
  • Make in bulk. If I’m going to spend time cooking a meal, I will often make a large quantity of the one dish and freeze or store the leftovers in the fridge. Soups store fantastic in the freezer, grains like quinoa can sit in the fridge for at least a week, grill an extra piece of protein to have for your salad the following day or make a big batch of bolegense so you have something on hand for the kids.
  • Don’t give up, try and try again. You may have attempted a dish that didn’t work or wasn’t a success don’t give up hope, not every dish you ever make is going to work. Enjoy the process and have fun with it. Some bad experiences can lead you to have negative thoughts about your ability and therefore make you spend less time in the kitchen. Always go back in with a positive attitude and start again.
  • Practice and experiment. Sometimes the best dishes are ones that have been thrown together or aren’t exactly step by step. I use recipe books for inspiration and will always adapt a recipe to my taste and food philosophy. Don’t feel like you have to follow a recipe and have every ingredient on hand. Have fun with it and enjoy mixing it up. Use what you have available and wants in season rather then scraping that recipe altogether.
  • Most importantly have fun and enjoy being in the kitchen. Cooking and preparing meals for yourself and others should be such a joy so don’t dread entering the kitchen. Go in with an open mind and you will be surprised and what you can prepare.

A lot of these tips and tricks I use in my kitchen everyday, I don’t have any professional qualifications as cook but with the skills I have adapted I certainly feel like my very own chef. I started my own cooking company late last year and since then My Wholesome Kitchen has become very well known for their range of snacks. It wouldn’t be a blog post without providing you with some awesome simple snack ideas.

Snack Ideas:


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  • Homemade Hummus with vegetable sticks (I have been told my hummus is pretty tasty )
  • Berry Smoothie – Acai, coconut water, mixed berries, Maca, stevia, cinnamon, vanilla powder, chia seeds and goji berries.
  • Homemade raw chocolate mixed with superfoods. Raw chocolate is so simple to make and can be kept in your freezer for weeks. Mix together coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup  or raw honey and then stir in your favorite superfoods. Spoon them into cupcake moulds and freeze.
  • Homemade trial mix – I much prefer to make my own mix then buy one. You can put anything you like or have on hand. Mix together in the bowl the following; almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepita seeds, cocoa nibs, goji berries or mulberries. Make a big batch and divide them into snap lock bags.
  • Seaweed rolls – layer nori sheets with your favorite vegetables and avocado and then roll them up.
  • Vegetable egg muffins – Grease egg muffin tins, layer with any roast veggies you have or fresh vegetables. Whisk eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and then pour into each muffin. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. They store great in the fridge or freezer. I like using roast pumpkin, spinach leaves, mushrooms or capsicum. Anything you have on hand.
  • Protein Balls – Mix together your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, sweet spices, dry meal (e.g. LSA, Flaxseed, Almond meal) as a binder, and add some sweetness like stevia drops, maple syrup or raw honey. Roll into balls and freeze. The mixture may need some wet ingredients if it’s too dry like warm water or coconut oil.
  • Kale chips – my tip with kale chips is to make sure the kale is as dry as possible, any moisture will make them soggy when cooking. Add spices of your choice, salt and pepper and a little coconut oil.
  • In summer having your own homemade ice blocks will sure be a winner with the kids. Mix together in a bowl coconut water, freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh summer fruits, lime zest and mint. Pour into paddle pop containers and freeze.
  • Fresh fruit mix and yogurt – I much prefer to make up a simple fruit mix and mix it with my own plain yogurt then buy one already made. Most of them are filled with lots of nasty ingredients and additives. A simple fruit mix I like is strawberries, blueberries, mint, lime zest and lime, stevia, vanilla powder and cinnamon.

To visit our entire range or snacks and read more about My Wholesome Kitchen, visit our brand new website and keep updated with us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.