Day on a Plate: Carla Oates, the Beauty Chef

Healthy Q&A's

Carla Oates, also known as ‘the Beauty Chef’, has been researching, writing and teaching about organic beauty and health for the past fifteen years. An expert on all things gut and natural wellness (you can read her article on 20 Tips for Good Gut Health & Beautiful Skin here!), Carla is the author of Feeding Your Skin, a columnist for Wellbeing Magazine and the creator of the Beauty Chef range of Living skin care. Her daily eats are an absolute dream and we love her health philosophy; ‘go slow, gently and have fun’. Thanks Carla for the gorgeous interview!



  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself – who you are and what you do.


I’m a mum of two gorgeous teenagers, a naturalist, beauty chef, product designer and beauty and health expert who is passionate about working with nature to create products for optimum beauty and health from the inside out. I am a big believer that “beauty begins in the belly” – that gut health is paramount for healthy, radiant skin and overall wellbeing.


I have lived in Bondi Beach for 25 years and spent a lot of my childhood here too, so I have a very deep connection to Bondi and lots of great memories. While Bondi has changed dramatically, the beach remains this big reservoir of goodness; the sea air, the salt water.


I really love what I do – it’s the perfect job for me – a combination of science, and design; two of my passions. Researching, experimenting and making things – it’s the best of both worlds. I spend a lot of time making concoctions and thinking about the alchemy of ingredients and how I can enhance their benefits or nutritional potential using natural biological processes. It is lots of fun!




  1. What was the ‘uh ha’ moment that inspired you to get in to health and wellbeing?


I established The Beauty Chef in 2009. I had been researching the benefits of plants and natural biological processes such as lacto-fermentation for around 10 years and was writing in the area of natural health and beauty. I had published a book called Feeding Your Skin with Penguin (in 2004) and had a DIY beauty column for the Sunday Telegraph for eight years as well as being the natural beauty editor for Wellbeing Mag for 12 years (which I still am). During this time I made all my own skincare from scratch from plants and organic foods and was giving them to friends and family to use. I created quite a demand and that demand grew to friends of friends. It seemed a natural progression to create a brand.


One thing that really stood out, too, was the difference in people’s skin when they ate my lacto-fermented vegetables. People were addicted to my fermented veggies and kefir coconut water – hence why The Beauty Chef started with my lacto-fermented inner beauty superfood powder, Glow.


My interest in natural health and beauty began as a teenager when I suffered from eczema and allergies and went and saw a naturopath who eliminated certain foods from my diet and introduced others. I saw a profound difference in my skin – “uh ha”.




  1. Talk us through a typical day in your life


I eat often during the day – I love my food!  I eat a good brekkie and maybe a smoothie for morning tea, a salad and protein for lunch, smoothie for afternoon tea or cold pressed juice and light dinner. I eat lots of carrots, nuts and seeds in between.


Breakfast is usually eggs in some form, with mushrooms, tomatoes and salmon or a buckwheat and quinoa, miso, apple and almond and maple porridge. When I am in a rush, breakfast is a smoothie with BODY Inner Beauty Powder.




However, breakfast is always prefaced by some form of exercise or meditation, whether it be a pilates class, a game of tennis, a strengthening class or a walk along Bondi Beach and a swim where I live (the sea air is brilliant for getting a daily dose of feel good negative ions) or a walk around Centennial Park (my bush fix in the city) – and a glass of GLOW Inner Beauty Powder with a splash of COLLAGEN Inner Beauty Boost – they are my internal beauty routine. GLOW is like my internal moisturiser and COLLAGEN is like my internal skin serum.


I spend most days in the office in Double Bay or sometimes I work from home. For lunch I’ll make a big salad with nuts, sprouts, avocado and some form of protein, whether chicken or salmon, and dinner means all kinds of culinary surprises, depending on what is in season. Mostly salads, veggies and a protein source – like a slow cooked lamb fennel roast or fish; love salmon and barramundi. I’m a big fan of curries and I love slow cooked soups and stews with lots of veggies and herbs and spices with bone broth.




  1. Coffee or tea?


I am a bit of tea addict. I drink tea throughout the day. Black tea, which I love but try to limit and lots of herbal tea. I do love a turmeric and coconut milk latte too!



  1. Three foods you can’t live without?


Lacto-fermented veggies, goats cheese, eggs and bone broth!




  1. What’s your go-to snack for those days on the run?


A smoothie with BODY Inner Beauty Powder.



  1. … And any last words of advice or tips for those starting out on their health journey?


Set achievable and sustainable goals, even if it is one small thing each week. Taking a food out of your diet that inflames you, the next week, make your breakfast healthier, the following week, try and walk twice a week not just once a week. And believe in your adaptability. I remember giving up milk when I was a teenager and (I used to drink 1 litre of it a day!) and it was really difficult. Other non-dairy milks tasted awful. Six months later, when I tasted cow’s milk again, I felt really nauseous and was so much happier drinking nut milks. Making change, takes a little time but you will be surprised at how taste buds and behaviour changes with a little persistence and patience. Be kind to yourself too. If you lapse, don’t worry. Stress is one of the worst culprits when it comes to compromising the health of your skin and body. Go slow, gently and have fun. Green juices detoxify your liver, but I’m sure laughing does too.


ROASTED STRAWBERRY & COCONUT CREAM FLAN This delightful recipe gives you the lovely sweet and creamy texture of a conventional flan, but with lots of health giving goodness. Sweet, succulent strawberries offer more than just taste, they are also an impressive beauty food. Best known for their high levels of vitamin C, they help protect the skin from within by boosting collagen production as well as protecting collagen from damage; keeping your skin looking smooth and radiant. They are also a good source of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, collagen-boosting manganese and copper as well as biotin, known to help maintain the health of our skin, hair and nails. Combined with The Beauty Chef’s COLLAGEN Inner Beauty Boost, rich in bio-fermented berries, pomegranate, grape seed extract, probiotics and grass fed gelatin, this recipe is both gentle on digestion and a wonderful beauty food. Not to mention a delicious addition to your weekend menu! Recipe on website.

A post shared by Carla Oates (@thebeautychef) on


To find out more about Carla and the Beauty Chef, head to:





Luk Beautifood


Birkenhead House, Hermanus


PURE Papaya Care


The Healthy Life


JSHealth Vegan Meal Plan


JSHealth Travel Plan




14 Day Slim Down Plan - 2 weeks to a leaner you!


The JSHealth Shopping List - Stock up on these foods for a healthier household


Nutrition 101 - A step by step nutrition guide to optimal health


Emotional Eating Guide - Learn how to rebuild your relationship with food and your body


The Clean Life - An Expert Guide To Health From The Inside Out


Restart Plan - Cleanse your system in 2 - 4 weeks & reveal a slimmer, healthier you


JSHealth Partners


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.