The Healed Life: Brooke Meredith from A Conscious Collection

Healthy Q&A's
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It’s such a pleasure to talk with the young woman who is taking the health blogging world by storm right now. In the latest installment of The Healed Life, Brooke Meredith from A Conscious Collection is sharing her journey of healing from food intolerance and learning how to live her best life. We had an amazing lunch together recently and I can tell you that she is just as stunning and genuine in person! I hope you enjoy learning more about this inspiring gal.

Name: Brooke Meredith

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Occupation: Model / Graphic Designer / Health & lifestyle blogger

Tell us a little about who you are and how you got here:

I’m Brooke, a Melbourne based model and healthy lifestyle blogger.

My journey into the healed life came as a result of my own struggle with intolerances to foods. I was a country girl who moved out of home at 18, moved to Melbourne and fell straight in to that “Uni lifestyle”: living on takeaway foods, cappuccinos (2 sugars and extra chocolate) and endless bags off lollies; socializing into the wee hours and of course drinking alcohol several times a week. I was burnt out! As a naturally slender girl, healthy foods had never been a priority; it wasn’t until I became quite sick that I realized eating right wasn’t just for those wanting to watch their weight but imperative for overall good health and vitality.

After months of feeling fatigued, foggy and bloated, with extreme anxiety and digestive issues – I turned to a naturopath for help and he opened my eyes to the wonderful world I’m now exposed to; full of whole foods and holistic healing and things I had never considered or been exposed to in the past. After changing my diet and ridding my body of not only toxic food but toxic people, I realized how amazing my body felt; my skin cleared, bloating subsided and energy levels spiked through the roof. The euphoria through my body was honestly the biggest wake up call for me, I felt so good that I just wanted to keep exploring this wonderful world of natural health and so I began the experimenting in the kitchen, creating foods that I loved with whole foods and nourishing ingredients. And so A Conscious Collection began.

What helped heal your relationship with food and your body?

Patience, persistence and support from those around me. Having a good mentor to lead you in the right direction, a shoulder to cry on and finding a passion for wanting to change were all an important part of the healing process. After years of discomfort and low self-esteem I found a way to turn the very thing that was, harming me (food) into the very thing that healed me.

What is your favourite recipe when you need to feel truly nourished?

I make this ridiculously yummy Cauliflower and Chickpea salad and whilst it is meatless it is extremely filling and hearty. Pair it with a side of sweet potato chips and I’m left feeling extremely grounded and content.

When my sweet tooth kicks I’ll often whip up my Macadamia Choc Fudge Brownies from my Chocoholics E-Book. So delicious and satisfying containing no refined sugars, dairy or gluten.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 2.46.52 pm

Macadamia Choc Fudge Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and line a 9” slice tin.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl ensuring well combined. Transfer to prepared slice tin and bake for 8 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool in the fridge as this will help set the gooey insides to a fudge like consistency.
  3. Best eaten on the same day for maximum deliciousness.

Can you share a little about your history with food and your body?

I grew up in an extremely loving household surrounded by good food and positive relationships, which I’m forever grateful for. Wholesome country food was the center of all family gatherings with both parents being amazing cooks. I never thought about food much, other than constantly grazing and stuffing it in my mouth!

During my high school years, with extremely low self esteem at being labeled underweight and with a lanky boyish body, I put myself on “get fat diets” and would eat anything in sight, lived off sugar, soft drinks, BBQ shapes and MacDonald’s in attempt to gain weight – which was near impossible thanks to my mother’s amazing genes.

That non restricted eating continued into my late teens and my move to Melbourne for university. Take away my parents cooking and add in drinking, partying, little sleep and an excessive amount of stress and I found myself at a leading naturopath’s office burnt out and pleading for help to fix my array of digestive issues which made me look 4 months pregnant, bloated to the max and extremely uncomfortable and tired. We worked towards some diet and lifestyle changes which left me feeling more amazing that I could have ever imagined and I’ve never looked back. 

What is the number one piece of advice you would give to someone healing?

Be patient and trust the process. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but making small changes at a time is the best way to set you up for long turn success.

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What is your favourite way to “switchoff”?

Funnily enough it’s quite the opposite of switching off. I love to sweat it out in the gym; pushing myself is one of the best ways for me to forget about work and life’s hectic ways for 45 minutes. It’s my “me” time and I feel so much gratitude toward myself when I do something good for my body, pump up the music and just sweat it out.

When it comes to body image, what do you hope for the next generation of young women?

I really feel for young girls growing up with such an emphasis on social media. I hope that young women understand the importance of loving their own unique body and can stop comparing themselves to those around them and other figures that have a completely different genetic makeup. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way.

Do you have a daily mantra?

“Have pride in how far you’ve come and have faith in how far you can go.”

This is a great reminder for when you’re having self doubt on your own journey whether it’s with health, fitness, your career, relationships or any goals you’re setting out to achieve. Believing in yourself is an extremely powerful tool that I’m still trying to master.

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What are you manifesting next?

Honestly, just a healthy and loving future with the ones I love doing what I love .If I can turn A Conscious Collection in to a successful full time career then I’d truly be the happiest girl alive. I really hope to follow in your footsteps Jess and be an Author one day; now that’s a dream that I’ll keep working hard towards.

Connect with Brooke:

Website: www.aconsciouscollection.com

Instagram: @aconsciouscollection or @brookiechook

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aconsciouscollectionblog

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/broookemeredith/a-conscious-collection/

 

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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.

@maddy_walters

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!

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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!

@freed_from_foodie

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.

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