Guest of the month: Catie Gett from The Staple Store shares her top tips on ‘Functional Eating’.
“Functional eating for us, in our house is routine, it is a short checklist that makes sure our meal covers all of our body’s requirements. Meal planning shouldn’t be an alchemy or a complicated science; all you have to do is follow a few simple steps and you can have complete nutrient profiles that satisfy the criteria for optimal health.” (Catie Gett).
A huge welcome to our very special ‘Guest of the Month’, Catie Gett, owner of the much talked about, visited and coveted store, The Staple Store. It’s a very good thing (for Catie..and my bank account) that I live over the other side of town because I’d be loitering in and around it every second day, given the choice. Not only is Catie hugely passionate about functional food but she cares a LOT – about the environment, about sustainability, about Fair Trade, about making a difference in every life that she touches – and that becomes very, very evident once you’ve been lucky enough to steal some of her precious and increasingly sought after time.
Here’s a little snapshot about Catie, from her bio*, which pretty much sums up my aforementioned sentiment:
“I believe that every person has the basic right to knowledge about where their food comes from and how to nourish themselves. I work every minute of everyday fighting for those rights”.
Enough from me and straight on over to Catie. Thank you for gracing my website my love, I am blessed to call you my friend x
Functional Eating, by Catie Gett.
My key job as a naturopath is to help you make simple and easy choices that enable you to reach optimal health, in a way that is sustainable and accessible every day.
Functional eating for us, in our house is routine, it is a short check list that makes sure our meal covers all of our body’s requirements. Meal planning shouldn’t be an alchemy or a complicated science; all you have to do is follow a few simple steps and you can have complete nutrient profiles that satisfy the criteria for optimal health.
Think colours. Thinking of a bit of red, a bit of yellow or a bit of green, or even all three. Eating coloured fruits and vegetables with every meal will increase the nutrient density, considerably. Meaning you are consuming an excellent nutrient to calorie ratio. Colours add vitamins including A, B, C and K, phytochemicals such as alpha-lypoic acid, beta-carotenes, proanthocyanidins, chlorophyll and lycopene. These nutrients support numerous biochemical processes, reduce inflammation, limit free radical stress and prevent disease. So chopping up the capsicum, throwing on some berries or cherry tomatoes, adding a handful of spinach all seems worth the while.
Think vital. I am not an advocate of all raw food diets for most individuals, what I am an advocate for, is adding a raw element to every meal. Adding raw foods to each meal improves the nutrient profile, improves the bioavailability of a variety of nutrients and supports enzymatic digestion. And it’s really simple to do. Throw a handful of sprouts on your soup or into your smoothie, grate beetroot on to your toast or add a raw tomato salsa to lentils. ‘Thinking alive’ freshens up the plate and the palate.
Think fermented. Being a gut specialist, this is my favourite element, it’s simple and adds so much flavour to a meal. Promoting the addition of beneficial microbes with each meal optimizes digestion and nutrient assimilation. And is as simple as adding a small cup of miso, a glass of kumbucha, a dollop of plain yoghurt or cottage cheese, a spoonful of sauerkraut or kim chi, a slice of tempeh or non-pasteurised apple cider vinegar.
Think protein. Great protein sources include: tofu, tempeh, fish, eggs, red meat, poultry, dairy, beans and lentils. Serving sizes for protein is the size of your palm (one palm for animal protein and two for plant based). The best part of using palm measurements for protein is that the serving is dependant on the size of the hand, the little ones have little palms the big guys that need a heap of protein have bigger ones.
Think good fats. I like at least one tablespoon one of these on my plate each meal: coconut oil, tahini, raw nuts, raw seeds, nut butters, salmon, avocado or homemade guacamole. Eating like this is super easy, requires nominal cooking skills, is cheap and just so healthy.
So here are some simple 5 minute functional meal ideas:
Breakfast smoothies: spinach, nut milk, berries and yoghurt
Sandwich: A protein, sprouts, grated carrot, sauerkraut and avocado
Miso: with chopped tofu, seaweed, sesame oil and a dollop of kim chi
Salad: beetroot, sprouts, herbs, crushed nuts and an apple cider vinaigrette
Lentils: with tomato salsa, yoghurt, fresh herbs and vinegar (picture below)
*Catie Gett, 2013
- Clinical Naturopath
- Owner of The Staple Store, Ripponlea Melbourne
- Soon to be owner of A Staple Space: Wellness Centre CBD Melbourne
- Backyard Super Food advocate
- Previous Chef
- Current Food lover
- Consistent Multi-tasker