my philosophy is simple / eat well . move well . think well . treat light .
Hi beautiful, I'm Hayley - a certified nutritionist and holistic health coach by trade, a living & whole-foods chef and wellness enthusiast by passion. I'm amazingly blessed to live in sunny Nelson NZ with my gorgeous partner and three delicious daughters.
I absolutely love food, but it hasn't always loved me back. 17 years ago I developed Bulimia Nervosa, and the damn thing stuck around for a good 10 years, doing a good job at taking over my life.
My love affair with real food began around 7 years ago, when I fell pregnant with my first daughter. Suddenly I had a little being to nourish and bulimia was no longer an option, nor the answer to the perfect body (or at least what I thought was 'perfect' back then was very underweight and unhealthy). I began to research different diets, which food groups tended to be deleterious to health, and looked at the diets and lifestyles of different cultures around the world with extremely low non-communicable disease rates and high longevity. The more I researched the more incredibly passionate and engrossed I became in the health/wellness paradigm.
I have progressed over the years to adopt what I like to call a whole-food, plant-based diet, giving up the crack (sugar), the glue (gluten) and the fake (food that' will live longer than you do) dairy, meat, gluten containing grains, caffeine and alcohol. I immediately noticed a difference in my digestion, skin health and the weight just fell off after birth with no real effort, all without having to rid myself of the food I'd just eaten. My body just found its natural, healthy weight and stayed that way, my skin cleared and my digestive issues resolved. Why? Because everything you put into your body when you eat this way is clean, organic and nourishing, and as a bonus it's affordable and immensely positive, for the ecology of our bodies and our planet.
Rather than feeling guilty after eating, each bite becomes an act of self love and self respect, something I believe is key to overcoming an eating disorder. This lifestyle is is not restrictive or a 'diet' in any way. The food is abundant and seriously divine, if you have ever sunk your teeth into a raw 'cheesecake' you will know exactly what I'm talking about! Perfect.
My journey hasn't been all about the eating disorder either. For a number of years I struggled with skin issues, poor digestion and intestinal pain, bloating, poor assimilation of nutrients and the list goes on, which my body innately healed - once I gave it the right ingredients to shine for me that is.
Myself and thousands of others have healed 'incurable' health issues through diet and lifestyle changes and I believe that you can too.
My blessed life.
6 years ago I met my wonderful partner, a chiropractor and my very own wellness guru. I'm so incredibly thankful for everything he has taught me and for his support in my passion for health and wellness. Without him it would have taken me a lot longer to realise that health doesn't just come from one facet of health (diet) but true health is a balance of many different things like the way we move, think and how we nourish our souls.
Though I would love to never have had an eating disorder, I'm incredibly grateful for it as it set me on my journey to finding great health. I love that I now possess a bunch of knowledge at this stage of my life and that I can raise my children eating an organic plant-based diet, and educate them on why it's just so. damn. great.
It brings a special joy being able to share what I have learnt through my website, workshops and health coaching - it's a seriously cool gig.
If you know of anyone struggling with an eating disorder, weight or health issues that may need help, please let them know about my website, I would love to hear from them.
I wish you the best of luck with your personal journey to fantastic health precious people.
With so much gratitude and love,
Hayley Richards / Gather Girl - Certified Plant-Based Nutritionist, Whole-Foods Chef, Holistic Health & Wellness Coach, Founder Of Successful Culinary Ventures Ruby + Blak Chai, Gather Girl's Coconut Yoghurt Range & Busy Mum.