Food as Medicine and Making a Career in the Wellness Industry With Primalista Gita
My name is Gita, I live in Sydney with my amazing husband Brian and have three beautiful children. This blog post is the story of how an ordinary person has turned life around by eating the right foods and eliminating inflammatory foods. But it is also the story of how you don’t need to miss out on the traditional foods you love just because you eat gluten, dairy and refined food free. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis about 9 years ago and had the classic symptoms of weight gain, feeling lethargic and just not feeling well.
My initial management and investigations led me to an 8 week program which was basically a grain free/dairy free wholefoods Paleo way of eating. At the end of the 8 weeks, I not only lost 7kgs but my skin had cleared up, I had more energy and best of all my thyroid antibodies had come down from more than 1000 to 400. This was the first bit of evidence I had that I can manage my health with food.
I have been following the paleo-ish way of eating ever since adding in AIP (autoimmune protocol eating) with follow on food reintroductions. It’s always a balance, but I am in control and can adjust my diet depending on what my body is telling me.
Having experienced the benefits of this diet and lifestyle, I found myself wanting to spread the word and help others improve their health. I knew I wanted to do something food related, but was not quite sure what or how as I had no experience in that industry. Until…one day I came across a post in my Instagram feed about the Primal Alternative business opportunity. It just felt right and I contacted Helen from PA immediately, and had my interview sitting in my car in a carpark!
With support from my family, I signed up, and I feel it’s the best decision I have ever made.
Primal Alternative is what I call a ‘Business in a box’. Once you buy the license, you can pretty much start that very same day. Everything from recipes, labels, wholesale contacts for ingredients, media material…it’s all there. What I like the most is, I can work at my business as little or as much as I want to and best of all there are no targets to meet.
I started with baking one evening a week as I had a full-time job, to baking one whole day a week.
Being a Primal Alternative producer, I get to attend all the wonderful wellness events and meet some awesome people and idols of mine - Kirsty Wirth, Cyndi O’Meara, Helen Padarin, Alexx Stuart, Jo Whitton...to name a few. These change makers are spreading the word, bringing awareness about gut health, good lifestyle choice, the importance of wholefoods and providing resources to make it easier for those deciding to embark on this journey.
Ferments are also a big part of managing my autoimmune condition. I love using the Kultured Wellness coconut yoghurt and water kefir cultures. Growing up I remember, every night, Mum would add a tablespoon of previous day’s saved yoghurt to boiled and cooled milk for next day’s batch. Making my own coconut yoghurt using Kultured Wellness cultures brings back these fond memories and it is so easy to do.
One of the staple breakfasts in our house was ‘stuffed paratha’ eaten with homemade pickles and a bowl of fresh yoghurt. Paratha is traditionally a wheat based flat bread commonly filled with potatoes, cauliflower, radish or minced meat. I needed to find a grain free paratha recipe.
I used Jo Whitton’s Grain free pastry to make mince paratha which certainly hit the spot. Here I have the recipe for the Paratha and the Coconut Yoghurt Raita accompaniment.
- 1 Tbsp fat of choice - ghee or olive oil
- 250g beef or lamb mince
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 chopped green chilli
- 1 inch piece finely chopped ginger
- 3-4 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 Tbsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp or to taste red chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- A big handful of coriander leaves chopped
- 2 Tbsp mint leaves chopped
- 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 recipe Quirky Cooking grain free pastry from the book Life Changing Food or 1 pack frozen Primal Alternative grain free dough, thawed
- Heat ghee pr olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan or skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté over low heat for 4-5 minutes till the onions are translucent. Add the mince and sauté till brown. Now add all the other spices and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook for about 10 mins till the mince is cooked. Remove the lid and cook the mince on high heat for a few minutes till the mixture is dry. Add the lemon juice, coriander and mint leaves and turn off the heat.
- Let the mixture cool.
- Knead the pastry dough with 3 Tbsp ghee and 1 tsp salt. Take about 50g of the dough and roll out to about 3-4 inches across. Place 2 Tbsp of the cooled mixture in the middle. Gather the dough towards the mixture as you pleat it. Pinch the dough together and flatten it down. Now dust this ball with tapioca and gently roll out the dough again to about 4-5 inches. The mince will start sticking out but don’t worry, that’s ok. Cook in a preheated cast iron skillet on medium heat on one side for 2 minutes. Then carefully flip it over with a spatula and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. Spread about 1 tsp of ghee and flip it again. Repeat with the other side. The paratha should be golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and a side of Sauerkraut.
Cucumber Raita with Kultured Wellness Yoghurt
- 1 small cucumber grated – salt lightly and let sit for ten minutes. Squeeze out liquid
- 1-2 Tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin powder
- 1 cup Kultured Wellness coconut yoghurt
- Mix well
- 1 kg white cabbage shredded
- 1 green apple grated
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 cups Kultured Wellness coconut water kefir
- 20g good quality salt
- Mix all together and knead for 10 minutes until the cabbage has drawn liquid and create a self-brine
- Ferment in an airtight jar for three days (burping each day)
- Store in the fridge
For Kultured Wellness Clients
There may be some of you who cannot yet tolerate the carbohydrates in the Paratha dough. You can try adding in some Diversity Dough starter culture and leaving to ferment for 2 days. This will remove the carbohydrates but should not affect the ability to roll out the dough for your Paratha.