As part of a new #ContentKitchen series, we’ll be chronicling the eating ethos and ‘day on a plate’ of our favourite nutritionists, personal trainers and wellness experts to provide our readers with insight and inspiration into how the leading pioneers in the industry stay nourished and balanced.
Second up in the series, we caught up with Little Bird and The Unbakery founder and cookbook author Megan May where she enlightened us on her individualised approach to healthy eating, why mushrooms are her all time favourite superfoods and the foodie hubs we should all be visiting next time we’re in New York.
Your Eating Ethos… Eating foods that make me feel good and developing your own relationship with food is important as everyone's body is different and changes over time so if you pay attention to the foods you eat and how they make you feel then that puts you in a good position to choose the right foods to eat for your ultimate health and wellbeing. For me a whole-foods unrefined plant based diet high in greens & fermented foods makes me feel amazing. I have to stay away from all things that contain dairy and gluten along with cane sugar and it's been that way since I was a kid, however every now and then I try these things out just to see how it makes me feel to investigate if anything has changed.
I believe it's important to keep exploring and trying new things and experiencing foods that I previously wouldn't have eaten without judgement.
Best Way to Breakfast…Green juices or smoothies with lots of herbs and turmeric, they set my day up so well. I always feel great after having one as it always leaves my head clear and my energy revitalised. It's like having a coffee without getting jittery or a drop in energy later in the morning! Then I have a second breakfast later on that usually consists of something revolving around sprouted buckwheat, be it our grawnola (editors note – find the recipe in the Unbakery Cookbook) or our sprouted bread topped with avocado & kraut.
Snack Attack... Usually something with a little bit of cacao in it. At Unbakery, we make these delicious Reishi and cacao hemp & almond milks which I like to sip away on during the day.
Drinking Diligently... Fresh coconut water in summer is my go to. When I was growing up we lived in the Tonga for a while and we drank a lot of fresh coconuts. Drinking pasteurised coconut water out of a bottle or can is a totally different experience. I add things like blue green algae to give me an extra boost of goodness.
In the cooler months its lots of herbal teas with immune support like liquorice, fennel and ashawaganda, I also make a lot of fresh herb teas featuring turmeric, ginger and lemongrass as well.
A Little Indulgence… Kombucha & raw chocolate are my little indulgences. They both have amazing health benefits but I know from experience you can definitely have too much of the both of them so I keep them as my special treat foods.
Superfood You Rate Now… I'm still hooked on mushrooms and have been for many years, they are such an amazing superfood to add to your smoothies and drinks. Reishi & Chaga are my regulars but if I'm doing lots of exercise, I will have Cordyceps or Ho She Wu. All the Four Sigma Mushroom drink products are amazing. I also love camu camu and add it to my breakfast and berry smoothies.
Supplement You Wouldn’t be Without… My Pure Synergy Green Powder & a ginkgo and gotu-kola combination. If I'm every unable to get a green juice or smoothie in I will have Pure Synergy Green Powder. I've tried so many of the different ones but always come back to that. Running and business and standing on your feet all day can be tough mentally particularly on you circulatory system, so I often take this great combination of ginkgo and gotu-kola that helps give you support in both areas.
Favourite Dinners … My favourite dinner I had in London was at Saf - it had only just opened when I lived in London and the food was amazing. It was actually one of the food moments that lead to me getting into raw food.
On a recent trip to New York, keep in mind NZ is a long way from New York so I didn't think I would be coming back any time soon, I ate so much it was slightly traumatising, I didn't want to miss out on anything! Food holidays sound amazing but trying to sample food from 10 places in a day every day is maybe not a good thing, no matter how good that food is for you.
Some of the best food we had was simple food from the ABC Kitchen, everything was so fresh and filled with simple clean bright flavours. We also had some great dinners at Pok Pok, wild mushrooms and fiddle head ferns in their vibrant Thai flavours was pretty memorable. The cake pops and brownie at Pure Food and Wine was pretty amazing too.
For me, the biggest highlight in New York wasn't the food. It was the amazing selection of cold pressed juice places. I could have spent weeks just trying out juice places as each had so many different ones to try.