Hi, I'm Sofie!
You're obviously interested in gut health, so let me tell you a little bit about how my gut health journey began. It started quite a number of years ago now. Some may even say before #guthealth started trending on Instagram. We will delve into that later, firstly I will explain a little about myself (not too boring I promise!)
I have been fortunate enough to have always lived a healthy lifestyle, where being active and eating well has been a part of my daily routine for as long as I can remember. My parents raised me to eat GREAT food and taught me how to be hands on in the kitchen. Along with eating well we were encouraged to always be active.
A vivid memory of my child hood is certainly my school lunch box... it would contain a whole cucumber, capsicum, punnet of cherry tomatoes and a wholemeal apple muffin Mum would have slaved over baking on Sunday. Talk about being ungrateful, however I was definitely in the minority of those who didn't a processed item in their lunch box. I was just asking to be teased...
Yes, she was right and I have thanked her more times than one. This upbringing and my love for cooking and creating healthy food is what lead me to study Nutrition at QUT from 2011. Although I probably should have applied to be a contestant on 'Ready Steady Cook' after having a long childhood obsession of versing my friends in cooks off when they would come over to my house... I was 10 years of age, I might add. Imagine having a 10 year old friend who got their Dad to go down to the local grocer and pick up a mixed bag of ingredients for under $20 and make you verse them in a cooking competition... ludicrous!! But lets be honest, not much has changed.
I moved to Brisbane from Cairns to study Nutrition at QUT and graduated in 2015. Half way through my Nutrition degree I travelled overseas to Thailand and whilst there ate something that gave me a parasite. It wasn't until a few months after returning from the holiday I felt seriously ill. Through various testing they found a parasite had ulcerated my intestines. I looked about 9 months pregnant for quite a long time (this is no exaggeration I was constantly asked 'when was I due'). I worked on rebuilding my gut back to being a healthy ecosystem. Boy oh boy was it a lot of work! It caused me a lot of frustration, made me very irritable at times and taught me that there is no one approach that works for everyone. Trust me I tried them all!
What it came down to for me was just eating real food, a whole lot of anti inflammatory foods, a bucket load of Naturopath tinctures, teas and tonics, not a whole lot of sugar (fruit included) and being seriously in tune with my gut! This was what it took for me to overcome years of gut pain and problems. I have found that stress and anxiety have been detrimental to my gut health and I do my best to manage by filling up my self love cup and looking after my health. It has continued to be a strong focus of my life because my gut impacts EVERYTHING in my body (both mentally & physically).
I hope through my understanding of Nutrition and in particular my focus on gut health I hope to help others, through:
Workshops; teaching fermentation techniques, gut health remedies and cooking for optimum gut health.
Educational talks; discussing the principles and basics of Nutrition and teaching people to JERF, just eat real food!
Gardening Workshops and Self sustainable tips and tricks, my home garden is my favourite hobby where I can sow, grow and harvest my own organic vegetables & fruits and learn how to preserve my own yield. What a fulfilling hobby!
Learning how to love yourself and the food you eat, enough to want to change your lifestyle for the better is important.
If you love cooking, gardening, have gut issues or love to learn about Nutrition I look forward to seeing you in one of my upcoming workshops.
Sofie van Kempen