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Eating Healthy with Teresa Cutter, The Healthy Chef

Chef, nutritionist, author, accredited fitness trainer and renowned media personality, Teresa Cutter has cemented herself as one of Sydney’s leading health and wellness gurus. Her wellness brand, The Healthy Chef, has become the go-to for all things delicious and nutritious. Originally hailing from Perth, Teresa made the move to Sydney and opened The Healthy Chef café in Avalon, which quickly became a popular haunt for Elle McPherson, Megan Gale and Kelly Slater. 

Teresa has since shifted her focus to wellness, encouraging people to cook and eat healthier in their day-to-day lives. We caught up with the wholesome chef to talk detoxing, healthy recipes, quick dinners and essential kitchen ingredients she can never live without. 

Q&A with Teresa

Where did your love of cooking come from?

My great Polish Grandmother was a big influence in how I cook, she taught me about the value of good food and the benefits to your body which shows through your skin, hair and overall health.

My style of cooking has always been simple, fresh and made from wholefood ingredients. I moved towards a more plant-based wholefood diet because it provides so many benefits and I feel great from it. 

One simple change to lead a healthier life?  

The most important tip in any healthy diet or eating plan is to keep it simple, keep it fresh and prepare the food yourself. You know exactly what’s going into your body and your body will thank you for it with endless energy, glowing skin and vitality.

Three ways to kickstart a detox? 

  1. Eat and drink green. Keep your meals light and fresh, with a focus on green, nourishing foods such as dark leafy vegetables and healthy fats such as avocados. Raw juicing and smoothies are a great way to get a concentrated source of nutrition. 
  2. Swap your coffee for matcha. A cup of espresso in the morning will wake you up, but it also elevates cortisol, your stress hormone. The caffeine is absorbed rapidly into the blood stream and effects last for only an hour. Matcha helps to stabilise blood sugar and contains l-theanine, which is a rare amino acid that promotes a state of relaxation, supports the adrenal system and the way your body reacts to stress. 
  3. Drink water! It’s surprising just how many people don’t drink enough water. You want to keep your digestive system moving and rid the body of excess toxins, so drink plenty of water.
Five ingredients you cannot live without? 

  1. Green vegetables. I always have broccoli, baby spinach and Tuscan kale in my fridge. They are perfect for nourishing soups or warm salads.
  2. Avocados are great to throw into smoothies or to enjoy with a side of ocean trout or smoked salmon. Avocados are a wonderful source of healthy fats that do wonders for my skin and digestive system.
  3. Nuts and seeds. I always use raw nuts and seeds to make homemade nut and seed milks for my smoothies as well as the most amazing roasted almond butter. I make pumpkin seed milk for my matcha lattes and the high zinc content in pumpkin seeds are great for your sex drive!
  4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A good bottle of olive oil is always in my pantry. I use it liberally in my cooking, over salads and it’s wonderful straight in the morning with a glass of lemon water as it helps with elimination.
  5. Kiwi Fruits are extremely high in antioxidants and fibre that help to fight free radicals in the body and keep my skin looking great! They are low in sugar and help keep me regular.

Your favourite go-to recipe? 

Pumpkin seed milk. I love this pure nut-free and anti-inflammatory dairy free milk that is rich in restorative minerals such as zinc, copper, magnesium and potassium that enhances libido and balances your hormones.

Another quick recipe is my mung bean risotto that’s full of anti-inflammatory goodness from the turmeric that’s added. I drizzle it with a little truffle oil just before serving and it’s delicious.

Healthy and tasty DIY lunches

Nothing beats a nourishing salad in a jar for a convenient lunch on-the-go. All you need are the below components to make a delicious and satiating meal – the combinations are endless.

  • Greens
    Baby spinach, cos lettuce, rocket, kale, micro greens, sprouts etc.
  • Proteins
    Nuts and seeds, tahini, hummus, organic eggs, smoked salmon, organic chicken.
  • Healthy fats
    Avocado, extra virgin olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, tahini.
  • Veggies
    Carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini, peas, cauliflower, sweet potato, roasted pumpkin or other seasonal veggies you love.
  • Boosters
    Fermented veggies like kimchi or sauerkraut, tahini dressing, seaweed, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dukkah enriched with turmeric, fresh grated ginger, raw chopped garlic.
  • Dressings
    Hummus, pesto, extra virgin olive oil mixed with lemon, vinaigrette made with apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
Your favourite 30-minute dinners?

  • My Zucchini Linguini with Spinach and Basil Pesto from my new book Purely Delicious. A great alternative to traditional pasta and it has the added benefit of being nutrient dense and kind to the digestive system. You can add a piece of salmon or steamed chicken on the side, and my macadamia parmesan (blend roasted macadamia nuts, turmeric, garlic and salt) is amazingly with the pasta.
  • My sensational 10 minute soups use only three ingredients. Carrot soup for instance is made by sautéing grated organic carrot with a little ghee or olive oil and onion. Blitz with fresh boiled water and season with sea salt. My hubby Paul loves it!

5 Quick Questions

Three ingredients everyone should have in their fridge? 

  1. Green leafy vegetables are perfect for nourishing smoothies, salads and soups.
  2. Avocado to eat straight out of a spoon or smash over spelt sourdough.
  3. Homemade almond milk to make into power smoothies, turmeric lattes or naked hot chocolates.

Your number one kitchen hack?
Chop and freeze your bananas. I always have a stash in the freezer as they add amazing texture to my morning smoothies! They also provide fibre, energy and magnesium.

Best healthy cheap eat?

Salad bowl with some protein, sashimi, minestrone, scrambled eggs. I also opt for a bag of tamari roasted almonds or macadamia nuts if I’m time poor.

Your go-to restaurant when you want to impress?

Sean’s Panaroma Restaurant in Bondi. It’s a small, intimate produce-driven restaurant with beautiful and innovative Australian dishes. The Bridge Room is also an incredible restaurant to go to. The food is always magnificent and I’m a fussy eater!

Your favourite on-the-run snack?

Peanut butter protein balls. These protein balls take about five-minutes to make and are the perfect portable snack on the go. When I’m heading out the door at work I’ll also have a quick protein shake made with coconut water and chocolate WPI…it tastes like a bounty bar and keeps me satisfied until I get home.