Health & Healing with Wholesome Stef + Vegan Pancake Recipe
Stef and I came across paths through a mutual friend who exclaimed to us we just MUST meet once Stef moved to Sydney…… and so we did and had a lovely time talking non stop about food, fitness and life.
So here let me introduce you to Stef aka Wholesome Stef:
“I’m a holistic health coach and wellness blogger living in beautiful Sydney and it is my goal to inspire young girls and women to live their life to the fullest by becoming the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves, minus the deprivation, restriction and obsession around food and exercise. I’ve had my fair share of experience with fad dieting and hating on my body, so I know how it feels. But I have made it to the other side, and now hope to inspire others and help them through their own struggles.”
Name: Stefanie Jung
5 essentials we will always find in your day bag:
- My iPhone + headphones – lately I love listening to podcasts while on the go
- A massive water bottle – I try to drink at least 3 liters a day
- My journal – I love journaling sporadically, for example while I’m waiting for someone, in transit etc.
- A natural roll-on perfume – I’m currently obsessed with the ones from Level Blends
- A papaya vapour balm – I apply it to my neck and chest whenever I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed
Your favourite quote?
“You don’t have to be the same person that you were five minutes ago.” – The quote is a reminder that even if you had a crappy start to the day, it doesn’t have to ruin the rest of their day. Become aware of your feelings, work through them and pick yourself back up. It’s all about the mindset!
How did your passion for health and wellbeing start? Where did the journey begin?
I haven’t always been this healthy. In fact, I used to be a fad dieting, self-destructive treadmill junkie that obsessively counted calories and stepped on the scale up to five times a day. I had that “inner mean girl” syndrome, meaning that I was constantly telling myself I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, and the list goes on. After years and years of self loathing, I decided one day that enough was enough and that it was time to start taking care of myself. It’s been a long and hard journey, but five years later I have overcome my eating disorder and have created a healthy, fulfilled life for myself that I am absolutely in love with.
As I became more intrigued by the power of nutrition, mind – body connection and a holistic lifestyle in general, I realised that I wanted to help others with their own struggles. I am now a certified health coach and it is my goal to inspire other young girls and women to live their life to the fullest and to give up fad dieting and body shaming for good.
What are 5 big lessons in health that have shaped your recovery journey?
Let me first say this: my eating disorder was the biggest blessing in disguise, even though I didn’t see this at times. It has taught me so many valuable life lessons and I am forever grateful for that. If I had to narrow the experience down to five lessons, it would be the following:
- Don’t’ suppress your emotions – they are going to come out in one way or another. Whatever your coping mechanism may be – eating, not eating, drinking, smoking or any other self destructive behavior – Stop for a second to go inwards and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Awareness is the first step in the right direction.
- Reach out for help and surround yourself with like-minded people — this has been monumental for me. I would never be where I am today without the help of my loving partner, best friends and the health coach that I first reached out when I was at my lowest point. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and to show your vulnerable side.
- The story is happening FOR YOU, not to you – Many of us are stuck in a victim role, and blame circumstances of life on our miserable situation. We often feel like the story is happening to us and we are helpless in the situation. But we really aren’t. Life is 20% what happens to you and 80% what you make of it. I truly believe in that.
- Self-care is your divine responsibility – Where do I begin? The word self care used to be inexistent in my vocabulary a couple years ago. Now I make it my absolute top priority and (almost) don’t let anything get in the way of my self-care rituals. Journaling, meditating, exercising, dry body brushing, getting enough sleep, all those things fill me up from the inside out and make sure that I have the enegy to show up fully.
- You don’t develop this problem over time, so don’t expect it to go away over night – There were so many moments where I wanted to give up because I felt like I wasn’t progressing. But these things take patience. Don’t expect your thought patterns and habits to change over night. And most importantly, don’t beat yourself up when you do slip up!
As a health coach what do you suggest to someone feeling overwhelmed by all the health and fitness information out there?
Besides what all the information out there says, what is YOUR body telling you?
I’m a big believer in intuitive eating. I don’t prescribe to specific diets, meal plans, calorie counting, tracking etc. I think it’s a great tool for certain people at certain types of their life, but I also think it can be a very slippery slope. Consequently, my approach with my clients is the opposite and I teach them to listen to their body again. This can be incredibly difficult, especially people who have lost touch with their body after years of dieting, but it’s possible. A couple of small things that you can do to listen to your body more again is:
- Whenever you sit down, ask yourself: “On a scale of 1-10, how hungry am I?”
- Whenever you have a craving for a specific food, explore if it’s a physical or an emotional craving
- Sometimes it also helps to keep a food diary for a little while and to track energy, mood and digestion after each meal.
Stef your Instagram food shots always look so deliciously wholesome! What is a typical ‘day on a plate’ for you?
No day looks the same, really. But generally speaking, my diet consists of lots of fresh, organic unprocessed foods like fresh veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds and some organic animal protein here and there. For breakfast, I love a big green smoothie, avo on toast, a (tofu) scramble with green veggies or a warming bowl of oatmeal on colder days. For lunch, I’m a sucker for big colorful salads with spinach, kale, quinoa, hummus and sweet potato fries on the side. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making my own spring rolls (they are so nice and refreshing when it’s hot outside). In the evening, I often will have a similar meal as lunch time but might incorporate a piece of salmon or organic chicken. And I will always, always have some sort of small sweet treat throughout the day, like a chocolate bliss ball, a piece of dark chocolate or a bit of coconut yoghurt with peanut butter at the end of the day.
I know you also love to keep fit and active. What are your favourite types of movement and why?
I love every type of movement! When I moved to Sydney last year, I got a membership at Classpass and have since been testing my way through all the different studios that Sydney has on offer. A typical week might look like this: HIIT circuit on Monday, yin yoga on Tuesday, boxing on Wednesday, surfing on Thursday, reformer pilates on Friday and outdoor walks/runs on the weekend. In short: no week is every the same! I love both the physical and mental challenge of trying out new things, and believe that the body really benefits from switching up the routine here and there. That said, I just signed up for another half marathon in May, so I will be increasing my outdoor runs a bit more.
We would love for you to share one of your favourite recipes.
Vegan Banana/Blueberry Pancakes
- 4 tbsp ground flax seeds
- ½ cup of water
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (we used almond)
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- ½ tbsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup of ground buckwheat (buckwheat flour)
- Coconut oil for cooking
- Start by making your flax eggs: mix the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl, mix with a fork and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Mix all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, spices).
- Mash your bananas and add to the dry mix along with the mix, vanilla and flax eggs.
- Once all well mixed, add the blueberries and mix gently.
- Heat up a pan with a small tsp of coconut oil.
- Add 2 big tbsp of the mixture at a time and cook.
- Add homemade vegan chocolate sauce.
Sprinkle with fresh blueberries and coconut flakes before serving.
Connect with Stef:
Thank you Stef for sharing with us at BareVitality xxx