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Wholefood Superhero: My Interview With Jude Blereau

wholefood_baking_authorJude Blereau is a natural food chef, teacher, food coach, author, speaker and real food advocate.

With over 25 years experience in the organic whole foods industry, she is known across Australia for her contribution to the organic and whole food movement. And did I mention her exceptionally delicious food too?

In 1997 she co-founded ‘The Earth Market’, a hugely successful and well known café and food store in Perth. In 2001 she founded ‘The Whole Food Cooking School’ in her hometown of Perth and also created Australia’s first ‘Whole and Natural Foods Chef training program’ which accepted its first intake of students in 2010.

(Some of you may know that I was one of the first group of students to complete the chef training and it was truly a life changing few months for me.)

She has authored three books to date with a fourth ‘Wholefood Baking’ released in May 2013.

Visit Jude’s website here: www.wholefoodcooking.com.au

In my catch up with Jude, we discussed many things from living your purpose to super foods to the health crisis in Australia. Here are some snippets of our chat. Enjoy X

Bel:      What message are you trying to convey through your work?

Jude:   My basic message is that all food should be good enough to eat, it shouldn’t have pesticides, it should be nutrient rich and delicious – and real food is delicious. Food is the fuel that sustains our earth body; without it we will die. Nature has provided us with beautiful and delicious food but I think food has lost its way in the process of industrialisation and no longer nourishes us as humans.

Bel:      You’ve been in this industry for close to 30 years. How did your wholefood journey evolve?

Jude:   We come into this world and there is a thing we are matched with. When I was young, there were two things I used to play: being a designer and making clothes for my Barbie doll and having dresses and shops and doing cooking lessons for the kids in my neighbourhood. And these are the 2 things that I’ve done in my life and that I love.

My mum is of Italian descent so food is a big deal in our family. She was also a nurse, so healing was a big deal as well. So I think all of those things conspired.

Whilst I led an extremely successful business as a fashioner designer, I felt it wasn’t deep enough for me. I was really interested in healing but knew that I didn’t want to be a Nutritionist.

 It was the discovery of Annemarie Colbin’s work whilst in the USA that profoundly impacted Jude’s path. She recalls:

“I knew immediately that that was what I had been looking for and wanted to do with my life.”

(Note from Bel:  This wasn’t the first time I’d heard someone say that the games you played and activities you enjoyed a child would offer clues to your greater purpose or life’s work. So my chat with Jude prompted me to ask my mom and 3 siblings what their recollections were of my favourite childhood hobbies. Besides a trip down memory lane, it was hugely insightful… and I recommend you do the exercise too.)

Bel:      What is your take on super foods – hype or not?

Jude:   I think that our reaction to super foods is really indicative of the way we are mostly looking at food today; and that is a fractionalised approach. All foods are super foods when they are in season. All foods have their highs and low’s. I think that our obsession with super foods that we import from other countries is ridiculous. There’s always something that is available locally that nature provides in season.

Bel:      What diet paradigm or food philosophy do you personally subscribe to?

Jude:   All real foods in balance and moderation. People and cultures thrive on a broad range of different foods.

 Bel:      Who is your food hero?

Jude:   I’m really interested in people who change things profoundly. So I’d have to say Annemarie Colbin (one of my greatest influencers) and Weston Price, the person. Both very different but both really impacted things on such a profound and sub-conscious level.

My also, my mum and my aunts, that just cooked real food every day. We ate really well.

Bel:      What do you think about all of the attention that sugar got in the press last week, and in particular, the proposal that it be regulated in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco?

Jude:   I think it’s a fractionalised approach and I don’t think that’s going to change very much. I think we’re missing the point that sugar and sweetness in the context of how it used to be eaten is not a bad thing. The fact that all people eat now is refined sugar is the big problem. Regulating it is simply a band aid. We have a young generation that’s not well. They’re projected to live less that their parents and this is not how your build the future of mankind. Our beliefs have not served us well and putting a tax on sugar is not going to change the fundamental belief structure.

Bel:      What do you find most rewarding about the work you do?

Jude:   When I get an email and there’s a picture of a baby with mums palak paneer smothered all over her in her high chair or one with plum puree all over her face! People tell me how much my books have changed their life and that they’re happier and healthier. I love to see people start eating better food and their body is finally getting the nutrients its needs.

Bel:      Your secrets to success and fulfilment are?

Jude:   Follow your truth. I’m a big believer in Kahlil Gibran’s “Work is love made visible.” I think that sums up what I do. I think to live a happy life you have to be true to yourself.

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