Our feature personality this month is Sami Bloom - certified health coach, yoga instructor and soon to be qualified nutritionist. She is a law and communications graduate and worked in advertising agencies in Sydney and New York before she decided to take the plunge and pursue her passion in health and wellness.
With all those qualifications under her belt, it comes as no surprise that Sami packs a lot into her life, juggling university and assignments, conducting yoga and health coaching sessions, creating her own recipes and growing herbs and vegetables from her own abode. Her recipe creations are uber healthy and heartfelt. It literally makes you want to invite yourself over to her place for a taste.
Her keen interest in nutrition developed from her life long love of eating vegetables. Quite unlike the usual toddler, Sami much preferred eating vegetables and had a strong aversion to eating meat. She has been a vegetarian since the age of 4 despite not having any vegetarian family members. Health professionals at the time suggested that she may not have possessed the necessary enzymes to digest meat and therefore intuitively avoided it.
What makes Sami special is her charm, zen like calmness and down to earth attitude. She has a lot of substance behind her social media and blogging success. If I could sum it up, this young lady has a very clear message...to always have the courage to put your very OWN best foot forward. Her positive attitude and genuine passion for a healthy holistic lifestyle comes comes across in her Instagram posts and blog feeds. They are sensible, educational and yet full of youthful enthusiasm.
Here is our Q and A with Sami. The first question relates to her teens and early 20s where she; like so many girls of that age, went through a self-esteem roller coaster ride.
Orli: Your journey has been amazing and it is a well trodden path of so many young girls in this day and age. What practical advice would you give young girls around valuing their self worth?
Sami: I think it is important to become really self-aware. Don't try to suppress feelings of hurt or inadequacy. This will help you identify those destructive thought patterns when they creep up, and will give you the strength to overcome them. When we are in tune with ourselves we can help ourselves. Drown out negative emotions by focusing on a part of yourself – physical, emotional, intellectual – that you are proud of. How lucky you are to have that quality! Release the expectation of perfection. With social media consuming us, it is extremely important to keep perspective… everyone is going through their own stuff, so stop comparing your “behind the scenes” to someone else's “highlight reel”. Make choices with health in mind. Choose to eat well, move often, think positive because you love yourself enough to honour your body. Don't do it to fit in or to fit a dress. When you make decisions out of love for yourself, you are acknowledging that you are worthy.
Orli: What’s are key differences between a health coach and a nutritionist?
Sami: This is definitely a grey area today, but basically it comes down to the level of education. A nutritionist has more formal qualifications than a health coach in that they have completed a bachelor degree at a university/college that takes 3 years or more and involves a complex understanding of the biology and biochemistry of the body. Health coaching courses usually involve a certificate that ranges for a few months to a year. They cover a broad range of nutritional theories and are great to not only advise people on how to lead a healthy lifestyle but also to implement strategies and goals to see those changes through. That is their role, as a coach. Nutritionists and naturopaths are better equipped to deal with more complex health issues that require a thorough understanding of the human body. Having completed a health coaching course and currently finishing my nutrition degree, I think it is fair to say that as nutrition degrees are holistic, they cover similar ground to health coaching in more depth, including those integral coaching skills that some other health professions do not emphasise.
Orli: People often associate a plant based diet as being ‘too difficult’ or time consuming. What tips do you have around saving time and getting organised with preparation?
Sami: Plant-based eating does not require a lot of time, but rather, some creativity and organisation. Firstly, spices are your friend! They make vegetables taste even more delicious and can turn a boring salad or bowl of steamed greens into a more hearty and flavoursome meal, minus the preservative and sugar-laden supermarket condiments. Secondly, invest in a good quality plant-based protein powder and always keep frozen fruit on hand to make quick smoothies for an easy nutritious breakfast. Lastly, it is important to dedicate part of your Sunday (or day of choice) to a little food-prep for the week ahead: roast up a bunch of vegetables to make salads more interesting; pre-make a batch of healthy salad dressing; make some almond milk and use the leftover pulp to create tasty bliss balls to eat in place of packaged snacks and sweets. Keep beans, legumes and quality grains on hand, and if you are really organised, cook a batch of each in advance (e.g. lentils and quinoa) to boost meals with plant-based protein. It often works well to plan out your dinners in advance so you know exactly what you will need from the shops.
Orli: where do you do your food shopping and do you only buy organic?
Sami: I aim to do a food shop twice a week – once at the Bondi or Double Bay farmers markets where I will either buy pesticide-free or organic produce, or at About Life where I stock up on staples like nut butters, tamari, tempeh, coconut milk etc and any other produce I have run out of. I like to go to Scoop Wholefoods or the Source Bulkfoods for grains, nuts and powders when I can. I have also recently moved into my first home and am currently growing my own produce! If you can, grow your own... even if just some herbs. It is so satisfying, not to mention cost-effective.
I would love to only and always buy organic however realistically that isn't always the case. When I buy the “dirty dozen”* I choose organic, but sometimes I will make the trip to Woolworths or Harris Farms for a few of the “clean fifteen”*. I try to keep it convenient, and tell others to as well. If you are making the right choices with food, give yourself and your wallet a break once in a while and check out what's in the non-organic section.
Sami is a true natural beauty inside and out. Her passion for clean living also translates to clean food and clean skin care. Sami uses Earthyard's organic essential oils, The Little Alchemist's banana face glow and some of Adorn's natural make up from our store.
Sami Bloom is based in Bondi. Check out her website www.samibloom.com.au for a wonderful array of recipes and follow her on @samibloom for plant based recipe inspirations. She conducts health coaching and yoga sessions. Details can be found on her website.
We will be posting a special recipe contribution from Sami in our upcoming newsletter. Simply sign up as an ORLIFRIEND to receive our monthly news and specials. We love this young lady's passion and commitment to health, nutrition and natural skincare.