Lately nothing has fascinated me more than the art of starting the day in beautiful and productive style. Everybody seems to have his or her own way of claiming the day’s first sunbeams. Seeing as the morning hours hold such a precious place in my heart, I thought it might be time to find out how other talented bloggers and bloggerettes start their day and thus created this interview series. So instead of asking „How was your night?“, from now on I’ll rather be asking „How was your morning?“.
After a beautiful prelude to this series with earlybird Steffi, I should probably warn you ahead of today’s interview: If you too are a child of the sun, you might find yourself packing your bags for Australia right after finishing this read! Why? Because today’s guest, the fructose friendly chef Melissa, wakes up where koalas and kangaroos kiss each other good night, while being surounded by cafés sure to make your food sensitive heart leap for joy. Morning walks on the beach in dreamy light and an enviably healthy tan on Melissa’s face: If being a morning grouch looks like this, I’ll take an extra large serving! But see and read for yourselves…
Good morning Melissa! Let’s get to know you!
My name is Melissa, and I’m an Aussie girl passionate about everything food! I love sourcing fresh local ingredients, heading to my local farmers market, reading about food and different cuisines, cooking and sharing food with friends, eating out and everything in between. I’m actually a qualified chef, completing my apprenticeship after I finished high school however I no longer work in the hospitality industry. These days I work in the agricultural industry by day and blog about food or decorate cakes by night (editors note: Just like this beauty!!) Food is still a huge passion of mine!
A few years ago I started to feel very unwell most days and eventually I was diagnosed with IBS and fructose malabsorption. It was a long road to reaching a diagnosis and an even longer road before I started to feel better through a change in my diet. I started on the FODMAP diet that has been developed here in Australia and I’ve seen a huge improvement in my health and well being. I noticed that there wasn’t a huge number of resources for fructose malabsorption out there when I was first diagnosed and thats when I decided to start my Instagram account as ‘The Fructose Friendly Chef’. I’ve now grown ‘The Fructose Friendly Chef’ to not only an Instagram account but also a blog, Facebook and just recently a Pinterest account.
I love my food and every recipe I create I want to ensure still has plenty of flavor and makes eating enjoyable. And of course I still want to impress my family and friends with my cooking skills by dishing them up delicious meals!
‘Morning Glory’ or ‘My Life Nightlife’?
I have to be honest with you all and let you in on a little secret, I’m not a morning person at all! I get a lot done at night time. I’ll often still be awake after 11pm at night. So most days I wake up around 6:30am leaving only just enough time to get ready for work. I’m lucky at the moment as its only a 10 minute drive to work which leaves me plenty of time to fit in the rest of my routine! My favorite mornings are on the weekends. I often work on my blog, play sport, take my dog Millie (She is a chocolate labrador, very cute!!) for long walks, create new recipes or decorate special occasion cakes.
What’s the first thing you do/see, when you open your eyes?
I usually wake up and open my eyes to see my boyfriend Charlie, it’s a nice way to wake up in the morning. He is an early bird though so his usually the one to wake me up and tell me it’s time to get up!
What’s your morning routine?
My weekday morning routine usually goes like this… wake up, get out of bed and head straight to the bathroom to wash my face, put on my makeup and do my hair for the day. My hair is quite long so I think that makes it easy for my to quickly tie it up into a bun (it’s all about saving time for me in the morning!). I then get dressed for work, we have a uniform so I don’t have to worry about what to wear for the day (another time saver!). I then head to the kitchen, quickly have a bite to eat, brush my teeth and feed Millie on the way out the door by 7:45am.
If I don’t … in the morning, my day is ruined/over before it even started.
I like to make sure I have enough time to wake up once my alarm goes off in the morning. I’ll usually take 10 minutes or so to lie in bed and think about what I’m up to for the day before hopping up and starting my routine!
Coffee or tea or …?
I’m a tea drinker. I love the aroma and taste of coffee but unfortunately having a sensitive stomach coffee is not a good option. I do love my tea though. In the morning I’ll usually stick with a black tea and at night I like to have a peppermint and hibiscus tea that Charlie bought for me to soothe my stomach. Its also very calming before going to bed. My favorite black tea is made with Turkish black tea leaves. I first tasted it while traveling through Turkey a few years ago and fell in love! The Turkish tea leaves are slightly less bitter than regular tea leaves. (editor’s note: I’m completely innocent in, this is Melissa’s own opinion! :)
Breakfast is …
During the week, something quick and easy – homemade granola with half a banana or berries, nut butter and banana on spelt toast or gluten free Weetabix with berries. On the weekends when I have a bit more time I love poached or boiled eggs with roasted tomato, avocado and feta. One of my FAVORITE breakfasts is spelt toast spread with vegemite, topped with avocado and soft boiled or poached eggs. You may think its a strange combination but it’s amazing! Maybe not for everyone though, especially if your not use to eating vegemite!!
What type of breakfast is sure to get you on your feet?
My homemade fructose friendly granola! This is my favorite recipe:
• 1 ½ cups puffed rice • ½ cup buckwheat • 1 cup shredded coconut
• ½ cup sunflower seeds • ¼ cup chia seeds • ½ cup chopped raw almonds
• 2 tbsp flaxseeds • 2 tbsp sesame seeds • 2 tbsp millet
• 2 tbsp amaranth • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds • 1 tsp cinnamon
• ¼ cup rice malt syrup,
Preheat your oven to 180०C and in a large bowl mix all ingredients except the rice malt syrup.
Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread the well combined dry ingredients evenly over the tray. Warm the rice malt syrup so its nice and runny, this can easily be done in the microwave by heating for 30 seconds. Evenly pour the syrup over the dry ingredients. Place the tray in the oven, stirring every 5 minutes until golden. This should take around 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight jar.
How do you stay fit?
My job is office based and the majority of my day is spent at a desk so when I get home I like to be on my feet being active. I play sport or go to Pilates 2 or 3 nights a week, otherwise I’m walking Millie or creating in the kitchen. I don’t spend much time sitting down outside of work. On the weekends I like to get outdoors, especially during summer (its my favorite time of the year!).
A perfect morning (includes) …
A little sleep in, so this would be a weekend morning. Getting up and cooking a brunch for Charlie and I that we can enjoy while relaxing in the sun, then take Millie for a morning walk. We also like to walk to Red Robyn Cafe on the weekends to enjoy breakfast.
Which product is a morning essential?
I rely on my Clinique makeup essentials every morning. I find that they work really well for my skin and are very lightweight on my face so I don’t feel like I’m wearing too much makeup. My essentials are their even better foundation which includes SPF15+, bronzer and mascara.
What does your partner, roommate, family say/think about your ‘morning self’
Charlie says that I am a bit like a zombie haha! He’s much more of a morning person than I am!