Amy Crawford is an ex corporate career girl who chose not to listen to the signs given by the universe (for many years) and ended up with a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis in early 2011. Without realizing it at the time, CFS was to mark the end of her 18-year long recruitment career. She is now the founder of online wellness hub The Holistic Ingredient, a Health Coach, a Reiki Master, a CTC Practitioner, a motivational speaker and the author or 3 whole food eBooks.
Amy spends much of her time with her adorable ‘side kick’ Wilson, the Labradoodle, who came into her life at the beginning of her CFS journey. Amy lives in Melbourne, Australia and enjoys a much more relaxed lifestyle these days – spending as much time as she can in nature, appreciating the simple things. She is “manifesting” living in a country home with chickens in her backyard – how she would love to collect eggs each morning!
YQ: How did you first become interested in nutrition?
Amy: This came about as a byproduct of getting sick. I had an amazing Doctor who taught me the significance of eating food as close to nature as possible. I healed myself through a whole food diet (drug free), and consequently, became hugely passionate about nutrition.
YQ: What stands behind the name of your blog, The Holistic Ingredient?
Amy: The Holistic Ingredient reflects those 8 elements that were fundamental in my path to wellness: toxic free, nutrition, nature, relationships, exercise, rest, mindset and energy.
YQ: You suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Can you tell us how it affected your life and what was your recovery like?
Amy: At its worst, CFS takes away your sense of choice. There was very little I could do. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t spend time with more than one person in a room at a time or listen to music. I couldn’t concentrate long enough to read emails, let alone write them. Often I couldn’t even hold my arms up long enough to type an email or a text message.
Ultimately, I couldn’t look after myself, so I moved to Tasmania to live with my parents who became my carers. It is incredibly frustrating, because you lose all sense of independence.
The recovery process was painstakingly slow; it required utmost patience and positivity. I had to learn to let go of my desperate need to control my body and it’s healing. I had to let go of that feeling of missing out on life and just focus on healing and reclaiming my life.
YQ: What’s your biggest motivation in life?
Amy: These days, my biggest motivation is to have an impact on the health and happiness of others, as far and wide as possible; by demonstrating that a whole food, toxic/additive free diet is both the only way and a simple way.
I also hope to touch as many lives as possible through the therapy work I provide, to free people of all the negative fears, emotions and limiting beliefs that hold them back from feeling amazing, to bring about life transforming change in others. It is important to me that I share the wealth of information I have gathered through my own journey.
YQ: What do you teach people about during your therapies?
Amy: CTC stands for Combined Therapy Cocktail though really it ought to stand for ‘Cut the Crap’ because that’s essentially what it does. CTC combines a number of therapies including EFT, Hypnosis, NLP and Reiki. It’s a highly charged 2-2.5 hour session that frees you of every limiting belief, negative emotion, addiction, fear – anything at all that holds you back from being the best you can be. Significantly, what we do is find the root cause of that emotion, we don’t treat the symptom.
It is seriously powerful stuff and is responsible for the fact I am now entirely free of CFS. I teach people how to manifest the life they want; that by simply changing the way we see things, the very things we see change. I teach people that they are the power; they have the power to choose how they feel every minute of the day.
Most significantly I teach people that this process need not by complicated, it is really very simple.
YQ: You are very active on social networks. Do you think we can use social networks for more than just fun?
Amy: Unquestionably. It is because of Instagram that I now have a career in food (that was never on the agenda!). I have not had any formal food training (or food styling/photography training for that matter). It’s because of Instagram and Facebook that I am now the author of a number of recipe books, that I have the following that I do.
Social media has given me an opportunity to build a following, to engage on a large scale with people in my community, to share vital messages and to build a profile.Also, in the food scene, particularly the ‘healthy’ food scene within which I sit, Instagram is making healthy eating ‘cool’ and this can only be a good thing – it is such an inspirational space.
YQ: What small diet and lifestyle changes can people make to have the largest impact on their health?
- Simplify your diet as far as possible. Buy whole foods, and eat as nature intended it. Whole foods don’t come with numbers on the back of a packet that we don’t understand. They don’t come with hidden additives, chemicals and a low nutrient value as a result of over processing.
- Find balance in your life. Look at where you expend your energy and ask yourself if it’s worth it. How much time do you spend at work, with your family, or doing the things you love?
- Invest time and energy into building a positive mindset. Each of us has the ability to manifest the life we want. What we radiate we attract – every thought, feeling or belief becomes our reality. Be very, very aware of your thought patterns. Have you ever known someone to say “I only ever attract negative people into my life,” or “I never have any money, it never comes easily to me…” I have no doubt that that is true for those people because they have manifested it – that is the energy they send out to the universe. Remember to only every think about that which you do want, never that which you don’t.
- Live consciously. Show gratitude for what you have in your life; be thankful for what you have. Give to others. Living consciously raises our vibration and invites all the great stuff into our lives – we all know how awesome it feels to do something for others without expecting anything in return. Be that person and invite the same back into your life.
YQ: What is your favorite healthy snack?
Amy: I love having these Cranberry & Pistachio Quinoa Bars (from my latest eBook: A Nourishing Morning) ready to go in my cupboard. The ultimate breakfast when you’re on the run, or morning tea snack.
Cranberry & Pistachio Quinoa Bars
Makes 12 slices
- 1 cup pistachios, finely chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted, soaked in 2 cups filtered water for 1 hour
- ¾ cup quinoa flakes
- ½ cup mixed seeds (we used sunflower and pumpkin), plus extra for sprinkling
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or essence
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 20cmx25cm baking dish with baking paper.
Drain dates of excess water. Place into a small food processor with the coconut oil and combine to form a smooth paste.
Into a mixing bowl, place the pistachios, cranberries, quinoa flakes, mixed seeds, coconut flakes and vanilla. Add the date paste and mix well.
Turn the mixture into the prepared baking tray. Press down evenly and firmly. Using a knife, scour lines into the slice to mark each piece. Sprinkle with a few extra seeds. Bake for 40 minutes or until slightly crispy around the edges, yet still moist.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.