SAMANTHA Gowing practises what she preaches.
The Byron Bay chef/mentor/clinical nutritionist and spa chef is glowing with good health and vitality thanks to the past 14 years she has spent improving her health and wellbeing and a new-found passion for surfing.
Known for her trademark humour and appetite for a good laugh, Samantha says you can still have your wheat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free cake and eat it too.
Samantha has recently launched her first book, an ebook called The Healing Feeling, which features 73 pages of health-giving recipes and remedies.
She also shares her extensive knowledge of nutrition and Chinese medicine thanks to her extensive studies which includes a Diploma of Health Science in Nutrition; a background in yoga and pilates teaching and a certificate with Paul Pitchford - the author of Healing with Whole Foods - known as the "bible" of health food.
Samantha is presently studying for her master's degree in Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism - a course being conducted in collaboration with Southern Cross Uni.
Samantha's new book is dedicated to her father, Dennis Gowing, whose battle with cancer was her catalyst for turning her attention to learning the ancient wisdom of food as medicine.
"I'm delighted with the ebook and hopefully in six months it will be available in printed form," she said. "I'm flirting with a couple of publishers.
"The Healing Feeling has been a long 12-year journey, but it delivers a message that food is medicine, and also draws on my 30 years experience in the hospitality industry."
Despite practising what she preaches, for most of time anyway, Samantha admits she follows an 80/20 rule.
"Eighty per cent of my food is for my good health and 20 per cent is for my fun," she laughs.
From 6pm to 10am, Samantha fasts, four or five nights a week.
Then at 10, she makes a super-food smoothie consisting of fresh kale and mint, nectarines, blueberries, mixed berries, a micro-green algae in crystal form called E3AFA, Maca powder made from an Inca root, vanilla protein powder and filtered water.
For lunch and dinner, it's either grass-fed organic beef; fish or bio-dynamic turkey with salad and/or green vegetables. She eats organic wherever possible and snacks on nuts, seeds, berries and seasonal fruit.
"When I want to treat myself my 20% rule means I can eat what I feel like and I will also have a glass of wine or a vodka," Samantha said.
"I find my diet gives me lots of vitality and energy and there's no way I could study for a master's degree, do a 40-hour week as executive head chef and clinical nutritionist at the Cabarita Ocean Health Retreat, do publicity for my book, write recipes, coach clients, travel, surf, do yoga and pilates without all the nutritious food I eat.
"I'm a teacher not a preacher. I just love food and all my dishes are made with love and passion,"
The Healing Feeling is available online from samanthagowing.com for $19.95. Samantha's recipe blog can be found online at bittersweetsour.com