Georgia Houston knows better than most people what it's like to have food control your life.
At 19 she was diagnosed with an eating disorder, orthorexia, which is an obsession with eating "healthy" foods.
"I became obsessed with it, and I took that to the extreme," said Houston. "I became really anxious around food - I would say no to foods if I hadn't prepared them myself, or if I didn't think it was healthy enough, and I definitely wouldn't have eaten out. I would run every day, and would get anxious if I didn't run."
Houston saw a psychologist, then a nutritionist and dietitian to help get her eating back on track and now six years on, having studied psychology and nutrition, is running her own business helping people to approach food in a completely different way.
"Giving up that control is very scary for a lot of people," she says. "It was for me."
Now working as a nutritionist running GH Nutrition, Houston says she sees clients who are obsessed with counting calories, with weighing food.
"They say they don't know what to eat, how much to eat, but I want them to start trusting themselves again and stripping it back to basics."
She's just published an eBook, The GH Nutrition Signature Healthy Eating Plan, which outlines simple ways to rethink your relationship with food.
One idea is the healthy wholesome plate, a visual guide on how to plan meals.
"It's a good visual representation of what we should eat," she says.
"Fill half a plate with vegetables, a quarter for protein and, this shocks some people, a quarter with carbs and a quarter healthy fats."
Throughout the day this might look like a breakfast of eggs on toast with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, poached eggs, wholegrain toast and avocado.
"People are so used to being told what not to eat, we should start thinking more about what to eat.
"The wholesome plate is just a great, simple representation of all the principles."
The eBook has been a goal of Houston's for a while. She loves cookbooks and food magazines.
"I'm more inclined to make a recipe if I know what it should look like."
That was a big driver in the making of the eBook. She had been giving clients her recipes but wanted to pair them up with photographs.
With the help of Canberra photographer Ashley St George and graphic designer Chloe Lester from Parade Agency, the eBook is stunningly simple. It features more than 45 different breakfast, snack, dinner and treat recipes, as well as her 10 signature healthy eating principles.
Houston says the treats are always popular with her clients. She has dessert every night, a sweet reminder that you can enjoy all kinds of foods.
"I'm a little obsessed by Lindt balls at the moment," she says. It's interesting how much her definition of obsessed has changed.
The eBook is available for $29.99 from ghnutrition.com.au
Breakfast: Porridge with Caramelised Banana
This breakfast is the ultimate bowl of nourishment for those cold mornings. The caramelised banana adds a delicious layer of sweetness to a traditional porridge recipe.
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup milk, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup water
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp pepitas
Drizzle of honey
1. Prep your banana by slicing it into 3cm diagonal chunks, set aside.
2. Pour oats into a small, heavy-based saucepan and add in milk and water. Bring to the boil then turn heat down to low and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often to ensure the oats don't stick to the bottom. Your oats are ready when they are plump and soft.
3. While the oats are cooking, toast the pepitas in a small frypan with the oil. Pour pepitas into the oats and cook the banana in the same pan. Cook on each side until golden and caramelised.
4. Pour the oats into a bowl and top with the caramelised banana and a drizzle of honey and milk.
Lunch: Curried Lentil Soup
This soup is filled with yummy goodness that will provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals to boost your immunity and keep you healthy during winter. I love eating this soup with fresh, crusty sourdough bread.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, skin left on, chopped
2 zucchinis, chopped
4 garlic cloves, grated
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup brown or green lentils, drained and rinsed
4 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
2 cups water
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
1 cup spinach leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
Cracked black pepper, to season
Wholegrain bread, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
2. Once the oil is simmering, add the onion, carrot, zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened.
3. Add the garlic and spices and cook until fragrant, stirring often. Pour in the lentils, tomatoes, stock and water. Add chilli flakes and season with ground black pepper.
4. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then partially cover the pot with a lid and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
5. Cook for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Add the spinach leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted.
6. Season with lemon juice and pepper. Serve with wholegrain bread.
Storage: Keeps in the fridge for 3 days. I like to make double the recipe and freeze in containers for future lunch and dinners.
Dinner: Thai Chicken Burgers
This burger recipe is filled with all the qualities of a nourishing meal. You have your veggies, protein from the patty and yoghurt, wholegrain carbohydrates from the bun and healthy fats from the avocado. Don't overcomplicate it and don't feel guilty about it.
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
500g chicken mince
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2cm garlic, crushed
1 bunch coriander, stems finely chopped and leaves reserved for slaw
12 large red chilli, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp fish sauce
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to season
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 head coriander leaves, finely chopped
12 small red onion, finely chopped
1 large avocado, mashed
1/2 lime, juiced
4 wholegrain or sourdough buns
4 cos lettuce leaves
4 cheese slices
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to season
1. To make the chicken patties, combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Shape into 4 equal sized patties. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
2. Add oil to a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for about 8 minutes on the first side and for 5 minutes on the other side. Once cooked, place in the oven to continue cooking through.
3. To make the slaw, add all ingredients into a small bowl and mix until combined.
Add the mashed avocado and lime juice to a small bowl. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
4. To serve, layer each bun with the slaw, a dollop of the avocado mash, chicken patty, cheese slice and salad.