Who am I?
I’m a girl. I live in England. Though I may not be your average English girl.
I’m jam packed with... creativity... curiosity... passion… determination… over-excitement… adventure and ridiculous dreams… teamed with hefty doses of self-doubt… fidgetyness... impatience… and a mind that never stops whirring!
I created this website initially as a little food blog in August 2011. At a time when I had a steady career in architecture yet beneath the surface my world was in the throes of change amidst a re-direction in how I perceived my entire life and the world I was a part of. Sounds intense? Yup, it was!
Healthy living and a sense of wellbeing had always been important to me but I’d never really appreciated what that actually meant. I needed to look deeper. Beneath the happy smile, my life felt superficial and I began to feel a growing sense of un-fulfilment with the 9-5 routine, external expectations, the 'labels' of society and the thought of ‘settling’ before I’d found out who I really had the capacity to become.
Time was getting on. There had to be more. This was my turning point...
Much of this was triggered by a guy who entered my life at this crossroad. He did not play by the rules and to all intents and purposes he turned my perception of life on its head and threw everything I thought I knew up in the air. In putting together the shattered pieces I began to create life on my own terms for the very first time. My diet became plant-based, my creativity sky-rocketed and curiosity slowly but surely replaced fear. In January 2013 I quit my 9-5 career and leapt into the unknown.
This is my 'WHY'...
What began as a 'little food blog' has since evolved into so much more than I could ever have imagined. I have grown and changed in so many ways, both mentally and physically and will continue to do so through questioning and exploring, through my innate sense of creativity and curiosity and not simply allowing myself to settle into the ‘superficial bliss’ as once before.
What first began as an extension of my personal lifestyle shift soon became my passion, and I completed a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition. My curious, creative mind opened wider than I thought possible, so I qualified as a Holistic Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and began supporting others others in exploring their own path to optimal wellness. Time after time I saw that leaning into creativity as a tool for overcoming fear was an integral component of living a life of optimal wellness.
At around this time in late 2013, filled with an enormous creative drive and a desire to offer something more in response to all those that said 'do you sell your food anywhere?' I took another leap and also launched my Wholeplus range of sweet sprinkle Toppers, which has since evolved from fitness snacks into a more creativity led ingredient product. I am excited to see where that will lead.
Along the way I have been inspired by the ideas and teachings of Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert among so many others. In the words of Brene Brown; "Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world" Oh so much YES to this!! Showing up is our power, allowing space to be vulnerable is the only way home to ourselves. Creativity is giving yourself permission to see things differently. Tilting the perspective, maybe mere millimeters, to create the world anew and shine a light into previously undiscovered corners.
I believe the essential ingredients for creativity are exactly the same for everybody: curiosity, courage, commitment, permission and trust - and those elements are universally accessible. The childlike mindset of wonder and enchantment doesn't need to be lost as adult responsibilities and societal expectations take hold, in fact I believe it imperative that we are able to find that path back to our true selves.
In 2016 I decided it was my year for 'creating experiences' and so throughout the year I took myself off travelling and volunteering on mini adventures in various locations around the world. This was the first time I had travelled solo. It was a magnificent journey of growth and discovery and showed me the possibility of living a location independent life if I chose to do so.
So, 'WHY' Including Cake?
My perception of ‘Including Cake’ was initially all about the food! In transitioning to a plant-based whole food lifestyle, free from animal products, refined wheat or sugar, I was determined to prove to my doubters that plant-based life wasn’t about lettuce leaves and that I could still satisfy my sweet tooth! I felt I had a lot to prove to the outside.
Yes as time evolved and I tuned much more inwardly, I realised there was so much more depth to my new love affair with food, and to the title of my blog. It became a fascination on many levels... a duality of huge leaps in my mindset coupled with huge transformation in my body. It was as if the food not only nourished my physical body but was literally opening up space in my mind to conceive of the world in an entirely new way. The shift in my entire experience of life was huge and I credit so much of this to the dietary change.
As my focus spread beyond the food itself and I questioned every aspect of my life, I realised Including Cake was a metaphor and anchor for life in a much bigger way than I could have ever conceived in those early days of tentative experiments.
More recently I began to explore the link between a rise in creativity and a plant-based diet. Intuitively I felt as though there was a strong connection, as after all that had been my own journey and personal experience, and so when I asked the question on social media I was so happy to receive so many wonderful responses confirming my thoughts. It all came full circle. It all made so much sense.
"I am much more creative since going vegan. I'm not sure if it has to do with nutrition as much as living a more authentic and value based lifestyle. It has pushed me out of the dissatisfied way I had been living. I'm also more fearless, I try new things all the time".
"Yes! absolutely it has! I have been vegan just over a year and it has had a positive impact on all areas of my life. I think on a deeper level, I am more connected to the earth and I am more peaceful. I have had more creative ideas and energy to make them a reality."