Are Wholefoods the Holy Grail?

Written by Sami-Jo Adelman “I’ve always had a belief that I am going to live to be 116, I’ve always felt that’s true in my bones”, exclaims Suzanne. I stare at the green-eyed beauty sitting elegantly before me with a mix of disbelief and admiration. “116!” I bellow. That’s impressive. For the majority of us, living to 82 let alone 100 is ambitious, but for the founder of Bondi Wholefoods, longevity is easily achievable. So, what’s Suzanne’s secret? “Longevity through nutrition…I think that everything just stems from what you put into your body”. This philosophy has seen Bondi Wholefoods evolve from its early days as a gourmet food and organic grocer into a swinging cafe destination for sun-kissed locals, who can’t get enough of the wholefood breakfasts (cacao berry spelt pancakes anyone?) and health smoothies. Their smoothie bar, which started with Suzanne’s own green cleanser breakfast recipe, has become a large part of the business. All smoothies contain Australian chia seed, organic linseed, organic coconut oil, organic raw honey and vanilla protein powder. Suzanne swears by the Dr Mercola vanilla whey protein powder, which they add to each smoothie to create a balanced meal of proteins and carbohydrates. Apart from the bustling smoothie bar, another store highlight is the large glass counter brimming with entirely raw sweet treats, many of them made fresh in-house, which also happen to be organic, gluten-free and dairy-free (roll eyes here). The products the store comes up with are often inspired by “something naughty” like the Raw Pecan, Organic Maca Powder and Maple Pie. “Everyone loves pecan pie, but it is just so wicked. So what we try to do is create something just as satisfying that is also relatively healthy.” That goes for the smoothies too, where Piña Colada and Berry Sherbet take prime place on the menu. “So what about your personal nutrition secrets?” I ask Suzanne, thinking surely it can’t be pecan and maple pie with a piña colada. “Well my father always ate really well and believed in taking vitamins daily and ate eggs every day…he believed that was one of the secrets to longevity, and I don’t think he was wrong…. I eat 20 eggs a week!” Suzanne only eats Papanui Open Range Eggs from the Upper Hunter Valley, “I am absolutely devoted to them, the company and everything they stand for.” She also believes in the power of ancient grains and fresh vegetables, especially kale. In the shop they tend to “put kale in everything except for the coffee.” As I am swept along Suzanne’s wave of enthusiasm for wholefoods, I realise that longevity through nutrition makes sense. Now if that means I get to eat more eggs and drink piña colada smoothies for breakfast, then I am definitely on board. However 116 does seem rather ambitious, so I’ll settle for mid 90’s instead.    

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