Teresa is one of Australia’s leading authorities on healthy cooking, and the founder of The Healthy Chef that is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals.
Teresa is the Founder and Director of The Healthy Chef, a company that creates purely delicious functional foods for optimum health + wellbeing. ! “We use natural and organic whole foods and pride ourselves on developing quality products that will inspire a deeper commitment to healthy living. We were the first company to bring Organic Pea Protein and our lactose free Pure Native Whey Protein to Australia and also the first to bring a natural occurring Vitamin C and D supplement made from whole foods to the market. Our latest products include Naked Chocolat, Organic Matcha Tea and Cold Pressed Organic Wheatgrass powder, yet another first for Australia.
Teresa is a qualified chef of over 25 years, having worked and trained with some of the best Chef’s and restaurants in the country. To compliment her training, Teresa also studied nutrition at Deakin University and became an internationally accredited fitness trainer with the Fitness Institute of Australia. She has combined her diverse knowledge of food + cooking, diet and exercise to develop her recipes and functional food products to help promote optimum health + wellbeing.
As the CEO of her brand “the healthy chef” her commitment to health and wellbeing through the use of quality nutritious ingredients is paramount. Teresa’s philosophy has always been to keep her food as pure and natural as possible, free from preservatives, artificial ingredients and fillers. Her dishes have been designed for people who love food, who love to eat and who have made a conscious decision to maximize their health and wellbeing.
She believes that to be sustainable, a healthy diet must also be a delicious one. Having trained as a chef in the French tradition ( 5 star hotels ), Teresa also studied nutrition at Deakin University and is an internationally accredited fitness trainer with the Fitness Institute of Australia. She combines her love of food and fitness within her own life and shares her recipes and knowledge with the world via her books, website, TV appearances and countless print and online articles. ! The Healthy Chef website receives, on average around 500K + visitors per month with monthly page views of over one million. The Healthy Chef has a combined and active social audience of over 150K.
Teresa is the culinary ambassador for InterContinental Hotels Group and has created a collection of sixty healthy recipes for the fourth largest hotel group in the world Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts across Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Her menus and recipes have also been endorsed by the Deakin University Health + Nutrition faculty.
Commencing her career in hospitality, Teresa trained as chef in the classical French tradition. Her natural talent and passion for food was rewarded early on in her career winning Apprentice Of The Year two years running, followed by a Gold Medal at the Salon Cullinare. It was then that she also received her qualifications as a certified fitness trainer. Juggling five days as a chef, and two days each week fitness training, Teresa recognised the importance of a healthy diet for energy and wellbeing. In 1998, Teresa competed in fitness figure competitions, placing 2nd in Australia. She then traded the gym for the boxing gloves, taking up Muay Thai kickboxing and submission wrestling.
As a classically trained chef, Teresa decided to combine her two great loves – gastronomy and health. Choosing to share her lifestyle, recipes and wisdom internationally, she has inspired thousands of people to make positive changes to their lives through her website (www.thehealthychef.com). Moving to Sydney in 2001, Teresa published the first of five healthy cookbooks – “Bite Me” and “The Anti-Ageing Cookbook” – in 2002. Her continuous experimentation in the kitchen saw her develop her 3rd book, “Fit Food”, in early 2004, followed quickly by her 4th and 5th recipe books. “The 80/20 Diet” and “101 Ways to Lose Weight”, which are currently rated no #1 on iTunes.
Pursuing her dream of opening her own restaurant, Teresa opened the wholesome and organic café on the shores of Avalon in Northern Sydney called ‘The Healthy Chef’. Its phenomenal success spurred Teresa to reach an even wider audience, and in November 2012, she launched The Healthy Chef Functional Food Range. Free from chemicals, artificial sweeteners and fillers and made from whole foods, The Healthy Chef WPI and Organic Pea Protein are the first of its kind in Australia.
Dedicated to improving people’s health and wellbeing through the food choices they make and how they cook, Teresa believes food, like life, is to be savoured. Teresa has extensive experience contributing to a broad range of print and broadcast media. She has also offered her expertise to companies such as Blackmores, Empire Clinic, BSc Body Science, Kamalaya Health Resort in Thailand, Weight Watchers, Safcol, Breville, Vitamix + Intercontinental Hotels Group.
When people ask me how I got into all of this, what influenced my love of cooking and what got me started on my own little health crusade, I sometimes feel a little silly telling them how young I was when it all began. I started helping out in my aunt’s kitchen when I was about four years old and embarked on my health crusade when I was nine years old!
My great aunt was a good cook and baker; she would be mixing cakes by hand with a wooden spoon and churning out babka and sernik on a weekly basis for our Polish family and friends. I would watch her and help out in the kitchen – she would get me to sift the flour, prepare all the ingredients and shape piroshki with my little fingers. This was the beginning of my love of cooking.
Food was a big deal in our household: always extra large portions and second helpings coated with lots of butter. At the age of nine, I realised I was overweight. A group of high school students were doing some sort of survey and they recorded the weight and height of our class. I was shocked to discover that I was the heaviest in the class – about 10–15 kg (22–33 lb) more than most of my classmates. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. It changed my life forever and was the inspiration for what I do today.
The very next day I remember asking mum to buy more fruits and vegetables for me to eat and to buy a healthier cereal with fibre and less sugar like rolled oats for breakfast. I remember refusing deep-fried foods, which forced Mum into practicing healthier cooking methods with our meals. Instead of catching the school bus, I began to walk to school. It was only a 15 minute walk though town and quite pleasant. From then on, I’d walk straight past the deli after school instead of popping in and buying bagfuls of mixed lollies or ice creams, as I used to do every day.
I’d never really participated in much sport, but I can remember enrolling myself in the school netball and basketball teams and trying out all sorts of fun school sports when we had carnivals. My aunt and uncle bought me my first bike and encouraged me regularly to go riding with them. They were about 58 year’s old at the time, had never owned a car and used to ride their bikes or walk everywhere they went. I think their example inspired my later love of bicycle racing.
I remember watching shows like the Richard Simmons show on school holidays and joining in with the exercises. I also experimented with the healthy recipes they made on the show. I made my first egg white omelette and remember showing mum that if you drain the juices from a roast chook and put them in the refrigerator, you’ll be able to skim off all the excess saturated fat and make a delicious gravy just by thickening the juices with a little cornflour (cornstarch). It was my favourite show.
Without realising it, I had lost all the excess fat within a year. I felt great! I felt fit and healthy for the first time. I could move around freely and not puff and pant. I was eating healthy and exercising regularly, and as a result was so happy and full of energy.
The Information contained in, or accessed through, the healthy chef website is for your general information about how to eat healthy delicious food. It is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes. The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.