Meet Catherine Barnhoorn – Living a Life of Meaning

Catherine Barnhoorn is Mom to 4-year-old Mila, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and the author of the recently (self) published book ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’.

Born in Johannesburg, Catherine was raised on a flower farm on the West Rand in Gauteng.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology from The University of Cape Town; a diploma in Marketing and Visual Communications from the AAA School of Advertising (certified by The International Advertising Association); and has recently graduated as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (INHC) from The Institute For Integrative Nutrition (certified by The International Association of Health Coaches).

In her ‘previous life’ Catherine was a graphic designer and branding consultant in London, Johannesburg and Cape Town. After surviving an armed home invasion in Johannesburg she relocated to Knysna in order to fulfill her promise to ‘live a life of meaning’.

Having healed herself from various autoimmune conditions through diet and organic, holistic living and having to raise a child with food intolerances, Catherine set to work educating herself and getting creative in the kitchen. Her passion to empower parents to make informed decisions with regards to how they nourish their children (and themselves) is captivated in her honest, soulful, wholesome book and blog.

  • What are you most passionate about?

The health, and future health, and well being of our children and how we as parents can create and maintain this through how we nourish them. By nourish I mean both the actual food we feed them, as well as the soul food we create for them.

  • What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Giving up my design career and turning away job offers in order to write and self publish this book!

  • What makes you angry?
  1. Food ingredient lists and the people responsible for adding so much nonsense into our food! By ‘nonsense’ I mean carcinogens like sugar, chemicals, additives, preservatives, colourants, flavourants, GMO’s, rancid oils, and pesticides. I literally want to scream when I read the ingredient lists on the packaging of food items parents are putting into kids’ lunch boxes.
  1. The food industry, its production methods and all its deception. It is not at all interested in nourishing people, but more about feeding their bottom line. (“Rice cereal is the ideal first food for babies” was not a decision made by a nutritionist!)
  1. The fact that South Africa is the only country in the world that has allowed their staple food to be genetically modified.
  1. The fact that the number one cause of death of children under the age of 12 years old (in America) used to be ‘Accidental Death’ but is now Cancer! Cancer!
  1. Monsanto – don’t even get me started on Monsanto (and Roundup).
  • If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?

I would plant and maintain the most beautiful organic community food garden!

  • How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Quite a few – since I’m reluctant to get rid of any! I still have my collection of high heels from my corporate days – I can hardly balance in them now but I am so reluctant to let them go. They have many memories attached to them (especially the Prada’s!). Perhaps Mila will wear them one day J

  • If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Goodness – I’m not sure. But I know it would cater to any dietary requirements you might have, and it would be 3-course!

  • How would people communicate in a perfect world?

Face-to-Face.

  • What do you work toward in your free time?

What free time?

  • If you woke up and had 300 unread emails and could only answer 30 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?

I am an A-type personality – I would probably find a way to answer all 300. (See “what free time?” answer above J )

  • Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful.

Nature is food for the soul! Besides the pure and simple joy of being in its beauty, the thing I love most about nature is what it can teach us, and our children, on a spiritual level. My top four:

Acceptance and non-resistance. The seasons change no matter what; each brings its own joy.

Connectedness. The flowers create pollen, which the bees use to make honey, which will soothe your little one’s sore throat. It is a universal oneness that teaches one to respect and develop loving relationships with nature and animals.

Gratitude. Being grateful for the harvest from your vegetable garden, which will feed you tonight.

Non-discrimination. Flowers don’t grow for some people and not for others. Nature is available to all. 

  • What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment? 

Connect with it – grow your own herbs and veggies. Nurturing them will nurture yourself.

Feel it – walk barefoot and feel the sun on your face.

Feed it – add compost and probiotics back into the soil.

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