Hello and welcome to Beets Pulse and Thyme! I’m Daniela Exley and this is where I share healthy whole food plant based recipes, mostly dairy free, always gluten and refined sugar free, using fresh ingredients, healthy fats and whole grains.
I am a Naturopathic Nutritionist (Dip CNM) and a professional food photographer (BaHons). Food, as you can imagine, is of utmost importance to me and my family. Whether we cook it, use it as medicine, photograph it or enjoy it with family and friends, food is central to our life.
My days are varied and I love all aspects of what I do! I spend some days working as a food photographer and others seeing clients and helping them realise their health goals. On my downtime I love cooking, photographing and updating this blog and keeping up to date with all the latest research in functional medicine. Travelling and seeing the world together with my husband and kids is hugely important to me. I love relearning life skills that we seem to have forgotten here in the West. Being inspired to live slowly and cook with real food is a wonderful thing.
Why Beets Pulse and Thyme?
On a brain storming session, my husband came up with these words which immediately struck a chord. Listening to my body was something I had to relearn once I had my autoimmune diagnosis, and is now something I am very in tune with. I hope Beets Pulse and Thyme can inspire you to do the same: re-discover the healing potential within your own body.
Do you ever eat gluten, dairy and refined sugar?
Gluten and dairy are the most allergenic, immune stimulating foods. For someone with autoimmune disease such as myself I need to avoid these as much as possible. I occasionally include some sheep or goat cheese in my diet as I’ve found these don’t trigger an attack. However I limit this to maybe once a month or every couple of months. Sugar is highly inflammatory so I avoid this at all costs. However, on special occasions I won’t turn down a piece of gluten free cake! I strongly believe that while I do everything in my power to be healthy, the stress that comes with being too controlling about food is more detrimental to my health than the very rare occasions when I might have sugar, gluten or dairy.
Do you ever eat meat?
I cut out meat as soon as I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but have since reintroduced some organic chicken bone broths. I eat a mostly plant based whole food diet because it’s what I feel I need right now. I am happy eating this way for environmental reasons too, however I don’t call myself a vegetarian because I believe that our bodies change and need different nutrients either as we get older or fall into a diseased state. I sometimes eat fresh local, wild fish and as I mentioned I also used bone broth a lot in my gut healing protocol too.
Have you cured yourself of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
I haven’t cured my RA but I definitely manage and keep it under control. I very very very rarely have a flare up and if I do I know exactly what I need to do in order to overcome it very quickly. My lifestyle and diet are the key factors in keeping my autoimmune disease at bay.
What supplements do you take if any?
I take Omega 3 fish oil and probiotics on a regular basis.
What can you not live without?
What exercise do you do?
Hot yoga, walking, HIIT.
Who takes the photos and does the styling for your blog? What equipment do you use?
I do the job of many.. cooking, styling and shooting. I love my ever growing prop collection and I use a Canon 5D markIII, a 50mm 1.2 lens and a 100mm 2.8 macro lens.