Buffy-Ellen Gill has a popular blog called Be Good Organics and with that has built up an impressive social media community- inspiring others every day with the work that she does.
We are lucky enough to have Buffy speaking at the HPN conference on building a social media community and the importance it has particularly in the health industry.
We caught up with Buffy so you guys could learn a bit more about her!
How did you become involved in the health industry?
In late 2011 I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, an auto immune disease which throws the thyroid gland into hyperactivity. I became very unwell - lost lots of weight, had a racing heart with frequent palpitations, experienced tremors, insomnia, body sweats and a protruding exophthalmos of the eye. I quit my corporate job as a research analyst at Goldman Sachs and began doing my own research into natural methods of healing. The recommendations from my specialists was to treat the Graves’ with conventional anti-thyroid drugs along with surgery to remove the thyroid or radiation to destroy it. I was in my 20’s at the time and thought the prognosis sounded pretty drastic! My research then and still today revealed three key things we can all do to help heal chronic and auto-immune illness and improve our overall health:
1. Move to a plant-based whole foods diet
2. Switch to organic where possible (diet, skincare and household/cleaning products)
3. Reduce your stress levels
After implementing these three things, I have completely cured my Graves’ disease and it remains in remission today. It also threw me fervently and head first into the natural health sector, specifically focussing on plant-based whole foods nutrition. I am now completing a degree in Nutrition, Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine, to gain an even deeper level of knowledge in the area of natural health. I started my blog and business Be Good Organics as I began on my health journey, to share my learnings along the way. My blog is now very much a foodie blog focused on plant-based whole foods recipes. I am passionate about sharing the benefits of this way of living with others so they can improve their health in the same way I have - it’s amazing! I’m also really drawn to not just the health aspects of this way of living, but also the ethical and environmental benefits. Eating a plant-based whole foods diet is the single biggest thing we can each do to reduce the suffering of animals, our environmental impact and global warming. Go veg before riding your bike to work, you’ll be making a bigger impact!
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Making and creating recipes that show people how delicious plant-based living can be. Eating aforementioned recipes. But most of all, making a real change in people’s lives and getting feedback from the many people who read my blog that I’ve had a positive impact on their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
How would you describe your philosophy about being fit and healthy?
Simple. Plant-based. Whole foods.
Eat and live to be good to your health, animals, and our planet.
What’s your typical meal for…
I’m recipe creating all the time, so things change constantly! However these are some of my go to staples:
First thing upon waking: Water, then a big cup of tea (I often start the day with a classic organic fairtrade English Breakfast or Earl Grey, then switch to herbals later in the day from ~5pm onwards).
Morning: Fresh seasonal fruit salad with Coconut Cashew Chia Cream (recipe here) or coconut yoghurt, topped with whatever homemade muesli I’m currently working. Or my favourite Bircher Muesli recipe here which i’ve been eating for yearrrrs.
Lunch: Big salad topped with an energy and mood boosting complex carbohydrate (e.g. kumara, pumpkin, potato), some good quality plant-based protein (chickpeas, kidney beans, tofu, tempeh), sprinkled with seeds/nuts (sunflower, pumpkin, cashew) and some healthy fats (avo, plus a dressing made with omega 3 rich chia seed, sacha inchi or flax seed oil and olive oil for taste). This Pesto Potato Salad is a perfect example of this in a ready made dish (plus includes my tips for creating the perfect plant-based plate).
Dinner: Any of the recipes from my blog, including my Spiced Cauliflower Fritters, Zucchini and Chickpea Fritters, or Italian Meatballs with Creamy Cauli Mash (meat free obvs) - all served with a big salad or side of lightly cooked veges.
Snacks or sweets: Any of the sweet treats from my blog - there’s hundreds of them! With all those veges in your other meals you deserve a sweet treat in the afternoon and/or at the end of the day (I do both). For afternoon tea I’ll religiously have a cup of tea with a fruit and nut based snack, like these Cacao Coconut Bars, my Lemon Coconut Fudge Slice, or these Apricot Almond Logs . Then for dessert I’ll (again, religiously) have another cup of tea (this time herbal only), with a bowl of fresh fruit, coconut yoghurt or my Coconut Cashew Chia Cream again, and a slice of one of my healthy desserts on the side - at the moment I’m loving this Chocolate Orange Tart and this gorgeous Pear and Ginger Cake - they both have the most moist texture and incredible depth of flavour, you’d never know they don't contain eggs, dairy or refined sugar!
Do you have any daily tips and strategies you recommend your clients implement to keep them living at a lean, fit and healthy body composition?
Eat plant-based whole foods. Every day. Make them the vast majority of your food intake (if not 100%). There’s not one person I’ve met who has taken these steps and hasn’t made leaps and bounds in terms of their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
I also like to follow and recommend to others the 80:20 rule - eating well 80% of the time, then the remaining 20% just chilling out. That leaves you time for an ice-cream on the beach, vege burgers and hot chips (with tom sauce, of course) on a Friday night, and birthday cake with your family. Your body will respond to what you are doing 80% of the time, not the other 20%, so don’t get wound up trying to be ‘perfect’ (perfect is a misnomer anyway).
How important is social media for what you do?
Exceptionally. My business and blog is all about my readers and how I can help them, so building a community around my beliefs on plant-based whole foods and sharing that with them is the single most pivotal part about Be Good Organics Connecting with others is how you can make a difference, and for me that’s been super important. My business and blog have grown exponentially thanks to the connection I’ve had with others through social media and my blog - I now have over 90,000 people regularly checking in across Facebook, Instagram and via my weekly email newsletters. It makes me feel so humbled, amazed and overjoyed at how many people are keen for a slice of plant-based health!
Do you have any advice for our readers who are wanting to expand their social media following for business related purposes?
Absolutely. Be consistent. Be genuine. Have something you believe in and share that passion with others.
Also pick your forum of choice and focus on that - don’t spread yourself too thin.
To learn more come to my seminar at the HPN conference! And if you’d like to try some of my plant-based whole foods recipes and help your health, animals and our planet, sign up for my blog here.
x Buffy Ellen
Research and popular science articles by the members and faculty of the Holistic Performance Institute.