My Food, Health & Diet Philosophy - Catherine Barnhoorn
Catherine Barnhoorn's Nutrition Philosophy (on food, health, raising free-from child)
food philosophy, delicious and nutritious, physical health philosophy, all disease begins in the gut, holistic health philosophy, soul food, primary food, one man's food is another man's poison, raising a free-from child
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My Nutrition Philosophy

This is an excerpt from the Introduction Chapter of my book ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics.’ They are the principles which not only flow throughout the book but which provide the framework for me as a mom and Health Coach.

My food philosophy…

“delicious and nutritious”.

Like Mila says, food should be “delicious and nutritious” – it should delight the senses as well as the body. I am all for food that is nutrient-dense, free of additives, as close as possible to its natural whole form, and where-ever possible, organically grown and pasture-fed. It should include fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, healthy fats and naturally fermented foods.



Mila and I follow a gluten-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free diet.

My physical health philosophy…

“all disease begins in the gut”.


Through my own healing journey and my nutrition studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I am fully aligned with the belief that all disease begins in the gut. For this reason, I believe that wholesome, full mind-body nutrition, with an awareness of food intolerances, is imperative for the optimal growth, development and future-health of your little one. Since a newborn’s gut is still very permeable (to allow the pre-digested breast milk nutrients through with ease) and with 70% of the immune system located in the gut, it is so very important to take care of it by eating easy-to-digest, age appropriate foods. A strong digestion will allow for greater absorption of nutrients and a stronger immune system.

My holistic health philosophy…

“no amount of good food can nourish a starving soul”.


Besides the food on your plate, there is a need for Soul Food. At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® they have developed the concept of Primary Food – essentially, primary food is nourishment that doesn’t appear on your dinner plate. The four core primary foods for adults are: exercise, spirituality, career and relationships. The premise is that when these areas of your life are in balance, food is secondary. Joshua Rosenthal (IIN’s founder, director and primary teacher), says that, “Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career, and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life.” They are, essentially soul food.


“The fun, excitement, and love of daily life have the power to feed us so that food becomes secondary.” – IIN®

So what would soul food for your little one be?


I would venture to say it would be: loving relationships, physical activity, spiritual practise and play.


My ‘diet’ philosophy…

“one man’s food is another man’s poison”.


This is a gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free way of eating. I am not saying this is ‘The’ way to eat, ‘The Best’ way to eat or ‘The only way people should be eating’. This is just what works for me, and what works for my daughter.


In the book I present research findings, which explain why it is working for us. I accept and acknowledge that there is, without a doubt, evidence of why and how another way of eating will be beneficial to many others. That’s the thing with the science of nutrition – more so than any other scientific field – there will be two studies that completely contradict each other. This is where intuitive eating comes into play – no one knows your body better than you. You are the best person to know what does and what doesn’t work for you. I encourage you to start listening to what your body is telling you. Discover what is poisoning you and what is feeding you, and go with that.As a mom, trust your instinct when it comes to your little one – you are so connected (for the first few years especially). Make use of that, it is a wonderful tool.

On raising a free-from child.


It is quite simple… the benefits far outweigh the costs!

‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’ (Second Edition) now available!

Our award-winning nutrition & cookbook is now available on Amazon!