Martyna Angell, author of The Wholesome Cook answers Ten Terrifying Questions

 The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Martyna Angell

author of The Wholesome Cook

Ten Terrifying Questions

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Martyna Angell Cover

I was born and raised in Poland and real food was always part of my upbringing. I grew up in and around Warsaw, the capital, and the city’s food scene was an interesting mixture of the old and the new. So you would have daily fresh produce markets, neighbourhood grocers selling veggies (I loved buying fermented pickles as snacks after school) as well as the modern fast food chains opening outlets in the city for the first time and big supermarkets setting up shop. It was a very interesting time in terms of exposure to the new but culturally we were still respecting traditions and cooking from scratch. Indeed, it was in one of my fifth-grade home economics classes that I learnt to make sauerkraut (recipe page 69).

I completed my high school studies here in Sydney, then dabbled in law and business administration studies before realising I needed a more creative outlet, so I completed a communications degree. Food, however, has always remained my true passion  and styling and photography followed suit naturally and are a big part of what I do now.

2.What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I was around twelve years old when I first discovered my passion for cooking and the joy it could bring to others as well as me. On weekends, I’d rummage through the fridge, pantry and freezer then write up a dinner menu for my parents to order from. Then I’d get cooking.

Most of my fondest childhood memories revolve around food, family celebrations and meals enjoyed together. When I turned eighteen cooking was not really considered a career choice so I went off to do a whole range of things but none of them made me truly happy. It wasn’t until I got closer to thirty that I realised where my heart lay, and food became the main focus for me again. This time, having recovered from a junk food past that put me on the edge of obesity, I wanted to share my story and make sure that my cooking, the recipes I shared with my friends, family and readers were all about real food, (and an occasional indulgence).

3.What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That life begins at 18. Martyna Angell 1Now I think it really begins at 30, but if you ask me the same question in ten years’ time I have a feeling I know what the answer might be…40?

4.What were three big events in your life or the world around you that had a great effect on you and influenced your cooking?

Moving to Australia definitely opened my taste buds to a whole new world of food — fresh seafood and South East Asian flavour influences and ingredient availability — which I absolutely adored. However, it also introduced me to a whole new range of processed and fast foods. Despite a short-term infatuation with junk food in my early twenties, real food has been one of the most grounding forces in my cooking. I’ve realised it is the easiest single choice we can make for our health and well-being. Cooking from scratch and eating real food that’s best for our bodies with an occasional indulgence is a philosophy I’ve adopted after completing studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition — another game changer for me. It’s also a philosophy I now live with my family and share in The Wholesome Cook.

5.What are some dishes you wouldn’t eat as a child that you love now?

I was never a fussy eater: I thoroughly enjoyed tripe and liver and had fermented pickles as a snack almost every day. However, and I think many might agree with me here, Brussels sprouts were not really my thing. Our school diner used to serve soup filled with overcooked mushy Brussels sprouts that sent the pungent aroma permeating through the entire school. It was nauseating. No one was a big fan. I’ve since learnt to prepare them in a more palatable way. They are fantastic shredded into a raw slaw or gently charred, roasted or stir-fried (see page 111 for recipe). They are sweet, slightly nutty and delicious that way.

6.Please tell us about your latest book…

The Wholesome Cook is not a diet book or an eat-that-but-not-this book. It’s all about making a lifestyle change for the long term that suits you; it focuses on eating clean, real food that’s best for you, most of the time. It contains over 170 refined sugar-free recipes for how we eat now — theMartyna Angell 3 bioindividual way. What it means is that every recipe has a gluten-free option and many come with options for other dietary needs such as diary-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan. Many are also egg- and nut-free. They are all delicious.

As mentioned earlier, I was brought up with wholesome food — packets and processed food weren’t allowed in our house — but when I hit my twenties, I fell in love with junk food. The result? Within a year I had piled on 20 kilograms and when I stopped fitting into my favourite work suits that ran out at size 14, I knew I had to make a change. It wasn’t the size or particular numbers on the scales that scared me, although they helped make it real, it was the threat of being technically and truly obese that made me decide enough was enough. I needed to take back control of my cravings, my weight and my life.  But I wanted this change to be permanent. And so, I went back to basics: the basics of eating real food.

7.If you had to create one dish to show off your repertoire, what would it be?

It would most likely be Pulled Lamb Nachos (page 240) because they are a simple slow cooker number that uses deboned shoulder — a secondary meat cut from pasture-raised animals. Both have become fashionable terms, but having grown up with a grandfather who was a butcher and uncle who had a cattle farm, this kind of sustainable nose-to-tail eating was commonplace in our family. It is something that had, perhaps, waned in popularity but is now starting to see a comeback.

The dish is a favourite with the kids and most of our guests who have tried it are really pleasantly surprised with the use of lamb and a few additional tricks I’ve learned over the years to make the junk food to wholefood makeover easier. It’s served with a good choice of fresh salads, good fats from the avocado and probiotic-rich yoghurt instead of sour cream. Even the corn chips are plain — Martyna Angell 5a little indulgence without the junk.

8.Whom do you most admire and why?

I always find stories of those who have made a sea change inspiring, especially those who have done so to grow real food. I admire the courage it takes to drop everything for a simpler (if not necessarily easier) and happier life.

9.Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

My goal is to create a ripple effect by highlighting the merits of eating real, wholefood while at the same time acknowledging that we are all a little different and no single diet fits everyone the same, no matter how fashionable it may be. My goal is also to teach our kids that being able to cook real food from scratch and listening to their body is not hard, nor does it have to be super expensive or time consuming. I believe it’s a skill that will set them up for life of real nourishment. While I will continue to share recipes on the blog, I would love to write another cookbook/wellness guide focused on the benefits of eating well seasonally.

10.What advice do you give aspiring chefs?

Never stop exploring and learning. Practical experience is invaluable, whether it’s through travel, eating out, working in a restaurant kitchen or a farmer’s market or by helping out with animal-rearing. And always keep an open mind to fuel your creativity.

Thank you for playing, Martyna.

Grab your copy of The Wholesome Cook here

The Wholesome Cook

Martyna Angell

Martyna Angell profileThese days we all want to eat the kind of food that doesn’t compromise on flavour or health: clean wholefoods, fresh fruit and vegetables, pasture-raised meat. But it’s also true that what works in your diet for you, may not work for someone else. In The Wholesome Cook, talented cook and award-winning blogger Martyna Angell offers 170 nutritious and delicious recipes that are endlessly adaptable, cater to dietary restrictions and inspire lifestyle changes.

Every recipe is gluten – and processed sugar – free with an emphasis on wholefoods, and many also accommodate dairy-free, nut-free, paleo, vegan and vegetarian diets. These recipes are all about options …  Read more


Grab your copy of The Wholesome Cook here



Drum roll…. We’re announcing the winners of our June/July Competitions!

In June and July we had a pile of prizes and promotions for you to plunder.

Let’s wrap a few up and announce the winners of these great prizes, shall we?

Izzy_Folau_Competition_Category_Page_BannerAll you had to do to enter was order from The Izzy Folau series by July 31st!

chance-of-a-lifetimeDaniel and Sione have been given the chance of a lifetime to be coached by Australian rugby union star, Israel Folau. But can they make it count? While Daniel and Sione come from very different backgrounds, they both eat, sleep and breathe rugby union. When they are selected for a junior representative rugby team, Daniel and Sione’s worlds collide. At first, the boys are awestruck by Izzy, but soon they see him as a friend. Unfortunately, things on the field don’t go as smoothly. Will Daniel and Sione learn how to adapt to their new team? Or will their big break turn into a missed opportunity?

…and the winner is:

K.Henry, Darwin, NT

Check out The Izzy Folau series here

9781743533116_100_days_of_happiness_large_promo_banner All you had to do to enter was order One Hundred Days of Happiness by July 31st!

What would you do if you knew you only had 100 days left to live? For Lucio Battistini, it’s a chance to spend the rest of his life the way he always should have – by making every moment countone-hundred-days-of-happiness. Womanizing, imperfect, but loveable, Lucio Battistini has been thrown out of the house by his wife and is sleeping in the stock room of his father-in-law’s bombolini bakery when he learns he has inoperable cancer. So begins the last hundred days of Lucio’s life, as he attempts to care for his family, win back his wife (the love of his life and afterlife), and spend the next three months enjoying every moment with a zest he hasn’t felt in years. From helping his hopelessly romantic, widowed more…

…and the winner is:

W.Shea, Anglesea, VIC

Grab a copy of One Hundred Days of Happiness here

9780000446206_Lindsey_Kelk_Newsletter_bannerAll you had to do to enter was order our exclusive Lindsey Kelk pack by July 31st! 

always-the-bridesmaid-what-a-girl-wants-pack-Always the Bridesmaid Everyone loves a bridesmaid. Except Maddie, who’s perpetually asked to be one. Everyone loves a wedding. Except Maddie’s best friend, who’s getting divorced. And everyone loves the way Maddie’s so happy backstage. Except Maddie herself. One best friend is more…

…and the winner is:

K.Lewis, Kalgoorlie, WA

Check out our Lindsey Kelk pack here

9781401948504_LITNB_Newsletter_Banner_17072015All you had to do to enter was order Light Is the New Black by July 31st! 

Follow what lights you up, and you’ll light up the world.light-is-the-new-black Light Is The New Black is a guidebook for a new breed of women who are here to be bright lights in the world—modern-day lightworks who agreed to be here at this time in history. In order to thrive in this new age, everything we do must. Be an authentic expression of who we truly are. Light Is The New Black will guide you back home to the callings of your soul so that you can light up the world with your presence. Rebecca Campbell had her first awakening when she was a teenager. But more…

…and the winners are:

D.Petrie-Godbolt, Bowral, NSW A.Curran, Ferny Grove, QLD C.Ives, Alcomie, TAS O.Walters, Tannum Sands, QLD B.Dye, North Wollongong, NSW

Grab a copy of Light Is the New Black here

Congratulations to the winners!

Missed out on the prize? Hey, turn that frown upside up, we’ve got so much more up for grabs, not to mention limited editions signed copies and 2 for 1 offers!

Head to our Promotions and Competitions page, where you could be a winner every day!


For Dummies Month is over and we have goodies for six lucky Booktopians!


For Dummies Month is over. For six lucky Booktopians however, the celebration will last quite a bit longer.

During March, our For Dummies month, we had some awesome prize packs to give away. All you had to do to win was order a book from any For Dummies category before March 31st and go in the draw to win a prize pack!


And the winner of a Business & Finance prize pack worth $149.99 is….

E.Budas, Northam, WA

Here’s what you’ve won




And the winner of a Computing prize pack worth $158.64 is….

M. Cooper, Murwillumbah, NSW

Here’s what you’ve won

Dummies Month Computing prize pack


And the winner of a Health prize pack worth $158.10 is…

N.Dekan, Sunbury, VIC

Here’s what you’ve won

Dummies Month health prize pack


And the winner of a Humanities prize pack worth $155.94 is…

R.Jensen, Mawson, ACT

Here’s what you’ve won

Dummies Month Humanities prize pack


And the winner of a Lifestyle prize pack worth $159.10 is…

L.Anderson, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Here’s what you’ve won

Dummies Month Lifestyle prize pack


And the winner of a Sciences prize pack worth $143.64 is…

M.Johnson-Goeldner, Rural View, QLD

Here’s what you’ve won

Dummies Month Science prize pack

Congratulations to the winners!
Not a winner? Don’t worry, we have more prizes to giveaway! You could win an awesome
Mother’s Day gift. Check it out here.


For Dummies Month is here and we have goodies to give away!


It’s For Dummies Month and to celebrate we have some awesome prize packs to give away! Just order a book from any For Dummies category before March 31st and go in the draw to win a prize pack.

*Terms and Conditions apply.


Order from the For Dummies: Business & Finance collection by March 31st and go in the draw to win a Business & Finance prize pack worth $149.99.

Here’s what you’ll win




Order from the For Dummies: Computing collection by March 31st and go in the draw to win a Computing prize pack worth $158.64.

Here’s what you’ll win

Dummies Month Computing prize pack


Order from the For Dummies: Health collection by March 31st and go in the draw to win a Health prize pack worth $158.10.

Here’s what you’ll win

Dummies Month health prize pack


Order from the For Dummies: Humanities collection by March 31st and go in the draw to win a Humanities prize pack worth $155.94.

Here’s what you’ll win

Dummies Month Humanities prize pack


Order from the For Dummies: Lifestyle collection by March 31st and go in the draw to win a Lifestyle prize pack worth $159.10.

Here’s what you’ll win

Dummies Month Lifestyle prize pack


Order from the For Dummies: Sciences collection by March 31st and go in the draw to win a Sciences prize pack worth $143.64.

Here’s what you’ll win

Dummies Month Science prize pack

Check out all our For Dummies collections here

The Biggest Loser’s Commando Steve puts Booktopia’s John Purcell through his paces

When Commando Steve came to Booktopia to chat about his new book Get Commando Fit, John explained why he can’t stay in shape.

But as John found out, with Commando, there are no excuses…

Grab your copy of Get Commando Fit here

get-commando-fitGet Commando Fit

by Steve Willis

If you want to look good and feel great, there are NO EXCUSES, you must Get Commando Fit – and Commando Steve is here to show you how!

Steve ‘Commando’ Willis put contestants through their paces as a trainer on Channel Ten’s top rating show Australia’s Biggest Loser. Let him do the same for you!

Steve believes that mental strength is the key to staying fit and leading a healthy, happy and low stress lifestyle and Get Commando Fit is where it all starts.

Whether you’re a desk jockey, a busy mum or managing a company, in these pages, Commando Steve provides you with the building blocks you need to kickstart you on your fitness journey – and gives you the motivation you need to keep going.

Combining fully illustrated functional exercises, a fitness program that will get you moving, and delicious, balanced recipes to fuel you to optimum health, this is the book you need to get into top shape.

There are no excuses, Get Commando Fit today!

Grab your copy of Get Commando Fit here

Janella Purcell visits Booktopia – Signed copies available!

Janella Purcell lives the life we all want to lead. Healthy, happy and full of food!

She made a special trip from the Mid-North Coast to Booktopia to sign some copies of her bestselling new book Janella’s Super Natural Foods and teach our Incompetent Cook a thing or two about the most important meal of the day, Breakfast!

Janella is all about making food that is healthy AND easy, with over 150 recipes and countless variations for vegetarians, vegans and even plain old omnivores.

Kickstart your New Year with Janella’s Super Natural Foods, we certainly will be!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

janella-s-super-natural-foods-signed-copies-available-Janella’s Super Natural Foods

Keeping it deliciously simple is Janella’s healthy food philosophy. Using many superfoods and grains, she has created over 150 fantastic recipes that the whole family will love.

Superfoods. Food as medicine. Supergrains. Fermented foods. Wholefoods. Keep it simple.

In Janella’s Super Natural Foods every recipe will help you to achieve better health and beauty.

With over 150 delicious recipes for healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks, drinks and sauces, Janella uses wholefoods to satisfy everyone. A dynamic mix of superfoods and a good old-fashioned plant-based diet, Janella’s philosophy of using food as medicine is simple and easy to follow.

Many of the recipes have been influenced by Janella’s travels to Italy, Japan, India, the Middle East and South East Asia – healthy food has never been so tantalising nor so easy to create in your kitchen. Clearly marked throughout with symbols for gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, raw, soy-free, nut-free or grain-free, each recipe also contains alternative ingredient suggestions to please all your friends and family.

As a talented naturopath, nutritionist, wellness coach, herbalist and environmentalist, Janella Purcell is eager to share her wealth of knowledge and experience. Her passion for cooking and keeping things simple means that staying healthy has never been easier.

Grab your copy of Janella’s Super Natural Foods here

Did you enter our Treasure Yourself or My Cool Kitchen competition?

The Christmas spirit is alive at Booktopia and we are always excited to give prizes away, like a Treasure Yourself pack and 1 of 5 My Cool packs. Are you a winner? Drum roll please…

Treasure Yourself -Miranda Kerr - Comp - Medium Promo Banner - 495x200px - FINAL

All you had to do to go in the draw was order Treasure Yourself Cards. The winner gets a signed copy of Treasure Yourself and Empower Yourself, and a KORA Revitalising pack, valued at $202.35.

The lucky winner is…

L.Hanlon, Sandy Point, NSW

My Cool kitchen - Jane Field Lewis - Comp - Medium Promo Banner - 495 x 200px - FINAL

All you had to do to go in the draw was order My Cool Kitchen.

The lucky winners are…

J.Young, Melton, VIC
A.Russell, Kholo, QLD
G.Arnold, Balnarring, VIC
J.Mcardle, Kensington, VIC
A. Roberts, Surfers Paradise, QLD

Deck the halls with books this Christmas, check out our massive Christmas Gift Guide,
with something for everyone!



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