The Booktopia Book Guru asks
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I actually grew up in the country on a subsistence-living farm outside Canberra. We had goats for milk and meat and everything was recycled. In fact, we didn’t have garbage!
I commuted into Canberra for school – Lyneham High and Dickson College. A lot of my food philosophy stems from my upbringing…and the recipes in I Quit Sugar are about conserving and not wasting and being simple and economical…perfect for families and young people!!
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
I love this…my interests did shift. As a kid I wanted to be the first female Prime Minister of Australia. I was the eldest of six kids…being influential was in my blood.
At 18 I was dreadfully confused. And so I tried all kinds of things for a good decade.
At 30, I wanted to be doing something meaningful, communicating and working freely….which is pretty much my life now.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
Ha… that I was right.
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
My Year 5 teacher gave me the class prize and said, in front of the school at the end of year “graduation”, that my curiosity was a gift. I treasure her words. They spurred me on.
Moving to Sydney when I was 29, from Melbourne. Suddenly everything sped up and made sense. I felt that I belonged.
Reading Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. Such mindful endurance of hardship…it very much guided me through my own troubles with illness.
5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?
I know what you mean…the book started out as two ebooks which did very well…more than what a ebook usually does in this market. But there is still a market who want a hard copy, and so it made sense to produce it as such. I very much did things back to front, but perhaps that’s the future.
It’s an 8-week program for quitting sugar, plus a bunch (108) recipes for sugar-free snacks, breakfasts, cakes, kids’ treats and detox meals (for getting clean!).
It’s based on my experience quitting sugar, two years of research into the best techniques, and my work as a qualified health coach. It’s not a diet…it’s a way of living that basically cuts out all processed food.
You can drink wine, eat bacon and cheese, you don’t count calories. More than 70,000 people have done the program I developed and everyone (to my knowledge) loses weight. Some lose 20, 30 and even 55 kilos, just from quitting sugar.
7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?
To get everyone back to natural appetite and hunger. This would solve obesity and most modern diseases, as well as reduce the environmental impact of processed food.
8. Whom do you most admire and why?
Today it’s Bill Cunningham, the American photographer. I just watched the documentary about his life. I love how he does what he does because he wants to connect with humanity. I refuses payment for his work most of the time because he feels it interferes what he’s there to do. He’s free, as a result. I admire people who make sacrifices to be truly free and helpful to humanity.
To be as authentic as I can.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
To have a blog (to practice writing freely and to advertise your wares)
To move across all different mediums…radio, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, print. Gone are the days when you could do just the one. You have to spin plates now.
Study good writing.
Just write. Sit down and do the work.
Sarah, thank you for playing.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
Follow Andrew: Twitter