Co-founder, mamma and cancer survivor
We have interviewed our founder, Lynda, so all our Simply Goodness fans can get to know the face behind the brand.
Tell us a bit about Lynda?
I am a full-time working mum of one with a passion for health, fitness, fashion and spending meaningful time with family and friends.
My husband and I welcomed our first and only son to the world in 2014 which has filled our lives with so much love and happiness. It has also come with a lot of challenges - the sleep deprivation, finding balance between work and child care, dealing with illness – all things that are very familiar to most families I’m sure! I love being a mum but I also love working, it is safe to say that I thrive on “busy” so I just make it work. I can’t say I always get it right but life is a journey – I try to enjoy the successes and learn from the failures.
I am also a breast cancer survivor; I was diagnosed with the illness in 2016 and underwent ten months of intense treatment. Breast cancer rocked me to my core and I still get emotional when I reflect on the shock reactions and devastation the actual diagnosis caused my family and friends at the time. The whole experience has transformed me into a much stronger person however and I am grateful for the personal growth it has bestowed upon me. It really forced me to stop and focus on the important things in life, ensuring that I really do take care of myself and it has empowered me to face difficult situations directly rather than avoiding them or giving up too soon.
How did you come up with the idea of Simply Goodness?
When my son was seven months old, I returned to work and realised just how hard it was for parents trying to be everything to everyone - your children, your partner, your friends & family and your employer – time and energy are not on your side.
Those early days of parenting are full of trade-offs – do I compromise sleep to have some “me time”, do I order takeaway because I’m too exhausted to cook? Do I buy pre-prepared food for my baby?
It was that very last question, that inspired the birth of Simply Goodness. We love to cook at home, but when I spoke to friends about what they did, I was surprised how many people purchased pre-prepared food from the supermarket for their kids. Upon reflection however, I understood – it’s so hard to be everything to everyone. And that really was the first seed of Simply Goodness.
It wasn’t until after recovering from cancer, and a lot of consideration and research that I decided to launch Simply Goodness.
Why would someone buy Simply Goodness over other products on the market?
I think I will start by explaining what Simply Goodness meals are not. They are not your typical squeezy pouch that you can carry around in your handbag for weeks or hand to your child in the car on the way home from the shops. I like to refer to those as “fast food”, which Simply Goodness is not.
At Simply Goodness we understand that you want the best for your children but you don’t always have the time or the energy to make a fresh meal from scratch. That is where we can help! Our products are made using certified organic produce grown in our beautiful country, gently steamed and snap frozen. We do not add any preservatives, additives, salt or sweeteners which means it is real food, made simple.
Our meals are kept in slim pouches that fit nicely into the freezer and can be reheated on the stove or microwave. It’s so easy to prepare and we give parents comfort knowing that you don’t have to compromise on the “goodness” of a home cooked meal by serving Simply Goodness to your baby. This is so important to our customers which is why our next blog post (keep an eye out for it!) takes an in depth look at the different food options available in the market at how we differ to the alternatives.
Simply Goodness is certified organic, why did you decide to go organic?
Choosing to make Simply Goodness products organic, certified organic that is, was very simple. I already have a personal preference for organic products but there is also a growing demand for organic products from consumers. What a lot of consumers do not know however is that there is a difference between an "organic" and a "certified organic" product in Australia which we have written about on a previous blog post. For us, we chose to certify because we want to give our customers the confidence that we are what we say we are.
You seem to be very passionate about health and fitness, tell us about how you look after yourself and your family?
I have always been incredibly active, and a good runner so after cancer forced me to give up field hockey (which I had played since I was five!) I predominately run now.
I completed cancer treatment at the end of October 2016 and at the start of December 2016 I organised a fun run with about fifty of my female friends to raise money for Breast Cancer Network Australia. We completed a 5km run or walk – this was really the start of me getting into running and has kicked started my interest in community activities too.
Last year I completed my first half marathon at the same fun run event which was a great achievement but I am now focusing on 10km runs as I can fit them into my schedule a little easier. I also do home HIIT workouts (I currently love Amanda Bisk’s Fresh Body Fit Mind program) and Yoga. I find the more I exercise the more my husband does too so I do use this as motivation to keep myself going (it will keep him exercising as well!)
We try to get outside as much as we can, so we often walk or run to the park and my son will ride his bike so we burn off some of that energy. Sometimes I will go to an oval and do interval training and my son will run across the oval while I run around the whole oval and see who wins.
We also eat very well at home. I’m not overly precious about carbs, I think balance is the key, but because we love to cook we certainly have full control over what goes into our meals (limiting salt, sugar and fat). Dessert in our house is typically fruit, with the odd occasion where I will make an apple pie or crumble that is served with a small scoop of ice-cream. I have a massive sweet tooth but I find if I don’t buy it at the supermarket, I can’t eat it so this solves any junk food snacking issues in our house.
A good family meal time tip that I learned from Fussy Eater’s expert Marie-France is to serve cooked meals in the centre of the table and encourage my son to pick and serve what he wants to eat. We try and do this as much as possible and continually offer new foods, even if he just “tries” it to see if he likes it or not.
Do you have any advice for new mums, on looking after themselves and getting through the first six months?
Start from the inside out. This is with both your self-talk and also what you are putting into your body.
Be kind to yourself and make sure your body is getting essential nutrients – you need to keep your engine strong. Try and get some exercise as it will help you both physically and mentally. When I say exercise, I don’t mean going back to your old HIIT sessions six weeks postpartum, I mean start by parking the car further away from the entrance to the shops, or walk to your local café for a coffee rather than driving. The incremental activity helps build up your strength again and will release those beautiful endorphins to boost your energy levels.
Sleep. The housework can wait, just go to bed. Trust me it won’t be like this forever.
Do you have any recommendations on introducing solids to babies?
Firstly, you should always consult a health professional for professional advice. From my experience as a mother, follow your baby’s cues – are they reaching for you food when you are eating?
Remember that babies needs to learn to eat, so introducing solids requires patience and practice. So, if at first you don’t succeed, try again another time. Start with a small quantity and a smooth texture, you can add texture later once they get the hang of it. Also, don’t forget that their taste changes over time, so just because they don’t like something today, it doesn’t mean they will dislike it forever.
Food is important to our health, and it’s important to expose your children to different flavours, textures and colours, constantly encouraging them to at least try new food. A good relationship with food from the start will help your child develop a life-long love of food and good eating habits.
Finally, what is your favourite Simply Goodness meals?
Personally, I love the Chicken and Egg Congee (12 Months + range) - I eat this sometimes for dinner (laughs). I also love the flavour of the Beef and Vegetable Puree (6 Months + range) and this is a great way to introduce the flavour of meats to babies. I actually use this as a sauce base in a pasta dish for my son even today.
Do you want to meet Lynda? We are running Mother's Group Tastings at Simply Goodness throughout September and October. For bookings complete the contact us form.