Indisposed to Indestructible : Why health food is more than just a trend; an interview with Soulla Chamberlain



soulla head shot

Soulla Chamberlain thought her low fat vegan diet couldn’t get any better, until her bones and ligaments began snapping, she stopped ovulating, was bed ridden with every common infection and slowly was becoming legally blind. 


“My body was demineralized, lacking in nutrients. My baby who I had raised on a vegetarian diet which I thought was healthy ended up in hospital with bronchial pneumonia.” I listen in shock, as Soulla tells me her story. She speaks in a relaxed tone but at about one hundred miles an hour, full of so much knowledge and experience she has to share with me.


The woman of wellness taking Sydney’s health community by storm proves that healthy living is more than just a trend. Successors emerging from the health and wellness scene are finding a common factor among them, having all cured themselves of illness through a healthy diet.


Soulla, founder of Star Anise Organic Wholefoods and owner of Bronte’s Broth Bar, found herself and her family suffering terrible illness. It was not until she stumbled across the works of Dr Western A Price, a US dental scientist who worked in the 1920s that she was able to turn their lives around. His concern for the growing cavities pushed him to visit traditional societies around the world, assessing their teeth on the basis that good teeth reflect good health.


“He found that the common factor of good health around the world was nutrient dense, whole, unprocessed foods free of white refined flours and sugars. This resonated and made sense with me as we are designed to eat this way. I wanted to heal myself and my children with these nutrient dense wholefoods, which no one was selling 10 years ago.”


Almost a century later, the health trends flooding our suburbs and putting immense strain on the savings of the avocado smashing millennials may actually be something to talk about. The focus on traditional, nutrient dense, home cooked meals such as bone broth, casseroles and fermented foods are making a comeback. Dairy free is being replaced with the love of cultured whole fat butter and bulletproof coffees, maximizing omega 3 and mono saturated fats for good heart and brain health.


“I began making bone broths and soups and fermented veggies following one of the Western A Price Foundation cookbooks and in a matter of months if not weeks our bodies went from barely surviving to thriving. The feedback from our bodies was so immediate and there was no going back.” These nutrient dense meals, center on whole fats and proteins, as Soulla used these to heal her and her family.

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nutrient dense meal inspo

After friends and friends of friends were asking Soulla to make them extra, her garage turned into an organic wholefood dispensary, giving up her job as a lawyer to share her knowledge and healthy food.


After several years of bursting food out of home, crawling onto boxes to get into her own bed, an opportunity arose to take over a small retail space in Belgrave St, Bronte. “It just exploded and went gangbusters”, now Sydney’s first broth bar dedicated to bone broths and traditional wholefoods.


The Eastern Suburbs wholefoods movement spreads like wildfire and is constantly offering the next best thing. This year we have been overwhelmed by the emergence of many health foods such as bone broth, turmeric, and fermented foods.


“I want people to have access to great nourishing food and never feel deprived. It’s not about deprivation it’s about healthy swaps. People love it and demand it and I share it.”


Soulla’s success can be attributed to her passion, knowledge and dedication to what she does, offering a place of traditional nourishing foods for people of all ages.

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Find Broth Bar & Larder at 49 Belgrave St , Bronte


My top faves from Broth Bar and Larder Include:

  • Chicken bone broth with chilli, turmeric, lemon and ginger
  • Carob bears
  • Activated muesli

And I am yet to try the wild fish curry and infamous brothsicles in summer!


What’s your favourite?


Follow Soulla at @staraniseorganic for nutrient dense lunchbox inspo, meal prep and recipe ideas as well as her daily traditionally home cooked meals from broth bar and larder! Visit Broth Bar & Larder at 49 Belgrave St, Bronte.

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Special thanks to Soulla for letting me interview her and providing some great images

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