What is your food philosophy?
I don’t label myself as following any specific diet, but I do enjoy primarily plant based foods, as I believe these are the foods that nourish my body the best possible way. Not only do plant foods – i’m talking vegetables, fresh fruits, herbs, nut & seeds and some whole grains – comprise a plethora of perfect nutrients, such as essential vitamins, minerals, beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants, but they also support the overall health of every cell, body system and function, which is testament to the creative and perfect nature of The creator. Instead of focusing on any one diet and on all the things to avoid, I prefer focusing on all the healthy foods we ought to eat more of, and using them to out-crowd processed, sugar-laden, low quality foods that are void of good nutrition. Focusing on what to eat, rather than what to avoid, makes it far easier not to feel deprived and limited. And when you discover healthy foods you enjoy that also make you feel amazing – long term lifestyle changes will naturally happen. And nothing tastes better or oozes more confidence than feeling amazing in your own skin!
As for protein, I occasionally eat fish and meat but always prioritise and recommend quality over quantity. This looks like high quality grass fed meats and wild caught fish. Getting in touch with a local farm that delivers meat to your area or sell at a local farmers market is a great way to get good quality animal products without completely blowing your food budget. Pasture raised animals that actually eat grass, like they were always meant to (remember, you eat what you eat eats!) are naturally healthier and more nutritious than grain and corn-fed animals. This means your meat will be healthier and also free from antibiotics, growth hormones and all that junk.
Why do you not provide calorie information for your recipes?
I do not provide this information, as I don’t encourage calorie counting. I am a big believer in focusing on nutritional quality rather than calories, as I don’t believe all calories are equal. An avocado, for instance, has a similar calorie count to a chocolate bar, but the two are vastly different when it comes to their nutritional quality and overall impact on the body. Moreover, I think focusing on how food nourishes your body leads to an overall healthier relationship with food – and it allows you to properly enjoy your food. Having struggled with an unhealthy relationship with food myself, I learned first hand the difference it makes to your overall health when you nourish your body with the right foods rather than count calories. Approaching health from a point of focusing on nutritional quality completely changed my perspective – as well as my body – and I have never felt better or been healthier. And my mission and passion is to educate and inspire people to believe that you can absolutely be healthy and intentional with what you eat without being obsessive and feeling deprived.
Did you diet change during your pregnancies?
Yes it did, especially during the first trimester when I had bad morning sickness with all three of my babies. Each pregnancy, however, got easier. I pretty much couldn’t stand any raw vegetables during those first weeks and found that green apples and plain bread were just about the only foods I could keep down. I also drank a lot of water with fresh lemon and made sure to take a good food-based multivitamin each day to get some nutrients onboard. Once the sickness passed I went back to mostly plant based foods and continued eating a lot of the recipes shared here on the blog. I also found that I would get a craving for meat once in a while, and when I did I had some meat. As mentioned above, I’m not into labels and find that during pregnancy, its especially important to listen to your own body.
What is your best beauty advice?
That beauty is not just what you see, but what you believe about yourself. And just like with food – what goes in, shows on the outside. My grand mother also taught me that the more you look in the mirror, the less attractive you become. I love her!
What cup size do you use?
I use a standard U.S. cup size (1 cup = 240 mL) but try to include ml measurements as well, as I know many European countries don’t use “cups” as a form of measurement.
Do you recommend taking nutritional supplements?
I believe supplements are secondary to foods, as the health benefits provided by a healthy diet far outweigh even the best nutritional supplements on the market. I do take a food-based multivitamin regularly as well as a good quality probiotic for optimal gut health, but ultimately I believe that nutritional supplements are a very individual thing and always encourage people to see a nutritionist who can help guide them.
What kitchen equipment do you use?
We have a pretty small kitchen so naturally I take a very minimalist approach when working in my kitchen. I’m all about versatile and easy-to-use kitchen equipment and don’t actually have that much stuff in my kitchen, but everything I do have I use often and usually for a variety of things. My favourite kitchen appliance is without a doubt my Vitamix, which I use every single day for so many different things (smoothies, nut butters, nut milks, dressings and baking). My mini food processor is super small but super effective and great for chopping and making smaller batches of raw energy balls, dressings and pestos. My hand held mandoline vegetable slicer, is tiny as well and fits easily in a drawer while leaving next to no clean up. And finally, my ceramic slow cooker, which is perfect for cooler months and such a time saver.