What is your food philosophy?
What we eat should have value. Not only that, but the environment and state of self in which we consume this food should be considered as well. Be relaxed, chew lots and well and express gratitude. Eat whole foods, avoid invented foods. Eat locally and in season to hold up the planet, community and your wallet too!
How did you get into cooking?
When I discovered I was celiac! It was a huge turning point in my life, and changed my lifestyle completely for the better. I had no idea what gluten was really. Heck I was 16. I thought it was just bread and pasta, and so did my family. There can even be gluten on the seal that you lick to close an envelope!! Whaaaat? So, it was a huge learning curve for all of us! Very stressful at the start, but once I began to educate myself and grasp it, it became fun to me. I would spend hours in a grocery store reading all the labels, and was totally consumed by discovering new recipes that were suitable for my needs. To be fair I still haven’t gotten around to making all 38463 of them in the last 12 years, but getting there. I don’t consider myself to be too creative in formulating my own recipes, and I admire those that are. I tend to find ones that I like, tweak it in the ways I feel I need to (IF I need to), and it usually becomes a staple. So lots of gratitude and thank yous to those who inspire me and the rest of us!
How do you start the day?
I don’t normally need an alarm as I wake up shortly after the sun peeks up. With my phone still on airplane mode, I use an app called HRV4Training to check my heart rate variability. My naturopath recommended this due to my stress levels having been quite high lately, so if the app tells me my HRV is within my average or too low or high, that kind of deciphers how strong of a workout I can undergo, if at all.
I then tongue scrape, have my L-Glutamine in water, followed by lemon water and my supplements (B complex, cod liver oil, thyroid support and l-theanine). This helps my gut health and immunity, while also rehydrating after my sleep.
Movement. Massive part of my morning routine and day in general. Even if it’s for 2 minutes, I make sure to get on my mat every single morning. I'm a certified yoga teacher, but being guided is a treat so I repeat Yoga with Adrienne 30 day challenges each month.
Once I’ve gone through my little routine, I then turn my phone on, followed by making a wholesome breakfast to positively guide the quality of my day. Before my meal I say 3 things I am grateful for, 3 things that would make my day great and an affirmation.
What's always in your fridge?
Lemons, avocado, salad greens, tamari, cacao nibs, cod liver oil, at least one protein source of some sort, kimchi and my gua sha! Nothing like a cold gua sha on your oily skin, especially in the heat of summer.
What’s always in your pantry?
Healthful oils!!! Wonder Valley oil is a new staple in my life, I use it sparingly and for most of my heat cooking I use cold pressed & unrefined organic avocado oil. I always have unsweetened organic nut butters (sunflower & pumpkin seed are my faves), rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, organic protein powders, greens powder, reishi, ashwagandha and I always have a bpa free can or two of wild local sardines or salmon, as well as some Amy’s soups for times where there is no time.
What do you turn to, to make you feel your best: food and all the other practices?
Definitely food. It’s a comfort for everyone I feel, but some more than others. I think because of my history and education as a nutritionist, I know how powerful and healing our food can be, so I rely on making healthful meals and snacks. I love anything with a soft texture, but with a crunch or some form of substance / texture! My classic smoothie in a bowl with toppings is a good example, also soups with crackers, and creamy salads with toppings.
Apart from cooking and consuming, I have to mention movement again. Oftentimes yoga, but I do love a good boogie with some groovy tunes. Music has always had a special effect on my mood, so when I am feeling like I need a pick me up I will put on whatever I am feeling at the time and sway my body in whatever ways I want! It’s a huge release.
I also love to go through old photos / videos on my phone. I find this to be super soothing, with some laughs and even happy tears. My family gets irritated when I have my phone out taking photos or videoing certain moments, but I always explain this is why. It’s especially nice when I am away from home. I do need to clear up some space though, I have an absurd amount of content on this thing and find decluttering to be another form of release, ease and even comfort.
Favorite kitchen tool?
This is insanely tough. Probably my spatula, the kind that scrapes the very last drop of your smoothie or dressing out. The flipper kind for eggs and such is good too though of course. But also my lemon juicer. Maybe my salad spinner too. Ugh, also my tongs because I like a good creamy salad toss. Definitely plural for this one. Oh my goodness, MY BLENDER!
Dream dinner party guests?
What ingredient are you most excited about right now?
Tofu! My god it’s versatile. I do strive for organic to ensure they are not soybeans grown with artificial fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides etc, and I consume soy products in moderation (as with anything). It is such a great source of protein, and can be used in so many forms. I do love a crispy tofu salad, but also as a breakfast scramble, I have used it in smoothies to thicken em up, in dips like this one I came across online (when I had an abundance of dill at home) and as vegan ricotta on warm crispy toast as with this recipe:
- 1 3/4 ounces Tofu (regular firm, drained)
- 1/4 tsp Miso Paste
- 1/2 tsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 T Basil Leaves (chopped)
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
- 1 slice Gluten-Free Bread (toasted)
- 1/4 cup Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
- 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Mash the tofu & miso paste together with a fork in a bowl until crumbly & wet. Gently fold in the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar add basil. Season with salt & black pepper as you please. Mix well!
Spread the vegan ricotta on the toast and top with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
How do you end your day?
Each day is different for me, but I’ve been getting pretty sleepy fairly early lately. I am either at a shoot or seeing clients as a nutritionist during the day, but the hours vary. I will typically come home and make dinner, read or go for a walk. Sometimes more yoga, sometimes I will be finishing up protocols and meal plans, but most commonly prepping food for the next day or few. Unless I have dinner plans out (which has been quite frequent lately I must admit), I try to keep my evenings quite mellow as I like to really wind down and set the tone for bed.
Sleep is a huge priority for me, and more so lately as my high stress / cortisol levels have unfortunately been disrupting this cycle. I love Headspace and repeat the basics often, so this helps to tone things down. I currently have a guilty pleasure of watching Below Deck, Downton Abbey and / or Terrace House on my laptop, but if my work is finished for the day, I feel no guilt. It distracts me and makes me laugh! Nothing wrong with that.
I take my bedtime / sleep support supplements (magnesium & CBD oil, sometimes valerian), use the washroom 3487 more times before I crawl into bed, turn screens off and read. I sleep with a fan or two always because our bodies need a cool area, and I love the white noise. I also rock a handsome silk sleep cap for my curls & eye mask on top I say my little mantras, usually something like “I am healthy & happy, safe & secure, and so is my family” and off to sleep I go!
Go-to meal that you make for yourself more often than not?
Salads. So simple, so flexible, and so easy to incorporate variety. When doing my groceries for the week, I aim for some form of greens, sprouts, herbs, vegetables and protein sources. I always have oils and other healthy fats at home for a dressing, as well as avocado and crunchy toppings like nuts & seeds, kimchi / sauerkraut or these carrot chips. Making a well-balanced salad is trouble free when you’ve got the goods, and some tongs to toss it all together. I do love a good caesar salad though; dressings found here.
Also and honestly, I think smoothie bowls are overplayed and can actually be full of unwanted ingredients depending on where you get it from, BUT I do make my own of course and trust what I put in it! This is a classic for me:
- About 1 cup frozen cauliflower
- About 1 cup frozen broccoli
- About 1/3 cup whatever fruit in season - or frozen from when they were! I keep a lot of fruits from all seasons in my freezer so I have options
- 1 scoop sugar / gluten / dairy free vanilla protein powder - I am rotating between this one and this one
- A handful of fresh greens or frozen greens such as chard, kale or spinach
- 1 tsp organic greens powder
- 1 tsp reishi powder
As for liquid, I begin with about 3/4 cup of boiled water and build up as I blend until I reach the smooth creamy consistency desired. If I don’t use water, I use this organic unsweetened soy milk or a homemade nut milk
Blend all ingredients in your blender, consume as is or plop into a bowl using a spatula ensuring you don’t miss one bit, and top with something nice & healthful like:
- 1 T nut butter
- 1 T cacao nibs
- 1 tsp flax
- 1 T hemp seeds
- 1 T chopped brazil nuts
- 3 T of sugar free granola
- 2 T toasted coconut
- Fresh local fruit
PESTO TOFU RICE WRAPS
- 1/4 cup of pesto, and I love this one from Lily Feeds You!
- 1/2 package of tofu
- 3-4 rice paper wraps
- 2 cups of greens; I like baby spinach or chard
- ½ small cucumber (julienned)
Crumble your tofu and mix in your pesto until all well coated.
Soften a sheet of rice paper by submerging it for 5 to 10 seconds under warm water, then move it onto a plate. Add the spinach, cucumber and pesto tofu near the bottom of the wrap. Fold the bottom & top over the filling, then fold the sides. Tightly roll the rice paper until completely wrapped. Transfer to a separate plate and repeat this process until all ingredients are used up.
preheat oven to 350
line pie pan with some coconut oil
put in 4 cups of frozen blueberries
combine in a mixing bowl:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
crumble / spread on top of the berries
bake for 40 minutes until crispy brown and blueberries are bubbling
*you can cover with tinfoil towards the end if you feel the top might burn and it doesn’t seem cooked yet. Top with some dairy & refined sugar free vanilla ice cream!!