BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: LILY HARRIS

Lily Harris is a Brooklyn based, Minnesota born, fashion designer by day and holistic health practitioner in her free time. Her personal experiences with Hashimoto's and Celiac disease brought her down the path to become a practitioner. We came across her epic smoothie shots on instagram and had to learn more. Read on for inspiration in the kitchen. 

What is your food philosophy?

I would steal Michael Pollan’s if I could. I can’t say it much better. In his words, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” and I’d like to humbly add, “remove shame.”

How do you start the day? 

After this year, I don’t keep a specific morning routine. I take things day by day. My days typically begin with being jumped on by my cats, a form of caffeine, water and elimination. I work full time in fashion, and focus on nutrition in my free time, so each day is a balance of priorities. Despite having two artist parents, I’m type A, so making a list helps with clarity and focus as I start my day. Lately, I’ve been starting my day with CAP’s 8AM O'clock in warm water.

What's always in your fridge?

Let’s take a look…always in my fridge are homemade pickles, miso from South River, produce from Farm to People or Phoenix Community Garden, usually a cut of meat thawing for dinner, avocado, tortillas, hot sauces, eggs, herbs, unsweetened nut milk, shirataki noodles, some form of broth and my gluten free sourdough starter that I sometimes neglect but lovingly call my “Baby Girl.” The freezer is my savior. Frozen spinach, zucchini, bananas, meat, seafood and vegetable scraps from cooking that I later use to make broth.

What’s always in your pantry?

Basmati rice (which has become my favorite thanks to Food52’s perfect recipe), gluten free grains, beans, seaweed, tinned fish, dried chiles, spices, unsweetened nut butters, chili oil, vinegars, cashews or squash seeds and ghee. I always keep cans of beans, coconut milk, curry paste, chickpeas and tomatoes for easy meals. Smoothie additions are important to me, so having different protein, fiber and adaptogen options keeps them exciting. I love a luxurious condiment, so too many of those and usually some form of dark chocolate.

Go-to meal that you make for yourself more often than not?

Smoothies definitely win this one, but in second place is the breakfast taco. I have a loose recipe for mine here. I will make pickled jalapeños to go on top, for which you can find a recipe here. 

What do you turn to, to make you feel your best: food and all the other practices?

As an introvert, I feel best when I’m close to my comfort zone. My comfort foods are soups and stews. My mom cooked a lot of soups growing up in Minnesota, so it must have rubbed off on me. I find comfort in the speed and efficiency of my Instant Pot. I was raised mostly vegetarian and no one taught me how to cook meat, but I have yet to fail with the Instant Pot. Quick miso soups, smoothies and  “breakfast anytime” meals are my go-to’s.

When it comes to finding comfort beyond food right now, I like to have options. I like to search for new music on Spotify, watch live performances like this on Youtube, re-watch music documentaries like Latcho Drom, volunteer at my local community garden, make my boyfriend slow dance with me, grocery shop, read, look for vintage treasures, call my older brother or look at whatever him and his partner Liz are putting out with Salonnière Paper, & kiss my cats.

Favorite kitchen tool?

I use my Vitamix blender & my Berkey water filter the most. I love my KitchenAid stand mixer because it helps me make a great gluten free sourdough boule, which became a habit in 2019 thanks to Aran Goyoaga. Making gluten free sourdough, before the pandemic funnily enough, was my excuse to stay in and say no to plans. Also, my boyfriend gifted me the most beautiful knife set last year, so that is definitely a favorite too. 

What are some of your favorite cookbooks and health books?

I love cookbooks. The stacks are so tall near my kitchen now that when my cats jump on them, they sway back and forth nervously. Right now, my top three favorites all happen to be written by prolific women that I look up to…

  1. Aran Goyoaga’s Cannelle et Vanille: Nourishing, Gluten Free Recipes for Every Meal and Mood
  2. Amy Chaplin’s Whole Food Cooking Every Day
  3. Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant

I collect vintage health food books. Are all of the recipes healthy? Absolutely not, but they are a great source of inspiration for me.  

How do you end your day?

I typically end my day by cooking dinner. I like to put on something comfortable, turn on music, dance and sing a bit, unwind, & cook something for me & my boyfriend. Sometimes wine or mezcal, sometimes herbal tea, sometimes magnesium. Sometimes TV, sometimes reading, or sometimes just talking about our day. Usually there is more snuggling with cats. Sometimes Tik Tok, I gave in.

BITTERSWEEET BLONDIE SMOOTHIE

Smoothies are my way of removing complication from meals while meeting all of my nutritional needs. Below is a recipe for my “Bittersweet Blondie Smoothie” using CAP’s beautiful single ingredient organic coconut butter. If you don’t have Oro Blanco, go ahead & use regular grapefruit instead. In Chinese medicine, the bitter flavor guides energy towards the heart, is cooling in temperature and provides a clearing action. As we move into warmer summer months after a year of adjusting life to abide by this pandemic, this smoothie is perfect…

(Serving size, 2)

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water

1 cup unsweetened plant milk of your choice

1/4 Oro blanco, peel & pith removed (if you don’t have oro blanco, use a regular grapefruit)

Juice & zest of ½ lemon

2 T flax oil

1 tbsp tahini

1 banana (fresh or frozen)

1 zucchini, cut into smaller pieces

2 servings of a vanilla protein powder (or unflavored with a dash of vanilla extract)

2 T The Coconut Butter

Optional Ingredients:

If you have access to coconut meat, add about ¼ cup.

 

DIRECTIONS:

-Add all of the ingredients to a blender, starting with the liquids.

-Blend on high until smooth & enjoy!

No need to drink ice cold smoothies or add ice to smoothies as the extreme cold can be a shock to the stomach and spleen, while also building phlegm. With these ingredients, the smoothie should be just as cold as it should be to avoid those symptoms altogether.

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