What is your food philosophy?
Keep it simple, learn how to love cooking, have fun, and don’t let food be boring!
My approach to food is grounded and gentle; that the food we put into our bodies should inspire, nourish and taste amazing. My nutrition practice is about getting back to the basics, eating real foods that inspire, throwing out rules and restrictions, and finding your version of what wellness means.
How do you start the day?
Most mornings I get up around 7 or so, and my fiancé makes us oat milk chai and we’ll sit in bed for a bit, reading and talking about our day. I really enjoy doing Qi Gong and find that it helps wake me up and helps me become ready for the day.
My first meal is usually a banana chai smoothie. It’s a favorite in the winter because of all the warming spices, like cardamom and cinnamon, and it allows me to get all my adaptogens and powders in all at once. If it’s not that we have backyard chickens that lay the best eggs, so I’ll do breakfast tacos with avocado and feta.
If it’s sunny (which 95% of the time it is here in Pasadena!), I’ll sit outside on the deck to soak up the sun. I’m a big morning person, and it’s when I feel most creative and “on”, so this is when I like to get a lot of my work done. I’ll work on recipes, write posts, reply to emails.
What's always in your fridge?
Oat milk, raw almond butter, Cholula & Aardvark hot sauce, sparkling water, miso, pepperoncinis, sheep cheese, fresh eggs from our chickens, all the greens, cherry kombucha, ACV, herbs, cooked beans, carrot top pesto, Siete cassava tortillas, whatever veggies come in my CSA box that week.
What’s always in your pantry?
Seaweed, dry and canned beans, coconut milk, dark chocolate, buckwheat pancake mix, pumpkin and sesame seeds,
What do you turn to, to make you feel your best: food and all the other practices
Creating beauty in my home. Being in the kitchen, which is my sacred space. Putting on a favorite playlist and just sitting still. Walking is probably my favorite form of exercise. I have a few nature trails by my home that I love, and I also like walking along the Arroyo Seco with a good podcast or sometimes just in silence. It’s pretty much the only time my brain turns off.
Making sure I’m drinking enough water and being kind to myself. Good conversations with friends. Herbs like oatstraw, nettle and red raspberry leaf.
Favorite kitchen tool?
Microplane for grating lemon, garlic and cheese.
Small electric whisk for all my tonics, salad dressing, egg whites. It has so many functions!
What does intuitive eating mean to you?
Intuitive eating is learning to listen to your body and giving it what it needs where you’re at. This can refer to a season of life or your cycle. Humans, especially women, are cyclical beings and our needs change on a daily basis. We shouldn’t be expected to have a one-size-fits-all approach to health, as we all need different things.
Eating intuitively is about finding a balance between indulging in food that doesn’t serve you and restriction and deprivation, which both harm the body.
What are some of your favorite cookbooks?
The two I turn to most often are Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden and Cooking for Artists by Mina Stone.
I love their approach to vegetables and cooking seasonally. I own a lot of cookbooks, but I honestly don’t use them very much as I’m kind of all over the place with how I cook and I can never stick to a recipe, but I do use those two a lot.
How do you end your day?
Lighting candles is probably my favorite end of day ritual. I’m a very visual person, so this helps me tell my body it’s time to wind down and relax. I also love taking a bath and watching favorite shows with my guy. Laughing before bed is the best medicine, in my opinion.
What ingredient are you most excited about right now?
Preserved lemons! We are lucky enough to have a big tree in our backyard, and it’s a great way to use them up so you can enjoy them many months down the road.
I’m also big into Szechaun peppers lately — they’re a really unique taste that isn’t too spicy but gives your mouth a nice little *tingle*
Go-to meal that you make for yourself more often than not?
In the winter, I’ll do a lot of soups and stews. I make butternut squash risotto quite often and will use the leftovers to make arancini the next day — the best part!!
I do a lot of bowls with whatever veggies we have. If I'm feeling Mexican inspired, I'll do millet or Spanish rice with some beans and a grain. Top it with feta, pickled onions and some cilantro. Super simple and really tasty. If I'm craving Japanese, I'll do a Japanese yam with white rice, shishito peppers, and steamed broccoli topped with furikake. I typically let fresh produce lead the way.
CHOCOLATE POT DE CREME
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate
2 TB cacao powder
2/3 cashew butter
2 TB maple syrup
1 tsp reishi, chaga or The O'Clocks
In a small saucepan, heat up the coconut milk with the chocolate, stirring often. Once incorporated, add in the cashew butter and maple syrup. Whisk well. Optional add-in: reishi powder or Chaga.
The consistency should be runny and evenly mixed. The coconut will harden in the fridge! Pour into small glass jars and place in the fridge for at least two hours. Top with cacao powder, cacao nibs, rose petals, dried oranges, etc.