I have always been a slim person, I know I know tears... But on a serious note as a kid I feel like I always ate more because I didn't want to be called a noodle or string bean. Now that I am older and less physically active I have to watch more what I eat but cant imagine eating less. I am constantly looking for things that I can eat without restricting how much I consume, because let's face it, I have a problem with limits. While on my search I found Nadia from "Eat better, not less" not only are her recipes out of this world, but her photography makes me want to melt into a smoothie. Although we are across the world I got a chance to catch her with a couple questions come to found out we actually have similar stories. Check out some of her ways to stay in shape, and eat right without limiting yourself.
Nadia is wearing the TRINITY tunic available HERE
We are so inspired by your ideas behind food, the idea that you can be healthy and still be full. What really inspired you to direct your talent to this?
I grew up training 6 times a week for competitive cross-country skiing. When you come home after training all you really want to do is eat. A lot. So I did haha. My mom also cooked and still does cook very healthy and balanced. But then, in 2012, I moved to Canada for 6 months. I mean I was 16, in puberty and everything was new to me (also the food!) so I tried it all. It’s not that I ate masses or didn’t work out at all anymore but my body wasn’t used to whatever I did/ate etc. I came back home to Switzerland with 10 kg more. I didn’t feel comfortable anymore and knew (because I always hated the word diet and what it is) the only possibility is a lifestyle change. I started to get to know all the fresh and wholesome ingredients better, read a lot about it, tried & experimented in the kitchen with all the ingredients, created new recipes every day, started working out more, and within like 8 months I lost about 15 kilos. It’s the 5 kilos you loose anyways when you return back home after an exchange year. The other 10 kilos was hard work, discipline and the will to feel super comfortable again in my own skin. The best thing about my eating change was, that I never felt like I didn’t have enough food or that I ever was hungry. You simply got to eat the right stuff (and believe me you can eat a lot of that!) and leave the processed and refined food out.
Long story short, once I started experimenting with all the “healthy“ ingredients such as Quinoa, Super foods of all kinds, always plenty of fresh veg & fruit- I was immediately amazed by what amazingly delicious dishes you can create (and then eat of course!) that are actually good for you, support your body, provide you with energy & good nutrients and even look amazing!:)
“Eat Better Not Less” should show that eating healthy is definitely not boring and one-dimensional. I want to show people that if you want to eat healthy, you just have to eat better not less! Not only is it a lot of fun to eat this way, but it’s good for your body and will simply help you feel better. These recipes should animate and motivate you to create simple, fast, healthy yet flavorsome recipes that bring color and variety to the plate. Of course it isn’t easy to have a career, a family, friends and hobbies and manage to stay healthy, in shape and feeling good without having to give up delicious food, especially if you make it all yourself. But, if you’re well organized you will see how easy it can be to embrace a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle. So, of course, I get asked a lot about what products I cook with and if I have any tips and tricks to fulfilling the “Eat Better Not Less” lifestyle.
- A healthy diet to me is something in combination with a healthy lifestyle, and vice versa. It is not something that you do for a couple of months to lose a few pounds or “cleanse your system” or whatever else; it is a lifestyle. A life- style in which you have good, healthy, diversified and fresh food that you enjoy and fills you up. And of course, you should also look for other small things in your every-day-life to pay attention to that are conducive to healthy living.
What projects can we look forward to seeing from you soon?
Oh wow a lot haha! My cookbook „Eat Better Not Less“ was released last November and made it to the top. I can now officially say that my book is the bestselling book in the whole Country! I feel so blessed that I get to do what I love and people are actually interested in it! Because the book is going so well and most of my now almost 100k followers on social media are from English speaking countries, I hope to print the hard copy in English real soon. All I can say is, that it will most likely be printed soon- a few publishers are super interested in printing it in English. That would be AMAAAZING to make the book available worldwide!
I will for sure write more books in the future. The next one probably in 2017. Last Sunday I filmed my first cooking video with JoizTV, a Swiss TV- Channel. I haven’t seen the final cut yet but from what I’ve seen it looks great! I really want to have my own Tv show one day! Where I cook, entertain and do all sort of things.:P
Restaurants! In the future I want to have restaurants where people come to eat because it’s an experience! Not just to fill their bellies. They come because it’s all the food they can eat is a new taste experience and HEALTHY! But they forget about that because it’s so good which makes the healthy part even better because most people associate healthy with..lets say a bit tasteless?? I wanna show that the opposite is the case!;)
Yeah, and I have many many more things planned- 2016 has already super exciting things and events coming up. I won’t say too much but you will definitely hear more from me in the future! ;)
What is your number one thing you suggest people to think about before creating a meal?
I always say: Everybody can cook; it's just something you have to practice and, most importantly, do with a lot of passion, imagination and creativity!
With that in mind, turn on your sense of imagination & creativity and simply try out new thing. You gotta get the right ingredients of course; but then try to combine new flavors, make sure to use different coloured foods, always add some crunch to creamy, some sweet to salty, some fresh to warm, some spice to savory dishes and so on and on.. Every spoon you eat should taste different and be an experience to eat.
I love the movie Forrest Gump! It’s the same when it comes to cooking: It’s like a box of chocolate, you never know what you gonna get.
Sometimes you will love what you just created, sometimes you might not. But you don’t know that I you haven’t tried it!;)
I notice you travel a lot let us know what region has your favorite food, and why?
That’s a hard one haha! When I was 18 I traveled around Thailand for 1 month all by myself. It was one of the best experiences accompanied with delicious food of course! I had the best food on the street or Thai-Markets, so wherever tourists aren’t haha. I also live in the jungle for 4 days, it was like a riverboat house kinda thing and the food I had there gosh… so good! It was all picked directly from the gardens and trees and then prepared. You can’t really get more fresh and flavorful food than that! Oh and Italy. I grew up super close to St. Moritz, in the mountains. From there it’s only about a 30-minute drive to Italy. The food, coffee, gelato in Italy are to die for! Especially when made from the Mamma Italiana!
Now I’m really excited for South Africa. I’ve heard it’s one of the best places for good food! OH and I’d love to go to Morocco or somewhere where you can eat Mezze and Lebanese Food. I’m absolutely in love with Mezze like hummus, Babaganoush, falafel… I simply like to have many different things on the table and try a bit of everything!;) There’s so much more for me to see and experience in this world culinary- wise But I’m planning to travel a lot more and visit as many countries as possible to learn from the people how they do it for generations, what their special tips and tricks are and so on.
What do you recommend as a sugar replacement?
My personal favorite at the moment is coconut blossom sugar. Coconut blossom sugar is made from coconut nectar. It contains a lot of minerals and vitamins. Although it’s not one of the sweetest sweeteners, it’s incredibly delicious! It’s great to sprinkle on top of smoothies or any kind of breakfast. It doesn’t only look great, it also brings in a slightly sweet note of which I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Other natural sweeteners I like to use are: Honey, pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup and coconut nectar.
I never use white sugar at all though! I mean why would I if I can replace it with so many better and healthier natural sweeteners!;)
What do you recommend students to eat during a heavy workload to stay healthy?
I suggest to always have a few pieces of fruit with you. So many people just eat because they feel like eating I guess?.. But not because they’re actually hungry. So you’d way rather still your lust with a piece of fruit that’s also nourishing and good for you, instead of eating a bar of chocolate and then feel bad about it..
Any tips on shopping healthy while on a budget?
One question I always get asked is the price for my healthy diet and all the products I use. I can really only give one answer and it’s always the same: diet and appearance are equally important. If I want to look good and can afford to buy new clothes, that money can as well be used to buy slightly more expensive food that will make me feel good. For that I might have to say no to a new t-shirt, or I go out to eat a little less and, when I do or go out I order a water or juice instead of an expensive drink. Happiness and well being come from the inside and that’s the energy you’re radiating on the outside! You need to do something to have that and believe in yourself, though. It’s all just a matter of mindset and attitude, and it’s the same in all aspects of life. If you are motivated and really want some- thing (and with really I do not mean 100%, I mean 120%), you can achieve it!
Also, buying bulk food is cheaper! And I mean depending on the country, but you can buy hell of a lot of good fruit and veg for not that much money!
Are there any cool food Apps that you think everyone should have?
I have to admit, I don’t have many apps on my phone and don’t really use them, but the foodie apps I really like from the layout, style and recipes are „The Green Kitchen“, „Foodfixup“ and hopefully I’ll have my own App soon as well! :P
Because we do it all, we have to find time in a day for lunch, do you have any recommendations on prepping yourself for the week?
Oh organization is the key! Time is not an excuse to me! But Organization makes everything easier. Of course, you cannot plan every single minute. It’s more about finding the time to cook for your self or get some exercise. If you leave the house early in the morning for work and don’t have time for breakfast, you could, for example, prepare some oatmeal and refrigerate it over night. That way you won’t have to stress in the morning and you can simply take your breakfast to- go. Another option is to cook double or triple the quantity and store the extra portions in the refrigerator so you can easily take something with you for lunch or heat it up again in the evening. No matter what, not having time is not an excuse I accept for myself. In the end, it’s just a matter of mindset. My recipes are easy, so easy that sometimes everything comes in a jar and is blended up in just a few minutes producing a nourishing, filling and tasty meal. Everyone can get up a couple of minutes earlier in the morning, it is only a question of how strong your will and dedication are to a balanced lifestyle. With some good, healthy food you are doing something good for your body in any case.
How important to you is creativity, color and food prep, and how do you see it intertwining with other expressions of art?
SO important!! Creativity and variety in nutrition and daily life in general are personally huge for me. It’s so much more fun and enjoyable if you always have something new and beautiful to present. Don’t be afraid of new flavor combinations. Maybe it’ll taste great, maybe not. You’ll only find out if you try. Since I’ve always loved photography and delved into it over the past few years, it was important for me to take photos of high quality. When I got up every morning, I would get so excited about the new photos of the dishes I was going to shoot! Not only is taking pictures a lot of fun, but all the things a great camera can capture has been astonishing. Sometimes, the pictures brought the food to life where all the different ingredients created a range of emotions. You can see every crumb, every bead of moisture, every piece of ground peppercorn. You could smell the herbs and spices coming out of the picture. That is exactly why cooking together with my passion – photography – is art to me.
Follow Nadia @nadiadamaso_ebnl
Check out here site: www.eatbetternotless.com