Last Friday was a good day. I was honored to be featured on Jessica's powerful site, The Wellness Warrior. Jessica launched her amazing wellness empire after successfully treating her cancer diagnosis with dramatic diet and wellness changes. Now she's Australia's reining Queen of Wellness. How awesome is that!?If you've ever wondered what turned me onto healthy cooking, what I'd cook to convert someone, or how I eat on the run read below or you can see the live post here.
Foodie Friday: Sarah Waldman
Sarah Waldman is a health coach, a passionate real food foodie, a mama, and the creator of the food blog, Two Blue Lemons. Scrolling through her wholesome country-style recipes and looking at her beautifully photographed images instantly makes me want to pack up and move to a farm.
Meet Sarah …
What was the catalyst that turned you into a healthy foodie?
During the summer of 2006 a girlfriend lent me the book Skinny Bitch and I read it on the beach. I didn’t take all of it to heart but it made me want to investigate my food choices further. I ended up reading dozens of books that year (In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, What to Eat by Marion Nestle, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barabara Kingsolver etc.) and basically never looked back. Food changed for me, and what I craved and ate was completely different.
What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your diet?
Definitely unknown animal products – they give me the willies. I really only find organic happily raised eggs, cow’s milk, and fish appealing. The other stuff just doesn’t sound good to me. I guess I’ve seen too many pictures of sad animals living sad lives that my mind immediately goes there!
If you were trying to convert someone to your dietary philosophy, what would you make for them?
Something colourful, fresh from our garden, and representative of Martha’s Vineyard. I’d probably serve Herbed Fresh Pea Soup, a baby lettuce salad with Avocado Buttermilk Dressing, and Lemon-Herb Cod Fillets with Crispy Garlic Potatoes (using local codfish) in our backyard on a summer night.
How do you stay healthy while traveling?
I get grumpy when I’m hungry so I try to stay prepared. I pack things like fruit, nuts, and cheese but when all else fails I look for simple foods. A slice of bread with peanut butter is usually easy to find almost anywhere. Try not to over-complicate things, and find a grocery store once you settle in so you don’t have to rely on restaurants.
What are your go-to meals and snacks when you are super busy?
Meals: Chickpea, Watercress & Mango Salad with Lime-Curry Vinaigrette, Sweet Potato Tacos, or Greek Salad with Farro.
Snacks: Avocado on anything, olives, humus, sliced pear with cheddar, or Dino Smoothie.
Juices or smoothies: Which do you prefer? What’s your favourite combination?
I love both but I’d say smoothies because my son will drink just about any smoothie and, as busy parents know, I end up making what he likes! Our favourite is called the Rainforest and is 1 banana, ½ cup frozen mango, ½ cup coconut milk, ½ cup fresh orange juice, 1-2 cups baby spinach leaves. It makes great popsicles as well!
What’s the biggest nutrition misconception you are always having to clear up for people?
People are most surprised that I eat full fat dairy products, but they work for my body, taste good to me, and I believe cream from the farm next door is certainly better for me then fat-free whipped cream in a spray bottle.
I also get the “how do you eat enough protein?” question a lot as I don’t eat much animal meat. It’s funny that westerners are so hung up on protein. I think if everyone were eating proper amounts of green vegetables, fresh fruits, beans, yogurt, happy eggs, nuts, seeds, and other food that work for their bodies they’d realise there’s not enough time in the day to be eating all that “protein”!
If you could prepare a meal for anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you make?
Oh that’s hard, but my first thought is a strawberry cake for my son’s birthday. It’s a food that represents my pride in our family and my overwhelming thanks that he is here.
What does being a Wellness Warrior mean to you?
It means caring about yourself and those around you, it means trying to stop the cycle of fake food being fed to our kids, and it means seeking out and enjoying the beautiful whole foods next door.
A Recipe From Sarah:
Best Quinoa-Black Bean Burgers
2 cups or 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (sub corn meal for gluten-free)
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1. In a small saucepan, toast the quinoa in olive oil for a few minutes. Add a cup of water and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
2. Put the black beans, cooked quinoa, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, chilli powder, cumin, and tomato paste into a mixing bowl. Mix everything together with your hands until it’s evenly mixed. Really go after it and squish the mixture between your fingers, mashing the beans up. You want it to hold together well.
3. Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Divide the burger mixture into four equal pieces. I like to trace a line with my hand before forming patties. Use your hands to build the burgers.
4. Pour a layer of olive oil into the pan. Cook the patties (be careful not to overcrowd the pan) for 5 minutes on each side, until they are a deep brown. While the burgers cook, mix honey mustard together.
5. Toast the buns, slather them with honey mustard, and assemble the burgers with avocado, tomato, arugula, cilantro, a fried egg, or whatever else catches your eye!