About a month ago, I got the opportunity to meet with a blogger that I truly admire. Her name is Jennifer Hill, of Foodess. When I first came across her blog, what struck me was her ability to enjoy incredible foods like her Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies:
while balancing them with her Spiced Carrot Ginger Soup
I was extremely interested in her take on the “foodie” stereotype. So, I asked to meet with her and this is what she had to say!
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I don’t think I’ve ever had a typical workday. Usually there is some writing in some form or another. I work regularly for Roger’s Foods…so I do all their recipe development and food photography! So there is always some baking and photography and I do writing for different food companies – nutrition articles, food articles. I see clients one-on-one for nutrition counselling and I also meet with clients such as restaurants and food industry professionals!
What is your favourite thing to do on your time off, or does your professional and fun time meld together?
I do enjoy pottery and I run and do yoga.
Is it hard to strike a balance between being a foodie and being a nutritionist?
Not at all. For me it is a completely natural fit. That’s why my business is called Foodie Nutrition, is because I have such a passion for food and I want to share that with people and teach people how to enjoy food in such a way that they can keep healthy and have a pleasurable diet full of everything they love…a balance.
If you look at the food culture in LA and NYC, that’s where all the headquarters are for all the food magazines, big restaurants, food critics, food writers, everybody who’s lives revolve around food. You are eating mindfully, you’re picky about what you put in your mouth, if it doesn’t taste good, you won’t finish it.
That’s hard sometimes.
[laughs] It takes practice.
You talk a lot about being “guilt free” but sometimes when you reach for a brownie, it’s hard to say “I’m not going to feel guilty about this.” What do you tell your clients to help them accomplish this?
Well it’s a process. I don’t think you go from someone who feels guilty about eating to not feeling guilty, overnight. It takes time. Just to know that when it comes to your weight, because that’s usually where the guilt comes from, a calorie is a calorie so if you eat 100 calories of brownie or 100 calories of carrot sticks, at the end of the day, let’s stop demonizing foods first and foremost. And if you take the time to enjoy it, food is more than nutrition, it is about lifestyle, culture, and pleasure.
What is your daily meal plan?
There is no typical day at all. I always eat breakfast. One of my favourite breakfasts is steel cut oats, I love sourdough bread and almond butter. Lunch is usually leftovers. I love making soups, I work from home so I can cook at home. Dinner is always different. Sometimes life gets too busy but then I try and plan for leftovers. And then there’s always the sushi down the street. [laughs]
Who is your best recipe taster?
My boyfriend. **mine is too!
What is your favourite restaurant in Vancouver?
I don’t know! I enjoy so many restaurants. It was Vij’s for a long time, but I bought both of his cookbooks, and I cook so much from his cookbooks. I found this new restaurant called Nicli Pizzeria. It’s amazing.
Where do you find your best inspiration for recipes?
I think I have a subscription for every food magazine on the market. So that, and food blogs.
Your favourite kitchen appliance.
A really good, sharp chef’s knife.
Top 5 favourite ingredients.
Onions, Garlic, Greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard), Spices (curry powder, chilis), Rich Dairy Products (sour cream)
When did you form your company, Foodie Nutrition?
Pretty much as soon as I graduated, 2 years ago.
What is your favourite thing to cook, if you had to pick one recipe?
I just made a killer moussaka!
*photos taken by Jennifer Hill for Foodess