Foodie Friday: Emily Lynne Smith
I fell in love with Emily’s blog, The Best of this Life, a few months ago after being sucked in by how darn well the girl photographs food. Her meals look like art. When I peered closer, I found that all of her dishes were also made from the highest quality whole food ingredients. Plus, you can tell just by looking at them how much love and passion she pours into their creation.
So, all the way from Ottawa, Canada, I give you the talented foodie, photographer, writer, mother, and gluten-free recipe designer Emily Lynne Smith.
What was the catalyst that turned you into a healthy foodie?
I always considered myself a healthy eater, saving sweets for special occasions and loading up on fruits, vegetables, protein, and gluten-free grains on the daily. However, when I became pregnant I became even more health conscious, wanting to make the very best choices for my Little One. As a family, we work towards healthier living each and everyday. Collectively exercising, trying new vegetables, taking our vitamins and introducing super foods to our diets (our latest: chia seeds, we love them).
What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your diet?
A diet made up of 99% whole foods. If we want French fries, we’ll have them – by peeling loads of sweet potatoes, drizzling them with just a touch of olive oil and going for a forty five minute walk while they bake.
If you were trying to convert someone to your dietary philosophy, what would you make for them?
My Mediteranean salad. It’s jammed packed with flavour, whole foods, loads of veggies, and it’s filling because of the addition of pink salmon and long grain rice. I think I’d win them over
How do you stay healthy while travelling?
I pack my pantry with me, so to speak. I’ll take baggies of home-made trail mix for the plane ride, bake gluten-free oatmeal cookies for the road, and bring along travel packets of green leaf juice for an energy boost. Typically, we’ll stay somewhere that has a kitchenette so that we can pick up groceries at a local market and make our own meals (keeps us eating healthy and saves money too). If a small kitchen isn’t possible, we still pack the mini-fridge with chopped veggies and berries, and hit restaurants for our main meal. I’ve never gone to a city without printing out a list of restaurants and menus for meal planning!
What are your go-to meals and snacks when you are super busy?
What saves me from making poor eating decisions when I’m on the go is preparation. Having healthy options readily available is a lifesaver. For a quick snack, I have different types of raw nuts in mason jars, chopped vegetables in the fridge, and I like to bake oatmeal fruit muffins to have on-hand. For easy meals, we rely on a hearty salad with sweet potato fries, gluten-free fettuccini with olives and tomato sauce, or an easy bean and rice dish.
Juices or smoothies: Which do you prefer? What’s your favourite combination?
Smoothies! I’m a smoothie gal My freezer is full of vegetables and fruits ready to pop in the blender for a splendid amount of delicious combinations. It would be difficult to choose a favourite, however I do love the mix of pineapple coconut or blueberries with cucumber, celery, and parsley.
What’s the biggest nutrition misconception you are always having to clear up for people?
That “gluten-free” doesn’t always mean healthy! Just because it’s in a health food store, or the organic section of the super market, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you. We’re seeing an increase in products on the market, and even a full section of gluten-free choices at a local grocery store, which wasn’t available 15 years ago. However, a lot of the ingredients in the baking mixes, breads, and cereal bars are not all that healthy for you. I encourage a diet that is chock full of fresh, whole foods, first and foremost – and be very conscious of the nutritious value of anything that comes in a package. We use gluten-free baking mixes in our home from time to time, but we’re quite selective and are fully aware that they are the exception, not the rule.
If you could prepare a meal for anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you make?
My husband! He’s my biggest fan and there is no one that enjoys food more than him…well, maybe our son It’s always a pleasure to cook alongside him and for him, because he takes the time to relish the meal you’ve prepared. I would prepare a peppered smoked salmon, goat’s cheese and vegetable brown rice pasta dish and for dessert, yellow plum sorbet.
What does being a Wellness Warrior mean to you?
It means making healthy choices everyday and through my actions, encouraging those around me to do the same. I love learning about simple changes that can make you healthier – mind, body, and spirit – and sharing them with my family, friends, and dear readers of The Best of this Life.
A Recipe From Emily:
Red Cabbage Leaf Salad with Blood Oranges and Chives
Serves 4 – 6
4 cups of green leaf lettuce
2 cups red cabbage leaf, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
2 blood oranges, one peeled and separated, the other sliced finely
10 chives, chopped
Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
5 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper (just a touch)
1. Wash and prepare all the vegetables.
2. Place green leaf lettuce in bottom of salad bowl, layer with cabbage leaf, mushrooms, oranges, and sprinkle chopped chives on top.
3. Pour vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently before serving.
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Positive affirmation for the day: I have the power to change how I feel, simply by changing how I think.
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