Foodie Friday: Amy Landry
Amy Landry is a former professional dancer, a current yoga teacher, and student of Ayurveda. Amy and I have been bumping into each other online for a couple of years and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person when she recognised my voice across a raw, vegan café in Sydney. I love Amy’s foodie philosophy, and I’m thrilled to share her with you.
Meet Amy …
What was the catalyst that turned you into a healthy foodie?
It really was a slow, yet obvious, transition. I’m (now) a vegetarian. I grew up in a meat & veggie kind of family. However, as my mum can vouch, I was never a fan of meat really, unless it was chicken (breast only), or a bit of seafood. I turned my nose up to anything else.
From my extensive background in professional dance, this naturally led to an interest in health and fitness (I became a certified personal trainer), which in the end has turned into a passionate lifelong dedication to yoga. Over the years I really came to question what I ate, and I’m an inquisitive person, always seeking to learn. I became vegetarian a number of years back, not long after meeting my husband. We both did. We’ve ‘dabbled’ in a vegan lifestyle, and have toyed with the idea of going raw. However, at this time, and through my understanding of yoga, I have chosen to align my healthy food choices with the system of Ayurveda. I find this nourishes me the most.
Important to note, as a lifetime asthmatic, through experimenting with food choices I have been able to get off my daily double dose of preventative medication which I have been on every single day of my life. I’ve been off it 100% for the past 5 months now!
What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your diet?
I love a mix between raw food, vegan and of course vegetarian, staying aligned with the 3 seasons according to Ayurveda (Vata is Autumn and early Winter, Kapha is Winter and early Spring, and Pitta is Spring and Summer). My preference is to eat organic where possible and affordable – prioritising the top 10 to 15 of the most toxic fruits and vegetables. Fortunately my body is quite happy eating high quality carbohydrates and occasional dairy. But my biggest non-negotiable is to not eat burnt or over cooked food. Cooked food should be light, and prepared with care, time and full presence. Also, I’m a big advocate for seasonal eating.
Why do you eat the way you eat?
For a variety of reasons: Ethical, environmental, economical, and importantly, to stay aligned with nature, the seasons.
If you were trying to convert someone to your dietary philosophy, what would you make for them?
A beautiful home cooked Indian Ayurvedic curry made with lentils, vegetables, colour, texture, love, and a hint of spice – sprinkled with fresh coriander. Served with homemade roti & basmati rice.
How do you stay healthy while travelling?
I do my research before I go, seeking out local cafes, restaurants and grocers to find amazing vegetarian and wholefoods businesses to support.
When I worked on board cruise ships as a professional dancer, I would pick up the Lonely Planet guide for all the countries we were visiting. Instead of doing all the touristy stuff all the time, my husband and I checked out many of the inspiring places swarmed with locals eating consciously. Denmark, Sweden and Finland have some gems!
What are your go-to meals and snacks when you are super busy?
Hummus; nuts and seeds; bliss balls; Ayurvedic Bindi Balls; Marrock Farm organic/biodynamic Vanilla and Maple yoghurt (with organic goji berries and macadamias sprinkled in); grilled haloumi; organic sourdough lightly toasted with avocado, tomato, and basil; organic baby carrots with pumpkin dip; and some Loving Earth chocolate!
Juices or smoothies: Which do you prefer? What’s your favourite combination?
In summer I love fresh juice, with a tonne of ginger and mint. I do fancy a straight up watermelon juice. Or otherwise carrot, pineapple and ginger. According to Ayurveda, summer is the best time to consume raw meals.
However, I do most often have smoothies. I find they’re more energising for my lifestyle, and I have a very fast metabolism so they fill me up nicely. I love making smoothies with banana, macadamia nut butter, almond milk, some leafy greens, raw honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Shakti’s Super Food Blend (SSB) – and some cacao if I’m craving something dessert-like.
What’s the biggest nutrition misconception you are always having to clear up for people?
That vegetarian’s don’t get enough protein, Iron or B12 (and that the food is boring). My protein levels have always been adequate (I never take supplements), my iron always at a healthy level, and my B12 was on the low end of the healthy scale twice, but generally it’s always looking good! Transitioning into a vegetarian, vegan or raw diet takes time and careful planning, education and guidance. It does concern me when I see young girls claiming to be vegetarian, and yet they only eat hot chips for lunch. No wonder so many are vitamin deficient! Education is key, and experimentation. But no one way is the right way. Everyone is so unique. Ayurveda recognises this uniqueness in each individual’s constitution. That is part of the reason why I love it so much. And I love the modern evolution of Ayurveda to incorporate vegan and raw food lifestyles if appropriate to one’s constitution.
If you could prepare a meal for anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you make?
Jiddu Krishnamurti – His books (aka. His humble philosophy) resonates deeply for me. And to have a conversation with him would truly be an honour. Those who have been in his presence were so very fortunate.
I would try to stay true to his lineage and make him a vegetarian spicy dahl, with hand made roti, served with chutney. I would whip up some fresh chai on the stove made with organic Assam tea, mixed spice, and organic local cow’s milk.
What does being a Wellness Warrior mean to you?
Staying conscious and educated. Staying loyal to my personal truth. Being open to experimenting. Getting fresh air, sunshine, and surrounding myself with calm, passionate and kind people. And most definitely following my Dharma (life purpose), and sharing it fully, deeply and honestly with as many beings as I can.
A Recipe From Amy:
A Vegan ‘Warm Coconut, Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad’
1 large organic sweet potato, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Use 1/2 if you love spicy food!)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2-3 pinches organic Himalayan pink sea salt
One 15-ounce can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups), or equivalent in raw chickpeas, soaked overnight.
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 215°C/425°F.
In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato, garlic, peppers, coconut oil, and salt. Toss the sweet potato pieces until evenly coated.
Roast them on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.
Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing:
Tahini Goddess Dressing
(Makes approx. 1/2 cup i.e. plenty!)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 organic Himalayan pink sea salt
1/4 cup (raw if possible) organic tahini
2 teaspoons organic tamari
1 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoons raw organic honey (or maple syrup)
1/6 cup purified water
1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Place all ingredients, except the parsley, in a small bowl and using a blender or food processor, blend ingredients well until smooth.
Add the parsley at the end and mix well.
In a medium bowl, mix the roasted potatoes, chickpeas, red onions, parsley and the dressing. Combine ingredients well and serve. Eat with a green salad or on it’s own.
This salad is beautiful on a summer evening, or a cosy winters night. Note: It is egg and dairy free (and can also be made gluten free, with gluten free tamari sauce). It’s incredibly tasty!
For more from Amy check out amyelandry.com
Positive affirmation for the day: The universe always finds a way to remove what is no longer serving me.
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