Hi everyone! If you follow me on Instagram, you should have noticed my lately high excitement about amazing projects… and here we are! The latest July issue of Thrive Magazine has just reached the stands and it features two double pages of my recipes! TWO DOUBLE PAGES!! I can’t still believe this is real and I just can’t help myself smiling like an happy imbecile when I see the bright cover of the magazine sitting on my table. I just can’t explain by words how happy and how proud (and this last point is a very scarce thing) I am to see my own recipes printed in the #1 plant based magazine in the U.S. It is such an awesome feeling of accomplishment and happiness to know that my recipes and my passion for good and healthy food is gonna be shared with people all around the world. This is everything I have ever wished, and this is the best reward I could have imagined. One year ago, I was still totally lost, asking tons of questions about the meaning of my life and just starting to find my way thanks to plant based cuisine. And then things went so fast! The more I was engaged and believed in possible life change, the more things came to me in the most unexpected and awesome ways! I started collaborate with beautiful brands and restaurants, I met amazing beautiful souls that supported me on my journey, I learnt a lot through cuisine courses, I grew my Instagram account and launched my blog. And one year after, so today, there is no more doubts about my life goals. I am going to quit my job in 3 months to start my freelance food photographer and recipe developer new life, and guys I swear I have never be happier than today. It was a hard decision, you know, with all its “what if” and fear moments. I had to work a lot on myself reading self-help books, starting meditation and yoga, but it worked on me and totally changed my perception of life, work and fear. I understood that life is not only about working hard on something you don’t necessary like, make money to go to holiday, and repeat this scheme whole life closing our eyes on the reality. Life is about being happy, accomplished, fulfilled, free, healthy and glowing all this abundance and happiness around to make people feel the same. Life is about being at our best to be able to offer the best of ourselves to the world, be it by the work we do, our compassion, our kindness. I am not saying it is an easy thing and that you just have to want it to do it. Actually it is pretty difficult, and myself had to work a lot for it and still have a long journey to reach these life goals! But I know I want it, and the most important, I believe in it. So I encourage you guys to listen to your heart, understand your needs and go on your happiness way. You won’t be disappointed and good things will naturally come to you.
SOOO, to come back to the initial topic of this post, you might or might not know Thrive magazine. It is a wonderful U.S. plant based magazine, focusing on vegan food, culture and lifestyle. It is a all time source of inspiration for me, every month they feature amazing food and travel bloggers, athletes, photographers and artists, who share their vision and love of plant based life. The articles are really well done, enlightening, inspiring and the editorial work is simply stunning. Browsing the magazine is like looking through a beautiful photography books: the pictures are all so vibrant, perfect and consistent I could just contemplate for hours (and find some inspiration for my coming shootings). Along with the photos come delicious recipes from different bloggers, that create a very nice melting pot of styles and influences. The recipes usually range from very easy (2-3 ingredients recipes) to more complex ones, so that there is something for everyone. And in addition of the food articles, they also feature some inspiring travel, sport, nutrition, beauty, household and more very interesting articles, always plant based, sustainable and good for health and environment.
So what a joy when I learnt that they were interested by my work and would like to feature some of my recipes in their upcoming issue! But also, what a stressing moment! It was a huge opportunity, and as a very perfectionist person, I wanted everything to be PE-R-FE-CT. This July issue topic was “Summer”, so they expected fresh, light and colorful dishes. And the good thing was that I was freshly back from my trip in Bali, so I had tons of tropical and colorful inspirations in my mind! So I just jumped onto my notepad and started thinking about good summer salads and smoothies, trying to think about everything I have loved in Bali, and all these converged on three tropical delicious recipes : the dragon fruit and mango Bali Smoothie, the buddha bowl and some summer mango sushis. I made all these recipes in one week-end and they are probably the best things I have ever done. The three are featured in the magazine and I hope you will love them as much as I had fun making them!
This issue (volume 16 – July 2018) is still available until August 15th, you can find them in many U.S. grocery store including Target, Walmart and Costco, you can find a full list of the resellers on their website here. You can also subscribe online for a 1-year print delivery (international) or a digital version.
But for you all, below is my integral interview for Thrive! I think it is a very good opportunity to share a little more about myself, my story and my values, and also to provide you some useful tips about cooking and photography! In the interview, I share my tips to upgrade your salads, my current favorite ingredients and tips to bring your food photography to the next level! Hope these can help you guys, and I wish you a very pleasant lecture.
Have a wonderful day, thank you so much again for your invaluable support, and don’t forget to live your best life. xx
My Thrive Interview:
What is something new that you recommend us trying in the kitchen, that many of us might not try?
I have recently started experimenting with fermentation and I just fell in love with it! It is an amazing and passioning process that highlights how living food is and how it can be affected by any little changes in its environment. Fermentation is, in some way, a thumbnail of what is actually happening in a larger scale on Earth, with animals and nature. I have to admit I was a little scared at the begging because fermentation had something mystical and really complex to me, with really strict hygiene rules that only restaurants and industrial brands can deal with. But I gave it a try and realized how simple it is: the only thing is to make the effort to take the time to listen to the products and try to satisfy its needs, just as if you were taking care of a pet! You have to feed it, make sure that it is not too hot or too cold, and you can see it grow up … it’s so much fun! I have tried kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, cheese, kefir and recently brewing my own kombucha – and is there someone here to help me drinking all that? They grow so fast!
Your last food discovery? Ingredients or tips.
My last food discovery is soaking and sprouting nuts and seeds. The basic principle is to soak your nuts and seeds in water prior to consume in order to neutralized their enzyme inhibitors that block the absorption of nutrients by our bodies -yep, also a scientific thing to impress during your next date. Soaking is a way to activate seeds and nuts and get the best out of their nutrients and benefits. It also makes them better in taste and softer, so easier to digest. The best thing about soaking is that no equipment is needed and everybody can do it at home! Soaking is also the base of nut milk making, an other amazing discovery! Nut milks, like almond or cashew, are at the very heart of plant-based diet, and I am horrified to see all the additives some brands can put in their milks to extend their shelf life. It is such a nonsense to put money in products that are expected to be good for your and end up with added sugars and preservatives while you can simply make your own milk, which moreover will be far better! Lets have fun experimenting with different nuts like macadamia, pistachio or even seeds like sunflower or pumpkin, or add some spices for extra flavor. I swear your breakfasts will go to the next level and you will never return to commercial ones!
How do you transform a salad? Any secret for a wonderful dressing?
Salad is definitely at the base of my everyday diet as it is versatile, nourishing and very easy to prepare, so I had to develop some tips to upgrade my regular green salad and make every meal an explosion of flavors. During my last culinary course, I had a whole block about how building an outstanding salad, and let me tell you that it might be one of the most difficult topic! It all relies on the base you choose, the garnish and obviously, the dressing. The dressing can change everything and make your salad a meal worthy of the finest restaurants. Preparing a good dressing is all about balancing fat and acidity; basically use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice. You can make a killer vinaigrette simply by using olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, in the right proportions. So good with a fresh summer tomato salad! Or add some sweeteners like agave and spices to create your very own vinaigrette. Just be creative, experiment and taste your dressing every time you add an ingredient to feel how it affects the whole flavor. My current favorite dressing is peanut and lemongrass sauce! I can basically add it in everything, from salad to stir-fry vegetables and rice. An other option to upgrade a salad is to sprinkle nuts and seeds before serving, like peanuts, almond, sesame, pumpkin or hemp seeds. It will add some crunchiness to your salad.
What is your fitness routine?
I am a sport addict for sure! Sport gives the rhythm to my days: when possible, I love starting with a yoga session on the morning to gently wake up my body and mind, then I used to running outdoor at midday to enjoy the sun and usually I like to end my day with a weigh training session at the gym, to release all the pressure. Sport is a necessity for me, it helps me to feel good in my body and soul, it is a way to empty my mind, breath and take a break, which is very important when you spend most of your day cooking, shooting and editing indoor -not to mention lot of tasting, it’s all about balance! It is also a way to challenge myself and exceed, just as I want to be in everyday life. And as I believe that fitness is not only about sport but mostly in your plate, I give a special care to what I eat and each day I try to align my incomes with my activity, without falling into the trap of strict calories counting, yuk!
Any photography tips?
Many people ask me for tips and advices to shoot food, and I think you definitely don’t have to be a professional or to have the latest 3,000$ camera to make outstanding photos. They are some basics about general photography that also apply to food photography and can radically change the quality and power of your photos. You can find so many tutorials and courses on the Internet about food photography and the basic rules like the rule of three, geometry, patterns repetition, framing … I can only encourage you to have a look at it (just tap Food Photography Composition for instance). BUT, I know how time consuming it can be and if you’re « I would like to learn everything and dont miss anything, omg there are so much topics it will take me a life to read everything and master!!» like me, here are some magic tips that I always use in my photos: sketching, natural light, using the right props, and editing. I always think about my photo composition and draft sketches on paper before shooting, that way I am sure to build a powerful photo and avoid to take tons of shots and spend hours sorting. Natural light is your best friend! I nearly never use artificial light to the point where I literally schedule my week according to weather! Best moment to shoot, depending is where you are living, is a slightly cloudy day, when the light is bright but diffuse – never direct light! Then props, props are life! They will create the atmosphere and story around your dish: a cosy Sunday breakfast in bed, a healthy lunch on the go or a dirty Mexican dinner with your friends. Use them smartly and with moderation, it is not about spreading crumbs and sauce all over your dear grandma tablecloth. Finally editing, maybe one of the most important thing as it can sometimes save even your most awful photos. I admit it is not the easiest, but take half a day to watch tutorials and practice and I promise you will become the master in a very short time!
Thrive quick fire
1. Something you always have in your bag?
A spoon, just in case I meet a new plant-based ice-cream on my way.
2. Best advice your mom or grandma told you?
Always believe in miracles and never give up.
3. Where do you get most of your inspiration?
From my travels and the nature.
4. What hashtags do you use to find inspiration + food?
#plantbased #bestofvegan #feedfeed #foodphotography #foodplating
5. Ingredients you can’t live without?
Peanut Butter obviously, cinnamon, chocolate, banana, and … peanut butter?
6. What’s the fastest way to shift your mood?
Going for a walk with killer song and convince myself I’m a badass … or an ice-cream pint.
7. One of your favorite quotes:
“Let your fear be your compass” (Jen Sincero).
8. Something we wouldn’t know about you?
Most of my best recipes have been made in pyjamas.