Nathalie has a popular Instagram page where she inspires people to connect to your inner goddess through healthy food, self-love, creativity, pleasure and feel good vibes. WE CHATTED TO Nathalie ABOUT her LIFESTYLE, family AND BLOGging...
Tell us about yourself!
I was born & raised in Lebanon, a beautiful country in the middle east where I have earned a masters in clinical psychology and started practicing there.
Then I met the love of my life and had to move to the US where he lives and my life has forever changed since!
My first culture shock was food & nutrition and how it affects our life on daily basis, i delved more into that, changed my diet & my lifestyle and couldn't feel better.
I graduated from IIN (the institute for integrative nutrition) in 2015 as a holistic health coach.
Today I coach women beyond the food on their plates, I guide them to connect to their inner goddess (Inner.G) through healthy rituals, food is just one of them, so they can reclaim their power and tap into their inner.G and create the life they want.
I am also a mom of 2 beautiful girls who inspire me tremendously.
When did you start food blogging on Instagram and what inspired you to start?
After I changed my diet in 2011 and shifted to a plant-based one, I started recreating dishes that I love in a healthier way, omitting dairy, meat, processed foods, and people started showing interest in my food & lifestyle and encouraged me to share it online.
You are such a positive advocate for plant-based living. What led you to this lifestyle choice?
I just love plant-based foods, it makes me feel so good; since I changed my diet, I started having more energy, clarity, better skin and hair, I felt so good in my body, my meals wont make me tired or sleepy anymore, I felt more alive.
It all started when i first moved to the US and got shocked with the big portions of the overly processed food, nothing tasted the same and my body couldn't tolerate the junk, so I started experiencing a rash on my neck that was so mysterious, even doctors couldn't tell me why it was happening.
it was an awakening time for me, and my desire to know more led me to change my diet, I cut off meat, dairy and sugar and the rash went away!
It was my first Aha moment: food does affect our health, it really does, and I remembered how much I used to dislike meat when I was little but I got conditioned to consume it growing up.
And since then, it has been a beautiful & fascinating journey!
Today I still believe that good food is very important for our health but I do believe that we need food for the soul as well.
You have two very cute little girls! Do they eat plant-based diets also? If so, what is your advice for other parents trying to encourage their kids to eat more plant-based and healthy foods?
Yes my kids eat a plant-based diet, and I am glad you didn't put labels in your question, as are you kids vegan or not; because honestly I believe that labels are very restrictive and dogmatic.
We all eat food that are 95% derived from plants, but most importantly we do not eat processed food or sugar. My kids love greens, radishes, beets, cauliflower etc.. things usually other kids don't like and my daughter's friend call her food "weird" (lol) simply because they are not familiar with eating whole foods and vegetables!
It is easier to incorporate healthy food since they start eating solid foods because their taste buds will develop liking the natural flavors of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts etc..
When kids get used to eat a lot of processed & sugary foods, their taste buds become overly stimulated by the chemicalized flavors and it will be a challenge to make them appreciate the sweetness of fruits & veggies, or even tolerate other flavors found in veggies & other plant based food.
Now what we can do: it is a process and it is going to take time to get them back on track:
- Start by cutting the refined sugar & flour, make healthy treats using dates or natural sweetener and unrefined flour. Or make raw treats using frozen fruits, nuts & seeds.
- Get them in the kitchen with you, let them participate in creating their own food & treats whenever possible. the act of creating a dish or a treat using whole foods is fascinating for kids, it will create more awareness & consciousness around how they are nourishing their body.
- Ask them their opinion and adjust the flavors to their liking, show them that natural healthy food does taste good.
- Teach them to plant anything! It could be seeds in a small pot in your kitchen. Let them experience the power of living food.
- And in the meantime, sneak those veggies in their smoothies lol! Because it is going to take time and as you as the parent is consistent & persistent in this mission of putting them on the healthy track, the kids will definitely follow. It just needs some patience.
- Last thing: Lead by example! Our kids imitate everything we do, say or even feel!
Your photos are always styled so nicely, what tips and tricks can you share to assist in creating such great images?
Thank you so much, that is so sweet.
I do not really plan my pictures or creations ahead of time, but that doing so will save a lot of time! I am very flowy when it comes to creating and I just go with the spur of the moment. So if you dont have time to plan ahead of time, don't worry, you can still create great pictures.
The tips & tricks that have worked for me though are:
- Use fresh & colorful ingredients! When the subject is already pretty, this is what you are going to capture.
- Use natural light, food looks best under natural light (not too much light though), all you need is a small window.
- Use a background for your pictures that is not going to take the attention from your food, Your food is the hero. Use simple surfaces, pates, bowls that are not too flashy.
- Use a good camera or even a good phone camera will do like the iphone 7+ has an awesome cam with a great depth of field. But make sure your picture is not blurry or grainy.
- Edit your photos with lightroom! Such an incredible tool to take your photo to a next level without really photoshopping them!
- If you can, use a tripod so avoid shaking hands especially when shooting without enough light.
These are really simple steps that anybody can start with and little by little you can be a little fancy and use fancy props or upgrade your camera lens etc...
When your not food blogging, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I do not really have a spare time lol! I am a mom, which is a full time job already.
My days are spent between kids, food & lifestyle blogging (instagram, stories, creating food, taking pictures, posting, facebook lives, editing pictures, developing recipes for brands etc), getting on calls with my clients from different parts of the world as a holistic health coach, following up on emails, making lunch for myself & my family, kids activity, spending time with hubby when he comes back from work, studying, workout, dinner, showering kids... are you tired yet lool
But I still make time for myself, when everybody goes to sleep and I enjoy the simple things: I love tapping into my spiritual world, I listen to Abraham Hicks, I read self-help books, I listen to music, I love journaling, I meditate and I LOVE to daydream, I think that is my favorite thing to do and I can do that at any time of the day: just visulaizing my desired fulfilled! It gives me tremendous joy and keep my drive alive to manifest them!
I also love to walk in nature and watch the moon.
You serve up some pretty amazing dishes in our Coconut Bowls! What has been your favourite so far?
Honestly I love using your coconut in everything! But my favorite is to serve smoothies! Smoothies look so good with all the toppings in those bowls!
What is your favourite thing about your Coconut Bowls?
I love the natural feel of eating out of a coconut bowl! It is so earthy and makes me feel more connected to the food I am eating. It allows me to channel my inner goddess!
And off course I love the fact that they are eco-friendly and stunning!
We are so excited to have one of your recipes included in our new cookbook ‘Vegan Bowls for Vegan Souls’. Tell us about the recipe you chose and what it means for you to be apart of the book?
Be inspired and follow Nathalie's journey over at @nathaliesader