One hot summer day in Brooklyn, New York I met with Kevin Hayeland to take a couple portraits. Later that week I chatted with Live Fast Mag about my clean-eating lifestyle. Read a sneak peek here, but for full interview and more pictures you find it on Live Fast Magazine.
“Model and health food entrepreneur Eddie Mitsou is, in a word, passionate. Originally from Sweden, she currently splits her time between Los Angeles, New York, and wherever else in the world she finds herself. With a passion for clean-eating that began when she was a teenager, she took the time to share with us how she prioritizes her healthy vegan lifestyle while constantly on the go, what recipes are in her current rotation, and her process when it comes to developing new dishes. Dig in!”
LF: Hi Eddie! Welcome to Live FAST. You’ve mentioned that you’ve been interested in a clean-eating lifestyle since you were a teen. How did this passion flourish at such a young age?
EM: I’ve always eaten very healthy and had an understanding for the influence food has on my body since before I was a teenager. I never liked the taste of meat, so I have been pretty much fully vegetarian since I was 12. My favorite food was always salad or grilled vegetables, I never liked unhealthy things like pizza. I started modeling at the age of 14 and as we all know the career I got thrown into puts a lot of pressure to have a perfect figure – unfortunately and fortunately, in my own case. Fortunate since I made the choice to stay in great shape the healthy way, not to starve myself. I was “forced” to learn about nutrition and how to feed my body to look (and feel!) the best.
LF: You travel between Los Angeles, New York City, and your hometown of Stockholm. How do you manage to eat clean while always on the go?
EM: This is a question that people always tend to ask me – and to me it’s one of the easiest to answer! It’s not as hard as you think, there’s so many good snacks that you can bring. When I know I’ll be out and about, I always have a vegan protein bar in my purse, some trail mix, or a snack pack of nut butter. When I go on the plane I always bring my own food. I feel like a lot of people are unknowing of the fact that you can bring food through security – it just has to be solid. If I’m flying, I’ll always bring a salad (dressing must already be mixed) and maybe some raw chocolate as dessert.
I always have tea bags in my wallet. They are so easy to bring and are a perfect pick me up/detoxifier/energy booster whenever. You can get access to hot water pretty much anywhere. I like herbal teas – ginger or sweet tooth curbing mint is something I try to consume as much as possible.
LF: What recipes are in your current rotation?
EM: I try to stay as close to the season as possible and it’s definitely easier when I’m in California. There is a constant need to inform people that you can find local sources of various nutrients and vitamins. In Sweden, we have several berries that are as rich in vitamins as the exotic overpriced ones – like Goji and Inca. It’s better for the environment to eat what grows around you. It’s also much nicer to your wallet and makes sense on a more spiritual level to eat what naturally grows around you.
Pick what’s around me – I like to think like that when I cook and create. When I spent a month in Costa Rica I mainly lived on a raw food diet full of exotic fruits. It fits the humid climate too; you want to eat lighter. Back in my days spent living in the cold Lower East Side during the winter, I had a tendency to eat warm veggie bowls full of locally grown root vegetables.
I lived in Istanbul, Turkey in December 2012 and I was really inspired by the healthy meze kitchen – hummus, beans, grilled vegetables and traditionally healthy desserts like Halva and dried fruit. From then I learner that a plant based diet is more nutritious and my body enjoys leafy greens, starchy vegetables and vegetarian protein. Since 2012 I have been vegan and I strongly believe in a healthy lifestyle and it is reflected in my recipes on my website.
LF: Cooking is a rather creative process. What do you take into consideration when experimenting with a new recipe?
EM: Cooking is a way to express myself, it’s an art form to me. I like being messy, taking up a lot of space and zoning into the kitchen for hours with only my own thoughts and the ingredients. It’s a combination of meditation and relaxation, while working focused to create something exceptional.
Obviously, I always cook nutritious and tasty, but the look is really important to me. I believe you partly eat with your eyes! If it doesn’t look appealing, it won’t taste great.
When I think about it, I like working with all the different elements. The textures and colors – I love picturing my plate like it’s a piece of art. Part of the creative process evolves around what’s around me. I’m quite an expert with using everything in the fridge and if something is about to expire that’s my first choice to use. That’s what makes it interesting and creativity challenging in a way. But, that’s also how you come up with the most interesting and flavorful dishes and baked goods. Vegan miso maple muffin anyone?