How to Snack Happy: An interview with a health foodie blogger and new mom-to-be

I first came across the blog Snack Happy when I saw her recipe for a favorite neighborhood restaurant dish, the kale and brussels sprouts salad at Blue Door Farm Stand.  It took about 2 minutes for me to be hooked on her real food blog and mouthwatering Instagram feed.  Intrigued and hungry, I reached out to her and a few weeks later had tea with this sweet, knowledgeable and glowing woman with a great food philosophy and a serious talent in the kitchen!

Tell me a little about Snack Happy: 
I love food!  It has always been a passsion/obsession and always on the brain.  I started with the name on twitter years ago as I just wanted a fun food name and then started using Instagram 2 years ago and found a fun and encouraging community.  I've met a lot of great people through Instagram, actually.   Now, Snack Happy is a collection of recipes and inspirations.

How did Snack Happy get started: 
It all started with a friend and I doing a little catering out of our homes just as referrals from friends and friends of friends.  We did a lot of baby showers and the women attending would ask to have us cook meals for delivery for them and their families (especially after the baby was born).  But work got too crazy for my friend and I couldn’t do it alone; logistically it was so much work.  I really think it's something Chicago needs, but we fought to make it profitable because legally in Chicago you have to have a kitchen space which drives up costs.
So what is your plan for Snack Happy going forward: 
The plan is evolving.  We're starting a family now so that will greatly influence what I do next but I want to pair ambition with family life and getting kids in the kitchen.  I'm looking into doing food/cooking demos in private homes where I offer an interactive lesson on how to make a few dishes.  This way, I can get around doing the professional kitchen thing and still the need is met for people who want to learn to cook.

What’s your background: 
I'm from California and grew up in Bay Area.  My husband and I met in Kansas City, got married at 21, and now we're living in Chicago.  Both of my parents were great cooks and I always wanted to be a great cook.  I started learning to cook from scratch, calling my mom with questions, and watching Food Network.  I've always been health conscious and have always dabbled and experimented with what type of diet makes me feel best. 

So what diet does make you feel best/what's your current "food philosophy"?
I strongly believe there’s not one diet for every person.  I think it's really important to be mindful of how food affects you.  I went gluten free a little over 1 year ago and about 9 months ago started delving into paleo/primal.  My husband and I both eat this way 80-90% of the time now and we both feel great!  If I take a few days "off" I feel heavy, have a lack of energy and notice that I crash after carbs.  

Paleo/Primal is pretty hot right now.  What are your recommendations for anyone who wants to start following a paleo/primal diet or any other type diet? 
I love and frequently use the cookbook Against All Grain, by Danielle Walker, the author's parents are actually good friends with my family.  I also like Chris Kresser (great website) and his book Your Personal Paleo Code has a great philosophy and takes a personalized approach. People get hung up on rules, but it should be a little more personalized.  

If you’re looking for a cleanse or kick off, the Whole 30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox programs are both a great way to reboot and they're awesome free online resources with easy recipes etc.  You really needs 3-4 weeks to know how certain foods (or elimination of certain foods) really do affect your body. 

How is this diet working for you being pregnant?
It's great.  Like I said, I practice it 80-90% of the time and when I stick with that, I never find myself really hungry or having cravings throughout the day.  When I do eat more carbs, I find I'm hungry again in 2 hours and it creates a vicious cycle.  With that being said, I do want a cheeseburger every few weeks!

I have a similar cheeseburger craving schedule ;)  Who has your favorite in Chicago? 
Rootstock 's burger is amazing (on California and Augusta) in Humbolt Park.  It's grass fed and simple but that's what I like- I'm more of a traditionalist.

What about other favorite restaurants or markets in Chicago?  
I love Jeni’s ice-cream, especially their Key-Lime Pie Frozen Yogurt.   Mexican food is always easy for gluten-free and paleo/primal and I love Big Star.  Sultan’s Market on North has an amazing lamb schwarma with curry lentil rice.   Plenty on Division is an all organic and local market and they have kombucha on tap!  You can buy the growler size to save money :)

Since you're called Snack Happy, what are a few of your favorite go-to snacks?
Dates stuffed with almond butter and sprinkled with unsweetened coconut flakes are a recent favorite (or any fruit with almond butter).  And these coconut berry popsicles are great for the warmer days.

Any other favorite recipes?  What's a great dish or salad I can bring to a summer BBQ that's a crowd pleaser but still healthy and easy enough?
This mediterranean chopped salad is a great option for a summer party or just a simple lunch or dinner.

I also love the Paderno spiralizer for zucchini noodles (zoodles), jicama etc.  It's easy to clean, quick, versatile and fun for kids!  The inspiralized blog has great recipes.  This creamy spring "pasta" recipe is a great one.

Thanks so much Julia for sharing your experiences, expertise and amazing recipes with us!  All the best to you and congrats!  We can't wait to see what you do in the days, weeks and years ahead...

For more from Snack Happy, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and of course her blog, Snack Happy.  

1 comment:

  1. In addition to maintaining your body's efficiency as well as physical fitness, an engaged way of life as well as balanced and Healthy Lifestyle diet could minimize the number of choices regarding acquiring health problems such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, as well as heart diseases.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...