I’m Stephanie Fazio (aka Lealou) and like many children of the ’80s I grew up eating a lot of processed junk food. My favourite foods as a teenager were Doritos and penny sour candies and I could polish off a bag of deep-fried fish and chips like no body’s business. It wasn’t until I got to university that my tastes started to change and I realized what real food is: whole grains, vegetables, fewer ingredients. I was blessed to live in a residence that didn’t have a meal plan, so I made my own food and instead of gaining the Frosh 15 I lost 20 pounds almost instantly.
Fast forward several years to when my son was born: he had severe eczema on his face and I did everything I could to figure out what was causing it. I was nursing him so I changed my diet removing dairy and gluten and after a lot of trial and error we realized he has sensitivity to cow milk. I learned so much about food during that process that I developed a passion for eating real food.
In 2016 I completed my certification as a Culinary Nutrition Expert and I’m excited combine that with my journalism degree to help others discover the value of real food and what it can do for our bodies and our well-being.
Over the years and after my course, I developed some strong feelings about food that have formed my habits and food philosophy, so here it goes:
- After reading some of his books and watching his documentary Cooked, I subscribe whole-heartedly to Michael Pollan’s manifesto: “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”
- I believe in making every bite count from a nutrition perspective.
- Buy as much local, organic food as possible. I know it’s not affordable for everyone–following the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 list is a great option.
- Shop the produce aisle and the health food sections of grocery stores. Most of the things in the middle aisles of the store aren’t worthy of your hard-earned money.
- I don’t consider myself gluten-free however I love to experiment with gluten-free flours like chickpea, buckwheat and rice flours.
- I love experimenting with cooking and tend to change a regular recipe into something that provides the most nutrition possible.
- Approximately 80% of the meals I make at home are vegetarian or vegan using whole foods. We do eat organic/pasture eggs and have started to re-introduce grass-fed beef and sustainable fish into our diets.
On Food for Kids:
- I’m very passionate about providing the most nutritious food possible for kids. Kids will truly flourish on real food. They need real food. Real food will help to boost their immunity during the cold winter months and will help to increase their energy to get them through a long day at school and activities.
- I believe that if kids see good food on their plates (like vegetables!), they will know it exists and eventually try it. If they don’t see it on their plates they may never try it or eat it! Believe me! I have a picky eater! Read my post on how I got my kids to eat without complaining for two-weeks straight.
Until then happy cooking!