we had the pleasure of featuring our dear friend, nicole anderson, founder of elemental superfood some time ago. in our first kai conversation with her i noted " i love a good story and nothing beats a good true story." it's worth your time to read about nicole's story in her own words here ... and the story continues. in addition to her flourishing business, since we last checked in, all elemental products are now officially certified USDA organic; as well, a percentage of all proceeds from every elemental bar sold continues to go to autism research. simply said, nicole inspires us with her beauty on the inside that matches what is clearly on the outside! with that said, and as we are always looking to have meaningful kai conversations to nourish our minds, we knew nicole was the perfect person to re-visit with to offer healthy insight during these challenging times + tips that apply beautifully to life as we move through them. please enjoy this amazing kai conversation (and yummy cookie recipe!) with nicole.
how are you taking care of yourself and your business during this time? are there certain things that are proving to be sources of motivation/ inspiration? if so, please feel free to share.
this time has undoubtedly been challenging, on so many levels, for everyone. what keeps me motivated are my kids, they are the reason i do everything i do. i have found some of my own inspiration again by relearning to slow down from time to time and have really remembered the importance of getting quiet, meditating, and above all staying in gratitude.
do you have any advice/ guidance that you can lend to the kai community as it relates to the pandemic and best tips for healthy eating, staying fit & energized, and following a sustainable, nutritional way of life during this time?
the first two weeks of quarantine, i was so anxious and stressed, i baked (i kid you not) a batch of my gf chocolate chip cookies, every day, and basically ate the entire batch with the exception of a couple per batch that i would share with my daughter or hubby. it's what i needed to comfort me, and it felt like a better choice than pouring myself the largest cocktail known to anyone. it was comforting to me and it wasn't destructive. over the past eight months, on the flip side, i have begun writing gratitude lists, going for walks again and really understanding the importance of true quality time with the people i love. it has also become evident to me how crucial selfcare is, even if it's only five minutes to myself. when i am starting to feel overwhelmed or worried, i try to stop what i am doing, get quiet and focus on what blessings i already have. this is really helpful i find, and it gets easier to quiet and regroup the more you practice it. i think starting a prayer or meditation practice to center yourself, trying to keep your diet clean with real food and avoiding processed foods as well as too much alcohol is essential. there are still so many people that have not grasped how we are affected (both positively and negatively) by the foods we eat. i am not a dieter and i do not count calories, i eat when i am hungry and i try to fill myself with whole foods, real foods, and i eat organic whenever possible! if you need comfort food, enjoy something that really makes you feel good while eating it, and then absolutely do not beat yourself up after doing it! i also like to make healthy versions of the foods that bring me comfort. most importantly, focus on your mental health and take good care of it. focus your energy and time on and in relationships that feed your soul and strengthen your spirit. stay off social media or stop watching that show, if you find yourself comparing your life to something else or you are feeling down. go on walks or do a little yoga or stretching in your home. we are all really critical of ourselves these days, be gentle and treat yourself as you would treat your best friend.
are there certain recipes that have been favorites for you during the pandemic? if so, please feel free to share.
my chocolate chip cookies ha! they are delicious and so satisfying but are made free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. i am happy to share the recipe!
we admire your mission to nourish goodness through creating nutrient-dense superfoods that delight body and spirit. can you tell us what your top 3 favorite superfoods are, and why? and how those superfoods might affect the mind, body, and spirit?
dark leafy greens; they are packed with nutrition and support so many requirements that our bodies have. i try to do a smoothie each day and toss a handful of spinach or kale in, or i will throw some extra greens in my soup or as a side with my lunch or dinner. berries are full of antioxidants and vitamins, i will throw a cup of frozen berries in my smoothie or will eat a cup of berries by themselves or on top of some coconut kefir. unroasted nuts and seeds, i eat everyday. they are full of "good fats" that are all intact because they have not been roasted, as well as other nutrients our bodies need. they are a great source of plant-based protein and a handful can keep you satiated for a while. we use all organic unroasted seeds and nuts in our superfood seedbars, and i usually eat a bar a day as a snack or a quick meal on the go.
what are the key superfoods trends that you have been seeing this year, and do you have any insights on what trends we can expect in upcoming months/years?
i have seen so many trends since i started this journey. one thing that is not a trend and is here to stay is real whole foods. trends can get expensive for people, and trying to keep up can be exhausting! eat real and whole foods! try to cook more at home or find clean snack brands so you are in control of what you are putting in your body, read your labels and stay away from weird processed foods with long lists of ingredients you can not pronounce.
chocolate chip cookies
- 2 cups of almond flour
- 1/2 cup of brown rice flour
- 1 tbs of ground flax
- 3 tbs of water
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of honey (can use maple syrup to make it vegan)
- 1/4 cup of coconut sugar (optional)
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
- preheat oven to 375 degrees. in a small bowl combine the flax and water and stir. set aside, will firm up in a few minutes.
- in a medium bowl combine the almond flour, brown rice flour, baking soda, salt and coconut sugar (if using). stir these ingredients until well incorporated.
- in a small sauce pan combine the honey and the coconut oil, warm slightly, just until oil is melted and honey barely heats, add vanilla.
- in a large bowl pour honey/oil mixture into bowl and combine with the flax egg, stir. slowly add a cup of the flour mixture in and stir, continue adding flour mixture and stir until all incorporated. add chocolate chips and fold in.
- put the dough in the fridge for a half hour (this is not a must, you can spoon the dough out right away if you want, but putting it in the fridge makes this easier to work with, and it also does something magic to the texture the longer it sits in the fridge. the dough rolls into balls easily and again, it does something to the consistency of the cookie).
- spoon out the desired cookie size on a baking sheet either lined with parchment paper or covered with coconut or avocado oil. bake for 8-12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies and your oven. i would check at 8 minutes and then leave in until desired brownness. remove from oven and allow to sit on cookie dish for several minutes. the cookies will be very soft once they come out of the oven, but if you let them sit for a few minutes, they will begin to firm up. eat right away or store in an airtight container for a few days if they last that long. if you make extra you can store in the fridge or freeze and grab and go.