Come summer, many of us love to dress light and eat right. Because healthy eating is such a vital ingredient in any balanced lifestyle, we’ve turned to Niki Beaudreau for some insight. As a registered dietitian in Montreal and author of the popular blog Niki Nutrition, Annique gives us the lowdown on her food choices, personal style and dream vacation.
You’re a proponent of clean eating and plant-based foods. Any suggestions for today’s busy woman on the go from morning to night?
Eat real, not fake. I try to eat as nature intended and avoid as many man-made foods as possible. For instance, it’s way better to eat apples instead of applesauce and soybeans instead of tofu. Not only is food from nature better for us all from a biological and digestive standpoint, it’s better for the environment—less transformations to our food means less overall energy needed to bring nature to market.
Many foods are already perfectly packaged by nature and easy to carry in a bag or purse, such as nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, dried fruit. Ask anyone, my purse is like a pantry chock full of delicious treasures. That way, I never have an excuse to not eat healthy.
Lastly, planning is key! On the weekend, I’ll often make huuuuuuge batches of food that I store in Mason jars for the week. For example, mix together quinoa, tomatoes, chickpeas, garlic and cumin, and you have yourself a fun, light, healthy meal.
Does your food philosophy influence your fashion sense?
Of course! I own a lot of floral blouses and dresses… Go flower (and plant) power!
But seriously, as a vegetarian and a proponent of animal well-being, I certainly prevent myself from buying any new leather coats or purses, or suede boots, for instance.
Also, I like simplicity and colour, and prefer quality over quantity when it comes to fashion and food.
After a long and drawn out winter, the warm weather is finally here. What miel items will you be coveting this summer?
I’m a big fan of seamless so I will definitely be rocking the NANA bra.
What is your daily beauty routine?
Again, pretty simple. I wash my face, slap on some SPF-50 face cream and organic mascara, and I’m good to go.
Regarding cosmetics, I like to go for products that haven’t been tested on animals and are exempt of parabens, sodium laureth sulfate and other endocrine-disrupting agents.
When I really want to go all out, l make homemade face masks using avocado, matcha green tea and lemon.
Before bed, I cover my face in olive oil (my boyfriend thinks I’m crazy). It leaves my skin feeling smooth and hydrated come morning.
You obviously lead a very active lifestyle. How do you stay so fit?
I’m all about mixing things up. I play soccer once a week (sometimes twice!), I practice yoga at least once a week to stay nice and limber, I train HITT style at least twice a week (thank you, YouTube) and I dance Zumba almost every day. As a Zumba instructor, it’s crucial to be on my A-game and up to date.
What was the best “active” holiday you’ve ever be on?
Costa Rica, hands down. My boyfriend and I travelled to this beautiful country in search of yoga and hiking. And that is exactly what we did for 10 days. We hiked to waterfalls, biked through shallow water to mysterious islands and did sunset yoga every night to the sounds of tropical birds and howler monkeys. Truly amazing. I highly recommend Costa Rica if you’re looking to rough it up, get out of your comfort zone and enjoy the beauty of mother nature.
It’s June and many of us want to make the most of the long summertime days. What foods or snacks do you suggest to boost our energy?
Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans), nuts, seasonal fruit, juices and water—lots of water.
Nuts because they’re easy to carry around and packed with tasty energy. I personally prefer salted cashews or plain walnuts. A few handfuls of either can provide you with enough protein and healthy fat to keep you full between meals. Then, quench that thirst (thanks salty nuts!) with some freshly squeezed juice made with orange, grapefruit, lemon, ginger and turmeric. This sweet combo makes me one happy girl!
Lastly, I’m going to channel a motherly tone here, but I can’t help reiterating the importance of drinking lots of water during long summer days. It’s very easy to get dehydrated when it’s hot, especially when you’re active, so be sure to keep your energy levels up by drinking lots of H2O. I like to add mint leaves or grated ginger to my water, just to make it more enticing!
What is one of your favourite healthy dishes that you like to whip up for friends or family?
Soups! Though they’re more of a side dish, they’re quick and easy to make. From gazpachos and miso soups to vegetable soups, soups represent a fantastic way to get some veggies into my loved ones. And, yes, comments from the peanut gallery are always positive!
What’s always in your fridge?
Soy milk, multi-grain bread, hemp seeds, fresh fruit, spinach and peanut butter.
Any guilty pleasures other than dark chocolate and red wine?
Where do I even begin? Popcorn. Oh man, when it comes to popcorn, I’m bad. Whether binge watching Mindy Project or reruns of Happy Endings, I can crush a bag of popcorn all on my own, no problem. Wait. Is that a problem?
Let’s wrap this up with an easy recipe involving something sweet like honey. Anything you care to share?
I thought you’d never ask. My chickpea blondies recipe is one of my all-time favourites.