Asså, er det noe jeg har gledet meg til å publisere så er det dette: intervju med Melissa Joulwan, damen bak bloggen The clothes make the girl og som har laget to kokebøker; Well Fed 1 og Well Fed 2. Undertittel til bøkene er Paleo recipes for people who love to eat. Hvem gjør vel ikke det? Jeg elsker væffal å spise god mat! Det gjør vel du også?

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Det er på sin plass med en liten introduksjon av Melissa før hun får ordet. Jeg har lest bloggen hennes jevnlig i godt og vel tre år. Hun lager digge paleoretter, for det meste ikke-paleofiserte retter, altså med fokus på naturlig mat. Hun har tættis, kort hår og elsker Praha, og jeg innbiller meg at vi har til felles at vi for det meste labber rundt i converse. Hun skriver dessuten åpent om sine helseutfordringer og hvordan hun takler det, blant annet gjennom litt mindre trening enn før og den autoimmune protokollen til paleo. Kort fortalt er hun en jeg godt kunne hengt med jevnlig. Jeg kunne fått god mat, vi kunne pratet om musikk og kettlebelltrening og jeg kunne klappet katten hennes, Smudge. Også kunne jeg fått litt god mat til.

Jeg har bestselgeren Well Fed 1 og bruker den til inspo ofte. Gode oppskrifter med flere versjoner av rettene, feks italiensk, spansk og indisk. Og dere vet paleoegg, som både jeg og andre bloggere har laget med suksess? Vel, den er fra henne. I forgårs fikk jeg tilsendt Well Fed 2 (jess, jeg er heldig!), og tenkte å skrive litt mer om den til helgen.Well Fed 1 gir tips om hvordan forbrede en drøss med måltider i løpet av en dag, mens Well Fed 2 gir tips om hvordan lage superraske måltider uten at maten blir kjedelig. For de som skal prøve seg på en paleo challenge eller ønsker å ha et så strikt paleokosthold som mulig er disse bøkene bra å ha. Alle oppskriftene i bøkene (utenom et par) er nemlig whole30-godkjent. Det betyr at det aldri blir en kjedelig matdag!

Vel, enough with this talking! Her er, tataaa! Intervju med Melissa.

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Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?
I joke that I’m on a mission to be a superfit, well-fed, dressed-to-kill, glossy-haired, rock-n-roll, tart-tongued detective. What that means in practice is that I lift heavy things a few times a week, walk/run outside as often as I can, meditate every day, and eat a fairly strict paleo diet 95% of the time.

My blog started out as a way for me to write to amuse myself, and I thought I was going to write about fashion. But eventually, what really interested me was documenting how I was transforming my body and mind with clean food and smart exercise, so I started focusing on that. Now I write about my triumph and failures at the gym and in the kitchen. Plus, I sometimes share pictures of my cat Smudge.

Many people balk when I say that I don’t eat sugar, wheat, milk, etc. A common question is «but what do you eat?». How do you react to this question?

I usually agree with them that yes, giving up sugar, wheat, and milk can be hard at first, but there are so many delicious options when you get creative in thinking about meat, fruit, vegetables, and fats. That’s what inspired me to write my cookbooks — that desire to show people that with simple ingredients, you can make complex, satisfying meals that not only taste great, but are good for your body and mind, too.

Could you tell us about your books, Well Fed 1 and 2? What are the differences?

Both Well Fed and Well Fed 2 are packed with international recipes that are free of grains, legumes, dairy, added sugar, alcohol, and soy — and both books are based on our «punk rock scrapbook» design with full-color, full-page photos with each recipe. In the original Well Fed, I devoted the first part of the book to showing people how to do a «Weekly Cookup» to make getting meals on the table faster and easier. Well Fed 2 includes 45 «Quick Meal» ideas and 15 meatball recipes for the same reason. Well Fed 2 also features some essays on the more emotional side of eating: how to tell emotional appetite from true hunger and tips for socializing without ruining your good habits. Well Fed 2 also includes adaptations for people who need to follow the autoimmune protocol of paleo.

How do you come up with new recipes?

I mostly just think about what I feel like eating, then figure out a way to make a paleo version. For example, in Well Fed 2, there’s a recipe called Chicken Nanking. It’s based on my favorite dish at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. In other cases, like a traditional recipe like Stuffed Grape Leaves, I do research to see what other cooks have done with it, then I experiment to come up with my own version. And in some cases, I just straight-up stole the recipe from my mom.

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Could you tell us about your holistic health approach?

I’ve learned from experience that even «eating perfectly» doesn’t guarantee weight loss or high energy. The right food is the foundation for optimal health, but sleep, stress management, social interaction, and smart training are also important factors. Over the last two years, I’ve decreased the intensity of my workouts and increased the emphasis I put on recovery and relaxation. Stress and sleep deprivation will rapidly un-do the positive effects of a clean diet, so it’s just as important to meditate as it is to eat paleo.

What’s your favourite recipe in the new book, and why?

That’s a tough one because if I didn’t love a recipe, it didn’t make it into the book. The recipe I make most often is the Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup because it’s creamy and rich, and I loe to eat it for breakfast. But if I have to pick a favorite just based on taste, I really love the West African Chicken Stew. It’s based on an African peanut stew — it’s comforting, has a luxurious texture, and is super easy to make. Served on cauliflower rice, it feels indulgent, but it’s 100% power food.

All pictures by David Humphreys