Erica is one of my online friends who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, but we bonded a few years ago over both being gluten free gals. She’s a kickass entrepreneur that lives in San Diego and shares tips and tons of awesome DIY’s on her blog Fashionlush. Here Erica gives some of her outlook on food and how she manages to stay mostly gluten free and still have lots of fun with eating.
Name: Erica Stolman
Location: San Diego, California
What do you do: style influencer
I feel the healthiest when… I eat clean, drink my daily E3Live blue/green algae shot & protein smoothie, & get in a workout!
Dietary requirements: I am gluten free.
What food do you always keep in the house: Chocolate covered ginger, fresh fruit (berries!), chia seed oatmeal mix, tea of every kind, sparkling water, lemons, spicy spinach, gluten free granola, black olives.
Favourite snack: Banana with sunflower butter & cinnamon sprinkled on top or apples dipped in a sunflower butter/yogurt dip w/ coconut shreds on top.
I’d like to do an eating tour of… If we’re talking healthy eating, Australia! I always see the girls in Bondi Beach posting the most beautiful fruit & acai bowls! If we’re just talking about eating whatever/not caring, ITALY! Remember when Julia Roberts was in Italy in Eat Pray Love eating pasta all day? Yes, I’d love that (in a dream world though, since I don’t eat gluten!).
Unique or funny food combos you like to eat: I don’t have many weird combos, but I do like putting yogurt & Wild Friends chocolate coconut nut butter (insane) on top of my oatmeal. I also sometimes like the little pouches of organic baby food- so weird, but oddly yummy!
What was your relationship with food like when you were younger? I had an interesting relationship with food when I was younger. I loved CARBS & would eat them all day. Breakfast was a bagel, lunch was a burrito, dinner was spaghetti. I didn’t eat healthy by any means, but oddly I was very very thin… & very tired.
After a while, I went to a naturopath to help figure out why I was so so so sleepy all the time, & we found out then I was allergic to gluten. I was so thin back then as well because my body wouldn’t process the gluten so it would go right through me (SORRY, TMI?). Basically, my gut was inflamed & wasn’t absorbing any of the few nutrients I was eating.
I was so upset, because I didn’t know how or what I would eat. I lived with roommates at the time so I first went home & tossed everything I owned that had gluten in it, then I put bright green circle stickers on my roommates food that contained gluten so I knew not to even touch it, then I went to the grocery store with a nutritionist to help me shop for my new diet.
At first it was tough, but now it’s second nature & my higher energy levels are totally worth it. If I do slip up & eat gluten (it happens), I def. feel it the next day as I will be super tired & very arthritic.
How has it changed now? I care wayyy more what goes in my body!! Going through what I did & knowing how food effects my system personally, I only want to eat clean. Also, when you start eating better, you begin to only crave healthy foods. I’ve found healthy alternatives for a lot of the not-so-healthy food I used to really enjoy & I never ever feel that I am being deprived of good food!
Cooking or takeout: I am not much of a cook myself, but my boyfriend is – so if he is cooking, I choose him. If not, I love takeout & there are a lot of delicious/healthy restaurants in my area for me to pick from!
What do you eat to treat yourself? It’s not gluten free, but some Sunday’s (my “cheat” day) Zack & I will wake up early to get the pick of the litter at Nomad Donuts. It’s a donut spot by my house & it’s INSANE – they have flavors like blueberry lavender, prickly pear, ginger custard, etc. etc. Honestly, a little bit of gluten doesn’t have a huge effect on me after all these years of avoiding it.
Fruit or veg? Although I am recently working on eliminating some sugar from my life, I am a fruit girl all the way.
What do you cook for friends: As stated above, I don’t do a lot of cooking around here, but I did recently have a housewarming party & Zack put it in my hands to handle the cooking. I whipped out my Lookbook Cookbook & made jalapeno poppers, caprese bites, & also frozen grapes dipped in yogurt & chia seeds (so good!).
Moderation with eating. Do you practice it? I certainly try! No one is perfect, but I think balance is key, so yes- I try to moderate my diet as much as possible!
How does food make you feel happy? It fuels me & keeps me feeling on my a-game!! I always feel more clear headed & energetic when I eat good.
Best food advice: Don’t deprive yourself from your favorite foods, instead, get creative & find healthy alternatives. Also, practice portion control by using smaller plates or cutting your meals in half & save the rest for lunch- uncomfortably full is never a good thing!