Welcome to the second week of my new series FRIDAY FOODIE, where each Friday, I will feature my favourite foodie and wellness stars. This week, I am excited to be featuring Jessica Lauren DeBry, who is a Wellness Architect and Lifestyle Designer and the founder of her website and blog, JessicaLaurenDeBry.com. Jessica and I first connected via Mind Body Green and I was honoured to be asked to contribute to Jessica's amazing book 'Simple Savvy Healthy: Easy Plant Based Recipes for the Gal on the Go!' Go and check it out!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
Hello! My name is Jessica Lauren DeBry and I am a Wellness Architect and Lifestyle Designer. I am also a Vegan Foodie, Blogger and Soul-Centered Entrepreneur. I help women create and design their ideal lives from the inside out!
My husband Wes and I live in Southern California with our crazy cat Axle. Wes and I met while I was attending college down in San Diego, and we both were living an unhealthy lifestyle at the time….late nights with lots of drinking and greasy and fried food.
A year before we got married, I started doing more research on how nutrition affects our mood and energy levels. I was working in the corporate world at the time, and I was always tired, sleepy, and low-energy. I started to incorporate more plant-based foods into my diet and immediately felt a positive response from the change….it slowly snowballed into a lifestyle change, and now we both enjoy a whole food, nutrient-dense, plant-based diet with lots of green smoothies and local produce.
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
My biggest tip would be to “crowd-out” the unhealthy stuff. Instead of focusing on everything that you shouldn’t be eating, shift your focus into all of the beautiful and bountiful foods that not only tastes good, but are good on your waistline and body, too! Crowd out your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, so that you don’t even miss anything else. And if you want to eat something naughty, like a brownie….go for it. Just don’t eat the whole pan. :)
I’m a big believer in living life 80/20. 80% you’re eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods, and 20% of the time you’re enjoying whatever you like to enjoy! That way, you have a good balance, and it truly becomes a lifestyle change that can last forever.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
If you have a local farmers market you can go to, that is a wonderful option. Farmer’s markets are a fantastic place to purchase produce on a budget. Plus, you’re supporting local farmers so it’s a win-win.
Stores with bulk bins are also great on a budget. I buy all of my whole grains (like brown rice, quinoa, etc), dried beans, oats, nuts, and dried fruits from the bulk bins at my local grocery store. They are much less expensive than the packaged varieties.
How do you deal with food struggles from your family?
By substituting for a healthier version. My husband has a HUGE sweet tooth. HUGE. He could eat an entire box of cookies by himself in one sitting. So I like to make him a healthy alternative, like Ness’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls!
What is your favourite food?
I can’t pick just one. Guacamole. Hummus. Or Homemade Ice Cream made from Coconut Milk.
Who is your favourite foodie and why?
Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows. She was one of the first foodie bloggers that I discovered when I started eating more plant-based foods so I feel like she’s one of my friends, ha! Her pictures are also beautiful.
And not to be biased, but Ness, you are fantastic too! I love that your dishes are gorgeous and easy-to-follow. <3
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
Pouring a glass of wine and taking a long bath with a good book.
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
My “go-to” meal is always some sort of bowl. It’s easy and a great way to use up any leftovers that you have in the fridge! See below for my Veggie + Lentil Plant-Based Power Bowl.
Veggie + Lentil Plant-Based Power Bowl
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
- 1 cup cooked lentils (or substitute black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo, etc)
- 1 cup chopped vegetables (I like tomatoes, carrots, green onion, bell pepper)
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1/4 cup hummus
Arrange all ingredients in a bowl. Top with sauce of choice (I like teriyaki or hot sauce), or simply drizzle on olive oil and vinegar. Enjoy!
A little more about Jessica and where you can find her
Jessica Lauren DeBry is a Wellness Architect and Lifestyle Designer. She is the Creator of the Simple Savvy Healthy movement, a Vegan Foodie, and a Soul-Centered Entrepreneur. Jessica is on a mission to encourage YOU that you can create and design your ideal life from the inside out. Jessica's not only showing you how to reach your best life - she's living it. She lives her life the Simple Savvy Healthy way: enjoying simple plant-based recipes, with savvy lifestyle design, and a healthy mind, body & spirit.