Veggie life, meet Chloé Sucrée from Being Biotiful blog
September 28, 2020
If you are a regular vegetarian cook and you like to innovate, discover and savour new veggie challenges, your blog is Being Biotiful. Its author Clhoé Sucrée is a mum, photographer, culinary stylist and an expert in plant-based cuisine.
Tell us how your adventure in Being Biotiful begins.
Being Biotiful is the result of my change of diet and one could also say of life. I was born prematurely at 7 months due to a virus infection that caused listeriosis. After months in an incubator, the doctor told my mother that there could be brain or intestinal damage. Luckily, I was only left with a very delicate and sensitive digestive system and several autoimmune problems such as celiac disease, permeable intestine and vitiligo.
After going through a difficult adolescence due to my various ailments (nausea, vomiting, headaches, tiredness, atopic skin, general malaise, weak immune system) I became interested in learning more and finding out how I could feel better. On this path I discovered the healing power that is experienced when you eat a real diet free from processed foods, flour, refined sugars, etc.
In my case I chose a vegetarian diet. I don't eat gluten or animal protein, only organic eggs. Little by little, I have been gradually introducing dairy products such as organic yoghurt, some goat and sheep cheese but never cow's cheese. My diet is basically focused on eating lots of vegetables (especially leafy greens), fruit, seeds, grains and legumes, cereals (gluten-free like quinoa, brown rice) and some superfoods like maca, spirulina, cacao nibs, bee pollen) and dark chocolate 70% cocoa.
I started by sharing recipes that I was making and that felt good on the blog. Little by little I got better and better at cooking and then at taking photos, which is a key part of making a recipe that inspires people.
There are many people interested in starting a vegetarian diet, what advice would you give them before they become vegetarians?
It is essential to enjoy the process a lot, to be open-minded to try new flavours and combinations, to start cooking, the vegetable world gives you a thousand options. But the most important thing is to have fun!
What benefits do you think a vegetarian diet has over other diets (diets that include meat)?
The contribution of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, minerals, is much greater than with a diet that includes meat and fish for example. A meat-free diet leaves more room for healthy meals such as legumes, seasonal fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts.
How can we introduce children to a vegetarian diet?
By actively involving them in the shopping and cooking process, making the dishes visual and colourful. To make sure they eat the vegetables I sometimes camouflage carrots, sweet potato or courgette in muffins and crêpes. It is important to start good habits from a young age and we have to set an example.
Why do you think there is so much questioning about giving a vegetarian diet to children?
Perhaps because of fears or established customs, ignorance or lack of information. In the end, vegan, vegetarian or diet with meat are labels, I think the important thing, beyond calories etc., is to know where the food comes from and to choose quality food.
What kind of foods can match the nutritional values of meat and fish?
I wouldn't know as I'm not a nutritionist, but I think it's a matter of eating a well-balanced vegetarian diet. In terms of plant proteins, soya beans, chickpeas, some types of beans such as kidney beans, hemp seeds, amaranth, pistachios, quinoa and even spinach contain complete protein. Within them they have all the essential amino acids. A very complete dish is lentils with rice. On a flavour level, miso and parmesan help to satiate the appetite in a similar way as with meat.
What do you think about vegan products being passed off as meat?
Without wanting to be dogmatic, I think that meat is meat and no vegan or vegetarian product can be passed off as meat. In addition, they often end up being processed vegan products, which are not synonymous with healthy. Let's eat real meals.
What are the staples (in terms of food) that you will find in your kitchen?
Tahini, coconut oil, dark chocolate, maple syrup, seeds and nuts, miso, sauerkraut, spices, oat flakes, seasonal fruit and vegetables and a variety of chickpeas and legumes.
Which organic brands are your "go-to brands"?
Oleander, Cal Valls, FreeFood, Mutti, Blanxart and others.
Does eating a vegetarian diet make you live a fuller and more conscious life?
You feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. In the end we are holistic beings and everything is connected. Eating well affects our digestive and emotional wellbeing, our gut is known as our second brain. Hence the importance of maintaining digestive health. 90% of serotonin, the feel-good hormone, is produced in the gut.
If you practice yoga or meditation... Tell us how it has improved your life and how you integrate this practice into your daily life.
I wish I had the time today to do a consistent practice with the life I have. I try to do some mindful meditation, a few minutes to reconnect, let thoughts come and go, without trying to block it. It kind of renews my mind. Conscious Television is a good option to do yoga and meditation from home.
What do you think about yoga, have you ever practised it?
I love Yoga, I have been practising for years and I have always loved the energy you get after practising.
What is your favourite dish? That recipe that everyone asks you for, like grandma's croquettes ????
Broccoli, cheese and sweet potato nuggets. It's a hit recipe on the blog.
For those winter days when we need more energy, what recipes do you propose? A breakfast, meal and dinner.
- Porridge with extra egg with baked apple and hazelnut butter.
- Toast with pumpkin purée, caramelised onion, goat's cheese and greens.
- A cream of camphor and shiitakes, with spiced chickpeas.
Finally, what herbal tea or drink do you recommend to drink after a yoga practice?
I think Golden Mylk is the best. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is said that in addition to being a nutritious drink, it is also a "spiritual" drink shared by those who meditate.
If you want to know more about Chloé's work, don't miss her blog Being Biotiful.