Who: Stefanie Baert
Although these are bizarre times, we want to keep a positive note and share stories about special people with you. We at Holy Berry spoke with Stefanie Baert. A great and inspiring lady, who has managed to turn her passion for healthy food into a wonderful business.
Can you tell us briefly about FoodLove?
I started FoodLove five years ago to encourage people to eat healthier, both at home and when going out. In the meantime, I have written a cookbook "Ready Set Go", I give workshops and I organise "Food Tours" in Ghent where I take people to healthy hotspots in the city. Soon, I will also launch FoodLove Academy, an online platform where you can learn everything about healthy food and food photography.
Quite a big (and tasty) job! You clearly lead a busy life. Can you share your morning ritual?
I make a cup of tea with my sleepy eyes and if I'm really going for it I do some stretching or yoga, haha. That's sometimes only once or twice a week, I won't lie about that. I then immediately start working; I do my mails and write down my daily to-do's. I only have breakfast when I am really hungry. That can be at 9 o'clock or just as easily at 11 o'clock, depending on what my body is asking me. With breakfast recipes, I try to vary as much as possible, and there is both sweet and savoury on the table. A colourful, fresh smoothie bowl with pity and passionfruit is not uncommon.
We are speaking at a, to say the least, strange time. How do you keep cool and healthy during the time of covid?
I just try to put things in perspective and try to see opportunities rather than only see problems. Because yes, I have seen my income disappear, I have had to cancel all my workshops for the coming period - for who know how long - but I have taken this as a moment to finally work on new projects. FoodLove Academy is something I have wanted to do for a long time but unfortunately put off too often. My focus is on the positive!
We often see new concepts and beautiful photos appearing on FoodLove. Where do you get your inspiration form?
By traveling and eating out, I get the chance to steal away with my eyes, taste, and discover new ingredients. Once back home, I start working on this. I cook with what I have tasted and I am not afraid to experiment.
I also carry this through in my business: I listen to the people around me as much as possible and convert their feedback into new projects. Someone came to tell me that she really wanted to follow a workshop, but unfortunately never had time to get here. A light goes on in my head: time to start experimenting with online workshops!
You live in the lovely city of Ghent. How do you experience the evolution of healthy food there?
For me, Ghent is simply the epicenter of healthy and vegetarian food. The great concepts you see abroad are the first to appear on menus in Ghent. The range of healthy vegetable, veggie and vegan places is incredible. I feel very lucky here.
Then we'd love to hear about your favourite places in Ghent!
If I may choose three: PLUS+ is a favorite for delicious salads and Açai smoothie bowls. The two owners have a great dynamic. GUST is a fun brunch spot and my second home where I do a lot of cooking workshops. O'yo and their vegan pancakes with pitaya coulis are my regulars in Ghent. I'll also throw in a fourth one if I may: Aroy Aroy. They do not necessarily focus on healthy but I go there when I crave tasty and original Asian food.
“Well-being” means different things to different people. What does “well-being” mean to you.
Well-being for me is mainly finding balance and living according to the "no obligations" principle. It's not well-being for me if I force myself to go to the gym every day and feel guilty if I skip a session. It is just being kind to myself, not getting too caught up in the latest healthy hype and not going into extremes.
What is the next step on the horizon for FoodLove? Is there anything exciting in-store?
My next big thing is to launch and further develop the FoodLove Academy. In time I want to integrate not only food photography workshops but also cooking workshops. Maybe I will work with a videographer to take everything to the next level. Up to now, I have figured everything out 100% by myself. There is still a lot to be done!
If you could choose one favourite product from Holy Berry, which would it be and how do you like to prepare it?
I don't have to think about that for long. The Pink Tropical Smoothie Bowl is my absolute favourite for a smoothie-bowl. The color is incredible. I mix the Açai Pulp Pack with the Pink Tropical. The passion fruit gives it that "acidity", the yoghurt for smoothness and I top my smoothie-bowl with homemade 'speculaas' granola. For me, the ideal way to keep me going.
Pay attention now!
Are photography and food totally your thing? Then be sure to register for FoodLove's e-course Food photography atfoodlove.be/food-fotografie-e-course
A very informative and qualitative course that you can follow whenever it suits you! Highly recommended!
And because we like to support each other, you get a 10 euro discount
by using the code: HOLYBERRY10
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