Model and health food entrepreneur Eddie Mitsou is, in a word, passionate. Originally from Sweden, she currently splits her time between Los Angeles, New York, and wherever else in the world she finds herself. With a passion for clean-eating that began when she was a teenager, she took the time to share with us how she prioritizes her healthy vegan lifestyle while constantly on the go, what recipes are in her current rotation, and her process when it comes to developing new dishes. Dig in!
LF: Hi Eddie! Welcome to Live FAST. You’ve mentioned that you’ve been interested in a clean-eating lifestyle since you were a teen. How did this passion flourish at such a young age?
EM: I’ve always eaten very healthy and had an understanding for the influence food has on my body since before I was a teenager. I never liked the taste of meat, so I have been pretty much fully vegetarian since I was 12. My favorite food was always salad or grilled vegetables, I never liked unhealthy things like pizza. I started modeling at the age of 14 and as we all know the career I got thrown into puts a lot of pressure to have a perfect figure – unfortunately and fortunately, in my own case. Fortunate since I made the choice to stay in great shape the healthy way, not to starve myself. I was “forced” to learn about nutrition and how to feed my body to look (and feel!) the best.
LF: You travel between Los Angeles, New York City, and your hometown of Stockholm. How do you manage to eat clean while always on the go?
EM: This is a question that people always tend to ask me – and to me it’s one of the easiest to answer! It’s not as hard as you think, there’s so many good snacks that you can bring. When I know I’ll be out and about, I always have a vegan protein bar in my purse, some trail mix, or a snack pack of nut butter. When I go on the plane I always bring my own food. I feel like a lot of people are unknowing of the fact that you can bring food through security – it just has to be solid. If I’m flying, I’ll always bring a salad (dressing must already be mixed) and maybe some raw chocolate as dessert.
I always have tea bags in my wallet. They are so easy to bring and are a perfect pick me up/detoxifier/energy booster whenever. You can get access to hot water pretty much anywhere. I like herbal teas – ginger or sweet tooth curbing mint is something I try to consume as much as possible.
LF: Do you have any vices? If so, what are they?
EM: Coffee. I’ve been a big coffee consumer since I was 13 years old. I saw paparazzi photos of cool Soho-strolling It Girls sipping large Starbucks lattes and forced myself to start loving lattes. Back then, in Stockholm City, I would buy one on my way to school and strut with giant sunglasses to my 8am Biology class. I felt so cool. And well, guess that’s where my coffee addiction started.
It’s more then just addiction today. I love the taste of coffee more than anything in the world. I took a break this spring and consumed only green tea and matcha for (almost!) 3 months to be nice to my stress hormones. But I decided to get back to coffee, since it after all make me very happy.
LF: What recipes are in your current rotation?
EM: I try to stay as close to the season as possible and it’s definitely easier when I’m in California. There is a constant need to inform people that you can find local sources of various nutrients and vitamins. In Sweden, we have several berries that are as rich in vitamins as the exotic overpriced ones – like Goji and Inca. It’s better for the environment to eat what grows around you. It’s also much nicer to your wallet and makes sense on a more spiritual level to eat what naturally grows around you.
Pick what’s around me – I like to think like that when I cook and create. When I spent a month in Costa Rica I mainly lived on a raw food diet full of exotic fruits. It fits the humid climate too; you want to eat lighter. Back in my days spent living in the cold Lower East Side during the winter, I had a tendency to eat warm veggie bowls full of locally grown root vegetables.
I lived in Istanbul, Turkey in December 2012 and I was really inspired by the healthy meze kitchen – hummus, beans, grilled vegetables and traditionally healthy desserts like Halva and dried fruit. From then I learner that a plant based diet is more nutritious and my body enjoys leafy greens, starchy vegetables and vegetarian protein. Since 2012 I have been vegan and I strongly believe in a healthy lifestyle and it is reflected in my recipes on my website.
LF: What projects do you currently have on your plate – both in the modeling and wellness worlds?
Most of the time when I leave my lil West Hollywood house, I pack prepared to be gone for months, without really knowing what’s next. All I know know is that after NYC I’m flying to Paris for fashion week and then visiting one of my oldest friends in Lisbon, Portugal. Then, we’ll see…
I also have some exciting stuff waiting back in LA. Recently, I’ve started an interesting project in the health and wellness industry. Right now, I can reveal that I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen and that I have great benefit from my many years of experience living a healthy lifestyle.
LF: Describe the last adventure you went on.
EM: I’m actually on an adventure as I write this! I’m in Hamptons for Labor Day Weekend and tomorrow I’m heading to my second home in New York. Adventures like this; traveling to big cities and going to events is one thing, but the greatest adventures in my opinion is the ones that take you to different worlds. That really opens up your eyes and make you reflect…
I experienced one of those – a completely different type of adventure, at the end of last year when I went to Haiti to visit the country’s so troubled inhabitants. I was invited by The Jack Brewer Foundation and realized how important it is to never forget Haiti. So terribly hit by natural disasters and illness. And in the midst of all – the joy in the children’s play and the determination of the healthcare staff. Adventures like that really make you think!
LF: What is a hidden talent that you have?
EM: I’m not sure if it counts as a talent – but I have an extremely detailed memory. Name a date 3 years ago and one thing I did that day and I can without a doubt tell you about exact everything that happened, who I spent time with, what I ate, what I wore and what emotional state I was in. I never forget.
Oh, and I’m also very good at eating raw almond butter straight from the jar!
LF: Cooking is a rather creative process. What do you take into consideration when experimenting with a new recipe?
EM: Cooking is a way to express myself, it’s an art form to me. I like being messy, taking up a lot of space and zoning into the kitchen for hours with only my own thoughts and the ingredients. It’s a combination of meditation and relaxation, while working focused to create something exceptional.
Obviously, I always cook nutritious and tasty, but the look is really important to me. I believe you partly eat with your eyes! If it doesn’t look appealing, it won’t taste great.
When I think about it, I like working with all the different elements. The textures and colors – I love picturing my plate like it’s a piece of art. Part of the creative process evolves around what’s around me. I’m quite an expert with using everything in the fridge and if something is about to expire that’s my first choice to use. That’s what makes it interesting and creativity challenging in a way. But, that’s also how you come up with the most interesting and flavorful dishes and baked goods. Vegan miso maple muffin anyone?
LF: How fast do you live?
EM: I live fast! I am focused, persistent, and restless and this always ends up in me doing as much as possible. I can’t stand to sleep late. I don’t want to miss a moment.