It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Self-Care Interview Series: Amy Chaplin


Amy Chaplin is an author and chef, whose approach to whole foods and cooking is endlessly inspiring. Her cookbook is nothing short of a kitchen bible to us. We had the pleasure of meeting up with Amy in NYC a few years ago and had the best time chatting about our favorite subjects like sprouted flours, cookbook publishing, and acupuncture. Needless to say, we were excited to get a peak at her self-care routine.

In this interview, Amy tells us about the valuable self-care tips she learned from her mother, her favorite meals made with pantry staples, the skincare brand she’s been using since she was a teenager, her approach to exercise, stress, and so much more.



— Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free?

I like both. I like to have a morning routine and create a work routine for whatever project I’m working on but I also like to have time for free thinking and spontaneously connecting with friends.

— What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning.

I get up early, 6 am is the usual time but sometimes eariler depending on what I’m working on. I make warm lemon water, light a candle and mediate for 10 to 15 minutes. In late summer the sun is coming up just as I finish and I usually sit for a bit and often reply to messages from Austrlia (they are going to bed around that time). Then I feed our two dogs (my wife takes them out on a long morning walk) start making breakfast and make sencha tea. Sometimes I skip the sencha and have a matcha latte after breakfast but I try not to have too much caffeine, as much as I love it! If I’m working on recipes from home, I quickly shower, dress and get started right away….sometimes before breakfast but it depends on what I’m testing :)

— Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?

I stop working on the computer before dinner and leave it closed. I leave my phone downstairs so its far from my bedroom. I get into bed and usually read cookbooks or watch an episode of any series I’m currently obsessed with :)


— Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these:

Breakfast –  soaked oats + chia (recipe is in my book) or activated grain porridge with homemade nut milk, cardamom and berries. I usually eat grains once a day and it’s usually in the morning.

Lunch – Beans of some kind —depending on recipes I’m testing. Kraut or other fermented veg, greens—salad or steamed depending on weather. I usually add some toppings too: hemp seeds, toasted seeds, sunflower sprouts, scallions anything to make it tasty

Snack – Seeded crackers and nut butter/avocado/bean pate or chia pudding or coconut yogurt

Dinner – An egg or tempeh, avocado, steamed veg and a dressing of some kind—this is often quite small as I’m not always hungry if I have a good lunch or if I’m testing and sampling recipes.

— Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning?

Yes. I love green tea. Sencha is my favorite for its fresh, grassy umami taste. Rishi Tea First Flush Sencha is sublime. I also love their ceremonial grade matchas with foamed, homemade almond milk.

— Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check?

I used to but I haven’t eaten sugar on a regular basis for years. If I’m craving something sweet I eat a few spoons of Anita’s coconut yogurt—it has a naturally sweet flavor from coconut with no sweetener. If I have a berry compote around I’ll have some of that with it but I never sweeten them as I’ve gotten used to just the sweetness of the berries. Of course there are times when I’m testing recipes for cakes and muffins and I do enjoy tasting them and the same goes for good raw chocolate. I’m not rigid about it as its part of being a chef but I don’t seek out sugar on a daily basis.

— Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness?

I change depending on what my acupuncturist recommends in the way of Chinese herbs. I have been taking spirulina to increase protein and greens lately. I take a vitamin D. I’ve been adding maca powder to my breakfasts for years so don’t really consider it a supplement. I like adding locally grown ashwagandha (from Furnace Creek Farm) and reishi or chaga mushroom powder to hot cacao drinks. I drink nettle tea everyday because I love it, especially when you can get it fresh from the farmer’s market.


— Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly? 

With my job being so physical, these days I gravitate towards Qi Gong and yoga—the gentler classes. I also tend to exercise by default. Walking everywhere, long dog walks, biking and general schlepping around the city and up and down stairs with heavy bags of veggies!

— Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it?

I used to push myself with torturous classes and long runs but now I do less and enjoy it more. I know that I am more productive when I make time for movement but it has to be mindful.  I do yoga at home and love it when I have the time for long luxurious classes…especially restorative.


— What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? 

Beauty to me is an inner glow that comes from something beyond what and how we take care of our bodies. Mostly it comes with time and a spiritual sense of oneself, our path, the world and other beings around us.

— What is your skincare approach – face and body?

I’ve used Dr. Hauschka since I was a teenager. I have a huge respect for biodynamic growing practices and love the way they preserve their products naturally. I think its one of the most difficult things with natural skin care products—preserving.

— Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/hair/general glow?

Local organic veggies, lots of greens, seeds…

Click To Read More

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well by Amy Chaplin
What You Need to Know About GMOs and Glyphosate
Eating with the seasons: orange is for fall

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