Hi there. I’m Julie, an ex-architect-turned-jewelry-designer who loves to create with my hands and feast with my eyes (and mouth!).

Living in Chicago with my meat-loving husband and 3.5 year-old daughter, I’m always experimenting with dishes can that appeal to all of us, while keeping them as quick and economical as possible…not the easiest task. While I don’t categorize myself in a specific health philosophy, my focus is on whole, clean, plant-based foods. I do find it difficult to ignore my sweet tooth, so I try gravitate towards dessert recipes that are inspired by “nutritarian” principles (see below for what that means).  Following the birth of my baby, I was really inspired by the documentary Forks over Knives and Kimberly Snyder’s book The Beauty Detox Solution as well as Dr. Fuhrman’s Disease-proof Your Child. The recipes suggested by these sources were healthy, but left a bit more to be desired for me, so began my quest to apply principles I’d learned to create my own and adapt ones I like. I’m still in the process of “figuring it out”, and my hope is that this blog will help me navigate as I chronicle my findings.

In my spare time I love researching about holistic health, green living and design of all kinds (fashion, graphic, kids, interiors, you name it), so I hope to be sharing just as much about things outside of the kitchen.

FAQ’s -What’s with the name?  “Minima” is what my daughter started calling her lil bunny-shaped blankie, then other bunny-like things that she took a liking to. It was such an endearing term and I wanted it to live on beyond her childhood (as I intend for this blog 🙂

-Are you vegan/vegetarian? I’ve been a vegetarian since early high school, but I didn’t realize until researching nutrition while pregnant, that a diet heavy in vegetarian or even vegan versions of processed foods were not really doing me any favors. To be honest, I don’t really like the terms “vegetarian/vegan”  because they can feel rather categorizing and limiting at times. Although certain aspects of Nutritarian and Vegan/Hygenic approaches resonate with my own, I like the idea of making food decisions based on maximizing my enjoyment from them (the flavors, textures and how I feel from it). For me, I’ve found that I feel best when minimizing dairy and gluten and maximizing raw fruits and veggies. It’s not realistic for my family to eat 100% healthfully all the time and I’ve come to terms with that, especially when eating outside of our home. Knowing that we incorporate so much fresh nutritious plant-based foods regularly makes me feel ok that we don’t have a perfect eating record…we are probably at a 80/20 ratio.

-What is a nutritarian?   It’s a term coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman to describe a person who “bases food choices on maximizing the micronutrients per calorie…The foods with the highest micronutrient per calorie scores are green vegetables, colorful vegetables, and fresh fruits”.  Therefore I try to retain nutrients by incorporating a lot of raw produce, soaking/sprouting nuts, seeds and grains, avoiding animal products and celebrating whole foods… my way of eating clean. (More info about ways I try to boost nutrition here.)

-You are a jewelry designer? Yes, I love working with my hands and making pretty things! I have a line of jewelry and accessories called Atelier Poesi.  Feel free to take a look at http://www.ilovepoesi.com


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