Before wrapping up our month of wellness content, we had to check in with Alicia Lund, a past Glitter Girl and the blogger behind Cheetah Is The New Black! Her philosophy on living a well life is just too good not to tap into, so we asked Alicia to share her thoughts on foraging at home and making the most of fruitful friendships this season. Read on for her tips, including meal-planning ideas and a recipe for an elderflower and gin cocktail that can’t be missed this Memorial Day weekend!
What’s your favorite thing about living in California?
One of the most awesome aspects of living in California—and especially Sacramento, the farm-to-fork capital—is all of the delicious fresh produce and high-quality foods we have available to us. We sure are spoiled in the fact that we can get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables all grown locally.
What inspires your meal planning?
Instead of going to the grocery store with a list, I now tend to get inspired by what’s seasonal, either at the co-op, the farmers’ markets or even our neighbors’ gardens.
One of the sweetest couples who live up the street from us, Kyle and Morgan, have an incredible garden and set up a weekly stand (Urban Farmstead) giving away whatever they have in abundance. As a new mom, I go on a lot of neighborhood walks, and the route up to their house has quickly become a fave. I get in my steps, a fresh bundle of lavender and something yummy to incorporate into our meal for dinner.
On one of the first really warm evenings, I cooked for them using some of the seasonal ingredients from their garden. Their backyard is beautiful with such a relaxing vibe.
Instead of going to the grocery store with a list, I now tend to get inspired by what’s seasonal, either at the co-op, the farmers markets’ or even our neighbors’ gardens.
Tell us about what you cooked up for Kyle and Morgan that night in their garden!
Everything was inspired by what is in season and what we picked from Kyle and Morgan’s garden. Grilled asparagus, sweet potatoes, a veggie-filled kale and avocado salad and, of course, Acme bread. Kyle made an elderflower and gin cocktail for the girls using the elderflower from his garden. If only he could teach our husbands his ways!
Would Kyle be willing to share the recipe for his elderflower and gin cocktail?
Twenty elderflower heads, 1 kilogram of sugar, 2 lemons, 60 grams of citric acid. Dissolve sugar into 1.5 liters of hot water then add remaining ingredients. Serve with desired amount of gin.
Walk us through the idea of foraging at home. How can we get started?
One of the best parts about living in Sacramento is the access to really delicious produce. We have a lemon, a pomegranate and a fig tree in our backyard as well as strawberries and rosemary, but I’ve been so inspired by Kyle’s incredible garden that I’m planning to plant some other varieties. I love getting inspired for dinner based on what’s in season. And besides fruits and veggies, I love creating floral or greenery arrangements just from what I clip from our yard. The more loose and organic looking the bundle, the better. An easy way to start is planting herbs that you love!
What’s your favorite easy snack to eat during the work day or when you are busy running errands?
I’m always grabbing almonds and walnuts. I also love dried fruits. I’ve been trying to be better about making a batch of hard-boiled eggs to have around as well and love sliced avocado on crackers with hummus.
What’s one thing we could incorporate into our diet to jump-start a healthier lifestyle?
I try to start my day with a huge glass of water before heading straight for the coffee. I also try to eat blueberries, walnuts and avocado every day—these three seem to keep my skin looking its best.
Tell us how motherhood has inspired or motivated your wellness journey.
I’ve always had a rather healthy diet and lifestyle, however, I think I became even more aware of what I was eating when I was pregnant and that has really carried on through breastfeeding and now what I’m feeding Rex as he’s started solids. I’m totally getting into making baby foods, too (didn’t think I would be, but it’s fun!). I want to be a healthy example for him and to expose him to a variety of flavors.
One of the most awesome aspects of living in California—and especially Sacramento, the farm-to-fork capital—is all of the delicious fresh produce and high-quality foods we have available to us.
You’ve only got 30 minutes to make dinner! What do you make?
Some kind of bowl—brown rice, whatever veggies I have on hand (always avocado and a sweet potato) and a fried or soft-boiled egg. My poor husband, because I serve this dish at least a couple times a week. Sometimes, I’ll spice things up with a Mexican-flavored bowl.
When you have to eat out, what kind of foods or meals do you pick to eat? We always struggle to pick the healthiest option.
I’m a salad and fish girl, but when I’m eating out, it’s usually my time to splurge. I’m really more about moderation. My favorite healthier options are usually veggie-filled entrees.
How do you practice self-care as a busy mom?
Finding time for myself! A long shower or walk while listening to a new podcast when Rex is sleeping, sneaking out for a manicure or just finding some time to read in the sun. I miss reading! Also, I think I’m trying my best to keep my identity outside of Rex. All of the fun projects I get to work on for the blog and going to San Francisco on the regular (or other mini day trips to wine country and throughout Northern California) are all key for making me feel the best version of myself.