Name: Sophie Bourdon
Blog name: The Green Life
Where were you born? Montréal
Where are you living now? Toronto
Why did you start your blog?
I worked in the media industry for 8 years and I was unhappy, overstressed and unfulfilled. In 2014, I switched my life around and decided to quit my hectic corporate job to go back to school and study holistic nutrition. Studying nutrition was extremely eye-opening for me.
I learned incredible things in school, and it completely changed my approach to food, health and wellness. It opened my eyes to the amazing power whole foods have on our bodies and transformed both the way I cook at home and the lifestyle choices I make in my daily life. I was completely amazed by the learnings I was acquiring every day and gradually started to turn these into cooking experimentations. Thanks to this course, I discovered in myself a passion for cooking and for creating dishes with pure, whole ingredients. I created The Green Life out of the need to share this passion with the world. I’ve always loved photography too, so launching my blog allowed me to express myself creatively as well. It was the best of both worlds coming together.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I wanted a name that truly embodied the values I wanted to share with this blog. I was looking for a name that could be representative of not just food, but also wellness and holistic health. Because I knew I was going to blog in both French and English, it was important that my name was easy to remember and to understand for both English and French speakers. I’ve had many brainstorming sessions with people around me and I believe that my boyfriend is the one who suggested The Green Life. I couldn’t believe that the domain name was still available!
What do you blog about?
The Green Life is focused on plant-based, whole-foods, seasonal recipes. The recipes are mostly vegan, often gluten-free and always made with the most natural, wholesome, nourishing ingredients. But it doesn’t mean that my food is not indulgent. I believe that eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures and it should absolutely be enjoyable. My food philosophy is not about imposing a specific diet or telling people what they should eat - I don’t believe in a one-diet-fits-all approach. It’s not about deprivation or restriction either. Life is about balance and my approach in the kitchen and in my everyday life is a reflection of this philosophy.
I want to show through my recipes how delicious and even decadent healthy eating can be. I want to inspire people to get into the kitchen more often and cook with real foods. The blog also has a health section, in which I occasionally share wellness and holistic living content. The Green Life’s mission is to inspire people to live their happiest, most vibrant life through conscious eating and wholehearted living.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
I feel like so many blog posts encapsulate who I am in different ways, and they’re a reflection of how I feel and what I like to cook at this very moment of my life. But if I had to pick, I would probably say the chocolate ice cream sandwich with tahini cookie. Sweets are my weakness and ice cream is probably my favorite thing in the whole world. This is the perfect example of an indulgent but good-for-you treat. That’s how I like to approach food and what I want people to remember. That healthy eating doesn’t mean deprivation, and that it’s totally possible to indulge in amazing decadent food, as long as they’re made with the most wholesome, nourishing ingredients.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Probably this roasted pear & ginger cashew ricotta toast with rosemary walnuts. This is one of the very first recipes I posted on the blog. It’s a super simple recipe and but it’s so delicious. The post got very little traction, but it remains one of my favourite recipes from the blog. It’s super easy to make, yet totally delicious and party-worthy.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
My Mango Spring Rolls with Spicy Almond Butter Sauce. It was one of those weeks where nothing was working in the kitchen. All of my experiments had failed and I didn’t know what to post on the blog. These Spring rolls are my go-to dish when I run out of inspiration, so they were pretty much my last resort. After taking the photos I wasn’t even sure I was going to post it. I thought it was too simple and there were already so many spring rolls recipes out there. But I thought, you know what, I make this dish all the time, so I’ll just share it with others. And it ended up being one of my most popular posts! Lesson learned. Recipes don’t have to be complicated or super unique to work. Simplicity is often best.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Time management! I struggle with that a lot. There are so many components to blogging, It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I always do a thousand things at the same time and I wish I could find ways to be more organized and efficient in terms of planning my posts, publishing, managing my social media, etc.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
I read so many blogs, it’s really hard to pick just a few! But I’d say The First Mess is probably my biggest inspiration. I love how inventive and delicious Laura’s recipes always are. She makes plant-based eating look really cool. I also like the relaxed vibe you get when you visit her site. Her approach is genuine and honest and I admire that a lot.
Faring Well is another favourite. Jessie has the sweetest of hearts and is just one of the nicest people out there. Coming to her blog is like an instant dose of sunshine. She has a way with words too and reading her is always such a delight. I’ve made so many of her recipes. They’re easy to prepare and they always turn out amazing.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Oh gosh this is too hard. I love so many different things. I remember this amazing lentil truffle risotto I had at Café Clover in New York City last Fall. Everything about this dish was perfect: delicate, sophisticated, full of flavours. And the pizza I had at Pizzeria da Michele in Italy a few years ago. The best pizza of my life! I love when food makes you stop and close your eyes. Those are food memories I’ll always keep and cherish.
What are you working on next for your blog?
I like to cook with what’s available at the Farmer’s Market at the moment. I made a really delicious fiddlehead quinoa risotto last Spring and I still remember how good it was, so as soon as I get my hands on some Ontario fiddleheads I’ll probably make this as my next post.
In terms of longer-term goals for my blog, video is something I’d love to experiment with at some point.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I have an identical twin sister. We look and think alike, it’s quite fascinating!
I’ve run a marathon a few years ago and I’ve run 5 or 6 half-marathons.
What makes your blog unique?
I like to think that my story and what brought me to where I am now is what makes my blog unique. I was raised on pop tarts and frozen meals, but I am now a holistic nutritionist. My recipes are always the most nourishing they can be, but they never compromise on flavour. Photography is also huge for me and I like to think that presenting healthy food in a very beautiful way is part of what makes it interesting and appealing. I also blog in both English and French, which not many people do. It’s a ton of work, but it was important for me, it’s part of who I am.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
All of it! Seriously, the blogger resources are just amazing. I always find so much inspiration, ideas and practical info there, from photography tips to advice on how to monetize our blog or collaborate with brands. There’s a ton of useful content.
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