Eddie is a Swedish model and wellness creator. Her journey to veganism started in 2012, after being inspired by the fresh produce markets in Istanbul. Soon after, she began blogging about plant-based recipes to make at home as well as reviews of vegan restaurants. She began writing Peaches in 2018 as a series of personal essays, eventually evolving into a book to help others curious about veganism and on their own self-discovery.
Editor in Cheif Jules wood interview Eddie about this brilliant book she as written. Eddie had a lovely dinner for lovely girls in the book and friend followed by a cocktail at the beautiful Chateau Marmont to Celebrate the launch of her new book Peaches.
1. What led you to choose physical health and mental health as some of a topic in your book? We’re there any personal experiences or challenges that influenced your decision to focus on this topic?
Mental and physical health is so connected. One doesn’t work well without the other. It’s something that’s easy to say, but living it, actually noticing the connection can be hard in fast day-to-day lives. A big part of my book Peaches is to portray all these unique, inspiring individuals’ stories – but another part of it is also sharing my own. I moved to the States by myself in my late teens to work as a model in the fast and turbulent New York. Life was like a movie – incredible – but there were times when my mental health definitely took its toll. It took a couple of years for me to actually grasp the connection. Even if I ate super healthy vegan and green food if my mental state wasn’t right – I wouldn’t feel good.
I’m well aware of how difficult life was as a teen when I grew up in the early 2010s – and that was a time before Instagram and TikTok. I can’t even grasp how it is for kids today! I’ve always had a soft spot for this younger generation, and I wish my book can help someone feel less alone and understand how the idea of the mind and body relation can benefit them. The point is: it doesn’t have to be boring or too hippie-dippie. It can be relaxed, fun (!!), and something you learn how to incorporate in smaller steps daily.
2. In your opinion, why is it important to address both physical and mental health together, rather than separately? How do these two aspects of health intersect and impact each other?
As mentioned above, it’s all connected. When you nourish your body with real foods, it fuels both your body and mind. I also think that once you dip your toes into a “healthier” way of living, it all sort of starts building together naturally. Add one little piece every day or every week – and soon your building blocks will have added up into a little house – a proper solid foundation.
3. What do you hope readers will take away from your book in terms of improving their overall health and well-being? Are there any specific strategies or tips that you would recommend for achieving optimal physical and mental health?
The most important thing is to not do it all at once. My book is built up as a 21-day introduction, and the idea is that each day you’ll learn something new. Whether it’s something for your mental or physical health, you’ll have leveled up one step after each chapter. After 21 days (they say that’s the time it takes to break a pattern) your brain will be so loaded with new information that you’ll automatically start incorporating some of these tools into your “new” day-to-day life. It doesn’t have to be all of it, but something is better than nothing.
4. Your book includes a section on vegan recipes. Why do you think it’s important to incorporate plant-based meals into our diets, and what benefits do you believe this can have for our physical and mental health?
I’ve been plant-based for about a decade and naturally, I think choosing plants over slaughtered livestock is better, simply just phrasing it like that. And we have all heard the saying “You are what you eat”, which is a phrase that definitely gives a point to the veggie team. The benefits are many, but I think the first thing you will notice is that you feel lighter. Meat is hard to digest – it can take up to 6 hours.
On a more scientific level, because of a naturally higher intake of fresh fruit and vegetables when eating plant-based, your diet is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that have been shown to boost your mood and overall well-being. Also, deficiencies in Zinc have been linked to depression and anxiety. While a majority of Americans meet their Zinc requirements through burgers, people on a vegan diet opt for alternatives like chickpeas and lentils – which is a much healthier option! Regardless if you’re fully vegan or not, eating as little processed food and aiming to put real, local, and in-season foods on your plate is the biggest game changer for both mental and physical health.
5. In addition to discussing vegan recipes, your book also includes information on vegan restaurants. What has been your personal experience with vegan dining, and how do you think it can contribute to a healthy lifestyle?
In the back of the book, I’ve attached a section on how to eat vegan everywhere. Going to a vegan restaurant, you’ll definitely find plenty of options – but my guide is made so you know what to pick when you’re at a restaurant that’s not vegan. For me, this is very important, because I know a lot of people’s excuse as to why they can’t be plant-based is because it’s “so hard to eat out”. But – it’s really not true. I find that most restaurants are very accommodating, you just have to ask nicely and give them a big smile. I’m telling you – it’s not as hard as you think. You just have to use your imagination and become a pro at combining side orders.
6. For readers who may be new to plant-based eating, what advice would you give them for getting started and making the transition to a more plant-based diet? Are there any specific resources or recipes that you would recommend?
Take it slow. Don’t rush into it. If you’re a heavy meat eater or eat a lot of processed foods, you’ll most likely feel the transformation pretty hard. But also, it should be fun!! It should be an exciting new adventure you’re diving into. Treat yourself to a nice dining experience at your city’s best vegan restaurant!
When it comes to recipes, the last 100 pages of my book are full of easy-to-make, inexpensive, and tasty recipes. I strongly recommend making it easy for yourself. Make the overnight chia seed pudding and have it ready in the fridge in the morning, or make a large batch of the vegan chili that you can eat throughout the week. Taking too much over your head will make it overwhelming. Keep it simple, and stick to uncomplicated, foolproof recipes.
6. The girls you chose in your book to interview, can you tell us about a few of them and why you chose them?
I chose to interview friends of mine that in some way had a personal impact on my own life. All the women are individuals I met on my own journey and someone who inspired me. Everyone has completely different backgrounds and comes from different parts of the world. Sophie Dalah is an amazing chef who was born in Australia, Sarah Benjamin is a super-talented filmmaker born in Jerusalem, and Ashley Smith is a Texas-born rebel turned disco dance queen. The three of them are strong, very different individuals – but they all have one thing in common: they share the same view on the mind and body connection.
Photos by Andrey Tarasov