I was totally dumfounded when I found out Riia was 18. Her outlook on life certainly differs from most 18 year olds, which was why I was so keen to interview her for Live Healthy Simply. Riia is a living example that not all teenagers are interested in partying and eating junk food – Props to you Riia! Enjoy the interview.
What is your food philosophy?
My food philosophy is to eat foods that are REAL and close to the earth, which I guess you could call a Plant Based Lifestyle! After lots of research, I slowly started to cut meat and dairy out of my life. This little change sparked a huge passion. I began trying and creating new recipes which then lead me to finding healthier and tasty substitutes for everyday meals, making foods from scratch rather than buying packaged & processed products, and basically just learning a whole lot along the way! So I am not vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, barbarian…or any-ian! Haha I’m just Riia, plant based eater with a little too much enthusiasm for healthy living!
Most teenagers are more focused on partying than being healthy, why do you enjoy being healthy?
Well first things first, I don’t judge you if you constantly party…in fact, props to you! Haha :) Because I just could never be one of those girls who go out all night every night. It’s too exhausting for me! Occasionally it’s fun, but I love mornings and staying out all night doesn’t work for me! I guess you could say that my focuses are not quite the same as most eighteen year olds. My passion is living a healthy lifestyle. It’s what drives me to get creative in the kitchen and active in the gym. So maybe I don’t have crazy stories from my drunk weekend outings or clubbing escapades, but I’d be happy to share some raw vegan treats after yoga class! :) To all of you who can party every night…congrats! I don’t know how you do it!
Do you plan on pursuing a career around food and health?
Oh my goodness! I hope so! I do know one thing for sure: I will never have a job that I hate. I just feel that life is too short to spend multiple hours a day doing something you don’t enjoy. I want to look back on my life and know that everything I did, I did for me. Not for money. I’m such a dreamer that I have a billion things I’d love to accomplish! Writing a cookbook, having my raw vegan treats on store shelves, opening a vegan bakery, blogging, traveling the world…there are too many things to name! I do however plan to continue blogging throughout college!
Who are your food heroes and heroines?
My food heroes and heroines…I’m not sure! I actually never thought of this before haha. Of course there are some movies I’ve watched, books I’ve read, and blogs I follow that are all health related, but as far as certain people…I can’t really say!
What is your favourite dish?
Well I am constantly creating (and enjoying!) raw vegan treats…there are so many different variations to try, so the possibilities are endless! So I guess you couldn’t really call this a “dish” but it’s by far one of my favorite treats!
Riia’s Raw Vegan Mint Chocolate Fudge Cookies
These cookies were inspired by Girl Scout Thin Mints! They have a fudge like consistency but I find that it makes the flavor richer! Hope you enjoy!
1/4 cup Cashews
1/4 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup Oats
1/4 cup Chocolate chips (any type…semi sweet, carob, cacao, etc)
1/8 cup Cacao powder
2 tbsp Agave nectar
1 tsp Peppermint Extract
In a food processor, blend together cashews, walnuts, oats, and chocolate chips until they form a floury texture. Add in cacao powder, agave nectar, and peppermint extract. Process again until dough forms. Shape batter into cookie or truffle shape. Refrigerate. Enjoy! :)
What is the number one thing you would recommend to a person who wants to improve their health?
I would recommend that they do two simple things…eat foods close to the earth and stay active. Improving your health and wellbeing doesn’t have to be boring and it definitely doesn’t mean you can only eat salads for the rest of your life (although people seem to think that) Get creative with fun new recipes, get active with workouts that you actually enjoy, and surround yourself with people who encourage you and are eager to do the same! A healthy lifestyle isn’t difficult…it’s just a way of life!
All of Riia’s Instagram photos and recipes are on her blog Riia Eats Right.