Welcome to the newest feature on TBGG called 8 Questions!! In each 8 Questions post, you will meet some of Columbus’ most interesting and active foodies, chefs, restaurant owners, and others who are passionate about breakfast, Columbus, and/or local foods in general. We’ll get to know a little about them in just 8 questions (imagine that!!). 8 Questions isn’t designed to be a full-length interview covering every aspect of life, but simply a few “official” questions with a few silly ones thrown in.
For the first post, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexis Joseph – a Registered Dietitian, local blogger, and Director of Nutrition and Communications at Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe (breakfast review coming soon!!). Check it out….
You’re one of Columbus’ most recognized faces of healthy living. Can you tell us about your work as a Registered Dietitian?
You’re too kind! I absolutely love what I do. Food and nutrition are my passion! Every day is different. Some days I’m running around meeting with different clients for nutrition counseling, some days I’m scheduling social media and on the floor at Alchemy ensuring operations are running smoothly, some days I’m hovered over my computer planning Alchemy’s menu and answering a million emails from distributors. On my day off, I typically spend most of the day working on my blog. That involves everything from grocery shopping, recipe testing, photographing recipes, creating content, answering emails, scheduling social media, etc. I’m super busy all the time, but luckily I’m doing what I love. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
It’s obvious that you’re very passionate about health and wellness. What inspired you to open Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe?
I met Abed Alshahal in a nutrition class at Ohio State and we quickly became great friends and study buddies. He and his two brothers own A & R Creative group, a progressive restaurant group that’s super passionate about creating unique restaurant concepts that double as platforms for social change. We always tossed around the idea of a healthy café, and one day it became a reality! I never thought it would actually happen, but I couldn’t be more thrilled that it did!
I was able to pull lots of recipes from my blog, which helped facilitate menu development. We wanted the food at Alchemy to be delicious, nourishing, and approachable. We also wanted to make nutrition accessible, and having a registered dietitian on site made that a reality! Alchemy combines two of the fastest growing industries in America—health care and food. We believe Alchemy is a model that could really impact preventative health. Feeding healthy food to the masses and watching them enjoy it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
What’s your favorite go-to healthy breakfast?
My go-to breakfast is a hugh jass green smoothie! It’s super easy to prepare in the morning and I love knowing that I started my day with three servings of antioxidant-packing fruits and veggies. I typically blend up one cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, one tablespoon of cacao powder, one cup of frozen strawberries or blueberries, one or two pitted dates for sweetness, and a huge handful of spinach in a blender. I would be nothing without my Nutribullet! Sometimes I throw in brown rice protein powder, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.
When it’s cold out, I make big batches of steel-cut oatmeal and eat it with almond butter and fresh berries.
Three things that are in your refrigerator right now?
Baby kale, almond butter, and almond milk (plus a million other things).
Can you tell us about your blog, Hummusapien.com?
I started the blog about 3 1⁄2 years ago. It really personifies my passion for food and all things healthy. I share simple nutritious recipes as well as tips for clean eating, all with a dose of good humor of course! I think of Alchemy as my way to inspire others to reach their maximum healthy potential. Starting Hummusapien was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made. It grew from a hobby to a part-time job, so it takes up a good deal of my time. Good thing I love it! You can find at least half of Alchemy’s menu on the blog.
What’s the one healthy food that you just can’t bring yourself to eat?
I don’t really like kefir. That’s pretty much the only one I can think of! I’m also not into mock meat products like seitan or anything with vital wheat gluten.
It must feel incredible to know that you’re inspiring people to better themselves with what you do. What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of taking that first step toward a healthier lifestyle?
I would say start small and be positive! Healthy eating can be overwhelming at first, but even if you cut back from drinking ten cans of pop a week to five cans of pop a week, that’ll make a huge difference in your long-term health. Nutrition is so personalized and it’s important to remember that everyone has different needs. A good starting point is simply to add a fruits or veggie to each meal, no exceptions! Maybe breakfast is oatmeal with sliced banana. Even if lunch is a sandwich, use whole grain bread and have carrot sticks on the side with hummus. Bake a sweet potato or roast up some broccoli with dinner. I also always recommend that people start thinking of snacks as real food (like nuts, hummus, veggies, fruit) rather than processed foods like pretzels, chips, and cookies.
And finally…Would you rather have to eat a double cheeseburger or drink a 32 oz soda every day for the rest of your life?
That is perhaps the hardest question I’ve ever been asked! Even though I don’t eat meat, I would have to go with the burger because it at least has protein. I just couldn’t imagine drinking that much sugar every day!