What we eat can affect not only our physical body but also our mental well-being. Much of today’s “healthy” foods pose as proper nutrition, but upon closer examination contain ingredients that could potentially do more harm than good. Wellness recipe developer Maria Lopez is on a mission to educate people on beneficial nutrition through simple, delicious dishes that are accessible to all.
“Most of us grew up with no sense of nutrition or knowledge on the impact food has on our entire body, both physically and mentally. I want to help my community and the great people around me to feed their bodies in a much better way without giving up comfort food and tasteful dishes,” Maria shares.
Born and raised in Mexico near El Paso, Texas, Maria developed an early love of Southwest-inspired cuisine and learned to cook her own recipes by watching her father. At 17, Maria had hopes of owning a restaurant and began diligent research to make it happen.
Now, at 23 years old, her strong social media following has inspired her to create a nutrition blog, Purely Healthy Living, where she shares hearty, affordable recipes and provides research-backed information on living and eating well.
We had a chance to chat with the fit foodie to find out more about her culinary process, her upcoming recipe book and how she even incorporates CBD into her wellness meal plans.
What first inspired you to want to help others with their nutritional needs?
My family and I didn’t have any idea about the impact of food. My mornings consisted of cookies and milk for breakfast, maybe a sugary cereal, but veggies were nowhere to be found during my daily meals.
My interest in health and wellness began in high school when I was deciding on colleges and needed to pick a subject to study. I always loved to cook and wanted to study business to hopefully have my own restaurant one day. It wasn’t until a very special teacher inspired me to love the human body and its beautiful physiological makeup that I really got interested in nutrition! It was a great fit with my love of cooking. I started my Instagram account, Purely Healthy Living, and since then, it has grown so much that I now have my own recipe blog.
What makes your recipes and meal regimens different than others on the market?
Usually my recipes are very simple so that anyone can prepare them, no matter their skill level. I also love to play with different ingredients, textures and flavors to create unique, healthy and indulgent recipes.
You also often cook with CBD, which makes your recipes even more unique. When did you start taking an interest in CBD?
I started using Bloom Farms CBD 300mg Tincture for the first time when I was having trouble sleeping. I really noticed a difference when I would wake up feeling so rested and refreshed! I also got my wisdom tooth extracted recently and CBD really helped keep the pain at bay—truly a game changer.
How did you begin incorporating CBD into your cooking?
As a nutritionist and from personal experience, I know that consistency can be tough. Our busy minds are often all over the place and sometimes we forget to keep up our daily routines. So I figured an easy way to regularly consume my CBD was to include it in recipes. I always have my Bloom Farms CBD ready to use along with all my other cooking essentials.
What was your first CBD recipe?
The Gut-Friendly Raspberry Tart. I had it as an evening treat since I always experience the sleep benefits when I take CBD.
After experimenting with different CBD recipes, have you needed to alter the process at all?
Not really, but one thing is sure—using CBD as an oil tincture, I never bake with it. I just stick to raw and no-bake recipes to make sure that the essential nutrients in the CBD remain untouched.
What have you learned about yourself during this nutritional journey?
Everything positive that has happened for me stemmed from stepping out of my comfort zone: creating a blog and not being afraid of the exposure; letting go of doubt and finding inner peace; loving myself and knowing my worth throughout the process. Those are my proudest moments.
Did you ever imagine you’d be where you are today?
No. My plans are to continue growing and helping others thrive with new food-related lifestyle changes. I’ve learned a lot and think now I’ve shifted beyond just food to sharing how to nourish one's mind and environment. We aren’t just what we eat, but also what we think and give to the world. It’s important to keep things real with my community and share more than just recipes but also daily reflections to nourish our minds. I try my best.
What's on the horizon for you? Any upcoming projects or new exciting things in your life that you want to share with fans and followers?
Right now I’m working on a paleo ebook of Mexican recipes and a personalized nutrition program to help people treat conditions from the root. I can’t wait to release those two!
Born and raised by the beach in Southern California, Valeri Spiwak lives and breathes West Coast culture and its surrounding artistic charm. Valeri, with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a Minor in French, continuously seeks to explore the beautiful and obscure, and shares her adventures through captivating wordplay, clever writing and skillful copy.