Bonjour and welcome!
My name is Gabrielle and this website is where I share my love for whole foods and healthy living. I’m a holistic nutritionist, freelance recipe developer and food stylist, turned photographer. I also write on topics relating to food, nutrition, holistic health, and travel.
I’m French and Canadian, from the Montreal area (you can find some French posts here). I’ve been living in Southwestern Ontario for over 18 years. I’m married, and we used to have a fur baby named Brandy that we loved and cherished for 19 years. She recently passed away, and we miss her terribly.
I founded Eyecandypopper in 2013, not knowing anything about blogging, maintaining a website or photography, so I had to learn from scratch. All I knew is that I wanted to share what I learned myself. My work has since been featured on websites and magazines such as Brit+Co, Boston Magazine, ELLE France, Buzzfeed, Archive Magazine (print), The Body Book, TheFeedFeed, Tasty Trends Magazine (print), and more.
This website is focused mostly on plant-based, whole-food, seasonal recipes. I don’t like to be part of any labels, because I don’t fit in any boxes. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, even though I eat vegan and vegetarian meals most of the time. I try to eat dairy-free, but I enjoy some free-range eggs from a small local organic farm. I occasionally eat some organic/grass-fed/free-range meat or cheese. The recipes here are vegan or vegetarian for the most part, often gluten-free, and always made with the most natural, wholesome, nourishing ingredients. The blog also occasionally proposes wellness and holistic living content, one of them is close to my heart: why eating organic is important for our health and the planet. I created a 5-part Why Organic? series that you can read by clicking on the link.
Eating takes up a huge part in our lives, yet so many people live without knowing the power that food can have on their health and wellbeing. It is incredibly empowering. This site was born out of my love for cooking with whole, natural ingredients and my desire to inspire people to take control of their own health.
Eyecandypopper is about breaking/popping barriers between healthy foods and mouth-watering foods (eye candy), about reconnecting with our food and the joy a delicious wholesome meal can provide, and striving to live a vibrant life.
I used to love junk food! I grew-up in Canada, then France, then Canada again. When we came back to Canada, I was just a couple of years away from being a teenager, and I discovered junk food in a big way. I absolutely loved it. I’ve always been more of a salty person than sweets, so McDonald’s was my favourite. I loved fries. I ate them every chance I got. Then I moved on my own far away right after college, and ate more junk. I mean, it so convenient, and relatively cheap. But it didn’t take too long for me to start feeling sluggish, and for my liver to start crying for help. I had also gained weight and was becoming unhappy. I got married and I ended-up working in the insurance industry for 15 years. In the beginning, we were basically destructing ourselves with bad food choices, unhealthy lifestyle habits and high levels of stress. I felt like I had no purpose. I was unfulfilled. I was unhappy with my life and in my own skin. I knew something had to change. Thankfully for me, I was still in my early twenties!
In 2001, I accidentally stumbled on a French magazine in the cafeteria (while eating a microwave meal) that talked about farm animal cruelty. It shook me to the core. I wasn’t ready to give up meat, but I knew there must be a better way, so I started researching this subject and that is how I found out about organic farming. I was shocked to learn about the state of our food, and the amount of chemicals we were ingesting through pesticides and additives. Once I knew, there was no way to go back, so we slowly switched all our food to organic, even if it was processed, and then slowly started learning how to cook and added more and more vegetables in our meals. Over 16 years later, I never stopped reading and learning on that subject.
In 2015, I took a leap of faith and decided to go back to school full time for an intensive program to study holistic and natural nutrition. I embarked on a difficult but rewarding journey towards being able to share my passions and help others. A purpose-driven living and happiness. I studied at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and I am now a Registered Holistic NutritionistTM (R.H.N.TM).
MY FOOD PHILOSOPHY
While learning the incredible power whole foods have on our bodies, I discovered a passion for cooking, despite not knowing how to cook before my early twenties. This website is the result of my experimentations in the kitchen and the incredible learnings I had the privilege to acquire through my own research and in nutrition school.
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. – Michael Pollan
My diet is mostly plant-based because that’s what I have grown to love to eat, and it makes me feel energized, vibrant and alive. I use fresh, wholesome ingredients and avoid processed/packaged foods or refined sugar as much as possible. I try to eat foods in their purest, most natural form. I only buy organic, non-GMO foods and I like to support local farmers. I don’t count calories, and I don’t believe in a one-diet-fits-all approach, but I also do not deprive myself of the foods that I like. I just create them myself with high quality ingredients. I purposely do not write any caloric information about my recipes. I believe that fueling ourselves with real food and listening to our bodies is the key to optimal health. Life is about balance. My approach in life and in the kitchen, reflects this philosophy.
I hope that by sharing a little bit of my own personal quest for wellbeing, I inspire you to get into the kitchen more often, make some positive changes in your own life, and be a little healthier and happier with every meal.
Outside cooking and nutrition, I also have a new passion for photography and food styling. I am grateful that this space allows me to express my creativity both in the kitchen and behind the camera.
I style and shoot all the photos you’re seeing here from my small kitchen and tiny office/studio space. I shoot mostly in natural light, but have had to play around with lighting because Canadian winters are long and it gets dark early for about 5 months out of the year. I still do not have a camera of my own (hopefully soon), so I’ve used a variety of devices. I started with my iPhone 4, then moved on to an iPhone 5, and started playing around with my husband’s Sony camera. I have been borrowing my mother-in-law’s Sony camera for the past year and a half because I found it easier to use than my husband’s, and I recently upgraded to an iPhone 7 and bought an OverHead Pro tripod with arm so that I could shoot some good quality videos. I use basic elements in Photoshop and most recently started using Lightroom to edit my pictures, but I’m always learning.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. – Hippocrates, father of modern medicine
Thank you so much for visiting Eyecandypopper! If you have any questions or just want to say hi, please, feel free to message me, I’d love to hear from you!
If you’d like to collaborate or hire me for services like recipe development, food styling, food photography, sponsorships, ambassadorship, or any other fun project, contact me here I’d love to chat more with you!
Gabrielle, aka ECP xo
All photographs, recipes and content are property of Eyecandypopper, unless otherwise noted. Please do not redistribute without my permission. Thanks!
Logo and banner originally created by JDawnInk
Portrait photo by Aya Photography