Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady made the headlines recently for their uber strict diet: a 80-20 per cent plant-based diet, no sugar (the kids munch on healthy options such as homemade spirulina fruit roll-ups), iodized salt, white flour, coffee, fungus, tomatoes, nightshades (because of their inflammatory effects) and no dairy. Ever.
Meet Joanne Gerrard Young, holistic nutritionist, master raw food chef and well-being educator behind The Healing Cuisine, who happens to also be the Brady-Bündchen family and friends' private chef when they are in town (Joanne is based out of Costa Rica). She tailors some highly coveted cleanses for her clients, some of whom are Victoria Secret Angels, no less. The dynamic Canadian-born woman was kind enough to offer us a glimpse into her fridge.
Christine E. Laprade: I've never seen a fridge like this in my entire life...! I see a lot of exotic fruits. You're a raw food chef and live in South America. I know that Gisele is on a raw food diet when she stays in Costa Rica. What's in those glass jars I see on the top shelf?
Joanne Gerrard Young: Up there we have fresh juices, we have a green juice, a veggie juice on top and underneath that we have two superfood spirulina smoothies, and to the left there's a chlorophyll tea which I make with burdock root and mint. And on the right is my hibiscus tea which is a rose-orange tea, for liver support.
CEL: Do you follow a specific routine in the morning?
JGY: Usually I have a green juice in the morning, then a smoothie and then later I have the green mint tea then I have a second cup of tea and then I have the veggie juice, those are all elements of the juice cleanse that we do at my retreat.
CEL: What do you typically put in your green juice?
JGY: Usually, like, celery, cucumber, apple... That's the base. Then we add different herbs, or aloe vera... if it's for a juice cleanse it depends on the client and if they're having weakness in the adrenals, then we're gonna add daikon radish... If they're anaemic we might add some more greens or do nettle tea... I adapt the recipe according to the person I'm cooking for.
CEL: I see an orange-ish glass jar... Could it be sauerkraut?
JGY: Yes, in the back, these are both krauts. There's a red cabbage kraut and a carrot, turmeric and green baggage kraut. Every day I eat a little bit of kraut, I use it as a condiment. It's amazing. We call them colonizing probiotics. We take probiotics as a pill but we only have it in our system as we're taking it. But the kraut, it ferments, it has more colonizing probiotics. You have to let it come back to room temperature before you eat it though, as when it's in the fridge it's "sleeping."
CEL: You also have a bunch of zucchinis... I guess those are for the spiralizer!
JGY: Yes! [laughs] Those are baby zucchinis so they don't work as well but there are some big zucchinis in the back and they are for the noodles. Those mini ones you see, the little yellow squash, we marinate them and put them on our pastas, or we make salads with them. Or we slice them and marinate them and put them on our pizzas as toppings. Sometimes I marinate them with Asian flavours and put them on cauliflower rice or marinate them with Mediterranean flavours and put them on noodles. Or I make a Thai dish, like a coconut soup and I add them to that.
CEL: Kelly Bensimon suggested that I ask you for a new salad idea now that summer is here. A new take on salad, something fun and different?
JGY: There's so many different ways you can do salad! It doesn't have to be green. Sometimes at home I'll just do tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, some onions and throw chickpeas in it. It is a salad, too! Or you can do a warm salad, or warm your dressing just a little bit... If you warm your dressing it'll wilt it a little bit, which is nice... If you have a spiralizer, you can have all kinds of different, elaborate, really cool salads. In a couple of months, you could do a winter salad, for you in Canada. Top it with warm sweet potatoes that are roasted and put it on a salad with toasted pumpkin seeds or something to get a little crunch, a little salty.
CEL: Yum that actually sounds delicious. What are you favorite ingredients to cook with?
JGY: Avocados for sure, I love everything about avocados. Down in Costa Rica here we have coconut which is amazing to work with -- actually I think it's my most favourite ingredient because it's so versatile. There's young coconut and older coconut and every coconut in between. I make coconut yogurt, I turn the coconut cream into sour cream or egg yolk, tzatziki, whipped cream, you can take an older coconut and turn it into coconut milk, which you can turn into a lemongrass coconut soup.
CEL: What is your go-to protein, since you're a plant-based chef?
JGY: My go-to protein is hemp hearts. My second favourite protein is.. actually I read that the highest source of protein, the most bio-available source of protein is actually ferments. So your sauerkraut is actually a huge source of protein. When you think of it on a biological level, they are actually living organisms so it makes sense that they would provide protein. Once you break down a piece of steak, once you cook it, you lose 85 per cent of the protein. So your raw kale or your raw broccoli actually has more protein now because you cooked it away in your steak.
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