Ultimately, Breakfast Criminals is a wellness movement that aims to remind us to nourish ourselves– physically through whole foods and movement, and spiritually. The heart bowl is there to remind you of this. And if for some it starts with one of my superfood breakfast recipes, that’s great. Welcome to the tribe 🙂
Tell us a little about your journey and who you are?
My name is Ksenia, my friends call me Shira. I’m a creative consultant, blogger, speaker, photographer, writer. I’m the human behind www.breakfastcriminals.com and the upcoming www.digitalgirlboss.com. My mission is to empower my readers to nourish themselves and fuel their dreamiest life visions with delicious colorful foods, positive thoughts and girl boss attitude.
I come from a family where healthy eating and fitness were always part of our daily lives. In my teens I went through a phase where I tried every diet imaginable, trying to achieve healthy skin and find peace with my body (in all the wrong ways). What really changed the game for me, is realizing that “healthy” is different for every single person. Some are better off on a plant based diet, and some just can’t operate without meat. For some, gluten is poison, and for some – it’s totally fine. You can’t find the answer in magazines and health blogs. It can only come from tuning inside and listening to how your body reacts to different foods.
It was in my mid-20s when I figured out what gives me the energy to feel my best. After finishing grad school in San Francisco and moving to New York, I spent a couple of hectic year working in the fashion industry. Even though I was blending pretty much every day by then, I didn’t know that I’m better off using almond milk instead of dairy, and that I could add greens to my smoothies. I watched a few food documentaries like “Food Matters” and started experimenting with plant based foods, superfoods and a lot of blending. That’s when I got more seriously into yoga, meditation and… Instagram. It’s documenting my journey to self discovery through acai bowls that led to creation of Breakfast Criminals 🙂 Not I’m a huge advocate for intuitive, mindful eating and self-love!
I combine my love for healthy eating, yoga and mentorship (girl boss empowerment!) by leading events retreats around the globe. Next one coming up will be on a magical island in Brazil in March 2017 – look out for details on www.breakfastcriminals.com.
What is your health and wellness philosophy?
Nothing can give you a sexy glow and a sparkle in the eye quite like inside-out health, so taking care of yourself first by choosing whole foods and physical movement is vital! It’s important to stop looking for answers outside of yourself, and tune into your own body’s wisdom. Another very important point that doesn’t get enough attention is that our thoughts impact us just as much as our food.
Dissatisfaction and judgment bring us more harm on a cellular level than a piece of cake. It’s vital to know what replenishes your body and your spirit aside from food – otherwise you start seeking fulfillment and satisfaction on your breakfast plate.
“Slow Down Diet” book is a total game changer in that sense, a book that anyone looking to find peace with their body and with food should check out!
Breakfast Criminals is inspiring people to eat delicious, nourishing breakfasts everyday. Tell us why breakfast is such an important meal for you?
Breakfasts are the most important meal! How you start your day can set the mood for the rest of it, so why not choose a nourishing, delicious whole food breakfast prepared with love? It makes a difference. Tested by me and everyone who’s been a guest at the Breakfast Criminals HQ 😉
For people beginning their health journey, or anyone who feels like they just don’t have time to sit and enjoy a meal in the mornings, what advice would you give?
No pressure, but research shows that breakfast makes you a better and happier person 😉 Read about the importance of eating breakfast in this guest blog post by my functional medicine expert friend Klara Mudge.
Make your life easy and just make sure you have simple ingredients in your pantry and fridge – oats, fresh fruit, milk of choice. Maybe a couple of superfoods, such as chia and goji berries or cacao nibs (it’s cheaper to buy in bulk!) It doesn’t have to be complicated. Start simple. And have your go-to easy recipes (you can find over 100 recipes and tips in the Breakfast Criminals eBook). For mornings when you don’t have time to blend or cook, just do overnight oats (aka bircher muesli) or chia pudding. It will take 5 minutes of your time the night before, and you’ll have a yummy brekkie to-go in no time.
Breakfast Criminals is known for your beautiful Acai Bowls. What are some of your favourite ingredients to team with the Acai Bowl?
When it comes to acai bowls, I used to be the “more is more” kind of girl as you can see in this acai bowl video. After my trip to Brazil earlier this year, everything changed! Trying “naked” acai with no additives at a traditional acai shop was like meeting my idol IRL for the first time. It’s a truly medicinal berry that is extremely potent and powerful. In the west, we tend to dilute it with other ingredients when we make acai bowls. But when acai is top notch quality (my favorite brand is Tambor Acai), all I want to do is blend 3 frozen packs with a splash of water, and enjoy with a drizzle of honey and cacao nibs. Anything else simply takes away the magic.
I’m pushing myself to share more videos as they really capture things I want to share, and I’ll be posting really fun video clips from Brazil that I’m calling “hunt for the perfect acai bowl” on YouTube. It’s fascinating to see how differently acai is made/served/thought of in its motherland.
Some of my favorite ingredients for the more western acai bowl are frozen banana, coconut butter, coconut water, cacao nibs, maca, and crunchy granola and strawberries as toppings.
Besides eating a delicious breakfast each day 😉 what are your ‘non negotiables’ when it comes to your own health?
- 8 hours of sleep
- Quiet time in the morning
- Some kind of movement or physical activity, whether it’s the class, yoga, walking or dancing in my room
- Asking my body what it needs a few times a day
- Being kind is very important for overall health☺
What does a typical day look like on your plate?
Brekkie: Green smoothie with berries, avocado, coconut butter and protein, topped with cacao nibs and bee pollen
Lunch: A soup and kale salad with protein from Juice Press or sweetgreen.
Dinner: Dinner is usually meetings, I love picking farm-to-table places that serve warm nourishing bowls with roasted veggies and salmon like INDAY NYC or Dig Inn.
We believe that how you spend the first 80 minutes of your day sets up how the rest of your day will flow. Tell us about your ideal way to spend the first 80 minutes of your day?
The ideal situation is to wake up fully rested, meditate, make a superfood coffee or bulletproof matcha and write in my 5 Minute Journal that helps me set intention for the day. Go over my goals for the day and prioritize tasks. Check my social feeds and any urgent emails, then do some yoga at home or in a studio, followed by a delicious breakfast with loved ones.
Where can our FW family find you?
I hope you have enjoyed another very inspirational interview with the lovely Ksenia and have some new inspiration around starting your day and breakfast.
Stay tuned for next Sunday and another interview.