An advocate for food positivity, Sadie is a teen on a mission. This incredibly passionate young woman has been writing about her experiences on her website, Whole Girl, since she was 12 years old, culminating in her first book out now. We’re so inspired by her infectious positivity and abundance mindset, and we think you might be too!
What inspired you to create Whole Girl?
I created Whole Girl after discovering the incredible power and joy that food could bring to my life. I had switched to a gluten-free way of eating when I was nine, after it cured my stomach issues. I began baking myself delicious gluten-free treats that tasted amazing and made me feel great. It opened up a whole new world. I learned how food – and the process of making food – is such a beautiful aspect of life, not only for our physical wellbeing, but also mental and spiritual. I started my website at 12 years old to share my recipes and love of food and baking with other young women.
We’re so excited to get our hands on your new book, available on February 2nd. Can you tell us a little about it and how it came to be?
Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food is a life empowerment for young women to help us embrace every part of ourselves. Each chapter focuses on a different “mood” that we all feel at one point or another, like Mad, Blue, Bossy, Unsure, Afraid, and gives us different ways to celebrate that mood. To me, a huge part of learning to love our entire selves is learning to love and accept all the ways that we feel. I wrote Whole Girl because, throughout my teen years, I have seen how harshly society treats young women. We’re constantly being marketed towards and made to feel incomplete – like we should be looking different, exercising more, eating less, putting on a happy face. I wanted to create a resource for young women that could help them appreciate all parts of themselves – not just the parts society deems acceptable. There wasn’t any book on the market focused on life empowerment for teens, by a teen, so I decided to write it myself. I started writing it as a freshman in high school. Now I’m a freshman in college, and I love to see how the book has grown up and evolved with me. The final product is a unique combination of insights, advice, practices, mindful movements, and delicious paleo treat recipes – all with the goal of helping us love and nourish our entire selves.
"Food has incredible healing powers. Because of this, I like to focus on adding foods that can benefit my happiness and wellbeing."
Ingredients are a big priority for you, just as they are for us at OSEA. Why is it important for you to be so thoughtful about what you nourish your body with?
I want to feel my best in life so that I can pursue all the things I love – whether it’s running, learning in school, doing yoga, cooking, hiking, singing, or writing. I’ve discovered that food plays a massive role in the way I feel. I know that personally, I feel my best when I eat enough protein, fats, and vegetables, so I try to include a good amount of those into my everyday life. I encourage everyone to play around with different types of eating and find what makes their body feel best, since we’re all different! Above all, I think it’s a great practice to focus on adding as many delicious and nutrient-dense ingredients into our food as possible – but not stress about it too much.
What are your tips for those who are looking to implement more healthy and mindful eating habits in their own lives?
Food has incredible healing powers. Because of this, I like to focus on adding foods that can benefit my happiness and wellbeing. When I focus more on what I can add, rather than what I should be restricting, it makes food so much more fun and exciting. It also makes me feel better. Our culture tends to create a lot of fear and shame around eating. But food should be enjoyable! This “abundance mindset” introduces food in a much more positive light. So the next time you’re at a grocery store or farmer's market (or, like me, online to make your Whole Foods pickup order), try picking out some fun new ingredients that you’d like to experiment with. Pick out some veggies that sound yummy. Grab some new kinds of protein and some different varieties of fruit. Then you can try cooking or baking with these ingredients, and create something delicious. Savor the experience of eating them. Through processes like these, we can begin to create a relationship with food that feels good for our bodies and our souls!
What are your favorite dishes to cook at the moment?
I am a huge breakfast-lover. It’s so important to me to have a quiet moment with myself at the start of every day to get grounded. And making myself breakfast is the perfect time for that. Lately, I’ve been into making simple omelettes, and breakfast sandwiches with eggs, arugula, and some chipotle mayo on gluten-free bread. I also really enjoy the Blueberry N’oatmeal from Whole Girl, which is a comforting dish that tastes like oatmeal, but is actually grain-free and made with coconut, seeds, and protein powder. Whatever I make for breakfast, I like it to be warm and protein-filled, so that I start out the day satisfied and energized.
As far as sweets (my favorite), I’ve been making these simple paleo chocolate chip cookies a lot lately. I brought a big batch of these to OSEA HQ a couple years ago when I was first developing the recipe, and they were a HUGE hit.
Are there any mantras that particularly resonate with you?
I use the mantra “I am complete.” This statement is the crux of Whole Girl, and for a good reason – it’s something I remind myself daily. Whenever I start getting caught up in comparison or beating myself up for not accomplishing enough, I say “I am complete” to remember that I don’t need anything else to make me whole – no achievements or people or possessions. I’m already whole.
What selfcare practices that you’ve been particularly enjoying recently?
This past month, I’ve fallen in love with taking super hot baths just before bed. It’s been such a beautiful way to unwind and unplug after a long day of Zoom classes, and just give myself a little love. Also, bathing before bed is really great for getting more sleep because it warms our bodies up. Then when we get out of the bath it cools us down, and this transition can help us get to right sleep. I’ve begun incorporating the Salts of the Earth body scrub into bath ritual. I scrub my entire body with it and it gives my skin the most incredible soft feeling.
After my bath, I like to read for about half an hour before I fall asleep. I have to admit, during this busy time I’ve started falling asleep after more like two minutes of reading! But generally I like to carve out a solid chunk of time at night to read because it helps me unwind and turn my brain off so that I can get a good night’s sleep. And nothing is more important to me than getting enough sleep (we actually need at least nine hours a night as teens!).
Do you have any favorite OSEA products and how do you like to use them?
I am such a minimalist when it comes to skincare. My goal is always to find those one or two products that works perfectly, so I don’t have to worry about anything else. For me, that product is Ocean Cleansing Milk! Every night I squirt a bit of it onto a washcloth with warm water, and clean my face. It leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh, but also hydrated and moisturized. I also love the Undaria Argan Oil for moisturizing my arms at the end of the day. The smell and feel of it is so luxurious – it makes me feel special.
What lies ahead for you and Whole Girl this year? We’re excited to see what’s in store!
Thank you! I am excited to connect with young women across the world through the release of the book. Although a physical book tour wasn’t possible, I want to spend this year speaking with and learning from all different girls – through phone calls, Zoom events, Instagram, whatever it may be. I am also looking forward to (hopefully!) studying in-person at UC Berkeley in the fall, where I’m majoring in Global Studies. There, I will get to explore global issues and food justice—and also discover how to practice self-care and wellness as a college student!
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