One of the things I love about interviewing others for my weekly Sexy Scoop series, is being able to feature fellow colleagues of mine that are just rocking it and Peggy Kotsopoulos is no exception. She not only has her own show now in the US, but is also a two-time author. And if you've ever had the chance to speak to her, you'd agree with me that this girl is just pure sunshine. She's not only smart, but down right beautiful - inside and out. I'm thrilled to be able to feature the incredible Peggy Kotsopoulos who gives us a deep insight into her life and shares with us her recipe for an amazing Banana Creme Bruleeé.
Girl, you are just rocking it out there as a seasoned TV Host, two-time author and now with your own show on Veria in the US! I know your schedule is insane, so I have to ask, how easy is it for you to stay on track with your health and what is your go-to, non-negotiable food that you just can’t live without?
Thank you! What may seem like an insane schedule is my normal. It changes daily, weekly, monthly, and there isn't much routine. and that's an aspect of my life and career that I love! I'm always on the go and travelling, I'm on 12 flights (6 cities) this month alone, and there are no excuses. Staying on track with your health is a conscious and deliberate effort you make every singe day to fit within your lifestyle, not matter what it is. And for everyone, it's different. My go-to non-negotiable that I've been having every day for the past 10+ years in my Vega One smoothie. It's like my daily healthy insurance policy. I know if I have one of those a day, I'm good! It's has almost everything I need in a day - plant-based protein, greens, omega 3s, antioxidants, adaptogens, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, etc... Sometimes it's all fancy in a blender with frozen berries, almond milk and additional greens, and others is just a scoop in a shaker cup with water. So if the rest of my day slips, I know I at least have that to keep me nourished.
You mentioned during our chat that you are now living in NYC. What popular health food trends are you seeing in the Big Apple that you didn’t see in Toronto?
Health foods and eating healthy is extremely accessible in NYC. There is just way more variety and options. There are probably just as many juice and smoothie bars as there are Starbucks - pretty much on every corner! Plus there are so many healthy to-go options. complete meals that I would make at home or order at a health-oriented, raw, or vegetarian restaurant are boxed and found at your local convenience store. Even Duane Reade (drug store chain) carries chia pods (chia pudding to go) and kale chips. So convenience, accessibility and the selection of different foods and snacks is the biggest difference.
I know you’re an avid food lover. Can you name a time when you went through something tough and did food play an instrumental role in helping you get through it?
There have been SO many times. It's why I do what I do, and why I fully understand the food/mood connection. I actually attribute food to my career change and I talk about this extensively in my book Kitchen Cures. Here's an excerpt from my book I thought I'd share with you:
Prior to delving into nutrition whole-heartedly, I spent a 7 year career in investments. While I did very well, my passion wasn't there and I wasn't happy. I had the quintessential perfect life (or what is socially perceived to be perfect) but it just didn't fit me. As as for many people, making a change at that point in my career, at a point where it was growing rapidly, was scary and did not seem like an option. However, just over a year before I made the switch, I was on a raw-food diet. Toward the end it got pretty intense, and I don’t mean cashew-cream and avocado-pudding intense. I mean that pretty much all I ate those last few months were greens (and only if they were organic), veggies, sprouts, algaes, and sea veggies. It was crazy. I wouldn’t eat a nut, seed, or grain unless it was sprouted, and organic green-juice cleanses were a part of my life at least one full day a week (and sometimes all week). And while something that extreme it's not something I not recommend at all, it did have a silver lining: it gave me a serious case of emotional disgorge. It initiated the most provoking, challenging, uncomfortable, life-changing time I’d ever experienced. And because I was barely eating to 'bury' my emotions, I had no freakin’ clue what to do, except to just deal and I became an emotional spitfire. I was forced to let go of what was “secure” and familiar but unfulfilling (including my career and relationships) and venture into the land of the unknown. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. But what I realized was that when you don't bury your emotions with food, you actually then have to confront them, face-to-face, as ugly as they may be. And I then realized, when you eat clean, it quiets your stomach. When you have a quiet stomach, you have a quiet mind, and when you have a quiet mind, you can listen to your heart—and your heart speaks the truth.
So for me, as for many, food is a tool for dealing with emotions and feelings. You can use it against yourself by burying your emotions, or you can use it positively in a way that nourishes your body, mind, and entire being! Those days of crazy cleansing (while maybe not the best thing for my body at the time) helped me get to where I am today. They forced me to listen to my heart and not to bury things.
While I'm not recommending that anyone needs to do a crazy cleanse, all I’m saying is that when you’re stressed, anxious, sad, or feeling like a train wreck, put down the cookie-dough ice cream and reach for something that will truly fulfill you.
Alright Peggy, I’m going to get a nosey here, but I have to know, when it comes to love, what is your biggest turns ons and turn offs? Has a man ever gotten to your heart through your stomach?
This is very interesting... I just realized that since I'm the one that always cooks in the relationship, I don't think I've ever had a man win over my heart through my stomach. Maybe THIS is why I still haven't found "the one". Perhaps the way to my heart IS through my tummy!
1) A great authentic smile - genuine happiness that comes from the inside out is probably my biggest turn on
2) Someone who appreciates childlike play. There is enough stress and seriousness in life. So while I adore a man who is responsible and driven, the clincher for me is someone I can bust out into random dance parties with... whether it be at home... in the grocery store... or where ever! Someone who is down with being silly and fun.
3) A man who loves love. who truly loves being in love.
1) Arrogance. There is a big difference between being confident and being arrogant. arrogance = big thumbs down.
2) No manners. huge turn-off. being kind, polite and just an overall gentleman is hot. and as for chivalry, it is so not dead.
3) Someone who doesn't like to eat 🙂
I know you love your healthy, delicious food but is there a little piece of indulgent goodness that you just can’t say no to every now and then??
Anything with chocolate and peanut butter. I don't care what it is, if it's those two things together, my name is all over it and it's going down! Bonus if there is some sort of banana or salted caramel mixed into that too.... look out.
The recipes on your website make me want to drool all over my keyboard. Would you share one of your favourite ones with us?
This is one of my favorites from my book "Kitchen Cures". It's uber decadent and delish, guaranteed to have you lick the ramekins clean.
Banana Coconut Crème Brulée
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) raw cashews
1 cup (250 mL) vanilla coconut milk
1 small ripe banana, whole
1/3 cup (75 mL) coconut sugar plus extra for topping
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground chia
1/2 banana, thinly sliced
In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine cashews, coconut milk, banana, coconut sugar, vanilla, and coconut oil until smooth. Add ground chia and continue to blend.
Layer banana slices across bottom of four ramekins. Pour mixture evenly over bananas. Refrigerate for about an hour.
Remove from fridge, then sprinkle coconut sugar to completely cover the top of each ramekin. Using a blowtorch, caramelize sugar until bubbling and golden. If you don’t have a blowtorch, place ramekins under the broiler for a few minutes.
Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
What are three words that you would use to describe your relationship to food in the past, present and what you hope it could be in the future?
Past: Functional - In the past I ate foods more for their functional benefit and was very strict with my diet on what I ate didn't eat.
Present: non-commital - in that I eat what I feel like eating (which is obvi still very healthy) and what makes me feel good without following a specific, hardcore diet.
Future: Lovers - my love for food continues to grow, every single day 🙂