Susan Jane White isn’t just our newest Brand Ambassador, she is my newest health and wellness inspiration and Hero. The former President of the Oxford University gastronomy society, journalist, cookbook author and long-time Beauty Heroes subscriber and fan has been connecting food, health and beauty in the most delightful ways with her wit, sass and deliriously delicious approach to healthy living. She brings a heaping serving of humor to the table and the page every time, helping us all take it all just a little less serious so we can get back into the true joy of healthy cooking. I highly recommend her two wheat, dairy and gluten-free cookbooks Tasty. Naughty. Healthy. Nice and The Virtuous Tart that are both chock full of inventive and approachable recipes and are even more fun to read than they are to prepare. Can you tell, I’m a fan? I know you will be too, just watch, read on and enjoy meeting Susan Jane White.
JJ: What inspired you to start cooking healthy and writing about it?
SJW: Looking like Quasimodo. And feeling like a rescue dog.
I used to think that only boring people had time to cook. Turns out, smarter people make time to cook.
JJ: What’s your beauty philosophy?
SJW: Health is beauty.
If someone takes care of themselves, it shows in their eyes, their aura and their skin. Knowing that we absorb 70% of what we put on our skin, it’s easy enough to make the right decisions.
Luckily, Beauty Heroes does the research, so we don’t have to! I really mean that. I’m a working mum with two little boys, so I barely have time to shower let alone research products lining my local stores. Beauty Heroes is my Mecca.
JJ: What is your prescription for Health?
SJW: Healthy food can and should taste sensational (so put it down if it taxes your taste buds!)
I’m all about taking the hell out of healthy. That’s why I wrote my cookbooks – I want to turn your sugar cravings into a nutritional hit. I want to eat badass cupcakes and feel like a ballet dancer afterwards, rather than an indolent rhino. I’ve made it my profession – sort of like Houdini in an apron, magically hiding things.
JJ: Can you share your favorite beauty-food recipe?
SJW: I have a gorgeous recipe for lemon drizzle cake that I like to refer to as Botox baking. This sticky citrus cake is practically humming with age-defying nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin C, and a swag of antioxidants. Its fantastical glow comes from the hallowed Ayurvedic spice turmeric. We love turmeric for its anti-inflammatory ninja moves.
This cake is good enough to make a devout monk feel like Ricky Martin. Tuck in. Serves 16, and freezes beautifully in individually wrapped portions.
Recipe for Lemon Shizzle Cake:
3 cups of almond flour / ground almonds
Zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon (& a squeeze of juice)
6 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil or ghee
6 tablespoons local honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon good quality sea salt
For the drizzle:
Juice of 1 large lemon, or 2 smallies
Up to 3 tablespoons of local raw honey
Preheat the oven to 340°F. Blend everything in a food processor. That’s it!
Pour into a lined, brownie pan (8×8 inch, 20cm x 20cm) and bake for 22–25 minutes, removing it from the oven before the crust browns. Leave to cool in the tin.
Now for the shizzle; gently warm the lemon juice with your honey in a small saucepan. Pour over your cake while still warm. A few piercings from a fork will help. Admire your brilliance and let your nostrils samba.
JJ: What’s the ingredients we don’t know about yet, that we really should?
SJW: Ready? Set?
These chaps are one of the cheapest superfoods on our shopping list, and excellent for all things dermal and duodenal. Prunes work by spring-cleaning the gut, with a fervor normally reserved for a visit from a hot date.
Okay, so what’s this got to do with our skin?
The skin is one of our body’s largest excretory organs. Crazy, but true. If we’re not looking after our pipes, then our skin will inevitably become an elimination route for excess toxins. You want luminous skin? Make sure you keep your gut on speaking terms with you.
JJ: How do you power up in the morning? How do you get energized?
SJW: Every morning I wake up like a Pokemon on LSD – bright, cheerful, and ready to lovebomb the world. It’s more of an accident, if I am to be perfectly honest.
How so? I can’t tolerate eating anything for a few hours before bedtime, which I believe is key to our body’s natural detoxifying process. Our liver works best on an empty stomach, while we sleep between the hours of 10pm and 2am. If our body is distracted with digestion, our liver won’t work optimally.
I think my liver and I are good friends. It certainly shows at 7am.
JJ: What’s your personal mantra?
SJW: To cry over what you don’t have, is to entirely waste what you do have.
JJ: Your cookbooks and writing is so funny. Since you make us laugh….who makes you laugh?
SJW: My husband Trevor. He is my sorcerer of hilarity. We always try to make each other laugh, and not let life beat us up. “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal” (our Irish pal Oscar Wilde).
JJ: What are a few of your top Beauty Heroes and why?
SJW: My love for Laurel Whole Plant Organics and LilFox is fairly fierce. The power and scent of their botanicals are nothing short of bewitching. My skin dances with their touch.
My true heroes however are the products that I would have never otherwise bought, or even considered. I love that Beauty Heroes constantly challenges, educates and surprises us. So, I guess what I’m saying is, the monthly discovery box is my true hero. Hero of Heroes. Without the monthly discovery box, my skin would still be using the same Irish product line, not realizing there’s a cosmic world of plant-powered Self Care and soothing rituals that nourish physically as well as emotionally.
Knowledge is power.
JJ: Zen Moment: How do you unwind at the end of the day?
SJW: An intoxicating, licky-sticky-yummy facemask. It’s a treat for all my senses. I need to look after myself, because no one else will do it for me. I think many mothers find themselves in this position – the natural carer. But who cares for the carer?