We understand that color has the power to bring joy and that it can be the answer to self-expression, healing and wellbeing. If you’ve been following along with our Healing Hands series, you know how important color and self-expression can be to that healing journey and how we feel hands can play a role in that process of wellness. In this edition, we took the time to sit down with wellness influencer and food blogger Olivia Noceda of @olive.eeeats to see how she got her start in content creation, what her journey with food has been like, and how important color and hands are in that process of creation to her. Plus, she’s shared a cozy Collagen Peppermint Mocha recipe that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit this season!
OPI: Hi, Olivia! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story with us, how did you get started with your journey as a creator? What drew you into creating content around food?
ON: I created my instagram about 4 years ago with the desire to take pictures of food. I had been in the arts my entire life, and once I had graduated college I really felt like I wanted to explore art through a different medium. Food styling felt like something that would challenge me, and I had really gotten into cooking healthy dishes at the time as I was training to become a yoga teacher.
OPI: What’s your relationship like with food and how has it transformed over the past 5 years?
ON: I’ve kind of been through it all with food, and I don’t expect that my relationship with food will be linear for the rest of my life. I’ve gone through ups and downs - overeating, undereating, portion controlling, ingredient obsessing, paleo, keto, intermittent fasting, no sugar, etc - I am finally in a place in my life where I eat very intuitively. I don’t cut anything out or restrict myself. I truly just eat what I want, when I want. That being said, I still have days where I over or under eat for various reasons. I think the most important thing is being self-aware about it and bringing yourself back to grounding when it does happen rather than punishing.
OPI: What’s your favorite recipe to make during the winter time?
ON: I loooove soup so much! It’s easy, nourishing, and filling! Plus when you’re really cold there’s nothing better. Also, any type of holiday flavored coffee, like the peppermint mocha recipe I’ve included here today.
OPI: Can you share with us what “sexy soup” is?
ON: Haha. i didn’t really realize that soup could take on a form of sexiness until I made this tomato soup in a sheet pan. The drizzles of oil and bubbling of tomatoes just made it all feel so… sexy. I don’t necessarily think of the word sexy as denoting something provocative. To me, it’s something that’s exciting and appealing. In this case, to my tastebuds.
OPI: We love all the sweet treats you feature on your page, like cookies, brownies, and pancakes. How do you balance your sweet tooth with a healthy diet?
ON: It’s definitely a work in progress! Like I've mentioned before, it helps that I don't restrict myself. When I want a sweet, I eat it. Even if that’s a piece of chocolate in the morning or whatever - I do it. Rather than setting restrictions that I must have dessert after dinner… sometimes I want chocolate in the morning and eggs at night. It’s all the same.
OPI: You mentioned you grew up as a theater kid. How has that influenced what you do today and the creation process, if at all?
ON: It’s influenced almost everything about my personality. Having a background in theatre has completely molded me into the person I am today. It taught me so much, but mainly that I should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to be exactly who I am. I like to think that philosophy is seen as I move through the career of being an internet personality.
OPI: You speak about monthly intentions on your page regularly too. What would you say is the most important rule in intention setting? Could you provide any advice for someone just starting out with this practice?
ON: Yes! Intention setting is so important and can really change the course of a week, month, or year. If you’re just starting out, I’d say the best thing to do is write down one goal per month that you can accomplish. It doesn’t need to be big, it doesn’t need to be material. It can be something like, “give myself a compliment in the mirror every other day”.
OPI: What keeps you balanced in your day to day? Any activities other than cooking or baking that help keep you grounded?
ON: Cooking definitely helps me stay balanced. I have a small arsenal of dishes I love to cook and the process has become almost therapeutic to me. I also love to do some yoga if I’m feeling off, or go for a run. Playing music (whether I’m listening or singing) is also a huge release and helps bring me back to balance during my busy days.
OPI: What impact do your hands play into the process of recipe sharing? Both in creating the recipes as well as how you share it.
ON: I was called “man hands” in middle school. I have exceptionally large hands and I was always ashamed of it until I began this career. My hands are the brush to my canvas. I need them not only to cook, create, and style, but they add so much humanness to a plate of regular looking food when shot on film.
OPI: How do you feel as though self-expression can help or aid in mental health or wellness?
ON: I think it’s so incredibly important to express yourself, for yourself. You begin to realize how amazing you are when you let yourself live to this full expressive potential. There is nothing more incredible than having boundless self-love, and I think it begins to bleed positively into all areas of our lives.
OPI: What importance does color have in that self-expression or creation for you? Are there specific colors that you gravitate to when it comes to recipes or food creations?
ON: Color is everything to me. It’s hard to explain, but I definitely see things in color palettes. When I love a specific color palette I tend to eat foods and buy specific things that match that palette without even realizing it. I feel like color has so much impact on what I create and the mood I’m in when I create it. Currently, I’m loving grey/green, beige/tan, cream, and black.
SHOP THE SHADE: THIS GOLD SLEIGHS ME