Having deserted the hectic lifestyle of a New York paralegal, gained certification as a Holistic chef and moved back to her home town of Nashville, Laura Lea Goldberg is now about to launch her first book: The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook.
Health and Wellness Magazine went to find out more.
Laura Lea is on a healthy food mission, and her new book is just the latest step.
Health & Wellness caught up with Laura Lea to find out more about her views on healthy eating, her book and plans for the future.
Having moved back to Nashville, a place that in culinary terms was a wildly different landscape than even 10 years ago, Laura Lea initially struggled to find her true role. (One she did find was that of a wife: by marrying Max Goldberg, co-owner of Strategic Hospitality, operators of over 10 Nashville restaurants-a culinary match made in heaven!).
“For three years I took on any project that came my way figuring out what worked and didn’t work. But a year ago, I began to see a little more clearly what I wanted to do. Then the opportunity for this cookbook with a local publisher came along. They offered me a lot of creative freedom.”
But it wasn’t quite as easy as she thought.
“I initially gave myself six months to write this book-that was complete insanity. Even though I had all these recipes on my website, I didn’t realize how long it would take. I had to figure out what were the most popular recipes on the website. Then I created the chapters and just sat there and wrote out more recipes. Many were ones I’d tried out on my husband and my clients.”
From the start, she was clear who the book should be aimed at.
“I believe there is a huge gap between the ideas of what healthy eating is about. There’s things like Paleo or Vegan, which to a lot of people are too radical.”
“On the other hand, there are a lot of unhealthy home-cooked type recipes and diets. I wanted to create something that was in the middle. I believe there is a gap in the market.”
She is also convinced, despite her Social Media pedigree, that: “I believe people still want a hard copy of the recipe when they’re cooking.”
The book contains 130 ‘everyday recipes’ broken down into sections such as: Snack-itzers, Beverages and Smoothies, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, plus Sides, Salads and Desserts. All beautifully designed and photographed (Laura Lea did the photography herself).
“I believe people can eat healthily without spending a lot of money. In my book, I have a budget friendly section, but that’s not always the issue for a lot of people. There are two other problems: so much food is produced with chemicals that make it addictive and the second reason is ‘information overload.’ There’s just so much of both out there.”
“I would say 85% of the questions I’m asked are variations of ‘is this right for me?’ Whether it be a diet or food, ultimately they are asking because they’re hearing so much and they don’t know how to whittle it down, to figure out what they need. To some it’s so overwhelming and exhausting, I think most people would rather just turn to something that just tastes really good and is accessible.” She believes her book will fill this need.
But the book is just another step in her healthy eating mission.
“Over the next three to five years, I’d love to write more books. It just totally jibes with me. But first, I want to see the response from this one and get some feedback and then write another. I’d also love to have a television show, but only if it’s a traditional ‘stand and stir’ format. Unfortunately, most networks want reality and drama. I understand the appeal but I don’t believe it aligns with the integrity of my business.”
Underpinning all her motives and projects is the need to educate.
“Part of the importance of home cooking is understanding where the food has come from and the negative effects of eating food of poor quality. I do think that education is crucial. I do Whole Foods tours and I explain to people try and buy local.” Adding: “There’s no comparison to the taste of eating something you’ve grown.” Which is why she is an ardent advocate for organizations such as the Nashville Food Project and Nashville Foodscapes.
In between all of this, Laura Lea still lectures at local companies about Healthy Eating and, until recently, ran cooking workshops out of her home. But with her popularity on the increase, she is now looking for an outside venue with “a nice environment where I can cook and guests can drink wine.” Sounds like a pretty compelling proposition to us.
This may be the first time you have heard of Laura Lea Goldberg, but I’m pretty sure it certainly won’t be the last.
The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook is published by Nashville’s Spring House Press. Hardback: $30.00, available from www.amazon.com
For more about Laura Lea: www.llbalanced.com
Health & Wellness has 10 signed hardback copies to give away free to the first 10 readers who send in their name and address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put in the subject line ”Cookbook Competition”
The Alternative Interview:
H&W asked Laura Lea to reveal a little more about herself:
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Impossible to answer! Sunflower Café-best veggie burger and Henrietta Red-sophisticated beautiful healthy food.
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite drink?
What is your favorite book?
A Wrinkle in Time.
By Madeleine L’Engle
What is your favorite film?
Now and then (no judgement allowed!)
If you could choose any job in the world besides the one you are doing, what would you like to do?
That is so hard to imagine because I feel like I am meant to do what I do. But I think I would be an organic gardener.
What is your favorite place to go on holiday?
My parents farm with my husband in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee.
What is your favorite saying or piece of advice?
“Every choice is a new chance.”
If a film was made of your life, which actress would you like to play you?
Alex Vikander. I adore her.
If you were president for one day, what would be your first executive order?
Mandate acceptance and respect. I cannot be allowed to patronize, diminish or silence others because we are afraid of what we don’t understand.