Live Purely With Hawa Hassan
Exploring Cultural Heritage and Sharing Big Bold Food Stories
This week marks purely elizabeth’s 5 year anniversary. Here we take a look back at the past + chat with company founder, Elizabeth Stein.
10 years ago, what did you envision as being your career path? At 23 I really wasn’t clear on my career path. I was living in NYC and definitely finding my way. At the time, I was taking handbag design classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and started a line of handbags and belts. I wrote a business plan and started selling to a few stores. As chance would have it, I was wearing one of my designs out to dinner and a woman walked up to me and complimented my bag. Conversation ensued and the next day I was interviewing for a job at the handbag company where she was employed. The following week I was hired. My life is all about moments that are meant to be.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Don’t hesitate. My dad said early on don’t wait, there can be someone tomorrow who will come in and do what you are doing. I am grateful for taking the risk and going for it when I did. 5 years ago we began the trend of ancient grains. People had no idea what they were. I just read yesterday that Cheerios is coming out with Ancient Grain Cheerios!
What are your tricks for balancing work and play? I’m a big believer in balance in everything that I do. I like to work hard and play hard as well. At the beginning this was not as easy. But today, I know that taking time away from the computer will actually be more helpful and bring a different perspective to things. I think the best in the early morning working out or at the end of the day cooking in the kitchen.
What’s your nutrition philosophy? When it comes to nutrition I’m not one for extremes or deprivation. I’m all about balance. I try to live by the 80/20 rule. Focusing most of my diet on plant based proteins, greens and gluten-free grains. I try to limit dairy, animal protein and refined sugar. I find that this way of eating has allowed me to feel my best and maintain consistent weight. I think as soon as people put foods on a “no” list, it sets you up for failure.
What’s new and exciting at purely elizabeth? We have a really exciting 2015 ahead of us. 2015 is all about growth – new products, new retail outlets and new team members. Plus my first cookbook will launch in the Fall. I can’t wait for what’s ahead.
Healthy Snack Foods: I’m actually not mush of a snacker, but if the craving hits I probably have whatever is in the office – Our granola plus Quinn popcorn, Rhythm Kale Chips, Nuttzo, White Girl Salsa + Late July Chips. One of the best things about being in this industry is trading with other food brands. Our office is always stocked!
Breakfast: Our cranberry pecan granola with almond milk and banana- Although our newest breakfast item (launching March 2015) might soon be replacing these!
Go-to lazy dinner recipe: I’ve been traveling a ton lately so I always make sure my pantry and freezer are stocked with a good meal. My go-to, easy meal is gluten-free pasta (I’ve been really into making my own) with Rao’s Arrabiata sauce, frozen kale, hemp seeds and truffle salt. So easy but the taste is completely satisfying.
Must-have pantry staples: My pantry is stocked with 10 different gluten-free flours, about 7 different gluten-free grains and every nut, seed and dried fruit. It’s basically set up for product development at anytime : ) Oh and olive oil, coconut oil, truffle oil, gluten-free pasta and crackers.
Indulgence: Hands down wine and cheese -preferably chardonnay and midnight moon goats milk cheese.
Cookbook: I just bought plenty and am drooling over the pictures.
Nutrition Book: Mark Hyman Ultra metabolism.
Skincare product: I’ve been obsessed with Revision Intellishade – it’s a tinted anti-aging moisturizer/sunscreen.
Workout: Right now I’m alternating days with hot power vinyayas yoga, bootcamp, running and hiking.
Morning ritual: I wake up pretty early, get on the computer and do a little work then head out for a workout. Back on the computer, eat purely for breakfast and shoot a few food pics for our blog/Instagram/magazine/cookbook… then head to the office.
Sunday activity: Going out and enjoying beautiful Colorado! Right now the fall weather has been unbelievable, so I’ve been doing lots of hiking on some golfing. Outdoor activities followed by lots of experimenting in the kitchen.
Place to visit: I’d love to go to Napa right now.