Welcome to The Nakd Kitchen’s new inspired series! I am so incredibly excited to be sharing with you individual’s who I find truly inspiring and I hope that you will too. Throughout this series we will learn health, wellness, and mindfulness tips that these lovely influencers live by. Oh and we can’t forget about the food, restaurant recommendations are included from cities all around the world, and I am excited to see what we can learn from such unique and inspiring individuals who are spreading their positive messages across social media to help inspire others whilst expressing themselves and cultivating their creativity.
So to kickstart the new series on the blog I am starting out with one of my favourite wellness and foodie Instagrammers- Maddie Ross or as you may know her as ‘C’est Madeline;’ a yogi, mindful, and wellness guru. Maddie is a student at University of Michigan, and is inspiring others to build and maintain a healthy relationship with food, body, and soul through her gorgeous feed and (almost daily) ‘dorm meals.’
I am so incredibly excited to share Maddie’s interview with you, and hope that you find her as inspiring as I do!
Madeleine “Maddie” Ross
What inspired you to start C’est Madeleine?
My account actually started from a rather dark place. About 4 years ago, I was faced with one of the most difficult experiences of my life: eating disorder recovery. In attempt to drown out my misery, I decided to create an Instagram account where I could connect with other people who were going through the same struggles as me. It was also a space where I could share pictures of my cooking creations, for I have just began to get back into the kitchen to cook for myself, not just for other people. Over the past four years, my account has transcended to something bigger than myself: a full-fledged community of like-minded people, of chefs and nutritionists and students and other creatives alike.
How did you come up with the name?
I actually started out as @thedancingfoodie27. It was only this past August that I decided to take a leap of faith and change my “brand” (if you could call it that) name to C’est Madeleine.
For almost 7 years now, I have been enrolled in some sort of French course, so I wanted to be sure to implement the language into my ever-evolving social media identity. Madeleine, my full name, is also spelled in the French way, so it felt right to combine the two: C’est Madeleine (pronounced like “say” for any non-french speakers.) Literally it translates to “It’s Madeleine.”—much simpler than it actually seems!
Where do you get all of your amazing recipes from?
In the majority of cases, the recipes that appear on my plate are a combination of memorized recipes that I have gazed over when scouring through blogs, my own crazy monkey brain ideas, and whatever happens to be in the refrigerator in that exact moment in time. It’s quite an organic process. I usually don’t have the patience to follow a recipe exactly so I follow the “pinch of this, a handful of these, a spoonful of that” method when crafting a meal. Cooking thus becomes my creative release.
You often talk about mindfulness, when did you start to become more mindful/what inspired you to become more in-tune with your mind and body?
The first time my dad mentioned mindfulness was during the aforementioned period of my life where I was in the midst of eating disorder recovery. “Come on, Maddie, just meditate for 10 minutes with me!” my dad would prompt. My response was always a dramatic eye roll and I would sulk about in my room, stubborn and unwilling to give it a shot. Fast forward to this year, I have come to realize that parents are always right, always ahead of the curve. Now I have found my own meditation practice. I first started with guided meditations from apps like Headspace and 10% Happier, but now I have implemented silent meditation for five minutes each morning into my daily routine. I have noticed a great increase in not only my awareness of the world around me, but also an unparalleled sensation of eternal gratitude for all of life’s simplest pleasures. Meditation and mindfulness has fueled a fire of calm, nonjudgement, and presence in my hectic college-student life.
What is your favourite way to get your body moving?
I absolutely love hot vinyasa yoga. (if you’re in AA, center for yoga is my favorite that I have tried thus far!). Taking nature walks or just wandering around the city is also a great therapeutic way for me to get my body moving.
What is your food philosophy?
My current food philosophy is to eat everything in moderation, whether that be chocolate cake or roasted vegetables. I believe that if we truly tune in to our bodies, they will guide us in craving the exact type of foods we need at that certain instance in time. Of course listening to my body has not been an easy task to say the least, but I’ve been working intentionally on striking a balance that feels good in my body.
What’s a typical day on your plate look like?
Honestly there really is no typical for me! My everyday meals change based on what the dining hall is serving! I’m very lucky to go to a school where there are plenty of wholesome and delicious meals. I have fish nearly 3 times a week, and they serve lamb pretty often too!
What brings you joy?
So so so many things! I love homemade family dinners, and hot vinyasa yoga practices on a frigid Ann Arbor day, and the smell of coffee and the sound of jazz music on a Sunday morning. I live for new sights and flavors and sensations, thriving on complete immersion to the fruitfull world around me. I love to live and be present.
Describe your perfect day:
Waking up with the sun, a quick meditation session followed by a delicious breakfast. Yoga would be next on my list. Then I would spend the rest of the day engaging in some form of creative work, whether that be reading or writing, taking a nap, and eating a comforting dinner in the company of family and friends.
You attend University of Michigan, what are some of your favourite cafés/restaurants in Ann Arbor?
This is the best question ever. First off, if you have not been to Ann Arbor, you must come. The city is filled with restaurants, coffee shops, music venues, and artistic boutiques galore! Secondly, I could write an entire novel about all of my favorite spots, but I will try to be as brief as possible here:
Aventura→authentic Spanish tapas.
Sava’s→everything from avocado toast to drool worthy mac and cheese.
Cardamom→ the best Indian food I’ve ever had.
Zingerman’s Delicatessen→ THE sandwich mecca of Ann Arbor.
Avalon→ the trout Reuben is to die for.
Coffee or tea? Gosh this is so hard. Let’s go with tea. Matcha lattés are my favorite treat-yo-self broke college girl indulgence.
Yoga or cardio? Yoga for sure! Cardio is not for me!
Spicy or sweet? Sweet.
Juice or smoothie? Smoothie.
Warm or cold breakfast? Cold. I eat pretty much all of my meals cold…even leftover salmon. hehe
I hope you enjoyed and I can’t wait to share more inspiring individuals with you in this new series!