Kitchen Stories with Jil from @jiliciousjourney
Let me present you with Jil Zeletzki, a gorgeous soul from Germany.
I can't remember the time before I wasn't following Jil on Instagram, not to mention YouTube. She's always been one of my favourite vegan warriors and I was so happy when she said yes to be a part of my 'Kitchen Stories' series.
Jil always speaks with such wisdom and I can't wait for you all to read what she has to say.
Hi Jil, tell us all a little bit about yourself.
Hi Ida, thanks for having me. I’m a 21 year old digital media student from Germany. With going vegan in May 2014 I changed my whole life around and started a beautiful journey towards health and happiness. I use my social media presence to talk about gratitude, self love, mindfulness and veganism.
You run a gorgeous Instagram account plus an inspirational website and you also make youtube videos. You post your delicious vegan meals on all of these platforms. When and how did you get into cooking? How about plant based foods?
I always loved to be in the kitchen with my mom when I was younger. She’s an amazing chef and cooks really intuitively - what I kind of adopted from her. I also watched a lot of Jamie Oliver on TV while growing up and I always tried out different things in the kitchen. But I found my true passion for food in 2013 when I got into healthy nutrition and moved out so I had to cook for myself. Going vegan one year later was not that hard since I already used mainly whole plant foods. I was never the recipe person but I just love experimenting in the kitchen.
Name three must haves in your kitchen.
Uhhhm that’s hard! I think I’d choose bananas for nice cream, smoothies and banana bread and sweet potatoes and avocado - cause #avocadoislife!
Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Why?
Breakfast! I love taking time in the morning to prepare a warming bowl of oatmeal or an energizing smoothie. Best way to start my day after meditation and a nice little exercise routine.
Would you like to share a favourite breakfast recipe?
Sure! At the moment I love my apple vanilla oatmeal. I cook about 1 cup of oats and 1/2 chopped up apple with either some water or plant milk. Stirring on medium heat works best in my opinion to get a creamy consistency. Towards the end I add 1-2 tsp of vanilla powder. Once done I add it to a bowl, top it with date syrup, white almond butter (my current obsession) and any fruit I have on hand. Berries, kiwi and banana slices are always nice with this. I also like to add some hemp hearts as a great source of plant protein.
What would your perfect food day look like?
I would start off my day with either that vanilla oatmeal or an acai bowl out of bananas, frozen berries, some kale or spinach and acai powder. Then for lunch I’d have a nice big salad with baked sweet potatoes and quinoa. As a snack in the afternoon I always like having some dates and a handful of nuts. Pecans are my faves right now. And for dinner I would cook up some pasta with an easy tomato sauce, maybe some beans, nutritional yeast, arugula and avocado. YUM! Bed time snack: chocolate covered goji berries!
You live in near Hamburg, Germany. Which places, cafes, restaurants and food shops must one visit while in town? Feel free to share your hidden gems.
You have to check out our all vegan supermarket “Veganz” - seriously paradise. And there’s a nice little cafe in the same spot with delicious smoothies, chai lattes, wraps, bagels, cakes and more. Another recommendation is “Happenpappen”, they have a daily changing menu, really good cakes and burger at night. On Sundays you have to check out the all vegan brunch at “Vincent Vegan”. They have a buffet with everything you could ask for and the VV Team is so sweet. Oh they also have food trucks with vegan fast food in different spots in Hamburg throughout the week. And last recommendation: “Froindlichst” with epic vegan pizzas and burgers!
We all have a sweet tooth, don't we? What do you prefer to have when you need that sweet kick?
Those chocolate goji berries are definitely one of my favourites! I also love trying out new vegan brands of cookies and chocolate, I recently had some white vanilla one from “ichoc” and it was really nice. Another sweet snack that I have a lot are date balls. I simply mix dates and oats with some cacao powder and coconut flakes et voila. Oh and dates with white almond butter - heaven!
What are your best advices for someone who’s thinking about going vegan?
Don’t overthink it - just do it! It’s actually a lot easier than most people think! Just leave out the animal products and make sure to eat a lot of whole plant foods. Don’t be afraid of carbs! And educating yourself is super important. I always recommend watching Forks Over Knives, Earthlings & Cowspiracy. These documentaries will give you enough reasons to make a change and stay vegan!
You are obviously very inspiring young women. Where do you get your inspiration from? Any specific people or fellow Instagrammers out there that inspire you?
Aww thank you! I get inspiration from everywhere. Books, movies, music, nature, the people around me. I love the Rich Roll Podcast for inspiration, Rich always has amazing guests on the show and I love listening to it while going for walks, exercising or cleaning my apartment haha. I follow a lot of people on Instagram, not just food accounts but also creative writers, models, athletes… My all time inspiration is definitely @lonijane. She’s just amazing and her ebook is a great source of information about the plant based lifestyle with great simple recipes.