We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Amy Lawrence a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Amy, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. We’d love to hear about when you first realized that you wanted to pursue a creative path professionally.
I have an interesting backstory of how I ended up food blogging and becoming a #1 best selling author. Originally I was a business owner and owned a tea room/tea shop. Everything was going well but in 2014 I tore my vertebral artery from a pilate’s accident and it caused a stroke. While I did recover with mild complications, my life and priorities had changed. I made the decision to close my tea shop and sell off the wholesale blending part to a major customer. I felt lucky to be alive, so I celebrated life in the simplest way I knew how. I ate and I ate a lot. I gained about 40 pounds.
In December of 2016 I decided it was time to do something about my weight so I joined a weight loss program and lost the weight. But their recipes were boring and bland. I had created recipes and had published several cookbooks before with my tea room so I thought, I can do this. I can lighten up recipes and create healthy new ones and thus my blog: Gourmet Done Skinny was born.
Fast forward a few years later, I was tired of the weight loss program, tired of counting points, saving points for special occasions. I had been listening to a free podcast called Weight Loss Made Real by Cookie Rosenblum and I loved her ideas and techniques. So I joined her program. It was wonderful, it was more about intuitive eating, following your bodies signals and eating like a natural eater. A year after I joined she asked me to be a guest speaker on a bonus call around the topic of “Food Prep.” I was thrilled. I loved teaching them about food prep and I was astounded that what I thought were “ordinary ideas” about food prep, were extraordinary to them. Her members responded so positively that I decided to write a book on the subject of my method of food prep and thus my #1 best selling book – The Power of Food Prep was born as well as my food prep membership called, “Food Prep for Foodies.”
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I love creating gourmet recipes. I’ve been cooking since I was a young girl. My grandmother was a huge inspiration. I remember watching her make homemade noodles in her tiny kitchen in Missouri. My mother wasn’t fond of cooking so she let me have full reign in the kitchen and she was happy to do the dishes.
My motto is: make every bite count! I’d rather have a little piece of heaven than a whole lot of yuck! Meaning I’d rather eat smaller quality portions versus fat free, sugar free yuck. I’m a huge fan of lightening up meals by using less butter, using olive oil sprayers, using yogurt instead of sour cream and using fresh herbs and spices to flavor foods.
I love homemade everything but that doesn’t mean that I want to make it every day. So I have created ways to freeze my broths and sauces, grilled chicken in portions. I have created “jazz toppers” foods that you can freeze and pull out – like pesto, caramelized onions, hoisin sauce, and ginger scallion sauce. By using just a few tablespoons, you can “jazz” up any dish.’
While I love all of my recipes on my blog Gourmet Done Skinny, I am most proud of my Gourmet Done Skinny Meal Method. It’s my unique method for food prep. It is different from other food prep methods because you can choose what you want to eat a few minutes before you want to eat it. Pull out frozen food portions and mix and match to create gourmet meals.
I’m about creating beautiful meals with these parts, portioning and freezing it for another day. My followers love it because I show you the equipment, how to use it and how you can cook only 3 days a week yet enjoy homemade meals 7 days a week without sacrificing a ton of your time. I break it all down, make it easy for you.
I help transform busy often overwhelmed foodies who scramble with every day meal prep into confident cooks who are able to whip up beautiful gourmet dishes often at a moment’s notice. I love good homemade food but I don’t want to be in the kitchen 24 hours a day and I love showing people how they can do this too!
My approach isn’t for everyone, it’s for those who really love good quality food, don’t mind spending some time to create it but then reap the huge benefits later when they can pull it out of the freezer and add it to other foods to make quick creations. My method isn’t diet specific meaning if you are on a special diet or way of eating you can use your own recipes with my method. But if you aren’t diet specific, then you have a ton of recipes to choose from and can use my lower calorie recipes and enjoy my jazz toppers. You can read more about it in my #1 best selling book – The Power of Food Prep or learn it first hand with my how to videos in my food prep membership – Food Prep for Foodies.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
The most rewarding aspect of being creative in the kitchen and being a food blogger and author is the variety and flexibility of what I do. I don’t get bored. I create new recipes, I photograph them and I also create videos on how to create them. I teach others how to cook. I love connecting with my readers and my members. I can plan ahead if I know I’m going to be out of town and have content ready.
Are there any books, videos, essays or other resources that have significantly impacted your management and entrepreneurial thinking and philosophy?
Yes, after I joined Weight Loss Made Real by Cookie Rosenblum and learned about natural eating and intuitive eating, I pivoted my eating and food philosophy. I changed my recipes to focus more on eating smaller quality portions, eating when you are hungry, stopping when you’re almost full versus following a points based or calorie counting way of eating.
Foods are not bad or good, they just are. I focus more now on eating 80% of healthy foods and 20% of less healthy foods. Moderation is key but no food is off limits. It’s a much better way of eating as you never feel deprived. That’s what I’m trying to instill in my readers and members. It’s a way of eating, not a diet.
- Website: https://gourmetdoneskinny.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gourmetdoneskinny/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gourmetdoneskinny
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy–lawrence/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/gourmetdoneskin
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQAvCN1PoRaJRgNuEdLLNiw
- Other: Food Prep for Foodies Membership: https://membership.gourmetdoneskinny.com/waitlist/ My latest book: The Power of Food Prep: https://amzn.to/3E1KGxF