Briana Santoro is the peppy nutritionist behind the Naked Label and the cookbook Get Naked In the Kitchen. Although she appears in just a pair of high heels on the cover, Briana is down to earth and dedicated to helping people see with clear eyes what’s really on their plate.
Rather than adhering to one nutritional gospel, the book encapsulates many opinions from many experts. The takeaway? There’s no one “right” way to eat!
Briana spoke with us about how knowledge is power (especially when it comes to what we put in our mouths) and how dietary slipups can be a great thing.
You own a company, you wrote a cookbook, you have a family…how many hats do you wear?
I wear all the hats! I started the Naked Label after working in business strategy consulting and learning about the food industry. I realized that there’s not a lot of ethics in food marketing. Products are created that make people overeat. With the Naked Label, I wanted to undress the marketing and help people to vote with their fork. Companies will change very quickly if consumers change. We need to instigate the change and choose foods that nourish our bodies. The more we understand about food and the food industry, the better decisions we make.
How was the idea of your cookbook born?
I asked fans of the Naked Label what they would want more of, and when recipes and cooking came up frequently we started with the simple idea of a cookbook. We wanted our cookbook to be unique and reflect what we believe in with food. Although many cookbooks prescribe one way of eating, like vegan or Paleo, we wanted to explore how experts with different philosophies can come together.
Is there a cohesive philosophy that permeates the book’s message?
I think it’s important to stress that there’s not one “right” way of eating. There’s no perfect diet. There’s just what is best for you. You can make healthy versions of almost any recipe. You can eat dessert and you can have mac and cheese!
Any favorite recipes that were developed for this book?
Some of the recipes were created specifically for the book. I created Fiesta Mexican Soup, which is now a staple in my house and one of the fan favourites.
Did you have any kitchen fails while you were developing your recipes?
(laughs) Of course! People think that cooking is easy for some people. It really is trial and error. I am not a professionally trained chef; I am a professionally trained nutritionist. I just have a passion for it! I wanted people to feel that they can really make all of the recipes in this book.
Do you ever deviate from a clean, naked diet?
In my house, my diet is always aligned. However, once you’re on the outside of your house, you can be at the mercy of what other people feed you. 99% of the time I eat in line with my Naked Label philosophy. The 1% of the time I don’t is helpful. I can feel the effects of it almost immediately, and it is a really great reminder why I do what I do. I don’t want to tell people to eat in a restricted manner. It’s about living, not about deprivation.
Want a copy of the deliciousness yourself? Head on over to Amazon here.