Meet Terri. She’s a raw vegan chef, health coach, holistic nutritionist, business extraordinaire and the founder of Chic Gourmet in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Terri - the founder of Chic Gourmet

Terri is also part of a microloan programme, funded by Virgin Unite, which provides small business loans to support entrepreneurs in the BVI. 

The programme is designed to empower and support BVI entrepreneurs so they can contribute to the region’s social, cultural, environmental and economic development.

In light of our recent focus on living life better, we sat down to pick Terri’s brains about how to stay nourished, in business and in health. Read on for a delicious, nutritious and original recipe too. 

Chic Gourmet - Fruit Salad

What inspired you to build Chic Gourmet as a business?

I became increasingly concerned by the lack of healthy, nutritious food options available in the local area. I noticed a lot of people facing health concerns that could easily be prevented with simple diet and lifestyle changes. However, in order to address the underlying issue of people being disconnected with their diet and developing unhealthy relationships with food, I decided to build a wellness coaching service too.

How do you shift someone’s focus on food from purely ‘taste’ to ‘feeling’?

My aim to for people to view food as fuel and nourishment for their body, rather than a way to fill a void. To do this, you firstly need to make ‘clean’ food genuinely taste good. You can then work on healing any unhealthy habits and food relationships through education and building stronger food, mind and body connections.

Chic Gourmet vegan cupcakes
Chic Gourmet vegan cupcakes

As individuals, how can we develop a better food, mind and body connection?

Change the way you look at food. You need to view food as medicine. What you put in is what you get out. If you eat poorly, your body will function at that level. Find healthy hacks and slowly shift your eating habits to incorporate nutritious alternatives that you still find really tasty.

What’s your favourite flavour of the moment?

I really love rosemary. It stimulates the senses and is great for circulation. In terms of taste, it really brings a warm, grounding touch to any meal.

What are the three go-to superfoods that help you to live life better?

  1. Ginger. It has a lot of medicinal properties. I use it daily in my cooking to promote gut health, manage pain and ease inflammation.
  2. Avocados. They’re packed with healthy fats and aid in a number of issues such as hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease. They’re nutrient rich, high in fibre and studies show they can help reduce inflammation and chronic diseases.
  3. Kale and other cruciferous veggies. They’re an excellent source of fibre, vitamins, and phytochemicals (including indoles, thiocyanates, and nitriles) which may prevent certain types of cancer.
Chic Gourmet bento box
A Superfood Bento Box by Chic Gourmet

 What are three easy health hacks anyone can integrate to help them live life better?

  1. Drink more water.
  2. Increase your fresh, clean, vegetable consumption.
  3. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on a label or if you have no idea what they mean; put them back on the shelf. 

What is the most common health misconception you come across in your line of work?

A lot of people think that elimination of the major foods groups (fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc.) will solve their problems. In reality, your body needs these major food groups in order to complete various physiological functions that are keeping you alive. For example, Fats are needed at the cellular level. They provide energy, support healthy cell growth, lubrication for organs and more. However, they are good fats and bad fats, similarly; they are good carbs and bad carbs. They key is avoiding the bad ones; processed refined 'foods' and consume the healthy and natural ones.

Terri from Chic Gourmet

Terri’s Taro Root Latte recipe

Taro root is eaten all across the Caribbean. Each island has a different name for the root and many variations of preparing this Caribbean superfood.  Studies have found numerous health benefits from this superfood including: digestion improvement, blood sugar level regulation, skin nourishment, vision health, increased circulation, decreased blood pressure, immune system support as well as improved muscle and nerve health.  

Ingredients: 

1 medium roasted Taro root (ensure root is properly cooked)

1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp fresh grounded cinnamon 

1 bay leaf (optional)

1tsp virgin coconut oil 

pinch grounded mace

pinch grounded clove

2 cups fresh coconut milk 

1/4 cup agave (or desired sweetener)

1/2 cup water 

Directions:

Puree roasted taro root in blender with water until smooth, pour into a sieve and strain to make sure there are no lumps.  Pour taro mixture into a pot and place on the stove on low heat, stir using a whisk while adding the rest of the ingredients. Continue whisking until nice and frothy, remove from the stove pour into your mug of choice and sprinkle with mace and nutmeg. Enjoy!

 

 

BVI beach photo from Chic Gourmet
Not a bad view from the office!

Thanks Terri! It’s really inspiring to see entrepreneurs listening to the needs of the community and providing practical solutions to address local challenges. In the ongoing recovery of the BVI following Hurricane Irma, sustainable development is critical. Virgin Unite is giving entrepreneurs like Terri the tools to build up meaningful businesses to create long-term change and infinite possibilities in the BVI. 

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