{Real} Life in Balance: Swedish Simplicity

I’d like to introduce you to the first of my guests on our Real Life in Balance series. Her name is My Tistrand and she’s one half of the lovely Swedish couple who brought the Dinner Twist concept to Perth.

You can read more about My and Chris’ exciting business and how much I love it here.

This is a lady who has not only created a brand new life for herself on the other side of the world, but has also taken on the chance to build a unique and meaningful family business (that just happens to feed her passion for cooking) at the same time as raising her young daughter (no easy task, believe me!) I have so much admiration for the way Chris and My have evolved their business, as well as the way they have warmly embraced the Perth lifestyle and quickly established themselves as a very welcome part of our community.

On meeting My, you sense her unmistakably pared back, Swedish style – there’s a certain simplicity in her approach to food, health and life in general that many of us can learn from. I was keen for her to answer my questions and share some gorgeous images of her life and loves… something she has kindly agreed to do!

1. Favourite flavours? Love fresh herbs and spices when cooking dishes from around the globe. Basil in italian salads, coriander & ginger in asian dishes, dill for anything scandinavian and cumin, turmeric & cinnamon for middle eastern and Indian flavours.

2. Your approach to food and eating well? For me, eating well is eating real, clean wholesome food. I buy quality produce and stick to a balanced everyday diet. I don’t think too much and I don’t believe in light/low-fat products or pre-packaged food.

Growing up, both my parents had a great interest in food, produce and cooking. Mum was a vegetarian and inspired by their travels they loved cooking Indian & Moroccan stews and casseroles. We have a family business back home, a large nursery. When I was a little girl I loved it there and spent hours looking, eating and loving the produce. We had a greenhouse and a huge vegepatch at home and every summer the whole family was involved in planting and looking after all the produce.

As you can tell, food has always been a big part of my life and as the years have passed I have developed a more genuine interest in real food, produce and general nutrition.

3. Cooking style? Clean and simple, I guess influenced by the Scandinavian way of cooking. However, saying that now when winter is approaching I’m obsessed with moroccan tagines!

4. Signature dish? Since starting dinner twist just over a year ago I have hardly cooked the same dish twice. I love trying new flavour combinations and challenging my cooking on an everyday basis.

5. Your ‘saviour’ meal when there’s no time to cook? Greek salad! One of my all time favourite dishes and it only takes a few minutes!

6. Pantry essentials? Sea salt and cracked pepper, olive & coconut oil, dried herbs & spices. Tomato paste, vinegar & honey. Couscous, pasta & brown rice. Tinned tomatoes, beans & coconut milk.

7. What’s in your fridge at the moment? Fresh ginger, kale, a variety of veg such as zucchini, mushrooms, capsicums, tomatoes & snow pea sprouts. A large bio-dynamic porterhouse steak from Tassie. Sweet potatoes & carrots. And we were just given 4 pieces of beautiful lobster tail – yum!

8. Favourite cookbooks? Love Jamie Oliver for his honest cooking and commitment to fresh good produce. I also get really inspired by Donna Hay’s beautiful books and magazines.

9. Magazines and blogs that inspire you? Donna Hay for her simple clean style and ELLE food & wine (swedish version) for trendy food. I love reading magazines but these are the two I won’t miss out on!

10. Coffee or tea? Coffee in the mornings and green tea in the evenings! (Lemongrass is my absolute favourite tea at the moment and we are regulars at the Grumpy Sailor/New Edition in Fremantle. The best place to look through cookbooks and enjoy a good cup of coffee.

11. What nourishes you (other than food)? A daily dose of fresh air and a bit of sunshine – where better to get such a daily fix than Perth! Over the years though I have come to realise I must have a challenging and rewarding job to feel energized. When I am stressed or feeling low, the best medicine is spending time with my gorgeous 2 year old daughter. It puts things in perspective and gives me a great sense of pride.

12. Exercise plan (if you have one)? Pre-child and pre-dinner twist my husband and I had a great work out regime… We hope to get that back soon.

13. Your thoughts on body image and how you feel about yours… I feel happy with my body and always have been more or less. I have reachable goals and like to make the most of what I have. The body I was given is a part of me and I wouldn’t want to change it for the world.

14. I’m craving… In the mornings I’m craving my daily green super smoothie… kale, avocado, ginger, carrot, banana, spirulina and a dash of pure apple juice. It took a while to get used to but now I love it and crave it every day!

15. I’m looking forward to… At some point in the next 5 years be able to live a life with my family, splitting our time between our two favourite places in the world. My beautiful home-town, Visby in Sweden (which I miss everyday!) and fabulous Perth (no better place to be most of the year!)

To travel and work around the globe is my dream – to experience all the food meccas, not only through cookbooks.

16. Balance – Secret to success? Or myth? For us, balance of mind is so important. To strive for achievable goals, to worry only over things you can influence and surround yourself with people who are uplifting, generous and inspiring. That to me, brings balance.

Thank you so much for sharing with us, My. We certainly have a lot more in common than just a husband and wife business!

{All images above, courtesy of My Tistrand and Dinner Twist}

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