The number of new foods now available on the market has skyrocketed. Our favourite grocery stores are stocked from one end of the aisle to the other with these new arrivals, which bear labels proclaiming their added value. But how can we keep track of them all?

I’d like to be able to say that I’m now going to provide you with a guide to understanding this constantly changing food landscape but I’m not a nutritionist and therefore not an official expert. I’m a woman with a passion who took on the Madame Labriski persona because she was frustrated by the lack of healthy food options. Why are the snacks available on the market always packed with refined sugar and an endless list of ingredients that are hard to read (and even harder to pronounce).

I just couldn’t understand it. This complete and utter incomprehension was compounded by the fact that the recipes published on social media and popular reputable websites rarely had added value, and were never healthy as well as good tasting. Why repeat the same patterns year after year instead of thinking of changing and updating them? We talk about the health of our planet, we adopt an ecological lifestyle, yet we remain stuck in our ways when it comes to food that makes us feel good.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed this also applies to many other facets of our lives, where our old beliefs still govern the way we do things. But what if we were to try a new recipe, in the sense of a new and different way of doing things? And what if we were to pay attention to the ingredients that make up the food we eat? And what if we took an interest in food culture? Drink plenty of water, eat vegetables, get enough protein and eat the food that makes us happy. Every time I visit a food fair (often with my husband and two kids), I have fun watching what people are eating. Which kiosk is the top destination? Very often, if not to say always, the big winner would feature a menu of food with empty calories. What a sad state of affairs! Do I eat that kind of food? I don’t, but my kids and hubby do sometimes. That’s just life.

What I campaign for is healthier eating.

I clearly and forcefully advocate food which not only tastes good, but is also good for the body and mind. I think we need to evolve. I believe in a healthy mind in a healthy body. I am neither a vegetarian nor a vegan, I eat everything, by choice, and as much organic food as possible. I am not orthorexic either, because I think balance is key. Nice crispy fries, some pizza or a homemade burger once in a while is always nice. My crusade is instead against refined sugar. I want to say “bye-bye” to it once and for all. I want the food industry to evolve. Desserts are great and one of life’s little pleasures, so why deprive ourselves if they’re made with wholesome ingredients? It seems logical to me. Why are we still cooking the same way as they did in the 50s? These days, some people shy away from carbohydrates but once again, it’s all about balance. We need to stay active, eat well, and, more importantly, not have any frustrations regarding food.

I’m hungry to bring about change and I’m curious by nature. I think the quality of our energy is directly linked to the type of foods we decide to put in our body. At the beginning of my adventure, I set myself the mission of helping the public discover new ingredients. Why? Because at first, I didn’t even know myself what to do with all these new ingredients or which way to turn to find the answers. So, I starting doing one experiment after another. I tested different types of flour, grains, protein powders, the works. Testing one, two, three, testing one, two, three.

The market arrival of Madame Labriski food products (a range of four date purees, and energy cookies, muffins and breakfast loaves with NO REFINED SUGAR or added fat which are all sweetened with date puree) is the direct result of my strong desire to bring about change in the world of food. The upshot is that, when you compare Labriski “baked treats” with other store-bought pastries and baked goods, the Labriski ones contain a lot less fat, have considerably more fibre and less calories. Like homemade food? Yes, and it was about time. We need be able to indulge ourselves guilt-free and treat our bodies well by eating healthy.

Things that are “new” are often unsettling and scary. Why? Because it’s not always easy to change our habits. If you have the choice between a tempting prepared product made with loads of ingredients with complicated names and a product that is as wholesome as it is delicious, which one would you choose for your family?

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll opt for the healthy version. I’m willing to bet you’re saying that you will. But, let’s be honest. When the time comes, would you not maybe be tempted to say to yourself that you’re entitled to a little treat now and then? I personally feel that these so-called “treats” deserve to be joyfully healthy.

When you offer your family the gift of health, you offer the gift of love. As Madame Labriski, I enjoy repeatedly asserting that you can easily find happiness in a heavenly-tasting snack or dessert that’s high in fibre. Introducing people to new foods is not always an easy task, but then who says you have to give them the full list of ingredients in their favourite homemade pecan pie?

Why is everything so healthy? Is it because the recipes don’t call for any butter, or cream, or sugar, or brown sugar? Exactly. But be careful not to tell them. It can be our little secret and you’ll feel a gush of pride knowing that the recipe contains only healthy ingredients. How about baking a Papouski cake to impress and convince even the most sceptical? Go for it! I’m sure you won’t be able to resist the urge to see the look of surprise on their faces. Hahaha! Bon appétit!


Mériane aka “Madame”


Article from one of my contributions to the magazine Moi Parents. Autumn 2019.

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