Education and inspiration are a big part of Instagram’s popularity. It’s allowed people of any background and education to share their knowledge about whatever topic they’re passionate about. For us, it’s about cruelty-free beauty, a glamorous lifestyle, and interviews with our favorite celebs. For Annie Lawless, it’s about sharing with the world her classic yet high-fashion fashion sense and how she maintains her gluten-free lifestyle. With over 60K followers, we think everyone is loving what she advice she has to offer.
While she may have been the beauty and the brains behind Suja, one of America’s leading organic cold-pressed juice brands, she’s now behind her blog, The Blawnde. On her blog, she shares with her followers her favorite fashion pieces, her travel diaries, and what she eats in her own home and on-the-go.
We admire this woman on so many levels so we had to ask her about…well as many things as we could! She’s a 28-year-old entrepreneur who has a gorgeous sense of style, has found a way to live healthy despite her celiac disease, and knows how to balance her busy lifestyle. So…we asked her about ALL of that. Enjoy!
Q&A with Annie Lawless
On your blog, you share your story about managing your gluten-free lifestyle. Because it’s now a popular diet option, have more options become available to you?
Absolutely! I actually grew up avoiding grains altogether! When I found out I had celiac [disease], there wasn’t even a Whole Foods in my state. I’m from Arizona. I couldn’t eat toast or sandwiches. It’s just made my life a lot more convenient and it’s helped me feel like I can eat the same way as everybody else. It’s been so much easier as I’ve gotten older and it’s so awesome to see the proliferation of gluten-free options. It makes it easier for people with a gluten allergy or for people who are more sensitive to it. It’s no compromise anymore and I love that!
Have you encountered any issues with your dietary needs while traveling? If so, what do you do to make up for it?
I actually don’t because I’ve been eating this way for so long. I find some safe options: I eat protein, fish, and I always order sauces on the side to [see if it’s] creamy or it seems to be emulsified with any flour. I pretty much stick to salads. I add my own dressing of olive oil and lemon. I add a protein and a fat. I also love rice. I pretty much have my formula down.
A lot of times the restaurant won’t tell you that they fry [vegetables] at the end so cross- contamination can be an issue. Other than that, it’s pretty easy. Once you know your basic formula, you can eat anywhere.
Was there any particular country that you encountered more or less problems?
Southeast Asia was amazing. Asian cuisine has very little dairy to begin with. They don’t do a lot of flours, unless you’re eating noodles, but they do a lot of rice, fish, and meat. It’s very easy to get food on those menus without having to edit it. Europe can be a lot more difficult [with their] cream-based sauces, grain-based meals, and cheese on everything.
It can be difficult if there’s a language barrier [in general] when [I] order. I try to be flexible and order something from the menu that needs a little less editing. But don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and what you need! If it’s something that’s going to make you ill, you don’t need to apologize for it. Just be direct and do your best!
What are your favorite go-to foods?
In the mornings, I usually eat eggs of some sort: an omelette with avocado or poached eggs with smoked salmon and greens. If I’m doing an intense workout, I’ll have oatmeal but they’re gluten-free certified oats. Oats are inherently gluten-free but they’re grown on the same fields as wheat so there’s a lot of cross-contamination. Lunch is either a big salad with fish or a turkey sandwich. I have avocado a lot, sometimes three times a day. I love smoothies. I usually have a steak or a piece of fattier fish with steamed spinach or asparagus and brown rice for dinner.