Caroline Huard, aka Loounie, on having fun while being good to yourself

by Prana

Caroline Huard, aka Loounie, is someone we've been following for a few years now, who makes us salivate and inspires us with her mouthwatering photos and healthy, simple recipes . She's been featured on Instagram's official account not that long ago, and we're not even surprised. Occupational therapist and all-around creative wonder, her feed is full of gorgeous photos that really show her love for food, nature and well-being. We asked her a few questions to get to know her better!

Loounie on Instagram

Pssst... if you don't follow Loounie on Instagram yet, it's time to get on that!

What would people be surprised to learn about your cooking habits?

I’m not actually that good at cooking! I’m kind of clumsy and I don’t master basic techniques like chopping and cutting vegetables into even pieces, or following a recipe to the letter! However, I have a great tolerance to imperfection and I prefer pleasure over technique.

What’s a meal you could eat every day and never get tired of?

Buddha-style bowls! Whole grain, legumes, vegetables and a sauce. I never get tired of that concept because it’s so easy to adapt to the season and your current mood. I’d say almost two-thirds of my meals are variations on that theme. My favorite almost-not-guilty dessert: frozen berries, like cherries or raspberries, with creamy nut butter and dark chocolate chunks. I love those textures and flavors.

BowlsInstagram / @loounie

Tell us about your creative process

When I was little, I loved books on arts & crafts projects. The thing was, I was usually missing a lot of the materials and supplies (Dollarama stores weren’t around and Omer DeSerres was mostly selling watercolor paints and paint brushes). I had to find creative solutions to these kinds of problems, use what I had on hand and at home. Now I also do that in the kitchen and for my creative projects. I love blogs and cookbooks for the inspiration they provide, but I rarely buy ingredients specifically for a recipe. I prefer to improvise with what I already have.

What’s one thing you make sure you do every day?

Eat vegetables! I need green things first and foremost, but also a great variety of vegetables of all colors. I never worry about my protein intake, but I prioritize vegetable intake! Another “nutrient” I absolutely need is movement. Whether I’ve made a plan to work out or not, I make sure I stretch and move freely for at least a few minutes. Otherwise I feel like my body is like clothing that’s too tight! Movement is essential to my balance.

How do you stay connected to nature when you live in the city?

I take the time to stop and sit in the grass and just breathe. I focus on sensations and sounds around me. There are so many amazing parks and green spaces in the city, you just need to take the time and appreciate them.

Play outsideInstagram / @loounie

What are your favorite activities to do in Montreal in the summer?

There are so many! I love wandering around aimlessly, discovering small cafés and new restaurants, but also take part in activities like yoga under the trees at Baldwin Park, SUP in Pointe-Claire (a bit far but still in the city!). I also love loitering about public markets and coming home with (almost) too many fresh vegetables. I love the idea of being able to experience so many different things just by going from neighborhood to neighborhood on a Bixi. I can start my day outdoors on the Mount-Royal, have lunch in a trendy restaurant in Old Montreal, and top it off with my feet in the sand watching fireworks at the Village du Pied-du-Courant.

Which accomplishment are you most proud of?

I work full-time as an occupational therapist, and I spend several hours on my creative projects every week. I’m proud to be able to combine those two passions while living a balanced life, without running myself into the ground. But I’m especially happy I’m able to do those two things while staying grounded with my core values. It’s easy to lose your authenticity on social media, and I’m proud I was able to stay true to what I believe in.

What’s your motto?

I’ve learned to ask myself two questions when I need to make a decision: do I like it? And is it good for me? I truly believe in the importance of discipline to reach my goals, but I think fun has to be part of our every day life in order for the changes to be sustainable. Having fun while doing things that are good for us, that’s the key!

Having funInstagram / @loounie

Your 3 favourite Instagram accounts:

@TheHappyPear: The Flynn twins are so charming! They’re from Ireland and they share the pleasures and benefits of a plant-based diet, simple cooking, physical activity and community every day, with very contagious good humor.

@DanielleLevyNutrition: I met Danielle, a nutritionist with a holistic approach, through Instagram. Right away, I knew I’d found a food-soul sister: we share the same values when it comes to unprocessed plant-based foods. I love following Danielle because I learn something new every day about the nutrition and benefits of foods I already know and love, on top of discovering new foods and new ways to cook them.

@MinimalistBaker: I love Dana’s simple, healthy and decadent recipes. Thanks to Instagram’s stories, I can find out more about her creative process, her trials and errors and culinary experiments. I’ve been told I’m like the Minimalist Baker of Quebec, and I may or may not have cried.

Your 3 favourite PRANA products

Blanched almond butter: PRANA’s nut butters are absolutely incomparable. I’d eat them with a spoon! I love using almond butter instead of oil in baked goods or just as a sauce or icing on desserts and fruit.

Chocolate: I’m not big on sugar but I cannot live without chocolate. When it’s good quality chocolate, I only need a little bit to curb my cravings. PRANA’s chocolate chunks are especially good on banana nice cream or hidden in baked goods. I like to melt it and dip dates stuffed with nut butter or a whole nut in it. Also, and that’s a bit of a secret, some chocolate chunks and a few almonds makes for the best snack!

Medjool dates: I use almost no refined sugar when I cook. I love preparing my pancake and waffle mixes in the blender with whole ingredients. I add some dates for their sweetness and the fluffy texture they bring. I also love adding them to salty dishes like soups, tajines and curries.

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You can always expect something exciting and delicious from the PRANA team - an eclectic mix of culinary adventurists.

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