Perfecting a bean-based cookie recipe takes incredible patience, passion, and culinary talent, and this episode’s guest has plenty of all three. I am joined by Ashley Madden, a certified holistic nutritionist, wellness-focused pharmacist, and chef who began practicing plant-based eating after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 23 years old.
Although the process of dietary change seemed intimidating, Ashley was determined to continue bringing flavor, texture, and colorful presentation to her meals.
“I am a foodie at heart. I have always loved food. I have always loved the culinary arts… when I got really comfortable making basic meals, I was just adamant that that part of my life wasn’t over.”
Ashley’s first-hand experience empowered her to share her knowledge through cookbooks. She discusses her approach to creating vibrant and flavorful recipes, choosing plant-based ingredients, and experimenting with gluten-free and oil-free cooking.
“I’m really determined to make the food and the flavor that I want come through without sacrificing my nutritional principles.”
The cookbook projects have also inspired Ashley to venture into food photography. She prioritizes the experience of a cookbook in complement to its content, and from writing to visuals, her passion for the culinary arts is clear in every aspect of her work.
“If they told me tomorrow that I didn’t have MS, I would not change a thing. This would still be my chosen diet and my chosen lifestyle.”
Listen to the full episode to learn more about Ashley’s inspiring journey.
Here are the details of our conversation:
[00:01:16] Ashley’s MS diagnosis and journey into plant-based eating
[00:04:25] Learning about inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods
[00:05:18] Choosing ingredients for personal cooking and cookbooks
[00:10:06] Creating global recipes
[00:11:49] Impact of a healthy diet on MS symptoms
[00:13:47] Writing The Plant-Based Cookbook
[00:15:52] How to start a plant-based diet
[00:18:40] Creating gluten-free and oil-free recipes
[00:21:56] Benefits to cooking oil-free
[00:23:43] Recipe testing
[00:26:48] Taking small steps toward diet change
[00:29:28] Ashley’s food photography
Ashley Madden is a certified holistic nutritionist, wellness-focused pharmacist, plant-based chef and talented food photographer. When a multiple sclerosis diagnosis shook up her world, Ashley turned to the power of plants to overhaul her diet and reclaim her life. Ashley’s work has been featured on One Green Planet, Forks Over Knives, Vegan Lifestyle Magazine and more. She currently lives in Taipei, Taiwan with her husband, Bernard.
Check out Ashley’s Instagram and website for plant-based recipe inspiration.
You can pre-order her latest cookbook Plant-Based Delicious now!