If you’re a fan of The Good Life Eatery’s acai bowls and epic superfood salads, thank co-founder Yasmine Larizadeh. Since opening in 2013, the cult café has become a stalwart fixture on the capital’s wellness scene, offering hearty yet health-conscious food with a breezy LA vibe. Born in California, ethically Iranian and now a British citizen, Yasmine’s approach to health and nutrition is one we can all get on board with. From slow-cooked Iranian dishes to truffle crisps and immune-boosting supplements, here she tells us what an average day-in-the-life looks like, and how she keeps her mental health in check…
I’m into intermittent fasting. Although I love breakfast, it’s never been a meal I’ve eaten willingly. I normally don’t eat until around 2pm or 3pm. I’m just not a morning person – I’d much rather spend the extra hour in bed. I’ve always been a great sleeper and have to sleep for at least eight hours every night, otherwise I’m very disagreeable. If I don’t sleep well, I genuinely feel it affects my immune system and I need to be firing on all cylinders, otherwise running six Good Life Eatery locations would be impossible. I recently read Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and loved it.
Having said that, weekend brunch is a staple. I always cook a big brunch with my boyfriend at home on the weekend. Dishes we love include avocado on toast with extra chili, scrambled eggs with chives and parmesan and a side of turkey bacon. Or, if we are feeling a bit more indulgent, chocolate chip and banana pancakes with oak smoked bacon and fried eggs cooked in bacon fat is a personal favourite.
I take quite a few supplements. Every morning, I’ll have a litre of water with some apple cider vinegar and liposomal vitamin C. I also take cordyceps and reishi – forms of medicinal mushrooms – from my favourite brand, Host Defense, which I get in the US. I also take vitamin D because I am deficient. I also take turmeric, depending on how I’m feeling.
You’ll often find me snacking on veggies. I’m not a huge snack person, and prefer eating whole meals, but if I do fancy something I stick to whole veggies – things like carrot sticks, Persian cucumbers and radishes. However, I’m also a sucker for crisps – the Torres Truffle Crisps are a go-to on the weekends.
Where possible, I try to buy local. I don’t always buy organic but I believe in supporting local food business as much as possible. Every week, without fail, I’ll stock up on fresh basil, Persian cucumbers, Clarence Court eggs, cherry tomatoes and raw milk.
I am passionate about cooking. I cook pretty much every day – even if it’s just something small or leftovers from the previous day. In terms of what I eat at home, it’s always freshly made and cooked from scratch, I rarely use recipes. It’s usually a mish-mash of recipes I find online, which I then improvise to my taste, or those I was taught first-hand by my mum. My love for cooking has trickled down from my mother and grandmother who are both gods in the kitchen. Most of what I cook are Persian recipes passed down from my family. I cook with a lot of different spices and am a huge fan of spicy foods.
Cooking for friends brings me joy. Crispy rice – otherwise known as tahdig – is always a winner at dinner parties. I think it’s because you can’t really get it anywhere so there’s still a huge novelty around it. I also do a mean roast baby chicken with potatoes and veggies – it’s quick and easy and only takes ten minutes to wash up. Failing that, I love making all sorts of Persian stews, ideally slow cooked for at least four hours with lamb and vegetables. Last night, my boyfriend and his two friends came over for dinner and they are all on a keto diet, so I cooked 5kg of straight-up meat – minced chicken Iranian kebabs and a bone marrow curry. It was delicious.
Treat days aren’t really a thing for me. Food, regardless of what it is, should always be an enjoyable experience and a treat in itself. I always eat according to how I feel and firmly believe everything in moderation is the way forward.
I’m not a fussy eater. I really do consume everything, apart from caffeine. It’s been making me feel edgy and anxious lately, so I made the decision to cut it out.
Japanese food is a bit of an obsession. Eating out is a definite love of mine and since restaurants have re-opened, I’m trying to eat out at least once or twice a week. I don’t focus on ‘healthy’ per se when it comes to dining out, instead I choose to focus on different cuisines. I love Japanese food and would love to go there one day. You’ll often find me ordering from Sushi Bar Makoto in Chiswick on Deliveroo – they do unreal sushi.
I’ve never been on a diet. If I feel like I’ve overeaten, or not been as healthy, I tend to just eat more greens for a few days.
I’ve never been an athlete, but I’ve always had a love for yoga. I try to practice once or twice a week. I also try to go on one very long walk every weekend – I recently discovered the Parkland Walk, which goes from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace. It’s so beautiful and reminds me of hiking trails in LA.
Friends and family are everything to me. If I’ve had a particularly stressful week, I’ll head back to visit my mum – I’m so lucky she’s here in London, too. Going to see her and have her cook for me makes me feel like a kid again – it’s the greatest gift I could ever ask for. Having a good laugh with my friends is also so important, there’s a definite need for laughter when things get stressful.
Forget a massage – it’s all about a Turkish bath. I’m quite an impatient person, so tend to get a bit bored when I have a massage or manicure. I went to Istanbul last year for New Year and had my first Turkish bath. It was probably one of my favourite treatments of all time – I could definitely get on board with having one of those in London now and again.
*Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programmes.