Name a more dynamic duo than Jessica “Jess” Jones and Wendy Lopez of Food Heaven Made Easy. Having a hard time? We don’t blame you. Despite living on different sides of the country—Jess currently resides in California while Wendy lives in New York—these intelligent foodies are two peas in a pod. Jess and Wendy truly embody what Healthy Her Way represents, as one of their main missions is to make healthy, plant-based eating and nutritional resources accessible and affordable for all. As registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators, Jess and Wendy understand how food can be used not only to nourish the body but also to help manage chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. Jess and Wendy were introduced by a mutual friend back in 2009 and later wound up working together at local farmers markets, including one in the Bronx, which is when they realized their shared love for food and nutrition education. The two started co-teaching in lower income areas, sharing their insights on vegetarianism and providing people with accessible resources for healthier living. One of Jess and Wendy’s big initiatives involved sharing vegetarian recipes that didn’t require a lot of expensive or hard-to-find ingredients. Ultimately their colorful, tasty dishes are proof that healthy eating isn’t off limits to individuals and families with lower incomes. Vegetarian cooking can be accessible to everyone (even flexitarians and meat eaters—as they point out on their website!) and it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore or financial burden. The success of their initial efforts prompted Jess and Wendy to create original cooking videos, which eventually inspired their recipe-centric website and The Food Heaven Show. Jess and Wendy shine in so many ways, but their podcast really resonated with us. It’s instantly apparent that these women have a genuine, supportive friendship and aim to make a real difference in this world. If you’re looking to learn more about how to transition to a vegetarian lifestyle, best practices for sustainable eating, credible insights on diabetes prevention, or plant-powered meal inspiration—look no further than Food Heaven Made Easy.
A Day in the Life
What does your daily routine look like?
Jess: Every day is different—and let’s be honest, some days I don’t even put pants on—but I usually wake up around 6:45 a.m. and then drink two glasses of water. I always like to take my vitamins and probiotics in the morning before I forget. I also like to workout in the a.m. because my motivation declines as the day goes on. I try to either go for a walk, ride my bike, lift weights, or go rock climbing. After working out, I shower up and then get to work. As a dietitian, I counsel patients two to three days per week. I focus on general wellness, plant-based eating, chronic disease management, and intuitive eating. When I’m not working with patients, I create content for my online nutrition podcast and platform, Food Heaven Made Easy. I make sure to always take a break mid-day before lunch, and I like to eat dinner by 6 p.m. Wendy: I typically start off the day by reading a daily meditation or affirmation passage from Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff or 365 Daily Meditations. Then I drink a couple cups of water throughout the morning while getting ready and prepping breakfast. I rotate between a couple of eggs with toast or fruit or a filling green smoothie. Then it’s either working from home on Food Heaven projects or going into the clinic to provide nutrition counseling for patients. I usually pack my meals most days when working at the clinic and always have snacks on hand (usually fruits or mixed nuts). I try to take some kind of dance or fitness class a few times a week or go out for walks during my lunch breaks. Anything I can do to get some movement in! After that, it’s back home to whip up a quick and easy dinner (usually beans, tortillas, vegetables, and cheese, grilled into quesadillas). My wind-down includes seltzer water, Netflix, and a warm blanket, and then it’s off to sleep.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
Jess: My favorite way to practice self-care is getting at least eight hours of sleep per night! I don’t drink coffee, so I have to really rely on my sleep to get me through the day. I also try to have balance and flexibility with eating. I find that when I give myself permission to eat anything, my body naturally craves the balance between nourishing foods and fun foods. I work with my patients to help them find this balance too. Wendy: I love laying on my couch in silence and doing absolutely nothing. I also love taking walks in nature or exploring my city when the weather is warm. Another more indulgent form of self-care I really love is eating at new restaurants!
How do you stay inspired?
Jess: For inspo, I love to travel and listen to podcasts. I can listen to up to 10 podcast episodes in a week, and I always love hearing other people’s stories or learning about a new topic or idea. Pinterest is also a big inspiration station for me. I’m a big DIY-er and you can literally find info about ev-er-y-thang. Wendy: By connecting with my community, which is filled with so many creative, motivated, and passionate people. I make it a priority to spend quality time with my loved ones and also make time to create new connections with people who are passionate about whatever work it is that they do. Disclaimer: Just so you know, if you order an item through one of our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.
What are the best products you’ve discovered recently?
Jess: Does jojoba oil count? I’ve been using it for a couple years and it’s magic. I don’t use anything on my skin but this…I even wash my face with it. Wendy: Lymph Candy deodorant and Zuzu eyeliner
What are your favorite apps?
Jess: Marco Polo…hands down my absolute fav. It’s like FaceTime for friends and fam but it saves all of your videos. Wendy: Darkroom, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Marco Polo
Whose Instagram is on your radar?
Jess: @chocolateforbasil and @healthfullyeverafter. I absolutely love these two sites because they focus on healthy indulgences and really bring out the art and beauty of food. Wendy: @healthfullyeverafter, @chocolateforbasil, @heyfranhey
What’s your go-to healthy snack?
Jess: This is always changing, but recently it’s been pistachios and tangerines. My general snack formula is nuts + [insert whatever fruit is in season]. I also like toast with peanut butter.
What are you reading, watching, or listening to?
Jess: I’m reading Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield, watching Married at First Sight, and listening to Jorja Smith. Wendy: Reading Intuitive Eating, watching This Is Us, and listening to lots of podcasts…Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, The Nod, One Part Podcast, Latino USA, and Body Kindness.
Jess and Wendy IRL
What is your bucket list travel destination?
What woman in history would you love to take to brunch?
Both: Frida Kahlo
What superpower would you like to have?
Jess: The ability to fly…so I could travel the world for FREE.99. Wendy: To be able to magically make a delicious meal appear on my table whenever I wanted
What are you really great at (that might embarrass you to admit)?
Jess: Parallel parking. I’m actually the best at it.
Would you rather explore space or the ocean? Why?
Jess: The ocean. I went scuba diving off the coast of Mexico and it was legit heaven on earth.
What’s your coffee order?
Wendy: I go with tea because caffeine literally makes me bounce off the walls.
What piece of advice has impacted you the most?
Jess: Don’t let a slip become a fall. For more on Jess and Wendy, check out their Instagram and podcast!