I’m so, so excited to introduce you to top model Natazha McDuffie.
This interview really sparked my interest because she has the best recipes ever!!! Read below to find her protein-packed, meatless salad mixture, her husband’s mashed berry concoction ( that he kindly drizzles over vanilla ice cream!! ), & her healthy spring roll recipe. YUM. I will definitely be trying each of these recipes out…total blog post inspiration!
Natazha is absolutely stunning ( I mean, clearly!!! ) ANDDDD she happens to be one of the most gracious, sweetest girls I’ve met in California. Oh, & get ready to die because her & her photographer husband ( Zack ) are just the cutest couple in the world. Seriously!
Anyway I hope you all enjoy reading this interview; I have to say, it’s definitely one of my favorites!! xx.
+ Hi! Tell us about yourself.
Natazha McDuffie: I have Latin & Asian blood, but I’m a total California girl- I was born in San Diego & grew up in Encinitas. I have been in the modeling industry for fifteen years. My husband’s a photographer & owns a learning vacation school in Costa Rica. It is a boutique hotel that offers surfing, Spanish, yoga, & photography classes. We travel the world together going on adventures, taking pictures, & making each other laugh all the time. We live between Laguna Beach, California & Jaco, Costa Rica.
I love the ocean! If I could swim in warm turquoise waters every day for the rest of my life, I would!
+ Quick skinny tip?
NM: I am not sure there are any quick skinny tricks or tips. For the most part it’s about adopting a healthy lifestyle that makes you & your body happy. I don’t starve myself or do any crash diets. I eat delicious, healthy foods. I think also being gluten free for the past two years has made a huge difference. Food is energy and is supposed to fuel our bodies.
Before I became gluten free, sometimes I would eat certain foods that made me super sluggish and bloated. One tip that does help- plan your meals ahead and have healthy snack options handy. When you are hungry & don’t have a healthy option nearby is when you make bad food choices.
+ Workout sch?
NM: My weekly workout schedule is Pilates three to four times a week & one or two sessions of Bikram yoga. My husband and I also go for hikes around Laguna. Because there are so many hills, you really get a workout and get to enjoy the amazing views of hills & ocean.
+ Go-to healthy food?
NM: My favorite go-to healthy food is a delicious salad. I love buying Amy’s Organic Bistro burgers ( gluten & meat free patties ) & putting them on top of a mixed greens salad with lots of avocado slices. The patty and the avo make it a more substantial meal than just salad. My husband tops it off with a homemade dressing.
Homemade dressings are super tasty and easy to make! My favorite is first cold press olive oil + a dash of apple cider vinegar + organic dijon mustard + honey + chia seeds + black pepper. Chia seeds are a great source of energy.
+ It’s Friday night. Six o’clock. What are you drinking?
NM: My drink of choice is a good glass of Pinot Noir or if I am drinking the harder stuff my cocktail of choice is the “Gypsy-Pirate-Mermaid” ( my husband’s special concoction he makes for me )- Hendrick’s gin ( the best! ) + Reed’s ginger beer, a splash of bitters, over ice, garnished with either candied ginger or a twig of rosemary. If you really want to do it right, make ice cubes with cucumber infused water.
+ Beauty product you’re currently dying over?
NM: I can’t live without mascara. My favorite is Maybelline Triple Volume mascara in very black. I also love body butter from The Body Shop ( my favorites are the almond butter & mango ). It makes your skin silky smooth & smells delicious.
+ It makes me laugh when…
NM: My friends and I talk in funny voices. I love to laugh! It’s one of the best things about being human. A great laugh can completely change my mood & even my day. It’s a good thing I find humor in almost everything!
+ Natural beauty remedy:
NM: My favorite natural beauty remedy is coconut oil. It is a wonder product. You can cook with it, use it as lotion, and use it as a hair treatment. I love this stuff! It is really good for you and a great substitute for olive oil when cooking, or instead of butter on toast. As a lotion, it leaves your skin shimmery and supple ( not to mention you smell good enough to eat! ). It is a great hair treatment. Sometimes when my ends are really dry I rub some oil on before I go to bed & wash it out in the morning.
+ AM routine?
NM: When I wake up I grab my nerd glasses ( I am blind as a bat! ) & check my phone for emails. Then my sweet husband either brings me breakfast in bed or I head upstairs to make some coffee or a smoothie & greet the day by staring off into the big blue Pacific Ocean. We have an incredible view from our house in Laguna. I give thanks every morning.
+ What’s in your handbag?
NM: In my purse, I always have a little emergency kit. It has Kleenex, oil blotting papers, hand sanitizer, Chapstick, an Emergen-C pack, some mints, lipgloss, & travel perfume. I have everything mini so it all fits in one little pouch that I can grab and change purses easily. I also always have my wallet, my phone, headphones, & my sunnies!
+ Any naughty indulgences?
NM: Ice cream!! My grandma Dora says,”there is always room for ice cream!” My husband smashes up berries and mixes them with honey, warms them up and drizzles it over vanilla ice cream…or makes banana fosters with cinnamon as a topping. I can’t help myself, it’s just too good! And the occasional In-N-Out burger. I am a Cali girl and every once and awhile a good In-N-Out burger just calls my name ( protein style, of course ).
+ Quick easy recipe:
Healthy Spring Rolls:
Micro greens &/ or Spicy Sprouts
Thinly sliced julienne sweet peppers
Thin sliced avocado wedges
Carrots (use peeler to make long thin strips)
+ Directions: Soak rice paper in water until soft ( one at a time ). Lift to drain excess water & then place flat on a plate. Add ingredients, & roll like a burrito ( flip sides in, then tuck ingredients in & roll ). Peanut sauce can be drizzled on the ingredients inside before rolling, or used as a dipping sauce after!