Eddie Pettersson is wise beyond her 20 years.
The model and vegan food blogger was raised in a health-conscious environment in Stockholm, Sweden, but an extended trip to Istanbul right after her nineteenth birthday opened her eyes and mind to an even more evolved level of wellness. She began eating and living clean and managing her time more carefully to avoid stress from overwork.
In October 2013, although she loves her home, she jumped at the opportunity to experience something different in New York City. Since moving, she has been sharing her personal tips for maintaining a clean lifestyle on her blog, eddie.freshnet.com.
Here, Pettersson explains why she has decided never to go back to “normal”:
Live The Process: What's your wellness story?
Eddie Pettersson: Healthy food has been a strong part of my life since my early teens. My natural way of being developed into a passion when I stayed in beautiful Istanbul for an extended period of time. I was deeply inspired by the healthy meze diet: hummus, baba ganoush, grilled vegetables, tahini, beans, dried fruit and nuts. It made me reflect on what I put into my body. I decided to take a month off all bad habits and eat clean. That meant no alcohol, no gluten, no sugar and no animal products. When that month had passed, I realized how delightful I felt and that my body was encouraged by this treatment. I didn’t see any reason to go back to “normal.” When I later had the opportunity to move to New York City, I realized that my healthy lifestyle would be the ultimate foundation on which to build a good life here.
LTP: We all can be seduced by the dark side: what's your biggest obstacle to staying healthy?
EP: Trying to juggle an overwhelming, hectic schedule is my biggest challenge. Lack of time is my sly enemy. Then, I tend to be too hard on myself and find myself prey to my own maze of ambitions. Nowadays, I can better perceive the signs of being overworked. I have learned how to freeze the picture before it blurs beyond recognition.
LTP: What tips would you offer people who aspire to live fuller, more holistic lives?
EP: The most important advice is to give yourself time to think. Create space in your schedule to consider what you have done and why. Compile your feelings and impressions in a diary. I take a moment every day, while writing in my diary, to take a deep breath and collect myself.
I am perplexed by the arrogance people show when it comes to their bodies. I think it’s important to listen to yourself. When you are grocery shopping, what are your eyes telling you? Shouldn’t you pick the colorful vegetables and fruits?
Do not fill your body with garbage food. When you give it a second thought, you may realize that it’s insane to consume something bad for your body. You know how it will make you feel afterwords, so just don’t do it. It’s simple and logical: eat clean.
LTP: What inspired you to change the way you live your life?
EP: I grew up in Stockholm and it’s a city that’s a tremendous platform for a healthy lifestyle—close to nature, lots of space. My friends and I had everything we needed. Still, I felt this sorrow among us. And the more I saw those around me try to escape, the more I realized that I wasn’t meant to stay there. I wanted something else for my life, and I wanted to show my contemporaries that it was possible.
Joining the health scene in New York has been a tremendous experience. I have received so much warm encouragement from strangers, who praise my work and my mission. I love the community here. I relish every moment and feel so much gratitude. Every weekend I collaborate with the head chef of a coffee El Rey in lower east side, and together we bake gluten free, vegan and natural sweetened cakes. A small joyful project that I put much love and time in.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
EP: I’m still too young to know the answer and I contemplate it a lot. I’m slowly triangulating the concept of happiness to something about being comfortable with myself and the situation. Not pushing to hard, not wasting my energy in aiming for a pretentious conclusion, when it might be better to stay close to myself.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
EP: If life is a book, I want to read it slowly. I want to read it carefully with passion and understanding. I want to read between the lines. I’m living the process when I express myself with kindness, time and energy. I want to practice every day to regard myself in a bigger context of nature, humanity and the Universe. To find out more about Pettersson and her clean lifestyle, please visit http://eddie.freshnet.com.