When I think about what it means to be a student, I think about scrounging around the ‘Reduced to Clear’ meat section for random cuts below 10 dollars. Or being on the possible brink of scurvy from eating the same canned food over and over.
It’s times like these where I have decided I have had enough. I bring my plans over to Youtube’s ‘Cheap Recipes’ area, only to get shot down by Gordon Ramsay saying that the ‘cheap’ ingredients are lamb chops and saffron.
When I was asked to review and interview for ‘The Healthy Kiwi Student’ by the Tasty Twins (Emily and Sophie Martin), I knew that perhaps I would have an answer to eating something other than oats, aka, food before food was invented.
I interview Emily and Sophie to learn more about their journey as student influencers and their cooking inspirations for a pie and V generation…
How did you start your cooking and wellness Instagram story?
E: It was like an accident! We love food, cafes, brunches and wanted to share this. We love baking as a family and we had that passion to help others make things themselves.
S: Through the beauty of showing love through food. Our platform gives us a chance to tackle different challenges like mental health. It has been a crazy and unexpected journey!
Food has been a huge part of your passions and life. Like that scene with Anton Ego biting Into the Ratatouille, do you have a special food with a special memory?
E: Choc chip cookies with melted chocolate, straight out of the oven! These are things our mum would have made for us.
S: Lemon cake, crunchy top with gooey centre with Greek yoghurt!
What was your motivation to publish this cookbook and defy the convenience food and energy drink tide?
E: We never found anything like this cookbook! We want people to realise that students aren’t as bad as the stereotype. We want to show what it is like to have a balanced life. You might feel like a salad or burger and either is ok! What will be healthy will be different for different people. We want people to feel flexible. Same with exercise, exercise is not just for aesthetics, but for mental wellbeing, joint strength when you become older and for better sleep.
S: For sure, pies are yum but these kinds of food don’t make you perform your best or feel your best to feel fuelled for school and workouts. Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive, we want people to feel like they have ideas. We want people to avoid negative comparisons to curated and unattainable standards of life.
How do you deal with the contradiction of finding success with a wellbeing message on a platform which is image focussed?
S: We got social media quite late in the game, in year 13, so I feel we were beyond the point where it may have been toxic. We aim to be honest with your emotions, this isn’t always a bad thing, we try to normalise that it’s not a ‘perfect’ Instagram life.
E: Coming into social media later, we realise how it really is, we are open with when we are struggling and our experiences. We want to show that it is ok to have these experiences and have a Real Life.
With your public role on a digital world, what does it mean to be a lady of the 21st Century?
S: To be a role-model to everyone around you, influencer or not.
E: Owning whoever you are, no matter what that might be like!
Do you have any student experiences you cherish?
E: Meeting really cool friends! Friends to value for the rest of my life.
S: I do agree, it’s that and moments in first year, to live away from home. It’s a roller coaster!
Finally, do you have a favourite student food on a budget? Mine is Mi Goreng, tastes like heaven ahaha.
S: Chickpeas or any beans, peas, weetbix—you can even make weetbix slice!
For me, ‘The Healthy Kiwi Student’ was a refreshing, humble and balanced answer to what can be a pseudoscientific or fad diet influencer culture.
And the book lives up to its title, ingredients are cheap, there is a good overlap of ingredients to ensure groceries get used and there are brunch inspired dishes without the hefty bill. The book may not suit those who wish to budget for frozen meals in advance, dinners or shared flat dinners, as the book is mostly desserts and saver versions of café brunch.
For this reason, Food in a Minute’s Allyson Gofton will still be my queen. However, the book remains a homely, welcoming and sweet solution to many student woes!