In just five years, Amanda Chantal Bacon has grown her company of plant-based protein powders, juices, nut milks, and “dusts” (powdered supplements) to have a serious cult following. Now, she’s sharing her recipes with the Moon Juice Cookbook, so that anyone can make her crisps, smoothies, or sweet snacks at home.
Truly, it’s The Joy of Cooking for the kale set, educating readers beyond step by step instructions. ‘I know there’s like ‘how to make nut milk is out there,’ but really [this books is] going beyond that and integrating why it’s good for you, what exactly it does, how do you do it,” Bacon, who is, of course, vegan, told me recently. “It’s about just how transcendent these foods are and what it feels like to start reclaiming your body and your health.”
Do you any sort of cardinal rule when it comes to the way you eat or the way that you think other people should be eating? It seems like we’re very much in this like no gluten, no dairy, no sugar movement - what's you take on that?
Well, my rule, if there needs to be a rule, is to educate. When you're educated on what "culture in the gut" means, what foods your body needs for metabolic function, what are some of the signs of an acidic climate in your body...once you educate yourself on that, then you’re off to make choices and there’s freedom in that. So, if you’re just going to live by a set of rules but not actually know why the rules are there, and what that feels like in your body, then you’re a little bit in jail with those rules. Everybody is different, and everybody is going to react a little bit differently to everything. You can know the general information about that and then you start to fill in how you fit in, through that education and what that feels like, then you can really start to play. Then you can know what feeds you, what makes you feel good, what soothes your system, what balances your hormones, what nourishes your skin, what calms you down when you need that, what’s going to be depleting, what’s going to be energizing, and you start to feel that out. You take care of yourself, and you’re mindful of that, but you also open up the whole world of, “Now, I’m going to intentionally just go enjoy what I’m eating, knowing that maybe it doesn’t make me feel great, but I’ve got all of the tools and all of the education surrounding myself so that I’m not going to get off track.” There’s a lot of freedom in that.
Is that education symptom-based awareness or do you encourage more of a trail and error?
Well there’s some symptoms that are in there, and that’s really just a breakdown. I make recommendations of things that I’m mindful of in my daily practice with food, so it’s eating good fats and why you would want to do that, alkalinity in the body and getting amino acids, using adaptogens, culture in the gut.
What's your favorite dust, or is their one product that you use every single day?
Sex Dust. I use it as an energy formula, so I’d say the two ways I really like to use it are in lieu of coffee or caffeine, to get that buzzy bump, especially for the ritual of it. When you’re wanting a hot beverage or you actually are at a restaurant with people who are sitting there drinking cappuccinos, and you want to partake in something, you also want to be a bit altered and feed your energy. I actually haven’t had caffeine now for a couple of months. I go through waves. You know, sometimes I’m not opposed to coffee, but there’s a lot going on with work and so it’s been a good experience. I’ve actually had to go back to some of the principles of self-care. With not being able to get a lot of the sleep that I want, tending towards leaner foods a lot, so just kind of pulling it back to basics and one of those things has been getting caffeine out of my system for a few months and it’s helped. So, I’ll do Sex Dust around the time when everyone is doing coffee and Matcha, and I just keep my little sachets in my bag, so I can go up to a coffee bar or restaurant and ask for hot water, put my little sachet in, mix it in with a spoon, maybe do a little dab of nut milk, and I’ll have a beverage that I’m happy with and it’s like deep water energy. It’s not a stimulant in the way that coffee is, or Matcha is, but it’s energizing and it feels like it really taps into that life force, primal energy, and it is essential energy. I love the synergy of how those herb feel in my body, and what it does to my chemistry.
I don’t drink alcohol, so I’ll happily go meet someone at a bar, and I will politely order just a tall glass of water and put my Sex Dust in it. Some bartenders will really indulge me and they’ll actually shake it up in a cocktail shaker and put it into a little martini glass for me. Or I just throw it into my smoothie, with protein every day.
Wow. So, you have it multiple times a day?
I do. Yeah. You could say this program is running on Sex Dust. My life goals are a little more sex and a little more Sex Dust.
Do you have any other go-to pick-me-up?
You know what I really like? I like a hit of fat with protein, so I do a plant protein powder – I really like our Vanilla Mushroom Powder, and then I will do a hit of fat, so that I could be a tablespoon of yeast, that could be half a frozen avocado, that could be a glug of MCT oil, and then I will maybe add a little maca, maybe add a little Dust. The combination of zero glycemic – so there’s nothing in there that’s actually going to be sweet and has any type of sugar in it – and there’s always going to be about 25 grams of plant protein, and there’s going to be an adaptogenic blend with one of the Dusts or with using just maca, and then that nice hit of fat. That combination really fires me up and keeps it going. It just turns the brain on, it turns the metabolism on – it really, really does it for me.
What's your breakfast of choice?
I like to do intermittent fasting, sometimes - it’s just different phases when I do that. So, when I’m doing that, I’ll actually start my morning off with a warm tonic, and I’ll just use the Dust and I’ll do like Dust and like maybe supplement with an extra herb from the pantry, like mucuna or pearl or cordyceps, or something like that, and then I’ll just do hot water. I’ll do quite a large one so I get warm water into my system, which is really nice, and I’m still keeping my timeline for the intermittent fasting. If I’m not choosing to do that, that day, then I like to do a really big tonic protein breakfast, so it will be one of the proteins that I’m getting 25 grams of protein, a quarter teaspoon of pearl, and then I’ll hit it with either the MCT oil of sprouted almond butter, then I throw a bunch of Dust in. Sometimes I’ll do a Brain Dust – it kind of depends on what’s happening in the moment, if I’m recovering from travel or I’ve been doing a lot of yoga, and I can just feel my muscles a little depleted, I’ll throw Power Dust in. If I’m feeling a little mentally fatigued, and I’ve got a big office day ahead of me, I’ll throw a bunch of Brain Dust in. There’s usually always a base of Sex Dust. It’s like start with the foundation of sex and then add power or brain. People watch me and say, 'Wow, you don’t eat that much,' but it’s the way that I choose to eat. When I go into animal mode, which are my [current] days, like I do a lot more in my days than other people I know, and I do it because I’m not having toast and eggs and a sandwich, and a bowl of garbanzo beans and lentils and rice to digest, and so I also keep my body high-functioning. I’m super into having it be sustainable and nourishing and really looking at what the BMI is and making sure that the BMI is actually high enough. Starving yourself, and not getting enough fat, is the easiest way to deplete and age yourself, so I’m really mindful of that. When I talk about intermittent fasting, and when I talk about meals being a bunch of stuff thrown into a blender, I’m quite mindful of how many calories I get in a day and how many grams of fat I’m getting and how much protein I’m getting. If somebody is not really educated and watching how I eat, they’re like, 'You drink a bunch of green juice and a couple of smoothies, you know, and like maybe some avocado and seeds and fermented vegetables...Is that it?' It’s like, 'Yep.' But in the course of doing all that, I’ve had 2,600 calories, had super clean burning fuel, not a lot of digestion going on. When you look at somebody that maybe had like a big bowl of pasta for the day and a glass of wine and scrambled eggs and toast, then what they actually wind up with and what their body can use is not nearly as much as what I load into my system and the calories I can load in.
Do you ever get cravings though?
Totally, I love to nourish and cook and feed people, and that’s really my background in coming from fine dining. So I absolutely indulge in that, but I have a sensitive system, and I work it really hard, so I always take that into consideration, like this weekend would not be a weekend when I decided to indulge in a bunch of dairy. I’m not going to have delicious sourdough bread and raw butter and like make goat’s yogurt this weekend, because I’m in the middle of doing a bunch of book press and I have a Series B round that I’m doing, and I have events all this week and getting on an airplane, so it’s just tuning in. Like now’s a time when I really want to take care of the machine because it’s going on a little expedition, but after all of that cools, totally there are times when I’m like, 'I just want salty caramel ice cream. That’s what I want, and I want toast with butter and black tea with raw goat’s milk,' and then I feel kind of crappy.
What are your favorite workouts?They vary. You know, I’ll say that my favorite workout, in the whole wide world, and if there’s anything I could do, it would be to walk, like five or six hours a day. That’s my version of heaven. I love walking. Not even fast, just walking. I could be walking around a city all day long. I could be taking a little, low incline hike. I think it’s the most restorative thing for my body and for my mind and really just like takes the stress chemistry out of my system and really works with the lymphatic system, and like really cools my mind down, so that is my favorite.
I also really like vinyasa yoga, for an awesome sweat. That feels so good to my body, to really deeply sweat, so I try to get that in a couple of times a week, make sure I get that sweat. Then I’ve always got like a little side thing going – I got into some Tracy Anderson for a minute, to check out that whole thing. I’ve gotten into some Body by Simone. I love The Class by Taryn Toomey. But really, at the heart of it, I would say my practice is just walking and then doing simple yoga, so I can do it at home and do it when I’m traveling.
If we opened your medicine cabinet, what would we find?Well my beauty thing is really quite simple. I only use natural shampoo and conditioner. I try to wash my hair as infrequently as possible. I will put a raw shea butter or coconut oil or a cold press sesame oil on my body, so I keep the body stuff quite simple, and then really just run that through the tips of my hair. I really like to use baking soda on my teeth. (You know you’re talking to a hippie when you’re like, ‘What are your beauty regimen? I’m giving you apple cider vinegar…') No, really, my staples, when you open my bathroom up and look at what’s in there, I’ve got a big old jug of apple cider vinegar, so once a week I will put apple cider vinegar in my hair, and a few times a week I rub baking soda on my teeth, just with my finger, and then I take a little spoonful of apple cider vinegar and it’s like volcano teeth. The whole thing just explodes in your mouth, but that really breaks off a lot of the plaque buildup and keeps healthy white teeth because I don’t use a toothpaste with fluoride, at all. I wash my face with a bar of soap. There are a couple of bars of soap that I like. There’s a dead sea mineral bar of soap, it’s like seven bucks, or something. It’s awesome – I’ve got like 25 bars of it in my house. Then I use Odacite Clair de Lune, an essential oil that gives my skin a really dewy look. Then I will do a little lip gloss from W3ll People. Then, I’m eating the pearl in my smoothie every day, so that really helps me, and I do my Beauty Dust every day. That really helps with my hair, as well. I wear rose oil that I get in India. It’s such a beautiful smell that I feel like even if I’m having like a bad hair day, if you come give me a hug, I’ll smell like roses, and I’ll just trick you into thinking that I’m having a good hair day. You’ll be confused by the roses. I keep it simple like that.