Belinda Fries: Cooking Fresh on a Budget

When you’re a creative cosmetologist, you can never be sure in what direction your passions will steer your career. Canadian hairdresser Belinda Fries didn’t foresee that her cooking hobby would grab people’s attention online as much as her hair design, but that’s what happened when she started alternating posts about hair with food pics and recipes.

Working with a partner on So Muah, a wedding hair and makeup business in Penticton, British Columbia, Fries also launched a healthy eating page on Facebook for local moms like her. Bridging her two interests, Fries was finding herself in conversations with hair clients about healthy eating, sharing her tips for making soups and other dishes while keeping the costs down for fresh produce.

“For me, it’s fresh first,” Fries explains. “I recommend making at least half of what you’re eating fresh, even if it’s been frozen. Make that half vegetables, and complement your food from there. I cook a little bit of everything—I don’t limit myself—but my recipes are at least 50 percent veggies. For example, I developed an alfredo sauce that replaces cream and butter with just pureed cauliflower and a little bit of cheese. My recipes can be adjusted to be gluten-free, vegan or whatever people prefer. In my own eating, I’m about balance. I have three meals and a couple of snacks a day.”

A big focus for Fries is keeping “fresh” affordable. “We’re close to the border, so I travel to the U.S. a lot because food is cheaper there than in Canada,” Fries says. “I find foods on sale and buy in bulk. People get overwhelmed with 20 pounds of zucchini, but if I find a vegetable at a good price I’ll buy that much. I’ll try it out on recipes and maybe freeze some soups.”

Fries says her experimentation with food is not that different from her creativity with hair. “Give me a canvas and I may not know what I’m doing,” she says, “but with both food and hair I like trying different things!”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about