Gen Z Foodie Is the Instagrammer Whose Healthy Recipes Have Us Drooling

I've previously written, at length, about wishing I knew how to eat healthier and that there'd been more options when I was growing up.

My outlook today on food and what I put into my body would be so different had I taken an interest in clean eating in high school (or heck, even in college).

That's why I was pretty amazed when I stumbled upon Zoë Bridge's Gen Z Foodie Instagram account around midnight on a random Wednesday night. The clean aesthetic of the teen's feed matches that of her eating habits—ones she demonstrates in the form of photos featuring freshly baked salmon, grilled chicken, paleo pancakes, cauliflower gnocchi and broccolini (to name just a few).

I was a few days fresh from stuffing my face with the most delicious queso fundido from Javier's Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, to taking on the #Whole30 challenge (30 days without dairy, gluten, added sugar, artificial sweetener, peanut products, soy products, preservatives and gosh, so much more)—which is how I ended up coming across Zoë's Instagram-worthy goodness. Being on Whole 30 means very little dining out, because your eating and drinking intake is incredibly limited. Seemingly simple items like cranberry juice and soy creamer, for example, are ruled out. Cooking most of my meals from scratch was essential to completing the challenge.

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One of my favorite homemade #whole30 dishes, Creamy Cauliflower Bacon Garlic Brussels Sprouts #yum

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The #whole30 version of #enchiladas (seriously just as good without the cheese and tortillas!)

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So, like most others who take the plunge, part of our daily entertainment stems from scoping out other people's recipes and first-person stories. When I found Zoë, I was immediately drawn to not only her highly organized feed, but her overall message and variety of recipes. Most importantly, her interest in living her healthiest teen life. Her meals aren't drenched in oils and dipped in breadcrumbs, but they still look (and I'm sure taste) delicious.

Intrigued by the Phoenix, Arizona, native's lifestyle, I reached out to Zoë, and she answered everything I wanted to know about her clean-eating existence. Keep scrolling and get inspired!

Sweety High: How did you become interested in clean eating at such a young age?

Zoë Bridge: I was actually diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis about two years ago, and that was the moment I really started to take my health journey into my own hands. I slowly developed a taste for healthy foods through my [experience] with UC.


(Photo courtesy of Zoë Bridges)


SH: How do you balance your blog and Instagram with school?

ZB: I make sure to find time every day to cook for my Instagram and blog. Knowing that I always have that time that I can cook (usually an hour), I schedule my school work around it. There are definitely days that I just can't fit in any cooking time or posting, but that's totally okay because balance is key.


SH: What do your friends think about your eating habits? Have you influenced them to eat especially healthy?

ZB: My friends are actually really motivated by me to eat a little healthier and realize what they are putting into their bodies, which is so awesome. They always send me pics with their Gen Z Foodie creations and it makes my day!


SH: What are some of the most important things you've learned since launching your blog?

ZB: I have learned that there are so many opinions on what's considered "healthy" in the social media world. I learned it's so important to form your own opinions on what you believe because there's not one way of eating that fits everyone. I think it's so important to find out what works for your body and just keep being you, and don't put your beliefs onto others, but maybe add something useful to the health and wellness community.


SH: What's the one thing you wish teens knew about food?

ZB: I truly wish nutrition courses were required in schools, because then teens could make their own informed decisions on what they want to put in their bodies. Most teens my age don't think too much about how processed most of their food is or how many vegetables they should be eating every day.


SH: Have you always eaten fairly healthy?

ZB: As a kid, I didn't grow up with too much fast food, but I did eat it every now and then. I learned to have sweets in moderation at a young age. I wasn't completely opposed to vegetables but ate nowhere near the amount I do today. My dad loves to cook, so I would have a lot of homemade healthy meals.


SH: Do you ever treat yourself to something you wouldn't normally eat? If so, what?

ZB: I normally don't consume dairy because I know it upsets my stomach. But I mean how can you not want ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies with ice cream every now and then? I take a Lactaid pill before consuming to help my stomach digest all the dairy. Probably a couple times a month I'll have some ice cream or a butter filled cookie. But I don't feel the need to gorge myself on sweets because I always have a couple pieces of dark chocolate as a dessert at night and that satisfies my cravings.


SH: Anything else you want readers to know?

ZB: I think it's so important to do your own research on foods, and also, more importantly, listen to your body and what it wants and how it feels. Also, never deprive yourself!


Even if you're not a fan of the "H" word, we promise you'll find THESE healthy after-school snacks delicious!