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There is more to healthy eating than simply cutting out meat. IHTTI grad Ida Jönsson is the Manager of Operations at Happy M Kitchens – one of Sweden’s most forward thinking eateries that works to promote the value of the clean living lifestyle and making healthy and sustainable food options accessible to everyone.
Swedish food is known for being delicious, nutritious, and sustainable and Swedish people are notorious for loving healthy food. There are almost always gluten and dairy-free alternatives and plant-based options on every menu. This has become the new standard in Sweden, which is something you don’t see in that many other countries today.
I’ve been interested in clean eating for as long as I can remember. My dream is to one day open a healthy resort that incorporates sustainability in each point of the business plan. But for now, I am looking to gain more experience and learn from passionate entrepreneurs who have found success in this niche.
I have found inspiration in the owner of Happy M Kitchen who has studied food trends focusing on the relationship between what we eat and how we feel for more than 30 years. In my role, I can clearly see how my hospitality background plays a large role in how I can contribute to the company’s vision of setting new health and food trends in Sweden. In my position, I have found a space to develop and challenge myself and I believe this experience will bring me a unique perspective and provide value for my future career.
The biggest difference is that healthy food is not a selling point for us – it’s our philosophy and every staff member has the knowledge about nutrition to back up each bite!
We understand nutrition and focus on foods that are good for your body and leave a minimal negative impact on the environment. Vegan for example is often used as a buzzword today, but just because its vegan does not make it healthy. A healthy lifestyle requires a totally different approach to preparing and cooking the food. With the variety of food selection we offer, we are making an effort to help the environment, inspire others and set an example for the industry.
It is important for me to know the full story behind the food on my plate.
I pay attention if the food is organic and locally produced. If it is meat, I want to know how it was handled. The food I choose to nourish myself with is full of fibre, loaded with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Since I started living a more plant-based lifestyle, I have found that my total energy has increased and my body is functioning more optimally.
Restaurants and hotels need to offer more sustainable menu options and to achieve this we need to start with education. There remains a knowledge gap in the industry and the first step is to educate the chefs preparing the food to ensure the ingredients are handled the right way.
Ida Jonsson graduated from IHTTI in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in hotel and design management. She currently works as a sales and marketing representative at Happy M Kitchen in Gothenburg, Sweden.