LEE TILGHMAN HAS THE DOPEST SMOOTHIE BOWLS IN THE GAME. Take one look at her Instagram account, which oozes vibrant, tie-dyed masterpieces, and you’ll momentarily forget that you’re looking at food. Equally as impressive? Her culinary track record. She helped open Soho’s Chalk Point Kitchen in 2014, developed her own vegan granola line Granolee, and earlier this year held smoothie bowl demos at L.A’s famed spot Alma. A farming fiend and traveling yogi, Lee has spread her bowl-making skills to folks in Nicaragua, Hawaii, and even campers in Big Sur, with no plans to stop soon. Below, the bicoastal beauty discusses building her brand, honoring her body, and where you’ll find her when she’s not at her blender.


What is the story behind the name “Lee from America?”
I got the name “Lee From America” because I wanted to be the only Lee from America on Instagram. I thought it was funny how general yet specific it was.
What was your ‘aha moment’ that lead you to your plant-based, yogi, traveling lifestyle?

Oh man, it’s been such a journey.  I was raised eating meat and gluten. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago when I turned 16 that I started paying attention to my body and the foods I fed it, and that I made the correlation between eating healthy and feeling really good. My “aha moment” was back in New York City in 2014 when I realized I wanted to dedicate my life to feeling good and making others feel good, too. Our bodies change constantly so it’s imperative that we listen when they try to tell us something. So now I eat mostly plant-based, minimum fruit, high protein, mostly vegetables, and no gluten. And a littttleee something sweet once a week or so. I believe treating yourself and #balance are key to making this healthy lifestyle achievable. Being honest with myself has been the most beneficial thing in this journey.

How did you get your start in food styling and recipe developing?
They say it takes 10,000 hours to get good at something. I have been cooking and working with food for over 10 years. It all stemmed a serious passion for food and cooking. Then, when I started my blog and moved to LA, when the food styling and recipe developing really took off.
Where do you find inspiration for your original recipes and stunning smoothie bowl designs?
Inside my head, usually during a long run or a yoga class.
What is the hardest part of your job?
When you have your own business that comes from a place of passion, you pour your heart and soul into everything. Over time, you learn to emotionally disconnect from projects or else you will completely tire out your heart. I think the hardest part was learning that balance of emotional investment versus business. Your business is not you. Even though it feels like it all the time, deep down you are your own person, and everything will be okay no matter what.
And the most rewarding part?
When I get a new project. Always a huge exciting burst of creative mindflow and serious endorphins when I start a new job. I go for my longest runs before I get a new project started.

Your field of work has afforded you many opportunities to travel; what have your favorite places been to explore?
Hawaii. I loveeeeeeeeeed it. Already scheming my return trip.

Take us through a healthy day, from start to finish.
I wake up at 5:30AM and head out for a run or to Soul Cycle. Come back, cook breakfast, (photograph it of course), and spend time with my boyfriend by way of reading next to each other or gardening. Then, I get some work done at a coffee shop, rest/relax/do yoga at around 3pm. I can’t really get much work done after 5pm, as I am a very early riser. So around 5pm, I want to start cooking dinner, usually with my boyfriend or with a friend, listening to music and laughing and drinking Kombucha. Eat at 6:30. Bed is 10:30PM on the nose every night. I am religious about that.

When do you feel best in your body?
In the morning when I am the most alert, active, and driven.  It’s my favorite time of day.
What are your favorite healthy food/fitness/beauty/wellness spots in your two hubs, NYC and L.A?
LA + NYC are the best for healthy food! I used to live in NYC, so I know all the best spots.

BOTH COASTS: I love Soul Cycle. I’m obsessed. It changed the way I view cardio forever. Also, love Equinox, can’t get enough. I go to Yogaworks a few times a week on both coasts. The teachers are unreal. I love the Butcher’s daughter. They’re in Venice and NYC. Also, byChloe!

LA: LA has the best. food. ever. I love Sage in Echo Park for good vegan food, and My Vegan Gold in Silver Lake. They do Mexican, Indian, and Thai all in one place so you can please everyone. I’m also obsessed with 365, LA’s newest healthy grocer. Also, a rad Thai massage place on my block- it’s the best discovery I have made in LA yet. 60 minutes for $35- can’t beat that!

NYC: Ground Support for people watching. I love the vibe in there! I also love Two Hands’ Almond Milk Lattes and anywhere that sells Kombucha. There is a great healthy grocer in Williamsburg called Sunac. Can’t deny that the Juice Generation PB Acai bowl is the best thing in the world.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I don’t believe in the term guilty pleasure, but I have a lot of pleasures.

  1. Spending time solo (I need it)
  2. ice cream
  3. relaxing
  4. yoga
  5. bathtime


What is next @leefromamerica?
I just got my own studio so that’s HUGE. It’s been a long time coming and feels like my business and I are taking a massive leap. Nowhere to go but up! I want to open up a restaurant someday. But first, I want to write a cookbook, get on TV, make more bowls, and continue cooking and photographing because I just love that whole process. I want to travel abroad, teach more classes, and experience life because it is the best thing to be alive.

Recipe for Lee’s Soul Bowl:


Green Base:

1.5 frozen bananas

1 cup kale (stems included! They’re good for you)

2 tbsp oats

1 tbsp Vegan Protein Powder

1 tsp spirulina

3 tbsp almond milk

Purple Base:

1.5 frozen bananas

½ cup blueberries

1 tbsp Vegan Protein Powder

2 tbsp oats

3 tbsp almond milk


1 medjool date

½ fresh banana






Golden raisins

Dried cranberries

Edible flowers

Puffed millet


1.     Start by blending the green base together in a high-speed blender and then set into a clean bowl and place in the freezer.

2.     Next, add the purple base ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth.

3.     Pour the green base into a bowl. Next, add the purple base and using the end of a spoon, swirl the two colors together.

4.     Add your toppings, enjoy!