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3 Times a Day


How food saved a pop singer

By Marilou
Photography by Alexandre Champagne

After working for more than 13 years in the music industry, I realized that I would never achieve the sense of fulfillment I was seeking from that world, but refused to quit because I wasn’t ready to give up my singing career. Over time, people had convinced me that I was born to make music, so I shut myself off from other opportunities because I put too much emphasis on other people’s opinions.

But on a life-altering night in spring 2013, I finally stopped listening to other people and decided to follow a different path. I always felt that cooking was my true calling, even though I had no formal training in the profession. What I did have was a genuine passion for entertaining and table settings, for cooking, for healthy living and a knack for coming up with original recipes. For years I’d spent countless evenings leafing through cookbooks and food magazines from all over the world, which inspired and encouraged me to dream.

But my dream was rooted in a deeper place than a simple love of food. When I was younger, I struggled with anorexia and had an unhealthy relationship with food that lasted for many years.

I had always loved to eat and still did — but I was afraid of food and I worried that my eating disorder would have a hold on me for the rest of my life.

With hard work and humility, I managed to get better. It was the greatest victory of my life, made all the better because I didn’t need anybody’s approval to feel proud of my achievement and that resonated louder than the cheering of any crowd ever could. Today, I can say without a doubt that the lowest lows of my life, as painful as they were, were blessings in disguise, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I named this book Three Times a Day in honour of my recovery and to pay tribute to the three meals a day that I’m finally able to enjoy in health and happiness.

Marilou is a French-Canadian pop singer. Three Times a Day emerged from her hugely popular blog (Trois fois par jour) which she created with her photographer husband Alexandre Champagne. It has sold more 200,000 copies in Quebec. She lives in Boucherville, Quebec.

Image above.

Three-Cheese Pizza with Asparagus, Prosciutto & Figs
Makes 1 pizza or 8 slices


  • 1 portion store-bought or homemade pizza dough
  • ¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 1 cup thin asparagus, cut in half
  • 4 figs, cut into quarters
  • ¼ cup mild chèvre (goat cheese)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil for the ricotta spread
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. orange juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 450F. In a bowl, combine all the ricotta spread ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. On a floured work surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a pizza stone or baking sheet. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Cover with Gruyere. Top with the prosciutto, asparagus, and figs and then crumble the chèvre over everything. Brush the crust with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes.

Nutritional facts per slice: Calories 400; Fats 19.6g; Carbs 40g; Protein 19g; Sodium 1,147mg.


Raw Raspberry Tartlets in Mason Jar Lids
Makes 8 tartlets

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted

Raspberry Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey, pure maple syrup, or agave syrup
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Raspberries, to decorate before serving


Pour the cashews into a bowl, cover with water, and let them soak for at least 2 hours. In a food processor, combine the almonds and dates and process until the mixture is smooth enough to stay together when you press it between your fingers. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of 8 Mason jar lids to make small crusts. Set aside. Place all the filling ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly among the crusts. Refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Serve.

Nutritional facts per serving: Calories 313; Fats 19g; Carbs 34g; Protein 6g; Sugar 24.3g.


Halibut Ceviche with Coconut Milk & Clementines
Makes 6–8 servings


  • 10 oz. halibut, skin removed, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 clementine, peeled, segmented (membranes removed), and cubed
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


In a bowl, combine the halibut, onion, jalapeño, and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Using a fine-mesh sieve, drain the excess lime juice and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, season with salt and pepper and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving with corn chips.

Nutritional facts per serving (minus tortilla chips): Calories 102; Fats 4.2g; Carbs 10g; Protein 8.5g.

Recipes taken from Three Times a Day by Marilou and Alexandre Champagne. Reproduced with permission from House of Anansi Press.

Click to view this article in IMPACT Magazine's January/February 2016 Issue.