How did your love affair with healthy eating start?
I’ve always loved food, helping my mom cook in the kitchen and learning the basics of whole food. To this day, the best brussel sprouts I’ve ever had were from my mothers’ garden in the backyard! Fast forward a bit and it wasn’t until college that I knew teaching others to live optimally through nutrition and lifestyle was really my true “calling”. I jumped from major to major starting out as an art major, then psychology, then marine biology, then nutrition—yes, an odd sequence of majors! I think you now understand my love of photography/creativity and fusing it with nutrition and science. I had a growing interest in sports nutrition and was fascinated by the basic fact that what we put into our body directly impacts our athletic performance- granted I wasn’t a collegiate athlete, but to this day consider myself a recreational athlete, and knowing this basic fact was paramount to how I felt and looked. That’s where my love of nutrition and it’s impact on our health really started, from then on it involves many stories and an evolution of my thoughts, practices, and research as a dietitian bringing me where I am today with my food philosophy and living whole.
How would you best describe your diet?
Heavy on the greens, healthy fats, nut, seeds, gluten free grains, dairy-free, fresh fruits, proteins, starchy carbohydrates, chocolate, and more! Also, I’m a fan of the YOU diet, haha one where you eat the way your body wants and responds too. I personally practice a whole foods lifestyle, where I consume 95% of my foods from whole food sources; the other percentage is for the occasional indulgence when I want. For health purposes and intolerances, I am gluten free and dairy free. I used to suffer from horrible migraines, bad digestive issues along with acne and hormonal issues, overtime gluten and dairy were the biggest catalysts for these health challenges along with some lifestyle factors I was neglecting to address. I also am not into labeling diets – I think there are far too many diet and “wellness gurus” out there shelling out information outside of their expertise or making their readers/followers feel like they have to fit a certain mold, whether it’s paleo, vegan, raw, vegetarian, etc.; remember always do what works for you and leave the nutrition dogma at the door and embrace the uniqueness of you!
What ingredients could you not live without?
- Dark leafy greens of any kind, my favorite being spinach and kale.
- Lemons, perfect for adding a kick of acidity in food and also vitamin C
- Spirulina– Since first trying spirulina I fell in love with the flavor but after researching the nutrition and health benefits of it, it made spirulina that more appealing.
- Avocados and coconut oil- are my must-have healthy fats and beautifying fats. Avocados are great sources of potassium, vitamin E, K, C, A, magnesium, copper, and fiber that is great for keeping our digestion optimal. Coconut oil is a great source of medium chain triglycerides, which has been studied for it’s ability to increase metabolic rate, doesn’t negatively affect cardiovascular health, can help ease digestion/constipation, and is a natural antimicrobial and antifungal.
What gets you up in the morning?
Being grateful to be alive! Knowing that I have the ability to inspire and change peoples lives whether it’s through my clients, my blog, social media, everyday conversations, connecting with readers, etc. It’s an inner motivation and drive that nothing can shake! Reading the sweetest emails and comments from readers about how I provide them a reliable voice of nutrition advice, information, and inspiration by sharing glimpses into my life, keeps me going too. My life isn’t vastly different from most peoples – social media can be such a funny little 2×2 square delusion and a way to “make up” ones life, I’d rather just be honest and show my real down-to-earth living, even if that means sharing recipe failures in the kitchen or silly moments of me just burning off steam dancing ridiculously by myself!
Take us through your day on a plate?
It changes daily depending on my activity, my goals, and what my body is intuitively craving! In a nutshell it’ll involve some of my staples: Stripped Green Smoothies, green juices, hot tea, matcha tea lattes, porridges, Nourish Bowls using whatever veg I have on hand or what’s in season, hearty supper meals like grains or proteins like eggs or wild caught fish, spirulina, medicinal mushrooms, Turmeric Milk, etc.
How do you sweat?
I LOVE working out, it’s one of my morning rituals that keeps me centered and on my toes. I’ve been weight lifting and exercising since high school. Naturally being thin and small framed, I have to work for curves and weight lifting is such a great way to rev metabolism, keep your hormones and bones healthy for a woman, and change your body composition. Not to mention, it’s fun! With that, I do HIIT circuit training, barre3, Barry’s Bootcamp, kickboxing, hiking, swimming, walking, biking- I love it all. I love working out so much so that I’m constantly in workout gear- some of my favorites being Nike and my healthy t-shirt line I just launched! This year on Nutrition Stripped, I also started interviewing the leading personal trainers in the industry in my Fitness series!
What is your favourite workout track?
I can’t workout without music, literally! I love a combination of: Beyoncé, Drake, Childish Gambino, ODESZA, Deftones, Radiohead, Haim, Taylor Swift, Tove Lo, Banks, Broods…I could go on forever, I love music- it runs in my blood coming from a household of musicians.
What book are you currently reading?
Honestly, it’s a nutrition textbook I was reviewing for research! I recently read How to Be Parisian which was adorable and my favorite book of all time is the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
Which three famous people would you invite to dinner?
Thich Nhat Hanh, Jamie Oliver, Kristin Wig, – I’m just sayin’ that would be a fun and truly enlightening dinner…
Favourite place to escape to?
Ideally, anywhere with water. Being by a warm coast is where my spirit is meant to be and think my work will take me there soon (just maybe)! Otherwise, anywhere I find mental space and peace; it could simply be a walk outside with my bare feet on the ground.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
You are, so be. It’s a simple phrase, yet incredibly powerful and means so much to me. It reinforces my authentic self, to do-act-speak-write-work, etc. with authenticity, humility, and love! I often hear clients and readers focus externally on comparisons and comparing their life situation with someone else- it’s futile and only drains energy from what matters… YOU!
What are your top tips for those looking to start their own health food blog?
- Only do it if it serves you and the community! Having a voice via a blog opens up your vulnerabilities, yet is also a beautiful space to share your passion and touch people’s lives- use a blog as a vehicle for sharing positivity and goodness, not for fame or popularity.
- BE YOU! Use your authentic and unique voice to write and do what you do best. Speaking authentically will ensure you’re reaching people who “get” you- those are your people/tribe!
- Be patient with your goals. It takes time building a blog and a following…it will not happen overnight.
- Have fun with it! If you stop having fun, it’s time to take a deeper look at why.
Standing in my kitchen, in tree pose, holding a jar of almond butter in one hand and a spoon in the other…’nuff said! I don’t feel guilt though, I just enjoy!