A girl emailed me recently asking if she could interview me for her health psychology class. I thought they were great questions so I wanted to post them for you all to read!
1. How would you define what being healthy is?
A complete well rounded state of physical, mental and social well being. Free of disease and distress.
2. What interests you in Nutrition and why?
I get joy out of taking care of my health and feel so passionately about its importance that I want to share this knowledge with everyone. Everything in the body is connected and is affected by what you put in it. If something is not working correctly, it manifests itself on the skin or in other physical ways. If you are not taking care of your body and feeding it what it needs, your body has different ways of showing you and I find that absolutely fascinating. You are what you eat!
3. How would you describe your current diet?
My response to this is always Real Food. I eat as close to nature as possible. Lots of fruits, veggies and food that doesn’t come in packages. I limit the amount of foods I eat from packages (if any) and it’s always organic. I also have to eat gluten free because of a wheat allergy.
4. Were you always health conscious? If not, when did you change your diet and lifestyle? What made you make the change to become healthy?
My mother has always been health conscious and we always shopped at the natural food stores growing up. At the time I hated it because I wasn’t allowed the sugary cereals, sodas and fast food that my friends got to eat, but looking back on it now I am so thankful that I was not fed that junk. So when I left for college I gained a bit of weight and never felt that great. It took me a while to realize it was my diet but thanks to the countless articles and books my mom sent me on nutrition I finally started to wake up to the fact that taking care of your body from the inside out is the most important thing to do for yourself! The book that really got me excited about health was a book my mom sent me in college called You Are What You Eat by Dr Gillian McKeith. It changed my whole perspective on food and health and really made me want to seek out as much nutrition information as I could. Thats where my healthy journey began and I never looked back. It has been about 8 years now since I received that book!
5. What is your main goal with health and nutrition?
I want to change how America eats. We have such a stigma in this country about eating healthy because everyone thinks its about restricting yourself. We need to step away from the low fat this and the low sugar thats and get back to our roots of eating whole, real foods again. I want to show people that eating healthy is not only rewarding in the form of a healthy body, but it is also deliciously rewarding! Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad!
6. How do you encourage others to lead a healthy lifestyle?
I try to mostly live by example and I have a blog that people can go to when they want to seek health advice and delicious recipes. I don’t think that people listen much when you get all preachy, so I like to let people know what I am all about then leave it up to them to come to me if they are seeking health advice. It works better in my opinion! I have had people who I never thought in a million years would come around, come to me asking what I am doing because they see the impact healthy eating and exercise has made in my life!
7. Do you believe our diet is the leading cause of diseases or other serious health problems (such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc)? Why do you think that?
Oh absolutely without a doubt! With the amount of trans fats, corn syrup, preservatives and other junk that is being thrown in this overly processed, non-nutritious “food” that we are consuming its not wonder cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes rates are sky rocketing! As I mentioned above, we aren’t eating real food anymore. We are flooding our bodies with all this processed food that has been heated and treated leaving it almost completely devoid of any nutrients, then to make up for the lack of nutrients (and taste) they add in a whole bunch of sugar and trans fat then top it off with preservatives to make sure it lasts for years on the shelf! Our bodies weren’t designed to eat sugar laded cardboard and I truly believe all these diseases are the manifestation of all this junk we are flooding our bodies with. The body doesn’t even recognize most of it as food and doesn’t know what to do with it! Its no wonder we are so sick and overweight but “under fed”. Just as you want to put good fuel in your car so it runs well, you want to fuel your body with good food so it functions at its maximum capacity! Your organs, your cells, your brain, your lungs your entire cellular makeup functions and depends on the food you provide it. If you provide your body with junky food, you are going to get a crappy functioning body. But if you provide it with nutritious food your body will be soaring with energy and running and functioning as it should.
8. What are your thoughts about organic foods vs non organic foods?
I understand that organic food is more expensive but hospital bills are even more expensive! Have you ever priced cancer? You wouldn’t go out and eat tetrahydrophthalimide would you? (Do you even know what it is?) So why would you want to eat it on your fruits and veggies? We are sending people out I’m hazmat suits spraying down our produce everyday then sending it to supermarkets to eat! If they have to be in gas masks and hazmat suits when spraying the veggies, how can that be safe to consume! Think of what those chemicals are doing to your body when you consume them! We are flooding our bodies with carcinogenic chemicals, its no wonder cancer rates are soaring. So I think organic is absolutely essential to living a life free of cancer and disease. I think these 2 photos do a great job of adding shock value to the organic vs non-organic debate.
9. What is the important of salt in a diet? What type of salt would you recommend a person uses?
Despite its bad rep, salt is essential to life. It is a major component of blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid and even amniotic fluid. It carries nutrients into and out of cells, maintains and regulates blood pressure, and helps your brain communicate with your muscles so you can move on demand via the sodium-potassium ion exchange. The reason that salt gets a bad rep is because more than 80% of the salt that most people consume is from processed foods- food that shouldn’t be consumed anyways. The salt added to processed foods is mostly sodium, as opposed to natural salt, which is much lower in sodium. The type of salt I would recommend is Himalayan Pink Salt. It contains 84 trace minerals essential to life and it’s absolutely delicious!
10. What advice would you give someone who is trying to live a healthier lifestyle?
Start with baby steps. You aren’t going to change your lifestyle overnight and thats okay. Maybe start out by cutting out sodas first. Then the next week make an effort to not buy any food in packages (unless the ingredient list is less than 5 things). Then maybe the next week you try to cook at home more. However you decide to do it is fine, any effort in the right direction is great! Also, I would figure out what motivates you to better health. Whether its wanting to lose weight, avoid modern disease, stick around longer for your kids or maybe even to boost your immune system so you aren’t sick all the time! Whatever it is, keep that as a constant reminder as to why you have decided to go down a healthier path. Having that motivation will make it much easier to stick to your goals. I also would encourage someone to seek out as much healthy information that they can. We are in the midst of changing food times and its incredibly interesting to watch all this new information come in. My favorite food author right now is Michael Pollan. He has the absolute best advice, in my opinion, on food and healthier eating. His books are the epitome of food for thought. Lastly, I would also recommend someone to check out the following food documentaries: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Hungry for Change, Food Matters, Food Inc and Forks Over Knives. If these thought provoking films don’t open your eyes to a need for better food and a healthier lifestyle, I don’t know what will!