At the same time I began working with Certified Nutrition Consultant, Jodelle Fitzwater (www.getfitwithjodelle.com). Within 4 months my hypothyroidism – and many other health issues – was completely cured. I stopped taking my prescription medication that I had been taking for years and that I was told I’d be taking for the rest of my life. Essentially I healed my body with nutrition and allowed food to be thy medicine (thanks, Hippocrates!). This experience really served as a catalyst for me to dive head first into studying nutrition.
The further I went in my counseling career the more I found myself unable to separate our mental health from our physical health. I could no longer deny my clients the truth about the foods that can heal us and promote overall health. And, I could no longer ignore the serious need for stress management and relaxation practices. Becoming a Certified Nutrition Consultant and Registered Yoga Instructor allowed me to integrate this mind-body connection in parallel to the mental health services I was already providing.
I honestly cannot count how many people I have worked with that are stressed, confused and just plain angry at the same thing: misleading information about “dieting”! It can be so confusing trying to navigate the conflicting information when we turn on the TV or browse the internet – do I do low carb, no carb, low fat, high fat, not eat, eat anything I want in moderation? What’s a person to do?
Here’s what you should do: step back from society and media and your third cousin who’s selling a weight loss pill and really ask yourself, “what makes sense for my body and my health?” What food provides me nourishment, energy, restful sleep, and even makes me feel happy (yes, happy)?
Spoiler alert: it’s whole foods. Whole foods that provide health to your body, to your mind, and that are of this earth. And just as importantly, it’s not a “diet,” it’s a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle of eating protein (meat, eggs, and seafood), carbohydrates (vegetables and some fruit) and healthy fats (oils, avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds).
Meal planning and meal prepping are two of the biggest habits to create in order to live a whole foods lifestyle. I encourage my clients to set aside some time each week to really sit down and map out a plan for the week and make their grocery list accordingly (this is a huge financial saver too!). And be as specific with it as you can – will you have evenings this week where you can spend more time preparing dinner or do you need quick and easy already prepared meals? Research shows the more detailed we get with this plan, the more likely we are to stick to it.
I also work with my clients on certain foods or meals they can prep and make a head of time. We all know that “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” So carve out some time each week to prep, prep, prep! Even though this may feel like a lot of time during the process, it will save much more time throughout the week…especially when you’re running all over town between work, school, practices, etc.
One way to do this is to roast pans and pans of vegetables. Chop fresh veggies or buy frozen and lay out on baking sheets, cover in oil and seasonings of your choice. Fill the oven and have another round waiting to go when they’re finished. Some great vegetables for this are asparagus, broccoli, mushroom, onion, potatoes, and zucchini. Throughout the week add some roasted veggies to scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, mix with some spaghetti meat sauce for veggie spaghetti at lunchtime, and put beside a grilled steak and baked potato for a nice, comforting dinner.
Your protein and meat is another great focus to meal prep. Fire up the grill or bake several servings of chicken, steak, and filets of fish. These all reheat up well. Make a big batch of meatballs and hardboiled eggs for a healthy, quick, and on the go protein source. Always have healthy fats on hand such as avocados or guacamole, olives, nuts, and seeds. Coconut oil, avocado oil, and extra virgin olive oil are great, nourishing oils to cook with.
These are just a couple ways to live a whole foods lifestyle. For more information, a personal nutrition consultation, or private yoga lessons please contact me at wholehealthwithholly(at)gmail.com. It is my absolute honor to share the gift of wellness and to help others reach their health goals.
Holly is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist, Registered Yoga Instructor, and Certified Nutrition Consultant serving the Joplin, Springfield, and Southwest Missouri area. She lives in Joplin with her husband, Sam, 10 month old baby boy, Maverick, and wild fur-baby, Lilly. In her free time Holly enjoys reading just about anything, spending time at Table Rock Lake, and cheering on the Missouri Southern Lions Men’s Basketball team where her husband is an assistant coach. To learn more about Holly, click here to read her 5 minutes with a mom interview.