Prior to launching Pretty Wellness, I rarely revealed to friends and family how much I really knew about health and wellness. Perhaps I didn’t want to sound too preachy. Or maybe I was afraid of sounding hypocritical, given my former Diet Dr. Pepper addiction (it was once my biggest vice). Regardless, years of nutrition electives in college and part-time jobs as an ACE certified aerobics instructor have given me hands-on access to the latest nutritional information. (Not to mention the countless evenings chugging light beer and reading girly fitness magazines.) While I knew that eating whole foods would contribute to a more healthy and active body, a part of me still felt invincible and wasn’t necessarily practicing what I knew. It took my second round of breast cancer to re-educate myself on fueling my body.
I love going out to eat. Ever since I was a kid, I would spend a part of my allowance on dining out at the local hot spot. In the mid-1980’s, it was Taco Bell and Dairy Queen. When I made some big bucks from babysitting, Davanni’s Pizza was our hot spot. Years later and now that I eat clean, I’ve found ways to enjoy restaurant meals while not compromising my clean-eating ways. Sometimes they even have an item on the menu that is vegan and delicious. My favorite summer salad is an endive avocado salad from our neighborhood bistro, Quattro Pazzi. I order it every time and recently re-created it in my home. It’s simple to make and delicious as a side salad or meal.
I love smoothies. There are so many deliciously nutritious recipes that can fool a kid or even an adult into eating more veggies. Any mom, dad, kid or busy individual can make a smoothie filled with fruits and vegetables. It’s simple and not very time consuming. The fiber from the produce often satisfies cravings and fills you up. It just takes a little trial and error to find the right ingredients .
One of the challenges of eating clean is finding snacks on the run. In a perfect world, I would prepare food on the weekends or spend a few hours a day to cook fresh meals. But, I live in the real world. Regardless of how busy I am (or not), I don’t enjoy hours working in the kitchen for dinners let alone snacks. When I’m in a bind, I can find a Larabar in the grocery or gas station convenient stores. These bars are raw and have few ingredients. The only problem for me is that they are made of nuts. So, if I’m with my son, who has a severe nut allergy, these are a no-no. So, I challenged myself to figure out how to make my own nut-free version.
Picnics, beach days, adventures in the park and vacations often = a bad eating day or two or three. While, I do believe in “sometimes foods,” “sometimes snacks” and “sometimes days,” I still think a little bit of planning is key. Rather than feeling bloated and fatigued from eating tons of processed and sugar-laden foods, eating well nourishes your body providing energy and a feeling of being toned. Recently, I spoke about eating clean and being active on vacation, and now with school out I’m focused on healthy living with staycations and adventures near home.