Figuring out a new-normal isn’t easy. Like any new habit, it takes time and small steps to make progress in every area of life – even the pantry. After my stage IV cancer diagnosis, life never returned to the way it was…however, I figured out my new normal and have embraced it living a great quality of life. As a recovering junk-a-holic, my pantry used to be filled with meals like Chef-Boy-R-Dee ravioli, ramen noodles and high-sodium canned chili. The past six years I’ve maintained a plant-based diet focusing mainly on fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits. So, the past few weeks living in quarantine with less access to fresh foods challenged me to find new healthy pantry items that could keep me full and healthy. Here is what’s in my pantry now and read below about how you can access your own free healthy pantry checklist.
My favorite fruit and veggies as a kid were green apple Jolly Ranchers and the infamous steakhouse bloomin’ (fried) onion. As I grew older, I walked away from candy and fried foods, thinking I was eating healthy with my bag of Baked Lays and fruit infused frozen yogurts. It wasn’t until my wake up call with stage IV disease that everything in my diet changed. Truth be told, it wasn’t just my diet that shifted, it was my mindset about the food we eat and how nutrient dense food was important for my survival.
Do you use the New Year as an annual health seminar with yourself? In the past, I would host my own personal white board session, creating resolutions and brainstorming all the ways I wanted to better myself in the coming year. These included exercising daily, losing weight, dining out less, reading more high-brow literature, analyzing business trade publications weekly and drinking less soda. I loved the idea of a new and improved me, but seldom made it past week two. According to Forbes, Only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. I clearly was in the 92%. So now, after five years of living clean, embracing a plant-based diet, yoga, power-walking and using green products, I’ve comprised a list of 20 simple wellness tips to jump start your 2020 New Year and beyond. Check back with us on January 2, 2020 for the Pretty Wellness Small Steps Challenge to inspire you to do something small and healthy every day. Let’s make those resolutions last!
I’ve always been surrounded by ballpark food. Before launching Pretty Wellness, I spent most of my career in sports and entertainment. I’ve been to many arenas, stadiums and various events, both as a guest and an employee. Whether I was organizing a group of media backstage or running the rafters to shoot confetti at a concert, I was often surrounded by unhealthy, greasy grub. Back in the day, I ate numerous malt cups, ballpark hot dogs and drank tons of diet soda. In fact, part of the allure of going to sporting events was that I couldn’t feel guilty for eating gluttonously because I had no options. Most venues only sold this type of food, but not anymore. Now you can eat gourmet to gluten-free at many venues throughout the country. So to honor baseball season, we’re taking you on a trip through the MLB ballparks, hoping you will find some healthy options you like.
I love to be loved. I enjoy the positive attention, outpouring of notes and thoughtful acts of kindness dedicated to me especially on my birthday. In my 20’s, I started a new tradition: I’d be calorie conscious most days of the year, but my birthday marked the one day to eat gluttonously without guilt. Now that I’m super focused on overall wellness, I’d rather not go that route, so I’ve found substitutions. Since I’m a sweet tooth, here are my five new favorite go-to-dessert-like treats. Syrups, agave, coconut sugar, honey, stevia, white flours and all the other various sugar words are still a “sometimes food,” as we say in our house.
I love spring and summer. Warm weather, especially after a grueling winter, makes things like flip-flops, maxi dresses, long power walks, sun-bronzed skin and all the other little summer joys a reason to celebrate. The smell of charcoal burning on a Weber grill brings me back to decades of good times at BBQs and beach parties. In my effort to eat clean, however, I investigated whether grilling can be a safe way to eat. The information below guides me to make better informed decisions for my family, while also participating in this spring-through-summer ritual.