It's the first day of summer! I can't think of anything yummier to eat at this time of the year with my kiddo than popsicles! Fruity and refreshing - popsicles are the perfect summer treat that are light and not as thick and creamy as ice creams, but just as sweet and delicious. Best of all, you can make them at home yourself and you can make them vegan! (no dairy milk, no egg, yay!!)
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 tbsp full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 large handfuls spinach
- 5 mint leaves or 1/2 tsp mint extract
- Vegan dark chocolate chips
A little bit about Kara, she was a School Counselor. She studied psychology as an undergrad and then went on to receive her Masters in Counseling. During her three years as a counselor, Kara became completely exhausted, worn out, was eating what she thought at the time was “healthy” and was highly stressed. Also, during this period, her dad passed away from cancer which began her strong desire to learn more about the body, health and healing. Here's more of my interview with her.
What got you into studying nutrition?
(On top of everything that had happened to her described in the paragraph above) one month after getting married, I had a carotid artery dissection. Thank God, truly, that I didn’t have a stroke, and God healed me completely. I was in the hospital for 5 days and then had to take a medical leave of absence for several months. This allowed me time to reflect on what I was passionate about and what I really wanted to do with my life. I sought out an amazing nutrition school and became in love with studying how food can heal us. I became a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and started my nutrition business in 2011.
Would you agree that "we are what we eat"?
Absolutely. What we eat literally affects everything. When we eat, as our food gets digested, it gets absorbed into our blood. Our blood is what creates our cells, our tissues, our organs, so yes the term “you are what you eat” is actually very true. Our bodies extract nutrients from the foods we eat, so it’s crucial we are mindful of what we are putting into our bodies.
As a nutritionist, do you maintain a strict diet?
Well, I don’t feel like it’s strict! Haha! But, there are just things I don’t eat because they would make me feel awful, and honestly, I’d rather have something healthy majority of the time because I crave it. Things I completely avoid are fast food, fried foods, any type of soda, anything with partially hydrogenated oils, and artificial sweeteners. I limit my refined sugar and only use natural sweeteners at home.
But, I do have to say, if I want a treat every once and awhile, I definitely don’t say no! I’m all about the 90/10 way of life! 90% of the time I eat healthy, and 10% of the time I allow for treats. I also have to say that I love re-creating “unhealthy” treats and making them healthy, which I often find I enjoy more than the unhealthy version.
What do you usually tell your clients who want to eat healthy, but do not know how to start?
I take away the guessing game, and help my clients take that first step, showing them exactly the way to start. I meet my clients where they are and explain to them that it’s a step-by-step process and to be gentle with themselves as they are making these lifestyle changes. It takes time, support and accountability. It’s just about starting, and then I am there the whole time with them, teaching them and encouraging them.
What are your 3 favorite cheat meals?
I would say donuts! Again, I don’t eat them often, but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy them. I’m also the co-owner of a graphic tee shirt company called Tee Chic, and it’s just like our tank that says, “90% healthy, 10% donuts”. Motto!
Then I would say ice cream, but I often make it homemade and dairy-free. So, when it’s at home, I wouldn’t call it a cheat meal necessarily, but there are times when I’m on vacation, I will get regular ice cream or gelato!
I would also have to say pizza! Again, though, we make it homemade, and I really like how we make our homemade pizzas. But, I do like ordering flatbreads when I’m out as well.
What services do you offer?
I work with brides, wives and girl bosses to reach their personal health goals of weight loss, increased energy, decreased stress, pretty skin, and living a clean, healthy lifestyle.
I currently offer 3 main options: a Shotgun Session, a 3-month Wellness Program, and a 6-month Transformation Program. The program depends on the amount of support the client is looking to have as well as her goals. For the Shotgun Session, we meet, then I put together a personalized health plan along with worksheets and handouts, and then we meet again to review everything. Then for the two additional monthly programs, we go into greater depth about nutrition, healthy weight loss, clean eating, energy, stress, pretty skin and hair, marriage and more! Lastly, they finish the program with a binder full of resources, recipes, handouts, and surprise gifts!