If you've been following this journey closely from the beginning, you are well aware of my struggles to eat healthy (especially when it comes to late night snacking) and the promise of having experts at hand to help throughout this journey. Well, today we have both covered with my Q&A with holistic nutritionist Michelle Book (CHFA). Check it out:
What are some of your favourite snacks to have on-the-go?
I’m addicted to anything and everything hemp right now. Hemp is available in all shapes and sizes. You can try it as a raw seed on salads, hemp bars or bites on the go, hemp milk or protein. It’s a great vegan protein alternative for people who are allergic to nuts or chose not to eat meat or dairy. Studies show that hemp offers the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids and is a great product to add to your diet if you want to stay heart healthy.
I, along with many other women, struggle with really bad PMS. Are there healthy alternatives to satisfy our cravings?
Yes, definitely. Woman who suffer from PMS often crave all kinds of interesting foods. If you crave a salty crunch, look no further than your local health food store for healthier alternatives to fried potato chips. You’ll find bean, lentil and root veggie chips that give you the taste you’re craving. If you have a sweet tooth, try dark chocolate, coconut chips or tea pops. You can find your closest CHFA member health food store near you by using the “Find a Retailer” tool on chfa.ca.
Do men and women process food the same? If not, what are some nutrition basics that all of the fellows should be aware of?
Our bodies are complex and metabolisms vary by more than gender. Many factors affect how different individuals process foods including lifestyle, weight and age. Largely, men and women have the same digestive “machinery”, but some nutrient needs are different including an increased need for iron in menstruating women. I encourage you to speak to a health care practitioner about what nutrition choices are right for you.
Who/what inspires you to make healthy lifestyle choices?
I have been very fortunate to work in an industry dedicated to helping people live better, healthier lives, which inspires me on a daily basis. Becoming a mom has also had a huge impact and has inspired me to be an even better example. There’s a lot of research that shows the habits of parents, particularly related to food and lifestyle, are carried on in their children. Making healthy choices helps me feel good about myself and the example I’m being for my family. I also look to chfa.ca for extra inspiration – there are so many tips on how to live a healthier and ultimately happier lifestyle.
Is it easy, or do you have temptations of your own?
I think everyone has temptations, the trick is finding out how to deal with them in a healthy way. I’m a true believer of what I call ‘garbage in, garbage out’. To me this means that any unhealthy things I expose myself too will show on the outside, whether it be my skin, my mood or energy levels. I try not to put anything into, or even on my body, that’s not going to be of benefit. It can be difficult to break a bad habit or to find a new routine, but small changes over time will help you accomplish larger long-term goals and I try to remember this in the face of temptation.
I am so incredibly happy that I chatted with Michelle because now I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Another great thing that came out of this was the PMS talk (sorry guys). Whenever I chat with other women, the one thing we have in common is falling off the healthy eating wagon when Aunty Flow comes for us. For the guys, I usually find that their diets are slightly different than women's -- specifically the carb component.
If you have any more questions or want more information about Michelle you can give her a follow on Twitter or check out her site here.
Feel free to let me know if there is anything that you'd like to learn during this journey by either commenting below or tweeting me @MissSaverinaS!