I recently sat down with Marie Weller, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, to pick her healthy brain and learn some nutrition tips for One Healthy Hamptons. Marie is certified by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is a private health coach and is currently involved in the Wellness Foundation, doing great things here in the Hamptons.
Marie has a very realistic and refreshing view to nutrition, “it’s about what you do most of the time.” Although she sticks to a plant-based, whole foods diet herself, Marie acknowledges that everyone is different and her practice customizes a plan according to each individual’s goals and lifestyle. Specific diet recommendations vary depending on each person’s preferences, beliefs, and sensitivities, but in general, whether the goal is to decrease medication, prevent disease, or lose weight, the two most important and common recommendations include drinking more water and eating more vegetables. It’s easier to feel good about adding to your diet, rather than restricting; so instead of cutting things out of your diet and feeling constrained, it’s about adding in more nutrients and feeling good about it.
Health coaching isn’t just about giving advice and educating people, because, as Marie says, most of us know what we should be doing (we do, don’t we?), it’s about identifying one or two small goals at a time and putting them into practice. She suggests committing to new one change every day for two weeks, that way it becomes habit without seeming daunting – there’s an end in sight. Usually, by the end of two weeks, people grow accustomed to the healthy change, they begin to feel positive benefits, and they will hopefully continue long-term as a result.
In order to increase water and veggie consumption, Marie suggests purchasing a reusable water bottle and choosing four times a day to devote to drinking, starting first thing in the morning. Right after waking up (even before coffee) drink a glass or two of water, that’s when your body really needs to rehydrate after a night’s sleep. As soon as you start thinking about lunch or dinner, have another glass or two before the meal, and definitely before, during, and after exercising.
As for increasing veggie consumption, Marie suggests a green smoothie for breakfast so that you’ve started your day with ample nutrients and set yourself up for success. She suggests a simple blend of greens (spinach, kale, and/or romaine) flax, fruit, and a protein (like hemp seeds.) This way, it’s ok (once in a while) if lunch is something on-the-go or not as healthy because you’ve already gotten your greens in.
Although leafy greens are most important, everyone’s tastes are different and all vegetables have nutrients. Marie suggests switching it up by picking up one new veggie a week during your grocery store or farmer’s market trip. You’ll expand your horizons and continue adding healthy go-to veggie recipes to your repertoire.
Vegetables are so versatile. The possibilities are endless and most veggies are delicious with very little prep work, sometimes none. One of Marie’s favorite tips for quick veggie recipes is to keep the following salad dressing/veggie dip/sauce on hand. With this go-to dressing, you’re ready to snack, munch or cook lots of possible meals.
• 1/4 cup raw tahini
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional but yummy)
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1 – 3 garlic cloves peeled
• 1/2 cup water
• Blend for 1 min in vitamix or blender
When making a dressing, marinade or stir-fry sauce, make a little thinner. When making a veggie snack dip, make a little thicker. So simple, so many possibilities!
One Healthy Breakdown: small goals, whole foods, lots of greens, and drink your water!