• Emlen Miles-Mattingly

A Delicious Approach to Health And Fitness

First thing's first: have you listened to the audio yet? If not, here it is:

We’re going to kick off the new year by helping you jump into your health and fitness goals!

As promised, every blog this month will be about health and fitness. We all know that nutrition is a big part of building healthy habits.

That’s why I turned to Chef Lauren Owens to talk to us about food.

I met Lauren on FinTwit, which is a Twitter community of financial advisors. It’s a great support group and a place where financial advisors can bounce ideas off each other. Lauren has been welcomed as part of the FinTwit community, in fact, she’s our food advisor!

Let me tell you about Lauren’s journey!

The Chef Begins

Lauren has always loved to cook.

When she was growing up, she would help make dinner. It just seemed that she was always in the kitchen cooking.

It was at a career fair in high school that she realized there were culinary schools and that she wanted to be a chef professionally. She received her Associate’s degree at Middlesex College and started working in the industry.

Eventually, she was hired as a sous chef for a restaurant group. She worked her way up to the position of executive chef and held that position for ten years.

What responsibilities does an executive have?

That means she was the leader in the kitchen with input into hiring and firing employees.

Then there was the ordering supplies and ingredients, building menus, and leading the kitchen.

Basically, Lauren was running the restaurant alongside the general manager. She said it was like being the mom of all the line cooks, making sure everything was flowing.

She’s now been an industry chef for approximately 20 years!

Remember to Eat Your Veggies!

On Twitter and Instagram, Lauren always admonishes us to “remember to eat your veggies.”

We all imagine that famous people or professional athletes find it easy to remember to eat their veggies because they have a personal chef--that’s someone who goes to their house and cooks for them.

What does it mean to be a personal chef?

Lauren explained, “I try to create an experience along with building relationships, and then also helping clients better habits, showing them that they can do things so it's more of a lifestyle change.”

In order to build that relationship and those habits, she must gather some client information. Let’s look at some of the things she’ll need to know.

  • Do you have any dietary restrictions?

  • What are your feelings about food?

  • Are you so busy that you can't eat?

  • Do you hate to cook?

  • Do you binge eat?

She’ll also want to know if you have any health issues that you’re trying to fix or weight goals.

We all know it's easy and cheap to pick-up something unhealthy to eat. However, the road to health and fitness can be taken--and it’s not that hard!

It takes someone like Lauren, who is the perfect person to answer our nutrition questions, to bounce ideas off of and who can offer us suggestions on healthy substitutes (ones that are still flavorful).

Lauren’s Passion

Why is Lauren so passionate about people learning to eat healthily?

She explained that growing up in her household, dinner consisted of a vegetable (usually green), a starch, and a protein (corn wasn’t considered a vegetable--it was a treat).

Because Lauren grew up eating her vegetables, she thought that everyone else did too. As she got older, she realized that people had problems with eating vegetables. She described the way people fry their veggies or smother them in cheese--negating the nutritional value.

That’s when she started focusing on incorporating in season, locally grown vegetables into her client’s diet. It’s important that her clients are eating (and enjoying) as many vegetables as possible.

Lauren wants us to be excited about eating our veggies and she is creating a movement around eating vegetables.

How does it affect your body when you eat the right amount of veggies?

She said that everyone should be eating as many vegetables as possible--breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are extremely nutrient-dense, so they're filling and have vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.

It’s about being healthy from the inside, meaning our gut health.

Vegetables have everything we need to keep our gut health intact. Really to keep ourselves healthy in general.

The next time you need to grab a snack, reach for carrots and cucumbers. Lauren points out that if you’re filling up on veggies then you're not grabbing chips, candy or other processed junk.

She’s been getting feedback in the form of texts and pictures from people saying they’re eating vegetables!

That’s when you know your strategy is working!

Do your health and fitness goals include improving your diet?

Leave a comment below.

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