If you’re like me, a large part of living a healthier lifestyle includes liking pics of healthy food on social media as opposed to actually cooking said healthy food.
I’m trying to do better though, as most of us are. That’s why I reached out to the founders of Food Heaven Made Easy, the go-to source for healthy recipes and info about nutritious living.
We chatted with Jessica, one half of the dynamic duo. This is what she had to say:
SB: Tell us a little bit about Jess and Wendy.
Jess: We are both Registered Dietitians. Wendy is from NYC (the Bronx to be exact) and Jess used to live in Brooklyn but has since moved back to her home state of California.
SB: How did you both meet and how did that lead to the creation of Food heaven Made Easy?
Jess: We actually met at a dinner and game night sponsored by a community organization. At the time, I had already started graduate school to get my Master’s in nutrition, and a few months later, Wendy decided that this would be a great career path for her too.
Though we went to different schools, we kept each other motivated throughout the process. Throughout this time, we ended up working together for the NYC Department of Health doing cooking demos and nutrition workshops in Harlem and the Bronx.
SB: How long have you been vegetarians and what influenced that decision?
Jess: I have been vegetarian since the age of 12. I never liked meat growing up and realized that being ‘vegetarian’ was a thing (around that age). I told my family that I wanted to be a vegetarian in the car one day and never ate meat since. Wendy on the other hand, grew up eating meat and loving every bite.
She became vegetarian due to gastrointestinal health concerns. After she gave up meat, her symptoms practically disappeared within months.
SB: Many people focus on what they put in their hair to keep it healthy. However what we put in our bodies also affects our hair. What is the best way to eat for healthy hair?
Jess: This is absolutely true! The most important thing for healthy hair, skin and nails is to eat a well balanced healthy diet and to drink plenty of water. We encourage people to focus on vegetables (try to get at least 5 colors of veggies everyday), fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans.
Also, Yogurt is rich in B-vitamins, which are needed for protein synthesis. B-vitamins also promote the circulation of nutrients to our hair follicles, by making new blood cells. This ensures healthy hair follicles and scalps. Salmon is also a hair super-food, since it’s packed with protein, fish oil and selenium to strengthen and encourage hair growth.
SB: There are so many types of diets being marketed as THE solution to weight loss. Are there any specific one that you can say are definitely a waste of time?
Jess: Yes, all of them! Kidding. But truth be told, diets don’t work. The trick is making small sustainable changes that add up to yield big results over time. No quick fixes when it comes to weight loss, just hard work and determination
SB: There are many diseases that disproportionately affect Black communities. Which do you tackle the most in your practice.
SB: What is the best advice you would give to someone who is just starting their journey to living a healthier lifestyle?
Jess: Start small. It’s always best to do small and attainable goals that add up and lead to big results over time. For folks who want a little more guidance, we will be publishing 28 Day Plant Powered Health Reboot Cookbook, which helps you create a more structured healthy eating plan for a month. With this book, you can fully dive in to a healthy diet with structure.
Visit Wendy & Jess at www.foodheavenmadeeasy.com for tips and tricks for delicious living and their monthly nutrition podcast. For those interested in personalized nutrition counseling, contact Jess via her website.
-Tony O. Lawson (@thebusyafrican)