Artful eating: Blogger Kelly Zoghbi shares tips on health and happiness
As bathing suit season draws nearer, the pressure to implement crazy diets and outrageous exercise routines becomes paramount. We have all heard of, and possibly considered, popularized all-liquid diets, rigorous Instagram exercise programs and even fasting, all for the sake of getting that Sports Illustrated-worthy physique. However, for local food blogger Kelly Zoghbi of The Nutritious Table, achieving a “beach body” isn’t a reason that will keep you going with new resolutions or one that your body will thank you for in the long run. A convert from frozen pizzas and takeout to a life of colorful smoothie bowls and other vegan creations, Zoghbi says that its all about lifestyle, not random health binges.
“Have a set reason as to why you want to make a health shift,” says Zoghbi, who looked to fresh foods after a health scare. “If it’s because your friend is following a diet trend and it seems cool, you probably won’t make it very far. If it’s because you are tired of being tired and sick, or you know that you are not taking care of your body the way it deserves, you will have that personal motivation to keep you going.”
Having launched her clean-eating blog just months ago, Zoghbi has set the mission to not only offer healthy recipes, but to redefine the way we see food. Her bright creations adorned with blooming hibiscuses, fresh strawberries and even the occasional starfruit serve as a creative expression of herself and her admiration of the world around her. Through her easy-to-make recipes and eye-catching Instagram photos, Zoghbi aims to help others see that food is more than just a matter-of-fact part of the day.
“The Nutritious Table will teach you how to have a healthy and loving relationship with the food you consume,” writes Zoghbi on her blog. “My hope is that this brand will build a community of respect, kindness and love for ourselves, and the earth, to change the world we live in together.”
Yesterdays bus repair break ???? We (read: mostly Michael) have been restoring on an old ‘73 VW bus for a few months now and it’s almost ready to go! We are so excited to take it on the road ? . I made us some quick smoothie jars @earthyandy style with blended mango, banana and blood orange. Layered with coconut and hibiscus chia seed pudding we already had in the fridge. It only takes about 10 minutes to make these! And can we talk about these blooms from my new hibiscus bush? They are my favorite flowers! ?
In working to spread this rhetoric of body and environmental respect, Zoghbi encourages her followers to see the switch to clean eating as an empowering move that will permeate throughout all aspects of life, not just through looks.
“Choose a diet that does not have a definite end,” explains Zoghbi. “You are looking for a lifestyle change, not a month-long change. And stay off the scale! The digital numbers between your toes do not define a healthy lifestyle. It is about the care you give yourself to put nothing but the best inside your body. A number does not define your efforts.”
And while Zoghbi concedes that the move to organic, clean and possibly even vegan, foods is not necessarily easy, it is worth it. She shared with inRegister a few tips on making the change, and sticking with it:
- Focus on more. When it comes to buckling down and creating a healthy eating habit, I notice that a lot of people focus on what they can’t have, as opposed to what they can have. It’s a positive mindset that will draw you towards success in creating a new lifestyle in the kitchen. Change the way you think, then the way you eat, and the cravings will shift.
- Focus on whole foods. Whole foods are grown by the earth in perfect design and have all the nutrients we need picked straight from the vine, tree, ground, etc. If you walk through the aisles in a grocery store, take notice of all the items we have never questioned as food. Look at the ingredients listed on the boxes and bags. If you can’t pronounce it or have to Google what it is, it’s probably fake food.
- Shop for the majority of your food along the perimeter of the grocery store. That is where your whole and living foods will be. Go down the aisles for your grains, rice and beans but skip the cereal and flavored Doritos. Your body will thank you.
- Listen to what your body is saying. Food should be life-giving and fuel for our bodies. If you are tired and lethargic after you eat a meal, write down what you ate and then continue listening to your body. If you find it happening again, write down that meal and see if there is a common factor in the ingredients. It may be something you’d like to discuss with a dietician, allergist or health coach.
Saving the most important tip for last, Zoghbi notes that whether you’re trying to lose weight, pick up a healthier lifestyle, or just make it through the day, the key is positivity and moderation. Also, remember that fresh foods can be fun. You don’t have to commit to a life of just plain salads and tofu. Experiment with recipes that hark back to your classic favorites, like Zoghbi’s reimagined “nice cream,” for which she shares the recipe below. Rome wasn’t built in one day, so give yourself time and make room for the things that make you happy.
“Be kind to yourself. If you mess up, move on,” says Zoghbi. “Don’t linger on what you did ‘wrong’ and, instead, focus on all the progress you have made. It is okay to eat the comfort food! Just don’t overdo it. Know yourself and your limits so that you can have your cake and eat it too.”
To learn more about Zoghbi, check out this story from inRegister’s April issue. And to follow her journey and find more recipes, check out The Nutritious Table and follow @kellzoghbi on Instagram.
STRAWBERRIES & CREAM NICE CREAM
1 1/2 cup soaked cashews (soaked overnight or soaked in boiling hot water for 3 hours)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp. Monkfruit sweetener (an amazing, natural, zero glycemic sugar substitute, but you can also use the same measurement of regular sugar)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. guar gum powder (optional but helps with consistency)
2 cups chopped strawberries
In a blender, blend all ingredients (except the strawberries) until smooth and creamy. In a lined bread pan or freezer-safe container, evenly pour in half of the mixture. Blend the remaining half with chopped strawberries until a desired pink color and strawberry taste is achieved. You may need to use more strawberries depending on flavor and if they are in season or not. Pour strawberry mixture into pan and swirl together. Let it set uncovered in freezer for 30 minutes, stir, and repeat 2 more times. Cover with a lid and let it freeze for 1 hour. Let it thaw for 10 minutes for easy scooping. Top with more strawberries, cacao nibs, coconut flakes and goji berries for extra flavor and texture.