Most people find it surprising that until 24 years old, I had never cooked — anything. To me, cooking meant frozen cheese sticks in the toaster oven. My first attempt at home cooking was actually more of an attempt to impress a guy — he’s now my husband, so something worked! After that, of course I had to keep up appearances, so I kept cooking. It wasn’t long before I realized I really liked being in the kitchen. Exploring new recipes and ingredients became a healthy indulgence for my curiosity and creativity.
I was around 22-23 when I tried my first yoga class. Considering I was a relatively lazy teen, this was completely new territory for me. The class was fast and rhythmic. I felt like I was in the middle of a flash dance mob but never learned the dance. Even though I was consistently out of step with the rest of the students, the class felt great. My body felt strong, and my mind was calm. Who doesn’t want to feel like that? That first class eventually led me through yoga teacher training.
Cooking and yoga helped me realize that I had the capacity to manage stress and energy levels, weight, mental clarity, and health. I stopped viewing various aspects of my life as independent silos, but as deeply integrative pieces that have a valuable role in my well-being. That sense of clarity empowered me. I felt really motivated to share and teach others that feeling good and being healthy are not only possible but really simple too. Now, after graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I get to do just that! As an Integrative Nutrition Coach, I work with women to provide knowledge, accountability, and practical application to create happier, healthier lives. My clients learn how to establish a strong mind-body connection, which empowers them to make better nutrition and lifestyle choices. I want the people I work with to experience that having energy, reduced stress, improved sleep, or better weight management is all part of living a fully nourished life and completely within reach!
Don’t make a health goal, make a health decision.
Creating health and wellness goals are wonderful. They are my passion. My job. But they aren’t meant to be short term, like say….getting your best bikini body ever. Being “healthy” is about living well. Creating a healthy mind and body means making nutrition and lifestyle choices that truly nourish you. By focusing on overall well-being, you gain the added benefits of weight loss, increased energy, better quality sleep, and feeling confident. It takes a wholehearted decision to make those changes.
It is one of the most undervalued, overlooked aspects of wellness. Considering we are composed of about 60% water, it is easy to see how hydration governs our body’s ability to perform duties that keep us healthy. When you experience dehydration, especially on a regular basis, necessary bodily functions are inhibited. Most of my clients suffer from dehydration: low energy, poor sleep, irregular digestion, less than stellar food cravings, etc. Staying hydrated is crucial to optimal health. According to The Mayo Clinic, we need 2-3 liters (9-13 cups) of water per day. Think about water as a vital nutrient needed to keep you balanced.
Eat the rainbow.
This is a simple tip that packs a big nutritional punch. Basically, the color of a whole food can tell you a lot about its nutritional value. Each color carries its own trademark nutrient panel. For example, orange foods (sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins) are generally rich in vitamin A & K. Color diversity equals vitamin and mineral variety. Challenging yourself to eat the rainbow is far more beneficial and sustainable than counting calories or fat. One of the main reasons I appreciate this tip so much is that it helps my clients focus on the abundance of food available, rather than the feeling of deprivation of typical dietary restrictions.
Dress to impress yourself.
This was a tough one for me when I first started working from home. There’s no dress code and it was easy to just throw something comfy on and go about my day. After a while, I noticed that my motivation, energy, and self-care were slowly diminishing. By dressing in a way that made me feel professional and confident, I noticed I was more inclined to make it to the gym or yoga studio and eat healthy, clean meals. That sense of confidence had a major impact on my business and well-being. It’s simple — when you look and feel your best, you make better nutrition and lifestyle choices.
From the moment you wake up in the morning, you encounter a dozen opportunities to be mindful and nourish yourself — and it starts with breakfast. It’s common to rush through the morning, grab something on the go, or skip the meal all together. A healthy, filling breakfast doesn’t mean waking up super early and cooking. It can be something as simple as my personal favorite, green smoothies. Smoothies are nutrient powerhouses. They give you a boost of energy without consuming your morning. They are easy to make ahead of time, as well. Bottom line — making breakfast a priority sets off a ripple effect of positive choices throughout the rest of your day.
Orange Vanilla Creamsicle Smoothie
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
• 1/2 orange (peeled and sliced)
• 1/4 frozen banana
• 1 tsp all natural vanilla extract
• 2 cups spinach
• 1/2-2 cups unsweet almond milk
HOW TO MAKE IT
Start by adding the vanilla extract and 1/2-2 cups of almond milk (depending on preferred consistency) into your blender. Use less milk for a thicker smoothie, or use more milk for a lighter smoothie. Add the spinach, banana, orange, and then blend your heart out!
Check out Emilie’s blog for more advice on living a healthy lifestyle. If you’re interested in nutritional coaching or workplace wellness plans, check out Emilie’s list of services. And if you’re interested in taking yoga, here’s a schedule of Emilie’s upcoming classes below!
Villager Yoga // Emilie Maynor
Yoga for Beginners • Wednesday, January 28, 2015 • 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Yoga for Beginners • Wednesday, January 28, 2015 • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Hatha Vinyasa • Thursday, January 29, 2015 • 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Sunrise Vinyasa • Saturday, January 21, 2015 • 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Revive and Restore • Monday, February 28, 2015 • 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Thanks, Emilie, for sharing your health tips and delicious smoothie recipe with us. We’ll see you at yoga!