With healthy habits top of mind for the New Year, we spent time with KINDAHOLIC and Certified Nutritionist, Julie Hammerstein, to better understand how small changes to our daily routines can truly transform our overall way of living. Here, we chat with Julie about her passion for being KIND to our bodies and minds.
KIND: Julie, as a Certified Nutritionist, you meet many clients who come to you with big plans to change their way of living (for the healthier)! What do you hear most from clients about how they hope to change their lives?
Julie: Most often my clients want to learn how to gain control over their choices when it comes to food and exercise. There is so much confusing information out there about what’s healthy and what’s not, that it turns people away from making changes in their lives. There is also a lot of emotion, habit and history tied up in our food choices to the point that it has become more than fuel – it has also become an escape, a form of reward, and a combination of historical patterns that people want to release from.
KIND: At KIND, we believe that small actions or choices have the power to affect change on a much larger scale. What is one small change we can all make to our daily routines that would help set us on the right track to a healthier way of life?
Julie: I am also a proponent of this way of thinking – my motto being “Small Change, Big Impact” – in that it’s the small steps, done with intention every day, that show up as profound shifts in your life. Nutritionally speaking, breakfast is key. This meal impacts every physiological process in body, from balancing blood sugar to regulating hormones, mediating stress and increasing your metabolism. If you can eat within 30-60 minutes of waking every day, with a breakfast ranging from 200-300 calories, you’ll give your body the resources it needs to set your brain and body in motion for optimal health.
KIND: What trends in the healthy food world do you predict to be big for 2013?
Julie: I really see people moving towards a plant-based diet. This does not mean strictly vegetarian or vegan, but more that people will be filling a greater portion of their plates with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. When you look at diets around the world, and notice the cultures that are the healthiest, they are the ones eating more fiber, nutrient-rich foods loaded with phyto-nutrients (plant nutrients) that protect us from disease and program our bodies on a cellular level for vitality and longevity.
KIND: We have to ask: what is your favorite KIND snack and why?
Julie: My favorite KIND is the Cashew & Ginger bar – yum! The spicy ginger pairs so nicely with a warm cup of tea, especially this time of year. I like that the new KIND Nuts & Spice bars only have 5 grams of sugar per bar, as I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but enjoy a bit of sweetness now and then. I also like that I can take this bar traveling or on a run and feel good knowing I’m eating a healthy snack with ingredients I can trust and truly enjoy.
KIND: Lastly, our social mission at KIND is to try and make the world a little kinder. What does true kindness mean to you? What is something small we can all do to be a little kinder to both ourselves and others?
Julie: I really believe that if we can foster a culture of kindness, that we could greatly improve the quality of our relationships ~ in our families, our communities and in our global connections. But the first step is learning how to be kind to ourselves. Think of how many times you wake up in the morning, and your first thoughts run towards what you’re not doing, and how things aren’t working in your life. So here’s something to try: Wake up tomorrow morning, and if you hear/feel that negative self-talk coming on, replace that negativity with a positive mantra instead. You will discover how just one sentence can reframe how you feel about yourself and the day ahead, and you actually create a culture of kindness by believing that being KIND is your way of being.
For more tips from Julie, make sure to check out her Facebook page or click here to learn about her The Source for Weight Loss class, which could help you take that first step towards a KINDER New You.