Updated: Aug 6, 2020
A Holistic Nutritionist breaks down mental health and plant-diets as well as her favorite snacks!
Like many of you ladies, I too included finally getting to my ideal weight and eating right as part of my New Years’ resolutions... for the 21st year in a row. So of course in the spirit of self-care and summer body goals, I set out to spend an entire week free of meat and treat my body like it’s meant to be treated. … It was hard.
I ran into not having too many options at home and having to eat out. Not to mention the fact that with a pandemic, many restaurants are no longer open of course. EVEN WORSE, having to explain to my journey to family. So naturally, when Kayla David, holistic nutritionist, and plant-based dancer sat down with me on Zoom, I took the opportunity to ask her some questions I think you and I could both use answers to. Wanna know what she told me? This is what Kayla had to say to Power Roomies:
“ Hello Everyone, My name is Kayla David! I am a certified holistic nutritionist, performing artist, plant-based dancer. What I’m really passionate about is helping to educate and support others and the decisions that they’re making nutritionally. “
What is a Holistic Nutritionist?
Kayla: It does imply in the name holistic, I going to look at multiple factors, not just food, not just nutrition. I’m going to look at everything that you’re taking in. Holistic implies your mind, environment, family, goals, lifestyle, medications and supplements, and home support. We’re looking at the whole, not just what you eat because that’s not just it, everything is based around what you eat.
What’s the difference between hiring a nutritionist and a holistic one?
Kayla: Generally it’s similar. We look at your goals and try to give you some tools, tips, and a meal plan to help you to target your goals. Holistic nutritionists are looking at multiple factors that can influence your decision making as opposed to a nutritionist who may just be focused on nutrition and diet. A holistic nutritionist is going to give you a broader view and a broader perspective.
Quarantine has definitely shaken up the food industry and even more so its consumers with strict dietary needs, such as plant-based diets, what suggestion do you have for eating at home?
Kayla: I would say make a plan, a lot of people don’t have a plan. They just wake up, they know they’re hungry and find something to eat. That’s not a plan. You make your plan then you go and you shop. Places I recommend to shop is the farmers market, look up the farmers that are growing food locally and are looking to move that stuff in your community.
When you eat plant-based it helps to stock up on your stuff like beans, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, food that can last. You always want to have those in stock at all times like grains, dry fruits, and nuts, and greens. If you’re gonna buy strawberries, don’t get strawberries to sit in the fridge, get strawberries to eat them. We want to do fresh over everything, fresh over frozen and fresh over canned goods.
You just finished a plant-based journey with @nutrition4dancers on Instagram, What are the key things you’ve learned and what assumptions do you have before going in?
Kayla: The 21-day plant-based journey was my way of sharing little bits of tips, tools, and resources with people so they can be more confident either transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle or incorporating more plants. My goal was that more people were going to actually make food and share it.
I wanted to bring a different energy to it, every morning just give a burst of energy to show people that this is how it is when you eat plants. You feel energetic like this all the time!
People ask: “Is she really like this?”
Yes! I really am! I really do wake up like this because I support my body with the right things.
Here’s a big one, I have a launch party coming up and my birthday is just around the corner, how do you maintain a clean diet when junk food is the only “fun” option around?
Kayla: Science says that you don’t have to be 100 percent plant-based to be healthy. Do 90:10, meaning 90 percent of your calories daily come from plants, and the other 10 percent allows for some flexibility in case you want to have some grilled chicken on the side, it’s up to you. Personally, I take those occasions for those 10 percent. Before the party go ahead and have your nutrients so that you can take care of anything that needs to be taken care of. Then you can have your fun. I don’t think you should limit yourself necessarily, it’s more about being moderate and just listening to your body. A piece of cake won’t hurt!
How do your food choices impact your relationships with friends, family, and partners? And what advice do you have for those who struggle with it?
Kayla: It’s very scientific. Everything you put in your body affects directly what comes out. When you eat live food you feel alive, when you eat death you feel dead!! Plants and humans are similar in genetic composition, they're like our sisters or brothers. When you consume plants your body can easily assimilate those nutrients. That’s why you eat live food and include colors you feel alive, you have energy, you have more tolerance to deal with people, work with people, to talk, and to communicate because you are feeling yourself.
The more you put plants in , the more you heal yourself every time.
What are your top 3 tips for eating and maintaining a holistic diet on a budget?
Stay out of the aisles, STOP buying the chips and crackers you don’t need all of that. Get the things you need first. Produce is not expensive at all so you can go ham on some organic produce. You can really do a lot of your shopping off of some organic produce and save a bunch.
Stay out of the packages, that’s how you save money. Your check goes up when you start buying in packages.
Make a plan. It goes back to your plan because when you know what you are planning for, you can already budget ahead of time and not have to worry about going over.
For meat-eaters who are thinking about eating healthier by going vegan or vegetarian for example, how do you advise that they get started on this journey?
Kayla: Start cutting back. People who eat meat I know most likely eat meat all day. They eat meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I would say start to cut back on the servings of meat and also see where you can leave the meat out completely or try an alternative, especially since there’s a ton on the market right now. Instead of doing 3 courses with animal byproducts, try doing just one. Make some new recipes that you’ve never made before.
What shift have you seen happening on the public’s point of view of self-care and holistic nutrition since you’ve started and now?
Kayla: Y’all got it made! This is Cake! It’s so easy now to go plant-based. It was very difficult when I made the transition. There weren’t as many cheese options, nut butter, plant-based meat was not even a thing. Now there are a ton of options available, you don’t have to just go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, you can buy some at ALDIS, Walmart and Publix . In addition to the fact that there are so many more people talking about it, sharing their own experiences. When I transition almost 9 to years ago, it was rough.
List the 5 snacks you simply can’t live without!
Kayla: Well I don’t snack, I am listening to my body but when I do I like:
Chips and Salsa with Avocado
Trailmix, dry fruits, and nuts
Pita chips and hummus
Lastly, shameless plug! Tell our Power Roomies where they can find you!
Kayla: Roomies! You can contact me at @nutrition4dancers on Facebook and Instagram!