MELO sat down with Dorit Jaffe, the certified health coach and food and wellness blogger and founder of Whole Healthy Glow to find out more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, mind body & soul. Dorit works with clients to lose weight eating a plant-based diet, manage stress, and live an overall healthy lifestyle. She believes that being healthy encompasses a physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental state of well being. Using food as medicine and recognizing that everyone has their own individual dietary needs makes her coaching skills unique.
What does being a “Holistic Nutrition Counselor” mean? What schooling and certification did you have to complete in order to have this title?
Dorit Jaffe: This is a great question, because people don’t really understand what a health counselor is or how they can help. A Health Coach is a wellness professional that works with clients to help them feel their best through food and lifestyle changes. Health Coaches help clients develop a deeper understanding of the foods and lifestyle choices that work best for them and implement changes that improve their energy, balance, and health. Instead of prescribing one diet or way of exercising, Health Coaches tailor individualized plans to meet client needs.
I graduated from the world’s largest nutrition school, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with a certification in health coaching.
On your blog Whole Healthy Glow, you said this all began when you wanted to change your own life. How has the transition been from helping yourself, to helping others? Have you seen a high rate of success in your clients?
Dorit Jaffe: Yes, my own health journey began when I realized I needed to change unhealthy habits in my life. Eating more whole foods combined with exercising, and facing problems within my personal relationships all helped me. I noticed that I had more energy throughout the day, didn’t binge eat when I was stressed, slept better, and had more positive thoughts and really felt genuinely content and happy.
I’ve always loved talking and giving advice to close friends of mine, and I even thought about going back to school to get a degree in Psychology. When I discovered the health-coaching program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I fell in love with their holistic approach. Looking at someone’s life overall, instead of just one area is something that makes working with a health coach individualized and different than working with anyone else.
What makes us different from nutritionists is that we don’t only look at what a person eats and we aren’t trained medical professionals like doctors. We look and learn about every aspect of your life. For example, how stress may be affecting your eating habits, how your personal relationships may be causing you to not sleep well at night.
Accountability is key. I held myself accountable during the beginning of my health journey, and the people that I work with have to be prepared to hold themselves accountable as well. I provide guidance, and my guidance has proven to be very successful with the people who I’ve worked with. I suggest different ways of eating and guide people to cook and eat differently. I also work with clients to help them manage stress, and test for food sensitivities, I have worked and encouraged my clients to find and create a healthy lifestyle that works within their needs and towards their health goals.
There is a common misconception that in order to eat well, you will feel unnourished or hungry all the time. How do you combat this argument?
Dorit Jaffe: I think there is also a misconception that eating healthy is bland and boring. “Eating healthy” does not equal “eating less.” It’s all about portion control and the types of foods you put into your body. People have gotten so used to big, heavy portions that smaller sized portions with more vegetables and fruits don’t seem to compare. It takes time to reduce intense cravings, and get used to eating differently. I always recommend making healthier versions of your favorite meals. For example, I’ll make cauliflower alfredo instead of a heavy creamy sauce. Changing your diet for the better can be fun and educational. There are so many ways to eat healthy and deliciously at the same time.
Can someone who has a very active lifestyle still get the vitamins and protein that they need to keep up his or her lifestyle while eating vegan or raw?
Dorit Jaffe: If you do live a very active lifestyle, and want to eat vegan or raw you have to educate yourself on what foods you need to eat during the day to stay energized feel strong. Our body’s are like machines, and in order to run properly they need the right nourishment. It’s all about the quality of food you eat. If you think of food as medicine then you will value what you put in your body and reap the benefits by using high quality ingredients.
We’ve strayed so far from eating food for nourishment, to eating food for pleasure, and that’s why I think we have so many diet and weight management problems nowadays.
Is it possible to have a middle ground for say someone who does not want to cut meat or animal byproduct out of his or her diet?
Dorit Jaffe: Yes, for sure. I always recommend no matter what diet you follow to eat a plant-based diet rich in whole foods (aka food from the earth) that have been minimally processed with no chemical additives in them. It’s all about quality. As long as you eat animal products that have been treated and produced humanely, it’s ok. I like the Paleo diet for this reason, because it gives you guidelines to follow. You can eat meat and animal products, but not processed and sugary foods like pastries and breads. Every diet is essentially something that tells you what to eat and what not to eat, and these restraints provide boundaries that people need in order to eat more consciously. Avoid products that have antibiotics in them, highly processed and sugary foods, farmed fish, and processed deli meats and cheeses.
Can you speak to the variety of your recipes? What are some of the most unique creations you have come up with? What is their nutritional benefit?
Dorit Jaffe: All the recipes I make are simple and flavorful. I like to make Thai, Mexican, and other cuisines that use a lot of spices and flavors. I cook and create recipes with a lot of fruits and vegetables. Cooking with plenty of vegetables provides a lot of vitamins in my diet that I need throughout the day. This makes it a lot easier when grocery shopping as well, because I avoid products that have been processed or have a lot of additives in them. I also like to make acai bowls, smoothies, and cocao brownies for breakfast or as snacks. Superfoods like goji berries, cocao, acai berry, mulberries, Incan berries, are a few of my favorites. I’ll eat these in smoothies, or mixed into a trail mix to snack on throughout the day. They are rich in iron, magnesium, and fiber and have many health benefits. If you eat a variety of colorful plant-based foods throughout the day, you are sure to get your necessary vitamins.
If you had to pick, what are the most essential parts of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
Dorit Jaffe: Live a balanced life. Don’t do anything to an extreme. If you want to have a drink, have one, just don’t binge drink. If you want to indulge in something sweet, that’s fine from time to time. I always just recommend indulging in something like dark (70%) chocolate instead of a Snickers bar.
Also, don’t forget to pay attention to your spiritual and personal relationships. Many times once those are healed, you will feel a sense of calm and inner peace. Really meditate and think about what may negatively be affecting your life, and figure out a way to stare that thing in the face and say “I’m strong now, I’m ok.” I think once we can heal our inner struggles, many other things in our life fall into place.
Specifically in food, what are the most essential vitamins and nutrients that you recommend we get enough of each day? Are there any that are equally important to stay away from?
Dorit Jaffe: Eat plenty of vegetables and greens throughout the day, that’s where you can receive many vitamins and powerful nutrients. Plants and foods rich in fiber, iron, zinc, B12, and protein are very important.
You should avoid foods that claim to have nutritional value, but really are more harmful than good. Like fiber bars that claim to be rich in fiber, but are really highly processed and sugary foods. You should look to receive fiber from foods like figs, broccoli, and oats.
Which 3 recipes from Whole Healthy Glow are your top recipes for newbies to try?
Dorit Jaffe: I’m all about making healthy, simple, and flavorful recipes.
- This superfood kale salad recipe is simple, tangy, and filled with protein and iron.
- I love making my acai bowl recipe for breakfast and adding a bunch of different toppings. Its easy and quick to make in the morning and you can change which toppings you use.
- My blueberry lemon coconut oatmeal is a breakfast staple in my house. It tastes like a delicious pastry, and full of fiber, which is great to have in the morning to keep you feeling full. Oatmeal is a great breakfast option because the flavor combinations are unlimited. You can use seasonal fruits and mix different toppings together.
If you could give one piece of advice to those trying to reform their eating habits and lifestyle overall, what would it be?
Dorit Jaffe: Get excited about this new lifestyle! Make a change, for good. No more fad-dieting and going up and down with your weight and emotions. Find foods and recipes that interest and excite you! Ease your way into a healthy diet, and if you feel lost, that’s fine, don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance. That’s what health coaches are here for. Doing things that make you uncomfortable can be the most awakening and you’ll be surprised how much you learn about yourself.
Make this next chapter of your life, the best yet, and go into it with a positive attitude and self-love. You are sure to come out on top.
Raw Cacao Protein Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
- 1 frozen banana (sliced)
- 1 Tbsp. cocao nibs
- 1 Tbsp. cocao powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. almond butter
- 1 cup almond milk
- 3 medjool dates
- Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
- Serve and enjoy!
For more on Whole Healthy Glow visit: www.wholehealthyglow.com