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Monday, March 27, 2017

Talking Shop with Nashville's McKel Hill, of Nutrition Stripped


New year, new you -- right? For me, 2017 began with the always-so-popular idea of kicking off the year being much more mindful of what I'm putting into my body. I quickly learned, thanks to one of my FAVORITE local nutritionists McKel Hil of Nutrition Stripped, that there are so many delicious and simple ways to make healthy adjustments to my lifestyle. Who knew it didn't have to be so painful? Not me, and my favorite food is biscuits and gravy. #Southern.


To share the wealth, I sat down for a quick Q&A with McKel. We talk overall nutrition, she dished advice, and shared ways specific to Nashville that can help keep our lives in balance. Thanks, McKel!


What inspired you to start Nutrition Stripped?

I started Nutrition Stripped purely as a creative outlet in 2013 with absolutely no idea what social media was let alone blogging; I just wanted to share my expertise in nutrition for free, to as many people as I possibly could to help them live well. I knew first hand what feeling "bad" felt like because I had my own health issues in high school into college from migraines to serious digestive issues; the blog was an outlet to share what I learned through my experiences to help others. It still amazes me having readership in 180+ countries! I live, eat, breath the NS lifestyle and I'll always be asking myself "how can I help more people truly "get" what it means to feel really really good?"-- and I'll do more of that.

What are some general thoughts on healthy eating/lifestyle? Why is it important?

Make it simple. The whole ethos behind NS is making nutrition and wellness simple, efficient, and backed by science while merging my integrative philosophy on whole body health including mental/emotional/spiritual wellbeing.

Top 5 ways you can improve your overall health?

Take an internal inventory of where you are in life, access why you eat or live the way you do, what are choices you make each day that take you closer or further to your health goals. Knowing the "why" behind your behaviors is crucial, then you can start having fun tweaking your nutrition plan, exercise, sleep, and what I like to call "optimizers" to take your health to the next level.

What kind of results should we look out for?

This is going to sound cliche, but balance. More so than finding that sweet spot between living healthfully 90% of the time and having some fun the other 10%, but often my clients will have more energy, better sleep, glowing skin, stronger hair, they'll FEEL amazing which is more important than anything.

Great Nashville restaurants to dine out? Any specific meal suggestions?

My favorite hands down is anything from Rolf and Daughters, the pheasant salad with salmon from EPICE in 12th South, and then chicken dish from Public House -- Trevor is a machine. Our food scene is incredible, we definitely need more health-inspired places from LA to make there way down South; but for now, it's a good start and I never have a problem eating really healthy and delicious food.

Obviously we (I) like to dine out a lot in Nashville. What are some ways we can be conscious when ordering while out?

First, don't go out to eat starving, meaning have a snack a couple hours before so you'll be more biologically/hormonally in balance and inclined to eat mindfully and with some portion control in mind. Second, go for vegetable heavy entrees and then add quality proteins on the side along with healthy fats (which are pretty abundant when dining out -- think olive oil). Third, be sure to drink a lot of water, especially if you're having cocktails/glass of wine alongside- then I'd recommend having 2 glasses of water per 1 cocktail and limit yourself here in general. Last but not least, enjoy it! Going out to eat is a great example of how nourishing our bodies is far more than just fuel to our cells, it's emotional, social, and it's a fun way to connect with the people we love. So find balance and let loose a bit knowing that.

Your favorite healthy "whole" recipe? 

Honestly, when I cook 90% of the time it's very simple meals from foods that I've cooked and prepped the weekend before so putting meals together takes me less than 10 minutes! I use the principles I created in the NS Society to make that happen with my busy schedule. I swear by meal planning or else I'd always be eating out and not staying on track with feeling amazing (including clearer skin, brighter eyes, and shiny hair- all things I used to struggle with when my diet was out of whack). Try the Strawberry Soaked Oat Porridge below for one of my favorite breakfasts to whip up using this method!

Why did you create the Nutrition Stripped Society: A Guide to Master Meal Planning?

The NS community was asking for something like this for years! As a Dietitian Nutritionist, I teach meal planning with clients all the time; but I wanted a way to teach as many people as possible meal planning skills for life using simple tools, a yearly meal plan, 100+ healthy recipes, recipe and workout videos, and support from a global community. It's really an amazing community, we have people from all over the world supporting each other with staying on track, sharing their simple meals, and so many resources to help guide people. The Society enrollment is opening SOON! From April 25-May 1 only -- there's only 1 week out of the entire year we allow new people into the program. 


Now..Time for the recipe!


Strawberry Soaked Oat Porridge

A sweet soaked oat porridge using almond milk, rolled oats, cinnamon, and fresh or frozen strawberries all in one bowl.


Makes 1 serving


INGREDIENTS:


1⁄2 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup fresh or frozen (and thawed) strawberries, mashed with the back of a fork
1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of cinnamon
Garnish options: bee pollen, fresh mint, fresh strawberry slices, sliced bananas, maple syrup, coconut, etc.


INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a small mixing bowl or serving bowl, combine oats, almond milk, vanilla, and fresh/frozen strawberries that have been mashed with a fork or pureed and stir to combine. Set at room temperature for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge (8 hours). The oats will absorb the almond milk, enjoy warm or cold. Serve with garnish options if desired.
2. You can make multiple jars of this for a quick breakfast on the go or during the week, making sure the lids are tightly closed.


Be sure to check out http://nutritionstripped.com for even more advice and so many divine recipes!
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