Welcome to the latest edition of my Friday Foodie series, where each week I feature my favourite health and wellness stars. Each week, they share their tips for healthy living and their favourite recipe.
This week I am featuring Lisa Bryan from www.downshiftology.com. There is so much to say about Lisa. Lisa is a health coaching and wellness blogger. Her recipes are amazing and I am in awe of her beautiful photos. Lisa is one inspirational woman. I hope you enjoy my interview with her.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
Today, I am a health coach, wellness blogger, recipe developer and world traveler. But a few short years ago, my life looked very different. Even though I was an executive for healthcare companies, my life was anything but healthy. I had high-stress, compromised sleep and ate tons of processed food (usually while running between meetings!). Then, in the span of two years I was diagnosed with four autoimmune diseases! As you can imagine, my world went topsy turvy.
That first year I had quite the bumpy road, but then I realized that I had the power to change things. So I did! I completely overhauled my diet, learning how to nourish myself with real food and I adopted positive lifestyle changes, prioritizing self-care and stress-reduction.
Within months I felt like a new person and within a year I reversed virtually all symptoms of my autoimmune diseases. That drastic change inspired my new path in life, to become a certified health coach helping others take life “down a notch.” And that’s really what Downshiftology is all about – inspiring positive change for a healthier, happier life.
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
This is super important - be gentle with yourself and strive for progress not perfection. Lots of small, positive steps add up! So just keep stepping forward and tweak your path along the way.
You’ll get there!
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
I love organic produce, but if you’re on a budget review the EWG’s guidelines of the “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15.” There are certain fruits and veggies where you don’t need to be concerned about buying organic (which can save you money!).
I also love to batch cook. I’ll buy meat, veggies, nuts, etc when they’re on sale and make double the quantity, so I can freeze the remainder. This weekend, I’ll probably batch cook my Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts (which seem to taste even better after re-heating!).
Batch cooking is great for those night when you don’t really feel like cooking. Just pop a frozen meal in the freezer and voila!
How do you deal with food struggles from your children and/or family?
I don’t have children but I do have a niece and nephew that I cook frequently for. My nephew has a peanut allergy, as well as some potential dairy and gluten sensitivities. But I love to involve them both in the cooking process.
We’ll hit the grocery story together, which gives me an opportunity to talk about healthy food versus non-healthy food. I’ll then let them pick out certain ingredients and together we brainstorm what we can make with those ingredients. It actually turn out to be a fun process!
Kids are so creative so we’ve actually made some amazing meals together (with flavor combinations that I wouldn’t have thought of!). And in the end, they feel proud that they’ve made something fun, delicious and healthy!
What is your favourite food?
Oh, I have so many! But I’m really a breakfast girl, so probably a mix of veggies with a poached egg. Right now I’m loving my sweet potato “toast” recipes - which are an amazing alternative for those on a gluten-free, grain-free diet.
Who is your favourite foodie and why?
I love Jamie Oliver for his passion on food education. It’s unsurpassed! I also love Danielle Walker from Against All Grain, as her recipes were a huge inspiration for me when I adopted a healthier lifestyle.
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
I’m a big traveler and love exploring! That could mean going for a hike or jumping on a plane to some tropical destination. I’m fortunate that I’ve traveled all 7 continents (yes, including Antarctica!) and more than 35 countries. But there’s still so much to see! When I’m traveling, I’m calm and “go-with-the-flow.” My brain switches to relaxation mode almost immediately.
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
I’ve been slightly obsessed with smoothie bowls lately. With warm summer weather in California, my smoothie bowls are cool and refreshing! My most recent smoothie bowl is this dark cherry smoothie bowl. But I also love my mango smoothie bowl and pitaya smoothie bowl. I just keep alternating!
Dark Cherry Smoothie Bowl
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
- 2 cups of frozen cherries, pitted
- 1 banana
- 3/4 cup coconut water
- 8 whole cherries
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
- Add the frozen cherries, banana and coconut water into a high powered blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the smoothie mixture into two bowls and evenly divide the toppings between the two servings.
A bit more about Lisa and where you can find here
Lisa Bryan is a certified health coach, wellness blogger, recipe developer and motivator for vibrant living. She’s a former corporate gal (healthcare/biotech executive) turned wellness lover after taming multiple autoimmune diseases with real food and positive lifestyle behaviors. All of her delicious recipes are nutrient-dense while being gluten-free, grain-free and refined-sugar free. You can find her at www.downshiftology.com – chatting about healthy living, eating and travel.