A Recipe For Wellness

Maya Bradstreet

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Maya Bradstreet of A Recipe For Wellness. Click here to read the full article.

Tell us about A Recipe For Wellness.
Forgive me, as I just can’t resist the pun…

‘A Recipe For Wellness’ is:

1 part health counseling
1 part nutritional advice
1 part cooking instruction

Stir ingredients together with a generous sprinkling each of motivation, fun & love. The result is a healthier, happier individual making lasting diet & lifestyle changes.

My client is someone who’d like to raise energy levels, get a handle on their cravings, achieve a healthy weight, and/or recover from any acute or chronic illnesses. And my program is not about food pyramids, calorie-counting or diet plans. Instead it’s about adding wholesome foods to the dietary repertoire, including those that aren’t necessarily found on a plate! Yes, I do believe there are many other things that ‘nourish’ us other than what we put in our mouths…like our relationships, career, exercise routine and so on…

I have always been passionate about wellness. And likewise about cooking. I learned through my own health experiences that food is indeed medicine, and that we can heal if given the proper nourishment our bodies need.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a health counselor and what is the most frustrating?
Watching clients have those ‘aha’ moments is so rewarding. Whether they’re discovering a new recipe, a favorite local food product – or realizing that they have food sensitivities, or even that their cravings could be emotional in nature. Witnessing someone become more intuitive about their diet and their well-being is pretty remarkable!

Frustration – not with health counseling but with the food industry: it’s those middle aisles of the supermarket, full of sugary, processed foods with who-knows-what ingredients that tease shoppers away from easy, nutritious, wholesome foods. There’s plenty of ‘organic junk food’ too – brands are trying to capitalize and jump on the organic band-wagon…but those cereal bars, chips and tv dinners simply are not good for us – even if they are selling ‘health’ to the consumer.

Do you have a favorite recipe and what is it?
That’s a toughy… it changes, based on the season and what’s available and freshest at the time. Not to mention the mood I’m in of course! My latest go-to is my ‘infallible greens’ recipe. It’s fast, easy and nutritious! And can be eaten as a side dish or stirred into any grain or pasta dish.

Seriously – you can’t screw this one up!

1 bunch dark leafy greens (choose from kale, collards, broccoli, etc)
1-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
1-4 cloves garlic
Water or stock – enough to coat bottom of pot
Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Optional: 1 onion chopped

Clean greens and tear or chop into desired size pieces.

Heat oil in wide skillet or pot. Add garlic (and onion if using) and cook over medium heat until golden/brown.

Add greens, liquid, salt & pepper, and bring to medium high. Cover and cook until tender (1-5 minutes).

*For something different, try coconut oil

Prep time: 10 minutes

What are your goals for the upcoming year?
I’d like to affiliate myself with several medical clinics so I can help patients who are dealing with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease or cancer. And I’d like to work more with women who are pre-post natal. I also hope to get involved in several farm-to-school programs in the St. Louis area, exposing children to healthy, local foods and teaching them about nutrition through this medium.

If someone has decided to start making healthier choices, what is the first step you would recommend?
There really isn’t a blanket ‘first step’ that applies to everyone. My approach is truly individualized to the person I’m working with. I’ve been educated in a myriad of dietary theories – from Macrobiotic & Ayurvedic principles to the more recent South Beach & Metabolic Typing diets. The key is to look at yourself as your own science experiment, if you will…and figure out what works and what doesn’t!

Generally speaking though, a good first step is to simply identify 1 or 2 things you know you could be doing now to improve your health. Instinctively, you know – whether it’s drinking more water or less coffee/soda… once it’s out in the open, it’s much easier to make steps toward achieving those goals.

What inspires you?
It’s truly the people around me who are sources of inspiration. My mother, for exposing me early on to the more alternative methods of healing – I am so grateful for that, and for her. My husband and partner-in-crime; he loves to cook as well, and we test new recipes all the time. From a business standpoint, it’s the women I’ve met through Ladies Who Launch in St. Louis who continue to support and inspire me to move forward professionally.

What "green" steps have you found yourself making lately?
Well, buying local and organic foods of course is a biggy. I’ve been heading to the farmers market and grocery stores with my own bags rather than using plastic or paper. At home, we recycle, use energy-saving bulbs, and unplug appliances when we’re not using them. We are constantly educating ourselves through green-lemonade, grist and other publications to keep abreast of those little (and bigger) things we can do to make a difference!

Where can people learn more about A Recipe For Wellness? I’m working on updating my website, so in the meantime, people can email me at maya@arecipe4wellness.com.

Posted in Interviews,Recipes by Rhaya on December 2, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

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