It’s double trouble this Monday morning with a second round of advice from wonderful women thanks to Terry Walters, best selling author and eating clean expert. January is always about clean starts and making the best of a new year, and lots of those fresh starts involve health and diet goals. But if you’re going to make a fresh start it should be with fresh ingredients! Terry can help with that and more for your 2015…
Usually our interviews with amazing women focus on career advice and business planning, but Terry has more than just business acumen. She’s a whiz in the kitchen, cooking up delicious meals that have made her a leader of the clean eating movement. She has written several best selling cookbooks and also hosts cooking demos to help debunk the myths often associated with purchasing and preparing organic, seasonal, locally-grown foods. You can even check her out at the Chopping Block in Chicago tomorrow to see her skills first hand!
This “work” isn’t really a job for Terry, who says it really comes from her heart. It began as a change in her own diet after she learned of her high cholesterol in her early 20s. She started learning more about food and began holding cooking classes at her friends request, showing off ways to eat healthy and clean but still delicious! From there her first cookbook was born…and the rest is locally sourced history!
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
There’s no such thing as a typical day for me, and I love that! Most days start with a 6 a.m. run with friends, but then anything is possible. One day I may plan a class or write a blog, another I may prep for a class or event. I could be leading a corporate wellness program, speaking at a conference, or working one-on-one with someone looking to reach specific health goals.
In the fall and spring, I’m liable to drop what I’m doing mid-afternoon to watch my daughter play sports, or my other daughter perform on stage. Almost every Friday I go to the farm for fresh produce and to connect with community. And in the summer, I’m in my garden almost every day.
WHAT IS THE BEST NUTRITION ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
“Eat more brown rice and kale.” That was what a local doctor told me back when I first learned I had elevated cholesterol when I was 20. When I went home and cooked it, it was terrible! At that moment, I knew that I was going to have to figure out how to make this stuff taste good. So I went back to college, moved into an apartment with a kitchen and started to teach myself how to cook. That doctor planted quite a seed!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE TO MAKE?
That could be a different recipe every season, even every day! I’ve written three cookbooks, and have favorites in each. It’s probably easier to tell you my girls’ favorites – like my Tofu Kale Lasagna in “Clean Food,” the Red Lentil Soup and Chocolate Macaroons in “Clean Start,” and definitely the NoNo Bars in “Eat Clean Live Well” (see below).
Ultimately, my favorite recipes are those that feature produce from my own garden. It is the coolest thing to be able to pick your own greens for a smoothie or a salad, or even herbs to dehydrate. The only thing better than harvesting my own produce is sharing that produce with friends and family.
WHAT ARE SOME SEASONAL INGREDIENTS PEOPLE SHOULD BE USING NOW?
It was a great season for cabbage, and I have a few bottles of homemade sauerkraut that I pick on every day to make sure that I’m getting my probiotics. The kale and collard greens from the greenhouses at Urban Oaks Organic Farm are incredible right now, and we’re eating them sautéed and topped with avocado, as well as added to soups and stews. Additionally, I’ve been making soups with lots of legumes and spices – especially ginger, garlic and turmeric – all particularly good for keeping our immune systems strong.
HOW CAN SOMEONE BALANCE EATING HEALTHY WHEN LEADING AN ON-THE-GO LIFESTYLE?
I am those people! Most nights it’s already 5 p.m. when I start to think, “What will we have for dinner?” I want to get a good meal on the table that will nourish my family, but prefer to spend my time sitting at the table and not working over a hot stove. My recipes are quick, easy and delicious. I share tips for making it even quicker, including cooking in quantity, or “upcycling” one night’s recipe to a totally new meal the next day with half the effort.
There is a small investment of time that’s necessary if you want to eat clean and live well, but the reward of delicious healthy food and good health is well worth it in the end.