I’m always looking for inspiration when it comes to healthy eating, so it’s no wonder that I’ve been a long time fan of Jolene Hart, author of the Eat Pretty series. Jolene Hart is a certified health & beauty coach and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to how different foods and ingredients can impact our health and in turn, our looks. She believes eating well is a form of self care and that we look our best when we take time to eat right, get enough rest and really take care of our physical, emotional and spiritual needs. That’s the philosophy she shares in her books, as well. From spelling out what roles different nutrients play in our bodies, to having you slow down to really think through if you’ve gotten enough sleep lately or if certain foods make you feel more energized than others, she walks readers through being more mindful of how well they care for themselves and how they look and feel in correlation to it.
With all of the great knowledge she has, I had to know: How does a busy author, entrepreneur and mom put this into practice everyday? Lucky for us, she’s opening up her fridge and spilling all her secrets to eating healthy everyday!
Interview with Jolene Hart
So what do you eat in a typical day?
Here’s what I ate today:
Breakfast: my morning green smoothie. I start by filling the blender with greens and herbs (usually parsley & cilantro) and 1/4 avocado. I blend this up with water, then add the rest of my ingredients. Today it was a handful of frozen blueberries, plant-based protein powder, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, collagen powder, spirulina, maca, and mushroom powder. I kind of geek out on crazy things to add to my smoothie, and change it up daily based on how I feel/what I crave.
Lunch: Dinner leftovers: grilled salmon over greens with a roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad, avocado, and sauerkraut. Dark chocolate afterward.
Dinner: Tried a new falafel recipe made with a ton of fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint), and paired it with a quick sauce of tahini & lemon, along with some sliced cucumber, roasted beets, chard, and castelvetrano olives (my absolute favorites). The falafel took kind of a while to make, so the rest of the meal was just thrown together in about 5 minutes from what was prepped in my fridge!
Dessert: My toddler inherited my major sweet tooth (I inherited mine from my dad and grandfather, who drank Yoo-hoo and always had Andes candies and Oreos around). This night, my son asked for dessert so we made popsicles by blending blueberries, coconut cream, and a tiny bit of raw honey and vanilla extract. Froze them in 6 minutes in my Zoku popsicle maker and we all ended the day happy with purple lips and tongues!
What are some of the things you like to keep stocked in your fridge?
big bowl of lemons and limes
big bowl of roasted beets (wrapped individually in foil)
leafy greens & bunches of herbs
a few varieties of sauerkraut (in the mason jars on the left side of the middle shelf)
raw nuts and seeds (on right side door)- some in fridge and some in freezer
pitcher of cooled herbal tea (summertime item)
Are there any foods that you avoid all together?
I avoid gluten due to a longstanding intolerance, and limit dairy (even though I do love it!). I eat wild caught fish, eggs, and a little organic chicken and turkey, but no other meat. My kitchen and fridge is all about primarily fruits & veggies, and small amounts of other things— kind of like my plate.
Given your background, you are an expert when it comes to eating for health and for looking your best! Do you find it easier to plan meals ahead of time or to try and see what your body needs that particular day?
A little of both. I always plan 2 to 3 meals for the week, because there are days when I juggle so much that I feel like I have zero inspiration/brain power for meals. I just need to have a basic idea of what I’m making and then I sub in seasonal ingredients, herbs and/or spices while I cook. For example, we probably have tacos or burritos weekly, but we change it up to incorporate lentils, black beans, mushrooms, or fish for the base, and then we’ll swap in cabbage or lettuce or collard wraps, and top with salsa or tomato or sauerkraut or avocado dressing or olives— just based on what’s in the fridge or in season, and what we’re craving. I feel like most meals are adaptable like that, if you get creative. You’ll always have your old standby recipes, but it’s great to experiment and listen to your body’s needs on any given day.
What are some of your favorite ingredients to incorporate into meals? I’m a turmeric girl myself- I use it in everything!
I love that you are so into turmeric! I‘m totally with you. Herbs are my obsession. They are so incredibly nutrient dense, they have so many amazing beauty benefits, and I feel like in general we just do not utilize them enough. It drives me nuts when there is a sad sprig of parsley as a garnish on a plate, or a recipe that calls for like 1 teaspoon of basil— add more! Of course you don’t want to overpower your meal (some herbs like rosemary, sage, and cilantro can be quite potent), but overall we need more herbs in our lives. Every single week I buy a big bunch of organic parsley and cilantro at my grocery store, and use it by the handful. I always run out before it ever gets to that sad, wilted state. In the warmer months, I grow and use more mint, basil, chives, dill, thyme, and oregano. This year, I am growing lemon balm and tarragon and thai basil too. These plants are so packed with antioxidant benefits, and many of them have medicinal properties— especially for detoxification and digestion.
Any secrets for success with creating healthy meals for your family all week long without falling into cooking ruts?
Every few weeks I will pour over my cookbooks, and the recipes I mark online (for years I have been using the app Pocket to bookmark online recipes when I see them) and pick a few that I want to try. I would never plan an entire week of new recipes at once, but sprinkling one or two new recipes into your old standbys each week really spices things up, and expands your meal repertoire, while still keeping meals relatively fast and streamlined. And I find that cooking something new regularly helps me learn fresh techniques and flavor combos that I can use later on in my own creations.
I also keep a written list on my fridge of our favorite meals: main dishes, sides, etc. Because sometimes you forget things that you made that you loved! It’s a way for me to remember and record and be able to pull from the list when I need inspiration.
Finally, I have learned to take cookbooks out of the library instead of buying them all, that way I can road test cookbooks and really figure out if I need them (usually, I don’t!) before I add them to the shelf in my kitchen that is bending under the weight of so many books. Cycling library cookbooks in and out regularly is great for inspiration too.
What’s one food you can’t live without?
I mean…dark chocolate? Can anyone live without chocolate?! Looking at my day-to-day, I really cant live without limes and lemons. I use them everywhere, and they make drinking water so much more fun, and add flavor to so many dishes and dressings, etc. They’re always, always in my fridge!
Thanks so much Jolene! I had to make notes to myself on some of this, because she shared so many great ideas and information. I’ve never thought to check out cookbooks from the library, but that’s genius!
For more tips, recipes and inspiration be sure to check out her site: jolenehart.com and follow along on social media where she shares more tips and even tidbits from her books: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Her books are great for anyone and you can purchase “Eat Pretty“, “Eat Pretty, Live Well” and “Eat Pretty Every Day” on Amazon. xo