A passion for health

11/27/2017  By ThirtyPercenter

November 27, 2017

Each month, we feature a post from an employee contributor on a topic of their choice. 

Bri Botten, KVH Contributor*

Bri Botten and her husband Trey enjoy being active together. 

Food brings families and friends together. It can be manipulated and changed to our liking. It can be served on a silver platter or a paper plate, hot or cold. You get the point.

We all love food, but did you know that what you eat can make a difference for worse or for better?

November is Good Nutrition Month - a perfect time to introduce a few new habits that tomorrow’s self will thank you for. Everyone has different goals, expectations, and needs when it comes to nutrition. So I ask, what is your goal?

Whether you want to lose weight, drop carbs, eat more protein, or eat better in general, there seems to be a diet for everything. But what happened to eating like our ancestors - wholesome and clean foods from the earth?

It seems we have become so lost in the everyday hustle, we have confined ourselves to eating what is fast and easy to grab at the moment. In my opinion, the best diet you could follow consists of clean, whole foods that don’t have a long list of ingredients. I’m talking fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts and seeds, and lots of good-for-you fats and carbohydrates!

For as long as I can remember, food and fitness have been passions of mine. I have experimented with many different ways of eating to find what is best for me.

The passion for health started when I was young and my mother would make my baby food from scratch. Organic vegetables and meat, throw it into a blender, and there you have it - baby-mush. As I got older, my family and I rarely ate out. My mom always prepared delicious dinners spanning from Indian food full of spices and aroma, to simple green salads with a rainbow of vegetables.

We always shopped and cooked it up on the same day. Looking back now, I don’t know how she did it with a full time job and all my sports and hobbies, but healthy food was important to my mom and me. We’d spend hours together in the kitchen, creating crazy recipes like our Super Greens protein bread,  splurging on occasion with a bake-off where we would invite family and friends over to judge whose was best (I always won).

Healthy eating for two can be fun!

Today, my husband and I care a lot about our health. We stay very active by working out together, hiking, and managing our small farm. We have both found our sweet spot with nutrition, generally sticking to a diet of whole foods, heavy in plants and farm fresh meats. I try to only use grass fed, free range meats that my husband or our friend hunts or that we raise ourselves.

It's not as difficult as it sounds. All it takes is changing what you eat, just a little bit every day. Instead of that afternoon chocolate bar, reach for a handful of almonds and an apple. Switch white bread for whole grain or seed bread. Give almond or coconut milk a try. If you have a sweet tooth that you can’t beat, find healthier alternatives to your favorite recipes. 

Here's an example of what I eat. I hope it inspires you to come up with your own healthy menu, and catch a passion for health!

Each morning or night I walk out to our chicken coop and collect the eggs! Nothing like a fresh egg in the morning, scrambled or over easy.

2 eggs
Sautéed spinach
Gluten free oats (Boiled with lemon juice, chia seeds, Maca root powder, & cinnamon)
Half an avocado
Coffee with almond milk creamer

I LOVE to bake! I usually will have some sort of gluten-free bread I’ve made or dairy-free Kefir yogurt with some fruit. My other favorite is a tablespoon of peanut butter mixed with a tablespoon of pure pumpkin, mix it up and dip apples into it.

Lunch is always full of veggies and usually where I have a substantial carbohydrate

quinoa or sweet potatoes
grilled or steamed veggies (or a salad)
1/2 small avocado
a small serving of protein (grass-fed beef, ground turkey, or wild-caught salmon are my go-to)
Lemon-ginger tea

Similar to earlier, or I will have a handful of nuts and my weakness - banana chips!

My favorite fall meal to make for dinner is my stuffed acorn squash.
This recipe serves 4

2 acorn squash, cut in half with the middle scooped out
1lb ground turkey
Celery, onion & apples chopped
Seasonings to taste: sage, salt & pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the squash with olive oil, salt & pepper and bake the squash until fork tender. While that bakes, cook up the turkey, veggies, and the seasonings in a pan on the stovetop until cooked about all the way. Once the squash is ready, take it out of the oven and fill each half with about ¼ of the mix in each. Cook for about 20 mins and serve with some roasted veggies or a fresh salad.

*Opinions expressed by KVH Contributors are their own. Managed by Kittitas Valley Healthcare, Thirty Percenters does not provide medical advice. For medical advice, please see your healthcare professional.