Holiday Plant Based Health with Wellness Coach Tracey Pontarelli

Tis the season to stay healthy!!

With Holiday dinners and cold weather, our diets (consistent body specific habitual eating not health fad for weight loss) can get a little wonky when we stray from our routines with splurging our taste buds.

To keep us all on track this season we brought our first guest blogger to The Wellness Gays!

Tracey Ponterelli, is a Wellness Coach, Fitness Trainer and Mom of three living on the Upper East Side in New York City. Tracey teaches classes, trains clients and lead a run club each week,.  She also has a very fun series on FB and IG called “TraceyTV” where she shares Wellness news and tips and considers herself a carpool karaoke connoisseur.

With that, let’s welcome Coach Tracey to the blog!

Before becoming a wellness coach, I worked in Marketing and Public Relations for many years for various food and marketing brands, and found I wasn’t always fully aligned with the way companies would “spin” food marketing messages. 

As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I see so many people trying to work off an unhealthy lifestyle and/or coming on and off of crazy yoyo diets that might help them shed some short-term pounds, but then they’d see it come back on again. 

It all led me on a path to simplifying wellness. And here’s the bottom line: our body knows what to do with food as it exists in nature. When I started simplifying my diet and looking for ways to nourish myself instead of deprive myself or “diet” – everything shifted.  My energy got better, my digestion improved, my sleep improved and my mental clarity got sharper. 

The current recommendations for the average person is between 7-13 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day.  A serving is a fistful. That’s a lot, right? Here’s why: 1) our food isn’t as nutritious as it once was and 2) we live on an increasingly toxic planet. 

And it’s not just the quantity of plant foods, it’s the variety. New science is emerging every day showing that the rainbow of colors matters deeply – it’s the synergy that produces the greatest health outcomes. 

For those of you who might be doubting the importance of what I’m saying, let me say this: 

If a prescription could do for the body what fruits and vegetables DO for the body, everyone would be taking it.  So why aren’t people eating enough fruits and veggies? Well, it’s hard to get a wide variety of plant foods in your body each day, and the food marketing companies are spending a lot of money to try to convince you otherwise. It’s true. 

It’s challenging. So what can we do? Here are my three top tips:  

  1. Make S.M.A.R.T. Choices.  That stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific goals. So for example, instead of saying, “I’m going to start eating more vegetables”, consider saying, I’m going to research one recipe for cauliflower and make it for dinner Wednesday night.”  And just build from there. Small changes lead to bigger changes that lead to permanent changes over time. 
  2. Make Sneaky Smoothies. Here are my favorite foods that don’t meaningfully alter the taste of a smoothie but meaningfully add to YOUR health: cauliflower, spinach, zucchini and avocado. Hopefully Gavin and Will ask me back to talk about smoothies! 
  3. Add Whole Food Supplementation that is backed by science.  I have fallen in love with a product line called Juice Plus+ because it has given me a way to add the nutrients of 30+ fruits and vegetables into my body every day. And the products have actual, real science to show that it works in the body the way food does to improve your health.  Unfortunately, very few products on the market are backed by research so make sure whatever you choose has been proven to add whole food nutrients into your body. 

And finally, just love yourself. Our bodies are amazing things and they don’t want to let us down. Remember, the conversations we have with ourselves are the most important conversations we can have. 

We hope this gave you an informative insight to the importance of having a plant based diet.

In the meantime you guys can keep with Coach Tracey here and all of her Health and Wellness tips on her IGTV and Facebook.

Stay positively healthy babes xx

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