You can frequently find me wandering through the local farmers’ market, hiking out in nature or swimming in the ocean. I love anything related to health, well-being and mindfulness, but my journey to embracing this lifestyle did not happen overnight. The first time I began to understand the magical powers of eating healthy was my senior year of high school when a teacher showed us a clip from the acclaimed documentary “Forks Over Knives.” I went home and watched the rest of the film on my own and continued to educate myself on the baffling reality that healthy, whole foods have super powers, and that food is medicine.
My mother studied nutrition in college, so growing up, my family dinner table was always stocked with fresh fruits and loaded salads, and my snack drawer was filled with granola bars, dried fruit and trail mixes. I definitely had a strong foundation for a healthy diet, but that did not shield me from the inevitable impact of mainstream media where females are encouraged to live up to an unrealistic image of beauty. As a teenager, I began to believe the only way to achieve a thin body was to restrict my calories and follow various fad diets. I lost weight but felt lethargic all the time, my skin was dry and my hair was brittle. I was far from thriving and learned these diet trends were not sustainable long term.
When I started changing my restrictive mindset about food – thinking of it as fuel (literally an energy source for my body) – everything changed for the better. I learned that eating healthy not only helps you look great on the outside, but it also nourishes every cell within your body. I eat a whole foods, plant-based diet loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, legumes, and of course, Navitas Organics superfoods. Blending Navitas Organics Hemp Seeds into my smoothies, adding Chia Seeds to my oatmeal and keeping Superfood+ Snack Bars with me wherever I go has made it even easier to fuel my body to live an active lifestyle. I find that I now have the sustained energy to hike mountains, go on long runs and treat my body with the respect it deserves. Once I discovered the truly powerful effects of a healthful lifestyle, I knew I had to take action on this newfound knowledge and share it with others.
My passion for health and well-being has motivated me to build an online platform. On my plant-based Instagram account, @lilanattalie, I get to share my favorite recipes and health tips. This past year, I even started my own small business, Blissful Gatherings, a plant-based pop-up dinner curated from local San Diego produce. Every month, we welcome guests around our communal table to share delicious meals inspired by seasonal produce. Through these outlets, I hope to continue inspiring others to fuel their bodies with whole food ingredients so they can thrive in the most optimal way possible, whatever that may be for them!