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    How I Live a Balanced Life

    By Leslie McDonald | July 5, 2018
    Leslie-Kitchen-WEBMy name is Leslie McDonald and I am a certified health coach, sound healer, reiki practitioner, food lover and the face behind the social media account, @balanced_life_leslie. I grew up in New York City with my family and was raised to respect home-cooked meals that are made with love and good ingredients. From a young age, I was taught to respect family meals as not just being the food on the plate, but the company you keep and the conversations you have. Since then, I have loved cooking my own meals and sharing those lessons with others.

    I wasn't always a healthier and clean eater, though. I believed that cold pizza was acceptable for breakfast and chocolate should be devoured, not savored. I experienced the “Freshman 15” when I went to college because I took full advantage of the unlimited food choices at the cafeteria and the lack of home-cooked meals centered around a table with conversation, family and friends. It wasn't until a few health diagnoses later, including adrenal fatigue and autoimmune disorder, that I took my health seriously and back into my own hands.

    I decided that to treat my illness, I wanted to use food as medicine rather than prescriptions and surgery. I knew it was the road less traveled but that it would be my greatest adventure. In 2010 I adopted a Paleo diet, eliminating grains, gluten, dairy, legumes, soy and refined sugar free. My mind and body were in complete shock, but I knew that this cleaner way of eating and living would help heal me. I also began incorporating superfoods into my diet to boost my immunity, decrease inflammation and create super delicious-tasting meals. Now, clean eating is my way of life and I don't even think twice about going back to my old way of eating and living because it didn't make me feel good.

    I #LiveLifePositive because I know that going back to feeling sick is not living. It motivates me constantly to make healthier and happier decisions for myself, which translates to a healthier family and community of friends – both online and offline. I love sharing my meal preps and treats with everyone and show my greatest love for others by feeding them, just as my family did for me. One of my favorite things to make are superfood granola bars that are great for on-the-go meals or when you're traveling. They incorporate nuts and seeds like Navitas Organics Hemp Seeds, which are great sources of protein and fatty acids. They also add flair to any smoothie bowl or salad!

    I’m currently working on combining my love for food with sound healing by hosting home-cooked dinners for the community along with a healing sound bath that I perform using the gong, drum, chimes and other sound healing tools. Music and food having always been huge aspects of my life and this is my favorite way to expand my passion for a healthy lifestyle and not just a diet. I collaborate with friends to bring the gift of food and sound to the community, and even co-authored the Rooted With Love e-books to share healthy recipes and holistic lifestyle tips!
    So, be sure to check them out and follow along on my adventure as I give you a sneak peek into my world throughout the month of July as Navitas Organics’ Insider of the Month.


    In the mean time, here are some fun facts to help you get to know me a little better:
    • I have never eaten fast food (no McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell…)
    • I worked as a production assistant on the movie ‘Precious’ and the TV show ‘Cash Cab.’
    • I love bacon and will wrap anything in bacon…dates, asparagus, scallops, steak, pork chops (yup, pork wrapped in pork).
    • I love vegetables for breakfast – you can find me most mornings eating a salad!

    I look forward to sharing more with you this month!