Do you even know what you’re eating?

What are you eating? Do you even know what you’re eating? If you are an average 20-Something, chances are you probably aren’t aware of all of the ingredients you’re consuming on a daily basis. As 20-Somethings, we grab bagels to go on the way to work and to us, cooking typically means “order Seamless.” We eat bars that are seemingly healthy and wonder why we feel like crap. Food labels trick us into thinking we are eating healthy while we are unknowingly consuming crazy amounts of sugar, gluten, soy, sodium, and preservatives.

In the words of Mark Hyman, “if it has a label or a barcode, you should probably avoid it.” Don’t let healthily seeming food labels saying “all natural” trick you either. The ingredients list is the first place to look. I am all about eating organic. I love organic foods and make a huge effort to eat organic as often as possible. However, the ingredients list still needs to be checked. Even if the ingredient list is organic, organic sugar is still sugar.

Check  your food labels. If you’re grandma didn’t eat it, it’s probably not good for you. If the label contains an ingredient whose name you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not good for you. To put it simpler:

Eat Real Food.

By real food I mean fresh fruits and veggies, unprocessed grains, raw nuts, and high-quality meats. These foods are full of natural vitamins and minerals and promote healthy digestion and higher energy levels. These foods are delicious in the natural forms and are devoid of the added sugar, salt, and other ingredients that we do not need in our diet. I have dappled in several different ways of eating over the years- vegan, keto, etc. But eating real foods gets me feeling great every single time.

Now you might be thinking- eating real food isn’t practical, I mean I can’t readily carry salads with me for breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus snacks. Or you might be thinking, eating real food is so expensive, I can’t afford to do that. You know what else is expensive? Those bars that you pack in your bag that cost $3 each. It is possible to eat real food even if you’re constantly on the go or have to eat out. Take it from me, I spend 25% of my week on an airplane, in an uber, or driving a car.

I got this delicious salad out this week. Unfortunately, now that I travel every week, my cooking is restricted to only weekends. I’ve found what works for me is whenever I’m switching to a new client site, I research restaurants in the area so that I come prepared to make healthy food decisions. For this particular salad, I picked the “build your own” option. I like build your own because it allows you to chose exactly what you want in the bowl- and more importantly ask about each of the ingredients in the bowl. Yes, I’m THAT annoying person, if it is not a raw ingredient (let’s say sautéd spinach), I will ask exactly what it is sautéd in. Let me tell you, I have found that there is soy and sugar hidden in everything. This salad contains a healthy portion of leafy greens, zucchini, cooked veggies (as I’m trying to eat more ‘warm’ food), and an avocado and tahini dressing for some healthy fats. Tahini dressing is surprisingly easy to make on your own and delicious.

I will begin to share recipes of real food I like to cook. It doesn’t require the purchase of several ingredients and it doesn’t require a lot of effort. I’m also a firm believer that you can sauté almost any vegetable in garlic and oil and it will taste delicious, but maybe that’s just the Italian side of me!

Welcome to 20-Something wellness 👏👏

20-Something wellness is about being as well and healthy as possible while still enjoying 20-Something life. 20-Something wellness believes in eating organic and foods in the most natural and unprocessed forms possible. But it also believes in mimosas at brunch on Saturdays. While some regard this as a “cheat meal” they are usually referring to a singular drink or one slice of pizza. But we are 20-Somethings. We go to beer gardens and friend’s bbqs on summer Saturdays. 20-Something wellness isn’t about perfection, nor does it strive to be. So relax, you don’t have to torment yourself because you mistakenly ate a cashew as a nut vs. a legume on your Whole30 diet (trust me, been there). It’s about balance. It’s about feeling as good as possible, while still being able to enjoy time out with friends. It’s about wellness that is practical because who the hell has time (or honestly wants to spend it) to soak beans for 3 days to maintain a raw food diet? Or wants to cook recipes that require the purchase of 10+ ingredients (most of which I will probably never use again)?

20 something wellness isn’t just going to place restrictions, but also help share solutions. Because we are 20-Something’s and don’t all (except me) want to spend our time researching this. For example, a lot of us know that the types of makeup or cleaning supplies we are using have high toxicity levels, but what the hell is safe to use?

I’m not a nutrition expert. I am not a yoga instructor. I’m a management consultant who’s health and nutrition obsessed. I am a marathoner. I am a former varsity athlete. I am a 20-Something.

I really got interested in nutrition after college. A vacation to Europe inspired me to start cooking my meals from scratch and start eating real food. I spend most of my free time reading nutrition books and listening to nutrition and wellness podcasts. I also love cooking. I’m one of those people who loves farmers market and legit gets excited grocery shopping at Whole Foods.

I wanted to start this blog to share some of my learnings during my own health journey. There is so much information out there and so many food products, eating healthy can be completely confusing. I want to share some of the ways I’ve found to maintain as healthy of a lifestyle that I can while constantly traveling for work and still going out with friends. Hopefully this will help make someone else’s health journey a little bit easier.