If you’ve following MCLV for any length of time, you’ll be painfully aware that I’m a huge nutrition nerd. I love fitness, but nutrition is my passion. I see food as medicine and I don’t think that you can have a truly healthy life without thoughtful eating habits. That doesn’t necessarily mean time-consuming, it just means making better choices whenever you can.
In case you needed yet another reason to visit MNT Studio, Miss Molly Alliman is that reason. She’s their in-house nutritionist, and you can find her on Instragram with the adorable handle ShakeThatMarshmallow, or online at The Balance Cleanse.
Since we’re heading into the hectic, food-and-booze-filled holiday season, I thought it was the perfect time to sit down for a chat with Molly and get some tips for how we can all approach the holidays more healthfully.
Breakfast: Best healthy start to a busy day?
Always a smoothie! I tend to make mine very veggie forward with zucchini, cauliflower, or spinach and lately steamed and frozen butternut squash for winter. I use nutmilk as my base, adding ½ banana or berries and protein from nut butter or collagen peptides. Adding in some fat from avocado, hemp seeds or ground flax seeds.
Dinnertime: What’s your favorite quick and easy dinner when you’re home on a busy evening?
I have two. The first is breakfast for dinner. Breakfast tacos with fluffy scrambled eggs, nitrate-free bacon, fresh corn tortillas, black beans, sliced avocado and tomatillo salsa hits the spot. I also love making meatballs. They are so easy to make in 15 minutes, using ground turkey, chicken or grass-fed beef or lamb. I cook quinoa or brown rice pasta at the same time they cook, adding a boiled vegetable like asparagus or broccoli and drizzling with tahini on quinoa and pre-made pesto on the pasta.
Buffet: When you’re looking at a table of desserts and snacks at an event, what should you start with and/or avoid?
I always go for the meat and cheese first. I go for the sheep and the goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto hold the cracker. Go for it with the olives and nuts. Guac and chips are amazing. For desserts go for what is homemade, sugar and white flour are always best when made with love. If you are known to be tempted for seconds, put one slice or two cookies on your plate and then fill the rest with berries to continue to snack on the sweet. Depending on the event, I have been know to bring a chocolate RX bar with me to parties so I have my version of dessert with me 😉
Cocktail Time: With an endless stream of cocktail parties, events, and celebrations this time of year, what’s the best order at the bar?
I tell my clients to do one of the following:
- Stay away from mixers with added sugar and instead stick to fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and soda water with a squeeze of lime. I like vodka or tequila.
- If ordering beer, choose a local craft beer to get the benefits of fermentation. Commercial beers are pasteurized and therefore kill off all the good bacteria.
- If you don’t want to drink and want to appear that you are, ask the bartender with a wink to give you soda water with lime in a cocktail glass.
Hydration: Any tips to encourage water drinking?
The trick is to actually trick yourself! I had a client who had a difficult time drinking water in the morning. She was always in a hurry to get out the door and rarely remembered. But she does take a shower every morning, so I had her set her alarm at night to remind her to place a full bottle of water in her shower. That way, when she woke up and got in the shower first thing… there was her water to drink! The morning is the most important time to drink water when your body is most dehydrated.
Supplements: Is there a good supplement or vitamin that’s helpful for supporting the immune system during a travel-heavy season?
A good probiotic is most important for immunity, make sure you are buying one with at least 5 billion strains. I also love as taking Astragalus in the winter, it’s one of the most powerful immune boosting plants with a long list of benefits.
Eating Out: Do you have any tips for making better choices at restaurants?
I rarely order dishes with dairy when I go out to eat, unless I know where it comes from. To serve a large amount of people, most restaurants use pre-packaged or pre-shredded cheese that is processed and contains silicon dioxide as a separator. Instead order guacamole in place of cheese, avocado on your chili and also avocado on your bagel instead of cream cheese.
If you’re interested in doing your very own 10 day detox, there are a few fun options with Molly coming up. Check out The Balance Cleanse website and see whether the Winter Cleanse or New Year’s Detox will fit your schedule!
If YOU had a nutritionist at your beck and call – What would your first question be?