If you're looking to make healthier nutrition choices, you've come to the right place - Jess Blair is here to help.
The clinical nutritionist, naturopath and Wellness by Blair founder shares her best tips for eating well, incorporating healthy but tasty foods, cutting sugar and reveals the superfoods she wishes we'd eat more of.
What are your tricks to help curb sugar cravings between meals?
Top tip – Make sure you're drinking enough water! But otherwise, nuts! Honestly, nuts are a game changer for me and my clients.
Most clients I see need to increase their intake of healthy fats, so an array of nuts are a great source of good fats and can help with sugar cravings.
I've been recommending Tasti's Raw Snacking snack packs – they're great for a number of reasons, plus they're in great portion control packs!
How do you maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle with a busy schedule?
For main meals I don't actually plan too much but I always carry healthy snacks with me.
I am forever running from the gym, to clients, to meetings, picking up the children or to Uni – so I always have snacks in my bag.
I actually flew to Queensland on the weekend, and I had a pack of the Tasti Raw Snacking snack packs in my bag which was a life saver!
What inspired you to become a nutritionist and a naturopath?
I have always been really into health and wellbeing. From playing sports when I was younger and growing up on a farm, to doing a lot of reading on health topics.
I have always loved helping people too, so I knew that I wanted to do something with that. It wasn't necessarily what I thought I would be doing but I am so glad that my passion became my career.
What was your diet like growing up?
I grew up on a farm so we ate really well, as you can imagine we didn't have takeaways and we were always made to eat what was in front of us (meat and veges).
We ate mostly off the land, and I loved that. Our food was simple and we didn't over complicate it.
What would be a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner for you?
Breakfast actually depends on the season, but I can't go past a good egg omelette! I do love a nutritious smoothie too, especially in the warmer months.
For lunch, I always try have some protein, fats and vegetables, might be in a salad, quiche, smoothie or a curry! For dinner, we eat very simply, always including protein, fats and vegetables.
In summer I tend to eat more salads and fish and in winter, more stews. On the weekend we relax a little bit and might enjoy a nice pizza, or some kumara fries with the family!
How do you treat your children to their favourite foods but still ensure they are getting a healthy diet?
We are pretty strict throughout the week, and try to stick to our meals as much as possible.
On the weekends, we do tend to relax a little. We don't have anything that might tempt us or the children in the cupboards or the fridge either, so if they're hungry they have to eat what's in the fridge or pantry.
Is it okay to snack? What healthy snack options do you recommend?
Yes absolutely, if you are hungry, eat!
Having a good healthy snack can help your energy levels, as well as helping you get through to dinner without making a bad food decision on the way home.
Having a snack that's filled with good fats and protein really will help.
What healthy habits should we start incorporating into our everyday lives?
Not stressing and over complicating foods or eating habits. Drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and being kind to ourselves and each other.
As a former bodybuilder, what post-workout foods do you recommend?
If you can, some protein and fats post work out, but if you can't get enough protein in food form, then a good quality protein shake is great for after training in between meals.
What top five superfoods should we be eating to boost our energy levels?
My favourite re-energising foods are berries, nuts, bananas, eggs and avocados.
Is there anything we should eliminate from our diet?
Anything that doesn't make you feel good. It's different for everyone, however one thing I would scream from the roof tops to stop is soft drinks!
Top 5 tips for people wanting to lose weight/make a healthy change?
• Focus on health – not weight
• Drink enough water
• Don't over complicate food
• Practice gratitude
• Find an exercise regime that you love, and stick to it
Jess is a mother of two, wife, naturopath and clinical nutritionist who has recently moved from Australia to New Zealand. Her nutrition philosophy is based on helping people discover high quality nutritional foods that can be easy, convenient and delicious. You can find out more about Jess on her website.