Get outside for a healthier you.
I have so many questions about food, and most of the time I like to go out and research and find the answer myself, but sometimes it is nice to talk to an expert to clear up some things. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Betsy Templeton, a Health and Nutrition Coach in Carrboro, NC. I threw some random questions at her and she did a bang up job of following my train of thought. Be sure to check out her diet/exercise tips below for busy moms and dads. Here is our interview:
Question: It completely overwhelms me to think about whether or not we are getting all the vitamins and minerals we need in our diet. Is there some simple chart, or system that you use to advise your clients? We take vitamins to supplement what we don’t get from food, but still, I’m uncertain.
Answer: Whether to supplement or not is a controversial issue indeed. I believe that a good diet is the best path to optimum health. There are no simple charts or calculations to determine the need for vitamins and supplements. But there are factors other than one’s diet to look at when considering the use of supplements. Some of these factors are: age, medical history, family history, alcohol consumption, exposure to chemicals and toxins, stress level, and if the individual is or was a smoker. There are some specific groups of people who can benefit from vitamins such as women of child-bearing age, people over 50, people on a vegan diet, and folks recovering from an illness or operation. I strongly believe that most healthy adults can satisfy their vitamin and mineral needs by eating well and I mean really well every day! When I am working with a client, I look at the whole picture and also have them consult with their doctor. Another key point is the quality of the vitamins and supplements. There are so many of these products on the market with varying degrees of credibility. I am very discerning as to which brands I use myself and recommend to my clients.
Betsy and her family
Question: I personally feel like whole foods are the only thing we can trust when it comes to food, is that too simple? I know there a ton of diet plans out there, but I feel like I’ve been able to maintain my ideal weight (after having two kids) by just eating healthy foods and exercising.
Answer: I think you have the right approach. Diets don’t do anything but sell diet books! Eating whole foods and exercising on a daily basis is the key. Of course we all need a splurge on occasion but it is the solid day-to-day habit of eating consciously that is the path to a healthy life. In addition to whole foods there are other facets of our lives that play an important role in being truly nourished. These aspects are healthy relationships, our work, physical activity and spirituality. In my experience when we work to achieve balance in these areas of our lives we feel more satisfied and are less likely to fill the voids with unhealthy foods.
Find balance in your life.
Question: My dad had open heart surgery and heart disease runs rampant on that side of the family. My question is, do genetics really matter that much when it comes to things like heart disease, and other medical conditions? I would like to believe I can control my future with diet and exercise, but do we have any control?
Answer: Great question. Let me speak from experience. My father had vascular disease, very high cholesterol, and a massive stroke at 54. Through extensive rehabilitation and a super healthy diet he lived to be 85. I am the youngest of his 3 daughters. My sisters both have high cholesterol and take medication for it. I have been eating mostly a plant-based diet and a gluten-free diet for many years. I have been practicing yoga almost daily for 15 years. I am 55 and my doctor proclaims that I have the best cholesterol panel he has ever seen. Not trying to brag here, I am just saying that I do think it is possible to decrease your chance of some genetically disposed diseases. Again, diet, exercise, and stress management must be a part of one’s lifestyle for this to be possible. That being said, you can not escape genetics.
Question: On a lighter note, any diet/exercise advice for busy moms and dads?
Answer: I think you have a great way to exercise by including your kids. Why not make exercise fun for the whole family? There are many ways to fit exercise into a busy schedule.
- First, turn off the TV and see how much more time you have!
- Cordless jump ropes are cool and handy for the busy traveler.
- There are many great yoga and Pilates DVDs for home use.
- Using a pedometer to count your steps is fun; set a daily goal for a certain amount of steps and find a way to meet it!
- Having a dog is also a great way to stay in shape and wonderful for families.
- Taking the steps versus elevators is productive as is parking on the far side of the parking lot.
I know that cooking for busy families can be a struggle. Finding a good resource for quick, healthy recipes is important. Also using slow cookers can be useful. I like to teach my clients how to cook once and end up with 2 or 3 meals. Meal prep and planning is vital. I recommend getting the whole family involved in the meal planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning! I strongly encourage families to eat together at the table as often as possible and avoid eating in the car!
Question: What do you personally do to stay healthy?
Answer: I have a dedicated yoga practice and teach two classes a week. I also take a Pilates class and have a weight routine that I do at home. I walk my dog daily and my husband and I hike with him on the weekends. I am lucky because I adore cooking! Cooking and eating healthy food brings me joy as does sharing my passion with others. We have a nice vegetable garden at home which provides me with lots of amazing ingredients and inspiration! I also meditate to keep my stress level down. It took me a while to discover this, but yes it works.
Glasshalfull in Carrboro
Betsy also owns a small business in Carrboro, Glasshalfull. It is an awesome little restaurant, wine bar and wine shop. I’ve heard wonderful things about the place and asked Betsy to tell me a little more about it. “Since I spend most of my time as a Health and Nutrition Coach, I am only at the restaurant on the weekends. When I am there it brings me much pleasure to see people having fun, relaxing and sharing great wine and delicious food at Glasshalfull. It is a lovely spot for a fun date or a perfect place for groups to gather. We are fortunate to be a few blocks from the Carrboro Farmer’s Market where we try to support the local farmers and bring the best products available to the table. There is something for everyone and all are welcome!” Check out her restaurant if you live in Carrboro or are planning to visit the area soon.
Here is Betsy Templeton’s contact information:
Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach
Member of the American Association of Drugless Practicioners
Certified YA YogaWorks Instructor
And cheers to healthy living!