This week I had the privilege of interviewing the charming and talented Dorit Jaffe - Holistic Health Coach and creator of food and lifestyle blog WholeHealthyGlow.com. Dorit, like me, has a passion for helping people forge a healthier lifestyle through optimal nutrition, exercise and stress management, among other things. She also has an amazing talent for coming up with innovative recipes and presenting them in beautiful ways. Her food blog and Instagram account are incredible. I think you'll enjoy her holistic approach. Let's get to it...
Occupation and location?
I am a holistic health and lifestyle coach based in New York City. I work with clients to achieve their personal health goals and help motivate them through a six-month program and specialize in managing stress and healing digestive issues.
Did you grow up in a healthy family? What was your nutrition like as a kid?
My definition of “healthy” has changed over the years, but in retrospect yes I believe that I grew up in a “healthy” family. My parents didn’t allow me to eat foods with artificial colors/flavors, soda, lots of snacks or candy, and cooked at home a lot. I wasn’t a big fan of vegetables and because all my friends got to eat Fruity Pebbles and fun colored yogurts I would snack on these unhealthy foods whenever I could. For the most part I ate home-cooked meals, ate cereal for breakfast, played all the time outside and participated in sports.
What made you want to become a health coach?
After graduating college with a BA in advertising and marketing communications I realized a corporate desk job wasn’t for me. I learned that my passion for helping and motivating others paired with my love for cooking and fitness could be a career. I love working with people and motivating others to be more healthy in ways that work best for them - because everyone is different and as such requires a different diet with different needs.
What frustrates you the most about our current food system?
So much! The fact that society has strayed so far from our roots and is now eating food that are harmful to our health. Now food has become marketable poison that contains pesticides, chemical additives, and man-made junk.
Secondly, society’s addiction to sugar and getting children addicted to it at a young age. In America they allow for baby formula to contain high amounts of sugar. Advertising directed towards children portrays a colorful “happy” experience. What kid wouldn’t want that experience? Or to have candy, cereal, and fast food with cartoon characters all over them? Sugar is more addictive than cocaine. If it’s not acceptable to be addicted to cocaine in our society, why is it ok to allow our children to become addicted to sugar?
Thirdly, that we are allowing mass-production of animals in inhumane and unnatural ways to be consumed in glutinous amounts. I’m not against people eating meat, I just believe that the animals need to eat their natural diet, to be grass-fed and not caged in, fed hormones, grains, GMO corn and injected with antibiotics.
Finally, the overfishing of our oceans, which is wiping out entire species of fish, and ultimately killing precious underwater ecosystems.
You obviously have a healthy glow yourself, your skin is flawless. What does your skincare routine look like?
Why thank you! It’s been a struggle over the years but eliminating dairy, processed sugars and caffeine from my diet definitely have helped. I use all natural vegan beauty products. I wash my face with a Clarisonic brush and use Naturopathica aloe cleansing gel at night and Origins Clean Energy gentle cleansing oil in the morning. To prevent and heal breakouts my favorite product is Eco Modern Essentials Pimple, which is a blend of lavender and tea tree oils. I use this every night after cleaning my face. For eye makeup remover I use pure coconut oil. For details about my beauty regimen, check out my blog post here.
There’s so many! But if I have to choose one... Sweet potato!
Best fat for cooking?
Organic cold-pressed coconut oil or olive oil.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle holding women back from achieving their optimal body composition?
Stress. Stress is more harmful than a Snickers bar. If you stress and over-analyze everything you eat and aren’t happy you release cortisol. Cortisol can be a very harmful hormone in your body when out of balance, causing you to gain and retain weight in your mid-section while also making it almost impossible to lose weight. Relax and be proud of every step you take towards your new lifestyle. If you eat something “bad” move on and don’t stress about it.
Have you ever had body image issues? What do think is the best way to cultivate a healthy body image?
Yes, and I think society plays a big role in this issue. From a young age now people are exposed to gossip magazines, celebrity news, and the never-ending topic of “that person is too fat or skinny.” I never worried about my body image as a kid but as I grew up and moved to cities like Los Angeles and New York the pressure grew. I think the best way to have a healthy body image is to do things that make you happy and surround yourself with supportive and loving people, who see the beauty in you always and are there to support you no matter what. Also, to just love the imperfections that make you you!
What do you think is the most effective form of exercise for women trying to lose weight?
Exercise does play a role in losing weight but I think diet comprises 70% of reaching your body's natural weight. Exercise makes up the other 30%. I recommend cardio and strength training to tone your muscles. I personally like to try different classes, video workouts and outdoor activities to switch things up.
For the following foods, state whether they should be a) avoided completely, b) consumed only occasionally, or c) can be consumed regularly, for the average otherwise healthy person:
Peanut butter - Can be consumed occasionally. Only eat organic pure peanut butter, not the fake stuff.
Conventional whole milk - Avoid completely.
Pastured Eggs - Can be consumed regularly.
Grass-fed beef - Can be consumed regularly.
Farmed tilapia - Avoid completely.
Ice cream - If dairy, then I would avoid completely.
Canola oil - Avoid completely.
Coconut oil - Can be consumed regularly.
Fresh pineapple - Consumed occasionally.
Grass-fed butter - Can be consumed regularly.
Tofu - Eat occasionally but only organic.
Margarine – Avoid completely.
85% cacao dark chocolate - eat occasionally, make sure it's good quality.
Finally, your top three pieces of advice for leading a more kick-ass, healthy existence?
1) Set achievable and maintainable goals for yourself.
2) Enjoy eating and living healthy. Make it fun, not a task.
3) Don’t stress. Love yourself and know you are capable of anything.
Thanks so much for sharing. What is the best way for people to see what you're up to and get hold of you?
My website: www.wholehealthyglow.com where I post health and lifestyle advice and tips, as well as healthy plant-based vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Best way to contact me is via email: Dorit@wholehealthyglow.com