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This Kitchen is for Dancing

By on October 31, 2019
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Nutritionist Karlene Karst and author of “This Kitchen is For Dancing” knows it’s not easy in today’s world. Most of her days start at 5:00am and end around 10:00pm. She helps raise three kids, takes care of a home, nurtures friendships, plus chauffeur’s kids to activities. For her, doing it all, also means keeping herself strong and healthy. She shares how she aims to find life, work balance, health and the energy to keep the cycle going.

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Which foods or supplements are your favourite go to’s for keeping your energy up?
How do you incorporate them into your day?

Don’t get me wrong, I get tired, I think it would be unrealistic for all of us who are juggling multiple roles each day to not be ready for some self-care and a refreshing night sleep at the end of the busy day. But I also feel like you can be tired yet energized based on the food choices that get made each day. Remember what you put into your mouth every day influences how you feel.

Food is my most consistent form of self-care that I rely on day after day to keep my body fueled and energy focused, positive and calm. I remember how I used to feel 20 years ago before I adopted a healthy lifestyle, and it was a mix of exhaustion, fatigue, pain, brain fog and just blah. Changing my food over the years from a sugar-laden, low-fat diet changed everything for me. At the end of the day when I take a step back and evaluate my accomplishments that day, I recognize that healthy living is how I show up for myself, family, colleagues and friends. I say no to simple sugar, excess caffeine, and processed food in order to leave room for the good stuff. Most days I start it off with a green protein smoothie and listen to my body and what it tells me it needs during the day. I also leave room for a piece of dark chocolate, or popcorn when I’m craving a treat.

For over 20 years I have taken supplements. I believe women need a great whole-food multivitamin, B complex, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids in order to support energy systems and cellular function. When I’m feeling run down I will get an IV vitamin shot for an extra boost of antioxidants and vitamins.

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Karlene you dedicated an entire chapter to stocking a real food pantry. Included are a wide variety of plant based proteins, such as seeds, grains and legumes. Why are all three so important to include in the diet?

Our bodies love to be nourished with real food containing a balance of macronutrients from protein, fat and fibre found in various seeds, grains, legumes and other plants. Eating more plants is not just a trend, there is extensive research to support the importance of fueling our body, and mind with these food groups. If you keep a well-stocked pantry with dried and canned goods, you can easily pull off a delicious and healthy meal faster than you can order takeout. A little bit of simple meal-planning will go a long way.

One of the things that I love about the new book is the section on self-care. Some of the tips shared are on finding gratitude, practicing mindfulness and making yourself a priority.

Thank you for reading the section on self-care, as I felt it was important to tie this concept into a cookbook as food is love and an expression by which we can share and show our care for those in our life. If you cook and nourish your body, you are caring and loving it. If you choose to feed your family home-cooked, real, whole food, you are giving them nourishment which is self-care.

Self-care doesn’t have to mean expensive spa days or beach vacations (although those are nice too), it can be as simple as making a hearty bowl of soup on a cold night, followed by a hot bath, a book and early bed-time. We can’t overlook the importance of all these small things we do for ourselves in the day, and really acknowledge them for what they are.

Love yourself, love your food and nourishment and you will enjoy the “dance” in the kitchen.

Try three recipes from Karlene’s new book:

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    Cauliflower Turmeric Soup

Vegan Marinara Meatballs
Cauliflower Turmeric Soup
Green Coconut Curry

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