It's always fun connecting with other healthy-minded people, but it's even more fun getting to connect with fellow Bauman College students going through the same Holistic Nutrition program as me. It can get lonely going to school virtually, so I am thankful to have connected with Lindsay and that she lives in LA. This babe is full of awesome recipes and even has videos that easily display how to make some of her yummy (and healthy) recipes she shares. She is a natural in the kitchen and has an awesome perspective on nutrition! When I interviewed Lindsay, I was anxious to hear all about her own experience at Bauman College, what she's learned this far, and how her studies have influenced her approach to healthy eating. This interview is full of insight and as a bonus, Lindsay shares her Coconut Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait recipe below.
What were you doing before you enrolled in Bauman College's Holistic Nutrition program and how long have you been in the program?
I have been working in the insurance industry for the last 5 years. I started as an underwriter and now I work in client service management. About 3 years ago, I was really in need of a creative outlet, so I started my healthy cooking blog, Weeknight Bite. I really love the process of coming up with healthy recipes, learning to take food photos, editing recipe videos, and writing blog posts. When I hear that someone has tried my recipes and it made them realize how easy it is to be healthy, it absolutely makes my day. I’ve always been really passionate about nutrition and wellness and decided that it’s finally time to take the leap from my stable corporate job to go through the Bauman program and become a nutritionist. I’m about 3 months into the program and am really loving it! I’m so interested in all of the topics and it’s so applicable to our daily lives that I just can’t wait to keep learning and eventually help people become their healthiest, happiest selves.
What about Bauman College’s Holistic Nutrition program intrigued you and made you want to study Holistic Nutrition there?
Once I decided that I wanted to go to school for nutrition, I spent hours upon hours researching programs, reaching out to students and alumni of different schools, and talking with Holistic Nutritionists, Registered Dietitians, and Health Coaches to hear about the paths they took. It amazed me how willing people were to help, share their experiences, and provide their advice. It just shows how passionate people are in this industry! After all of the research, Bauman was really the best fit for me. I wasn’t looking for a quick certification program – I really wanted to be challenged and learn all of the science behind nutrition. I also love that Bauman has a Business Institute that is included in the program to provide their students with many of the tools they need to be successful.
What are you currently learning about in the program?
I just finished Digestive Physiology which was so interesting and now I’m onto Nutritional Biochemistry. It really makes you think about using food as medicine and the toll that processed, unhealthy foods can take on your body.
What’s been the most interesting (or eye-opening) thing you have learned from Bauman’s program thus far?
Throughout the Digestive Physiology section, there was a lot of discussion about medicine and treatment of certain ailments. For example, when someone goes to the doctor for acid reflux or heartburn, most of the time, they’re immediately told to take an antacid like Prilosec. What’s ironic (and scary!) is how these antacids will really do a number on your digestive system. It is prescribed to treat heartburn, meanwhile it kills the acid in your stomach, and your body needs that acid for healthy digestion of proteins. So maybe it will temporarily fix your heartburn, but it’s creating bigger problems by adding stress to your digestive system. The Bauman program really gets you to think about natural ways to heal your body before resorting to over-the-counter medicines.
Have your eating habits changed in any way since being in school for Holistic Nutrition? And if so, how?
I’ve always been a healthy eater and I like to think I’m a pretty informed consumer when it comes to reading food labels and making healthy choices, but this program has definitely made me even more aware of what I’m putting into my body. Being in school for holistic nutrition, I really feel I need to “walk the walk” if I want to inspire others to be healthy. I have become more thoughtful about my meals and snacks, making an effort to pack a giant healthy salad for lunch rather than going out every day, and taking steps to eat extra healthy and clean when I know I have an event coming up where I may be more indulgent.
What’s your own philosophy on food and health?
I honestly believe it’s all about balance. I focus on eating a diet full of whole, healthy foods – that includes TONS of greens & veggies, healthy fats, fruit, organic, lean protein and wild fish – and I enjoy every single healthy and delicious bite. I also have a major sweet tooth and never want to deprive myself, so I’m all about having my favorite indulgence every once in a while and balancing it with a clean, unprocessed diet. I love creating healthy substitutions for my favorite sweets so there’s never any guilt associated with treating myself. That’s why you’ll find plenty of dessert recipes on my blog – most of them are gluten free and I make easy swaps in my recipes like almond meal instead of white flour, coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, coconut sugar instead of white sugar. When you’re making healthy choices and eating whole, real foods, you’ll never need to think about counting calories or feel guilty about the occasional indulgence. I’m all about enjoying life and delicious food is one of the greatest joys!
What’s your go-to daily health habit and why do you find it important?
Every day I make sure I’m eating a balance of healthy fats, fiber, lean protein, and greens. When I focus on these simple things, having a healthy diet is super simple! The easiest and quickest way for me to do this is to start my day with a smoothie. Depending what I’m craving, I’ll change up the ingredients, but my go-to is half a banana, a giant handful of spinach, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, a tbsp. of coconut butter, my favorite plant-based superfood protein from Beaming (SO good), and almond milk. This is an amazing way to start the day because it sets the tone for me to make great choices the rest of the day.
Any herbs and/or spices you regularly include in your diet (and why)?
I have cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric pretty much every day. Cinnamon is amazing because it can lower blood sugar, is full of antioxidants, improves insulin sensitivity and boosts metabolism. I put it in my smoothies, oatmeal, chia pudding, and in literally everything I bake. Ginger is incredible for digestion, immunity, and inflammation. I mix it into smoothies or put a piece in warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. Turmeric is an herb that has been used for medicinal purposes for years. It’s a great anti-inflammatory compound and research shows that it can help fight chronic diseases, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. I love to mix cauliflower with olive oil, garlic, and ground turmeric and then roast it until crispy – so yummy. I also drink a ginger turmeric tea every night after dinner to help improve my digestion.
Favorite quote/motto you relate to nutrition and fitness and that you live by?
I love this quote – “When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.” It’s not always going to be easy, but if you fight for your goals, it’s always going to be worth it.
What do you love about nutrition?
I love the way simple choices can change your life. Choosing to eat healthy foods and real ingredients will improve your life in so many ways – your energy level, happiness, and longevity depend on what you feed yourself, so we’re really in control of how amazing we can feel.
What’s your dream career in the nutrition world?
I would love to have my own practice and work directly with clients to improve their health and happiness. I’d also love to have a cookbook full of clean and delicious recipes one day! This is such a rewarding career path and I’m so excited to be on this journey.
I LOVE Lindsay's straight to the point, clean approach to nutrition! And did you hear that?..She still eats dessert- Whoever said healthy was boring or depriving?! Now check out this beauty's sinful-sounding chia pudding recipe...
Lindsay's Coconut Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait Recipe
Ingredients (Makes 3 medium-sized mason jar parfaits):
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup light coconut milk (it comes in a can)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tbsp shredded coconut
A drizzle of raw honey
About 1.5 cups of your favorite organic berries
Mix all listed ingredients (except berries, coconut, and honey) together in a bowl or glass. Stir well until everything is evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours (or overnight!). Assemble your mason jars with berries on the bottom, then a few spoonfuls of pudding, more berries, then more pudding . . . and so on until the glass is filled. Garnish with berries on top, coconut shreds, and a drizzle of honey and serve.
Lindsay Surowitz is a Southern California foodie who has a passion for nutrition and wellness, loves to create healthy recipes, and lives for a great meal. She is a USC graduate and is currently working towards her certification as a Holistic Nutritionist through Bauman College. She started her blog Weeknight Bite in 2012, where she shares cooking tips and nutritious recipes that are quick and effortless- Perfect for any night of the week. She believes that by making some simple, nutrient-rich substitutions, we can still enjoy our favorite foods and never feel deprived. She looks forward to working directly with clients to help them become the healthiest, brightest, and happiest version of themselves.
For healthy recipe ideas and inspiration, follow Lindsay here:
Instagram: @weeknightbite (https://www.instagram.com/weeknightbite/)