I LOVE getting to connect with others in the nutrition world who share my passion for all things health and who want to help others live healthier lives. So I feel really lucky to have crossed paths with this MEGA babe, Rachel Katz, who is a Nutritional Science student at Cal State Los Angeles. I sat down with Rachel to get her take on what a healthy lifestyle means to her, her go-to healthy foods and what she would like to accomplish in her studying field. Check out my fun interview with her below that will leave you with a new perspective on nutrition and our bodies, and her amazing Raw Granola recipe that'll have you running to the kitchen to make.
What made you want to study Nutrition? I went through a lot of health issues, both mental and physical, my first year of college and I decided to heal myself the natural way rather than the latter. It amazed me (and still does) how much food and lifestyle can affect your body and well being! After all the struggles I went through I knew that I had a purpose in life to help people not only heal through food, but learn how to change their mindset and daily habits in order to reach their fullest potential and live their version of the happiest and healthiest life possible!
What do you eat on a daily basis (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks)? I start every morning with some warm lemon water and meditation. For breakfast I usually eat oatmeal with fruit and nut butter, yogurt with raw granola and fruit, chia pudding, or a smoothie bowl. For lunch I usually eat a salad with a ton of greens and veg and a healthy fat like avocado with some protein like grilled chicken, tuna, hard boiled egg, tofu or beans! Sometimes I'll make an egg scramble with sautéed kale, spinach and mushrooms and top it off with some avocado. I always snack between lunch and dinner and sometimes between breakfast and lunch if it's a long day! My usual snacks are either some bliss balls or raw nuts with carrots,raw vegetables or crackers with hummus, a protein shake or smoothie, an apple or banana with some nut butter, or some yogurt with honey. For dinner I usually have a protein, like grilled chicken or fish, with a grilled veggie dish and either a sweet potato, brown rice, or quinoa. I have coffee every morning with breakfast and sip on water, sparkling water, green tea, or kombucha throughout the day. On the weekends my favorite foods to indulge in are sweet potato fries, a good piece of bread and frozen yogurt or ice cream!
What’s your philosophy on food and health? I don't believe in diets or deprivation; I believe in simply living a healthy lifestyle. Life is too short to live it feeling weak, unmotivated, unhappy or unhealthy and it's so crucial that we pay attention to what we put in our bodies, how we move our bodies, and what we tell our bodies. I believe that we are all different, and therefore, our diets should all be different; what works for one person won't always work for someone else! It's so important not to compare yourself to others and instead find a diet that works for you. In general, I believe in a balanced, whole foods, unprocessed, all natural diet; 90% healthy, 10% indulgence! I also believe that in order to be truly happy, you need to just do what makes you happy! Eating healthy and exercising alone won't make you happy; focusing on your passions, treating yourself with love and respect, and spending time with the people you love will!
What’s your favorite workout? I love doing a mix of light cardio, HIIT, swimming and weight lifting!
What’s your favorite health restaurant in LA? I love Tender Greens- it's mine and my boyfriend's go-to spot. I love their grilled ahi tuna or barbecue chicken with their kale salad and cauliflower or Brussels sprouts. All of their food is organic which is awesome!
What food can you not live without? I can't live without coffee, avocados, cashew butter, Brussels sprouts, dates, sweet potatoes and grilled chicken!
Fav quote/motto you relate to nutrition and fitness and that you live by?
I don't do diets, I do healthy!
What do you love about nutrition? I love how nutrition can prevent or solve almost any health ailment! It's crazy to think that eating is something we do 3+ times a day and yet most people don't even pay attention to what they are putting into their bodies. Diet just plays such a big role in our overall health and well being and I wish more people could see that! I also love how complex nutrition is and how it's almost never ending- there will always be new information on nutrition and health and it is such an interesting field- I am just so passionate about it!
What’s your advice to anyone struggling to eat healthy? I really want to show people that eating healthy shouldn't be seen as a punishment. Eating healthy can be just as delicious and rewarding as the latter; if not, even more! You don't have to give up your favorite foods or feel deprived- just try to make or find healthier versions of your favorite foods!
What’s your dream career in the nutrition world? I would love to make a career out of blogging, recipe developing, and writing. I also want to do one on one nutrition consulting. My dream would be to have my own healthy restaurant!
Rachel's Raw Granola Recipe
Rachel was first introduced to raw granola by the amazing Loni Jane, and ever since then, can’t live without it! She loves experimenting with different types of raw granola, since she eats it with almost everything and doesn't want to grow tired of it. The recipe below is one of her favorite raw granola creations ever and is SUPER easy to make (I tested it out in my kitchen yesterday). Rachel loves adding it on top of her yogurt and smoothies, but warns you that it is highly addictive, which I can vouch for!
- 1 1/2 cup gluten free oats
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 handful of shredded coconut
- 1 big tbsp. cashew butter
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- Handful of pepitas or sunflower seeds
Blend the dates and oats for just a few seconds (this works best in a food processor). Add in the cashew butter and blend for a few more seconds until everything sticks together nicely. Pour in a bowl and add in the coconut, cinnamon, and seeds. Mix everything together, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and devour!
Rachel Katz is a recipe developer, health and wellness blogger, and third year nutritional science student at Cal State Los Angeles. Her goal is to help others learn how to love living a healthy lifestyle and become the best version of themselves. In her free time, she loves experimenting with healthy foods in the kitchen, eating, writing, spending time in nature, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Website: Full Life By Rachel