30 January 2017

Janine Oliver (English version)

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with all of you an interview with Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Janine Oliver. 32 years old. From California. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In her free time Janine loves to experiment in the kitchen and practices yoga. 

  1. What type of diet do you personally follow?
I am personally a flexitarian with leanings towards Paleo and Pagan (Pagan is a new term for those taking the best of both Paleo and Vegan diets). I try to focus on real whole foods and minimize my consumption of processed foods, grains and sugar. My proteins sources mainly come from seafood. Although, I believe it is healthy to follow the 80/20 rule (80% healthy foods to 20% not healthy foods) and I allow life and pancakes in every once and awhile. Being too strict with food can also be unhealthy. I also believe that nutrition is not just a question of what food you eat, but all aspects of one's life: happiness at work, relationships, physical activity, personal growth, etc. I also don't believe that my way of eating meant to be everyone's way of eating. With my clients I try to help them find what works for their personal goals and needs.

2. What advantages does this type of diet have in relation to the "traditional"?

For me "traditional" should only have space in our lives when there is a benefit. Anything that is traditional but does not foster health and hapinnes needs to be re-evaluated. Tradition can be a guise for allowing yourself to be a follower. I want to lead by example. So when my diet raises eyebrow and makes people question, it is a great opportunity to share my world with them and show them there is a different way. Most people want to change their lifestyle but are afraid to be different. I feel beautiful because I AM different. If I can show this by example, I think it can help create new traditions where people support growth amongst those they love. But it is important to also not be ridgid and respect other's values. I still eat traditional foods that don't fit into my regular daily life because I see the value of community and of pancakes!!

3. Do you find it difficult to follow this type of diet and lead a "normal social life"?

I did for several years, yes! When I first started, I quit dairy, meat, bread, grains, sugar and alcohol! I no longer could hang out late with my party friends or eat fried foods. I slowly lost contact with very lovely friends because our lifestyles were no longer the same. I definitely went too far and it took me a few years to find the middle ground. For me, I need to eat healthy because my immune system is low and I have kidney issues, so it's not a question for me. But, I also needed to find the balance of having a beer and some pizza with friends on occassion. Since I accept them, they have accepted my "wierd" habits and ideas and come to me with questions. I have seen several of my friends make great changes to their lifestyle and diet and I feel honored to witness that. But I also don't want a "normal" social life. I want deep connections with good people more than partying until 5am. I want to have coffee over beer and homecooked meal over tapas. When I chose create the life I wanted, I attracted people who love and accept that. So I don't have to feel like I am missing out on anything. 

The best part is that I get to be completely myself and don't feel pressure to do things I don't want to. Most people keep their normal social life out of fear of rejection or pressure and I don't think that is the best way to have positive relationships or growth in life. There are people out there who share your beautiful new lifestyle and those are the people you should seek out. For me "normal" is people who support my eating healthy over pressuringme to drink more. I know there are a lot of people ready to make this change but don't do so out of fear. Have faith that new realtionships are out there and will be more inspiring than ever. And it is possible to keep currently relationships. You could be the one that inspires them! Do your own thing and people will follow.

4. What are superfoods? Make a list of your 5 favorites and tell us how they will help us.

Superfoods are fantastic but I think they get too much hype. I would rather someone focus on eating more real food than just introducing some superfoods as "quick fix". It is also more important to make sure you are assimilating your food. You can eat all the superfoods in the world and still be unhealthy if your body is not absorbing them. So instead of listing superfoods, here are some supplements that are highly recommended to get your body working beautifully:  

- Digestive Enzymes to help absorb the great foods you are eating.
- Omega-3's to help with brain function, joint function and overall, body function. Just as water is essential to live, Omega-3 is just as essential.
- A high quality probiotic for gut health. More and more they are discovering 80-90% of illness and disease stem from the gut. Gut health controls brain function, mood, immune system, digestion, etc.

Get these into your life, plus enough water and real whole food and then you can start to think about have fun with superfoods! (The ones currently in my kitchen are: tumeric, chia seeds, coconut oil, matcha, maca and The Garden of Life, Perfect Food, Raw Organic Green Super Food, Chocolate Cacaco which is basically a super super superfood mix). Remember, a high functioning body = weigth loss, more energy, better moods, more productivity and more mental clarity with what you want to do with your life.

5. And green juices, what are they? Do you give us a favorite recipe?

I love green juices and focus on them when it is a bit warmer. In the winter my body doesn't do well with cool or cold liquids so I drink more soups and broths in the winter and green juices the rest of the year. The basic green juice I make has cucumber, celery and spinach or kale as the base. Then I add lemon, lost of ginger and half a pear or apple and some coconut water for some sweetness. You want to avoid too much fruit because the sugar enters directly into your bloodstream. Then I add some chia seeds to get some extra Omega-3's in whenever I can.

Green smoothies are also great because you can add protein and make it a meal: Spinach, avocado, banana, cashew butter, raw cacao, almond or oat milk and few dates for sweetness. Top with chia seeds, cacao nibs, nuts, etc. It tastes like chocolate milkshake and you don't taste any spinach! (I don't like to give proportions becuase it is best to experiment and see what you like best).

6. Gluten, Yes or No? Why?

YES AND NO! If you have gluten allergy, intolerance or issues with digestion or skin after eating gluten; if it makes you want to take a nap after you eat it or if you have joint pain, then you should AVOID gluten. Even a tiny crumb of gluten can trigger your body to attack this substance causing an inflammation response which can lead to health issues and weight gain.

If you are getting the majority of your food from fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and quality protein sources; if you have high energy and no blood sugar crashes; if you rarely get sick;, if you digestion is good, you don't have depression or mental health issues; if you have no health concerns; if you are happy and where you want in your life, then, occassionally, I don't see a problem with gluten. I don't think it is wise to demonize one thing but to look at the holistic picture.

 Gluten can have a LOT of negative effects so I would highly recommend eliminating it for 2-4 weeks to see how you feel and then reintroducing it and seeing how you feel. Some people's bodies processs gluten and grains better than others. My body does not process grains very well so I try to avoid them when I can. Bit more importantly you need to focus on ADDING in versus RESTRICTION. Restriction will just make you want it more and feel upset that you can't or shouldn't have it. And it will make you feel guilty when you do. Learn about what works best for YOUR body and then focus on adding in delicious things that make your body feel good! When I did that, gluten disappeared from my world without me thinking about it. And when I have it, I just move forwad with my day and don't obsess about it.

7. How is your diet on a normal day?

My diet changes so much it is difficult to say. I try to live by the 80/20 rule so my good breakfasts include: smoothies, homemade granola with berries, or pancakes made with almond flour. Main meals include; turkey stews, roasted vegetables, vietnamese spring roles, vegetable soups. Snacks include: nuts and seeds, home energy balls, fruit, dehydrated kale or tomato chips. Desserts include; chia avocado chocolate mousse, chocolate energy balls, homemade pumpkin spice frozen yogurt.

My 20% foods that are not incredibly healthy but make me joyful include a ham and cheese croissant or churros con chocolate from Saioa, or brownie ice cream or coulant at a restaurant. I think it is important for me to include these things because it is important to know that if you want to improve your health or lose wieght it's not all or nothing! Focus on the 80% good and then the 20% can be fun. Sometimes I get to 90% and sometimes I go down to 75% but that is much better than 30% where I was at 4 years ago! It's about learning, experimenting, playing and having fun without feeling like you cannot never have ice cream again!

8. What advice would you give to a person who wants to approach a more conscious and "clean" type of food? Where do we start?

Great question! Start with making a list of activities, food and people that bring you JOY! Start to plan to add these things into your week. For me, I spent more time with people that make me feel happy and understand my journey. I try to do activities that make me grow as a person. And for food, I bought one new food or condiment a week to experiment and play with. I bought Maca powder and tried to find recipes that include it. I bought rice paper and learned to make vietnamese spring rolls. Little by little my kitchen transformed. Choose 1 day a week to try something new and healthy. Then repeat the things you like and don't eat the things you didn't like. It will never be sustainable if you don't like it! Start where you feel it is easiest. If you can't give up pasta yet, start by adding more vegetables to it and less pasta. If you can't give up chocolate, play with healthy recipes that give you the same feeling you need but also is healthy for your body. Start small and build from there. Remember there is no Failing becuase this isn't a game. This is the rest of your life! So find ways to enjoy it while taking care of your emotions, mind and body! Vitamin LOVE can be more powerful than any salad!

9. In your type of health coaching, what services do you offer?

I offer individual Skype coaching or In-person group coaching (4-6 participants) for a 3-6 month program. I serve as a guide to help you become the best self you want to be. You know where you want to go and who you want to become, but sometimes we all need a little help getting there. I don't only focus on food or diet because I don't think that is the whole answer. I see it as one facet of living a beautiful and healthy life. I help guide clients to get to the root of their issues so that they can transform their lives on every level. Maybe that is by losing weight, or exploring new jobs, or improving relationships, or healing past wounds. If you have a goal but you are not sure how to get there, then I am on your team!

10. Do you recommend a restaurant to eat here in Barcelona?

I don't really have a restaurant to recommend because I cook about 95% of my meals. When I cook for myself I know exactly what is in my food and I cook well so I don't have the need to go out to eat much. (It's great way to make healthy eating affordable as well!!). So when I do go out, it falls under that 20% and I just eat for the delicious experience. I am a big foodie and like gastronomical restaurants, My two favorite places at the moment are Nomm and Ofis. They both have a lot of unique dishes and flavors and use quality ingredients with uncommon combinations of foods that work well together.

You can contact Janine here:

FACEBOOK      PHONE: +34 603 600 010    EMAIL: admin@janineoliver.com

1 comment so far

  1. Un estupendo artículo y bastante aconsejable.


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