Joyous Health (created by Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist Joy McCarthy) is one of our favourite resources for healthy inspiration. Struggling in her late teens with hormonal imbalance, anxiety, and other health issues led Joy to start researching and educating herself on healthy nutrition. Years later, she shares her passion for healthy eating and healthy living with her nutrition clients and readers like us!
We love Joy’s balanced, positive approach to health, wellness, and life in general – so when we got the chance to sit down with her for a Q&A session, we were thrilled! Read on to get her tips on healthy eating, trendy foods to watch for this year, and the ingredients she’s loving right now:
R&E: We use your site and your book as a resource for healthy recipes all the time! Any tips for people who are looking to cook more for themselves and their families?
J: I recommend setting a goal of trying one new recipe per week. This way, by the end of just 4 weeks you’ll have 4 new recipes. Between my blog and my book I have literally hundreds of recipes to choose from for inspiratiion. A fave on my blog is my Curry Cauliflower Qunioa Stew and a fave in my book is my Sundried Tomato Spelt Crust Pizza!
R&E: What foods and ingredients do you recommend always having on hand?
J: As the old saying goes, if you put good food in your fridge you will eat good food. Therefore I recommend a really well stocked kitchen cupboard and fridge. Some of my fave staples are nuts and seeds (butters too), coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, quinoa, dried beans and lentils, good quality spices, sea salt. I recommend keeping your fridge well stocked with a variety of colourful fruits and veggies.
R&E: What are your 3 favourite ingredients to cook with right now?
J: I’ve got an overload of citrus right now so I’ve been using lots of oranges. Freshly squeezed orange juice in salad dressings and marinades with other ingredients such as tamari, ginger and garlic all go together so well. #2 on my list is coconut butter. I absolutely LOVE this ingredient for everything from slathering on pancakes, to toast and in my smoothie for a power packed punch of good fat, protein and fibre. And finally, coconut syrup. I love to bake and normally I use maple syrup but I’ve been enjoying coconut syrup lately for a milder flavour.
R&E: Any food or health trends that you’re especially excited about for 2016?
J: Fermented foods are the most trendy superfoods these days and this makes me excited because it’s long overdue. Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha are some of my favourite superfoods.
R&E: What does your morning routine look like now that you’re a new mom? Has it changed a lot since you’ve had your daughter?
J: Yes it’s changed since baby Vienna came along, but it’s so much more fun! I have never liked to rush in the morning and promised myself I would still take my time to enjoy it. The first thing I do when I get up is nurse Vienna while I sip on a big glass of water with lemon or apple cider vinegar. It’s our quiet time together. Then she hangs out with me while I make a smoothie and then if I’m really hungry I will also have a piece of toast with nut butter or a breakfast cookie. Every day is different after breakfast but at some point Vienna and I always go for a long walk.
R&E: Lots of our Well.ca customers are expecting or new parents – what are your tips for a healthy pregnancy and for getting through the first few months?
J: Take a good quality prenatal, like New Chapter’s Perfect Prenatal, that’s what I’m taking right now because I’m still nursing. It’s super gentle on my tummy and this was important when I was pregnant because I had nausea in my first trimester. As well, I recommend a good quality probiotic and to eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits and veggies at every meal and snack for good digestion. For good energy, it has been absolutely essential to have a superfood-filled smoothie every single day. I always make sure I have a good quality protein powder in my smoothie like Genuine Health’s Fermented Vegan Protein to balance my blood sugar and keep me feeling really satisfied for the day. I’ve got more tips on eating healthy during pregnancy here. Overall, the key is to eat a variety of colourful and nourishing foods. Colour is a cue for health!
R&E: If you could recommend just 1 thing that we can do to improve our overall health, what would it be?
J: Set one new healthy goal for yourself each week. For example, make a healthy smoothie each morning, or drink more water, or go for powerwalk at lunch. By the end of a month you’ll have adopted 4 new health habits. Small changes over time are key to positive change.
Rebecca is a mom to three young children and a passionate online shopper – and Well.ca’s CEO. She loves shopping for green & natural products at Well.ca to keep her family well.
Erin is a mom to three young kids, and she’s also Well.ca’s superstar CMO! She loves running, travelling, and cooking.