I sat down to chat with my friend, Catherine Switzer of Baby Beets last month to chat about how she incorporates mindfulness into every facet of her business as a Holistic Nutritionist, Doula and Yoga Instructor.
I always love my visits with Catherine... and especially the delicious and nutrition food she makes for me. She's a wealth of knowledge with a fun, non-judgemental approach. I'm so excited to introduce you all to Catherine as she'll be our Resident Nutritionist at Love My Mat for at least the next few months... and hopefully more.
Read our interview below, then look forward to monthly tips and easy, healthy recipes from Catherine. The first recipe she's shared is perfect for this apocalyptic time we're currently in. Pantry Pasta mmmmmm....
LMM: There are so many things to consider in eating healthy and sustainably. What are your best tips for people to simplify this process? How does eating locally come into play?
BB: There are several guidelines that I try my best to follow throughout the year.
I think that it is important first to recognize that we don’t need to be perfect but do our best to nourish with what we can. If you shop with a budget (which most of us do) it’s ok to choose the non organic variety rather than unhealthy alternatives.
We are lucky to be able to enjoy so many favourite foods all year long, thanks to innovation and transportation. The downside to eating foods flown in, is that they are picked unripe. This inhibits the full potential of nutrients to develop as well as the flavour profile is just not as impactful. Eating in season, from local growers helps ensure we are obtaining nutrient dense foods, but also support our local economy.
Luckily in Ontario we have access to so many varieties of foods for a large portion of the year. Greenhouse technologies provide tomatoes nearly year round and cucumbers start to become visible on your grocery shelves in February.
I personally follow the dirty dozen & clean fifteen by the Environmental Working Group, which is updated yearly. This list includes foods you should choose organic more often and the ones that you can buy non-organic. This is a great guideline to help with budgeting purposes. I also have my go-to local farmers which I have become educated on their practices; meaning they may not be certified organic but they use other sustainable healthy ways to grow their crop without compromising the integrity of a natural product.
Check out the Foodland Ontario website for the entire list of local, in-season produce available. Here is a list of some goodies to keep a look out for in stores or market stands this month:
LMM: As a registered holistic nutritionist, a yoga instructor, and a labor and postpartum doula, you obviously have a passion for wellness and supporting others through their journey. How did you get into this path and why is it that you do what you do?
BB: Ohh such a good question!
My own personal experiences have me to be walking this path of supporting others.
I first found nutrition through my own personal wellness journey. I wanted to inspire others to repair their relationship with food, resulting in a healthier lifestyle. While I was in Holistic Nutrition school after a conversation with one of my teachers about my life experiences losing my mom at the age of 21 and passion for family & kids nutrition. She introduced me to what a Doula was. I was so excited to learn more about this work as one of my own personal fears was starting a family without my amazing mother at my side. Through my training I learned so much about non-judgmental support and the role of that person can play in supporting such an intimate time for a family, especially for the birthing mother.
My personal experiences as a young woman; losing mom to mental illness and then cancer, navigating through a failed marriage at the age of 22 and then my older sister at 30, died from an overdose. Although traumatic, as I was forever changed, they shape who I am today. I was slowly finding my way to light and happiness, but I needed something more in my life, that something more was yoga. After practicing for a few years, I decided that I wanted to support my community more.
LMM: Your business is based on supporting the physical and emotional wellbeing and health of others - how do you balance this with incorporating self care for yourself?
BB: Being able to hold space for others is an exceptional gift, one that I don’t take for granted, but in all honesty it can be draining if I don’t practice daily self love. These things are small gifts that I give myself each day.
Slow mornings (I wake up early for this), sleep, reading, movement (both gym & yoga), meditation, laughing and the occasional spa service like nails/massage.
LMM: What do you feel is the biggest misconception of healthy (and joyful) living?
BB: The unfortunate roll that the “weightloss industry” has in the wellness indrustry has truly messed this up for most of us. Trying to obtain irrelevant or irrational levels of “health”.
My biggest advice to those that are struggling to find that balance of health, wellness and joy, is that you don’t have to be perfect, life is practice. We all show up, do the best we can and show gratitude for yourself and the people that support you.
LMM: What's your go-to yoga pose or prop for helping new moms or even yourself?
BB: Ohhh I love my loops strap for my personal practice, especially for stretching my hamstrings! Moms shoulders need some extra love ALL THE TIME!!! In a yoga class catered to them, we always start or end practice with some shoulder flossing!