10 June 2019

Nutrition Strategies From A Foodie, with Mareya Ibrahim

Most people's concept of a healthy nutrition strategy has been distorted by the food industry's messaging tactics. Luckily, we have real nutrition educators such ...


welcome so this week I have a very special treat this is a dear friend of mine thank you for being here and so I wanted to do a quick introduction but before I actually read your introduction which is highly impressive I want to talk just for a second about how we met yeah so we actually met doing something that you were very good at and qualified for I was not I actually got drugged on two recipes I didn't want to do it my husband sort of pushed me into it um because you and I were both part of something called the Daniel plan yes and so I met you there and you were one of the only people who was really nice to me oh my gosh how did anybody not be nice to you you know was this crazy competitive environment it was so interesting to me no I you know I I want to say how much admiration I have for you well thank you and and Daniel and you know I rave about you guys all the time and I've been telling people everybody's got to go get their brain scans which I'm next I love that we share such a similar point of view on food nourishment and being a warrior and taking control of your life

but at the same time enjoying your life and exactly what the people you love cuz that's at the end of the day that's what we have exactly yeah so I want to talk more about recipe rehab but just really quickly um tell you who Maria is cuz I just am so impressed with what you've done um so you are actually known as the fit 30 which is so true you can see you're sitting here but she is super fit the fit 30 the nationally recognized food safety and clean eating expert an award-winning entrepreneur television chef which I learned firsthand author and inventor you're the CEO and founder of grow green I've seen your website you have a lot of green products which I really like yeah I'd love to share laughs yeah you patented eat clean eat safe and eat fresh line of natural and organic products which I saw on your website that was really cool your book the clean eating handbook was released in May of 2013 and is being touted as the go-to guide for anyone looking to eat cleaner and get leaner I like that I'm so rather than a diet book it's yeah which I don't like that I don't like it you're you're a co contributor to the

Daniel plan another way we were connected yes we both contributed to the Daniel plan 40 days to a healthier life by Rick Warren and my husband dr. Raymond and Mark Hyman you've been featured on the emmy-nominated cooking show recipe rehab ah how calm live strong calm and your frequent guest on San Diego six and Fox 5 San Diego news your back page call him the fit foodie appears in edible Orange County magazine yeah so super you're super busy when it comes to food I like that when we went on recipe rehab I just have to like this is just so funny so I really uh I wasn't a huge fan of going on a cooking show because I've always made it clear when I got into this I'm a nurse I'm not a chef even right my husband always says I went from disaster to master I did it out of strictly out of necessity yeah it was survival for me yeah it was to get healthy get my family healthy and I did it at a time when it wasn't a super common thing sure to get into food as medicine mm-hmm and so that's why I got into doing it and so I'd written a couple of books and they were doing pretty well and somehow I ended up on

the show and I didn't realize that everyone on the show were master chefs right and so I got on the show I'm like you guys know I'm not a master chef right they're like oh you're not no I'm a nurse and so when I sent them my oh you have to send them your list of ingredients yeah they argued with me oh gosh and they literally were argue with me I'm like no I cannot use white flour yeah they're like can you replace your flax meal for you know I forget what they want to replace it with it was something gluten Laden and I'm like no yeah and so they gave me this like this they were just like huh it wasn't worth like it wasn't going together like now it's going to understand what this is I go that's the whole point mhm I want I'm an educator yeah and so he kept going back and forth so I get on the show and they literally gave me everything they gave me was almost wrong so rather than flax meal they gave me flax seeds yeah you don't know like I'm trying to coerce the coffee grinder I'm like oh my gosh this is a disaster so so I did the best I could it was just and the producers were nice but I had a hard time with a couple of

the chef's that were they were highly competitive I'm like I was just there to have a good time and you know yeah I met you yeah it worth it and you were so much fun and I realized you were also part of the data plan which was so coincidental well you know what I what I loved about recipe rehab was you know you have all these families that have these classic recipes that have been passed on and and you know and they're not yet Emma's double chocolate cake that had like five hundred thousand grams of sugar like insane and that we got a chance to make it better free and I loved that you know what I mean and I I think that we can take that approach in so many things in our lives like food doesn't have to be replaced I think we we have this idea in our minds that like in order to eat cleaner or eat better for you I don't even like the word diet but an eating plan that's sustainable that we have to replace all these things and that's just simply not true there are always better alternatives and smart swaps and at the same time I always go back to like family is everything right so at the center of your families where your

traditions are it's where you enjoy your food together it's where you come together in celebration and every day every day can be a celebration you know food and sustenance is such a tremendous glue and it engages all your senses and and it gave us a chance to really like say you don't have to do it on your own you grow with your family and by the way I replaced all of the butter in one of my one of my dishes with pureed beets Sarah loved that and that and that cake one it was so easy they were doing it right with the beets and it's still won so like we can overcome a lot of perceptions when we show people how to do it the right I think a lot of it this is what this is where this is where my expertise has been is educating people cuz even even on that show they had no idea at the time what I they're like why are you why are we introducing all of these ingredients mm-hmm because that's what I do yeah these people were diabetic yeah I'm like what someone has to explain to them yeah it's not a hard swap it's not and I really not it's really about that demonstration and and the beautiful thing about that show when I think when you know even in the Daniel

plan is when we would do demonstrations in front they get it an audience and they see if they're like oh and they taste it and it's good yeah it's that connection and and I think that's why cooking shows are so popular right I was on an episode of cutthroat kitchen on the Food Network and I was like I never want to do a competition show again but I want to educate people and show and tell because that's really where my heart is meet you yeah that's what I really love yeah and I actually think that that is so I worked with you I worked with Jenny Ross and I really felt like that so I actually was clear the one good thing about being on a show like recipe rehab was I became very clear about what it is I do yeah I'm already sort of new but I'm like I'm not I don't want to go on competitive shows about being the chef but that's not me I'm an educator so what I actually talked to Daniel plan about is like look I am your educator mm-hmm I partner with chefs and I think that that's why it worked out so well I gave them a ton of recipes I provided recipes because that's what they need but I worked it worked so well to be

able to partner with you and Sally and Jenny and you guys would come on and do the food demonstrations and I did a lot of the education because that's that's how we forge a path that's how we actually educate people look we were never as a species we were never we never ate the way we eat now a hundred years ago yeah that was it that only happened when we are all of a sudden were able to store massive amounts of food we ate we ate seasonally yeah we ate what was fresh exactly yeah and even though they eat pasta I never feel sick when I go there they serve tiny portions it's ours locally milled it's not not just its two ingredients usually memory and its small amounts in proportion and it's eaten slowly this is another thing that we have and I talked about it in eat like you give up show them your yeah I'm so excited for this book because I did you give a four it's so liberating and you know when I was in culinary school I went to culinary school in France and you know that was a long time ago and this was before flack and she right right and I just I was not feeling good I was constantly feeling bloated I was

constantly feeling heavy not motivated and I was like I ended up dropping out and I'm saying it I I never finished because it just wasn't working for me and I then I got on the holistic nutrition path and I started organizing culinary events for a chain of natural food stores Wow and I was like okay this feels better I can and I'm Middle Eastern so like a lot of my background is the Mediterranean diet you know it's beans and and and grains and all of these things that worked for me that I wasn't seeing that in the cooking that I was learning so I started merging my culinary perspective with the better-for-you food and that was the magic combination you know that's where the book like really gives you a path it's an eight-part strategy and within each strategy you get a chance to dive into more of a culinary point of so let me ask you a question cuz this is a beautiful book and I love the title eat like you give a 4 thank you um so but I need to understand something this is not just a cookbook no not a lifestyle book it's it's teaching you strategy it's eight strategies and they are based on strategies that I've tried and tested

with literally thousands of people that I've coached okay so beyond the Daniel plan in my health coaching I've done corporate health coaching and health coaching with individuals and the first thing that I find is when you tell people to eat a certain way if they've never eaten that way before you have to start by retraining they're tasteful absolutely so that's the first strategy in the book is let us reset what you are eating so that you crave differently and we find that within about seven to ten days blueberries taste sweet right they're God's candy it's it's an eight day reset anybody can do it you eat a few bites of the foods that I recommend and then all of a sudden you start to crave bitter yeah and sour and umami flavors that then open up the world to the things that are better for you that's so interesting so that's your first strategy what's the second strategy the second strategy is to really transform your kitchen so you know in your real kitchen you are taking out all of the things that don't serve you and I kind of make the analogy to a great wardrobe right you know when you

go into your refrigerator I think some people expect like the food to pop out of them really like eat me right and it doesn't work that way you have to be intentional and there's only a few things we need to survive right foods one of them so if we would just give a fraction of the attention to what we're eating more than like social media you know what I was saying like it just it's perspective so I'm telling you that when you get your real kitchen in order you get your food house in order you get the right tools everything changes so one of the first videos that Daniel and I did together for the Daniel plan was pantry cleanse for this woman so people were volunteering to you know do this and this woman said I actually really healthy so I would love to have you you know come she thought that you know I was gonna be like this great experience whatever she was mind blown oh yeah because when we got in there we're like um Captain Crunch but she did she see most people don't even understand what is healthy what's not healthy that because we have been so trained by the food industry rather than by our grandparents yes right my

family's from Lebanon you have these grandparents that you know they cooked fresh every day they did yeah did this stuff yeah I didn't grow up like that sadly cuz my mom ended up being a runaway that was we were poor but when my family cooked and like when Daniels family still cooks he's done as well yeah Lebanese um it's just fresh the ingredients are fresh they're clean they're I mean yeah we've gotten so far away from that and most people think that if it says healthy on the label this is where you and I I love you're the reason you're here hmm your strategies because and I love your philosophy because we are so on the same page yeah I mean think about that like our parents you know they would bring home meats and fish and write produce and they would literally cook it every day right and go to the market the next day and their wallets my grandma couldn't even drive she'd walk with their dad or you know walk out yeah but it's so interesting now we think if it's got a label that says health food on it yes and if you read the ingredients that's rarely true yes and so it's just rarely you have to really read labels

and you have to understand what processed food is and and beyond that I think you know when we can get away from just surviving on what's in our pantry and really re-evaluate our refrigerator I call it rehabbing your refrigerator no because if if half of our eating plan should be fresh produce shouldn't half of our refrigerator be too right you know what I'm saying so like take advantage of eating with the colors yeah you know the color rainbow rainbow I know it sounds like maybe we've been talking about it over and over again but isn't it more to see like this array of color in front of you naturally you get a candy skittles it's gotta be a real rainbow yes the real rainbow let's come back when we come back let's talk about the rest of your strategies I'm actually really enjoying this it's just totally in alignment with what we teach your hand so I love being able to offer more you know more resources to people and this is just a fantastic resource of data we'll be right back if you're enjoying the brain warriors way podcast please don't forget to subscribe so you'll always know when there's a new episode

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