For this months profile, I had the pleasure of interviewing nutritionist, and friend, Margaret Floyd. Margaret is not only a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) but she is also a Certified GAPS Practitioner, a Certified Healing Foods Specialist, and has trained in the psychology of eating. She created the Eat Naked nutritional therapy practice and is the author of two books: Eat Naked and The Naked Foods Cookbook. Buy her books here http://amzn.to/14ENx9g and here http://amzn.to/14ENB8N and to check out her services, visit http://www.eatnakednow.com/.
Margaret and I actually met through her husband, James Barry, who is a wonderful chef and owns a food delivery service in LA called Wholesome2go. I used his service after my son was born and I was having trouble taking care of a newborn and making time to cook healthy meals for my family. We continue to use it off and on as our work schedules and dietary needs change, and I highly recommend it for anyone who lives in the LA area and is looking for a high quality, organic and delicious food delivery service. Check him out at http://wholesome2go.com/.
Margaret and I hit it off immediately because of our common belief in holistic minded living, eating and child rearing. She has a wealth of knowledge on the healing powers of food and is our go-to for any food or health related questions. I wanted to share some of that knowledge with you by asking her a little bit about her nutrition philosophy, the average American diet and feeding her growing daughter, Sia. Enjoy and look out for future guest posts on nutrition from Margaret!
Me: When did you first get interested in nutrition?
Margaret: I’ve always loved food and anything to do with it (eating it, growing it, cooking it…) but I didn’t understand the power of nutrition until I was in my mid-20s. I’d been dealing with terrible eczema since my early teens, and even with medical help it was only getting worse. In desperation, I went to a health practitioner who drastically changed my diet, and within several weeks, that eczema was gone. It was a huge lesson for me, and taught me that what we eat has a strong impact on our health.
Me: What is your philosophy on nutrition?
Margaret: I believe in the power of eating real, whole foods. When we go back to the basics and give our bodies what they recognize: whole foods, grown in harmony with the earth, eaten as close as possible to their original state, it’s a powerful thing. Our bodies get the nutrients they need to heal and thrive. I call this “eating naked” because we’ve stripped away those things that are added and done to food – the pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, excessive processing, that long list of unpronounceable ingredients you see on most food labels, and so on. None of these added things are health-promoting, and are in fact a major reason for the massive deterioration in health we’re seeing everywhere.
Me: What do you think is the most common misconception about what it means to be healthy?
Margaret: There are so many! The most common one I see is that a low-fat, mostly vegetarian (read: low-protein and high-starch) diet is the most health promoting. No matter how many studies come out to show the opposite, there is a deep, deep fear of fat in our culture. Even those who’ve come around to the idea of “good” fats, most still don’t understand how vitally important they are to our health, and that even saturated fats from animal sources are important. The vegetarian myth is one that I subscribed to for many years (on and off for well over 10 years) and I’ve seen many people do significant harm to their health by eating this way. Vegetables are cleansing and important, but animal proteins and fats are building and are also vitally important. It is possible to eat meat, fish, dairy, and eggs in a way that’s good for you, good for the environment, and that treats the animals in a humane and respectful way.
Me: What do you think is the most important thing to do to stay healthy?
Margaret: Listen to your body, it always knows. We tune out our bodies’ signals, and so they have to get louder and louder to communicate to us. The more we listen, the more our bodies will tell us.
Me: What do you think Americans are missing most from their diet?
Margaret: Quality. We are a nation of over-processed immediate gratification, and this has come at the expense of quality. Without quality, everything suffers. When I think of quality with respect to food I think: nutrient-dense, whole food, that have been prepared in such a way as to maximize its nutritional value.
Me: If you could tell the average American to change one thing about the way they eat, what would it be and why?
Margaret: Eat a different breakfast. Swap out the bagel and low-fat cream cheese, the orange juice, the cereals, the triple caramel lattes for something more balanced and nourishing like some eggs with veggies cooked in good old fashioned butter. This one change can make an enormous difference.
Me: What inspired you to write your book “eat naked”?
Margaret: There are so many misconceptions about food, and it has become almost impossible to figure out what is truly “healthy” amongst the mixed messages and confusion. I wanted to clear through the clutter in a really simple, accessible, and practical way. Also, there’s this myth that eating healthy is either hard, expensive, or tasteless and boring, and I wanted to dispel that myth.
Me: Has motherhood changed the way you feel about food?
Margaret: It has enhanced it more than anything. Food and health have always been priorities for me, but now they’re top of the list. I also see the direct impact of what I do with my baby girl, and watch how she thrives on real, whole foods. Nutrition is always important, but it is never more important than when you’re preparing to conceive, pregnant, and breastfeeding. You cannot give your child what you don’t have – she inherits your nutritional sufficiencies or deficiencies. Your health sets the foundation for her health for the rest of her life.
Me: What is the biggest thing you have learned from being a mama?
Margaret: Trust and patience. Trusting my instincts and my baby’s cues, and being patient with the process of learning and growing (for both her and me!)
Me: What advice would you give mamas to be?
Margaret: Nourish yourself on every level – physically, spiritually, emotionally – even if it feels like there’s not enough time or space to do so. It’s the only way you’ll have the ability to give your best self and to give your child the best possible start in life.