Drakeford shares nutritious recipes and tips for healthy lifestyle
Many people struggle with a love/hate relationship with food. We love to eat it, but hate how it can make us feel when we over do it. Fitness trainer and nutrition coach Kristy Drakeford helps her clients adjust their outlook so it’s more of a love/love relationship. They love how food can contribute to their overall health and love how healthy choices can make them feel about themselves.
Drakeford hasn’t always practiced the best eating habits. She, like so many, struggled to find the magical combination of diet and exercise to be the “right” size.
“I think I was in the same boat as most women in my 20s and early 30s. I had a diet mentality. I felt pressure to look a certain way, be a certain size or weight. After I had my kids, I tried lots of diets and workout programs,” said Drakeford. “What I found was that they would work until they didn’t. I usually stopped doing them because they didn’t fit my lifestyle or they were too restrictive or frankly, I didn’t enjoy it. So I would jump from diet to diet trying to look like a fitness model because that is what the magazines and influencers said was fit, right?”
Drakeford started doing crossfit, first for fun and then competitively. As she began to compete in strength training as well, she saw that food was more than just a meal, but a power source for her body.
“I started changing my mindset when I started getting competitive in crossfit and weightlifting. I felt empowered when I saw my body do really hard things or lift weight I didn’t think I could ever lift,” said Drakeford. “But I realized right away, I wasn’t eating to fuel my body properly because I was still eating to shrink myself, not get stronger. I started eating more food. I started choosing whole, nutritious foods and balancing my macronutrients. I stopped restricting the things I loved so I wouldn’t binge eat when no one was looking.”
As Drakeford saw her own health transform and develop a healthier mindset on eating and body image, she knew she wanted to help others in their journey to be their healthiest self.
“ When I broke out of this mindset, it really was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I became happier because I wasn’t constantly stressing over food,” she said. “I wanted nothing more than for other women to break out of this mentality.”
Drakeford says its important for people to see food as a necessity for survival and not something that is good or bad. Food is what gives our body the energy for our brain function, hearts to pump, lungs to breath and our immune systems to be strong. She works with clients to understand that under-eating does not always mean weight loss and weight loss is not always healthy.
“I teach my clients to eat an 80/20 approach with 80% of their food coming from whole foods, or minimally processed foods. Did it come from the ground or an animal?” asks Drakeford.
“While all foods are energy, the more processed a food becomes, the less nutritional value it has versus a whole food that is packed with energy, vitamins and minerals we need. So can you eat ice cream? Of course you can!”
Drakeford runs a 12 week program for women called Whole Fit Whole Fab. Her goal with her clients is to set up a program that fits their lifestyle in nutrition and exercise, while working on behavior changes. She also does one-on-one monthly coaching for men and women. She offers help setting goals to be stronger and leaner or just providing direction with workouts and taking some of the guess work out of it.
Drakeford also pushes that food is important in our lives and is tied to things like family and memories. So it’s not always about giving up the foods we love, but incorporating them into a healthier lifestyle that prevents overindulgence.
“Restricting everything you love only leads to binging, which is very unhealthy. So if I eat a piece of dark chocolate each day, which is something I love, I don’t crave it or over eat it in the long run. And the rest of my day is packed full of whole food choices,” she said.
While her lifestyle change has benefitted Drakeford, she also sees the positive influence it has made in her children’s lives.
“Trust me when I say your kids watch everything you do… including how you eat. I know this to be true because one of my proudest moments as a mom was when my 20-year-old son sent me pictures of his food he cooked when he went to college,” she said. “It was a plate full of whole food choices! All the meal prep he saw me do, all the meals he saw me make, they were full of protein and veggies and healthy carbs and fat. He knew how to implement this in his own life because it’s what he saw at home.”
When asked what healthy advice or tips she would have given herself 10 years ago, her comments ring true for anyone wanting to better themselves:
“It’s okay to take care of your health and well-being. It’s actually necessary. Don’t feel guilty for taking time for you. Do it now and set the example for your kids so they grow up with this mindset as well.
• There is no one size, one weight, or one body image that determines health. That is what the diet industry wants us to think, but the truth is healthy “looks” different on everyone.
• Stop seeking perfection. This is a marathon, not a sprint. If I stopped to rest, use the bathroom, get a drink of water, I sure didn’t go back to the starting line! I just started running again. Your diet and nutrition are not going to be perfect. You are going to fall off track. You are going to have days where they just aren’t great. Life is going to get in the way. But you don’t quit, you don’t start over. You just start running again.
• Start NOW. Quit saying tomorrow because in the blink of an eye, tomorrow has turned into a month, a year, ten years and you are left wishing you had started when you should have.
• Invest in a coach, a program, a gym membership, a personal trainer, a dietician… whatever you need to hold you accountable and get healthy. You will save money in the long run because your healthy body will be better equipped to fight against illness and disease instead of spending in health care for it later.”
Drakeford can be contacted through her website wholefitwholefab.com by filling out the interest form or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gluten Free Loaded
• 2 slices of gluten free whole grain bread
• 1 ripe avocado, pitted
• 2 eggs
• 1 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tbsp Everything Bagel seasoning (Trader Joe is my favorite)
• 2 slices of bacon
Lightly spray olive or avocado oil in a pan to cook the eggs, breaking the yolk until cooked through.
While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread to your liking.
Cut the avocado in half and take out the pit. Then using a spoon, scoop out the avocado into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of lime juice and everything bagel seasoning and mix with the avocado by smashing the avocado with a fork against the sides of the bowl.
Break your bacon piece into two smaller pieces to make four total pieces. Assemble by spreading the avocado evenly on the two slices of bread. Add bacon, then eggs and enjoy!
This recipe can be low carb by replacing the gluten free bread with crispbread crackers.
Meal Prep Grilled Chicken with “Fried” Rice
This can be made into several meals that you can keep in your fridge to grab-and-go a healthy, balanced lunch for the week! My family devours this.
The bone broth gives the rice additional protein content for those of us that need a little protein boost here and there!
• 4-6 chicken breast
• 2 cups of jasmine rice
• 4 cups of chicken bone broth
• 4-5 eggs
• 1/2 cup of shredded carrots or chopped carrots
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp sesame oil, separated
• 1-2 tbsp garlic, minced
• 1 cup coconut aminos, separated into 2 halves
• 1 tbsp ground ginger or fresh ginger, minced
Grill chicken breast on the grill and baste with 1/2 cup of coconut aminos (teriyaki sauce can be used instead if not gluten free). When cooked through, remove from grill and cut into 1-2 inch cubed pieces.
Put two cups of jasmine rice and four cups of chicken bone broth in a pot and cook on high until it begins to boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot until liquid is absorbed, stir frequently to keep from sticking. Remove from heat.
While rice is cooking, in a skillet on medium-high heat, put in one tablespoon of sesame oil and add in onion and carrots until soft and onions are translucent. Add in garlic for a couple of minutes and then remove veggies from the pan until later.
Lightly spray the skillet with oil and break eggs into the skillet, scrambling them as they cook. When cooked, add to the veggies on a separate plate until later.
Turn down the burner to medium-low heat and add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the skillet and cooked rice. Stir around some, not allowing it to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add ginger, cooked vegetable and egg mix and the half cup of coconut aminos. Stir until all is mixed together well. You may need to add a quarter cup or less of coconut aminos if the rice is not fully coated.
Place a cupped hand size portion of rice in a meal prep container (or desired amount to fit macro goal) and top with a palm sized amount of chicken. Continue to do this in separate meal prep containers until you have portioned all the food out.
Now, you don’t have to think about lunch for the rest of your week! This can be frozen as well if put in freezer-safe containers.
(For men, double the portion sizes to two palms of chicken and two cupped hands of rice.)