Staying Inspired: how to grow a healthy family and love life too! {video interview}

InterviewMae Bio21 Staying Inspired: how to grow a healthy family and love life too! {video interview}

Small, weekly habits make a BIG difference. If you’ve been following us for a few weeks, then you’re familiar with a few inspirational interviews from our eBook, Eat Real Essentials – featuring real people, making real effort, that share real challenges just like you. 

Today, I’d like you to meet Mae – a close friend and former design colleague of mine who is ALL ABOUT approaching “healthy living” beyond greens on her plate. She’s a family gal, and a hard working one at that. When her and I used to design together, we spent a huge chunk of our time swapping healthy recipes and making each other yummy dishes for work. And let’s just say we have many fond memories trying foods that we thought were healthy (aheem..sugar-loaded yogurt with granola).

Mae is one of those wonderful people that you have to meet for yourself. Being blessed by a beautiful child in her teenage years didn’t stop her from going after her dreams. And now she’s a senior designer at Tiny Prints, is married with another amazing daughter, celebrates her beauty daily, includes family and friends in everything she does, enjoys the art of food and how it really brings people together (healthy or not), and lives in the moment. I’ve seen her life blossom before my eyes and WOW has it been a beautiful thing.

Take a look at Mae’s favorite healthy living tips and be sure to check out more recipes and templates in our 200+ page eBook, Eat Real Essentials.

Mae weddingphotos Staying Inspired: how to grow a healthy family and love life too! {video interview}

Meet Mae. Occupation: Senior Designer Home: San Francisco, CA Age: 36

When did eating healthy become important to you? and why?

The first time I thought about changing my eating habits was shortly after I gave birth to my oldest daughter. Back then the goal was to lose weight and lose weight fast. I think I tried about every fad diet out there…atkins diet, cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, calorie counting and admittedly even the whole diet supplement pills thing. Although most of those worked I gained the weight back just as quick as I lost it, if not faster. I used to think that eating healthy equaled dieting but over the years I’ve figured out that eating healthy is more about being conscious of what I consume and how I incorporate healthier alternatives into my lifestyle. I consider eating with my family healthy too. It’s healthy for the mind!

I know you’ve been “in the kitchen” for awhile. What got you cooking?

Growing up, my parents worked a lot so I was left with the responsibility of cooking for myself and my younger sister. I taught myself to cook at a young age simply by asking my mom how to cook certain things. I would write them down and eventually I had a lot to choose from. Ever since then I grew to love cooking and later on in life I became the person that would cook and have people over. Now I have friends who love to cook just as much as I do and we have gatherings where we all cook, share recipes and hang out. I love the idea of food bringing people together.

MaeLife2 Staying Inspired: how to grow a healthy family and love life too! {video interview}

What is the hardest part about making the EAT REAL shift?

I think the hardest part about making the EAT REAL shift is more about making the shift with my family in mind. There’s four of us at home and everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to food. So it’s a constant experiment trying to be creative when introducing healthier alternatives. I’m not going to lie, this is not always successful. I am sometimes making separate meals for myself so everyone is happy. But the fact that I get to be in the kitchen doing what I enjoy makes it all worth it. One step at a time.

Give me a day-in-the-life of Mae? Sleep sched? What do you eat?

On gym days I get up at 5:00 am. Otherwise I’m up at 6:30 am. After I get ready I make my breakfast which is usually some roasted veggies with poached eggs or a veggie & sausage scramble. I try not to spend more than 15 minutes preparing breakfast since I have a long commute. Once I get to work I’ll have coffee with almond milk or herbal tea. Every day at work is a different challenge but I get through the day by staying hydrated. My latest favorite is fruit infused water. Lunch is almost always a salad with kale or arugula (more of my faves). After work I’ll either cook dinner with what I prepped on the weekend or we’ll eat out if the afternoon traffic gets me home extra late. That is followed by yet more prepping for the next day (iron clothes, pack lunch, etc.). Lights are usually out no later than 10:00 pm for us. Another thing I’ve come to learn over the years is how important sleep is! I used to get only about 4 hours of sleep every night but now I make sure to give myself at least 7 hours. What a difference that makes!

Who cooks in the fam?

That would be me! As I mentioned, I’ve been cooking since I was very young and I love it. I used to have a goal of trying at least 3 new recipes each week but with my schedule these days it’s turned out to more like 1-2.

Exercise routine?

With my new commute my exercise routine has changed a lot. I used to be able to walk across the street and go to the gym to take a TKB or Pilates class during my lunch break but now the gym isn’t as accessible. These days the best time for me to work out is before work in the wee hours of the morning…typically 5:30am. At the gym I usually start off with circuit training via my Nike Training Club app for 30 minutes. Then I’ll end with cardio on the elliptical or sprint intervals on the treadmill. Of course there are days when I can’t make it and when that happens I try to walk around more while I’m at work or go somewhere after work with the family where we can be physically active.

Name 2 favorite kitchen tools and why.

Name 4 kitchen staples you have at home right now.

What did you eat before that you would never eat/buy again?

Yoplait “nonfat” fruit yogurt

What’s your favorite thing to cook?

Roasted veggies and poached eggs. I will put poached eggs on just about anything and call it breakfast. Roasted veggies are so versatile as well. They’re great in soups, as a side dish or on salads.

Why is your “weekly food prep” so freakin important to you? What happens if you don’t do it?

Food prep is a HUGE help to me. I try to do the bulk of my grocery shopping on Saturday or Sunday so I can prepare food for the next 3-4 days. Food prepping for me is not so much about cooking a bunch of recipes all at once so there is something completely different to eat each day. It’s more about preparing a few simple ingredients that can be used in different types of dishes or as I like to call it “recipe remixes.” I admit it’s not that easy to stay on top of this and when it does fall through the cracks we end up resorting to food that is convenient and not entirely good for you. Not to mention it gets costly eating out so much.

If you could give 3 pieces of advice to all the hip and happening folks out there growing careers and families, what would you tell them?

Eat Real Essentials

Sound familiar?

If you like this interview, checkout more stories and tips in our Eat Real Essentials eBook, enhanced and interactive for the iPad or in a digital-friendly PDF. It’s filled with inspirational stories, grocery shopping and pantry stocking tips, a 3-week meal plan with a whole foods detox, and over 100 recipes designed just for the busy person! Check it out here.

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