Karma (chow) police

Melissa Costello, Vegan Chef and Wellness Coach
Melissa Costello, Vegan Chef and Wellness Coach

Spending time on the mat allows us to connect our mind and body, but what about bringing some mindfulness to what we put in our bellies? We hooked up with Melissa Costello, personal chef to P90X creator, Tony Horton, and founder of Karma Chow, for some tips and tricks to a healthier diet. As this vegan chef and wellness coach (with a cookbook set to launch in October) explains, “It is all about being healthy and treating our bodies as a temple."

Melissa’s tips for tuning into what you’re putting into your body:

Buon appetitio!

As a young girl, Melissa started cooking with her Italian father, making authentic, homemade foods from scratch. As an athlete turned yogi, however, she began to experiment with healthier options in the kitchen. She suggests swapping out the dairy and trying almond or coconut milk, substituting quinoa or brown rice pasta versus flour, keeping it light with a bright green salad loaded with veggies, tempeh and nuts, and enjoying sweet potatoes as a great option for curbing sugar cravings.

Just say "NO" 

Lengthy labels on foods can be really tricky and sneaky. For example, "evaporated cane juice" is just a fancy name for sugar. Rule of thumb: If there is anything you cannot pronounce on the label, put it back on the shelf. Move on. Try to stick to foods with five ingredients or less, and just say "NO" to additives, fillers and sugars. The less processed food, the better. Keep it super simple.

Do the detox rock

Listen to your body – it always knows what feels good. Try a 30-day cleanse to reconnect and release toxins. Gradually cut out caffeine, sugars, gluten, alcohol (buh-bye, post-work Pinot Gris) and animal products. No pills, no potions, no powders – just healthy eating for 30 full days. Need accountability? Check out Melissa’s Vital Life Cleanse. Connect to your foods, get back in the kitchen and learn more about what you are putting in your body. Revitalize yourself in your food choices.

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