Last week I had the immense pleasure of attending the Mindful Mornings Atlanta group at Sama Food for Balance which was one incredible experience. It’s the first Friday of every month so let me know if you want to go in January. BTW if you can’t tell, I’m currently existing on a combo of my daily green juice, Sama food + d’tox plant-based probiotic-rich yogurt.
Sitting next to me during the group meditation was a lovely woman and real estate girl boss, Kelley Day. We got to chatting and sharing stories and after learning that I was plant-based said, “I need to introduce you to my friend, Brittany McElhen, who is a model and personal plant-based chef who started her own organic meal-delivery company Model Fit Meals!”
Fast forward a week and I’m sitting with Kelley and Brittany (of Model Fit Meals) at yet again, Sama. Shannon just go ahead and open an account for me because I just schedule meetings there as an excuse to go and work my way through the menu. Above is the Magical Sparkly Beast with One Horn Latte, inspired by the Unicorn Latte I was obsessed with from The End in Brooklyn and posted all over social media about earlier this year. Big hugs to Shannon for creating her version so I can get my fix locally without traveling to the Big Apple. The reality is I was planning a trip to go just for that latte. That and to catch up with some friends for a long overdue hello…
So back to Brittany… she has been modeling for over a decade and tried literally every crash diet under the sun. She said none of them, not one, worked. While they may have kept her “model thin” and produced quick results, they were far from sustainable. And anyone who’s ever been on a diet knows that. No diet works long-term. You really have to make healthy lifestyle choices. Which is what I preach too!
We discussed her modeling career and how she transitioned to a plant-based chef. Brittany used to eat a high protein diet, basically steak with a small amount of broccoli or a veggie, but she was tired and weak All. The. Time. Her skin was less than model and her hormones were out of whack. She craved energy, wanted to build muscle and feel better in her skin. She started meditating while reading and learning about foods that help the body thrive instead of crashing. Her goal was to be active, lift weights and get stronger, not weaker. She keep a log of all the foods she ate and how they made her feel. Anything that zapped her energy got the ax. Foods that gave her energy, she ate more of. Eventually healthier food won, she educated her brain and palate to enjoy the flavors of real food, and started to feel energized and a level of health she never experienced on a high protein, meat-based diet.
And by tuning into her body’s inner wisdom, aka intuition, the magic really started to happen. I can totally relate because once I started to add more plants into my diet and cut out the crap, magic started to happen to me too! I had energy and motivation to get in some sort of physical activity on the daily. And once I started to have more energy and felt better, naturally I wanted to eat better. It’s the positive feedback cycle of health and wellness.
Brittany has always loved cooking and decided to turn that passion into a mission to create healthy, delicious plant-based meals and is advocating for healthier living. This young woman yet old soul is the real deal and you can taste the love infused in her food (which is why I took so many close-up photo’s of each individual food!).
So today she brought me a sample of her food, the Plant Based Protein Bowl that was inspired on what was fresh and organic at the market. The above Protein Bowl is a heavenly combination of Baked Persimmon, Fennel cooked in coconut oil, Spicy chickpeas tossed in Tandoori spice on a bed of organic Sage Quinoa and topped with toasted pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds which are rich in iron and plant-based protein). WOW! It’s a generous and hearty portion. I shared it with my hubs and paired it with a big salad since I needed some green veggies to balance it out. It’s a little carb-heavy for both my metabolism and the way I eat but nonetheless, quite healthy and delish (and economical if you eat half).
Each week she creates six original bowls inspired by what was fresh, organic at Whole Foods or Farmers Market. Each bowl is $14 with a 5-bowl minimum and includes delivery within the perimeter. You may think hmmm, that is expensive. But the reality is health is wealth and to live well it takes either time or money. If you don’t have time to get in the car, go to the grocery store, then prepare the food, clean up and deal with everything around meal prep then it really is a good deal. And did I mention it’s organic. I’m sold and will be ordering next week to supplement the meals I make at home – just to have some fun new foods. The portions are generous so half the bowl, paired with a salad, can easily make a nutritious meal. I’m hopeful she creates some bowls that are heavy on the greens since I’m a big fan of eating lots of green, green, green food!
Here’s a look at next weeks meals:
* Coconut black rice with coconut ginger beets, adzuki beans with spinach
* Ancient grains blend, carrot and zucchini ribbons with sweet potatoes
* Quinoa with lemon, kale and shallots, crispy Brussels sprouts and white beans (2 orders please)
* Cranberry walnut farro with acorn squash, parsnips and sautéed greens
* Sun-dried tomato farro with kidney beans and crispy green beans
Check out Model Fit Meals and let me know what you think! I’m excited to try my first week of organic bowls from Brittany and hope you enjoy them too! Stay tuned on Instagram for my regular posts!
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