Eating healthy is no piece of cake. Literally, it’s quite the opposite. Yet that doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious, achievable, and enjoyable, either.
Health coach Rorie Weisberg is here to prove just that. The Monsey-based Kosher cook and creator of Full n’ Free, a line of gluten-free and low carb dough mixes, launched a new video series on Kosher.com to provide easy, approachable ways to eat well every day. Called “Living Full ‘n Free,” the series, which kicks off in November, consists of 10-minute episodes that air online twice a month.
“We want to show how simple and easy it can be to eat better without feeling like you’re cutting back or giving up on family favorite recipes,” Weisberg says of her new collaboration with Kosher.com.
As the holiday season draws closer, we got in touch with Weisberg to learn more about easy tips and tweaks to make to stay healthy during the most decadent time of year.
What are a few of your favorite healthy swaps to make?
Weisberg: We use oil in almost all of our dishes, and simply swapping an inflammatory processed oil for an anti-inflammatory version can make a huge improvement in your overall health.
Try It: Use high quality extra virgin olive oil to make this Butternut Bisque.
RW: I try to swap out white sugar with natural sweeteners like coconut crystals or raw honey. I also like to keep sweeteners to a minimum or use natural fruit to sweeten dishes as much as possible.
Try It: Make the most of natural sweetness with this Strawberry Biscuit Skillet Cobbler.
Going into the holiday season rush, what are a few of your go-to tips to stay healthy?
RW: Be prepared! It’s really hard to make mindful, balanced choices when you’re starving. Food gives our body instructions, and a body that is fueled on real food is balanced and not crashing and craving. If you’ve had a balanced breakfast and pack along a satisfying lunch, when someone brings a platter of pastries into the office, your body is balanced, and you can make a choice to either enjoy or pass on a treat from a place of mindfulness. When your body is not fueled, your blood sugar is off, and your body is craving and starving, which is a setup for impulsive choices that you may later regret. Enjoying a treat is part of a healthy lifestyle, but when we take care of our body we can truly enjoy those treats when we really want them.
Which dishes are on your holiday menus?
RW: All the same traditional recipes as everyone else! The difference is I recreate my recipes with ingredients that love your body back.
Try It: Make Weisberg’s healthy twist on Banana Nut Butter Muffins.
What are your favorite seasonal ingredients?
RW: In the fall and winter, I love anything squash-based. I try to make sure all my meals are full of color and seasoning. I love using beets, greens, squashes, and tons of herbs. We eat with our eyes first, so I try to create a menu that is full of color and flavor.
Thinking locally, what are your thoughts on the food scene here in the Hudson Valley?
RW: There are some great farmers markets that I try to get to as often as I can. When it comes to choosing a grocery store, I don’t care how big or small it is or if it offers delivery or not. To me, what makes a grocery store is the produce department. That’s what I love about the Evergreen Kosher Market in Monsey, which recently expanded its produce department and offers unusual vegetables that I can’t find in other markets. They recently hired me as their health ambassador to bring in healthier products into the store. I have “Rorie Recommended” stickers to educate customers on better-for-you ingredients. Within the next few months, we hope to bring some of my Full ‘n Free recipe cards so customers who want to incorporate more veggies know exactly what to do with them.