As a holistic nutritionist with over ten years experience in the industry, you could say Kahili Blundell is well versed in what makes our bodies tick.
Being the final chapter of a year, Christmas and the summer holidays represent a time when we all want to relax, enjoy ourselves and maybe let loose a little. I chatted to Kahili about staying mindful and balanced over the silly season - and beyond!
Tell us about you; who are you, what is your background and how have you found yourself where you are now?
I am a nutritionist & pilates instructor with a background in personal training. I have a family of 4 (soon to be 5), including my partner, 7 year old step-son, 2 year old daughter and a little baby on the way. I have spent my entire career in the health industry, and I am very passionate about living a life full of health and abundance and sharing this with those around me.
So often people become completely preoccupied with food in a way that is not necessarily mentally or physically beneficial. What is your mindset when it comes to nutrition; how can people approach it in a healthy and balanced way?
Hand on heart, I truly believe - as does science - that food is medicine. Food is a way for us to nurture and nourish our bodies and minds. By understanding that the food we eat has the power to support our everyday functions, improve our wellbeing and prevent disease and on the flipside has the power to hinder health, support inflammation & promote disease in the body, we can better understand the ability we actually have towards living our best life. Every meal is our chance to step towards health rather than away from it. It’s when we see this that we can use food as a wonderful way to help build our current health status, support our organs and our bodies’ daily functions. It’s then that we start to want to only give ourselves the best, highest quality food our bodies deserve.
What does balance mean to you? How do you strike balance in your own life?
Running a business, renovating our home, growing and nurturing our family can get very chaotic, that’s for sure. I aim to ensure that I make time for everyone in my family - and that includes myself. You can never pour from an empty cup. I keep my balance by journaling at night, exercising weekly and making sure I allow myself to get creative as much as possible - whether that’s cooking some delicious recipes, trying a new hobby or doing art with the kids. I believe we need to nurture our inner child with plenty of love, fun and laughter. You can be nailing your nutrition & exercising daily, but unless you actively nourish your soul, you will struggle to find balance.
What is your favourite meal of the day? What’s your “go-to” for it?
Breakfast is my favourite meal. I believe having a hearty, nutrient-dense breakfast sets you up for success. I find that when we start with a healthy, nutritious breakfast, we are more inclined to continue this “vibe” throughout the rest of our day. I love creating an omelette full of mixed vegetables, herbs and dark leafy greens. Not only can I tick off one serve of veggies, but it makes for a perfect well-balanced meal that provides me with an array of nutrients, energy and satiety to get you through the day.
What mindset should we approach the holiday season with?
A mindset full of love, appreciation and gratitude. 2020 has been a roller-coaster ride for most people and it’s time to unwind, reflect, spend time with our families and just be present in the moment. It’s time to leave the past in the past and get excited to embrace what 2021 will bring us.
What are some ways we can indulge over the holiday period but still stay accountable and mindful?
Stay active, get outdoors in nature and be mindful of portion control. Food is delicious and something that brings us together socially, so it’s OK to embrace the silly season. It’s all about moderation and balance, not deprivation or scarcity. If you are currently on a weight loss journey or have a particular goal you are working towards and worried about overindulging during the silly season, here are two small tips when heading to a Christmas or social event.
Always eat your main meal first before reaching for the snacks or dessert bar, that way you can fill up on a well-balanced meal of protein, fats and vegetables/salads. You will naturally be more prone to eat to your appetite cues and enjoy a healthier serving size of dessert and not pick endlessly all day.
Don’t overdo the fancy alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages. A lot of unnecessarily nutrient-void calories can be found in the liquids we consume. Select beverages that are lower calorie and keep you hydrated, such as soda water or homemade iced tea with fresh sliced fruits & ice.
In your opinion, how important is it for our mental health to make such indulgences?
Everything in moderation is the key to a healthy relationship with food. Our bodies are phenomenal machines with innate adaptations that keep us alive and thriving. Enjoying ourselves and enjoying a slice or two of Christmas pudding with our family can only boost morale and support a healthy, happy day.
What’s your favourite Christmas treat?
Christmas is not Christmas without a fruit-filled pavlova!
Best Christmas recipe?
Frozen Yoghurt Christmas Bark - quick, easy and PERFECT for summer!
2 cups of frozen yoghurt
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
Handful of mixed berries
Garnish with crushed nuts (i.e almonds, hazelnuts or pecans)
Line a baking tray.
In a large mixing bowl combine yoghurt, honey & vanilla.
Transfer yoghurt mixture into the tray, with an even thickness across the entire tray.
Evenly cover the yoghurt with berries.
Sprinkle crushed nuts over the top
Freeze for 2-3 hours.
Cut into pieces and serve.
Keep in the freezer.
Leave us with some final words of advice...