Taylor Riggs has been the Registered Dietitian [RD] for the 2017 #CHAARGSBFP, teaching us how to fuel our bodies while ensuring sustainable balance with the occasional #treatyoself. As a blogger, Simply Taylor is always Instagramming the most simple, yet *drool-worthy* foodie pics, ++ she’s also published her own cookbook: Real Food, Real Simple. Read on to learn more about this #GirlBoss that will probably be your next role model —
Tell us a little bit about yourself! How’d you get into professional blogging?
I started blogging during my second year of studying nutrition at Ohio State, after reading a bunch of health/fitness blogs on my own, just as a fun way to share the foods I was eating and the workouts I was doing. It wasn’t until a couple years later that it became the full-on recipe blog it is today. I still work a full-time job as a dietitian doing health coaching in Columbus, but blogging continues to be such a fun, creative outlet for me to further express my passion for nutrition!
What’s your food philosophy in one sentence?
Balance is KEY.
What’s your morning routine?
I am a total morning person, so I’m usually up at least 2 hours before I have to leave the house. I take my time getting ready, usually while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, and then take the time to make myself a healthy breakfast and sit down to eat it before packing my lunch for the day and heading out the door. I like to ease into my day – if I feel rushed or in a hurry, it throws everything off! So taking my time in the mornings is so important to me!
Fav healthy snacks on the go?
Fruit + nut butter, Larabars, RX Bars
Right now it’s 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 tbsp cacao powder, 2 scoops collagen peptides, a few cups of spinach and a handful of ice cubes (plus whatever other mix-ins I have on hand!)
Fav #treatyourself meal//dessert?
There’s a restaurant in Columbus called Bareburger and they have THE best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. If I’m really in the mood to treat myself, I love getting their bison burger on the tapioca bun with a side of fries. That or Jeni’s ice cream!
At least once a week, I cook…
Salmon. I was never a fish-eater growing up, so I’ve really been trying to incorporate it more lately! I will admit, it’s still not my absolute favorite, but I’m making a point to experiment with different recipes to broaden my horizons (and up my omega-3 intake!)
3 staples in my kitchen…
Almond butter, frozen blueberries, broccoli
How do you manage a balanced diet in social situations?
Most people who know me know I’m a healthy eater, but there are definitely still times I get some smack in social situations for making healthy choices or not partaking in some of the unhealthy fare. I wasn’t always confident in saying no or not doing what everyone else was, but over the years I’ve become much more confident. Having type 1 diabetes and a few other health issues I deal with, I know what makes my body feel good and what doesn’t, so I’ve realized that eating something that doesn’t agree with me just for the sake of pleasing other people or fitting in with the crowd isn’t really worth it. I definitely don’t restrict myself, and certainly partake if I want to, but if I’m with people close to me, I know they’ll respect my decisions!
Do you take any daily supplements?
I take a few supplements recommended by the doctor I’m seeing, but wouldn’t necessarily recommended them to everyone because they are specific to my unique situation/needs. In most cases, I think our nutrients are best when consumed through food, so if you’re eating a balanced diet with a variety of healthy foods, you shouldn’t necessarily need anything additional!
How much is too much fruit?
The recommended amount of fruit for women 19-30 years old is 2 cups per day. I think people tend to be “afraid” of fruit because of it’s sugar content, but it’s important to remember that sugar from a candy bar and sugar from a banana are different when we look at the bigger picture. Candy bars contain added sugars, and typically don’t contain much else in terms of nutritional value otherwise (hence the term “empty calories”). On the other hand, the sugars in a banana occur naturally, and come packaged with TONS of other awesome nutrients, including one of the most important, which is fiber. So don’t fear the fruit! Just practice portion control and moderation as you would with any other food.
Fav health//wellness book [or cookbook, besides yours of course ; )]?
I LOVE Ali Maffuci from Inspiralized and all of her recipes are so fun and creative! She has two cookbooks out now that I love to cook from!
What’s your opinion on paleo//Whole30?
I categorized myself as a paleo blogger for a long time (in fact, most of my blog recipes and all of those in my cookbook are still paleo-friendly). I did a few Whole30s when I first started experimenting with paleo and I do think they can be a great experience if done correctly. The important part is remembering the reintroduction phase once it’s over, which I think most people tend to skip or gloss over. The whole point is not to be super restrictive for the rest of your life, but to establish sort of a baseline by removing some of the common foods that give people trouble, then reintroduce them to see how your body reacts specifically. I think paleo in general is a great foundation for a healthy diet (again, if done correctly). Ideally, a paleo diet it primarily plant-based, focusing on whole foods (vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, etc.) while incorporating healthy protein sources as well. I think most people tend to think of paleo as an Adkins-style diet with meat, meat, more meat, and no carbohydrates and that’s SUCH a big misconception. I also think people tend to feel like they have to follow the paleo “rules” word for word, but it’s all about finding a balance that works best for you.
Have you ever done a detox//cleanse? [If so, thoughts//recommendations?]
I’ve never done any kind of detox or cleanse, and don’t really recommended them. I think people who look to these kinds of programs are typically looking for some kind of quick fix when it comes to weight loss or energy boosts, and sure you might experience those things initially, but they’re typically short-lived and things go back to how they were before the cleanse once real food is re-introduced (even if it’s healthy food!). I think the best way to “cleanse” or “detox” is really by just eating real food and avoiding things that are processed, packaged, etc. Our bodies have natural systems in place to “detox,” so by feeding them well, we allow them to do that on their own!
Weekly workout routine?
Lately I’ve been taking a lot of long walks with my pup! It might not seem like a lot, but it’s what my body feels is best right now and is my favorite way to decompress and have some “me” time after a long day at work. I love turning on some music or a podcast and getting outside for some fresh air to wind down my day!
Biggest lesson you hope to teach through being an RD?
The biggest lesson I hope to teach as a dietitian is that there is no one-size-fits-all with nutrition. I want people to know that healthy is something that looks different on everyone and that finding a balance that works for you and your lifestyle is so key to living a healthy life!
What do you imagine your life to look like 5 years from now?
This is such a tough question to answer because I feel like I’m not even sure what my life will look like 5 weeks from now – ha! But I hope to continue to find creative ways to express my passion for food and nutrition both in my work as an RD and through my blog, whatever that may look like. My mind and heart are open to whatever new opportunities may come my way, and I’m excited to see what those may be!
What FitGoal are you working on right now?
I’m about 6 feet tall and have never been very flexible, but one thing I really want to start incorporating more into my fitness routine is yoga/meditation. I’m a little too intimidated at this point to go to any classes (one day I’ll get there ;)), but I’ve been really enjoying incorporating some sessions at home to start learning more and getting more comfortable! So if anyone has any awesome at-home yoga workouts or YouTube channels, send them my way! 🙂
If you could give one piece of advice for CHAARG girls…
Keep supporting each other. One of my absolute favorite things about CHAARG is the support I see that radiates EVERYWHERE. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned marathon runner or just starting in the gym, or if you’ve eaten healthy all your life or are taking baby steps to making healthier food choices. I love seeing everyone embrace everyone and cheer each other on, because that is SO important, especially for women. Don’t ever stop rooting for each other and lifting each other up.
Thanks, Taylor, for helping us stay balanced while fueling our bodies for the #CHAARGSBFP! <3