Do you want to enhance your understanding of proper nutrition and lead a more balanced and nutritious life? Eating healthy does mean to compromise taste, what if you could find popular recipes with a healthier take to implement into your daily menu? We wanted to continue eating our favorite recipes, but in a healthier way, so we sought out the expert Nedi, creator of Healthy with Nedi, to tell us how to do this along with some of her healthy tips to lead a healthier life.

Neda Varbanova, the creator of Healthy with Nedi, a healthy lifestyle brand, holds a Master’s Degree in Food Studies from NYU Steinhardt, a certificate in Culinary Nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute and is a certified health coach through the  Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She believes healthy eating, fitness and a positive outlook are the keys to realizing true health. In 2015, Neda created Healthy with Nedi as a place to share her figure-friendly recipes. Since then, the blog has evolved into a lifestyle brand where one can go to find healthy recipes, nutritional advice, fitness tips, beauty tips, restaurant and travel guides, and detox ebooks.

Thank you, Nedi, for chatting with us regarding your healthy lifestyle and your inspiring figure-friendly recipes. Where do you get your inspiration to create such amazing healthy and nutritious recipes? 

I get most of my inspiration from my mom and grandma. A lot of the recipes I create are family classics with a healthy twist. It is so special to be able to pass these recipes through three generations and I am sure it will continue on with my kids one day. They better be into cooking as much as we are! ☺

Love it! Family classic recipes are the best! What about traveling, what’s your best workout routine on the go?

I swear by Kayla Itsiness 28min workouts! I get so sore and it’s super-efficient. They can be found on the Sweat app. If I don’t feel like leaving the hotel room then I do one of Melissa Wood’s flows. I love them because they are quick and the burn is for real! My grandma even does some of them with me and we have so much fun!

How fun is that to have grandma join you! Okay, so what are 3 tips you recommend to avoid digestive issues and bloating?

Adding asparagus to salads, soups, and omelets can be very beneficial for debloating. Asparagus is a natural diuretic and can assist to flush out any excess water retention from your system. This green veggie is packed with prebiotic fiber – which adds good bacteria to the gut and helps to keep the digestive tract running smoothly. I love adding asparagus to my Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad for an extra fiber crunch! 

Other tips are Sipping on dandelion tea or fennel tea throughout the day as they can reduce bloating and support cleansing the liver.

Lymphatic drainage is a fantastic massage that helps with water retention and bloating. It eliminates excess liquids and toxins from the body. This massage makes the entire body look more toned and lean. I see immediate results after a 60-minute treatment.

Great tips! What are your favorite places to shop for healthy fruits and vegetables?

I absolutely love strolling through a farmer’s market. Everything is fresh and local! I bring my own bags so there is no need to place the fresh produce in plastic bags. It drives me crazy when I am shopping at a grocery shop and so many of the organic veggies and fruits are wrapped in plastic. The farmers market is a great way to avoid this plus you get to support the local farmers. 

Farmers’ markets are so much fun to shop and a great place to bring the kids too! Speaking of kids, what do you recommend for the busy mom with picky eaters? What are 5 tricks to introduce healthy foods?

I am not very experienced with that as I don’t have children but I have a few tips which I have used with my clients that seem to work. 

1. Get creative by sneaking in ingredients like black beans into chocolate cupcakes or zucchini in zucchini brownies

2. Choose your words wisely. Instead of telling the child, you just finish your food because broccoli is good for you – try something like “Daddy is so strong because he always eats his broccoli”. Kids always look up to their parents as role models and oftentimes want to look like them. 

3. Make the food look fun! Cut out fruit or even pancakes in heart or star shapes. Put them on a little stick to make it easier for them to pick up and eat. 

4. Limit snacks. Many kids who resist new foods snack all day long which limits their hunger for food at meals. 

5. Go slow and steady. If your child loves mashed potatoes, try adding 1/2 cup of sweet potato or cauliflower to the mix. Slowly increase until you achieve veggie consistency. Kids generally won’t freak out because the process was gradual and they slowly got used to the taste. 

Sounds like a good plan to follow, slow and steady! What about skincare, what does this look like for you, what’s your favorite healthy skincare routine?

Taking care of our skin happens both inside and out. I drink plenty of water with lemon during the day and eat a colorful diet. As for products, I love Tracie Martyn purifying cleanser, Barbara Sturm hyaluronic serum + face cream, Wander Beauty do not disturb mask, Agent Nateur ageless eye serum and Image skincare lip enhancement complex.

Got it! Skincare both inside and out! What about someone wanting to take a peek at what a healthy lifestyle looks like, what would you say to them?

Balance! This is so important for your sanity and the body. People who are constantly restricting their diet, over-exercising, going on juice cleanses and completely avoiding alcohol may have higher cortisol levels and hit a plateau when it comes to weight loss. All that pressure isn’t great for your mental and physical health. Be human and find the right balance. I’m definitely not recommending someone to eat cake or pizza all day but an occasional slice is okay. Keep a healthy diet, exercise 3-4 times a week for 30-60 minutes, get enough sleep, laugh often and try to limit stress. For me, that is the definition of a healthy lifestyle. 

Wow! such a wealth of great information here! Thank you, Nedi, for taking the time to join us. I’m looking forward to trying some of your recipes! If you want to follow Nedi you can find her on Instagram, her website or facebook.

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