Get Deliciously Healed With "Buckwheat To Butter"!
The vibrant Jennifer Hall Taylor started Buckwheat To Butter in 2012 aas an outlet to share her delicious recipes and get people excited about the health benefits of foods that they were probably already eating. Since then, it has become a resource to illustrate how varied the definition of “health” can be, to educate people about the healthful properties of foods and practices, and above all, to teach people that eating healthfully can be simple, delicious, and deeply satisfying. Today Jennifer shares her knowledge not only through her website, but as a health coach - offering her clients well-balanced and vibrant practices to living a more mindful, nutrient filled and balanced life. We got the chance to sit down with this super smart and super lovely human for all things Buckwheat to Butter. I think you are really gonna like this one. BONUS: contact her for $10 off a health consultation - just tell her that "The Vibrant Beet" sent you! The Vibrant Beet: Tell us a little bit about…you, darling! How did you get so interested and knowledgeable about health & wellness? Jennifer Hall Taylor: Food was really the entry point for me and I think of my journey through food as being influenced by a few different lenses. The first was enjoyment. I grew up in a very food-centric family—the family joke being that at breakfast we’re talking about what we’re going to have for lunch, and at lunch we’re talking about what we’ll have for dinner. So it was about having all the senses involved, and communing at the table. The second is food as fuel. I’ve always been a really active person—I was a dancer growing up and now am a yogi, a rock climber, a triathlete—so feeding myself for optimal performance and recovery has always been important. The third is power of food as medicine—both preventative and responsive, and the imperative to look at lifestyle choices when talking about health. For years I worked in a really stressful, seasonal work environment. I was working 70 hours weeks on my feet, getting little sleep, and powering through my days with sugar and caffeine. I had just about every recurring health issue under the sun—chronic yeast infections, UTIs, sinus infections, migraines, back injuries, you name it. After a few years of working through summers like that and having winters off, I realized that I was never sick in the winter months. Those were the months when I was sleeping more, spending lots of time outdoors, feeding myself balanced meals, spending connected time with my loved ones, and making time to do the things I loved to do. My stress level was radically reduced in the winter and my health was radically improved. This was the major lightbulb moment. I’d always self educated about food and wellness fields as they were interesting to me but I decided to get more formal education in Holistic Health in 2012 and attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
TVB: Why do you like working with people? Tell us what services you offer as a health coach. JHT: Most of the work I do is one-on-one coaching with people. I really like this model because it allows for a relationship to build over time. I get to really understand what a person is after, what is holding him or her back from accomplishing his or her goals, and how to encourage change and growth. The most gratifying thing for me about working in this way is bearing witness to the profound change that people are capable of. No matter who the person is or what the goals are, there is significant and meaningful growth from day 1 to our last session. I’m also really excited to be offering downloadable programs now. I just released a 7 Day Spring Clean Eating Program on my website and will be adding similar seasonal cleansing and meal plan programs over the coming months. What I really love is turning people on to how delicious and simple it can be to eat well all the time. I’m in the process of building a Resource Library for my which will have a combination of free and premium resources so people can easily learn how to incorporate health-supportive habits and recipes into their every-day lives.
TVB: How did you come up with the name "Buckwheat To Butter"? JHT: I was working through a bunch of blog name ideas with my friend Meg and she asked me to write one simple sentence to describe what my blog was about. I wrote, “an exploration of the delicious and the healing, from buckwheat to butter.” And that was it!
TVB: Tell us about Food Journal Analysis and why/how it works. Do you practice it? JHT: It’s a method of tracking. Most of us go through our days putting things into our bodies without thinking about it and then wondering why we feel the way we do. Being asked to write down everything you eat and drink, how much activity you do, how your sleep is, what your mood is like, and noting physical symptoms like headaches or digestive discomfort, creates, not only an awareness about the choices you’re making and why, but also allows for really clear connections between habits you have and physical symptoms you experience. It connects food and mood, can help highlight sensitivities and can illustrate to people how things like sugar sneak into the diet even when you think you’re steering clear of it. I would say it’s one of the single most powerful tools for making changes in behavior. I have used it myself at different times in my life, most recently to identify what might be contributing to PMS symptoms. For the first time in my life I am realizing that our menstrual cycles don’t NEED to be so symptomatic and uncomfortable. We have some power over that!
TVB: Who and/or what inspire you? JHT: The natural world, people who are really good at things that I am not good at, farmers markets, adventure, poetry, my yoga practice, my parents, using my body as a tool of action, the moon, people who share their spirits and hearts generously and with ease.TVB: When do you feel your best? JHT: When I’m balanced. For me that means good sleep, good sex, clean food and delicious food, good wine, daily yoga practice, ample time in nature, belly laughs with good friends, and time to read a good book.
TVB: What do you to keep active and stay fit? Can you share with us some of your personal favorite places to exercise and move in Austin? JHT: I love all forms of movement—dancing, running, walking, hiking, biking—I’ll try anything once. I try to get a good balance of cardio and non-cardio over the course of the week. I love taking long walks around Town Lake, running on the Greenbelt, swimming in Barton Springs, rock climbing at Austin Bouldering Project or at Reimers Ranch, and yoga daily, either at home or at BFree Yoga, Sukha, or Practice Yoga Austin.
TVB: Can you share any exercise tips for our readers, to practice on their own? JHT: I think the most important thing is to find ways of moving your body that feel joyful. Second to that is cumulative movement. Try not to let more than a couple of hours go by of just sitting in front of a computer. Do sun salutations, take a short walk, blast your favorite music and dance for 5 minutes, do 100 crunches, park your car as far from the front door of the grocery store as possible. Every step, everything you lift, every little action counts. And mix it up! Your body is built to be in motion, let it move in many different ways.
TVB: What you eat goes hand in hand with how you move your bod. How do you eat to feel your best? Can you share with us one of your favorite go-to recipes? JHT: Eating seasonally is huge for me. In the winter I stick to warm and cooked foods as opposed to eating lots of raw, and I meet my body’s craving for “comfort food” by eating naturally starchy winter foods like potatoes and winter squash. I think it’s important to stay tuned in to how your cravings and tastes fluctuate. Lately I’ve really enjoyed eating a mostly vegetarian diet but I find when I’m rock climbing a lot or triathlon training I crave animal protein. I try to eat vegetables in every meal, including breakfast, and I rarely work out on an empty stomach. My recent go-to snack or light meal is to blanche collard greens, shave the stem flat with a small knife, and make a burrito-ish wrap with hummus, raw beets, cucumber, fresh herbs and/or sprouts, avocado, radish, fennel and any other veggies I have lying around. They’re portable, full of fiber, satisfying and light on your system so you can eat them within an hour of working out.
TVB: What are a few of your favorite “kitchen staples” that you must always have at arms length when cooking? JHT: Extra virgin olive oil, Maldon sea salt, lemons, garlic, apple cider vinegar, fresh herbs, aleppo pepper, tahini and extra virgin coconut oil.
TVB: What are your go-to pre and post workout foods and why? JHT: I try to eat a small meal 1-2 hours before working out that contains protein, carbohydrate and a little fat so that I’m not hungry mid-workout. If I don’t have time to digest a full meal before a workout I’ll eat a small piece of fruit or a tablespoon of nut butter with honey, or a glass of herbal iced tea with grass-fed collagen stirred in. One of my favorite post-workout snacks is chocolate milk (grassfed milk or unsweetened nut milk). It’s the perfect ratio of protein/carbohydrate. There’s a Texas-based nut milk company called Malk that makes amazing, very lightly sweetened chocolate-pecan milk. Woah.
TVB: I love that you say on your website “Food nourishes us. But food alone is not enough…” and that something as simple as a good book can help to nourish us. In a time when there is so much “online content” to distract us and take us away from the present, can you share with us some of your good old-fashioned hand held books? JHT: I am so old fashioned in this regard. I won’t read things on an e-reader unless I’m traveling and I still buy a paper newspaper! I have so many favorite books but some favorites are Love In The Time of Cholera, Written on The Body, East of Eden, Dream Work, The English Patient, Species of Spaces, Letters of EB White…..I could go on and on and on.
TVB: Do you have any simple tips for dealing with stress that you can share with us? JHT: BREATHE! You can stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and lower your heart rate just by taking your attention to your breath for 10 cycles of inhaling and exhaling. Close your eyes, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart, breathe deeply through your nose and sigh your exhales out of your mouth. You will feel you heart rate slow and your mind quiet. When you take little moments like this—especially when you feel like there is too much to do to take time for yourself—time becomes expansive. Slow your mind down and you can slow the world around you down too.
TVB: What does living a vibrant lifestyle mean to you? JHT: Doing things that bring you joy and energy so that you can contribute to your communities in a meaningful and connected way.
For more super healthy and uplifting content, you can follow this beautiful and knowledgable babe on Facebook (Buckwheat To Butter) and Instagram (@buckwheattobutter)...or drop her a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers to health, wellness and Buckwheat To Butter!