5 Pillars of Holistic Health

I’m sharing my health story and how the 5 pillars of holistic health are key to feeling my best. This post is sponsored by Blue Apron, which is focusing on health in the new year. Get $60 off your first 3 boxes here.

kath holding a cutting board and blue apron recipe card

My Health Story

Many of you know my health story already. I graduated from Davidson College in 2005 about 30 pounds more than when I entered.

Part of the reason my health went to the wayside was I had a foot problem that eventually led to surgery and kept me from being active. Even walking was difficult in the two years prior to my surgery, and I had to give up both soccer and running. (I did swim some, but pools are too cold most of the year!)

But the other part was the college life: mindless eating, too much alcohol, inconsistent sleep, stress, late night quesadillas (YUM!), daily dessert in my eating house.

Tie that all together with a lack of knowledge about nutrition and a disconnect between what I was eating and how I felt. 

a cutting board of fresh blue apron ingredients

The key to my health shift was cooking

When I graduated from college, the only real change I made was to start cooking for myself. While I did minimal cooking my senior year in my apartment, it wasn’t until I moved into my first off-campus apartment that I started to grocery shop for a week and focus on cooking “adult” meals.

Trying new recipes was fun, and losing weight and feeling better was a pleasant secondary benefit. Once the snowball effect started, I decided to prioritize my health and eventually lost the weight I had gained in college. 

Kath reading a blue apron recipe card in her kitchen

Kath Eats Real Food was founded on my love for eating well. I wanted to share with others that healthy eating didn’t have to equal deprivation. Instead, focusing on cooking real food meant there were infinite ways to fuel your body and mind. 

Naturally as I became a mom my time in the kitchen has shifted from plentiful to efficient. My goal is to balance delicious real food recipes that nourish my whole fam with time spent away from the kitchen and with them.  

Chopped peppers and cabbage

Blue Apron provides so many solutions in one box:

  • Real delicious fresh food
  • Time saved grocery shopping
  • Creative recipes with unique ingredients
  • Easy-to-follow instructions that save me time
  • A solution to recipe fatigue (hello taco and pizza night on repeat!) 
  • No wasted food – we use every ingredient and eat every bite as leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day

It really is the perfect solution between the joy of cooking and being as efficient in the kitchen as possible, and I am proud to be an ambassador!

kath holding a cutting board with chopped cabbage

New Wellness Recipes

For the new year, Blue Apron is debuting Wellness Recipes. They will feature nutritionally-dense superfoods and superstar ingredients and focus on complex carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants. 

A few examples of the upcoming Wellness Recipes:

  • Cilantro Baked Chicken with Tahini Roasted Veggies
  • Lentil & Roasted Cauliflower Salad
  • Veracruz Style Shrimp with Farro
  • Couscous Stuffed Poblano Peppers
  • Mushroom & Red Rice Bowl with Ginger Miso Dressing
  • Yellow Curry & Lemongrass Tilapia

I already think Blue Apron has a great variety of healthy recipes (or perhaps I am just good at choosing vegetable-dense ones :mrgreen: ) but I’m excited to keep the menu rolling with delicious, real food meals. See some examples of the meals I have cooked here.

Blue Apron salmon seasoned on a plate

Blue Apron will also focus on the 5 Pillars of Holistic Health

Physical Health

When you nourish your body with the food its asking for to run optimally, you feel better from inside to out. Foods can help you heal, repair, and recover from workouts. The quality of your food matters. 

Relationship Health

As I showcased in my Spice Up Your Marriage post, cooking is a great way to enjoy quality time! Whether you’re escaping the hum-drums of kid food on repeat or setting up a wine tasting and food pairing date night in, coming together over a meal is an easy way to reconnect and nourish your relationship. 

Mental Health

Remember the days when KERF meals had placemats and candles lit? Yeah I need to get back to that!! Mindfulness is so important in all areas of our lives, but especially with eating. Enjoying a meal with all of your senses will lead to a high level of satisfaction. Blue Apron removes some of the neverending stress around menu planning, grocery store errands, and meal prepping. 

Financial Health

One of my favorite topics! Most of us are doing our best to save money on groceries, especially this year. While it might seem like Blue Apron is a luxury service, unless you are a super savvy bargain shopper (which takes a bit of time) and/or a whiz at using every last ingredient, you might be surprised by how much the efficiency of low food waste contributes to your grocery bill. I can confidently say that our food waste has gone down since subscribing to Blue Apron, and our take-out bill has dropped some too. We also do a great job of ‘cook once, eat twice’ and really stretch the meals out. 

Brain Health

Your meals, gut, and brain are all interconnected. The diversity of your diet is important, as it consuming antioxidants, fermented foods, spices and herbs that are tied to decreasing inflammation, mood, and energy.  

Salmon by candlelight – check for mental health; check for relationship health!!!

salmon with sauce and rice by candlelight

Which of these pillars are you most interested in exploring?

I’m excited to dive into these topics a bit more in the new year!

Add Wellness Recipes to your meal plan and get $60 off your first 3 boxes here!

blue apron ingredients on a wooden board