Health & Fitness

The Full Life by Rachel Katz

August 26, 2016

HAPPY FRIDAY, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! This week I’m featuring another one of my favorite health and wellness bloggers, Rachel Katz! Rachel is the creator of The Full Life by Rachel, a blog dedicated to helping people live their happiest and healthiest lives. On her blog you’ll find DELISH healthy recipes, life advice, wellness hacks, fitness tips, and more. I first stumbled across Rachel through Instagram, and she immediately caught my attention. Her caption was raw, real, and relatable. I went straight to her blog, eager for more. I quickly realized how much we had in common, and I was hooked.

What I love most in this world is REALNESS, and Rachel is as real as they come. She’s one of the most open and honest bloggers I know, and her willingness to discuss topics other people have a hard time talking about is one of the things about her that inspires me the most. Not only that, but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the messages she shares with her readers. Rachel truly promotes a life of balance, not perfection, and gives realistic tips on how to do just that. LOVE IT. If you’re all about keepin’ it real and becoming the healthiest, happiest version of yourself, you’re about to fall in love with this multi-talented blogger babe. Ready for more?

  

Tell me a bit about yourself so my readers can get to know you! 

Hi! My name is Rachel Katz and I’m a fourth year nutritional science student at Cal State LA. I work as a social media manager for an ad-tech startup in Santa Monica. I’m also a health & wellness blogger and social media influencer. I have a huge passion for creating healthy treats in my kitchen and for sharing my love of health and wellness with the world. When I’m not eating, cooking, snapping pics or blogging, you can find me at the gym, reading, studying, or at the farmer’s market. The most important things in my life are family, my boyfriend, friends, and making a difference in people’s lives.

Let’s talk about your blog! What inspired you and how did you get started? 

When I was in high school up until about two years ago, I struggled with disordered eating, anxiety, depression, and OCD. In order to heal myself from all of this, I started learning about how healthy food, exercise, and meditation could be used to change not only my body, but my mental health. It amazed me how much I was able to overcome just from changing my lifestyle, and I was determined to share this with others who I knew were struggling with the same thing I went through!

What’s your “food philosophy”?

My food philosophy is simple – ditch the fad diets and just eat a balanced diet filled with healthy sources of protein, fats, and carbs. I truly believe that everyone has different nutritional needs and that what works for one person won’t always work for someone else. It’s so important to listen to our bodies when it comes to what we eat, and sometimes this means experimenting a little! I personally feel my best when I eat a mostly plant-based diet that also includes high quality sources of animal proteins such as organic chicken breast, free-range/organic eggs, wild-caught fish, and organic sheep’s milk yogurt. I also need to eat a bunch of healthy fats to feel my best, such as avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. I try to avoid gluten and stick to whole grains most of the time, and I try to avoid sugar as much as possible. With that being said, I do believe in the 80/20 approach which means eating healthy 80% of the time and unhealthy the other 20%. I am completely against deprivation or sticking to a strict diet – life is too short and should always be enjoyed to the fullest!

What’s your exercise routine like now? 

I love weight-training and HIIT. I usually go to the gym 3-4 times a week to lift weights/strength-train and I do about 30 minutes to an hour of cardio 3 times a week, either at the gym or outdoors. I love doing HIIT on the treadmill, climbing the stair master, hiking, swimming, and long power walks in my neighborhood.

What’s your favorite quick and easy, go-to meal?

I love cooking some scrambled eggs in coconut oil and serving them with some kale, mushrooms, onions and Brussels sprouts sautéed in coconut oil, salt, pepper, and garlic! I top it all with some sliced avocado and organic ketchup.

What’s one health trend you wish people didn’t follow? 

I wish people removed the word “diet” from their vocabularies! “Diets” never work in the long run – finding a healthy food and fitness routine that works for you and developing a healthy lifestyle always works!

Is there a beauty or health tip that you swear by?

Having a healthy morning routine has seriously changed my life! It gets me off to an awesome start and helps me stay grounded and focused. I always wake up, brush my teeth, prepare some warm lemon water, sit in my bed, meditate and pray, write for five minutes in my gratitude journal, take my daily vitamins (Omega 3’s, women’s multivitamin, magnesium, a spoonful of black seed oil, and probiotics) and then make a nourishing breakfast. If I have school early in the morning I take my breakfast with me and if not I sit down and eat peacefully in my dining room. If you stick to a healthy morning routine, you will most likely stay healthy throughout the rest of the day.

3 foods you can’t live without? 

I absolutely can’t live without dates, avocados, and cashew butter!

What’s your favorite restaurant?! 

My favorite lunch places are SweetGreen, Greenleaf, Tender Greens, and Joan’s on Third.

My favorite dinner places are The Cheesecake Factory, Gracias Madre, Hummus Bar, Cecconi’s West Hollywood, and Houston’s. My go-to at The Cheesecake Factory is the grilled salmon with sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli – SO good!

What are some of your other favorite blogs to read/ Instagram accounts to follow? 

My absolute favorite Instagram account/blog to follow is JSHealth/JessicaSepel.com. She is such an inspiration to me and I love what she stands for! I also love NutritionStripped, SamiBloom, and FitBrittNutrition!

I know you’ve had an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise in the past, but you’ve come so far on your health journey and have completely transformed that relationship. Is there anything specific that you do to maintain that relationship now and not fall back into old thought patterns or habits? 

I’ve come such a long way from just a few years ago and I never want to go back to the person I used to be! With that being said, nobody is perfect and I always have to work on myself to make sure I don’t fall back into my old thought patterns and habits. I am constantly aware of my thoughts, and whenever thoughts like “I am too fat” or “maybe I should go on a diet” or “I wish I looked like her” come up, I catch them and change them instantly. I am always working on changing my negative thoughts to positive thoughts.

You’ve got a lot going on – you’re a student, you’re working, you’re blogging, you’re active, you’re a queen in the kitchen… How do you keep up with everything and fit it all in? Any tips for when people feel overwhelmed? 

Honestly, I constantly feel like I have too much on my plate and hardly ever have time to rest, but for the most part I love it! I dedicate every day of my life to going after my dreams, and it feels great to know that I’m not sitting around wasting time. With that being said, there are days when I feel totally overwhelmed and feel like I just can’t do anything anymore. Whenever I feel like this I just take some me time. It doesn’t matter how many things I have to get done, I can’t get any of them done properly if I’m overly stressed and anxious, and my health always comes first. So for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and take some time to think, breathe, and relax. It’s okay to lock yourself in your room and watch your favorite T.V. show for a few hours. It’s okay to skip your workout once in a while to catch up on other tasks. It’s okay to say “no” sometimes to certain projects. Always put your health first and you’ll realize that when you are your healthiest and happiest, you will be able to accomplish everything without feeling overwhelmed by it all!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start living a healthier lifestyle but has no idea where to begin? 

Start small! Pick one small goal like “I’ll go to the gym twice this week” or “I’ll quit sugar for one week,” and once you tackle that goal, make another one. Soon all of these tasks will become habits, and you’ll be healthy without even realizing it!

What are some goals you currently have for the future? 

I have a ton of goals for the future but one of my current goals would be to continue growing my following on social media and on my blog so I can help as many people as possible! I also can’t wait to finish school so I can open up my own practice and counsel people in nutrition. Overall, however, my main goal is to keep learning, growing, inspiring, and becoming a better person each and every day for myself and for those around me.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on your path to health and wellness? 

The biggest lesson I’ve learned on my path to health and wellness is that it’s never helpful or healthy to compare yourself to others. We all have different journeys, different bodies, and different experiences, and we should always focus on becoming the best version of ourselves rather than another version of someone else.

Tell me one of your favorite recipes you’d like to share! 

These are my famous Raw Vegan & Gluten Free Espresso Brownies!

Raw Vegan and Gluten Free Espresso Brownies

  • 15 medjool dates with 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/2 cup almonds or walnuts (I use walnuts since I’m allergic to almonds, but almonds are preferred!)
  • 2 tsps cacao powder
  • 2 tsps cacao nibs
  • 2 tsps maple syrup
  • 1 tsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of himalayan salt
  • pinch of espresso powder (can put more, just depends on how strong you like it!)

Raw chocolate Sauce

  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsps cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • touch of water

Instructions

First, blend medjool dates with water (I use a food processor). Then add in nuts and blend everything together (I like when it’s a little chunky so I don’t blend for too long, but if you prefer smooth/fudgy brownies than blend until the chunks are gone!). Pour into a large bowl and and add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly (using your hands is the most efficient way to do this!) Pour mixture into a baking dish, pat down with hands, and freeze for about twenty minutes. In the meantime, prepare the chocolate sauce by warming up all of the ingredients in a pan for about two minutes. You can add more ingredients as you go along – just keep tasting the chocolate sauce until you achieve the perfect taste and consistency. Let the sauce cool and pour over the brownies. Freeze again for another 20 minutes, cut into brownie pieces, and keep the brownies in the fridge for a healthy dessert that can be served warm with ice cream or just eaten as a snack!

 

A huge thanks to Rachel for letting me interview her! Be sure to head on over to The Full Life for more yummy recipes, fitness advice, and healthy living tips! XO

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