I’m so incredibly happy to have the opportunity to introduce you to Kelli Magrath, creator of Nutrition Not Restriction. She is a marvelous wellness warrior and lives a true health-esteemie lifestyle. She is living proof that you have the power to make incredible, health fostering changes when you choose to love and cherish your beautiful self.
Once a heavy smoker, drinker and processed food junkie living with low self-esteem, Kelli was inspired to pursue the healthy, happy lifestyle she had always desired and truly deserves after a health scare. Severe, acute pancreatitis kept her in intensive care for 6 weeks and nearly took her life. The experience awakened a deep desire to revamp her life and cherish her wellness like never before. 3 years later she is healthier and happier than she’s ever experienced and eager to share her inspiring journey.
Meet the beautiful Health-Esteem Queen Kelli:
Tell us about your health philosophy.
My health philosophy isn’t just about physical nourishment, but also your mental and emotional nourishment. By feeding your body with nutritionally dense whole foods that never leave you feeling deprived or restricted, moving your body in a way that is fun to you, focusing on the positive things in your life and living in gratitude.
What’s your favourite part of your health-esteem journey so far?
Seeing my dreams come true! Back when I was a low self-esteemed drinker, smoker and negative-nelly, I would read healthy living blogs and think, “How can these people have such a good attitude every day? It’s exhausting!” I would read about runners and people who enjoyed exercise and be so envious of their energy and dedication. I would half-heartedly try to change my habits then inevitably fall off the wagon because I hadn’t discovered self-love and self-confidence yet.
Now, I live those lives I admired so much. I truly enjoy fueling myself with whole foods, learning about nutrition, running, lifting weights, swinging kettlebells and practicing gratitude. I am now one of those positive people I admired (which is WAY less exhausting than being hungover every day.) Looking back at how far I have come over the past 3 years is ridiculously amazing and rewarding, especially knowing that I have made all my dreams come true.
What changes were necessary in order to achieve your state of self-love?
It was definitely a mental change that had to happen first, and ditching the booze and cigarettes were essential to getting myself on the path to self-love. Realizing that I AM worth it. Worthy of love, respect, and kindness – to myself and from others. I had to re-train my brain to stop listening to the negative voice lurking in my head, to realize I can always choose a better thought. I had to learn that my happiness does not depend on others, but depends on myself and my thoughts. Once I started expressing compassion, kindness and love towards myself, the other pieces started to fall into place.
What inspired you to become the Healthy Foodie you are today?
Never wanting to go back to the hospital definitely put me on track to eating healthfully! When I was first released I had no idea where to start, so I would read healthy living blogs to learn about healthy eating, get recipe ideas and gain knowledge in nutrition. From there everything has just evolved.
For some reason, during my life pre-hospital, it never occurred to me that what I ate could affect the way I think, the way I feel, or affect my appearance. Once I put those things together and saw and felt the results, I knew this was the only way I wanted to live my life.
What advice would you give for someone hoping to quit drinking?
First off, I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too. You’re thinking that you won’t have fun, you won’t be as funny, you can’t relax and people won’t want to be around you if you aren’t drinking alcohol. I’ve got news for you – you will be funnier, you will have more fun, you will feel fantastic and you will be surrounded with the right kind of people you deserve in your life. I promise.
Reach out to a professional if you feel that you can’t do it alone. I was almost to that point, but unfortunately the pancreatitis got to me first. Don’t let it happen to you. You can change your story right now. My story of survival is rare according to the doctors; my doctor still tells me I came back from the dead.
Describe a typical day on your plate.
Breakfast is typically a smoothie, egg and avocado on whole kernel rye, or crock pot steel cut oats with coconut oil and berries (recipe below). On the weekends you might find some oat waffles with berries on my plate. Lunch is almost always a giant berry-filled salad with chickpeas or quinoa, avocado and a blueberry ginger dressing. Dinner changes the most, but typically I aim for a protein, fat and carbohydrate.
What is a daily health ritual must?
Gratitude affirmations help me start the day on a positive note. Deciding what kind of day you are going to have before walking out the door is very powerful. Turmeric tea (with black pepper and coconut oil, which increase the turmeric’s bio-availability) at night is also a must for me.
What advice would you give for someone wishing to make some health invoking changes?
Start small. You don’t have to overhaul everything at once. One small change, leads to another, leads to another. Find a new food, cook a new recipe, try a new form of exercise, practice affirmations or meditation. If you try something you don’t like, try something else. Find what works for you. Believe in yourself and remember you are worth it – every step, every breath, every bite. Work on your relationship with yourself. Find self-compassion and self-love.
Looking back at my journey, it was tiny changes and adjustments over time that added up to where I am now. It’s funny because it seemed like day to day nothing really changed, but now that I am here I see that everything is so different.
What’s your biggest health misconception pet peeve?
Low-fat diets. How is this still even still a thing? Healthy fats are where it’s at!
What is your favourite health food staple?
You pretty much just asked me to pick my favorite child! Avocado, chia seeds, blueberries, coconut oil, turmeric, quinoa, collagen peptides, kombucha – I love you all, equally.
What’s your go to healthy snack?
Nuts, chia pudding, hard boiled eggs or fruit.
What does Health-Esteem mean to you?
Loving yourself enough to make positive changes and healthy choices that benefit ALL of you. Making yourself and your life a priority – speaking kindly to yourself, nourishing your body with real, whole foods, making time to move your body in a way that you enjoy and practicing gratitude for everything in your life and for the simple fact that you are alive.
Please share a favourite healthy recipe
Overnight Crockpot Cacao Steel Cut Oats with Walnuts and Berries
2 Cups of Steel Cut Oats
3 Cups of Almond Milk
5 Cups of Water
6 Tbsps of Chia Seeds
1/3 Cup of Raw Cacao Powder
4 Tbsps of Maple Syrup
2 Tsps of Cinnamon
Grease your crockpot very well. Coconut oil works wonderfully.
Add all of the ingredients, except for the oats, to the crockpot. Whisk together then add the steel cut oats. Stir, cover and cook on low for 6 1/2 hours. Uncover, stir and serve with your favorite nuts and berries.