By Katarina Kovacevic
With work schedules filled to the brim and even leisure time planned to the minute, being busy is no longer a choice; it’s a given. So skipping a breakfast here or a lunch there has become a common occurrence—but can affect your well-being a lot more than you may think. Even one missed meal means not only missing out on the nutrients that give the body the energy it needs for everyday productivity, but it can also lead to slower metabolism and destructive habits like binge eating. Fortunately, there are easy ways to make healthful eating a part of an on-the-go lifestyle.
At Sea Island, nutritionist Joyce Mattox helps guests make better food choices at home and when they’re outside their own kitchens. From leading cooking classes to one-on-one consultations, her goal is “to teach healthy eating for life,” she says. “I allow room for flexibility. It’s not so much about counting calories and grams as it is about being mindful.”
She starts every session with a few helpful and easy tips on living and eating well. Although a complete overhaul of your normal diet may seem daunting, Mattox helps guests understand that they can make small adjustments to help them use food to their advantage. “What you eat can make you feel better and think smarter,” she says. “It’s all about finding a beautiful balance of healthy eating for you.” Because everyone’s needs are different, each individual can design a meal plan that addresses specific issues—from weight gain to fatigue—in order to take back his or her own life.
“Another big thing we teach is smart planning,” she adds. Taking into account a busy lifestyle, Mattox shows clients how to conveniently seek out “real food”— This includes making smarter decisions in ready-made dinners, using ingredients that are already in the refrigerator, and cooking simple, wholesome meals that can be frozen. “I show them what a plate should look like,” she says. The magical mix: half fruits and vegetables, and a quarter each protein and complex carbs like potatoes or whole grains.
Besides her nutritional counseling, guests can also benefit by taking Mattox’s class, titled What’s Cooking? Designed around a particular theme, each session features a good-for-you entrée made in a single dish. Students leave with a list of meals and side dishes to try, along with some light homework: Mattox encourages them to take small, effective steps at home such as making their own salad dressing. Little changes, she explains, can reap big rewards.