My name is Maribeth Evezich and I am a dietitian and blogger living in New York City. I work in the health science field handling project and business development for wellness companies. My work brought me to the Clean Program team years ago, for which I am grateful. With a background in cooking, nutrition and functional medicine, I had a healthy lifestyle and had completed many cleanses. But, the tips, tricks and inspiration I found through the Clean team and community took my Clean living to the next level.
During graduate school at Bastyr, I was an endurance athlete, running marathons, mountain climbing and competing in Adventure Races and 24-Hour Mountain Bike races. Ironically the gluten-heavy diet I consumed to fuel my training took a toll on my health. Over time, I settled into a way of eating which feels right for me on many levels. I’m whole foods-focused, as well as dairy and gluten-free with the occasional splurge for the foodie in me and finally, free from carbohydrate and sugar cravings. Through my professional work and my blog, I love to share what I have learned in school and in my own kitchen.
Each morning I look forward to a shot of Fire Cider, a tonic of raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey and immune boosting fruits, roots and herbs. This is not for timid tastebuds, but I love the kick! From there, I switch to water with ginger, lemon or apple cider vinegar.
After traveling for several few weeks, the refrigerator is utterly barren. Not good. So, off I went on a major grocery shopping spree and subsequent produce cleaning session. I wash produce within a day, except for berries, delicate greens, etc. The more cleaned produce I have, the more I consume and less goes to waste.
Next, I replenish my ginger cube supply. I add ginger to everything from juices, smoothies, water and soups, so I go through pounds of it. Juicing it in bulk, then freezing the juice into cubes is the easiest way to support my habit!
After unpacking, I go running along the East River. Unless the weather is completely unforgiving, I try to exercise outside. The fresh air gives me a peace of mind I can’t quite obtain in the gym. I finish the workout with some light weights, push ups, abdominal work and/or planking to balance my cardio and strength training efforts. Alternately, I might go to a CrossFit or yoga class.
My cleaning routine includes oil pulling with coconut oil. My dental hygienist introduced me to the concept. “The mouth is a meter for the body.” The lauric acid in coconut oil has antimicrobial and antiviral properties, so it made sense. Clean coach, Jenny Nelson had turned me on to using coconut oil as a natural moisturizer and cleanser also, so I always keep a supply in the bathroom.
I finish the day with a little meditation. And, I do mean a little. I have tried meditating several times before, but floundered. No doubt, my struggle is a sign of how much I need it. I’m working on 10 minutes a day with Dr. Junger’s recommended “No, thanks” running through my head to silence intruding thoughts. Wish me luck!
Each day starts with either a juice or a smoothie. When I’ve been traveling a lot, I feel the need for a fiber fix, and opt for smoothies. Later in the day, I’m feeling low on energy and turn to a juice for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up in lieu of caffeine. Today, it is turmeric juice to energize my day. The color alone brightens any day.
A client meeting takes me to mid-town Manhattan, an excuse for spice shopping! Two of my favorite local shops are here, Kalyustan’s and Spice & Tease. It is hard for me NOT to be inspired to cook and experiment when I enter these culinary wonderlands. Another important part of culinary inspiration from spices is keeping them well organized and within reach. After years of wanting one, I finally installed a wall spice rack. I’ve also stocked it with organic herbal teas from Mountain Rose Herbs. They also offer a nice variety of glass bottles and tins to keep everything organized.
While in mid-town I also have my knives sharpened. Eating Clean means a LOT of chopping and slicing, which is drudgery without sharp knives. My other favorite kitchen equipment includes my Ninja high-speed blender, Breville juicer and my immersion blender. These items make Clean eating a much more efficient and pleasant experience.
Tonight, dinner starts in the usual way. Whether I’m cooking, ordering in, and often before eating out, the meal starts with a large serving of vegetables. Veggies first! I’m talking a large pasta bowl full. This generally means steamed cabbage, kale or broccoli, tossed with olive oil and sea salt or a few sprays of Bragg's amino acids. Yes, I buy the economy size bottle! For salads, I often make a spinach salad, or one of my favorite kale salads. This is a habit I recommend highly to anyone wanting to eat healthier. Veggies first. Tonight’s veggies are followed by baked salmon and cauliflower mash.
It is very cold; about 10 degrees. So, before my meetings start, I make a large pot of Lemon-Ginger Tea to sip on throughout the day at my desk. My desk got a New Year’s makeover and is now a standing work station. My body is thanking me. Sitting kills. I feel more energetic standing up, and the occasional stiffness I once felt is gone.
For dinner, I make braised chard, Black Bean Chipotle Soup, one of my favorite Clean recipes, and my own vegan, sugar-free Coconut-Almond Tapioca Pudding.
The evening is spent working on future blog posts, which is much more fun than you might think. I never followed a food blog until I started following the Clean blog. It completely inspired me in my kitchen, so much so that I started my own blog, Whole Foods Explorer.