It’s no secret that folks with a penchant for healthy livin’ light us up .
So when we stumbled upon Abbey Sharp, the wild, boldly honest, uber-creative light and Registered Dietitian behind abbeyskitchen.com, we fell hard. She is THE coolest. And not just because we envy her wardrobe. This savvy food and nutrition expert has all sorts of layers.
“I’m considered a unique breed of dietitian,” she confesses. “I’m not only trained in science but also in culinary arts, performance, and media. I’ve actually been called a ‘unicorn’ many times!”
We concur: The girl is magical . (So is her Vegan White Bean Cassoulet for that matter.)
For Abbey, health isn’t linked to taking things away but rather adding joy. “I really believe a ‘healthy diet’ is the diet that makes you the happiest and feel your best,” she says. “So, if you’re happy and feel best on a gluten free diet – great! If you’re happy and feel great having a little dessert most nights – go for it! Every body is different and deserves to be nourished in its own unique way.”
Abbey personally finds her happy food place when she eats every few hours, homemade whenever possible, and with a sweet treat at the end of the night. She also limits her alcohol intake to one. “I guess I’m just getting old,” she laughs!
As a self-defined Food Lover, Abbey’s food philosophy is simple: First and foremost, food should be pleasurable.
Learning this was a journey for Abbey who grew up as a young woman in a world where “skinny” was rewarded and “fat” was frowned upon. She restricted her eating – and pushed away her love of food. “Once I learned to let go of control, listen to my body’s innate hunger and satiety cues, and eat mindfully, my weight found its natural ‘perfect’ place for itself,” she recalls. “I’ve never been happier or healthier.”
What this means is: Abbey does no deny herself treats. She doesn’t go hungry. And she believes that every day is a fresh start. So she doesn’t beat herself up for an indulgent night.
The one thing that Abbey believes everyone needs to know about food is this: Food is not the enemy!
“Food provides nourishment, pleasure, comfort, and joy,” she explains. “Whoever said that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ likely has never had a good relationship with food. Which means, they’re missing out on a HUGE potential for health and happiness.”
A healthy relationship with food starts with these four tips:
- Eat regularly and often. Continually fuel your fire to help kick your metabolism into gear.
- Listen to your body. Think of your hunger like a gas gauge. Start eating when you’re ¼ full and stop eating when you’re ¾ full. So you’re never too hungry or too full.
- Ditch the “all or nothing” thinking. Healthy eating is not strict eating. You had a cupcake? Who cares!? Be mindful and don’t beat yourself up. It’ll balance out.
- Get the whole family involved. People try more things when they’ve had a hand in making it. Ask the kids to pick out a new ingredient they want to try, and get them excited about using it.
Ultimately, eating should be fun, delightful, and exciting. Abbey wants to see an end to extreme diets, body shaming, and our fear of fat. “Fat not only adds flavor but it’s also satiating,” she says. She also believes that the more we know about food, the more empowered we are to have a healthy relationship with it.
Abbeyskitchen.com has been a labor of love for past seven years. This year, Abbey’s excited to be launching an updated brand, more focused content, and more recipes, nutrition tips, and videos for the masses. Look out for her and her retro apron online and on TV. We have a feeling she’ll be popping up more and more!
Subscribe to Abbey’s YouTube Channel to get the latest healthy recipes and myth-busting videos. Then follow her @AbbeysKitchen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Your belly will rejoice!