Healthy Habit: Healthy Eating
Photography by Cassidy Dunn Photography
Healthy Habit: Healthy Eating
Passion: Making an impact in people’s lives for living a healthy, balanced life.
Career: I am a registered dental hygienist at a local pediatric dental office and the owner of
“A Balanced Lifestyle Nutrition Coaching with Alexandra Hursey.”
Family: Husband Matt Hursey; Together we share a beautiful blended family of 4 children; Caiden (15), Ella (13), Brooke (9), and Hayden (6).
What motivated you to become a healthy eater?
After having my first child, I was eating healthy in search of weight loss. After years of trying different fad diets, and fluctuating back and forth with an “all or nothing” mentality between my idea of healthy and unhealthy eating, I finally found balance in my life when I learned how to balance the three basic macronutrients—carbs, fats, and protein. In learning this, food no longer needs to be labeled as “bad” or “good.” I now enjoy all the foods I love, in moderation, and have sustained a healthy weight, balanced hormones, increased energy and increased mental clarity.
What does being a healthy eater look like? Do you ever have french fries or dessert?
For anyone who knows me, dessert is a non-negotiable! I eat dessert every single day. Eating healthy is all about eating to fuel your body. YOUR BODY DESERVES IT! French fries or dessert are not bad, they are predominately carbs and fats. So balanced with adequate protein throughout the day, carbs and fats fuel our energy, hormones and much more!
How do you conquer the “all or nothing” mentality?
Do you ever feel like you’re “missing out”?
If you would have asked me this a few years ago, I would have not had a good answer for you. I labeled foods as “good” or “bad,” so I was either eating salads all day and starving, or binge eating cookies at 10 p.m. and there was no in-between. I no longer have an all or nothing mentality or feel like I’m missing out because I eat a balance of delicious foods that make me happy and foods that nourish me.
How is your approach to eating healthy achievable?
It is easy when you realize that by making small changes to your current habits and diet, it makes living a healthy balanced lifestyle not only achievable, but also fun and sustainable.
How has eating healthy enhanced your life? Your body?
Your overall feeling of well-being?
Along with sustaining a healthy weight, I have seen many positive changes to my overall feeling of wellness, including balanced hormones and increased energy and mental clarity. I also feel less pressure in social situations; I am not picking the bun off sandwiches or avoiding delicious foods at a party. I no longer feel scared and out of control when put in a situation with socialization and food. This has dramatically enhanced my feeling of well-being.
How difficult was it to transform your menus? What helped you change your mindset?
It is not difficult to transform your menus. Eating healthy is not about avoiding certain foods, only eating vegetables and salads, or eating foods that you don’t like. It really is about a shift in your mindset, because we are taught that in order to shrink our bodies, we have to shrink our food consumption. But, it is, in fact, the opposite! We have to unlearn the diet culture, and it is rewarding when you find that mindset shift.
You have a family with young children. Have they adapted to healthy eating habits, too?
My kids love trying my healthy spin on our favorite foods. Most of the time they are absolutely blown away that it is “actually healthy” because it tastes so good. But they are also brutally honest when something tastes bad to them, which helps me in creating recipes to share with clients.
What are some of your “go-to” meals?
We have pastas, hamburgers, tacos, pizza—there are no weird or fancy meals here in order to eat healthy. We just incorporate a healthy balance of proteins, fats, carbs, and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). A lot of people over-complicate nutrition because diet culture is so confusing, and there is so much information overload, people often don’t know where to begin.
How about eating out? Is it all about salad?
I love this question because I used to be one of those people who would go straight to the salad section on a menu. I love how food freedom and letting go of diet culture has allowed me to order meals I love, instead of labeling foods as “healthy” and “unhealthy.” Honestly, salads can be higher in calories and less balanced than other menu items at a restaurant.
What would you say to encourage others to transition to a habit of healthy eating in their daily lives?
Don’t be afraid of balance, no foods should be off limits, and 1200 calorie diets are for toddlers. So, let’s eat more to fuel our bodies and ditch the diet culture of restrictive eating!
Why are healthy habits important to you?
I like to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle for my kids to see—eating, exercise. I also love them to see that I’m not afraid to eat a donut with them, or a greasy pizza. I lead by example that a healthy lifestyle is about balance, feeling good and being our best selves. I want them to know I do not do this only to look good or see a certain number on the scale, but to feel good and live a longer and better quality of life.
How can people contact you?
Enjoy this fabulous Apple Snack Dip recipe Alexandra created!
Ready in 2 minutes | Serves: 1 | 296 calories
170 grams plain nonfat Greek yogurt
10 grams sugar-free Cheesecake pudding mix
16 grams Chocolate powdered peanut butter
10 grams mini Chocolate chips
120 grams Apple slices
Directions: Combine greek yogurt, pudding mix and powdered peanut butter in a bowl. Top with mini chips. Serve with sliced apples.
Tips: This recipe can be very customizable, so don't be afraid to get creative. It can also be served with strawberries, graham crackers, vanilla wafers, etc. It's so good, it can even be eaten right off the spoon!