Molly Lukins Burke and Tamara Martucci met when their children were starting preschool. It wasn't just a "mommy bond," though – they both found themselves on journeys exploring the effect nutrition has on wellness, Tamara as she sought alternative treatments for chronic health conditions, and Molly, who realized she was so focused on exercise and her kids’ food choices that she neglected her own nutrition. Years of educating themselves about the connection between food, body and mind led them to start a health coaching and wellness concierge service, Food + Mood NYC, where they work with busy men and women determined to live a healthier lifestyle.
While health coaching has become a growing business, what sets Food + Mood NYC apart are customized plans designed "to satisfy and nourish individuals both on and off the plate,” says Tamara, with health and wellness advice, individual food plans and access to a curated and vetted list of wellness professionals, experiences and offerings in NYC. "We believe that if you are not feeling good in your body and mind then you will not be motivated to exercise and eat well," she says. "We offer the support with our network of trusted healers to get you to a place of balance in your body, mind and spirit.”
Tamara talked to o2living about good and bad food choices, achieving a balanced lifestyle and (we had to ask!) cold-pressed juice.
What made you realize there's a market for your service?
“There is a food movement going on that many people refer to as the healthy or ‘clean eating’ movement. The American diet of highly processed food laced with added fats and sugars is responsible for the epidemic of chronic disease. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that treating people with chronic disease accounts for most of our nation's health cost. Most of these diseases are preventable and have been linked to poor diet and lifestyles. This is where Food + Mood NYC comes in. We make a conscious effort with our clients to attain health in both body and mind, to strive for unity and balance. We believe in the importance of finding the right food for your specific body to ensure that you are properly nourishing yourself. Equally important to us is helping our clients find balance in the other crucial parts of their lives that need to be fueled: movement, fitness, sleep, happiness, love, and relationships. By addressing both the Food and the Mood, we create balanced lifestyle solutions.”
What are the most common nutrition mistakes you see people making? What do people think is healthy that really isn't?
“From skinny lattes to fat free yogurt, skim milk is seen everywhere as the milk of choice for health conscious people. But this could not be further from the truth. Whole fat products are healthier because they are less processed and have more essential nutrients.
“We also see people avoiding fresh fruit to cut out sugar. The top source of sugar in the American diet is sweetened beverages, not whole fresh fruit. Sugary soft drinks have no beneficial nutrients, while fruit has fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.
“Many people hear the word granola and think healthy. This breakfast cereal is one of the least healthy ways to start your day. Most brands have too much sugar and not enough fiber.”
How do you see organic cold-pressed juice fitting into a healthy diet?
“I think organic cold-pressed juice is great way to get your daily dose of vegetables. Vitamins and enzymes that can get lost or destroyed by commercial juicing methods like pasteurization do not get lost in the cold-pressed juicing process. Juicing concentrates the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables while separating out all of the fiber that would normally slow the absorption of sugar. To keep the sugar down we like to look for a juice with less than 8 grams of sugar per serving.”
What should people be clearing out of their pantry?
“Anything products that contain high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils such as vegetable oil, MSG and artificial colors.”
What should everyone should have in their refrigerator?
“Lemons, organic nut milk, organic pasture raised eggs, organic frozen or fresh berries, organic washed greens for smoothies and salads and fermented vegetables or drinks such as sauerkraut and Kombucha for the beneficial probiotics.” (Ed. note: And leave room for organic living juice!)
What should no one have in the fridge?
“Diet soda, margarine, 0 fat dairy products, factory-farmed meat, artificial energy drinks loaded with sugar, artificial coloring and flavors.”
Why is it a good idea to cut added refined sugar out of your diet?
“Added refined sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Sugar causes weight gain, tooth decay and inflammation. Sugar plays a role in the development of many of illness we fear most such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.”
For more on Food + Mood NYC, go here: https://www.foodandmoodnyc.com