If you think Nowruz, Ramadan, Passover, and Easter mean indulgent and non-nutritious dishes at every meal, think again. Our Resident Naturopathic Doctor, Thalia Farshchian--who has helped hundreds of patients at Discover Health overcome healthy eating struggles--says the Spring holiday season offers symbolism that mimics what you do when consistently working towards a healthier lifestyle.
Here, she shares some of the tricks that have made good-for-you foods taste great to both her and her boyfriend, Ben. Learn more about some of her hacks in the kitchen, to get a closer look at what keeps her energy up throughout her days.
“I don’t eat breakfast, I do intermittent fasting. After dinner I fast until the next day at lunch. I started with a 12 hour fast, now I’ve pushed it to 14-16 hours. I’ve never liked breakfast, and it is hard for me to eat mindfully as I am trying to get out the door. So this works for me.
Research has shown that intermittent fasting helps your metabolism by giving your system a rest. People do intermittent fasting in different ways. For me, I do it consistently each day and as my body has acclimated, I no longer feel hungry.”
“Today I made a Paleo, Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie. I add eggplant, broccoli, kale, parsnips, and mix in onion, garlic, and seasoning. I steam the parsnips, and blend them in the Vitamix, then spread it on top of the sauteed veggies. I’ll pop it in the oven to crisp the top. If I’m going really low carbohydrate, I will use cauliflower instead of parsnips.
I usually meditate before lunch to get into a calm state before the meal. I use 33 Spirit Journeys on Spotify, a quick 10 minute meditation. For a while I was always rushing, and it’s just not good for your digestion to rush through your meals.”
“Tonight dinner is a chicken thigh, arugula, and yogurt sauce, a New York Times Cooking recipe. My boyfriend Ben will mix everything together when he gets home. I’ll walk our dogs while it’s all marinating, then pop it in the oven. Most often our meals go in the instant pot. We often use Harissa or Sriracha because we both like spicy food. We always make double dinner portions for our lunch the next day to save time and energy.
People meal prep in different ways. Having a busy lifestyle and a career, it is important to incorporate some preparation time. The farmers market on weekends is a staple for us, that is where we get fresh ingredients. We plan and cook accordingly, and for days that we don’t get it perfect, we’ll freeze something in advance we can grab.”
“Usually, I crave carrots and other vegetables. I love salad because I love any reason to have salad dressing. Other favorite snacks include olives and flaxseed crackers. If I’m really indulging, there is one dark chocolate truffle my mother gets me that I’ll crave. Gummy bears is another one of my favorite sweet things. I make my own with berries, honey and gelatin. I like to keep it simple.”
“My favorite Spring tradition is seven days before Persian New Year. You light a bonfire and people jump over the flames. You leave sallow energy behind in the fire, and you pick up the redness and vitality for the year ahead. The symbolism is a way of cleansing your body of bad energies and coming into revitalization. It’s the best holiday.”
Dr. Thalia Farshchian, our naturopathic doctor, meticulously reviews patients’ symptoms and works to identify underlying causes of a variety of illnesses.