Mind Body Soul

Finding your food balance

Img2 1d9a83281

Taking care of yourself isn’t limited to just one area of life. Run a marathon every weekend but sustain yourself solely on junk food, and you’ll quickly peter out – at least for most people. Get the workouts and healthy food in, while ignoring piled-up stress and poor sleep, and you’re out of whack again.

Full-body health doesn’t rely on just one approach. Feeding your mind, body, and soul is a constant goal. Few of us get it right every day.

That’s why we asked several area experts for tips on how to make it a little bit easier to try.

  • Mind: Click here to hear from Tina Abraham on mindfulness in the workplace.
  • Body: Click here to jump into Amy Stewart’s workout routine.
  • Soul: Read below to find your food balance with Sonia Kennedy.

21d9a83281Good food is good for the soul, and the key is balance, says SONIA KENNEDY, who founded Nutrition in Motion in 2010 (nutritioninmotion.com).

“I teach people to balance food choices so they get a healthy and satisfying mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fats,” she says. “I try and teach people to eat until they are comfortably satisfied and not mindlessly stuffed. It is important to help people choose foods that taste good and feel good in their body after they eat them.”

Kennedy says that making small changes can turn into habits that will last a lifetime.

“Making a major overhaul is too much at once and is generally unrealistic and unsustainable. I stress that it is about progress, not perfection, and the journey to better health is never a straight line,” she says.


Learning to balance macronutrients at every meal and snack can help boost energy, improve immunity, burn fat, and build endurance for fitness training, Kennedy says.

“By achieving an optimal balance of carb, protein, and fat when eating, this will allow for longer digestive time,” she says. “That leads to better energy and less insulin production, which decreases fat storage in the body. Eating the proper combination of foods also helps to achieve better workouts for both endurance and fitness training.

“Improved immunity from food selections can mostly be attributed to eating more fruits and vegetables,” Kennedy adds. “The more variety of color, the more antioxidants and disease- fighting vitamins and minerals will be on board to help prevent someone from getting sick.”

Img3 1d9a83281







  • cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch raw sugar
  • pinch nutmeg


Heat a medium, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add the oil, onions, and garlic and stir frequently, about 4-5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Lower heat, if needed, to avoid browning too quickly.

Once onion is softened, add fennel seed and toss quickly until fragrant and toasted, about 1 minute. Remove mixture to a medium bowl to cool slightly.

Add ground turkey, red wine vinegar, chives, paprika, sugar, and nutmeg to bowl with onions, garlic, and fennel seeds and mix with a fork until all ingredients are well distributed. Form mixture into six, even patties and lay on parchment or wax paper while working. If you want to make these for another day, they can be refrigerated or frozen.

Spray a nonstick skillet and set over medium-low heat. Once hot, brown turkey patties, in two batches, 3 minutes on each side. Once you have achieved a nice, browned crust on each side, reduce heat to low and cover.

Continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from heat and repeat with second batch.


All tips from Sonia Kennedy

  • Slow down. How fast you eat influences how likely you are to gain weight. Studies show faster eaters are 115% more likely to be obese than slow eaters.
  • Do not shop without a list. Plan ahead and stick to it to cut out impulse buying to keep the junk out of the house to begin with.
  • Increase your protein intake. Due to its ability to help you feel full longer, it’s the most filling of the macronutrients. Protein also helps retain muscle mass, which helps increase the calories you burn daily.
  • Replace your favorite “fast-food” restaurant. There are now many healthy fast-food restaurants and fusion kitchens offering delicious and healthy meals. There is likely a great replacement for your favorite pizza or burger joint.
  • Eat from smaller plates. Eating from smaller dinnerware, you can trick your brain into thinking you are eating more, making yourself less likely to overeat.


  • Eat family style. Share a meal together as a family as often as you can. No media distractions like TV or cellphones at mealtime. Use this to model healthy eating. Serve one meal for the whole family and resist the urge to make another meal if your child refuses what you’ve served. This only encourages picky eating. Try and include at least one food your child likes with each meal and continue to provide a balanced meal, whether she eats it or not.
  • Just because a child refuses a food once, don’t give up. Keep offering new foods and those your child didn’t like before. It can take up to as many as ten or more times tasting a food before a kid’s taste buds accept it.


  • Foods high in sugar. Avoid most cereals, flavored oatmeal, Pop-Tarts, and other high-sugar breakfast items. Starting the day off with a sugar spike will lead to poor energy and focus and likely cravings for more sugar and processed carbohydrates throughout the day.
  • Avoid all sugar-sweetened beverages. They contribute a large number of empty calories and can lead to many other diseases.

To view more of photographer Aris Harding’s work, go to arisharding.com.

Want more WILMA? Click here to sign up for our WILMA newsletters and announcements. 

Categories: Features