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Health and wellness is extremely important to me. I grew up with a mom that was very passionate about it, mainly because my sister was born neurologically delayed and had epilepsy. But it was also because she learned quickly how bad most of the food we buy and consume is. When my mom passed away twelve years ago from cancer, I became even more obsessed with health because how could someone who taught me everything about health, get sick and pass away. Over the years I’ve learned so much about health and what gets me excited is how many people today care more and more about it. Eventually I will work on getting certified as a health coach, but until that happens I’ve begun connecting with health coaches and nutritionists to learn from them. One of my first connections is with Sara Siskind, Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands On Healthy. I had an opportunity to ask her questions about why she got involved with nutrition and what good health means today. Read on to learn more.

Women On It: What prompted you to get involved with nutrition?

Sara Siskind: As far as I can remember, I have always been interested in health and nutrition. But it was not until after the birth of my fourth child that I decided it was time to dive deeper and learn more about what leading a healthy life entails. I embarked on not just nutrition based health, but more of a holistic approach on what being healthy actually means and how to live your healthiest life. It’s not just about the food you eat, but the lifestyle you lead. Are you happy with your career? Do you have healthy relationships with your family, friends and community at large? Do you take time to exercise? And most importantly, do you choose what works for your body?

What is the biggest misconception people have about health?

We view it as a “one size fits all” approach. People jump on the latest diet craze because it’s popular. When you are dealing with your health it’s important to realize that we are all bio-individuals. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Every day, a new study comes out claiming one thing or another. I recommend you stick to real whole foods that are found in nature and skip the processed stuff that is made in factories. From there learn what makes your body feel its best.

What tips do you have for busy, working women, moms, or even busy stay-at-home moms?

Carve out time to create a healthy home. Take the time to prepare healthy foods and keep them easily available in the fridge.  Chop up fresh veggies and store them in glass containers so you can see what’s available when you are just about starved and ready to put anything into your mouth. Stock your pantry with healthy snacks like nuts and nut butters. I recommend Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites a healthy and delicious snack to have on hand. They are the perfect sized snack that is full of protein and antioxidants. I also suggest you cook once and make enough for leftovers the next day. That helps to save time and clean up.

What are some of your favorite sites?

My daily go to site is www.mindbodygreen.com. The site has fabulous, easy to read articles on food and lifestyle with great recipes. Popsugar.com is another one of my go-to’s for the latest in beauty, fashion, fitness and other fun trends.

sara siskind, hands on healthy, womenonit.comAbout Sara Siskind

Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, Sara Siskind is the founder of Hands On Healthy, cooking classes for adults, families and teens based in New York. Sara has dedicated her career to educating clients on how food and lifestyle choices affect health, and how to make the right choices to look and feel your best each day. Sara translates the complexity of integrated nutrition into usable tools with easy-to-cook recipes that appeal to the entire family. Sara counsels privately to offer highly customized health and nutrition plans for her clients. She also works with parents on shopping and cooking smarter to create healthier homes. In addition, she teaches beginner to gourmet cooking classes with her signature “toss it in” approach. In addition, Sara regularly works with corporations and non-profit organizations to lead workshops and lectures on healthy eating.

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