December 27, 2013
Meals on the Go: Holly Shelowitz wants you to eat butter. And eggs.
By Brianna Snyder/Women@Work
Holly Shelowitz was working as a professional photographer when she realized her passion for cooking.
“All throughout my [photography] career i was always taking cooking classes and nutrition classes and I loved being a creative artist,” she says. “In retrospect, that was funding my nutrition education.” For 15 years she worked as a photographer, eventually gravitating more toward cooking and nutrition.
“They really were two passions that I had had,” she says. “I wanted to learn more about nutrition in a comprehensive program versus one class here or one class there. I always loved cooking and people were always calling me for recipes, going, ‘What should I eat?’” So she went to school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, where she realized, she says, “Oh, my goodness, this is totally what I want to do.”
Shelowitz launched her business in 1999, right before graduating in 2000. Today, Nourishing Wisdom is a multi-service company: Shelowitz teaches cooking classes, conducts workshops, provides personal chef services, nutrition counseling, cooking parties and food tours, and soon she expects to launch a cooking video series.
Many of Shelowitz’s clients are women who are confused by conflicting information about diet and health. “One of the myths people come in to my practice with is that eggs are unhealthy,” she says. “There are certain foods that they’re afraid to eat, like butter. There’s so much confusion about the message out there about what’s healthy to the point where people just don’t know what to eat.” Many women try to be “good,” Shelowitz says, sticking to very low-fat diets, which usually leave a person feeling hungry all the time. “Women genuinely want to do what’s right for themselves and healthy, but they end up feeling really deprived and then they feel like, ‘Well, I’m just going to have a salad.’ But salad’s not enough. … By the time they get home they end up eating the house.”
Shelowitz customizes her clients’ meal plans to fit their bodies, desires and lifestyles. “Often the problem is that we don’t have foods that are easy-access in the house, which is a big reason why people end up skipping meals or grabbing food on the run that doesn’t really help them or give them the nutrients that they really need,” she says. “Many women, because they’re not eating in a way that really serves their body, they end up relying on non-nutritional sources of energy: chocolate, sugar, coffee, Diet Coke, baked goods and sweets.” She doesn’t blame them: Sugar is addictive and it’s in everything. The key to overcoming those cravings, she says, is knowing how to feed your body.
“There’s not one way of eating that’s right for everyone,” she says.
(Holly is teaching classes at A Different Drummer’s Kitchen in Albany: Slow Cooking – Thursday January 16, Cooking Under Pressure – Thursday February 6, Mediterranean Appetizers – Tuesday March 25)
Top Tip for Eating Healthy: “Use less oil in cooking and get the healthy fats elsewhere. And have vegetables be a larger part of your plate or at least equal to the protein that you’re making.”
Lemony Chicken with Carrots, Collard Greens and Scallions
Chef’s notes: The beauty of this recipe is variation. You can use any leafy greens or broccoli instead of collards, and you can use shrimp, tofu or meat instead of chicken. Enjoy!
- 2 pounds chicken breast, sliced in strips
- 1 large bunch collard greens
- 3 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 8 scallions
- 3 lemons
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- Olive or coconut oil
- Prepare chicken and slice into strips. Wash collards and slice into bite sized pieces. Slice carrots and pepper.
- Chop scallions; separate white and green parts. Juice 3 lemons
- Warm oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add half of the white parts of scallion and sauté for 5 min.
- Add chicken and sauté 7-8 minutes, adding 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons lemon juice midway through.
- Remove and place in covered bowl.
- Add a little more oil to pan with rest of the white parts of scallion and sauté. Add collards, the rest of lemon juice and soy sauce. Cover to steam sauté and stir every few minutes for 7 minutes.
- Add chicken to collards, stir to mix and add scallions. Cover 5 minutes and serve over quinoa. (recipe follows)
- 1 Cup Quinoa (red, yellow or black)
- 2 1/2 Cups vegetable or chicken stock
- Fine grain sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- butter or olive oil to taste
- Combine quinoa, stock and salt and bring to a boil.
- Lower to simmer, cover and simmer until all water is absorbed – about 20 minutes
- Serve with butter or olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper
Holly’s Must-Have Pantry Items
- Celtic sea salt
- raw nuts, such as almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
- soy sauce
- canned beans — any kind — garbanzo, black beans, navy beans, “anything you like”
- unrefined coconut oil
- good-quality extra virgin olive oil — make sure to get the first-cold-pressed kind
- unsweetened almond milk
Photos by Tyler Murphy/Women@Work