Milk and Honey Magazine article about healthy eating and living, using healthy, nutritious foods to create recipes that nourish the body!

The Art of Healthy Cooking

M&H Staff

God gives us one body to live, breathe, love, laugh, work, pray, and play - and it's up to us what we do with it. In a sense, having our body can be either a gift or curse depending on how we care for it. The foods we eat, the excercise we complete, and the sleep we get can all culminate to either make or break our physical and emotional well-being. It seems our world is obsessed with extremes: on one end of the spectrum, you see stick-thin models walking down the runway; on the other end, you see fast-food commercials during TV breaks promoting the latest burger packing a days-worth of calories.

Health and food blogger Kendra Perry from Spin & Spice is the perfect medium. Kendra eats very clean, but she does it in a unique way: she finds indulgent meals and transforms them using wholesome, nutritious ingredients.

Grab a green juice and let's have a chatty-chat with the lovely Kendra!

& for fun - click on photos for recipes! xo

Why the name 'spin and spice?' 

Ah, the name! Well, I had considered a lot of different names-- Kale with Kendra, Tone Zone, Cycle Shoes and Spatulas, etc--but I kept coming back to Spin & Spice. It just fit. Anyone who knows me knows I love my spin classes. There is something about the high-energy atmosphere, moving to the beat of music, and the intense cardio that really has me hooked. As for the word "spice", this one was a no brainer because I LOVE spices, so much so that when I cook for others I often use less spice, then add more on to my plate after everyone is served! Spices have the ability to transform food and provide such a large variety of flavors. They are also great because they are healthy and plant-based (for the most part). So really, "Spin and Spice" are just two things that bring excitement and joy to my healthy lifestyle.

You used to eat oreos, pizza, whatever! What sparked the change in your diet?

It's true! And let's be honest, I still enjoy a good cookie here and there! However, my awareness of nutrition started when I was really young because my parents always experimented with different diets. The Zone Diet (focuses on balancing macronutrients) was the one they had the most success with. I naively thought my teenage self was following it too. For instance, if a sandwich had white processed bread (carb), bacon and cheese (fat), and turkey (protein), I thought I was eating a perfectly balanced and healthy meal. This sort of mindset stuck until college--I told myself I was being healthy when I knew there was much more to it.

After spending a summer in college studying in Italy, or should I say eating my way through Italy, I came back feeling like I was ready to start fresh and commit to eating healthier. I simply started drinking more water and trying to cut out as much sugar and starchy foods as possible. Before I knew it, I had dropped 15lbs, felt more energetic, and had a desire to work out more and more each week. This all helped fuel a desire to started educating myself more and more on health and fitness. My passion for this space has really just grown from there!

Milk and Honey Magazine article about healthy eating and living, using healthy, nutritious foods to create recipes that nourish the body!

Do you feel there's a misconception that eating healthy takes too much time/energy?

Yes, sadly that misconception is out there! There are so, so many ways you can find healthy options and resources available. I am obviously a huge fan of homemade meals, which can be time consuming in some situations, but there are so many ways to meal-prep and simplify recipes. Between the slow-cooker, the instant pot, and an internet full of quick and easy recipes, there is no reason time should be what deters someone from pursuing a healthy lifestyle. For those who are truly unwilling to cook, there are also many great meal-delivery services out there like Territory Foods, Thistle, Freshly, etc.

Milk and Honey Magazine article about healthy eating and living, using healthy, nutritious foods to create recipes that nourish the body!

What are practical ways we, as young women, can incorporate healthier options into our lives?

I actually have a great post on Spin and Spice called Basic Tips with my top 10 tips for pursuing a healthy lifestyle. In essence, I recommend focusing on whole foods, lean protein, and balanced macronutrients. One great way to do this is trying to add vegetables and a source of protein to every meal. For example, breakfast could be eggs and roasted root vegetables, lunch could be a colorful salad with tofu, and dinner could be grilled chicken with stir-fried vegetables and some fresh spices of course! Another practical tip is to always keep a protein bar or handful of nuts in your purse to avoid situations where you are caught out and about with out access to healthy options.

What's a typical day of healthy meals for you (breakfast, lunch, dinner)?

I actually eat 6+ meals a day, so this is a bit of a long-winded answer!

Breakfast: I typically wake up fairly hungry, so I'll break of a piece of a wholesome protein bar (RXBAR, Bhu, Orgain, Oatmega, 22 Days, etc.) and drink a cup of decaf coffee (I'm extremely sensitive to caffeine) with a tablespoon or two of Calfia Farms Better Half Creamer as I get ready for work. My go-to breakfast is a piece of Dave's Thin-Sliced Killer Bread with some avocado, 1 egg, 2 egg whites, and a serving of Trader Joe's Almond Mozzarella Style Shreds (nut-based cheese) melted on top. It's delicious!
Snack: After I settle in at the office I usually have a some 2% Plain Yogurt with a serving of berries.
Lunch: I'm definitely known at my office for my love of salads! I have some great recipes on my site, but basically my salads usually consist of mixed greens, a naturally low-fat dressing, 4 ounces of lean protein, lots of fruits and veggies, and occasionally some nuts or legumes.
Snack: For a mid-afternoon snack I often reach for some carrots and hummus or a protein bar on busier days.
Dinner: My dinners vary a lot, but they always consist of a large portion of vegetables and a lean protein (organic chicken, grass-fed steak, pork tenderloin, tofu, mung beans, etc.).
Snack: After dinner I often treat myself to a single serving of healthy ice cream or a homemade treat like my Salted Maple Chickpea Blondies.

Milk and Honey Magazine article about healthy eating and living, using healthy, nutritious foods to create recipes that nourish the body!

What's your favorite (healthy) indulgence?

Admittedly, I have quite a sweet tooth! Like I mentioned above, I'm a huge fan of healthy ice-creams (Halo Top, Enlightened, Nada Moo, etc.), but since these often have some artificial ingredients, so I try to stick to a single serving. I also love dark chocolate and homemade baked goods.

So you recreate popular recipes with a healthy spin?

Yes! I love putting healthy spins on recipes! It's a great way to experiment with new ingredients. As far as sweets, one of my favorites is my Dark Chocolate Ferrero Rocher Protein Truffles. For more of a meal, I would recommend the Sweet Potato Sliders.

Milk and Honey Magazine article about healthy eating and living, using healthy, nutritious foods to create recipes that nourish the body!

Do you feel keeping our bodies healthy can glorify God?

Most definitely! In the Bible Paul says are bodies are "temples of the Holy Spirit", meaning our bodies are a place for God's presence to dwell and a tool for God to use. In order to carry out God's work we need to take care of and love our bodies. We need to nourish ourselves with proper nutrition and maintain a healthy lifestyle so that we can reach our full potential and glorify Him.

What made you start the blog?

Blogging was always something I thought about doing because people often come to me for advice on nutrition and recipe recommendations. I had started discussing the idea with my boyfriend more seriously and later that week three people from three different areas of  my life asked me if I would consider starting a health and wellness blog. It seemed like too much of a coincidence and I felt as if it was something I was being called to pursue.

Milk and Honey Magazine article about healthy eating and living, using healthy, nutritious foods to create recipes that nourish the body!

What's one challenge you face with blogging?

For me I think it's the willingness to be vulnerable and share what I love. I wouldn't say I am shy, but I'm definitely the type of person who doesn't want to be the center of attention. Blogging is exactly that--putting yourself and your ideas out there for the world to see, whether they like them or not. I try to remind myself that nutrition is my passion and I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn't pursue it. I'm slowly learning to embrace the vulnerability and really enjoy all that blogging entails.

Do you have a favorite spice?

This might sound simple, but I would have to say salt. Salt brings out the flavor in many other spices, so it's a key ingredient in my kitchen.

Are there any healthy trends that are particularly interesting to you?

I'm really interested in plant-based diets right now. I'm not quite ready to give up being a carnivore, but I'm really interested in the impact animal protein has on your body. I'm currently reading "Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition" by Dr. Campbell which focuses on a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle. I'm hoping after reading this book and doing some more research I will have a better grasp on where this trend is coming from and whether or not it's something I want to pursue in my own life.