ProduKtive Blog

A Culinary Mentor

Feb 27, 2014 | The ONE Thing

allisonWhen it comes to physical health, it’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing. While we hang physical wellness on three hooks – sleep, diet and exercise – there’s a lot of wiggle room on what regimen is best for you.

Enter your mentors.

We first met Allison Stevens while researching nutrition bars. As a trained chef and dietician with her own company, Prep Dish, Allison approaches physical health from a nutrition standpoint first. She’s helped numerous people fulfill wellness goals, so we wanted to get her blink on mentors – having someone lead the way, or at least hold your hand along the journey.

KellerINK Team: New Year Resolutions are still well underway. Why is it so hard to stick to diet goals, even though we continue calling them out every January 1?

Chef Allison: Accountability. It’s harder than you think to start and stick with a diet on your own. Today’s environment is one of convenience – and temptation for unhealthy food choices is everywhere. Working with a mentor helps establish health as a priority and creates outside support and accountability for staying healthy. We all benefit from support in this area. Even though I make a career out of healthy living, I still find mentors worthwhile in this part of my life. At the moment, I consider my baby sister, Whitney, to be my health mentor. She is also a dietitian, and I can always count on her for an open, honest discussion on the topic. I also look up to my friend, Dr. Amy Myers. I love to learn from her scientific, food-based approach and am constantly amazed at her devotion, tenacity and ability to make a positive difference in people’s lives. When I think about it, a lot of people have influenced my views on health over the years.

KellerINK: Ok, you’ve convinced us – we need a health mentor. Now how do we find the right one?

Chef Allison: Do your research. Read the person’s bio. Get a sense for their true passions in life. You want to find someone you can look up to and who you think is inspirational. And a good personality fit is a must. If the first one isn’t a fit, there are plenty of others out there.

KellerINK Team: Has food and nutrition been a life-long calling for you?

Chef Allison: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist so I could swim with dolphins! But I started cooking in high school and fell in love with it. I attended 4 years of culinary school, and when I was done I didn’t think the culinary field was for me. Luckily, I missed cooking so much that I figured out a way to make it my career, but in a way that works for me.

Of course, I didn’t let my marine biology dreams die with my career shift. Instead, I’ve taken up scuba diving. So far, I’ve swam with the dolphins and even great white sharks for fun instead!

KellerINK Team: What’s the best part of your job?

Chef Allison: Doing what I love every day and helping people in the process. I struggle sometimes because I’m so passionate about what I do and find it hard to limit the number of hours I put into my work. I try to be intentional about taking breaks and making time for other things I enjoy: being outside, travel, yoga, reading and just spending time with friends and family.

KellerINK Team:  We know counterbalancing – making time for the other priorities in your life – is essential to a person’s well-being. You mentioned travel as something that’s important to you. Where do you want to go on your next vacation?

Chef Allison: I’m thinking Machu Picchu for my next big trip! I’ve been learning Spanish and love hiking.

KellerINK Team: It’s apparent you appreciate the support of mentors. Does anyone else influence the path you take in other areas of your life?

Chef Allison: Because I have my own company, Prep Dish, I’ve found having a business mentor to be incredibly helpful. I’ve been working with a coach for years now. With her guidance, I’ve learned to take a step back, look at the big picture and continually map out how to make my work life more efficient, enjoyable and successful.

I am also part of a group of five successful women entrepreneurs in my hometown of Austin, TX. We meet each month and go over issues related to our businesses. I think having peers that I can trust to act as a sounding board has been really helpful to my professional growth.

And really, I consider all of my friends “mentors” in one way or another. I surround myself with inspiring, uplifting people.

KellerINK Team: We’ll wrap up this interview with a health spin on The ONE Thing’s classic Focusing Question. If a young person you really cared about asked, “What’s the ONE Thing I can do for my health such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?” what advice would you give them?

Chef Allison: Learn to cook! Being healthy requires eating real foods and avoiding processed foods.

Thanks to Chef Allison Stevens for being one of our physical health mentors. Stay tuned for future interviews with experts in other important areas of life, and check out some delicious and nutritious recipes from Allison – Roasted Beet Salad, Bean, Kale and Ancho Chili or Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies. Next up? Spiritual mentors.

 

Original Source: http://www.the1thing.com/applying-the-one-thing/a-culinary-mentor/

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