I interviewed Registered Holistic Nutritionist and dancer, Carla Budd, to get the scoop on becoming a nutritionist, healthy meal ideas, a yummy pesto recipe, avoiding dance injuries, and more…
Tell us a bit about yourself 🙂
I’m currently living in Vancouver, BC after growing up on the Sunshine Coast where I developed a love for dance and nourishing, tasty food being raised by an Italian family! I took my love for dance and received a BFA [Bachelors of Fine Arts] in Dance and then became a RHN [Registered Holistic Nutritionist] to educate dancers on the importance of nourishing the body. I’m also married with two children and I do my best to nourish them as well with healthy food options, activities and fun.
What schooling was required to become a registered holistic nutritionist? How difficult was it?
I did the two year diploma program through the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition. I was thankful to have knowledge about the human body beforehand with the biology and kinesiology classes I took in University, that made it a bit easier. Still, there is a TON of information about how food affects the body’s systems in so many ways I was unaware of before, even though I loved studying food before. The cause studies were intense but a crucial part of the program.
For someone considering doing this, what tips would you give them? What should they be really interested in (besides just food & nutrition!)
You really have to have a keen interest in helping people with their health issues from a holistic perspective and realize that it’s not a one-size-fits-all way of learning. You really have to open up to recommending things that perhaps you wouldn’t do or try (eg. going vegetarian or adding more meat/fat) but you realize it works for that persons health plan. You also have to realize that studies and research change and if you hold on to your own beliefs too rigidly it could impact your ability to learn and integrate new information.
What are a few of your go-to breakfast meals?
- Soft boiled eggs over greens with a bit of sauerkraut
- Almond butter coconut smoothies with chia, flax and cocoa powder
- Bulletproof coffee
- Tropikale smoothies (tropical fruits with greens and nettle)
- Whole Foods power muffin when I need something to eat out
What are a few of your go-to lunch meals?
- Salads with nuts, seeds, sprouts, fermented topping (I love Wildbrines assortment of sauerkrauts and salsas)
- Leftover proteins or quick scrambled eggs over top arugula
- Soup, either a big batch of homemade soup or premade from whole foods or choices.
- Snack plate with celery, cucumber, hummus, olives, maybe cheese/prosciutto
What are a few of your go-to dinner meals?
- I need to cook for kids so I usually have options. For instance we’ll do burritos with grass fed meat, guacamole, salsa, cilantro, cheese, rice and other veggie toppings, but I’ll nix the rice/wrap and load up on cilantro because I don’t really like combining grains and proteins.
- Lentil veggie soup with a sourdough bread roll
- Coconut lamb curry
- Homemade meatballs with greek salad/cauliflower rice
- Roast chicken with mashed potatoes and broccoli (I’ll eat the potatoes the next day)
- Quick tomato sauce pasta with a large green salad with a homemade vinaigrette
- Nettle Pesto Penne
Could you give us a recipe for one of the above?
- Nettle Pesto:
- 1/2 cup dried nettle flake
- 1/4 cup olive oil (add more if needed)
- 1/4 walnuts, soaked
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup basil
- Salt to taste
- Add ingredients to a food processor. Add to pasta, spaghetti squash, or mix with mayo for sandwich/wrap spreads.
Ooh I’ll have to try that! What are some tips on not breaking the bank while eating healthy?
- It differs depending on where you shop. If you like to meal plan and prep then it’s a good idea to buy foods at less expensive stores like Save-On or independent grocery stores, and try to eat as organically as possible. If you’re ok with cooking meals with what’s in your cart without much planning, go to Whole Foods or Choices and just buy whatever is on sale and see what you come up with.
- The other option is buying from a grocery delivery service if you like meal prepping, because you buy every single ingredient online and you can see the price you’re spending to add/take away items before you order, check out sales, coupons, etc.
- In the summer farmers markets are the best option for cheap produce. Subscribing to a CSA box program can be an inexpensive way to get seasonal vegetables year round at a great price from local farms.
Good to know! What are your go-to healthy snacks?
- Hummus and veggies
- Rice chips and guacamole
- Quinoa bread with butter and almond butter
- Healthy trail mixes
- Fruit slices with some sort of yogurt or nut butter dip
What do you find has worked for people to make them eat healthier? Any tips?
You have to have a specific reason for a specific goal. Saying “I just want to eat healthier” is too broad, you won’t really know where to start or what intentions you have. You can say, “I want to find a way to lower my anxiety with food,” then you can work at looking at foods that contribute to anxiety, (caffeine, sugar, not enough fat) and start to cut out those foods and add others to your diet. If you want to eat healthier you could say, “I want to eat more vegetables to increase my health,” or “I want to eat fast food only monthly.” Something tangible. Once those become more normal ways then you can look at the next steps for making healthy changes. This approach is better for sustaining health changes long term and truly breaking habits versus going cold turkey and changing everything overnight – which is way more exciting and we really like things to happen right away, but is really difficult to sustain long term.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it like?
I have never been a morning person where I can just get up and go for it. I like to sleep for a reasonable time and then it’s usually getting kids ready for the day, making breakfasts and lunch. After that is when I spend time getting my coffee, doing any meditations, stretching, writing, etc. It changes depending on what my to-do’s are.
Do you meditate? If so, what is your practice like?
I have a few different meditations that I do from teachers I really respect. A lot of them are heart centered to drop from the mental chatter of the mind and into the intuitive nature of the heart. I also do meditations to notice what my body is trying to tell me, so getting more into my felt sense perception. It is definitely something I aim to do more as my children get older and more self sufficient as well.
Do you do yoga? Why or why not?
Yes I do, I love all types. I don’t have a regular yoga practice as I love attending dance classes, but I like hot yoga, kundalini, and yin yoga as my favourites for moving energy and then deep release as well.
You teach dance and nutrition in your Food & Groove class, which is a great combo. What suggestions would you give people who are wanting to get better at dance?
Just try! Practice! Go to different classes that you feel scared or nervous about because chances are there are many people like you that are nervous as well, but once you try a variety, whichever one makes you feel the freshest and re-engerized after is a good sign. Sometimes the voice in your head says, “Nah, I don’t really need to go today.” That voice should politely zip it and you should get your booty to class.
Do you have any tips for avoiding injury while dancing?
STRETCH. We love to go full force and then not stretch. If the teacher doesn’t include stretching make sure you do some when you get home. Taking epsom salt baths, even after just an hour of a new class that you haven’t done before is a great thing to do. Also, if you have a long standing injury do your best to fully heal it with help from a practitioner and not just “fight through the pain,” as that’s how chronic injuries develop.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If there are any questions that have come up for people around their own health or if you’d like to work with me one on one, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on Carla, check out her YouTube channel: