On my birthday this year, I decided that I was going to find myself. Whatever that means. But I knew that I wanted to make a real lifestyle change. I had started a brand new job, one of a lifetime at Latina, and I found myself busier than ever. I’d been working out with a trainer since March, but didn’t really change much about my diet, which was based on a few principles — forget to eat all day, then scarf a pizza for the calories, or because I was tired, or I was stressed, or because I “deserved a treat.”
But this August, I found myself unhappy with this pattern, and I really wanted a change. I’d gotten my heart broken (the big love kind), and I found myself in this new uncharted territory of learning to love me.
Thanks to Latina’s intern, Dyana Trejos, I was introduced to Jolene Hart’s Eat Pretty series.
Covered in pink florals, the journal already felt like a gift, and in its pages, I learned about food in a brand new way. As a child, I was always taught that food was a means of enjoyment. Since I’m not really the best at relaxing, taking the pressure off myself by diving into a burger and fries was something I deserved, according to my family. Two months since I discovered Jolene and Eat Pretty Live Well, I’ve lost ten pounds and I’ve learned to eat seasonally. Most importantly, I’ve learned that self-love means treating yourself with kind words, a good time with friends, or simply putting up your feet and watching Hocus Pocus for the millionth time if that's what rocks your world.
Get to know more about Jolene Hart and how she puts her own Eat Pretty advice into practice in our interview with the author and nutrition coach below. And if you’re ready to start your own health journey, check out her latest, Eat Pretty Every Day, out now.
One of the reasons I was so drawn to the Eat Pretty series is that you were also an editor with a super crazy workload. How did you begin your Eat Pretty journey, despite your schedule?
I began this journey because of my schedule. I was working as a beauty editor. I came into my job already having skin issues that I had since college. I had tried a lot of things, but as a beauty editor, all of sudden I had all of these resources thrown at me. All I got from that was being really good at picking concealers because I could find the exact match for my skin. I also developed some eczema at that time which was totally stress related. I went to a dermatologist for that and got a prescription but nothing ever really solved it for me. In the back of my mind I really thought my skin was telling me something. All these years, the better part of a decade, I was going about things from the outside in. There weren’t any resources at the time on it. I was looking for a book like Eat Pretty and I ended up leaving my job to freelance. It was at the time the recession hit. I just felt that I wasn’t going to get promoted at work and I needed something that felt more akin to what I wanted my lifestyle to be. I ended up going to school to be certified as a coach and kept writing and doing my job through all that. It made it so as a freelancer I could juggle a couple other things and could really prioritize what I wanted to explore.
The Eat Pretty series consists of three books. What are some of the similarities and differences among them?
Coming from a magazine [focused on] beauty, I never got a chance to write about this kind of stuff. It was fascinating to me. As a coach, I use a lot of different tools with my clients and I put a lot of those into the Eat Pretty Live Well journal, that came out this spring. It’s your food diary. The book walks you through cleaning out your pantry, gives you certain grocery lists if you have different goals for your skin. The new book, Eat Pretty Every Day, is a book of 365 ideas. Whatever season you’re in and you need an idea, open up a page, find a recipe you love, get a kitchen tip or a self-care practice and start figuring out what works in your life. They all start with introducing the same approach. Food is not your enemy— it’s your greatest tool for beauty. Use your vanity, which we all kind of have, I call it healthy vanity. Use it to your advantage and make that be the motivating factor. Make that be the voice in your head that makes you choose better. Make little choices— the small ones really amount to big things and make a big difference over time. Your diet can shift to balance that and target the needs that are shifting during different seasons. It makes food more nutritious because it was just picked and harvested.
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