Electricious Summer: NOURISH

on Jul 12, 2017

Summer is getting more electricious by the second. This August we’ll be hosting certified nutritionist Katie Hammill at Watts to get the conversation going about good, well-rounded nutrition. Sneak a little preview and get to know her below, have your questions ready to go. Stay tuned into our social for scheduled Q&A’s.

Nutrition with Katie Q&A

1.  Three big meals a day, or several small meals? Snack pack?

This depends on the individual. Typically snack foods are not as balanced as meals.  When we sit down to a meal we take the time to ensure there are quality proteins, fats and veggies. Snacks are so often packaged and void of the nutrients we need to thrive. But for those who like to graze and can plan ahead to have healthy nourishing snacks on hand (or know awesome places like Watts to pick them up;) - then I say go for it. My philosophy is individuality is key.  Find what works best for you.

2.  What’s one food you tell people to stop eating?  

There are no real foods I recommend for everyone to eliminate. Again individuality will dictate what works best for you. BUT there are a few fake foods that I think we could all benefit from eliminating from our diets namely artificial sweeteners and artificial colors. There are so many studies on the negative effects these chemicals have on our brains and our long-term health.  Countries around the globe have banned them and we’re just a little behind the curve.  Especially for kids, these are a no go for me!

3.  How can one improve overall nutrition, as a first step?

Be mindful. Are you eating because you are hungry? Do you love what you are eating or is it just readily available so you mindless munch away?  The minute we take a step back and start to look at what we eat and appreciate how it makes us feel than each of us can design a style of eating that makes us thrive.

4.  If someone wants to start on a vegan or plant-based diet, what are ways to get started?

The first step is to understand that vegan or plant-based diets aren’t simply eliminating meat and dairy from your diet. In order to get adequate protein and B-vitamins what needs to replace those foods? I have worked with a number of vegans that I call “grainatarians,” they simply replaced meat with processed grains. But by focusing on all the vitamin-rich foods made in nature they were able to embrace a healthy and sustainable vegan diet.  There are so many amazing nutritious foods - nuts, seeds, probiotic-rich fermented foods, sea vegetables, herbs... that the plant-based community can enjoy.  

5.  How do you feel about a gluten-free diet?

I could write an essay on this one, so I will try to be brief.  Gluten can be troublesome for a lot of people, but not all.  Similar to the vegan question the trouble arises with what you chose to replace the gluten-containing foods with.  If you are saying no to wheat bread and loading up on gluten-free breads and packaged baked goods your health and the number on the scale is not going to improve. If gluten-containing foods are replaced by vitamin and mineral-rich fruits and vegetables, quality meats, eggs, nuts and seeds then your body will thank you for it.

6.  What are some of the benefits of cold-pressed juice? Besides being delicious?

Cold-pressing allows the beneficial enzymes and nutrients to survive the juicing process.  The end product is a raw, vitamin-rich juice with a whole host of benefits. Unlike commercially processed juices found at your local supermarket, cold-pressed juice and specifically the awesome formulations at Watts, will not put you in a sugar-induced brain fog. The vitamins and minerals remain active and bio-available and the formulations skew heavy on the veggies limiting the dreaded blood-sugar spike. Also in our Florida summers, dehydration is a common problem.  Replenishing your body with cold-pressed juice and lots of water is a great way to prevent this. Starting your day with a Watts green juice with ginger is going to help speed up your recovery from a night that included one too many cocktails.

7.  How do you feel about carbs? What place do they have in a diet? Also, is butter a carb?

I love carbs but what I don’t love are processed grains. We too often forget that all fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates and our bodies need them for energy, muscle strength, good sleep and the list goes on and on. Our macronutrient needs (percentages of carbs, fats and protein in our diets) differs from one person to the next but our basic need for each of these three essential nutrients does not. Grains on the other hand, are typically filler foods. They provide minimal nutrition for the amount of calories they take up in our diet. I encourage all my clients to swap grains for veggies whenever possible.
Butter is most definitely a fat and from organic, grass-fed happy cows it can be part of a healthy diet. I am definitely not fat-phobic.

8.  What does a good diet do for hair, skin and nails?

Moisture, moisture, moisture… in the form of water, cold-pressed juice and fresh fruits and vegetables.  Hydrating your body from the inside out is the key to skin that radiates. I also encourage all my clients to incorporate collagen into their diet. Collagen is the integral building-block for skin, nails, bones and joints and it is hard to get adequate amounts in our diet.  I don’t typically recommend a specific supplement to all my clients but collagen is one of the exceptions. It is typically derived from grass-fed cows but there are great marine sources as well. It is a flavorless powder that is easily absorbed into water, coffee or fresh cold-pressed juice.

9.  What does a well-rounded meal look like in your opinion?

Something that looks and tastes delicious, comprised of healthy real foods is an amazing starting place. Ensuring it has a quality organic protein source and healthy fats puts me in my happy place.


Katie Hammill CNP, Holistic Nutritionist, Sports and Family Nutrition
Katie Hammill is a Holistic Nutritionist based in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Katie has a Bachelor of Commercial Studies from The University of Western Ontario in Ontario, Canada, a Post-graduate degree in Communications and Public Relations and is an honours graduate of The Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

For 10 years as a communications manager and consultant in the sports marketing industry, Katie worked first- hand with high-performance athletes and saw the integral role diet plays in reaching the podium and edging out the competition. Additionally as a runner and admitted gym rat, Katie has experienced the advantage that a keen eye for nutrition can give the weekend warrior.

As a Holistic Nutritionist and busy mom of two, Katie knows firsthand the pressure on moms and dads to find the right nutrition plan for both themselves and their growing families. She helps navigate the confusing waters of prenatal nutrition, the introduction of solid foods and helps parents win the battle against the dreaded picky eater.

Katie is a passionate communicator having appeared on CTV National News, City TV and in the Globe and Mail and the Florida Times Union.

In 2014, Katie and her family relocated from Toronto, Canada to the shores of Atlantic Beach, Florida. When not spending time with her family, Katie can be found in the gym, experimenting in the kitchen or with her feet in the sand. 

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