Eat Your Way To Success With Sisley Killam
Your food choices affect your business success. Probably not something you think about each time you make breakfast or order takeout, right? But you should be paying more attention to the connection. Your levels of productivity and creativity, which are directly fueled by what you eat, determine things like how much you accomplish on your to do list or the quality of your work. Think about how you feel after eating a giant bowl of pasta. You’re full, lethargic and all you want to do is take a nap. You’re body is so focused on trying to digest this heavy meal that there’s no energy left for anything else.
Ultimately, making smart food choices affects our day to day success and following a healthy diet and lifestyle will actually improve your businesses success. But, don’t just take my word for it.
I’ve partnered with Sisley Killam of The Pure Life. Sisley is a Registered Holistic Nuritionist. Originally from Vancouver, BC, she recently made the move to New Zealand. Sisley is a Nutrition and Lifestyle coach and runs a successful blog - if you haven’t visited The Pure Life before, you need to check it out. I’ve been following her blog since the beginning and Sisley’s knowledge of nutrition is amazing! Plus, her recipes are insanely delicious. You can find her online at thepurelife.ca and on Instagram @thepurelife_.
I asked Sisley several questions about balancing healthy eating with running a business, how what we eat affects our productivity and creativity, what to eat to maximize our energy, easy on-the-go meal ideas and what small changes we can make to our diets now. Keep reading for Sisley’s answers.
FIRST OFF, Tell everyone a bit about yourself and what you do.
Hello! My name is Sisley, I’m a half German/half Canadian gal living in a van in New Zealand. I am in love with finding balance and all things health + wellness. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I own and run my business, The Pure Life, where I create nutrition programs, develop recipes, work with online clients and so much more! I truly love what I do and spreading my love for holistic living.
As an entrepreneur yourself, do you eat a certain way to fuel yourself for your busy schedule?
100%! After years of following different diets and finding what works best for my body, I finally fell in love with eating a whole foods diet. Pretty simple hey? Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated - it just comes down to listening to your body and doing what works for you.
How does nutrition affect our creativity and productivity?
Nutrition is the basis of our well-being (along with lifestyle, environment, and so much more) and can definitely affect our creativity and productivity. If you’re someone like me, diet affects how I live my day to day life. If I’m fuelling my body with nutrient dense, whole foods my body loves, then I thrive. When I eat foods that I am intolerant to (like wheat, refined oils + dairy), my symptoms can range from bloating to acne and even contribute to anxiety. When it comes to the mind & nutrition, it’s important to stick to foods that make our bodies feel good, and keep our minds clear, so that they don’t have to focus on the stress of a certain food digesting in our body.
What should we eat to maximize our energy?
I’m a firm believer in listening to your body. We are all going to thrive differently, especially when it comes to maximizing our energy! Some of my clients thrive on high amounts of carbohydrates, while others tend to feel more energized on heavy fats and protein. It’s so important to find out what works for you. However, I do have a list of favourite foods to help keep our blood sugar balanced, our mind focused and our energy levels high. Most of us will thrive off of eating balanced meals with an emphasis on the following:
Complex carbohydrates: These are some of my favourite foods to help keep energy levels high, especially if we’re including exercise into our daily routine! Adding a banana to your morning smoothie, paired with some spinach, protein powder and almond butter is a great way to include some healthy complex carbs first thing in the morning. Try mixing it up by adding some roasted sweet potato and pumpkin in salads, or batch cooking a quinoa and brown rice mix for nourish bowls.
Greens: This is a no-brainer! Green vegetables are amazing for you and supply our bodies with an abundance of vital vitamins and minerals. Some of my favourites for wintertime are sauteed kale and roasted broccoli. In the summer, opt for loads of fresh herbs, cucumber and light greens like arugula, which are going to help keep energy levels up. Try and incorporate greens at every meal.
Healthy fats: These are essential for brain health and happy hormones. Adding in some healthy fats at every meal are vital. Some of my favourites include pasture-raised eggs cooked in extra virgin olive oil at breakfast, avocado or wild fish for lunch/dinner and loading up on brain-fuel foods like walnuts, chia seeds and hemp seed oil in salads.
What foods are sabotaging our energy? What should we avoid?
I try to remind my clients that no food is “good” or “bad”. We either have a nourishing food or a non-nourishing food - both can play a healthy role in our day to day lives! However, there definitely are foods that we can avoid if we are needing an energy makeover.
Foods that you’re intolerant to - many of us ignore our food sensitivities, so really listening to your body is going to be extra important for this. Some common sensitivities include dairy, corn, beans, non-organic and non-fermented soy products and gluten. If those foods don’t make you feel good, then it might be best to stick to other foods that make you feel amazing (like the ones listed above!). Other certain ingredients in foods can help to deplete our energy, leaving us feeling tired and cranky. These ingredients often include refined oils like canola oil and refined hidden sugars (in things like granola bars and cereal). These foods are OK to consume once and a while, but if you are looking to up your energy levels, always make sure to read ingredient labels before buying!
What are some easy on-the-go meal and snack options for busy entrepreneurs?
I love a good snack! I go through phases of snack obsessions (right now it’s dried fruits like mango and kiwi and activated nut mix) and love sharing my snack tips.
Some of my most recommended snacks include coconut yoghurt with chia seeds, half of an avocado with sea salt or some homemade bliss balls. Banana with nut butter is also super underrated - keep a stash of bananas and a jar of nut butter at your work desk for when sugar cravings hit and you’re set. For pre-made snacks, I also love Larabar, Prana nut & fruit mixes and honestly, you really can’t go wrong with carrots and hummus!
What are some small changes we can make today to see results?
Make sure you are eating enough in a day! The biggest mistake I see with my clients is skipping mealtimes when the day is busy. Plan ahead and stock up on healthy snacks for when your schedule gets hectic.
Stock your fridge with healthy, simple food! Forget the fancy supplements - start with real, whole fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, a fresh loaf of bread, etc.
Start your day with a power drink - blend your morning matcha or coffee with a tablespoon of coconut butter, ½ tsp ceylon cinnamon and 1 serving of an adaptogenic herb of your choice (maca or ashwagandha) to help kickstart your morning. This recipe is a favourite from my signature program, The Pure Program.
Change can be scary, and overwhelming, but if we start small then we can see amazing results over time. That’s why I created The Pure Life, to create a platform where we can connect and empower each other through holistic living!
Photo: Sisley Killam by Sara Paley Photography