A DAY IN THE LIFE
Growing up in Southern California, my family was always outdoors and active. My dad is also a chef and food has been the focal point of our family life for as long as I can remember. I began taking an interest in nutrition science about three years ago when I graduated from college and realized I could be in much better physical health.
Around this time, my dad was also transforming his business model to specialize in cooking paleo meals. This is when food and nutrition became my true passion.
Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Introduce yourself and tell us how you got into cooking.
I am Dakota and my life revolves around food and fitness!
I have learned so much about my relationship with food over the past three years and it is evolving every day. I want to transform the way people look at food. In diet culture, food is grouped as “good” or “bad”, but there is so much more to the story! Food should make you feel good, physically, mentally, and emotionally. For me, sometimes that is a green smoothie, and sometimes that is a fresh-baked loaf of bread! Cooking is a craft, and I believe nothing should be “off-limits” if it is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. Creating, sharing, and enjoying food that makes me feel good is what makes me feel healthy and alive!
What's a day in your life look like?
06:30 - Wake up and drink water! I aim to drink about a gallon of water throughout the day. I love hot water with fresh lemon and ginger too!
07:00 - Practice gentle movement. I spend about 30 minutes to an hour in the morning stretching or practicing yoga.
08:00 - Take my dog for a walk. He is not a morning person so this is normally a 30-minute walk at most.
08:30 - Make coffee and begin my workday. I drink Gnarwhal Coffee light roast with a dash of cinnamon.
10:30 - Make my green smoothie. I have this every day! It makes me feel alive and starts my day off with a big serving of greens!
12:00 - Lunch break work out.
01:00 - Shower, make lunch, back to work. I rarely buy dry or packaged goods. Most of my kitchen is filled with fresh produce. Lunch is typically a big bowl of leafy greens with roasted veggies. I call this the “Bella Bowl”. If I am in the mood for something sweet, my go-to lately has been my banana bread with an organic pink lady apple and almond butter. After I make the banana bread, I slice it and store it in the freezer so I can just grab a piece and pop it in the toaster when I’m in the mood!
05:30 - Make dinner. I try to eat on the earlier side. When I can control it, I like to eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before going to bed to allow my body the time it needs to digest. My fiancé and I love to cook, so we have really been taking advantage of our extra time in the kitchen together! I look forward to making dinner together every day. A super easy weeknight meal I made recently was this sesame noodle stir fry. I used Explore Cuisine edamame spaghetti (7 net carbs and 24 grams of protein per serving) which had amazing texture and flavor for this dish. I also made my own tahini which was so fresh and delicious! It is super easy, just grind up sesame seeds (I used my vita-mix) and then stir in olive oil.
07:00 - Take my dog for a walk. Relax!
"In diet culture, food is grouped as “good” or “bad”, but there is so much more to the story! Food should make you feel good, physically, mentally, and emotionally."
What are some resources that are keeping you grounded during this time?
Healing Mantras.. I love just closing my eyes and being there with them –– specifically Jhene Aiko’s mantra is beautifully done.
Matt D’ Avella’s youtube channel is full of humor, realistic life tips, and beautiful cinematography.
Lastly being able to still create content — doing youtube tutorials, being creative is just good fun.