National Nutrition Month: Haley Jade

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Most locals know that we were the first community to have a dedicated health and wellness program as part of our resident services, GulchLife. Fast forward a few years and many other Nashville apartment communities have done the same. But our program is still very unique and exclusive.

Unlike other communities who have hired a company at random and have rotating instructors, we have one exclusive personal trainer - Haley Jade. This keeps our health and wellness program personal, and our residents love the consistency of having her teach week after week!

Haley has been with us a little over a year; and judging by her growing class size, we know she’s taking it to the next level. We’re thrilled to spend some time with Haley for National Nutrition Month. Read our Q&A with her!

Q: Tell us what nutrition means to you.

A: Nutrition holds a big place in my heart and my stomach both personally and for what it stands for. The food I chose to put in my body provides me with the fuel I need to workout, the nutrients to help my body recover, and the medicine to help me feel my best.

“Nutrition means feeding my body with food and nutrients that are going to nourish my brain and body to help it perform optimally.”

Q: What do you think is the most important part about nutrition?

A: “Having the right mindset. Understanding the purpose and benefits of certain foods and not looking so much at what a food may or may not have in it or is the lowest in calories.”

Try focusing on the benefits behind food, such as how the grilled chicken you eat at lunch builds your muscle, and the oatmeal you have the morning fuels your workouts or that extra serving of salad you’re having may help prevent you from getting sick. Food really has the power to help us feel our best if we allow our mindset around food to work for us not against us.

Q: What is a misconception about nutrition that you want to clarify?

A: The biggest misconception would be that nutrition is a one size fits all approach and that there is a "perfect diet" out there. We all have different needs, goals, schedules, lifestyle, genetics, etc. that make us so different.

“So many times we want to do what our co-worker is doing because it worked for her, but we have to find what works for US.”

Another misconception I'd like to clear up is the idea of eating less and less and working out more and more to lose weight. In the long run, you’re just going to be harming your metabolism (your body will burn less naturally), decreasing your energy levels (so you'll be less likely to make it to the gym), and negatively impact your training (less gain in lean muscle mass, which is what you WANT). Instead try finding a more moderate approach of balancing healthy eating habits and training in order to improve your performance, strength, and happiness.

Q: What are your goals when it comes to nutrition?

A: BALANCE & VARIETY. Balance in trying to incorporate all the food groups since they all have different purposes, such as whole grains, lean protein sources, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables. Also trying to have a variety of the types of foods I eat in order to ensure my body is getting exposed to all the nutrients it needs and not to burn myself out on certain foods. I also try to balance my purpose of eating with an 80/20 approach.

“80% of the time to fuel myself to be the best I can be and 20% for the other moments in life worth enjoying where I may not be thinking exactly about what I put on my plate.”

I also try and eat as many whole and less processed foods since they are the highest in nutrients and have the most benefits for my body.

Q: Is there a person that you follow/admire when it comes to nutrition -

A: I admire the people who make huge changes in their life simply by just changing their nutrition habits and the food they put in their body! I also admire Registered Dietitian, Julia Bell

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