Hi there and welcome to my website! I hope you find the information here educational, delicious, occasionally laughter-inducing and even popping with some glitter. I believe that the sciences positive psychology, relationships and nutrition are absolutely fascinating and the way food interacts with our minds and bodies to maintain optimal health in the present and prevent diseases later in life to be one of the most important things we could learn. What is more important than taking care of both our mental and physical health?
My book, Love Your Body, published by Rodale Inc. contains the most up-to-date research on which foods are the most nutritious for our bodies and the science explaining why. Each plant food has a unique composition of nutrients that help us in distinct ways! These are the foods that have been scientifically shown to nurture our cells with the beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals we were designed to thrive on and to stay heathy and disease-free throughout our lives.
I’ve taken this knowledge and my passion for cooking and baking (which to me is basically like playing with Play-Doh for adults!) and my goal is to make healthy food taste as amazing as possible and look beautiful to eat at the same time!
In addition to a passion for the science of nutrition, I passionately write and research about positive psychology, relationships, how to be our own best friends and how to be a wonderful friend in return. Being compassionate towards yourself and empathetic towards other people, animals and Mother Earth is at the core of my “achieving our greatest life potential” philosophy. The world already has overwhelming problems and we have it in our power to add more kindness, however large or small, to the world by spreading more positive energy no matter what you are going through or how tough life gets for yourself, for it always does get rough for every single one of us at various times. I live by the principle that we must not judge others before we have all the facts and keep an open-mind! Often, you will be surprised by what you discover. And you never know when someone could use a smile!
Soooo I love positive psychology, the science of nutrition and creating delish recipes. What else can you find on this website?!
1) Fashion! ~ Fashion posts ahoy. I am on the lookout for not only stylish pieces,
but ethically-produced, animal-friendly and even eco-friendly fashion when I am able.
2) Environmental science news! ~ Because the environment matters. It just does. Climate change is connected to our diets.
3) My quirky personality! ~ I can’t help it.
4) So much yumminess that I need to write it again (above you see a Raw Blueberry Cheesecake with Cashew Crust)!
5) Exclamation points! ~ Because they are superior to periods and they reflect my love of life and excitement for all that I do (urr…I mean “do!”).
My background studying nutrition
I have a B.A. in nutritional science from Cornell University. I also took every psychology course offered. Positive psychology, personality psychology and human bonding were my favorite classes during my time in Ithaca, NY.
As a young child, you might have seen me running around my living room while eating romaine lettuce leaves and dancing to loud music, all at the same time. I think this expresses who I am today pretty well. While I may be hesitant to publicly admit that yes, I do still run around my living room for exercise and need to face the facts that I am voluntarily outing myself, I no longer carry romaine lettuce leaves while doing physical activity. I do dance to loud music in the privacy of my own room (I have Peter Pan syndrome and don’t want to grow up), I sing in the car and smile pretty widely each and every time I see a sunset, rainbow after a rainstorm or a favorite old song that plays on the radio. A lot of other things make me happy, but I wanted to mention just a few simple things that give me a reason to smile and should give you a reason to smile too.
My childhood and who my dad is
My dad is Joel Fuhrman, M.D. and he’s written an impressive quantity of fascinating books on how to reach our best health, get rid of the most common, diet-related diseases and prevent these diseases as we get older. I’m talking about nasty cancers, like breast and skin cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and more. His most well-known book is Eat To Live, but between you and me and anyone else reading this, my personal favorite of his books is Super Immunity. What’s not to love about a book that explains why elderberry juice can help us get better faster from the common cold, right? There is no arguing with elderberry juice.
I grew up in a family in which kale with cashew cream sauce was a common dish served at dinner and dried papaya and persimmons were what my mom packed for me in school lunches. In elementary school, while my friend’s moms packed them Lunchables and Fruit by the Foot at snack time (remember those?), corn on the cob and apples with cashew butter were often what was packed for me. Now that I think about it, it’s probably a miracle that I grew up to be mostly normal (key word being “mostly”). I wasn’t always a perfect eater and I’m not a perfect eater as an adult either (this is my time to give dark chocolate a shout out- dark chocolate I love you!), but I do care a ton about the connection between what we eat and our well-being and I am a huge advocate of the tremendous power of taking care of our bodies. Hordes of scientific studies show that food really is medicine and that what we eat every day influences how we feel, what our number of the scale reads, the strength of our immune systems, and much more. With the knowledge about which foods to eat and what to do to feel awesome, it’s only natural to make eating nutrient-dense, health promoting foods a priority. Rebellion in my teens and as an adult had no chance once feeling amazing now and into the future became paramount.
Here are answers to questions I get asked frequently:
When did you create this website?
This website came to life in October of 2013 after much contemplation and daydreaming about finding a virtual home for my healthy recipes, nutrition facts, fashion and other passions. I’d wanted to start a blog for eons but with Cornell University taking over my life and my decision to write a book (see question 3 for more about where I went to school) and those horrendous prelims* I didn’t have enough time to devote myself to the amazing world of blogging and other fun technology stuff. I’ve loved cooking, baking, fashion, photography and writing throughout high school and college, so I’m really psyched that I can now share my recipes with you and in my book too (FYI: There are few overlaps between the recipes in the LYB book and on this website~ almost all of the recipes in the book are totes mcgotes new)! Now that I have my own blog after wanting one for way too long, I will continue to be ecstatic that after I create a recipe, I now can share them with fellow health-conscious foodies and cooking and baking lovers like myself.
*Prelim – short for preliminary examinations, this word is unique to Cornell U. These are tedious midterms administered 3 to 4 times each semester. Think borderline torture!
How much do you weigh? How tall are you?
I no longer weigh myself. The scale can cause unnecessary unhappiness when we don’t see a number we like and I’ve decided that my daily pound fluctuations are not important to me anymore. When I was in college, I weighed myself all the time and now I feel idiotic for doing so given the loathsome feelings it gave me. Even though I ate healthfully, I cared way too much what the number on the scale read, even though I was pretty much a toothpick. Somebody needed to slap me and thankfully I decided to do the slapping on my own. Long story short, I am much happier now that the scale and I have parted ways. For those of you who are extremely curious and still care about that scale, I’m probably between 108 and 115 pounds at 5’4’’, but I really have no idea and it doesn’t matter to me so it shouldn’t matter to you. I am not a number and neither are you!
Beyond studying nutrition at Cornell University, what are your credentials as an expert in health and nutrition?
Imagine a little child Talia traveling around with her dad on his lecture tours, being taken to his office and studying his nutritarian food pyramid on the wall and spending car rides to tennis practice discussing why I wasn’t allowed to have chicken fingers or donuts and what was actually in them. I grew up going to health conferences and meeting nutrition experts from all over the world. 13-year-old me was reading The Food Revolution by John Robbins and reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, highlighting every page and being riveted by the information inside. By the time I got to college, I actually thought I would be so sick of nutrition if I studied it, so I changed my major three times freshman year and was envious of the nutrition majors the entire time I wasn’t one. Needless to say, I could not escape my love affair with nutritional science.
I have a serious love affair with reading and learning on my own. I watch videos on NutritionFacts.org almost every day! Thank you, Dr. Michael Greger!
How do you define healthy?
I might have a very unconventional definition of healthy. To me, being healthy means knowing yourself so well that you know what to do to make each day be the best that it can be, which will result in a healthier attitude about life and a healthier you, both emotionally and physically. Getting to know yourself is a process and sometimes you will take a step backward before you take a larger step forward. Once you understand why you do the “unhealthy” things you do, such as unhealthy romantic relationships, toxic friendships, going out too much and drinking, emotionally overeating, etc. then you can work on improving these aspects of yourself. Health is an attitude to me.
How does what we eat today affect our health in the future?
Our diets today have everything to do with our health in the future. Whether or not we get a scary disease, be it painful, life-threatening or financially costly, is entirely related to the foods we choose to eat every single day of our lives.
What is the biggest misconception about you?
A big misconception is probably that I eat perfectly all the time and don’t know what standard American food or animal products taste like. I do! And I know why it can seem so difficult to give it up or even significantly reduce consumption. Another misconception about me is that I am a girly, female clone of my dad. Even though I love my dad with all my heart, I actually believe that our personalities are quite different and I am very proud to be my own unique person!
And lastly, a few random, debatably pointless, facts about me that have absolutely nothing to do with this website or my career.
1) My favorite “vegetable” isn’t actually a vegetable. I have a thing for shitake mushrooms. I took a class in college called, Magical Mushrooms and Mischievous Molds. That class was my favorite in college along with a class called, Human Bonding.
2) Pronouncing the “h” in the words “huge” and “human” escapes me each and every time.
3) I have slipped and fallen due to unsuspecting coatings of ice on sidewalks over 5 times during my 5 year residence in Ithaca, NY (see #5 for an explanation of the use of the word “over”). Each and every time was not pleasant and 4/5 times there were people around to witness the mostly awkward, yet with hints of gracefulness, falls. I have somehow broken no bones in my life. Yet.
4) Between the ages of 7-18, my life consisted of tennis, more tennis, school, eating and breathing. I was in training to be a pro-tennis player and traveled around the country for training and competitions. I was homeschooled for most of high school so I could do this. Tennis taught me the value of hard-work, perseverance and confidence from a young age. I miss my one-handed backhand and slice lefty-serve.
5) I have both Eminem and Taylor Swift music on repeat almost every day. I often wonder if this is bad for my brain. I love rap music and I can’t explain why.
6) Ever After, A Walk To Remember, Center Stage, A River Runs Through It and Meet Joe Black are a handful of my most beloved movies. My taste in almost everything screams, “Girl, girl, girl!”
7) If you skipped over all of the other questions and read the pointless randoms about me first (or if this is all you read), I would have probably done the same thing and odds are in our favor that we would be good friends. It’s not about me and never was. This website is here to help YOU!
8) With only one life to live, living a healthy lifestyle means not taking life or the little things too seriously!
Thank you for visiting my internet abode! While smelling my kitchen during cooking and baking hours may not be possible, contacting me is! I’d love to hear from you. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!