Raised on an unhealthy, standard American diet (aka SAD), Maria Marlowe took it upon herself to find her way to wellness. Her journey started when she was a teen struggling with acne. Maria was inspired to “drastically” modify her diet to clear her skin.
In addition to her improved complexion, she experienced healthy side effects, including weight loss and a strengthened immune system. From then on, she was hooked!
Her personal journey, which involved a brief transition period, started a decade ago. Since then, she reveals that her greatest challenge is the simple, yet tedious task of washing dishes.
“I love cooking, but sometimes I wish someone else would cook—and do the dishes for me,” she says.
She stays inspired by looking up to strong, powerful, entrepreneurial women who help each other instead of competing.
Today, Maria is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of The Real Food Grocery Guide, a book dubbed, “The most practical, user-friendly guide to healthy eating” by renowned physician Dr. Dean Ornish. She also founded mariamarlowe.com.
“I’m constantly developing content for the site,” Maria says. “…easy, delicious recipes that support beauty from the inside out, actionable nutrition tips that work and meal plans and classes that help readers reach their health goals, such as weight loss or reversing acne.”
But she’s not always go-go-go! In addition to whipping up crazy amazing foods in the kitchen, Maria also dedicates plenty of time to Zen out. During the week, you can find her strolling through Central Park before she takes off on the weekend to greener pastures and fresh air.
Get Maria’s full story below:
1. What is your ultimate goal?
I hope to inspire people to upgrade their eating habits and become more confident and happy with their body. By incorporating more real foods into your diet, reducing or eliminating junk foods, understanding your body better and choosing to love and accept it, we not only improve our health, but our entire life.
2. Before you started inspiring others, what inspired you?
I come from a family that has a ton of health problems (most people in my family are overweight or obese). Almost everyone has at least one chronic illness and a few have been diagnosed with cancer. I grew up eating a standard American diet (SAD) and decided to drastically change my diet after getting acne badly in my teens. My skin cleared up, I lost weight and got sick less frequently. I realized the life-changing power of real food, became hooked on healthy eating and vowed to help as many people improve their eating habits as I can.
3. Amazing! So what does your diet look like now?
I follow a primarily plant-based diet with the addition of eggs and seafood. I avoid dairy, gluten and refined sugar. My body feels the best eating this way. I have found this way of eating leaves me with clear skin, plenty of energy, a healthy weight and good health. It took me a few years to fully transition my diet, but I initially started 10 years ago and never looked back.
4. What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
Breakfast is typically a veggie with egg scramble or a smoothie bowl. Lunch is some sort of warm veggie bowl, like a Buddha bowl, with lots of roasted veggies (typically pre-cooked on the weekend) and beans or quinoa. And dinner is usually something quick, like a veggie curry or stir fry, or a lemon pepper cod with cauliflower rice. No matter what the meal, I try to always make at least 50 percent of my plate vegetables or fruit and ensure I have adequate healthy protein and fats.
5. Yum! But between you and us, what are your go-to foods to splurge on?
I love the way I eat. I don’t consider eating something delicious but unhealthy a “cheat,” but rather a necessary part of a balanced life for me. Once in a while, I do like french fries and organic tortilla chips.
6. What’s kept you so motivated to stick with it for the past decade?
When I get emails from clients or messages from followers on Instagram (@mariamarlowe) who have lost weight, cleared up their acne, or improved their health in some way, or even made one of my recipes and posted it… it makes me so happy. I believe it is everyone’s right to know what is in our food and to have access to whole, real foods. I love educating and inspiring others to improve their health.
7. Aside from fueling your body with nutritious food, how else do you support your healthy lifestyle? Do you work out?
Sometimes I exercise 5-7 days a week. Sometimes I go a week without exercising. At the minimum, I always try to at least move my body every day—even if that means just going for a 10-20 minute walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. When I am actually exercising, I love HIIT (high intensity interval training), boxing and running outside. I also love yoga, but I consider that more a moving meditation than exercise.
8. What do you ? about Vitacost?
I have been using Vitacost for at least 4-5 years now! I love that they offer the best prices on the healthiest foods and brands I love. I also love that they deliver to my door in two days, so no schlepping heavy bags home from the grocery store required.
9. Got to love that speedy shipping! What 3 items can we find in your cart on a regular basis?
- HU cashew butter dark chocolate bar: this is the best dark chocolate bar I’ve ever tasted! I love that it is sweetened with coconut sugar instead of regular sugar and the creamy vanilla cashew butter is out of this world.
- Primal Kitchen avocado oil: this is my favorite oil for roasting veggies and making omelets, which I do quite often! It is great for high-heat cooking, like roasting. I have a whole section in my book about oils, including how to use each of them. It’s important to avoid bringing an oil past its smoke point temperature when cooking—as that can take a healthy oil and make it unhealthy. Avocado oil is mechanically extracted (instead of chemically like most high heat vegetable oils) and it has a neutral flavor oil, making it versatile.
- Otto’s cassava flour: This is a relatively new obsession of mine. Cassava flour makes delicious gluten-free tortillas and breads.
10. Leave us (and the rest of the world) with some words of wisdom:
Don’t give up! It took me years to fully transition my diet, and I kept learning and evolving it over time. Baby steps lead to big results. The longer you stick with it, the more results you will see, and the easier it becomes. Remember why you are interested in healthier living and don’t give up!
Learn more about Maria Marlowe on mariamarlowe.com, where you can find out how to optimize your diet and lifestyle in order to look and feel your best.