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‘GOOD Talks’ with Karen Arellano

Hi, natural beauties!

We hope you’ve been enjoying nourishing and re-balancing your microbiomes this month! We sure have.

In honor of this month’s GOOD Talks installment, we sat down with Karen Arellano, Mexico-based wellness blogger and soon-to-be nutritionist. Keep reading for our interview with Karen on all things wellness, gut health, and more…

SG: Tell us a bit about yourself + your journey.
Karen: Hello, my name is Karen and I am 22 years old. I am currently in the process of becoming a Registered Dietitian and also have a wellness, lifestyle and healthy recipes blog. I am  very passionate about nutrition, especially about intuitive eating and  destigmatizing  foods. As of today I’m very interested in preventing certain illnesses with our diet and daily habits.

SG: What inspired you to pursue nutrition?
Karen: I think what moved me was impacting my community. There are so many people who are struggling with different illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease (two of the most common in Mexico), there are many factors that have an influence in these diagnoses but what we eat is a big part of it. For me it’s very important to be part of the solution and help my (future) patients live a healthier lifestyle all considering their lifestyle, income, preferences and individual needs. 

SG: Intuition is a big part of nutrition. How do you practice intuitive eating?
Karen: In the past few years I definitely had to unlearn some toxic approaches I had to food. I am all about non restrictive eating. All foods fit in a balanced diet. I think it’s important to evaluate how we perceive food, for me personally it took me a long time to understand that nothing is bad or good, also changing my mindset and understanding that the most important thing is to eat foods that fuel and nourish me. It’s okay to listen to our body and acknowledge our cravings even when they aren’t as “clean”. 

SG: On the other hand, how do you get back in tune with your gut intuition when that connection feels clouded?
Karen: Sometimes when I struggle to trust my gut and am feeling confused, I usually go on a walk by myself and just stay away from my phone to really connect with myself.

SG: What are 3 easy practices we can adopt today to nourish and support our gut health?
Karen:
1. In our daily life we can incorporate foods that include probiotics such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, they have so many benefits such as boosting our immune system, and improving our digestion. Also you can definitely take probiotics as a supplement.
2. Prebiotics are also very important because they feed these bacteria. These can be easily found in most fruits such as bananas, vegetables like asparagus and garlic, and legumes.
3. Another very important lifestyle practice that impacts our gut health is constant stress.  So it’s definitely important to try to prioritize certain practices such as going on a walk, doing some yoga, meditation, whatever makes you feel a little more relaxed!

SG: What is your best advice for those struggling with digestive issues?
Karen: I think the number one advice I would give is to reach out to a health professional, every situation is so different. We all have different lifestyles, eating habits, work, etc. So many factors can play a role in our health journey, however it is important to prioritize eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that can provide fiber, vitamins, all of these small changes can help. 

SG: Your instagram is filled with beautiful + fresh recipes – what is your favorite nourishing meal right now?
Karen: Right now I am enjoying smoothie bowls because of the summer. I love to add some greens, spirulina, berries and vegan protein and decorate with almond butter + more fruit.

SG: What is your favorite self-care practice or ritual?
Karen: Most days I give myself at least an hour a day to move my body. I have been doing online school for over a year now and it can definitely be overwhelming to spend so much time at home. I recently started doing reformer pilates and am loving it!

SG: Who is someone that inspired you? 
Karen: I am so inspired by all of the current body positivity activists, love that women are becoming comfortable with their appearance regardless of size, which makes me very hopeful for younger generations to have these beautiful examples.

SG: Just for fun, how do you take your coffee? If you don’t drink coffee, what’s your go-to drink of choice for a pick me up?
Karen: I actually don’t like coffee at all. I am completely obsessed with matcha. My  go-to drink is an iced matcha with a few drops of monk fruit and oat milk!

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It was such an honor to feature Karen for this month’s ‘GOOD Talks’.  If you resonated with her story and perspective, give her a follow on Instagram!

And for more convos on #gutcheck, pop over to the Shop Good IG, where we’ll be talking all month long about how to nourish and re-balance both our external and internal microbiomes.

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