After some disturbing health news, wellness coach Terra Pfund used smoothies, lifestyle changes to transform her health
A health scare changed Terra Pfund’s life.
In 1999, the law student found herself in an emergency room with severe abdominal pain. A doctor told her she was suffering from a gallbladder attack and that they would continue for the rest of her life unless she had surgery to remove it.
Pfund wanted another solution. So she left the emergency room, went home and started researching how she could fix her body by focusing on three things: health, nutrition and wellness.
Fresh fruit smoothies and juice have played a big part in her journey and for smoothie lovers who live near a Robeks, making the same change is easy.
We recently spoke with Pfund, 37, who is now a wellness coach and yoga instructor in Red Bank, N.J., and shares her thoughts on healthy living at adkjerseygirl.wordpress.com.
How did you change your diet?
I’m a bookworm, and I was presented with a problem where I didn’t like the answer that I was given, so I went to the University of Google and started researching digestive issues. A friend of mine gave me a book about juicing and macrobiotic diets, and I went from there. I spent the next two months getting off caffeine, cigarettes, processed meats, refined sugars and fried foods. I cleansed my body through juicing and a macrobiotic diet.
I do a lot of juicing. I either have juice or a smoothie every morning. Kale is one of my “go to” ingredients. I make a drink I call “electric lemonade” that has kale, apple, lemon and ginger in it. If I’m having juice, I have that with whatever solid food that I’m having for breakfast. The smoothies I will have as a meal. Juice and smoothies are mainly a part of my breakfast routine, but I will also have some fresh juice sometimes for a quick burst of energy during that 2 to 3 o’clock slump when a lot of people have coffee.
Have you noticed the health benefits?
It helps my skin, my nails, my hair — that sort of thing. Smoothies are also a great meal fix. They’re fast, full of nutrients and can be made on the go. It tames my appetite and eliminates the craving for munchies.
Smoothies have helped me with weight loss and reaching my goal weight and where I am physically — but smoothies and juicing alone can’t do it. It’s a great way to get on the path to reaching your optimal weight, but finding exercise that you love is important, too. For instance, I just ran the Rebel Race, which is a 5k that goes through mud and woods and dirt. I don’t consider myself a runner — I don’t like running on roads and sidewalks. But I love hiking into the mountains, and I can go on an eight-mile hike and feel great. It’s about finding something that you will love to do and doing it.
What are the challenges?
When I was not as healthy, I would go to the gym and then I would reward myself with a Diet Coke. People often reward themselves with crap after they’ve done something good. That just creates a vicious cycle. It’s OK to not be 100 percent perfect all the time, but when you talk about lifestyle management, it’s about changing your lifestyle. I can have a smoothie in the morning, but if I’m knocking back two Cokes in the afternoon, they can cancel each other out. You need to have a balanced approach to health and nutrition and wellness in general. There has to be some give and take. For me personally, rather than taking things away, it’s easier to replace them, so I add things like juicing and smoothies and squeeze out unhealthy choices. If I have enough juice and have enough smoothies, I don’t have cravings for the bad stuff, because my body is getting what it actually needs.
Have you ever tinkered with your smoothies to get a desired health boost?
Absolutely! The fat content and protein levels in my smoothies are always dependent on what I’m doing. I just ran the Rebel Race, and I was running and doing a lot of strength training, so my smoothies were packed with flax seeds and nuts. As far as for weight loss, I use more kale and other green vegetables. Some people need to watch out to make sure they order the right smoothie, and not always just have the smoothie that’s packed with fruit. For instance, someone with insulin resistance should take a look at a vegetable smoothie. It’s very important to educate the average American about how smoothies can be very different depending on the ingredients.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to change his or her diet?
I think smoothie stores are a great place for people to discover the benefits of smoothies. And it’s always great to have someone educated who can help you make those choices before you start to become your own mad scientist. A change to a healthier diet is a very scary thing for some people. Your whole life you’ve been nurtured with food. You come home and snack. Or it’s “Oh, you finished your dinner, have a slice of cake!” It’s good to have someone to walk you down the path as you try to make those changes.
It’s not easy. There are so many different choices and options. It is so drastically different from what most people eat. I think it’s very helpful to start from a place where you can have someone across the counter who can help you make the best choices. I also think it’s important to work with health coaches. I am a health coach and yoga instructor, but I also have my own health coach and yoga teachers. Just because I’m in the industry doesn’t mean that I don’t sill need that support.
Changing your lifestyle isn’t something that changes overnight. I’ve done it by implementing little things here and there that over 10 to 15 years have added up. I never would have been successful if in 1999 I had said, “I’m going to juice, then start drinking smoothies for lunch, then exercise for two hours a day, and I’m not going to have any fried food, ever!” If I had done that, I would have failed. Progress happens slowly. I’ve done it over time. It’s a slow process and a learning process. Everybody is different. What works great for me won’t work really well for everybody else. It’s important to see what gives you energy, what makes you feel good.
Robeks offers a wide variety of handcrafted smoothies and freshly juiced fruits and vegetables that can be tailored to the nutritional needs of customers — helping them on their road to health, nutrition and wellness.