We caught up with Dani Stevens to find out the inspiration behind her health secrets.
Who’s that girl? One of the world’s most popular lifestyle social media influencers (with a cool six-figure social media base of devoted followers), 365 Lifestyle Motivator and mother of four. Stevens ranked No. 11 in blogtrepreneur.com’s ‘Top 50 Fitness Blogs To Follow’ and has a growing reputation as a healthy lifestyle author, and fitness and food motivator.
Her vibrant and vivacious personality and infectious sense of humour is part of her success in motivating others to take control of their lives through health and fitness.
It’s no surprise Dani is often described as the quintessential ‘people magnet’.
Exercise Goal: Keeping my core stable and strong to avoid more lower-back injuries.
Tip: Always buy fresh produce, wash and pack into ‘on the go’ snacks when you are running out the door. Meal prep is a huge deal in our house: with after school activities and working full-time, this saves the headache of ‘what’s for dinner?’ When you see the meal planner and the kids help you plan it, they eat it!
Steal her science: Gut Health
Freedom Foods Nutritional Advisor, Dr Jo McMillan, says if you’re looking to adopt Stevens’ gut health food plan, you’ll be delivering a number of nutrients to your body – including protein from the nuts, tofu and soy milk, and vitamin C and phytochemicals from fruit and vegies. McMillan recommends watching your iron levels and intake of long chain omega-3s (found primarily in oily fish and other seafood) and vitamin B12 (found in animal foods) as these are poorly absorbed from – or not found in – plant foods. For optimum bowel health, McMillan says you need to feed your gut microbiota – not just yourself. “The roughly 1.5kg of microorganisms that live inside your gut are essential for good physical and mental health, yet we largely ignore them,” says McMillan. “They require plentiful fibre as their ‘food’ and not just one type of fibre. There are many types of fibre in plant foods and they all have different roles in the body – from fuelling the good bacteria, to keeping us regular and controlling both blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Broadly speaking, we can group them as insoluble fibre, soluble fibre and resistant starch. It is the latter two that are often deficient in Australian diets, but on average all types are below the recommendations for good health.”
Sample Day on a plate:
My main focus is gut and bowel health. I believe a plant-based diet is hugely beneficial for the bowels as it is naturally high in fibre. Eating a high plant-based diet, and ensuring it is higher in whole plant foods rather than mock foods, is even shown to be preventative for diseases like bowel cancer.
Breakfast: Green smoothie with protein powder and loads of fruit.
Snack: Latte with Bonsoy, banana pancakes with raspberry sauce and nut crumble.
Lunch: Sourdough toast with smashed avocado, sliced tomatoes, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Dinner: Crunchy tofu vegetable stir fry with mung bean noodles.