When Danielle Dietz-LiVolsi and her husband adopted two young, malnourished boys from the Ukraine, one of their top concerns was finding nutrient-rich foods the boys actually liked eating in order to help get them healthy—and fast.
But when the self-proclaimed lover of all-things fitness and nutrition surveyed the grocery aisle, she found, basically, nothing that fit the bill. So the San Diego mom started making her own creamy creations, blending all types of nut butters with superfoods like chia, pumpkin, and flax.
Her sons gobbled them up so fast, Dietz-LiVolsi ditched her career as a radio sales rep and launched NuttZo: a line of nut and seed butters that clock in at 7 grams of protein per serving (with only 1 gram of sugar!). Think peanut butter 2.0.
So what does a creative nut butter entrepreneur eat when she’s not sampling new flavors? We took a peek in Dietz-LiVolsi’s SoCal home fridge to find out…
Trying to get your sons healthy must’ve been quite a challenge. How’d you do it and what do they eat now? Greg, our eldest, was three-years-old when we adopted him and he was a super finicky eater—he wouldn’t eat anything that wasn’t white, and he wouldn’t eat protein. So I started making NuttZo and putting it on a banana, or sneaking sweet potato into his dinner by grating it over pasta. Now that their taste buds have developed, the boys will eat anything that’s local, organic, and fresh. I love going to the farmer’s market and getting the kids to help prepare food.
Small sous chefs—awesome! I spy a lot of fresh juices in your fridge, on the second shelf. Ever make your own? Those juices are cold pressed and they’re all organic and raw. The woman who makes them has great ingredients, like cayenne and fresh greens. But I love making my own juice, with kale or spinach. I’ll make three or four days’ worth of juice at a time. I always think it tastes better the next day.
There’s some milk in your fridge, too. Does that mean you’re down with dairy? I’m definitely okay with dairy, but I don’t drink a ton of it. The boys really love milk, and Organic Valley is the best “grocery store” brand. But I make my own almond milk for smoothies or lattes—I don’t like the store bought options.
I notice some kombucha in there. Is it a fave? It’s super healthy for my digestive track. I put it in a wine glass and it makes me feel like I’m having a glass of wine. If I could just make it all the time, I would, but I don’t have the time.
LOVE the wine glass idea! I’m not seeing a ton of breakfast foods. What do you eat in the morning? I love breakfast, but I feel better eating smaller amounts. My favorite go-to is a banana with a little NuttZo, with my latte, or granola with a little NuttZo. And I can’t get enough berries. Once in a while I’ll do a smoothie.
With two boys, you’re a busy mom, clearly. What snacks do you like to pack for your family to take on the go? Definitely dried fruit and nuts. Some apples, too. I find if I cut them up the kids will eat them, but if I don’t, they’ll say no! I bring some NuttZo for them to dip the apple in.
What does a typical weeknight family dinner look like for you guys? I try to cook with fish at least three nights a week—ideally fresh from the farmer’s market. My kids love halibut and salmon with some sort of a glaze, which I serve with a salad or possibly roasted vegetables, if it’s winter. I’ll do sweet potatoes or brussels sprouts. I tend to stay away from the starches, but I will make a pasta dish once in a while—especially in the winter. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit www.nuttzo.com
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