Dr. Brooke Kalanick has a unique repertoire of nutrition know-how.
She’s a naturopathic doctor, has a masters in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, and co-authored Ultimate You: A 4-Phase Total Body Makeover for Women who want Maximum Results with celebrity fitness trainer Joe Dowdell.
So how does her broad wellness background inform her eating habits? First off, we learned, she won’t give her diet a name.
When we asked if she’s a vegetarian, etc., Dr. Brooke (her preferred moniker) said she’s not a fan of personal dietary labels. “We get attached to ‘I’m a vegan’ or ‘I’m a Paleo,'” she says, “when we should always just be asking ‘Am I being healthy?’”
So we asked Dr. Brooke more specifically what she eats, what she won’t, and if there’s such a thing as an ideal diet anyway. Here’s what she said:
First off, the light is obscuring the left side of the top shelf. What’s in the bag, and in the two glass containers? The bag is apples, and in the top container is a kind of dip we make all the time. It has almonds, olive oil, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar. It’s good on everything. And the container underneath is grass-fed steak that I cooked in chunks. This one was really tender so I chopped it into small pieces and gave it our one-year-old. I’ve almost always got chicken breast, fish, or grass-fed beef cooked. Protein is always a pain because you have to cook it, so I try to have some prepped ahead of time. You can see cooked chicken underneath the eggs.
Wow, your baby eats steak? We’ve fed her really differently than other babies. She eats great. She’s never had any refined foods, grains, or cereal. We just feed her a lot of vegetables. I’m sure she’ll go through a picky phase when she’s older, but for now she has a green vegetable at every meal, protein, and lots of bright colors.
So you eat meat, but you have almond and coconut milk? I don’t do dairy. Meat, but no dairy. Dairy and gluten are the foods that worry me the most. Dairy is full of hormones and is not a good for weight-loss, and gluten is so inflammatory. People have been talking about gluten so much lately. I finally put all of my thoughts down into three comprehensive blog posts—I call it my Gluten Manifesto.
And I can see you really like eggs. Well, we’ve got three people eating from this fridge. I usually hard boil 12 eggs at the beginning of the week. I’ll eat three eggs for breakfast, my husband will eat four, and the baby eats one, so they go fast.
You’re so prepared! You even pre-cut the veggies. This is ideal, it doesn’t always happen. But if Joe’s home with the baby, and I don’t have anything ready and prepped, he’ll just eat protein bars all day. I’m like, “You’re making me look really bad when you do that!”
Tell me about the salad on the second shelf. I try to have one other green that will keep a little longer than the clamshells of arugula and spinach. This is a salad that’s made with green beans, red pepper, and onion and is dressed with olive oil and white wine vinegar, with a little bit of dill, sea salt, and walnuts.
With your naturopathic background, do you take a lot of supplements? Not a lot of herbs, but I do take a lot of vitamins. With clients, I hate giving people a ton of pills. It’s always 70 percent diet combined with really targeted supplements. I find that most people should be on a really good quality multivitamin with minerals in it, a little bit of fish oil is usually a good idea, and people usually feel better when they take a probiotic. And everyone has what I call their “weakest link”—something that just doesn’t run super great in their makeup. For me, if I’m working on fat loss or my skin, I may be taking something different.
What do you consider to be the ideal diet? If I had to say what I think works best, it would be the more Paleolithic approach, where you minimize grains or avoid them, and no dairy or sugar. The thing about Paleo that gets lost though is that people think it’s just meat, meat, meat. What it’s really about is eating a ton of vegetables, getting away from processed foods, and caring about where your meat comes from. Some people do fine as vegetarians. What we agree on is that it should be whole foods, and mostly plants. I don’t think it’s Paleolithic to go to McDonalds and eat the burger without the bun, nor is it good to be a vegetarian and only eat soy bacon and tempeh. —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.betterbydrbrooke.com