Laura Clark of Whole Food Nanny is a busy mom of 3 crazy cute kids, and wife to Mr. Clark. Whole Food Nanny is dedicated to helping families make healthy eating part of their lives. She focuses on eating less processed foods – especially sugar – and a lot more whole foods. (I have to admit I need help with this!)
On the Podcast
1:15 – Eating Healthy as a Mompreneur
7:16 – Getting More Energy
12:20 – Simple Substitutes for Sugar
14:28 – Final Thoughts on Healthy Eating
16:40 – Custom Diet Recommendations for Me
19:50 – Turning A Passion for Healthy Eating Into A Business
27:24 – Course Idea to Creation
31:08 – Making Sales
32:40 – Laura’s Adorable Mom Moment
Eating Healthy as a Mompreneur
Before asking Laura how she started and grew her business, I wanted us all to benefit from her knowledge around healthy eating. So many moms struggle with making healthy eating part of our daily lives, particularly getting our children to enjoy healthy eating! What tips does Laura have for busy moms to get and stay healthy?
#1 Get away from packaged items at grocery store!
One of the biggest ways moms can set themselves up for health is to eat mostly whole foods, instead of processed. How? Ditch packaged items – it’s that simple, and that hard! Over the years, Laura’s family has found ways to seamlessly incorporate this choice into their diet – keep reading to learn how.
And to give a quick definition, whole foods are foods that come from the Earth, are nutrient dense, and make our bodies work as they should. Foods with artificial colors and flavors disrupt our natural processes, and can sap our health and energy and are largely why we have so many health issues occurring today.
#2 Swap the Quick and Easy for the Whole and Healthy
Keep it simple. If you want a snack, grab an apple or banana. Grabbing a piece of fruit is just as simple opening a snack from the pantry. Not only will you feel fuller from the whole food, but you’ll get nutrients to help you and your kids feel good inside.
(Now that Holden is older, I can just give him a whole apple! It even tastes better to him than cutting into slices. It’s such a simple thing: but just eat the whole apple!)
Cook in bulk. Believe it or not, Laura hates to cook! She loves giving her family healthy food, but she’s ALL about not spending an entire day in the kitchen. One thing she does is always cook in bulk. So if she makes a batch of muffins, she will make more to add to lunches or use for snacks after school. (Make Laura’s Banana Blueberry Muffins!
Soups are a quick and easy dinner. It’s simple to put the leftovers in mason jars and freeze them for lunches another day. Laura’s family loves soup and I love that these dinner ideas aren’t gourmet, but they taste good and don’t take all day to make.
#3 Get your kids involved with meal prep.
Learning to cook teaches our kiddos basic life skills, not to mention saves you time! Feel free to give your children age appropriate ways to help: setting the table, helping with dishes, or cutting the carrots.
Really, we often just lack creativity or knowledge to make things simpler in the kitchen. This is where places like Laura’s site come in handy! There are so many great ideas and recipes at WholeFoodNannycom.
Getting More Energy
What mom business owner DOESN’T need more energy!? The number one culprit of our lack of energy is sugar. Really! But what sugar are we talking about, exactly? Added sugar. Not sugar straight from the cane, or the sugar found in fruit and dairy. What we’re talking about is any sugar added, either by you or a factory.
When you start cutting back on sugar, you’ll really notice how much better you feel. You might feel worse at first, because you’re going through sugar withdrawals. (Eeek! How bad is that!?) 90% of all processed foods include added sugar. And added sugar, well, adds up quickly!
Being a busy mom can make us tired already but believe it or not, over consuming sugar is making us even MORE tired. Not to mention we might be parenting unnecessarily badly-behaving kids who have eaten too much sugar.
Simple Substitutes for Sugar
What could we use instead of added sugar in our foods? Laura had several ideas for us.
- Honey (or something like it, agave nectar)
- Natural sweeteners like bananas.
- Cutting the amount of sugar called for in half. (Instead of 1 cup, use ½ a cup!)
- Changing your palette by eating less sugar. As you cut sugar out, you’ll begin to taste even small amounts of sweetener really easily.
Final Thoughts on Healthy Eating
It’s easy to automatically think of brownies or chocolate or sugar cereal when we mention cutting out sugar. But the reality is that there is sugar added into 90% of the processed foods in our grocery stores! That’s right, sugar isn’t even primarily found in desserts
Everyday items like flavored yogurts, spaghetti sauces, and crackers all have added sugars. Even inconspicuous items like breakfast drinks and protein shake powders are sugar culprits! It may not seem like much, but when you consume it all day long, it adds up fast. Laura says most diets we could consider to be “healthy” have quadruple the amount of recommended sugar because they’re full of processed foods with added sugar.
Laura provides an unprocessed grocery list you can use even at mainstream grocery stores, and that list is a great place to start–no weird items–at Get Eating Clean.
Custom Diet Recommendations for Me
Okay, so when Laura said yogurt often has added sugar, I had to press! I love yogurt, but I usually choose the flavored kinds. What would be a good alternative for me?
Laura pointed to Stonyfield brand as the most natural brand– but make sure to get their plain kind as even a vanilla will have added sugar to bring the flavor. And Laura recommends full fat yogurt, as it is less process than low fat.
You can always check the ingredient list and nutrition facts to get the scoop on sugar levels in food.
But let’s be real, I may feel a little sad because plain yogurt wouldn’t taste great at the start, how could I change it up? Laura had great ideas!
- Add in maple syrup
- Make a berry puree sauce from frozen berries
- Use fresh berries to sweeten the yogurt
The big idea here is that YOU are the one in charge of how much sugar and what type of sugar you’re putting into your food.
Turning A Passion for Healthy Eating Into A Business
Laura was getting more and more into working out and started listening to podcasts while she did. (Great idea, Laura!) She really loved Chalene Johnson’s Courageous Confidence Club, and it got her thinking maybe she could start a business too.
Like so many other SAHMs, Laura believes that moms need something for themselves. For example, before starting her business, Laura taught Zumba classes. And Whole Food Nanny was a project she thought she would really enjoy, and could make some money from at the same time.
The Clark family’s journey to whole foods started with Laura’s 7-year-old daughter. For an intense two-year period, Laura studied health and nutrition in an attempt to treat her daughter’s symptoms: asthma, ear infections, and debilitating food allergies.
As she researched, she found her daughter had a diet problem because, as she learned, food will always affect our bodies, either now or later.
Laura’s family decided to make small changes and those changes really started to add up. Laura wanted other moms to see the difference that sustainable changes, not crazy extreme diets, can truly make. We love her heart to help other real moms!
Course Idea to Creation
Much like her approach to whole foods, Laura’s approach to course creation is refreshingly simple.
She started by sharing this transformative information on Periscope (a live video social network), and this try at her beta course was very successful! She had a link in her bio to PayPal (so smart!) and was blown away by the response.
Next, Laura upgraded to a full website, and created a course on reducing sugar intake.
First, she outlined her course modules, then she filled out the content. She first sent it out as an ecourse, and once again the response validated the idea.
This fuller paid course does offer more hold handing to help people understand which foods benefit them and how students can practically implement those diet changes. Once again, Laura outlined her content, wrote it, and recorded her modules.
First she did her recording from her manuscript, then created her slides, and then purchased a place to house the course.
As we all know, there is a ton of trial and error with a business!! She got some helpful feedback from her initial students and has currently pulled off her course for editing, but it’ll be back soon.
Initially Laura took payments via a Paypal link on her Periscope bio. Is that still an effective way to make sales? Laura says, for sure, her best tool for making sales has been live video. It’s great to have a way to connect with people directly and sale your product. (Definitely! Periscope isn’t where I hang out, but I love Facebook Live and live Webinars are an incredible way to build a following!)
Laura’s Adorable Mom Moment
One Sunday Laura styled her hair differently for church, but felt really self-conscious about it all morning! Coming home, she asked her daughter if her hair looked good that day.
Her daughter replied, “No mom, it looks terrible. In fact, you should have asked me before church!”
Kids are SO brutally honest!
Connect with Laura
Site: Whole Food Nanny