• Jill Maher Wellness

Interview: Leslie Anglero from Fit Rebel Chef


For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by video chat with my clients.

Preparing healthy meals is such a critical component to any successful nutrition plan. Most of us are busy, so taking the time to plan out, grocery shop, and actually create a nutritious (and hopefully tasty) meal can be overwhelming. Sometimes we just need help!


Leslie Anglero has been a lifesaver for a number of my clients and my own family (she even makes healthy veggie tots that my family devours!). She has transformed her own life through her healthy, delicious cooking, and she is now helping others do the same. I thought her story would be an encouragement to my readers and clients!


1. Tell me a little bit about your journey as far as former mindset/lifestyle compared to your current lifestyle:

 

I've always loved food and grew up eating home-cooked meals. I associated food with tradition and love, but at the time never with my health. As a young adult, I saw an episode of Oprah that featured Dr. Oz before he had his own show. He compared and contrasted the organs of healthy people with those of people who were overweight, and it shocked me. It made me wonder what was going on inside my body. At that point, I started researching healthy foods and active lifestyles.  2. Discuss your experience and training as a chef and how it evolved into becoming a healthy superstar chef:

I started out in pastry. My first job was in a bakery, so I am pretty well versed in making all different types of desserts and breads. My love of pastry stemmed from art and being able to use pastry as a medium.


I've been in commercial kitchens since I was 16. I also had a stand at a Farmers market; this is where I first was exposed to local ingredients and the people who produced them.


I fell in love with all that Arizona had to offer and would purposefully buy new ingredients to make dishes for my family, restaurants, and other vendors at the market. I realized that I enjoyed experimenting with flavors and cooking techniques so that food could both taste amazing and be healthy.


It was a eureka moment for me - delicious and healthy were not independent of each other! 

Around this time, I started working with a nonprofit federally funded program to help low-income families work on getting healthy. The focus was on pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, as well as children from birth to age five. This allowed me to explore various types of cuisine, focus on flavor, and develop healthy, family-friendly meals.  3. What has been the secret to your success as far as maintaining your weight? 

I stopped telling myself I couldn't have things and made healthy living my focus. Exercise has also helped me achieve a whole new level with my health and well-being. I had to create a balance with my active lifestyle, where I fueled my body with beautiful nourishing foods.


I stopped thinking of foods as "good or bad," but rather how they could help me on my journey. I also quit looking at numbers on a scale, especially when I started lifting weights. I took pictures and measurements.


4. Do you have any tips for busy families as far as meal prep? 


Simple is best. I cut and prep veggies so they'll last me a couple of days and use them in omelettes in the morning, salads around lunch, and I'll saute, grill, or roast them for dinner. I'll also cook up a protein or two in batches so I can easily add them to meals (like a batch of breakfast sausage or some grilled steak or chicken). This can be done with a grain or starch, as well - like quinoa or roasted potatoes. 

I'm not a big snacker normally, but I was while I nursed my daughter, so I would measure out servings of snacks like nuts, seeds, grain-free granola, and fruit in small containers. I still have to do this with pecans, almonds or cashews. It's surprising how many I can eat if I take them straight out of the bag! Measuring them out helps me stay on track and not give up such nutrient dense foods. 


5. What is your favorite meal to cook?

 

This is a trick question! I love cooking all types of cuisine. My favorite meal to cook is any meal with fresh ingredients; I base my meals on what is available and fresh at the market. Fresh ingredients are a must and will make anyone's cooking taste better. 


6. Do you have a favorite simple, healthy recipe that you could share? 


I make this at home often and my family enjoys it quite a bit as a snack, dessert or even a full meal at times. Feel free to modify with your favorite mix-ins and flavors - this is a versatile recipe. It lasts about 3-4 days in the fridge, so it's great for meal prep. 

Chocolate Chia Pudding

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder or cacao

  • Stevia to taste  In a bowl, whisk almond milk, stevia, and cocoa powder. Once well mixed, add chia seeds and whisk again. Refrigerate over night and serve in a bowl with fresh berries, nuts and seeds, shaved coconut, cacao nibs, or toppings of your choice. 

* You can also blend the mix before it sets for a smoother texture. 

Makes 4 servings 



Do you need help with meal prep? Contact Leslie today! Email her at leslie.anglero@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram @fitrebelchef.


For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by video chat with my clients.


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Jill's Nutrition Mission - Nutrition and health coaching for weight loss and overall health. Located in Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona: 

10900 N. Scottsdale Rd., Suite 303

Scottsdale, AZ 85254

jillmaherwellness@gmail.com