Raised in a family that is “weirdly passionate about food,” Barbie Boules of Hinsdale says it’s only natural that she found herself in a career dedicated to helping others connect with what they eat in a truly healthy way. As a private practice dietitian nutritionist and certified health coach (working under the recently launched nyoutrition.com), she never stops “geeking out” over what we can do to keep ourselves well. As a proud mom of a Hinsdale Central High School freshman and a 4th grader at Elm Elementary School, Boules says the schools are just one of the many reasons this “reformed diehard city girl” loves living in Hinsdale. With a new year ahead, we asked this nutrition guru to share a few of her lasts.
New Year’s resolution that you actually kept?
I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. I save that for birthdays. But last year, it was to expand my business in too many ways to count. What a learning curve (but I did it). This year, I went big and signed up for the Chicago Spartan race in June 2018. The recurring theme is to never stop challenging yourself and always try to be a little better than yesterday.
Best piece of advice about nutrition and wellness that you now implement into your daily life?
For wellness, make sleep a priority. We don’t value its miraculous benefits enough. As for nutrition, stop drinking your calories. Sugary beverages offer no nutritional value and when added up, can equal a meal or two. That’s your juice, soda, protein shake, and latte. Learn to appreciate water; add a squeeze of citrus for flavor, and let yourself enjoy real whole food.
Great book you read that inspired you?
Given the constantly changing information in my profession, I’m never not reading and researching, But, one of my favorites that I often revisit is The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. He’s one of my nutrition heroes. All his books are worth checking out. Gets me grounded.
Meal that was just as healthy as it was delicious?
My Thanksgiving leftovers became a salad of red cabbage, baby kale, roasted turkey, fingerling potatoes, and artichokes with lemon and olive oil. Amazing. It might have been better than the actual meal.
Place you visited on vacation that you know you’ll return to soon?
My last vacation was Hawaii, at Maui and Lanai. I’m a beach lover, so this was bucket list. While I don’t imagine returning soon, I’m grateful for the experience. Saw a rainbow over a waterfall from a helicopter and rode a catamaran’s net between islands. While I may not be able recreate the actual experiences tomorrow, remembering what it felt like pushes me to look for opportunities for those moments in my daily life.