Spotlight Feature: Willow Jarosh of C&J Nutrition

Willow Jarosh (left) with her business partner and other half of C&J Nutrition, Stephanie Clarke

Willow Jarosh (left) with her business partner and other half of C&J Nutrition, Stephanie Clarke.

For our very first Spotlight Feature, meet Willow Jarosh, one half of C&J Nutrtition, co-author of Healthy, Happy Pregancy Cookbook, and nutrition expert for SELF Magazine. Plus, enjoy a bonus recipe for tomato-less tabouli -- perfect for summer!

Can you share a little about what you do?

I'm a registered dietitian-nutritionist and I co-founded C&J Nutrition with my awesome business partner, Stephanie Clarke. Together we run a nutrition communications/consulting company, private nutrition practice, and workplace wellness company. I'm also the co-author of a new cookbook!  It's called Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook and takes a "food as medicine" approach to easing common pregnancy discomforts.

What does community mean to you?

As I tried to answer this question (it took more than a couple tries) it became really clear that, no matter what stage of my life I've been in, community has always been something that I've valued tremendously. It's something I depend on very much. It's always been a source of empowerment, growth, education, and fun. Growing up in a small town in southern New Mexico, community was mostly location-based and meant connection to the town, since that is something that we all shared. It meant seeing lots of familiar faces at the bike races and going through 2-a-day practices with the soccer and tennis teams. As I moved further and further from home, I realized that finding a community (or communities) to be a part of was vital in feeling a sense of family, even when I was far from my own. As I moved to Boston and then to New York City, and started a business, nurturing the communities that I'm a part of has become integral to my growth as a person and our growth as a business. I guess community means support to me, but it also means being supportive. Community is an opportunity to connect with people who share a similarity, but also learn from people who are different. I actually feel like it's the differences in the people in communities I'm a part of that helps to promote ongoing growth. And while community used to be based on proximity, with social media, travel, and moves, the communities I'm lucky enough to be a part of have become much less location based and more interest based. 

What is your #1 advice when it comes to questions about eating well and living a well-balanced life?
Start where you are and make small changes that move you towards your health and wellness goals from there. Be willing to challenge yourself, but in a realistic way. By setting and reaching small goals, you not only create powerful habits but you're more likely to integrate them into your life for the long haul. Also, focus on adding stuff to your life, rather than taking things away -- it's more fun, more positive, and the outcome is typically more powerful than taking a restrictive or punishment-based approach to food and exercise. 
And now for the bonus recipe! 

Tabouli-ish (aka Tomato-less Tabouli)

Lemon juice (and other citrus juices) are a major no-no if you’re experiencing heartburn, but the zest can be a way to get around the symptoms without sacrificing the crisp flavor of citrus. The fresh ingredients in this salad don’t need too much help to shine, so the simple yet flavorful dressing just acts to tie all of the flavors and textures together. And like many grain dishes, this one gets better as it sits in the fridge—so look forward to leftovers.

Makes 4 servings / prep time: 5 minutes / total time: 5 minutes

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1⁄2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cups cooked bulgur wheat

2 cups chopped cucumbers (1⁄4-inch dice)

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1⁄2 cup chopped red bell peppers (1⁄4-inch dice)

Whisk together the oil, lemon zest, salt, and cumin in a small bowl. Combine the bulgur, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, and bell peppers in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the bulgur mixture and toss well to coat all the ingredients with the dressing.

Per serving: 253 calories, 8 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 2 g total sugar, 12 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 313 mg sodium, 334 mg potassium (10% DV), 66 mg calcium (7% DV), 55 mg magnesium (14% DV), 0 mcg B12 (0% DV), 0.16 mg B6 (8% DV), 2.5 mg iron (14% DV)


You can follow Willow on Instagram and check out more of her amazing, healthy recipes on Youtube

Photos courtesy of Willow Jarosh