Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Real People Wednesday: Meet Monica Bravo!

Hello Readers! Before we get to the good stuff, it's Real People Wednesday and it is also Laura's birthday!! So thankful for her! She has become such a good friend and I absolutely would not still be writing this blog if not for her. She is super fun and always has really fun stories to tell me. Her boyfriend surprised her in the middle of the night incognito with a grill for grilling (expect a week on summer grilling!!) and one of her co-workers brought her cardamom donuts for her birthday today... could you not just die?! Who gets homemade cardamom donuts just brought to you on your birthday morning? With both her life stories (believe me, she is constantly having some good ones!) and cooking adventures Laura always keeps me entertained, that's for sure! Happy Birthday, Laura! So glad life brought us to meet! 

Meet Monica!
Now for our Real People Wednesday Interview today. Meet Monica! My mom actually met Monica a little while back, and had a fun time getting to know each other. Monica's passion for food and for life reminded my mom of me. Monica is a pre-med student at LSU, studying with the goal of becoming a doctor who can help people with their health. She already has had a successful career in the food world and also has quite the successful blog. Anyone who is in pre-med and who also can carry on a blog is practically my hero. She made some pretty intense lifestyle changes later on in her life, and I love the practical tips and wisdom she shares about that. Her blog is a wealth of information! I must admit that I am a little jealous of how gorgeous and inspiring her instagram pictures are! I'm so excited to introduce you to her readers, as I think you will adore her and glean from her as much as I have. I especially loved her answer to question number 3! 

Meet Monica Bravo! 
  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where you live, what you do, your favorite foods, etc. 
Snapshot of Monica's Gorgeous Instagram Pictures

Hello readers of PRT Living! My name is Monica Bravo and I am from Covington, Louisiana. I am currently a pre-med student at LSU Honors College with a business minor. In my free time, I really enjoy all different forms of exercise, spending time with friends and family, being outdoors, cooking, and blogging about the Paleo Diet. I actually came in contact with Danielle because I met her mother at a Paleo restaurant in Houston! We came to talking about blogging and healthy eating, and she pointed me to Danielle’s blog. 
My favorite foods include almost every vegetable and fruit, and quality meats and seafood. The fresher my food is, the more I like it! I enjoy my Saturday farmer’s market stops, and take a few too many trips to Whole Foods. I love posting my meals on Instagram, so if you need some inspiration head on over there. 

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey of health. How did you begin on these lifestyle changes and why it is so important to your life and who you are? 

My journey of health began after the most important man in my life was diagnosed with heart disease. Since he was a former trialthlete and seemed to be the picture of health, we began digging deeper to find the real cause for inflammation and disease. By looking for the healthiest diet for him, we came across the Paleo Diet. Some call it a diet, but we call it a lifestyle. We like to say we “just eat real food”, and keep it simple. Our definition of real food includes meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy oils/fats. We can all agree that processed foods and sugars are terrible, but we take it a step further and eliminate grains as well. Some find it controversial, but it has improved our health tremendously and we have seen it improve many others lives too!
This cause is important to me because I want people, especially my generation, to be educated on their health. I completely believe knowledge is power. In the next few months, I will be working on an eBook for college students to help them make a transition to healthier eating. It all starts with learning a bit about grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking. The ultimate goal is for me to become a doctor that can help others improve their health through a “real food” diet, but along my own journey I enjoy blogging to help motivate and inspire others. 

3. For people who are just starting out wanting to make some lifestyle changes, what are some tricks of the trade you would share with them or suggest? 

I always say motivation gets you started, and habits keep you moving. Find a passion and sense of motivation deep inside. There is a drive in you that wants to become a better, healthier person. Use that motivation to get you started. Build habits of clean eating, cooking, grocery shopping, and exercising. These habits should be like brushing your teeth and showering; they’re essential to your health! Once the habits are in place, the cravings go away, and things get a lot easier. 
It always helps to have a good support system. Find a buddy to begin this journey with, or you can join in on the blogging community. By exploring blogs you can read others experiences and connect with people going through the same struggles as you. 

4.You have a beautiful gorgeous blog. What made you start writing it? What has been one of your favorite posts you’ve written so far? 

I started writing when I was working for a wonderful lady named Laura Fuentes. She owns an online company and blog called MOMables, where she helps moms pack healthier lunches. While working for her last summer, she became like a mentor to me. I like to say she gave me the “Blogging for Dummies” course in only a couple of months. I dreamed about writing a health related blog for a few years, and had even been on Tumblr for a while. I signed up for wordpress, bought a few photography props, and it’s been great fun ever since! 
Picture taken by Monica
Thanks for the wonderful compliments! I am actually currently “under construction” for a new site. I’m looking for a simpler, natural feel, and hopefully that will be up by the fall. For myself, my posts are more about my pictures. I like writing my Motivational Monday posts, but the photography is where I get to show my artsy side (which is very hard for me to find!) I would say my favorite post is my Brussel Sprout Salad. I’m a huge fan of brussel sprouts, and this recipe is great for any occasion. It looks pretty for a fancy dinner, but it is super simple to cook. 

5. How has eating healthy, living well, and being well changed how you have felt and benefited your life so far? What are you most looking forward to about this year in your life of happy cooking and living well? 

Eating healthy makes me a happier, more energized person. It makes so much sense to me that the food we eat affects all aspects of our health and our lives. Our food nourishes us and creates our new cells. You ARE what you eat. Thus far, I’ve found it so rewarding to connect with others, like you, through blogging who share the same passion as me. We are all just trying to make the world a better place, by sharing personal experiences. 

I am most looking forward to my eBook release in the fall. I will surely send you a copy when it is finished. For the readers of PRT living, head over to my site and sign up for my email list to find out more about the eBook release. Thanks for having me Danielle and Laura! Keep up the good work. 

Thank you so much Monica for your lovely interview! Can't wait to read more and chat with you in the future! Readers be sure to follow her on instagram, as she posts frequently. 


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