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The chia-filled chocolate pudding you’ve been waiting for

Health coach and blogger Tara Milhem shares a simple recipe from her brand new book and tells us why she wants to redefine the word ‘skinny’.

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Photo, Marisa Matluck

With close to 25,000 Facebook fans and a new book, Tara Bites (cute!), out now, New-York based holistic health coach and yoga instructor Tara Milhem has a lot to be excited about. Her philosophy towards food — eat for pleasure, instead of against restrictive diets — is one we can get behind, and we can actually imagine making her easy recipes. We spoke with the energetic entrepreneur about starting her own business, what ‘skinny’ means to her and how she stays her healthiest:

Q: Your website is called SkinnyByTara. Have you received criticism for using “skinny” in the title?
A: I’ve received a ton of feedback from the word “skinny”. In general it’s a very controversial term that can either be taken positively or very negatively. My whole philosophy on SkinnybyTara is built around redefining what “skinny” means, and doing it the healthy way. Once people realize that they can be thin, healthy and beautiful, then they’re officially “SkinnybyTara”.

Q: What kind of diet and exercise regimen do you follow?
A: I personally eat a clean diet and work out around four to five times per week. I don’t believe in extreme behaviours or labeling diets, like 100 percent vegan or 100 percent raw. I eat greens, fruits, fish, grains and a ton of other nutritious foods.

Q: What is the best part of being a yoga instructor and owning your own business?
A: Freedom! I’m a free spirit and love to go with the flow, constantly meet new people and be outdoors during the day. Doing what I do, I get to inspire people every day and be out and about for the majority of the day.

Q: What are the most-used foods or items in your kitchen?
A: Vitamix and chia seeds. I’m a big smoothie and juice kind of girl and I love mixing in chia seeds to everything. You can top it over salads, drizzle it in juices, and mix it into smoothies.

Q: As a health coach, what do you find your clients struggle with most often?
A: Control. A lot of people know what they should be doing and how they should be eating, but they tend to lose control with their emotions. I love helping people harness their feelings through yoga and set themselves free when it comes to restrictive or over eating.

Q: Can you expand on your three-pronged approach to wellness with your clients?
A: No one person is the same and that is something that needs to be taken into account when working with clients. Everyone’s body is built differently and reacts in certain ways to specific foods. Creating a plan that is both convenient and realistic is vital! If you work in an office all day, I don’t expect you to go home and make a five course vegan meal. It’s all about moderation, balance and enjoyment.

If you are not enjoying what you do, you will not continue and if you will not continue, you will not see results. The bottom line: Everyone has their own pace and by respecting that and accepting yourself as you are, you can achieve amazing things!

Q: What’s your morning routine?
A: I wake up around 8 a.m., eat breakfast and go to either yoga or the gym. On off days I usually get a little work done instead. After I come home, have a snack or green juice and then head out to start my action-packed day!

Q: When do you feel your absolute best?
A: When I am nourishing my body right and inspiring people to nourish theirs.

Q: If you could tell people to add one supplement/food/exercise to their day, what would it be?
A: Green juice! One green juice a day is all it takes to dip your feet into the world of healthy living. Green juice provides a ton of nutrients, energy, and cleansing properties. Juice kale, celery, cucumber, apple, parsley, and lemon for the best benefits!

Chocoholic chia Pudding by Tara Milhem

Chocoholic chia Pudding by Tara Milhem

Chocoholic chia pudding recipe

Ingredients
1.5 cups almond milk
6 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
Handful cacao nibs

Directions
1. Mix together all of the ingredients, except the cacao nibs.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.

3. Serve and garnish with cacao nibs.

Serves 2

For more healthy recipes click here.