When we hear the term “wellness” we typically think workouts and clean eating. Sure, both of those factor into it, but what else makes up the whole picture of wellness? Enter Kira West, aka @ByKWest, a lifestyle blogger who strives everyday to embody wellness for the whole self, both in her own life and in the lives of her followers. You can’t talk about wellness without talking about the stresses of work, home life, the world around you, the big things and the little. Kira manages to tackle all these topics on her site & social in a way that leaves you with all you need to create a plan of action to figure out what wellness looks like to you—and then achieve it.
Today Kira is sharing with us her wellness tips, her incredible secret smoothie recipe, all her favorite healthy snacks & so much more!
What is your favorite recipe? How did you learn to make it?
“I’ve been cooking so much lately but when I think about a favorite recipe I really love a good green smoothie. Green Tropical Smoothie, learned through trial and error as well as a little inspo from Google. I’ve tinkered with it a bit over the years to give me what I’m looking for.”
- ½ cup lightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 celery stalk, cut
- ½ cup coconut water ("sometimes I'll add in a splash of coconut milk too if I've got it")
- ½ ripe banana
- ¼ cup frozen unsweetened mango chunks
- ¼ cup frozen unsweetened pineapple chunks
- ¼ honeycrisp apple
- Put it all in the blender & blend away!
5 pantry, 5 fridge & 5 freezer essentials?
PANTRY: Popcorn, Brown Rice, Garlic Salt (I use it on everything), SmartSweets (any sour variety), & Nuts (Cashews and Almonds are my faves).
FRIDGE: Watermelon (I can’t get enough), Chicken, Spinach, Berries (often blueberries), & Coconut Water.
FREEZER: Frozen Mango Chunks, Ice Cream (Van Leeuwen Oat Milk Chocolate Cookie Dough Crunch is my fave), Ice and Coffee Ice Cubes, Banana (elevates any smoothie), & Fries (just in case).
What does a normal food day look like for you? As the “snack queen,” what are your favorite snacks?!
“All of my days look so different, but they’re typically pretty busy. I spend a lot of my time during the weekdays working full time and also managing ByKwest. I wake up and now I workout at home for about 30 minutes then sit down to take a look at all of my inboxes. I usually start the morning with coffee, tea or hot/warm water with lemon. I’ll generally be super focused until around lunch time where I’ll break for a quick meal around 12noon. Usually I forego breakfast because of my egg allergy and spend more time snaking in the afternoon between calls and meetings. I generally will take a break around 5/6pm and go for a run or just mentally step away from my desk area then I start to cook dinner for around 7/8pm. After that point I try to squeeze in some more work on ByKwest, then lately my boyfriend and I have been catching up on Homeland. Before COVID I woke up super early, worked out, went to work and then was usually running to events post work.”
My current favorite snacks getting me through busy afternoons:
Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds or Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups (Trader Joe’s has really good mini ones), Popcorn (Pipcorn has been really hitting the spot lately if I’m not making my own), Bada Bean Snacks (Ranch/Buffalo and Honey Mustard Flavors), Watermelon, Blueberries, & Apples and Granola Butter.
What are a few of your favorite cookbooks?
1. Sweet Home Café Cookbook: A Celebration of African American Cooking
2. The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago & The Caribbean (this one is usually given to girls in Trinidad in High school, my family is from Trinidad so my aunt got me a copy so I could learn to make traditional dishes, she swears by it and she is one of the best cooks I know)
3. Joy of Cooking (a classic)
4. Does Google count? A lot of times I scour the internet to find what I’m looking for, or a few options that count.
SHOP THIS POST:
What are 3-5 kitchen essentials?
1. Air Fryer (I’ve learned it really does wonders, especially for someone who loves fries but hates all the extra oil/deep frying)
2. Steamer (love steamed veggies)
3. Popcorn Popper (this is my favorite easy one)
What are 3-5 Black-Owned businesses you love?
1. BossBlendCoffee Co. (here is their Instagram)
2. Cheurlin Champagne (here is their Instagram)
3. The HoneyPot Company (here is their Instagram)
4. Fieldtrip Harlem (here is their Instagram)
5. Lit Brooklyn (here is their Instagram)
What is your favorite wellness “hack” or tip?
“Rest and limit stress, it’s so important for our bodies.”
If you could spend the day in the kitchen with one person (chef, author, actor, entrepreneur, athlete, etc.) who would it be & what would you make?
“I’d love to spend the day with Michelle Obama, I’d want to make mac and cheese. I feel like everyone has got a different take on the recipe and it’s one of my favorite meals to eat when I’m celebrating with family. If we could get Snoop Dogg and Martha on the Facetime that would be great!”
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