Health is power, and for Zuliya (her friends call her Zuzu), it is her source of empowerment. She created her blog and Instagram (@naturallyzuzu) in the hopes of inspiring others to incorporate more plant-based, vitamin-rich foods into their diets; and in turn, empowering them to live a more vibrant and healthy lifestyle. Her positive energy is contagious, making it hard not to emulate the huge smile on her face when she’s around others. When it comes to overall well-being, this mother of two/wife/real estate broker by day/fitness instructor by night seems to have the best-kept secrets and tips for the woman on the go. Keep reading for a healthy dose of food-for-thought.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
Female empowerment is embracing who you are and chasing your craziest dreams regardless of how big or small they are.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
I would say that my mom has always been my "shero". She inspires me to be a better mother, give my best, do more and always stay strong no matter what.
If you could go back in time and meet any woman in history, who would it be?
Without a doubt it would be Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a champion of human rights, she strove to further women’s causes as well as the causes of black people, poor people, and the unemployed.
What do you love about being a woman?
I love every aspect of being a woman. I love dressing up, putting makeup on, having a closet full of shoes. And my favorite part about being a woman is the fact that we could do things that men can't do, like bearing a child and giving birth.
What motivated you to start your own blog?
It was definitely my passion for healthy eating and cooking that motivated me to start my own blog. I wanted to share my easy-to-prepare, healthy plant-based meals and snacks with moms who are always on the go or trying to solve the daily problem of "what's for dinner?"
What are the psychological benefits of eating healthy?
Food that we put in our body affects our physical well-being as well as our overall psychological well-being. What we eat influences mood and contributes to the experience of both positive and negative feelings. Therefore, making healthy food choices can contribute to a variety of improvements in our overall mental and psychological state. Research shows that healthy eating promotes better sleep, better mental health, increase of self-esteem, and better brain function.
What are some tips for creating balance in our diet?
I would say cut the meat and add more fresh organic fruit and vegetables into your diet. You are what you eat. Eat the rainbow, be the rainbow!
What are some ways you empower your readers/followers?
I always try to send a positive message with all my posts whether it's a motivational quote or a daily reminder about being positive, spreading love and exercising self love and self care. We could never have enough of that in life.
What are some natural energy-boosters for women on-the-go?
I am completely obsessed with matcha. Matcha is a great source for natural energy and it's an antioxidant powerhouse. It has more sustaining energy power than coffee. I make matcha lattes in the morning with coconut milk and have it before my workouts. Unlike coffee, you won't experience an energy crash when you drink matcha. You can add matcha to your smoothies, pancake and waffle batters for some delicious superfoods enhanced breakfast too.
What's your go-to snack?
Definitely an avocado toast or homemade hummus with veggies! I wish there were drive-thru restaurants that sell avo on a toast or hummus in a mason jar. It would make my life so much easier. :)