Hello Plate It Healthy Friends,

 

My name is Dr. Tionna L. Jenkins and welcome to the Plate It Healthy site.  I am so happy that you choose to click the link and learn more!  Let me tell you, this has indeed been a journey.  I have learned new things, tried new things and tested lots of new recipes on my husband and our two beautiful daughters!

 

Some they like and some they are like, no way!  And I am completely ok with each reaction because I know that we all have to undo, retrain and learn to love food and all the natural flavors that come along with it.

 

By day I am a public health policy practitioner, where I work on many public health issues.  I'm also a mother, a wife, a lover of all things family focused and positive, a food enthusiast, chef and woman on a mission to reach complete health and wellness.

 

However, my passion is not just for myself, but to share with the world that living a whole food plant-based lifestyle is not boring, but realistic and the food is actually delicious!

 

So, yes, I have a full schedule, to say the least, but in order for me to be my best, I had to make my life and health a priority.

 

This journey has led me to some really great revelations, one being known as somewhat of a “healthy food snob” among some of my near and dear friends.  Just the thought of our conversations makes me laugh inside because it is all done out of love.  They have seen firsthand my transition and fully support that I really love bold, bright, fresh and natural food!!

 

On my journey, I have been able to lose over 60 pounds, sustain it after giving birth to our two beautiful daughters. My energy has increased tremendously and I feel refreshed more than ever!

 

I am a long-time advocate for all things health and truly believe that our health outcomes are determined not only by our individual effort or lack thereof, but the systems and environment in which we live.

 

I believe that achieving favorable health outcomes does not solely depend on individual effort, but on a much larger system of support and resources. Meaning positive health outcomes can be achieved if we all believe that health is everywhere and is in everything.

 

Where we live, what we eat, where we work, our access to fresh fruits and veggies, our transportation systems, the infrastructure of our neighborhoods, the strength of our education and medical systems, our environment and all of the stressors that come along with this thing we call life.

 

All of these factors contribute to our health outcomes and play a major role in our everyday lives.

 

I also believe that we as a community must push for the healthiest food options and individually we have to make the best “LIFE” decisions possible in our food choices.

 

Food is our medicine, so when we prepare, purchase or consume anything, we should be introducing our bodies to whole, healthy, nutritious food.

 

 

Dr. Tionna Jenkins, Ph.D., M.P.H.

 

1. Why did you start: Plate It Healthy with Dr. Tionna Jenkins?

 

I’ve worked in the public health field for over 10 years, primarily working on systems change work with a primary focus to change environments towards better health outcomes.  During this time, I’ve learned so much on how our world depends on all things must work synchronously.  When things do not support one another due to many inefficiencies, the worst outcomes are to be expected.   Not only is this the responsibility for systems to be set up for individuals to make the best and healthiest decisions, but also it is our responsibility to make every effort possible to make the healthiest and best decision as well.

 

I also started this blog because of my personal journey of complete health and wellness after giving birth to my 2nd daughter.  It was imperative for my own personal health that I start to really care about and research the most effective natural way of maintaining a lifetime of health and wellness.  No quick fixes, gimmicks, surgeries, etc. just the natural long-term, sustainable way.

4. Why did you start cooking?

 

Honestly, I’ve always cooked.  I learned from an early age to cook.

I started cooking healthier and more consciously because I developed an even deeper passion for my own personal health.  With a history of chronic disease in my family and with having small children, I want to always put forth the best image for my daughters and live a healthier life.

 

I want to continue to feel sexy, healthy and blissful with lots of energy.  For me, these things can’t be fulfilled if I neglect the natural, physical and spiritual part of who I am.

 

It is also important that I contribute to the images of healthy eating for everyone. Especially for women who look like me, have an intense work and life schedule, who may wear many hats in addition to having a successful career, but who also strive to be a great wife, mother and visionary for their own dreams.

 

It is possible and it can be done with one step at a time, a support system, patience within and having an unstoppable mentality.

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2. What is your education?

 

I earned my doctorate of philosophy in public policy with emphasis in health care policy from the University of Arkansas, a Master of Public Health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Public Health, a bachelor of science from Philander Smith College, a non-profit graduate certification from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and graduate CME weight management counseling credits from Yale School of Medicine.

 

5. What is your food philosophy?

 

My food philosophy is to eat whole, healthy, nourishing and fulfilling foods. So in other words, less processed or junk food.  That also included eliminated “junk food” that has been traditionally viewed as “healthy food”.  Everything that is marketed as healthy is not always healthy.

 

I eat about 85% plant-based meals and snacks, I’m still on my journey to reach 100% clean eating and make eating fruits, veggies, lean meat or maybe even tofu look REALLY sexy and tasty, it is possible you know…LOL!!

 

3. What is your experience?

 

My experience is a “Learn, Grow and Apply”. Over time, I have applied what I have learned through academics, observations and many years of research.  I have also learned some of my best information through my experiences with food.  Through lots of mistakes, re-dos and reprogramming my mind to know what true health and holistic wellness is, I have been able to achieve the goals I have wanted and maintained those goals over the years.

6. How did you learn to cook?

 

Originally I learned to cook from my mother and grandmothers, it was and is a necessity to know how to cook and just not know how to simply cook, but cook GOOD!!  So, again, I’ve always known and learned how to make home-cooked original meals from scratch.

 

Over the years I have taken some of those original recipes and have substituted healthier options for them and other recipes I have learned over this journey.

 

It’s all about experiencing new things and not being fearful of those things, retraining our taste buds and our minds to accept something that is tasty, natural, whole and healthy and not loaded down with sugar, salt and all of the other unhealthy ingredients that we can’t pronounce on the back of the label.

 

Our bodies are meant to thrive on wholeness and nothing otherwise.

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