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.
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.