Portland Food Photographer- Joy Nutrition + Wellness

Portland Food Photographer

Meet Wendy!  She is awesome.  And she is a certified holistic nutritionist.  Her company, Joy Nutrition + Wellness will “teach you how to be joyFULL one bite at a time.”  I loved that little quote from Wendy.  I did a photo shoot with Wendy and a lot of colorful, delicious fruits, vegetables and a few recipes that Wendy created.

I also had a little Q & A time with Wendy.  The answers will give you an insight into what Wendy does and they are chock full of great, healthy information.  If you’ve been thinking about cleaning up your eating habits, I think this Q & A will inspire you to start.  And I think you should give Wendy a call so that she can coach you into the healthiest version of you.

Q & A plus some yummy photos will be dispersed throughout this post.  If you have any questions for Wendy or would just like to say hello and learn more about what she does, send her an email at wendy@joynutritionandwellness.com

Bonus: There is a delicious recipe for Queso Sauce at the bottom of the post.  I tried it- and it’s amazing.

Portland Food Photographer

1. What is holistic nutrition?

Holistic nutrition is an approach to developing a healthy, balanced diet that considers the whole person. Most simply stated, holistic nutrition promotes eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods for optimal health and wellness. Instead of looking at one symptom, one diagnosis, one ailment, holistic nutrition looks at the whole person – not just his or her parts.  As a certified holistic nutritionist, I am guided by a practical and optimistic approach to health. My goal is to help clients improve their health, achieve their goals, and develop sustainable habits to live a healthy and balanced life. I believe in consuming whole foods, as close to their natural state as possible, that are nourishing, delicious, and healing. By taking an individualistic and holistic approach to coaching, my recommendations are tailored to meet the specific needs of my clients. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated, nor does it have to take the pleasure out of enjoying a meal. Whether you are seeking to lose weight, ease joint pain and inflammation, recover from a chronic disease or just want to eat more mindfully,  Joy Nutrition + Wellness can teach you how to be joyFULL, one bite at a time!

Portland Food Photographer

2. What should I eat more (and less) of?

Focus on eating whole foods that come from the earth, like vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains and superfoods. They are the best sources of nutrients, antioxidants, protein, fiber, and healthy fats available. Eating seasonally whenever possible is even better; seasonal produce often costs less, tastes fresher, and is more nutrient-rich. Farmer’s markets are a great place to check out local produce.  Or join a CSA and support local organic farmers!!  If you have the space, try planting your own garden. Living in Oregon, where our climate is mild, it’s possible to grow some type of produce almost year round. Check out http://www.sustainabletable.org/seasonalfoodguide/ for seasonal produce in your area.

For the most part, foods that come in a box, a bag, or a carton should be avoided or at least consumed very rarely. Avoid processed foods that have a longer shelf life than you! Refined sugars, refined grains (like white flour), trans fats, and dairy don’t do much to promote health. If you’re a meat eater, limit your serving size to that of your fist, one to three times a week, and always choose free-range, organic options.

Portland Food Photographer

3. What’s the best way to start eating healthy?

Summer is a great time to begin the transition to healthier eating. With an array of fresh produce at farmer’s markets and local grocery stores, the variety of beautiful fruits and vegetables is abundant. Start by focusing on what you CAN eat rather than on what you can’t. By incorporating more of the good stuff like whole foods, you’ll naturally eat less of the bad stuff. Make simple meals! Choose 3-5 new vegetable-centered recipes with simple, common ingredients so that you can batch cook, which is merely prepping single items for multiple meals (such as grilling or roasting veggies for salads, soups, bowls and wraps). This saves time and money and keeps your kitchen cleaner! If you’ve never tried meal planning, now is the time to give it a shot. By sitting down at the beginning of your week and mapping out your meals, prepping some of the ingredients, and having a few prepared meals on hand, you’ll be ready for anything that might derail your intentions to eat healthy.  One of the most useful tips I give my clients is to create a “fast food” section in their fridge and pantry, where snacks are ready to grab and eat. Whether it’s sliced veggies and hummus or apples and almond butter in the fridge, or granola or mixed nuts in the pantry, having small, snack-sized containers that are ready to grab makes eating between meals convenient, portable and much healthier. I encourage clients who are seeking weight loss to focus on fruits and vegetables that are naturally lower in sugar and fat. Avocados and most nuts have a lot of health benefits, but because they’re high in fat, these should be limited to only several servings a week if a client’s goal is weight loss. On the flip side, if clients are looking to gain and achieve a healthy weight, they would be encouraged to add high-fat whole foods like coconut milk, avocados, and nuts to their daily diets. Another easy and effective way to start eating healthier is to begin each morning with a power smoothie or smoothie bowl. Not only do these taste amazing, but they are also packed full of vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and fiber.  I often find that the healthier I begin my day, the healthier I eat throughout the rest of it. Healthy eating takes some time and intention, but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll quickly learn that when you plan ahead, staying on the path of healthy eating is easy and rewarding.

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4. Do you suggest taking supplements?

The best (and least expensive) source of vitamins and minerals come directly from the foods we eat, the way nature intended us to get these nutrients. However, if one’s traveling, needs an extra boost, or is following a restricted diet, supplements may be necessary. When purchasing supplements, I always encourage my clients to read the labels just as they would their food. Make sure there are no chemical or artificial fillers, dyes, or added sugar. Shoot for organic when possible. I’m often asked about vitamin D, in particular, since most of my clients live in the Pacific Northwest. Certainly, if you live in a climate like the PNW, where the sky is gray most of the year and sun exposure is sparse, taking vitamin D (outside of the summer months) is a good idea.

Portland Food Photographer

5. Do you suggest doing cleanses? Which type? How often?

As toxins build up within our bodies, they cause fatigue, inflammation, weakened immunity, digestive discomfort, premature aging, and even disease.  Detoxification – also know as cleansing- is a method that has been used for centuries to eliminate these toxins from the body, allowing it to function optimally. When done properly, detoxification can be absolutely transformative. That being said, jumping into a cleanse can be a very bad idea! When I first started down the path of health, I thought diving into a 7-day juice cleanse was a good idea. I didn’t adequately prepare myself by first weaning myself from the standard American Diet I was currently eating. I had horrible headaches, was starving, spent WAY too much time in the bathroom, and could only stick to the cleanse for three days. Several weeks later, after I’d researched proper juice cleanses, prepared my body a few days in advance, and made sure I had a juice each time I was hungry, I absolutely loved the way I felt and was able to stick with it for the full 7 days. Juicing is now a part of my weekly, if not daily life, and my husband and I do a juice reboot about three times a year.  The type and length of the cleanse depends on the client’s individual needs. It’s important to consider lifestyle and eating habits,  health goals or needs, and toxicity level. A basic juice cleanse might be three to seven days while a whole foods plant-based diet (which removes sugary, fatty, chemical-laden artificial stuff from the diet) is milder and more gentle and can, therefore, last anywhere from a week to several months, depending on the particular client’s needs. When done properly, cleanses safely and naturally decrease inflammation, increase energy levels, and promote health and healing.

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6. What is your take on sugar?

This is a tough one for many people because sugar is in everything. And what makes matters worse is the insidious way that manufacturers sneak it in using a wide range of confusing names. My best advice is to avoid processed sugar altogether. Don’t make it part of your daily or even weekly diet. If you’re out celebrating a special occasion and it doesn’t adversely affect your health, have a cupcake, but it shouldn’t be something that anyone consumes regularly.  Sugar provides calories with no nutritional benefits and is a major contributor to diabetes, heart-disease, and obesity among dozens of other health related issues. There are great sweetener alternatives such as dates, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup or raw, local honey.  To find out more about the nastiness of sugar, check out the documentaries Fed Up or Sugar Coated or read I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson.

Portland Food Photographer

7. What are some of your favorite books or websites for nutritional information and wellness advice?

Two of the books that inspired me to pursue nutrition and focus on holistic health are The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Breaking the Food Seduction by Dr. Neal Barnard. While both books are backed by science and extensive research, they are easy and enjoyable to read. Websites that I refer to constantly are Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), Food Matters, and Kris Carr (Crazy, Sexy Diet). Oh She Glows and Deliciously Ella are two of my favorite food blogs with delicious and nourishing recipes.

8. What services does your company offer?

Joy Nutrition + Wellness provides a wide range of services from one-on-one holistic nutrition consulting, to customized meal planning, guided grocery tours, pantry overhauls,  meal preparation demonstrations, corporate wellness seminars,  and cleanses/detoxes. These services are individually designed to help my clients transition toward a healthier, happier lifestyle with ease and confidence. If you’d like to find out more about me, my story, or the specifics of my services come say hello at www.joynutritionandwellness.com

Portland Food Photographer

Queso Sauce


  • 1 Cup raw cashews (soaked overnight if you don’t have a high-speed blender)

  • 3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 T white miso paste

  • ¼ tsp cumin

  • Pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper

  • Chipotle powder and smoked paprika to taste (I usually do ½ tsp. each – but if you want it really spicy, add more chipotle)


  1. Drain and rinse cashews and place in blender with fresh water just covering them.

  2. Add all other ingredients and blend until creamy and smooth.

  3. Adjust consistency by adding a bit more water as you blend, if needed.

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How light is pursued and captured is a photographer's constant challenge and perpetual joy.