Koya Webb pours a sweet conversation that shifts the healthy eating mindset, interview

Koya Webb for Sunsweet Prunes, photo provided by Sunsweet Prunes
Koya Webb for Sunsweet Prunes, photo provided by Sunsweet Prunes /

When people try to adapt to a healthy eating mindset, a helping hand, positive reinforcement, or strong guiding voice can make those changes more attainable. Koya Webb, the celebrated wellness coach and entrepreneur, appreciates that life is full of choices, but those decisions need to be manageable. During a recent conversation with FoodSided, Koya explained how a mindset shift regarding food can lead anyone to a satisfying solution.

Although turning the calendar from one year to the next often comes with resolutions, a particular date does not instantly set people on a path to more balanced living. That decision to focus on positive choices to enhance overall well-being needs to be realistic. Just like it is not feasible to run a mile in seven minutes after sitting on the couch for six months, radically changing food choices and expecting instant results may delay overall personal satisfaction. That all or nothing approach may not be the most adaptable choice.

While speaking to Koya Webb, she shared that her approach is more gradual. Specifically, she mentioned that she gives her clients “little things that they can do to make their nutritional plan healthier.” The idea of incorporating great tasting food with a healthy eating slant has been a concept that works well for her and her clients.

Specifically, Koya shared a swap for fried chicken. She said, “coming from the South, I love great tasting food, and I used to love fried chicken. Now, I swap an oyster mushroom for the chicken and pop it into the air fryer. That mushroom has lots of Vitamin D. Plus, the flavor is similar to fried chicken, but it does not feel as if you’re being deprived.”

That type of balance is essential to Koya’s mindset and the tools that she teaches her clients. She believes that it is imperative to push aside that negative connotation when it comes to food.

Specifically, she commented that people should “think about what can be added to the daily diet instead of what is being taken away.” That change in perspective is simple, but it can reap a bounty of rewards.

Koya gave an easy, sweet example of adding a food to the daily routine. While many people look to coffee or an energy drink to kickstart their day, she chooses a different option. Her morning routine starts with a 32 oz glass of water and a 32 oz glass of Sunsweet prune juice. For those just beginning this routine, she recommends starting with smaller quantities of beverages. Still, this morning routine boosts hydration and natural energy.

Although all that extra liquid to start the day might be a good way to keep from sitting in front of the laptop too long, the idea of drinking prune juice instead of coffee or other energy drinks might need a little convincing. Sometimes the preconceived notions about prune juice can have people skipping over that bottle in the juice aisle.

Koya Webb explained that she understands how some people can be hesitant, but she encourages them to take that first sip. After she did, she appreciated the sweet flavor. More importantly, she found that enjoying the Sunsweet prunes and juice helped her “feel less hungry longer” and she had more energy. While studies show that same sentiment, Koya better appreciated the concept when she experienced it for herself.

Since many households appreciate that a food needs to have many uses, Koya said that the Sunsweet prunes and prune juice can be used in many ways. From an ingredient in that morning smoothie to even a syrup for that pancake stack, there are plenty of ways to be creative in the kitchen. Even cutting up a few prunes in a trail mix for a snack can highlight the fruit’s sweetness.

While all these ideas can be implemented into anyone’s mindful routine, Koya offered some simple advice for anyone looking to add some balance to their lifestyle. Specifically, she said, “learn to work smarter, not harder.” Although that concept may not be easy, it can lead to a more fulfilling life.

Koya said, “it is important to prioritize your self-care and that’s being smart. It’s going to be harder. If you don’t prioritize your self-care and you’re overwhelmed, you can get burnt out, and you don’t feel good. So, when you prioritize you, everything else benefits around you.”

To end our conversation, Koya Webb offered this simple mantra, “every day and in every way I am getting better and better.” Although the concept is simple, it is the perfect reminder that prioritized flow versus force puts the focus on trying what is good for you. That willingness to give yourself grace in any and all decisions puts the positive into the conversation no matter where life’s path takes you.