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Healing Foods With Maria Quintana-Pillinga

Healing Foods with Maria Quintana-Pillinga

We can feel sick, and gradually we feel better. We kind of forget how sick we felt. So, we don’t connect what we’re eating to how we felt. – Maria Quintana-Pilling

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Maria Quintana-Pilling, Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner. She’s a health coach who teaches live and online cooking classes, and she knows a lot about food, so this is going to be a fun conversation!

Health and how we feel in our bodies is a wake up call to a lot of my guests. That was my story as well. Maria started to dabble in nutrition after being diagnosed with fibroids, and after surgery to remove fibroids, she got really serious about it. She found that the changes she made were more nuanced than some people report, but still profound.

We dive into going gluten-free and dairy-free, including why you might want to try it and how to approach it. We look at the difference between gluten-free and grain-free and why to try one over the other.

We talk about:

  • Things you might not have considered when you think about gluten-free (condiments, alcohol, makeup?)
  • How different foods work for different people, how what works for us may change at different stages of our lives, and the kinds of clues your body gives you about foods that may not work for you
  • Why soaking or sprouting grains is important
  • Using pesto and quinoa or rice bowl for more balanced meals
  • Ways of balancing protein, fats and carbs that don’t look like a traditional plate
  • Why detoxes are helpful



Maria Quintana-Pilling is a certified functional nutritionist and lifestyle practitioner, certified nutrition consultant and natural chef, specializing in digestive and women’s health issues. She received nutrition training from Bauman College in Berkeley, CA, the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, AZ, and Holistic Nutrition Lab Full Body Systems. She runs short detoxes and in-person and online cooking classes. She’s is the mom to a 7-year-old son.


Contact Maria

Maria’s Urban Spice Nutrition website with summer detox & quinoa bowl recipe

Mia’s Go to Rice bowls


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • TRY QUINOA BOWLS. I’ve talked about how I use rice bowls as an easy, adaptable meal, and I love Maria’s suggestion of a quinoa version. Find links to both above. Grain bowls are very adaptable—you can use different grains, proteins, veggies and seasonings. And if you put the different components in separate bowls, it’s easy to adapt for different nutrition needs and tastes.
  • UPGRADE YOUR SNACKS. Remember that we need a balance of proteins, fats, and carbs. Choose whole food snacks with an aim to include all three. One way to do this is to add some nut butter to a fruit snack.
  • DO A 5-DAY DETOX. A detox gives your liver a break from processed food and refined sugars and other things like caffeine and alcohol, allowing it to do its job better. The first couple of days can be really hard, so it can be usefu l to have the support of a group, but people usually start feeling better around day 3. If you aren’t ready to give up sugar or processed foods altogether, try a detox.




REALLY getting healthy as a family can be a big lifestyle change. But no matter how insurmountable it may feel, focusing on one doable change at a time can help you take small steps toward your big goal.

A healthy lifestyle is really made of lots of little things that when repeated regularly and added together over time make a huge impact on your life.

Choose one Doable Change every Sunday night — one thing that you are willing to play with for the week. The key is to keep it doable and fun! Write that thing on a sticky note or your phone so you remember it. Then put 3 things on your calendar that support it.

Choose from the changes above or download a list of 101 Doable Changes we made for you.


If you are as psyched as I am to grow veggies on a patio this summer and indoors all winter, you are going to want to check this out! I have watched friends have these for years, and am so excited to have my own! (Psssst… There are amazing curriculums that have been created by the company, to make these a no brainer for schools too!) Read more here, or contact, to learn more, and set up a free 20 minute phone Q and A.


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