From a career in high fashion to reinventing herself as a certified health coach, Holli Thompson is teaching us how to listen to our hearts in order to find our own nutritional style. With so many diet plans and philosophies to choose from, Holli is proposing that we stop following other people’s rules and instead, discover our own. This is the key to vibrant health and a life well lived. And how does Holli propose that we accomplish this? With food of course!

Food matters, says Holli – it is our medicine, our lifeline, the secret to living the rest of our lives in a beautiful, energized and healthful way. And we couldn’t agree more. We are following her lead and finding out what food is best for our unique form. She is spreading the word of food individuality across every media platform, including guest blogging and TV hosting, and now through her book, Discover your Nutritional Style. Her influence is far reaching, having touched the lives of industry leaders Natalia Rose, Joel Salatin, Sarma Melngailis, and our team here at The Chalkboard. Pick up some ideas from Holli’s own nutritional style by following her around during the time that matters the most: grocery shopping!

Favorite Place to Shop:

Part of what I do is advocate for better food for all, so I like to stay on top of who is offering more organics and I share that with my readers (and give kudos on social media). This means you’ll find me all over the place, and I don’t play favorites! I find joy in so many places. You might be surprised to see me at Safeway for great prices on organic produce, but I also shop at Whole Foods for the sheer variety of goodness across all departments. I regularly visit Home Farm in Middleburg, VA – it offers greens and fruits just picked that day – and I love MOM’s market in the DC area. And, of course, I frequent the farmers market that supports our local farmers. 

My Favorite Veggie:

You think I’m going to say kale, don’t you? Yes, I, too, have a love affair with kale, but my favorites come and go with the seasons. In fall, right now, I love pumpkin; I crave it, with cinnamon to warm my digestion. In winter, I tend towards roots like sweet potatoes and beets. In spring, baby arugula or fresh watercress is what I find myself reaching for, over and over. And in summer, I’m a huge fan of fresh zucchini noodles and cucumber juice. 

Produce Shopping Tip:

Always go for what’s in season…just like your grandmother would’ve!

Must-have Munchies:

Raw cashews, toasted hemp seeds and kale chips – but I’m getting really fussy about which ones I eat.

Fave Condiments:

Is a pickle a condiment? I love organic pickles, or sauerkraut, or kimchee. Anything fermented in a glass jar. I try to have it every day.

Meat, Fish and Protein:

The rule in my house is that meat has to be farm-raised and free of any antibiotics or hormones. We like to know where our proteins come from and we have local farms where we buy eggs, chicken, etc., for the healthy omnivore in my family. For fish, we primarily stick to wild salmon, but enjoy the occasional wild-caught, low-mercury fish too. I also keep a cupboard full of plant proteins on hand, lentils, beans, quinoa, for the flexible vegetarians that come my way.

Best Bargain:

The bulk bins at Whole Foods are a great way to save on foods that I use a lot of: nuts, seeds, and quinoa.

Must-have Staples:

All my superfoods: hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, maca powder, raw cacao, cacao nibs, lacuma, camu camu…the list goes on.

Craziest Thing I Buy:

I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to foods that I’ve never tried before – exotic fruits come to mind. I find it fascinating and love to bring them home and imagine what it would be like to have these foods as part of my local culture and how I would be incorporating them in my diet… I’ve raised my son this way, trying everything new.

Naturally Sweet:

Golden berries, year round. This time of year, honey crisp apples.

Dairy or Non-dairy Faves:

I try not to eat dairy at all, but I make all my own nut or seed milks to keep on hand for my family: coconut, hemp and almond milk. This way, the boys can enjoy DIY granola or cereal, or creamy smoothies.

Skip Labels that Read:

I steer away from most things with labels, but for sure labels that are too long are kicked to the curb. And on the rare occasion when I do buy processed foods, I make sure they are certified organic.

Favorite Splurge:

The occasional organic full-dairy ice cream. I’ll pay for it later, but thoroughly enjoy Jeni’s Salty Caramel ice cream in the moment!

My Shopping Bag is...

A nylon tote that folds into about three inches: Baggu. I keep it in my handbag, just in case. And there are a lot of ‘just in cases.’

Wine and Other Indulgences:

I’m not drinking any alcohol right now, I’m on a big break, which I do to keep clear headed and out of the doldrums – the sugars do me in. But this time of year, an occasional gluten-free hard apple cider is fun for a tailgate, and when I have guests, I’ll be serving green-tini’s: pressed green juice and organic vodka, up, shaken, and cold.

Simple Go-to Recipe:

Coconut Cauliflower Soup from Discover Your Nutritional Style.

Coconut Cauliflower Soup


1 head of cauliflower
1 cup diced sweet onion
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt to taste
rosemary or nutmeg


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Sauté until golden around the edges.

Add the cauliflower and the broth to the pot. The broth should just cover the cauliflower.

Simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender. Then transfer to a blender, or use an immersion blender to blend until creamy. Add back to the original pot, and add coconut milk.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary or nutmeg to desired taste.

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