New Year Healthy Habits

Every January, health goals top the new year’s resolution list. Find inspiration from four locals who are committed to a lifestyle of wellness.

Healthy Collard Green Wraps on a cutting board served with Tahini sauce
Collard Green Wraps // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

Community Health

Bridget Reiter

Bridget Reiter with her yoga gear
Bridget Reiter

Nutrition knowledge and an active lifestyle propels Bridget Reiter to educate others on health and wellness.

Bridget Reiter credits her mom, a nurse, for sparking her interest in health and nutrition. “Growing up, I would hear little tidbits like, ‘Oh, an orange has vitamin C, which helps your immune system so you’re less likely to catch a cold,’ and things like that, she says. And I became fascinated with how your body is affected by what you put in it.” That led her to become a certified dietician and she now does one-on-one consults over the phone for Delicious Dietician. She follows a mostly plant-based diet, emphasizing eating as many whole foods as possible. “For snacks, I love the protein and produce rule, which means pairing some sort of protein with some source of produce, a fruit or a vegetable,” she says. “And ‘P and P’ is easy to remember. That’s one of my go-to rules.” Reiter has also been active her whole life, going from gymnastics as a child to cheerleading in high school to yoga in her adult life. She enjoyed yoga so much that she got her certification and now teaches at Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness. “I love teaching, whether it’s yoga or nutrition,” she says. “Spreading that knowledge is a passion of mine.” It might come as a surprise that Reiter doesn’t consider herself to be the most self-driven when it comes to exercise, but she makes it work anyway. “I don’t feel like I have a ton of self-discipline, so I love groups for the support,” she says. “For me, I know that I am going to feel mentally, emotionally and physically better if I am moving my body. And Mobile is great for having community yoga classes as well as a lot of biking groups, walking groups and running groups. We have the options, and having that accountability is great.”

Quick and Healthy Collard Green Wraps 

Serves 4

4 large raw collard green leaves  
4 tablespoons hummus
1 cup sliced red or white onion
1 cup sliced bell pepper

1 cup shredded carrot
1 pound marinated and baked tofu cubes
Sriracha (optional) 
Tahini dipping sauce

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1. Rinse collard green leaves and chop off the bulky end of the stem. Then use a sharp knife
to carefully shave down the thickness of the
remaining stem so it folds and wraps easily.

2. While collard leaves
are still wet, place one
at a time in the microwave for about 30 seconds to steam and soften the leaf.

3. To assemble each leaf, add 1 tablespoon hummus to bottom third of the collard green, then add 1/4 cup each of onion, bell pepper, carrott and tofu, and a squeeze of sriracha.

4. Scrape contents down so they are in the bottom third of the collard green. Fold the base over the ingredients, tuck in the sides to secure the fillings and continue rolling away from you until the seams meet. Cut in half or eat whole. Repeat the process to make all 4. Enjoy immediately with tahini dipping sauce. 

Tahini Dipping Sauce

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

1/2 cup tahini 
Pinch sea salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/4 cup warm water 

1. Add tahini, sea salt and garlic powder to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

2. Add water a little at a time, continuing to whisk, until you have a creamy, pourable sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings
as needed.

Making Big Changes

Lee Hanks with his
Lee Hanks

Lee Hanks

A wake-up call led Lee Hanks to commit to fitness, embrace a new way of living and share his journey with others.

The beginning of Lee Hanks’ health journey is a familiar story. He was determined and motivated, doing all the right things. Then, inevitably, he would fall off the wagon. And the cycle continued. “I was very active, even at my heaviest, but loving to cook, host people and lots of snacking, coupled with a few medical conditions, just snowballed to the point where I just wasn’t making headway,” he says. “Many times, I would quip, ‘one day.’ One day I will get everything in place and get it right.” A wake-up call came in the form of a trip to northern Georgia, where everyone in his family climbed the hundreds of stairs to the large waterfall outside Dahlonega. Everyone, that is, except him; he was unable to make the trek. “At that moment and upon returning home, I set some appointments with my physicians and began putting a plan together to recapture my health,” he says. Hanks started with a gastric bypass two and a half years ago, which kickstarted a path of real and lasting change. He remained consistent in his training and commitment. He now enjoys going to boot camps and circuit-training classes during his lunch breaks. And, at 50, he has had his fair share of adventures, including hiking mountain trails, rappelling into canyons, climbing cliffs and scuba diving. “Although I ‘one day’d’ too many times, I am glad I finally stopped saying it with regards to my health and did something about it,” he says. “I encourage everyone, in all things, let today be the day to make a change for the better. Today is that one day.”

Chicken Veggie Grain Bowls

Serves 4

3 cups chopped squash, zucchini, bell pepper and onion
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cooked brown rice and quinoa mix

1 pound chicken tenderloins or boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon Flaps CPR Sweet ‘Cue Rub
1 cup chopped roasted sweet potato 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chopped vegetables on a baking sheet and season with olive oil, salt, black pepper and garlic. Roast about 20-25 minutes, or until tender.

2. Season chicken with olive oil and Flaps CPR Sweet ‘Cue Rub.

3. Heat a grill to medium-high and grill chicken until fully cooked, about 10-12 minutes, turning once.

4. To serve, ladle 1 cup rice-quinoa mix into each bowl. Top with roasted vegetables, sweet potato and a 4-ounce serving of chicken.

**Lee sometimes substitutes potatoes for the rice and quinoa mix for variety.

Portions are key and should fit the plan of each person. Lee strives for a 4-ounce portion of protein and a cup of veggies per entree.


Chicken thighs are higher in fat and calories than chicken breast, but are much more flavorful, which can make it easier to stick to a healthy diet. 

Salmon is another healthy protein option that Lee makes frequently.

Lee roasts his sweet potatoes by wrapping in foil and roasting at 350 degrees until soft. Remove foil and chop. You can discard the peel but it is full of vitamins and fiber!

Nutrition Kitchen

Sofia Fly

Sofia Fly

Sofia Fly combines her love of cooking with her passion for nutrition to help her clients lead healthier lives.

The earliest cooking memories that Sofia Fly can recall is playing with the family microwave. “I was 7 at the time and I remember the microwave kind of talked and announced the settings, so I loved playing around with it,” she says. That sparked Sofia’s love of food throughout the rest of her life. As a young adult, she found herself working front of house at Chez Fonfon in Birmingham under James Beard award-winning chef Frank Stitt. It was there that she discovered the beauty of food as both fuel and art. After she came back to Fairhope eight years ago, she started to pour herself into OnTheFly, a nutrition kitchen she had originally begun by making baby food for a friend. “I have no certification, so I am completely self trained,” says Fly. “I have a gift for food and my entire purpose is to fix people who want my help from the inside out.” While the kitchen’s name was inspired by her last name, it also conveys Fly’s desire for food to be quick and accessible. “We’re all busy, and I don’t want people to be deprived of their favorite foods.” She usually works out of her own kitchen or out of clients’ kitchens, depending on what is easiest for the customer. Most of her recipes are 10 ingredients or less, and she keeps things old school. “I don’t have a website and I like to promote my business through word of mouth,” she says. And it works. She is the healthy-eating option for Bayside Academy on Wednesdays. Whether her clients have been able to wean off a few medications or just feel more energized, she consistently hears their success stories thanks to her work with them. “My thing is, if you want to feel good, I can help you with that,” she says.

Tuna-Stuffed Avocados 

Serves 2

1 5-ounce can albacore tuna in water, drained 
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced water chestnuts
1 – 2 avocados
Handful of arugula, for serving

1. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients but avocado. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.

2. When ready to serve, cut avocados in half and remove pit. Loosen avocados in their skins. Top with arugula and tuna mixture. Drizzle with dressing.

No-Frills Miso Dressing

3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado oil
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons white miso
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


• Boosts satiety
• Helps manage body weight
• Protects your heart
• Prevents diabetes complications
• Boosts nutrients
• Promotes healthy digestion


• Contains vitamins and minerals
• Helps essential body structures
• Promotes healthy digestion
• High in probiotics
• Helps maintain healthy bacteria

Lifetime of Healthy Habits

Matthew Mosteller

Matthew Mosteller

Years’ worth of activity and healthy habits gave Matthew Mosteller a firm foundation to fight through a surprise diagnosis.

At 70 years old, Matthew Mosteller has never been what people might call “inactive.” His love of exercise, health and physical activity comes naturally to him and has been a constant throughout his life. “Even dating back to college as a swimmer at Florida State University, I realized that good health and performance revolves around healthy lifestyle choices,” he says. “Exercise, good nutrition, good family and friend relationships, having a spiritual life and avoiding toxic choices have been the cornerstone.” Despite being intentional about health and remaining active into his adult life, in 2006, Mosteller was diagnosed with acute leukemia. “It was, and still is, the biggest challenge of my life, literally!” he says. At that moment, he realized his knowledge of nutrition and fitness that he had built up would be essential to a winning battle. “My son told me when I was diagnosed that I had been training my whole life for that challenge and that I would be restored to health,” he says. While he received treatment at MD Anderson, he relied on the support of family and friends as well as spiritual guidance to get him through that tough period. Now, 17 years out from his diagnosis, Mosteller is even more convicted in his healthy habits. “As a physician, I encourage my patients to make good lifestyle choices,” he says. “Sure, we might have a genetic predisposition to certain medical issues, but we can still influence the expression of those genes with the decisions that we make regarding exercise, nutrition and avoiding toxins.” His weekly exercise routine includes resistance training, aerobic exercise and stretching. He enjoys a brisk walk, laps in the pool, biking on the Scenic 98 Highway bike path, and playing pickleball with family and friends. “Resistance training is important at any age, but especially as we get older to maintain muscle balance,” he says. “Flexibility is also important, so stretching and yoga is an integral part of my routine as well.”

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Serves 6 – 8

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half 
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon organic crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes with juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, stems removed, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 quart organic chicken stock

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss fresh tomatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. On a baking sheet, spread tomatoes in a single layer and roast for 45 minutes.

2. In an 8-quart stockpot over medium, heat remaining olive oil and butter. Add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 10 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes and their cooking liquid.

3. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. 

4. Add soup to a blender and blend to thicken.

5. Serve hot or cold, garnished with basil leaves.

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