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February 16, 2018
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Staff SMART: Chef Karla Williams

We are celebrating whole foods that are True to nature, highly nutritious, and always delicious! Plant-based foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices… and with all these choices, it could be really overwhelming to determine where to start if you’re thinking of adopting a plant-forward plan!


I sat down with Chef Karla Williams, Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director, to break the process down into a SMART goal that would get you well on your way to the plant-slant nutrition we encourage at H3!


S- Specific

What should I try?

Chef Karla recommends starting small and tackling one plant-based recipe to start with. Her sources for the best plant-based recipes are The H3 Blog, 101 Cookbooks (a plant-based nutrition blog), Fit Foodie Finds, and Pinterest. Once you’ve found one that appeals to you, print it out and make a plan to incorporate it into your week! Chef Karla suggests taking it for a spin on a Meatless Monday.


M- Measurable

How do I track success?

This step involves assessing the outcome and success of your plan. After preparing a new recipe, Chef Karla suggests asking yourself the following questions:


  • How was the difficulty level of the recipe?
  • Was it overly ambitious or did you knock this one out of the park? (Adjust accordingly for the next plant-based recipe you try.)
  • Did I enjoy this recipe?
  • How well was I satiated when I ate it?
  • Are you pleasantly surprised by how delicious and satisfying a plant-based meal can be?
  • Is this recipe worth adding to your weekly or monthly rotation?



A- Action Oriented

What do I do?

After you’ve identified a recipe to try, it’s time to assemble a grocery list. Do you have anything on hand already? Head to the store and pick up the ingredients you’ll need. Chef Karla suggests choosing a recipe that has ingredients that could be cross-utilized in another recipe. When you take the time to prep the recipe (cleaning and cutting your veggies), plan to cut once, use twice. For example, if you are cooking a vegetable curry, you could use the extra veggies to make a Tofu Scramble in the morning.


R- Realistic

Can I, and will I actually, complete the task?

Chef Karla has a few tips for easing the transition from the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) to the Plant Slant pattern of eating. She proposes setting a realistic goal of trying one new plant-based recipe a week. In order to save the trip, and to reduce the impulse buys strategically placed throughout the grocery store, she suggests using a Click List for online grocery shopping. Watch as Felicia Spence, Registered Dietitian, guides you through online grocery shopping.


T- Time Bound

When or how often?

Set aside a time in your schedule for finding the recipe and making your grocery list, as well as a block of time to prepare your ingredients for the execution of your plant-based masterpiece. Determine how frequently you would like to try new recipes, or how often you’ll make your new favorites and write it down on your home menu.



To learn more about healthy plant forward cooking, join Chef Karla Williams at H3 in our Healthy Kitchen for a number of culinary classes. Share your success with creating fun and flavorful plant-based recipes on our Facebook, and bon appetit!