Why Diets Don't Work + How to Set Yourself Free


Recently, I’ve found myself having a lot of conversations on nutrition, a lot of you reaching out with questions about trending diets, weight-loss, and general healthy eating… 

Truth is there are more diets out there than ever, couple that with a growing interest in fitness, and everyone seems to be trying something. Needless to say, I get it, there is an overwhelming amount of information being thrown at us from every angle– including both credible & questionable media. Week by week the narrative changes, as if one food group is out to kill you, while another is now the universal cure-all, and you’re right to feel confused.

By now most of you are likely familiar with Whole30, KETO, and Intermittent Fasting, or at least heard them tossed around– these are the three I get the most questions about. While I’m not going to address any one of these diets directly today, the bottom line is this: yes, the before and afters are often real, and yes you can achieve results through many of these practices. However, I would caution you from ending your research there.

Beyond the the math and science, the mental component of these diets is also worth considering. Diets are not only a physical, but mental practice, and this should never be underestimated. I can’t tell you how many self-proclaimed “serial dieters” I’ve met over the years, each confessing a sense of hopelessness concerning their weight, and worst of all a disappointment and shame in themselves. THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN! Guilt, anxiety, and shame should never be associated with how you view food. In fact, fueling your body should be enjoyable!  

When a diet fails it’s often not a reflection of your efforts. Dieting in and of itself predicts weight gain– how’s that in food for thought?…

Diets come and go, because the results do exactly exactly the same. Most diets demand adopting unrealistic habits that are consequently unsustainable, and our bodies are complex systems, so starvation (calories/fuel) or unnecessary restriction (aggressive food elimination) is likely to agitate the system. You may be satisfied for a time, but this short-term gratification is fleeting, certainly not enough to sustain you, and that’s why diets ultimately fail. 

So how do you handle nutrition in a manner that’s healthy for both your body and mind?….

Rather than finding solace in a quick fix recipe, always look at the big picture. Yes, this takes time & patience– more than we’re often willing to give– but considering your long-term relationship with food, a sustainable lifestyle, and how all of the experimentation (that’s right, every time you try a diet you’re submitting your body to an experiment) will ultimately affect your body is worth the time & research. Study your current habits, document your food, but don’t get obsessive about any one element. Think holistically– FOOD in any measurement, be it calories, fat, carbs, etc. should never be feared! Take each day as a learning opportunity to show your bod some love & let it love you back. Work towards developing a lifestyle that adds to your quality of life rather than taking away from it. More often than not, I’d say 80% of my job is getting clients to eat better whole foods and more of them, not less!

Finally, remember everyone is different, so what works for you may not work for your sister, spouse, or friend, so don’t submit to those same expectations– the only problem with realizing there’s no one solution is that there’s then no magic pill.

If you have any specific questions please shoot me a message via our Contact Page, DM me on Insta, or leave a comment below. Take it from a Fitness Expert & “Professional Bruncher”– you can have your cake and eat it too ;)


How to Manage Nutrition & Food Allergies in 2018

If you knew me five years ago, you know my diet consisted of 100% take-out options, this was in part due to a busy lifestyle, but mostly a lack of interest to cook. That being said, over the past two years I've fallen in love with nutrution, so I was ecstatic when Green Circle Wellness reached out about designing a nutrition plan based on my own body's biochemistry. 

The idea was to gain education, learn more about how my body processed nutrients, and how to best fuel my system towards specific goals. Due to the timing of our meeting, this nutrition plan would not address weight gain or loss, but would be designed for me and baby to get the most nutrients from the foods my body needed, taking into consideration my body's unique food preferences rather than fad diets. 

To get me started, a food intolerance test was recommended, and I'll be honest, I laughed out loud...

Little secret: I believe everyone has food intolerances, the question is how severe, and how do you respond to this information?

Personally, I didn't want to be someone who allowed allergies dictate her life, so while I was well aware of allergy testing, this was one I'd consciously avoided, and I was open about my concerns. 

After consulting with Gina (lead nurse at GCW) and Faith (lead nutritionist), they assured me that I didn't have to let these results control my life. They walked me through their personal test results, a scale of 1 to 3+ indicating intolerance levels, and explained how managing allergies didn't have to be all consuming OR all eliminating, it simply had to be done intelligently– work smarter not harder. Done!

Word of advice: find a doctor you trust and have real conversations. Someone can only help you as far as you invite them to. 

Fast forward a few weeks and lab results were in. Keep in mind, I went into this solely expecting a list of foods to avoid in my nutrition plan, and was not prepared for the depth of information that we'd cover in our following hour...

  • For starters, no mention of food items, instead we'd begin by reviewing vitamin & mineral levels. At the time, I was taking a prenatal, and B-6, so most levels seemed to be in good standing, but I was slightly low on Zinc & B-3. Also, despite my attempts at including healthy gut bacteria in my diet, I was in serious need of probiotics for digestive support. Overall, these were easy fixes– a daily B-complex + Probiotic would do the trick.
  • Next up, still no specific foods, rather a deeper look at fats, proteins, & carbs. As it turns out, my body doesn't process protein well, which didn't surprise me too much, since it's always taken me longer to build muscle and I have to make a conscious effort to consume enough protein to see results. Reader's digest version: the enzymes that break down food to retrieve nutrients weren't working properly, so only a portion of the protein I was consuming was actually being absorbed for my body to use. Recommendations: consider adding a plant based protein and Digestizyme supplement– one for added nutrient supply, and the other to assist in proper protein digestion.
  • In my metabolic analysis, there were again indications of a lack of healthy gut bacteria and malabsorption of aminos, however, the more surprising results were in notable toxin levels indicating an overuse of plastic and tin. What?! While this wasn't related to BPA (common toxin associated with plastic), it forced me to dig deep into my daily habits. Fact is I'm pretty lazy inn some ways, so instead of carrying a reusable water bottle, I purchase a lot of bottled water while on-the-go, and regularly line pans or baking sheets with aluminum foil for easy clean up. In addition, I consume a variety of canned beans and often use plastic (ziploc or tupperware) to store foods. Again, easy fixes, but probably the most shocking results yet– how scary is it that the storage materials we use in our daily lives are so toxic they can actually work their way into our system?... Recommendations: carry a reusable water bottle, no more cooking with aluminum foil, and store food in glass containers. Most importantly, never reheat food in any plastic variety!
  • Finally, my food antibody assessment– and the results I'd been dreading the most! As luck would have it, I'm allergic to a lot of foods I consume almost daily, confirming all of my initial fears when beginning this journey. To give you the highlights, I'm allergic to all dairy– except goat's milk. My body doesn't like eggs (yolk or whites), corn, corn gluten, almonds, walnuts, oats, rice, wheat, yeast, cane sugar, chocolate, and coffee. HA. Did I leave out anything else?... Oh yeah, garlic, black pepper, and thyme.

    For reference, my go-to breakfasts include eggs, oatmeal, or greek yogurt. My coffee includes either 2% Milk or Almond Milk, and I have chocolate, cheese, and nuts all the time.

    That being said, remember the rating scale I mentioned?... While all of these foods tested positive, they rated very low on the intolerance scale, and to my relief, Dr. Dina Pavilonis (lead M.D.) assured me that with the numbers in my lab results I had no need to alter my entire lifestyle, I simply needed to monitor my habits to prevent these levels from rising. Rather than eliminating these items all-together, I would need to plan my meals more intentionally, alternating between eggs one day, and oatmeal or dairy the next. By flagging these foods, my body was essentially saying "too much," the concern being that if I failed to cut back on these items, my body would respond with more aggressive reactions. Recommendation: rotational diet. 
Managing allergies didn’t have to be all consuming OR all eliminating, it simply had to be done intelligently– work smarter not harder.

Like I said, I underestimated this follow-up consultation, and by the time we were done, I was overwhelmed with data. From here, the next step would be to reconnect with Faith, review my food journal, and begin to develop a nutrition plan specific to my body's goals and needs. I'll save my nutrition program for another post, because I want to make sure you get all the tools you need to be successful, but I highly recommend getting a head start on your new year's resolutions and booking an appointment to start this journey. I always knew I had allergies, but was afraid of letting them control my life. However, knowledge is power, and rather than playing trial and error, I guarantee that having the proper information will allow you to experience more freedom. Remember, work smarter, not harder ;)


This post has been brought to you by Green Circle Wellness, however, all opinions remain my own. The integrity of this site is far more important to me than any compensation or brand partnership. – S


Beauty Detox

Let me preface by saying “I didn’t want to be that mom”– ha!...

We talk about health and wellness a lot, but I'm actually extremely skeptical, and while I try to practice clean living, I would have my limits. That being said, women are known to make significant health changes during pregnancy, be it diet, exercise, personal care, etc. In general, I eat well, workout regularly, and make safe product purchases for our home. However, when it comes to beauty products, I get protective, and with good reason– organic/natural beauty products don’t tend to perform well! 

So, why are we talking about this?…. 

Studies have found over 200 toxins present in umbilical chord blood at birth! This is the same umbilical cord that serves as lifeline for months leading to delivery pumping approximately 300 quarts of blood to your baby each day! The chemicals found in this channel are known to be toxic to the brain and nervous system, some cause cancer in both humans and animals, and others have a history of causing birth defects. No pressure, right?… 

Naturally, after learning this, I made some additional improvements to the cleaning products around the house, fine tuned our grocery list, and started to dabble in more organic body wash/lotion. However, it wasn’t until I had my makeup bag stolen and was forced to replace my entire makeup collection that I finally decided to give safer beauty a try. 

Like many of you, I’ve had friends reaching out to me about Beautycounter for over a year, and I’d kindly dodged each invitation, until one unexpected friend joined the conversation. I say she’s unexpected, because she’d be the last person to act like as saleswoman, she’s extremely logical, down to earth, and honest– no gimmicks here, what you see is what you get (I love friends like that!).

From a marketing standpoint, I’d been skeptical about Beautycounter in part due to their fear-based messaging, and I made this known. Her response? “Yes, but shouldn’t there be a little bit of fear in how comfortable we are with the chemicals we allow in our daily products?”… She had a point. The US hasn’t passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938. As a culture, why are we so comfortable with this?

She then introduced me to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), an organization that seeks to educate consumers about toxins in home & personal care products. On the EWG site you’ll find a toxicity rating scale of 1-10. Use their Healthy Living App to search any product, and you'll get a rating with chemical breakdown and explanation. Knowledge is power, and I spent a good hour reading about every product in my makeup bag. To my surprise, the number one product I use on a daily basis, an expensive moisturizer I’d been raving about and even convinced my mother to start using, scored a 10/10 on the toxicity scale. Whether I wanted to or not, in that moment, I knew at least some things had to be replaced. 

Beautycounter is committed to banning any questionable or harmful chemicals from it’s products, including a list of over 1,500 chemicals that they refuse to work with. That being said, they're not some no-name homemade label, in fact, last year Chanel's very own Xavier Ormancey, made the move from Paris to Santa Monica as Beautycounter's new Head of Product Development.

Nevertheless, moving away from my previous makeup routine was harder than expected, In some weird way, I felt attached to what I knew, my previous products wore well, my skin responded well, and they looked great. Therefore, being a reasonable person, I decided to begin by replacing any products that scored above a 5 on EWG’s rating scale. 

Here’s the fun part… Beautycounter’s new are here! These little sets are the perfect opportunity to test out a variety of products at a bargain, and they make for the cutest stocking stuffers! 

Personally, I went into this with a lot of skepticism, but after a couple months of using these products, I’m actually really impressed. In fact, while I was home for Thanksgiving, I had my mom and sisters try out some of my favorites, simply because of how good they feel on your skin! I'll admit, the contour kit isn’t nearly as pigmented as my previous collection, but the colors are beautiful and they feel so much nicer and lighter!

As a personal trainer, one of the main things I look for are products that can outrun a day at the gym, and I'm happy to say that every item i've tried so far has passed the test.

I've linked below to each of the items I've personally tried, but if you'd like to learn more, I'd love to answer any questions, or connect you with my friend, Rachel :)