Growing up, I was a dancer and the skinny one in a family of dieters. It was great! I ate when I was hungry, didn’t when I wasn’t. Luckily I enjoyed vegetables but could also make a solid dent in a jar of peanut butter. Then it all went away.
The summer between high school and college was the first time I had to go to make an effort to exercise. This moment in time was landmarked by my first gym membership. As for my food? I did what I watched my family do my whole life. I started with one program and over the following years moved on to each fad diet that crossed my path. In college, I used food to cope with the changing circumstances, stress and well…life! I continued on the diet train and restricted my food consumption, cut out whole food groups, tried a diet from a hospital in my hometown (that one really messed me up!) in hopes of finding physical and emotional fulfillment. Spoiler alert: I didn’t.
For over a decade, I unhappily floated from diet to diet. Even when I first learned about the program I now teach, I said “No no. That’s ok. I’ve got my thing.” After watching others who were following this program, I vividly remember two realizations: 1) These people were keeping the weight off and 2) They didn’t look like people who had lost the equivalent of another human being (140+lbs); I couldn’t see where 10lbs could’ve been on their body. I realized there was something to this and I did something pretty amazing. I got out of my own way.
I found a coach and followed the program myself and it completely changed my life. It is the only thing that’s allowed me to say, “I’ve kicked my food issues.” (cue fog horn, confetti, clouds parting and sun shining).
It was a complete lifestyle shift in four parts: (1) low-glycemic impact eating, (2) behavior modification and education, (3) focus on body composition (read: losing weight as fat), and (4) using strategic supplementation. The weight loss and fat removal were happy side-effects. In other words, I learned how to eat without cutting out whole food groups or heavily restricting myself. I learned HOW to eat so those indulgences didn’t have the same impact on my body and the scale as they did before. It cleared my path. It reshaped my relationship with food. While I turned a corner, I saw so many still drowning in the sea of diets, calorie/point counting and complicated emotions around food.
From that moment, I set-out on a mission to pay it forward and help people help themselves with this information. In our society, we’re constantly bombarded with hoards of contradictory information from the media sources and advertising surrounding us. Between the superfoods, fad diets, and social media influencers, it’s hard to know what habits are actually going to take us closer to sustainable, long term health. Making peace with our health doesn’t need to be a series of hurdles to jump over followed by a Mike Tyson-like match of bob and weave. With my podcast Salad With a Side of Fries, I clear up the confusion and give listeners straightforward, actionable steps they can easily incorporate into their daily lives. It’s wellness and weight loss for REAL LIFE and clears up the misinformation, bad-science and marketing wreaking havoc in wellness.
While the birth of a podcast may seem like it happens overnight, in actuality, my show came after more than 12 years of working with clients and over 20 years of experience in this space. When I started my health coaching practice in late 2007, it was my side-hustle. I built my health coaching business alongside my full-time job. Around the time when I began to consider the possibility of trading in my steady paycheck for full-time self-employment, I’d also become an avid podcast listener.
From the beginning, my business was based on a mission of helping people help themselves. I realized though, my reach only goes so far. But if I help a few and the next person helps a few and a doctor helps a whole lot, then we can lock arms to make a real impact on the state of health in our country and across the world. A podcast was a natural extension of this mission, the next level of the vision. The number of people we could help with such a platform was heart-warming and inspiring. I knew in my soul, I needed to do this to share the knowledge that made such a huge difference for me.
“It’s wellness and weight loss for REAL LIFE and
clears up the misinformation, bad-science and marketing wreaking havoc in wellness.”
With Salad With a Side of Fries, I set out to fill what I viewed as a hole in the health and wellness podcast community. While there were several shows that delved into people’s individual wellness stories, those same shows seemed to lack science and, in my opinion, further contributed to the confusion and chaos for listeners. Those on the other end of the spectrum, shared real science and proper guidance but the delivery was…well…a snoozefest. I would listen while walking and leave the podcaster three blocks behind me! I knew I could take what I liked from the podcasts I listened to and bring it into the wellness and nutrition category. The goal of Salad With a Side of Fries is to dig into common questions and concerns surrounding health, while also acknowledging the human and emotional components that go into someone’s path to wellness.
It’s the conversations we have with our friends over a cocktail and the questions we discuss in the locker room at the gym.
The information and philosophy I share on my podcast is for everybody: working parents, takeout enthusiasts (my seamless game is strong!), young professionals meeting for a drink after work and athletes trying to reach the next level of their game. It’s for people who want to enjoy their food while making mindful decisions about their health. Along with experts in various fields, I dive into the science of how food interacts with our bodies and how we can change our mentalities to make our paths to wellness a little simpler and smoother. In general, I take the focus away from obsessive calorie counting and weight loss, emphasizing the importance of overall health and HOW to get there, starting from exactly where you are, right now.
At the end of the day, it’s about balance, living life by the 80/20 rule. It’s how to eat and how to cheat! I encourage you to continue making yourself and your health a priority without sacrificing your peace of mind or your social life! Because you deserve it and you are worth it!
If you like what you’ve heard so far, please join our community of wellness warriors. I’m excited to continue tackling the hot topics and each new frontier in the health industry. So hop over to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora or wherever you like to listen, click play and join me! I’m having Salad with a Side of Fries.