Somewhere in her late teens and early twenties, nutritionist Keri Glassman began to have a big inner conflict around wanting to rock her “skinny” jeans and needing to fuel her body to tear it up on the soccer and lacrosse fields. She graduated from college and began working at Sports Illustrated, and would sit and read Health magazine instead of doing her work. “That’s when I knew I needed to pursue this passion. When I realized that being a nutritionist was an actual career choice, I had that ‘This is what I am meant to do!’ moment.”
Fast forward a few decades later, and Glassman is now a team of five registered dietitians, she’s on book number five, and she has started the Nutritious Life Studio, an online nutrition-education platform empowering others to become certified.
How is your approach to nutrition different?
When I began my private practice, I knew it wasn’t going to be all about food and simply [being] focused on calories in and burning calories through exercise, etcetera, that so many people were zoned in on. Well, because it’s not all about food. At all. I knew this from my own personal experience and then I had the research to confirm it when I began my nutrition studies. Even going back to college: I knew that when I slept well I was more motivated to eat well and go to the gym. When I went to the gym, I was less stressed and so on. I dove into the science behind all of this as I built my business. When I used to ask clients about their sleep patterns, or about their relationships, they sometimes looked at me like I was craaaa-zy. Times have a changed a bit (now they just may raise an eyebrow) and people are faster to accept and embrace what I call the eight pillars of a Nutritious Life. The pillars are all connected on a physiological and behavioral level. When you eat well, you sleep well. When you sleep well, you eat well, and you have more energy to work out, and when you work out, you sleep better, and so on. This has always been the core of my practice and philosophy. The food pillar Eat Empowered is all about putting the best, whole real foods into your body and listening to your body to guide how much and when you eat.
What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding about health and nutrition for women?
I think many women still focus on calories and using willpower to lose weight and be healthy. The human body is quite complex and there are many factors at play at all times. Hormones, emotions, cravings, and even our social schedule influence the amount of calories we consume and how our body processes them. Calories are not all created equal and counting them will get you nowhere. And, willpower is a muscle that will be worn down faster than you think. It is all negative energy. I like people to throw willpower out the door and embrace an empowered mindset.
What is the most common mistake you see women making?
Food is love. Food is history. Food is culture. Food is medicine. Food is delicious. We love it. But we hate what it can do to us. We don’t need to hate it! This is what I want all women to understand. It can be a love/love relationship. That is what I LOVE to help people do—to shift to a love/love versus a love/hate relationship. No relationship is perfect, and your relationship with food won’t be either, but it can be a really good one. You can have a really good relationship with food. When people realize that food is not the enemy, but rather other things in their lives that are causing them to abuse food, they can finally get on the path to having a healthy relationship with food. Also, I often talk about flipping the switch. When people change their way of thinking from “I CAN’T have the chocolate cake” to “I CAN eat the blueberries and they are good for my skin, my mind, and a byproduct will be a healthy body weight,” they are switching from a negative place to an empowered place.
What do you think is the biggest trend in wellness right now?
Probably plant-based eating, CBD, and sustainability.
Below, Keri shares five things women can do in 2019 to achieve optimal health:
1) Embrace meditation (daily) as much as you embrace and prioritize your workouts with your trainer. I have been talking about meditation and have had my clients doing something even as simple as the eight-count breath daily for years, but the science behind meditation and health and weight loss continues to pile up. My favorite app is Insight Timer.
2) Switch to organic, grass-fed meat when you eat meat. It’s one of those foods where the basic traditional option is unhealthy but the upgraded option isn’t just unhealthy, it’s loaded with good-for-you nutrients.
3) Focus on your minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. The number one rule is to eat lots of different dark, leafy greens as often as possible. Various ancient grains are also rich in many of these minerals, and so are eggs, sea vegetables, and bone broth.
4) Foam roll. Rolling helps smooth away congestion, inflammation, flush out the lymphatic system, increase immunity, stimulate blood circulation, “wring out” and hydrate the connective tissue, and revitalize your whole being. I always say it’s like an internal juice cleanse of your connective tissue.
5) Finally, ditch sugar for real. Avoid all added sugar as much as possible. It is truly the enemy of our weight and health.