Snob Essentials

Interview with Holistic Health Coach Robyn Youkilis

I met Robyn through a mutual friend and she’s a fantastic resource for all health-related questions. It frustrates me to no end how attentive you have to be to what you’re eating to avoid being “fooled.” So many food giants more or less pay to have various “health seals” put on their boxes and portion sizes are more often than not ridiculous (5 chips!! Of course it’s easy for one serving to be low in fat, calories, and sodium when one serving is 5 chips, but who eats just 5!!). You can read more about the topic here and if you’re interested in getting a more personalized approach to health, nutrition, and beauty from the inside-out I’d highly recommend contacting Robyn through her website to schedule Your Healthiest You Breakthrough Session. Robyn works with countless men and women who lead very busy lives and she helps them figure out how they can “live their healthiest you,” by focusing on realistic, long-term goals that will be permanent. She’s basically like a therapist who will help you work through your problems with the added bonus of having the know-how and education to back-up helping with lifestyle changes. To learn more, check-out my interview below!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do and how you’re different from a nutritionist?

I’m different from a nutritionist in the sense that most nutritionists focus primarily on calories, carbs, fats, proteins, restrictions and lists of good and bad foods. I have found that over time that simply doesn’t work. I would always go back to being “bad” after I had been so “good”. I totally get rid of the rollercoaster of “good” and “bad”. I practice the 80/20 rule with my clients. When you eat real, whole foods 80% of the time you don’t have to think about the other 20%! Just enjoy and have fun!

I also look at how all areas of your life are connected. Does stress at your job or in your relationship cause you to overeat? Does lack of sleep or low energy prevent you from exercising? As we work together, we look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole. I deliver results in a way that is easy, fun, fits into their lifestyle AND makes them totally accountable.

What are some of the reasons you hear most frequently as to why your clients initially come to see you?

Definitely weight loss and a lack energy. We’re all so sick of being on a diet and “should’ing” all over ourselves all the time. “I shouldn’t eat that. I should go to the gym more. I should make time for myself”. I take those “shoulds” and make them a reality in a way that actually works by looking at your schedule and lifestyle and I giving realistic and practical recommendations based on your specific needs. I coach clients all over the country and even outside of New York City energy is such a huge issue for some many women. We’re all so exhausted all the time.

What does an initial consultation entail? How many sessions does the typical person require?

The initial consult is a 30 minute breakthrough session. During the session we’ll review where you are and where you want to be and how we can work together to get you there. Usually for weight loss oriented goals I’ll work with a client for 10 sessions over a 5 month period. It takes about 5 months for these to become permanent changes, similar to waking up and brushing your teeth, you don’t even have to think about it! This is not a quick fix plan. I also offer 3 month coaching programs for clients who are looking to take their already healthy diet up a notch, learn about all the unique food trends out there or have a specific condition that they would like to explore holistically such as poor digestion. Jump for more!

What are some of your go-to healthy food brands? I think it’s so essential to have a well-stocked pantry and kitchen – that is really the key to success. When we think about eating healthy we often think about everything we won’t get to eat but I work from a completely different place. I teach my clients that it is SO important to ADD in healthy foods you truly love that you actually want to eat.

I’m a big fan of Mary’s Gone Crackers, they’re totally gluten-free, made from great ingredients such as brown rice and flax seeds and are great for dipping hummus and black bean dip.

Eden Organics – their canned beans are BPA free and they even cook them with Kombu (a seaweed) to make the beans more digestible

Sunshine Burgers – everyone always wonders what my version of “fast food” is and these are it! They’re made from only 4 ingredients – brown rice, carrots and spices, cook up in 5 minutes, and taste absolutely delicious.

Hawthorn Valley Farms – I love their selection of lacto-fermented foods, the Kimchee one is my favorite. Fermented foods contain probiotics and aid in healthy digestion. There are so many great foods out there besides yogurt to get your dose of probiotics. These are crunchy and delicious and a nice compliment to my lunch time meals.

Do you have any tips for busy women juggling a seemingly endless amount of balls? How can they stay on track with a healthy lifestyle when a trip to the gym or anything other than take-out isn’t an option?

I always say to chose one thing to focus on that week so it won’t seem so overwhelming. For example one week you may decide to just focus on incorporating more dark leafy greens into your diet and that will be your primary focus. Another week you may decide to focus on chewing more. These little changes will add up over time and before you know it you won’t have to think of them quite as much, they’ll become part of your routine.

We hear a lot about how certain foods can effect skin health, hair, teeth, even how resistant we are to the sun’s rays. Can you share with us some of your favorite foods and how they relate to potential beauty benefits?

Green vegetables – These guys are the foods most missing in modern diets. Nutritionally, greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals. Benefits include: blood purification, cancer prevention, improved circulation, strengthened immune system, promotion of healthy intestinal flora and more. One of the first things I work on with my clients is how to get more of these nutritional powerhouse veggies into your daily diet.

Raw apple cider vinegar – so great for allergies especially this time of year! Raw apple cider vinegar clears up mucus, aids in digestion and even fights off illnesses. Make sure you get the raw unfiltered kind to reap the benefits. I recommend 1-2 tbsp/day diluted with a little water and lemon juice. You can also use it as a hair treatment to get rid of residue and build up!

Aloe vera juice – really helps get everything moving especially for the ladies ϑ Go slow with this one, a teaspoon to start and gradually increase to 2 tbps/day over time. You’ll definitely notice a difference in how your tummy feels over time.


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