How Foodtrainers' Lauren Slayton Makes Nutrition Cool
- Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
Whether it’s tips for drinking enough water or ways to make happy hour a little more healthy, we count on Lauren Slayton of Foodtrainers. The R.D. started her counseling program after working on obesity research and realizing that nutrition isn’t just for the sick or unhealthy, it’s for everyone. We caught up with Slayton to hear more about her mission, favorite products and best advice.
How did you first get into wellness and nutrition? Tell us about your journey…
Oh my, how far should I go back? I was pre-med in college and then two things happened: I had a panic attack the night before I was to take the MCAT and I took the only course offered at my school in nutrition. It was a two-credit course, held in our fitness center (nutrition was very different then). I always liked fitness and nutrition but never thought of it as a viable career path, but I definitely didn’t want to be a doctor.
I enrolled at NYU’s Department of Nutrition and Food studies and it was love at first class. After getting my RD and Masters, I did obesity research at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Obesity Research Unit and counseled at multiple Equinox health clubs. In the fall of 2001, I opened Foodtrainers.
And what led you to start Foodtrainers?
Before Foodtrainers, I was working in obesity research. My favorite part of this work was the time I spent with participants. At my other job, at Equinox, I noticed that my clients bragged about their top fitness trainer, but snuck into my office. Nutrition wasn’t yet cool. I thought nutrition isn’t for the sick and isn’t embarrassing — so I called my company Foodtrainers.
What do you love most about working with clients and personalizing diets?
Selfishly, I love playing a small role in helping clients feel better physically or emotionally. My clients keep me informed, come to me with questions to answer and articles to read. I’m very lucky to have a savvy and interesting client base.
I’ve seen clients through marriages (and divorces), pregnancies and illness. I take pride in my nutrition nerd-dom and want to read and learn to support my clients through all stages of their lives. On a less sappy note, I like to help close the gap between what we “know” and what we actually do (eat).
My ah-ha was realizing that what felt like a hobby or passion could be my career. Over 20 years later, I still can’t believe it.
We launched the Foodtrainers’ podcast this fall (please subscribe!). I’m also in the early stages of writing another book.
Eat well, play well. I don’t think anyone needs to sacrifice social time or travel in order to be healthy, you just have to have a plan in place.
Right now it’s: Ethiopian coffee (highest polyphenols) and I meditate in front of my red light (Joovv). If time permits and I can coffee/meditate/run, I feel as if I can conquer the world.
I have an evening lineup of CBD tincture, valerian sleep drops and magnesium (our Foodtrainers’ Chill Pills). I use Tammy Fender lavender oil on body, May Lindstrom Youth Dew on face, Keeko oral care line, read two pages of a book and I’m out.
Salmon, asparagus, microgreens, olive oil, Brazil nuts, eggs and citrus fruit are in my regular rotation. I have kimchi or kraut or some sort of fermented veggie (love NYC brand Kimchi Harvest) daily for skin, GI and mood.
Your Biggest Wellness Struggle:
If I struggle with anything, and feel that may be a strong word, it’s being tightly wound. I have a go, go, go personality. That makes for being productive, but also a little “stressy,” as my acupuncturist calls it. I’m not the best water drinker and love a cocktail, but those are not struggles.
- Meditation with Headspace app
- Runs in Central Park or around the Hudson
- Oil pulling with Keeko
- Joovv red light therapy
- Lots of serums from May Lindstrom Youth Dew, Joanna Vargas Daily Serum, and Naturopathica Carrot Oil
- Kjaer Weis, Kosas and RMS makeup
- Jiva Apoha body oil
Best Advice You Ever Received:
My dad’s motto and really the best, “this too shall pass.”
Most Common Question You Get Asked — And Your Answer:
“I’m doing everything right, why am I not making progress?”
In a nice, extended way, I point out that you (anyone) might be doing a LOT right but there’s usually room for improvement. We just recorded a fun podcast explaining our answers.
What Makes You Feel Your Best:
Connection. Whether it’s with my husband, kids, friends, clients, dogs or perfect strangers. A run outside, massage or sauna are therapeutic but connection comes first.
One Thing Someone Can Do Every Day That Actually Makes a Difference:
We have a box on our food logs called “victories.” We have clients find at least one thing they did well that day. Try it, focus on what you’re doing right, you’ll be amazed at how much it changes things up. Success begets success!