Real Nutrition’s Amy Shapiro Shares Her Wellness Secrets

  • Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
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Photo by Claudine Whittley Williams

I wanted to teach people how to eat in a balanced way for optimal health while living their lives no matter where they are.

Nutritionist Amy Shapiro has wellness in her genes. Her dad was in the health food industry since before she was born and her family owned a health food store while she was growing up. She quickly realized the healing power of food and always finished her veggies at dinner — but she didn’t pursue a career in the industry until later. After eight years in the corporate world, Shapiro went back to school to get her Masters and Clinical Nutrition and went on to start Real Nutrition, where she creates personalized nutrition programs for a wide range of clients. And of course, she’s been sharing her wellness wisdom on our site for the last few months. Get to know Shapiro in the interview below and look out for her next feature!

What led you to start Real Nutrition?

I wanted to teach people how to eat in a balanced way for optimal health while living their lives no matter where they are. The previous practice I came from used a lot of artificial foods and drinks to help promote weight loss. This wasn’t the message I wanted to send or to teach. Weight loss doesn’t equal health unless you are fueling your body with foods that will promote wellness. I feel really good every day and I contribute that to eating clean and exercising regularly. But, I get it, I’m also really busy and like to dine out and have a cocktail or two. So I started Real Nutrition so I could teach people how to live their lives, not their diets! I don’t think people realize how great they can feel, but I know how good it feels to wake up with energy and I want to share this in an easy and digestible way!

What do you love most about the work you’re doing today?

I love working with people and helping them to feel and live better. There is nothing that makes me feel better than when a client says “this isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.” Then I know I’m doing my job.

Current Mission:

I am still working with clients one-on-one, however these days I find my mission is often myth busting, as there are many messages and health trends everywhere and my clients are fairly confused. My message has not changed, I am still all about real food and creating a healthy lifestyle that gets results, promotes overall health and is sustainable.

Wellness Philosophy:

Real Food. Real Life. Real Solutions.

Weight loss doesn’t equal health unless you are fueling your body with foods that will promote wellness.

Morning Routine:

I wake up early, at about 5:30 AM most days. This is my “me time” before my kids are awake where I can think, focus and plan for the day ahead. I always start with a large mug of warm water with lemon and ACV (sometimes dandelion) and then I’ll head out to the gym, go for a walk or just get organized. Sometimes I’ll sauna, and only after I get my kids fed and ready for school will I have my coffee. I love my coffee black and hot so I prefer not to drink it when I am running around. I am most productive in the AM so I like to take advantage of those uninterrupted early hours.

Bedtime Routine:

I love tea and have that in the evening after I’ve closed down my kitchen. I have three kids and spend time with them doing homework, catching up and reading before I finish up my work load and then try to read. I do not watch much TV at all and I tend to go to bed by 10:30 PM so I can get up on the early side. I also take a decent amount of time washing up at night. I love flossing (I know, weird) and I have recently (in the past three years) moved over to a clean products routine that takes about 10 minutes and I truly indulge myself in that time. I use mostly Marie Veronique products and my skin is more hydrated than it’s ever been! The smells are also are amazing. I then take my supplements (vitamin D3, Omega 3 fatty acids, turmeric and magnesium glycinate) and hit the sack!

Fuel:

  • Coffee! I take it black unless I mix it with collagen peptides on mornings I can’t have breakfast for awhile.
  • All the fruits and veggies, I have nothing against a salad for breakfast!
  • Eggs - they are my easy go to meal, from breakfast on the run to a quick healthy dinner. I only eat them from the farmers market, the yolks are beautiful!
  • Dark chocolate - I’m talking 90% or darker (I love the bitterness of it).
  • Apple Cider Vinegar I drink it before starchier meals to help with blood sugar balance and to promote immunity during cold and flu season (yes I even travel with it!).
  • I always have Daily Harvest in my freezer for a quick smoothie for my kids and their Harvest Bowls which are amazing vegan meals that are hot and hearty (I prefer warm food).
  • Everything But the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s makes everything taste like a bagel without the bagel!
  • For supplements in the morning I take NAC and a probiotic and at night I take vitamin D3, magnesium glycinate, omega-3 and turmeric.

I walk everywhere and it is truly my meditation.

Your Biggest Wellness Struggle (and how you’ve conquered it):

I suffered from severe sinus issues in my early 30s and have always had eczema since I was a child. After a botched sinus surgery, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I did a lot of research and read that cutting out dairy could help decrease the mucus and inflammation in my sinuses (I was a HUGE dairy eater). I am now dair- free for over 8 years and don’t have eczema or sinus issues any longer. Not to mention, my colds are infrequent and they go away within a few days. I also started taking ACV regularly during this time thanks to its antifungal properties and it really helped. Honestly, my skin has never looked better!

Self-Care Essentials:

Exercise both cardio and strength training (nothing like a good sweat), infrared saunas (currently obsessed with HigherDOSE and their sauna blanket I keep at home), water, all the oils for my face, essential oils to help treat common issues, dry brushing when I can and of course flossing. Finally walking, I walk everywhere and it is truly my meditation. Sleep, this is something I got away without getting enough of for so long, now I aim for 7 hours a night. Getting to the farmers market on the weekends, it’s my happy place!

Best Advice You Ever Received:

Believe in yourself.

Most Common Question You Get Asked — And Your Answer:

What should I eat? Well that depends on your goals, your health and diet histories, your lifestyle and your why! Then of course we take a deep dive and come up with a personalized plan just for you!

What Makes You Feel Your Best:

Sleep, exercise, alone time, hugs from my kids, clean eating, tequila! and being outdoors. I’m not a beach person but put me in the mountains with lots of trees or on a farm and I’m the happiest kid you can find!

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