Meet haute health pioneer, Robyn Youkilis:
She's a Holistic Health Coach and her company is called Your Healthiest You. Robyn doesn't just tell you how to eat, she shows you how and teaches you why ingredients matter. She's helping me become more health food conscious and can do the same for you by demystifying superfoods, juices and crazy looking things that taste amazing! The truth? Fitness is lackluster without energy boosting nutrients and most of us are not eating right to support our workouts.
Robyn got her start through a love of cooking and exploring local farmers markets. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and now helps her clients enhance their lives with energy, stamina, safe weight-loss and glowing skin. Oh yeah, and happiness! Robyn believes healthy eating is a balance of smart nutrition and a self-examined lifestyle. She injects fashion & trends into food coaching to make it exciting, one of the many reasons why I love her!
Based in NYC, Robyn consults with clients everywhere (in person/by phone). She teaches monthly small group cooking classes out of her apartment and shows off her skills at all kinds of cool wellness events. She's the next Rachel Ray in the making with a healthier, haute spin on how to eat right.
OK, LET'S GET FOOD TRENDY!
I asked Robyn a ton of questions and here's what she had to say...
On how a Holistic Health Coach is diff from a nutritionist:
"This is #1 question I get asked. The main difference is that I don't come from a place of calories, fat and numbers. I don't deal with that. It's more about how you feel and what's right for your unique body. It's much more than a breakdown of how many calories you should have that day. It's really what makes you feel the best."
On what's fashionable about what she does:
"Nothing is more fashionable than feeling empowered to know the right foods for your unique body that help you look and feel your absolute best. I get to educate people about cool and exotic ingredients like agave nectar, coconut oil, acai berries and superfoods like spirulina. People are reading about all this stuff and want to know more. I get to tell my clients if it's right for them, how to add it to their diet and where to buy it. The more my clients learn about food and think about it in a healthier way--even as far as ordering when eating out--they start to lose extra weight without even trying."
On why it's about more than weight loss:
"I have clients who have lost 5 to 50 pounds. Even the 5 pound clients are excited about their weight loss because they had never been able to lose those 5 pounds before. The major thing is the whole life change...you don't realize it but food changes everything. My clients start with food and then begin to see how other things start to change...job, relationships, and so on."
On the fashion industry buzzkill:
"There's too much focus on calories, fat grams and carbohydrates rather than what your body needs. Carbs are a great example because they've gotten such a bad rap but your body runs on whole grains. Having brown rice everyday will change your life. It's a whole complete food that keeps you grounded. The fashion industry discourages thinking about these types of whole foods that way and it's really just about what makes you thin. You want to think what will make you healthy. If you're healthy, most likely you're going to be at a really good weight."
"You can do anything with food. Healthy fats will make your hair look really shiny. Avocado, coconut oil...they also affect your skin and nails."
On what she excels at:
"Getting people in the kitchen and showing them that it doesn't have to be daunting. What I do is break down food in simple ways, demystify the kitchen and local health food stores, and then get people to plug into their intuitive cooking brain. I like to ask my clients, 'what's 1 thing that you can do?'. Whether it's putting extra spinach in your omelette or having less cheese. Start there and build. That's my specialty...finding those little ways."
On food that will elevate your life & workout:
- Green tea - "It has more antioxidants than any trendy fruit out there. Find a kind that you love and be sure to steep the tea bag in very hot water, not boiling. Boiling green tea gives it a bitter flavor. I love Yogi Tea's Kombucha flavor. Having a cup of tea is incredibly nourishing, it's like a mini time-out for your soul."
- Elevate with cooking oils - "I'm totally digging on Nutiva's cold pressed coconut oil. Coconut is great for your skin and body and actually really good for your metabolism. It has a very high cooking temperature (perfect when you don't want to use olive oil) and is great for any type of stir fry or saute. Adding some high quality fat to your meal will make you feel full and keep you from snacking into the night."
- A sweet potato a day will keep the sugar cravings away - "It's true! I have tested this out on myself countless times. One of the best way to combat sugar cravings is to incorporate more naturally sweet foods into your routine. I like to bake 2 or 3 sweet potatoes on sunday so i have them ready for the week. I'll chop and add them to green salads, quinoa dishes or eat one all on it's own. You can vary with different types of sweet potatoes (japanese sweet potatoes in particular are especially delish) and the same is true for other dense sweet vegetables such as winter squashes, beets and carrots"
On her client relationships:
"I get text and BBM messages from my clients with photos that say they just tried their first green juice and liked it. It just makes me feel so proud."
On working with women:
"85% of my clients are women. I love empowering women to know what's right for their bodies so that they won't need me one day and they can get off that rollercoaster of good and bad eating cycles. I give them the tools to take care of themselves in the best way possible."
On her role models:
"Michael Polin--he's taken the health food movement and broken it down into simple steps for the masses. He's really funny and charming. Then there's Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of my school. He's leading a huge movement by helping more people become health coaches."
On how to become a Holistic Health Coach (like her):
"The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is an amazing place because not only do they give you the info but they help you start your business. Find your community! Go into your local health food store, talk to the people that work there. Pick up flyers. Go to health & wellness events happening where you live. I like the Norma Kamali Wellness Wednesday events. And find a mentor."
On her favorite health food read:
You Are What You Eat - "It's very chic. Every page is brightly colored and it's a great resource because it's got great foods and ingredients for you to focus on. If you have a lot of white film on your tongue, it tells you why and connects it to what's missing from your diet."
On where to find a killer apron:
"Personally, I love to search thrift stores and flea markets for vintage aprons. Jessie Steele has adorable ones too."
On taking precautions with energy bars:
"Beware of misleading energy bars! Snack bars are a great on the go pre-workout snack but be sure to always read the label of your chosen bar. You can end up with more sugar than 2 starbucks lattes! Healthy energy bars that I like are: Larabars, Macrobars, Organic Food Bars, Green Plus and Pure Bars."
On protein supplements and drinks:
"Drinks like Muscle Milk are not made from nature. We're all really protein obsessed and we don't need as much animal protein as we think we do. Our bodies are not designed to break down that much protein. But a good sign that you're not getting enough protein is that you're having sugar cravings or feeling tired."
On her all-time favorite workout (you know I had to ask!):
On the reality of making time for all this food stuff:
"Schedule time with yourself the same way you would any other obligation. In our busy fit-everything-in schedules we often forget to make appointments with the most important person - ourselves! Set a date each week in your calendar just for you. Incorporate grocery shopping, food prep and cooking in a way that feels good and not rushed. Take the time to learn and practice one day a week. Get started by joining my FREE tele-class on Wednesday. You can call in from anywhere and you will definitely learn something new."
On how to get started for FREE:
CHECK OUT ROBYN'S FREE TELE-CLASS ON WEDNESDAY!
How to Eat for Out of this World Energy - Wed, March 2nd @ 8pm
In this FREE tele-class led by Robyn Youkilis, you'll learn how to:
- Feel vibrant and energized for your day AND your night!
- Get that booty into the gym
- Have more clarity and focus at your job
- Choose foods that naturally boost your energy
- Drink coffee in a healthier way