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The Refined Collective Podcast

Nov 13, 2019

Today, I have my sweet friend Sarah Adler on the podcast. She is a nutrition coach, healthy lifestyle expert, food blogger, and owner of Simply Real Health. I’ve been getting so many questions on Instagram about meal prep, cooking for one, and best things to have in your pantry. I know everyone is always stressing about how little time you have to cook or how expensive it is to prepare meals. I am totally not an expert on that stuff, so Sarah is here to share her knowledge! I learned so much from her and I can’t wait for you guys to hear her wisdom.


Life Lessons Meet Food

·       “If you are intentional about it, it doesn’t have to be something that is stressful. Sometimes you just need a system. A little bit of structure can go a long way.”

·      What is Real food? Real food is food from the earth that has existed since the beginning of time. (Not Cheetos.)

·      You want to target the simplest version of food. Food with one ingredient or ingredients that a five-year-old can recognize.

·      “If you’re feeding and nourishing yourself well, that sets the foundation for being able to have a very productive and intentional life.”


Personal Food Journey

·      Sarah always remembered loving going to the grocery store and being healthy.

·      “It became this thing I was so obsessed with. I would read fitness magazines for fun.”

·      Looking back, she recognizes that her obsession was what is now called “Orthorexia.”

·      She almost backed out of a trip to Italy because of fear of not having food options. She did go, and she remembers having an epiphany when she saw two women eating out.

·      “The food was just the thing that brought them together. They were so much more about connecting and being together.”

·      “Maybe there’s another way that’s not as obsessive. There’s another way to live that has more joy and celebration to it.”

·      From there, she learned to isolate the difference between diet food (marketed for fad diets and losing weight) and real food (natural and actually healthful).


Assessing Your Food

·      The number one question to ask in regard to food: Is it real or not real?

·      “If it’s real, your body can digest it.” Our bodies are not meant to digest food you can’t pronounce or recognize.

·      “Are you being kind to your body?”

·      The next important thing is your mindset: Focus on serving your body, not punishing it.

·      There is a direct connection between what you eat and how you feel.


Evaluating the “Sexy” Diet Trends 

·      Keto, paleo, anything that cuts out an entire category of food is a red flag.

·      However, some people need more meat, some people can’t do dairy, etc.

·      “Everybody does better with real food, but everybody has different intricacies within that.”

·      Start with real food, then upgrade it to simplify and honor your body and what it needs. Find what works for you!

·      Pay attention to your body—quick fixes do not work.

·      Find what food you thrive with. It’s not one size fits all—that’s the problem with diets.

·      Trendy diets bring about mental and emotional confusion.


On Gluten, Organic Food, and Seasonal Produce

·      It’s not that gluten is bad, it’s that it is overproduced and overconsumed. It comes down to quality and sourcing. The same goes for dairy.

·      Tune into your body—how do I feel after eating something?

·      If your body is okay with gluten, make sure you are getting the best quality of it.

·      Organic is expensive—but always invest in organic products that come from animals. 

·      “If you’re ingesting antibiotics, even secondhand, that affects our own hormones too.”

·      Focus on seasonal produce—it’s usually the cheapest stuff on sale. Here are some graphics that will help you learn what is seasonal on Pinterest.

·      Learn basic techniques, like making a soup, and then everything else is interchangeable.


Cooking for One 

1. Get a functional set of pantry staples (quinoa, cans of tomatoes, beans, bag of frozen veggies, grass-fed butter, organic chicken sausage, brown rice pasta)

2. Buy versatile ingredients that can be used at least five different ways (kale, bell peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes) and pair them with a pantry staple. They keep a long time and can be put in smoothies, soups, salads, etc.

3. Make recipes that can be built upon when you have it for leftovers the next day.

4. “You can do a lot with not very much hassle, stress, chopping, or ingredients.”

5. For busy people (who like one pot meals): insta-pots are a game changer! It does require planning ahead, though.


Head over to to see her resources and courses! Sarah has a new book coming out on November 19th called Simply Real Eating. It’s her second cookbook (the first was Simply Real Health). 


“Your body deserves a little bit of love and attention.”


Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to to check it out! With you on the journey.