100 episodes

The online food world can be a stressful arena of conflicting information. The all or nothing extremes of different diet trends can feel overwhelming. Join us as we talk about all of the things people hesitate to address with plant-based and vegan diets. We will call out hard truths, stand up for unpopular opinions and create new space for the fluidity many of us need when it comes to food. We are fighting to make food choices less stressful, even if that means pushing some buttons along the way!

Real Food. Real Conversations‪.‬ Sophia DeSantis

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 57 Ratings

The online food world can be a stressful arena of conflicting information. The all or nothing extremes of different diet trends can feel overwhelming. Join us as we talk about all of the things people hesitate to address with plant-based and vegan diets. We will call out hard truths, stand up for unpopular opinions and create new space for the fluidity many of us need when it comes to food. We are fighting to make food choices less stressful, even if that means pushing some buttons along the way!

    Where Am I Now?

    Where Am I Now?

    This is the 100th episode of Real Food Real Conversations and I can't believe it! I published my first episode almost two years ago, so much has changed since then.

    Listen in to hear updates of how we are doing and where we are now!

    Time can change people, especially after the last two years we have had. It most certainly has changed our family and life.

    Starting my podcast was something I decided to do after realizing life was slowing down with all happening in 2020 and business was going to change for me. Brand budgets were tight, the world was unsure of it's future.

    I needed something else and my awesome business coach (I interviewed her in the episode about exercise habits) suggested a podcast. I am thinking it's because I like to talk, LOL! She is not wrong.

    Starting a podcast helped me express the thoughts and ideas I had without the pressure of social media. I liked having a platform that I didn't have to worry about an algorithm for, I could choose what to say and how I wanted to say it.

    It was so freeing and really helped me get through 2020. I loved meeting so many new people, even if it was only online. But that was our new normal at the time, and it gave me avenues to be social when being social in life was harder.

    How Our Life Has Changed

    The last two years have taught me a lot. My life, my self, and my business have all gone through changes. Some experiences have been good, and some have been rough. But all in all, I am a better person today than I was two years ago.

    Changes in my business

    When the world shut down, unfortunately so did a lot of my income. I make the bulk of my money partnering with brands to share products I know, use and love with my audience.

    Because of the financial breakdowns with all that happened in 2020, many businesses put their budgets on hold. Which meant I my income was also put on hold.

    The good part was that my site traffic increased a ton as people now were home learning how to cook and bake, and having more meals at home. This was great and I loved sharing more with everyone!

    I even created some pantry meal videos and gave them out for free to my audience, this felt good because I love giving to the community. But overall, we took a hit financially so I had to make some changes.

    When you go through struggles, you learn a lot about yourself and are able to step back and see what it is you truly want.

    I realized how much I love food photography and the creative aspect in what I do, from the photos to the recipes. Which led me to a year long photography mentorship that I am doing now.

    I also learned that I love the health aspect about what I teach and got certified to be an ACE Health and Wellness Coach. I truly enjoy working with clients to help them meet their health and wellness goals! If you are looking for a coach that will guide you towards your goals and be by your side as you succeed, I'm your girl!

    Today, I am in a very good place with Veggies Don't Bite. Business is picking up again and I am focusing on partnerships that make me happy and fill me up. One thing that I have learned is that life is too short to be unhappy. Money isn't everything, you can adjust your budget to keep your mental health in a good place.

    Why I don't eat gluten

    If you have read about our journey with our diet changes, and what led me to start my business, you'll know that it all started with my husband's h...

    • 19 min
    Why is Fiber Important?

    Why is Fiber Important?

    With the obsession over protein, we often miss the mark on what we really should focus on, fiber. This is why we are talking all about why fiber is important with our guest expert!

    Fiber is a necessary carbohydrate for our body. Everyone needs to include it in their diet in order to maintain physical health.

    Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN, author of The Fiber Effect, has been a registered dietitian nutritionist for 27 years, specializing in heart disease, diabetes, sports nutrition and women's health.

    For the past 13 years, she has focused on plant-based lifestyles through inspiring and educating people about plant-based eating to optimize their health and the health of the planet.

    Nichole has been featured in Eating Well, Business Insider and Atlanta Journal Constitution. She is also a media spokesperson for The Weather Channel and local Atlanta television networks.

    She shares her passion through her website Purely Planted. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and rescue dog, Mariposa.

    Grab her Free 5 Tasty and Simple-to-Make Plant-Based Dressings ebook here!

    What is Fiber?

    Fiber is a carbohydrate that is not digested by our body. We don't have enzymes to break down the fibrous components of plants, although chewing does help a bit. But overall, it moves through us undigested and whole.

    There are two types, soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber becomes a gel like consistency when we eat it as it absorbs with water. Insoluble is more like roughage that moves through whole.

    Why Do We Need Fiber?

    Fiber is so important for our body. It impacts us both directly and indirectly. While many people think that fiber is there mainly for your digestive system, it does impact many other things as well.

    What fiber does for your body

    Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar and feeds healthy bacteria in the gut.

    There is now newer research coming out that shows how fiber is the foundation for gut health. Gut health is being linked to many things, from digestion to mental health and moods.

    Fiber helps lower cholesterol by decreasing the absorption of bad cholesterol and pulling some of it out of our system.

    Also helps keep inflammation down by feeding bacteria in our gut and diversifying it. This keeps inflammation down both short term and long term, which helps prevent lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes and also manage weight.

    This can also help indirectly by preventing types of dementia and cancers.

    Insoluble fiber helps to clear our toxins and carcinogens out of our body and pulls water into the large intestine and colon which helps you poop.

    What Happens if You Don’t Get Enough Fiber?

    Most of the population are not getting enough fiber, in fact more than 95% are not getting what they need. Women are supposed to get a minimum of 25 grams a day and men 38 grams. This is based on fiber's role in the prevention of heart disease.

    When your body isn't getting enough fiber, it can't function

    ConstipationStomach painsHeadachesBlood sugar swingsMood swingsCraving carbohydratesNot feeling satisfied with mealsOvereating leading to weight gainNot sleeping well

    Sources of Fiber

    Whole foods are the best source of getting fiber. You cannot get fiber in animal products.

    • 50 min
    Diet and Menopause

    Diet and Menopause

    Is there a connection between diet and menopause? There is a lot we can do as women while we go through this big change in our life!

    Join us today as we chat with a triple board satisfied OBGYN all about menopause and how we can tackle this time in our life to make it through in the best way possible!

    Having been through menopause myself (I was an early adopter yay me LOL!), this topic is such an important discussion to have. Learning the tools to navigate menopause in a way that works for you is the best thing you can do!

    Dr. Anna Cabeca, DO, OBGYN, FACOG, is triple-board certified and a fellow of gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. She has special certifications in functional medicine, sexual health, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

    For the past 20 years, she’s served 10,000+ women in her private practice— and millions more through her books, online videos and articles.

    When her own health took a troubling turn during menopause, she sought out the wisdom of healers around the world. She learned that modern medicine and time-tested natural remedies are not at odds. Working together, they create indisputable results and true well being. Using delicious, healing foods and simple lifestyle changes, Dr. Anna reclaimed her health and life.

    Fueled by her belief that every woman deserves to be empowered and in control of their health and life, she developed the Keto-Green lifestyle, which has helped thousands of women opt out of menopause misery and experience a joyful transition to the next stage of their lives. With her methods, you, too, can breeze through menopause into your “second spring”, feeling the best you ever have.

    What is Menopause?

    While many think menopause is a period of time, it actually isn't. Menopause is the actual day that is 12 months from your last period.

    There are different stages you go through around the day of menopause, these are known as peri menopause and post menopause.

    This is a time of neuroendocrine vulnerability, your glucose uptake increase and your progesterone plummets. This can begin as early as our mid 30's and comes with a multitude of symptoms.


    The symptoms during the stages of menopause can vary from person to person and in severity. Because we are all different, we can't pinpoint the exact things we will go through, but here are some common signs:

    hot flashesmood swings, depression and anxietyweight gainsleep disturbances and insomniairregular menstrual cycleschanges in hormones as seen through blood work

    Stages of Menopause

    As we said, the actual name menopause is the day that lies 12 months since your last period. Here are the stages that lie before and after that day:

    Pre menopause- this is the period before any symptoms of peri menopause begin. This is the time of main reproductive years for women.

    Peri menopause- this is the period of time when you are experience menopausal symptoms. It can be anything mentioned above and on average starts anywhere between 35-55.

    Menopause- the day that is exactly 12 months from your last period.

    Post menopause- this is the period of time after the day of menopause.

    However this all can be tricky because the terminology needs some work. For example, what happens when you've had a hysterectomy? Are you in post menopause even though you haven't naturally ente...

    • 49 min
    How to Go Dairy Free

    How to Go Dairy Free

    Learning how to go dairy free in an easy and doable way is an important part of your success! It doesn't have to be hard or stressful!

    There are many ways to love your dairy free diet, whether it's by choice or need going dairy free can be just as delicious.

    I don't have the best relationship with dairy. While I am not allergic, my body doesn't love dairy. That being said, I am really picky with my dairy free alternatives. So if I don't find something that tastes great, I won't eat it!

    I can't say I am totally dairy free, because if I want something and I don't have a great dairy free version as an option, I will still eat the dairy. But I try and do as dairy free as possible.

    If going dairy free is something you're looking to move towards, you can do it! There are lots of options, both store bought and homemade, to make your transition delicious.

    What is Dairy?

    Dairy is any food that is made of the milk products from an animal. There are many animals that produce milk, cow, sheep, goat are the most common. But there are other countries that use the milk from many other animals.

    Foods that have dairy

    There are many foods that contain dairy. Milk, yogurt, butter, cream, cheese, kefir and ice cream are some common ones. But milk can be hidden in many other foods so you have to be careful if you cannot eat it.

    Knowing the alternative names of dairy is important as there are many you probably wouldn't recognize. Some of the names for ingredients that are considered dairy but don't have the common names listed above are:

    caramel colorcaseincaseinatescurdscustardgalactosegheehalf and halfhydrolysateskoumisslactalbuminlactate solidslactitol monohydratelactoglobulinlactoselactuloselactyc yeastNisin preparationnougatpaneerpuddingquarkrecaldentrennetsherbetsimplessewhey

    Is Dairy Bad for You?

    Some people can tolerate dairy better than others. But just because you can tolerate it, doesn't mean you should be eating it as part of your regular diet.

    While I advocate for balance, and I don't think that eating dairy once in a while is a big deal (unless of course you can't tolerate it or have an allergy), it should be something you eat in small amounts.

    Dairy is the leading source of saturated fat in foods. Saturated fat contributes to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease and can increase your risk to things like high cholesterol and cancer.

    Dairy can also cause side effects for some people, for me especially I see it affect my skin. Whenever I eat dairy, I always have breakouts.

    How Long Does It Take To Get Dairy Out of Your System?

    Everyone's bodies are different. When trying to transition away from dairy, it takes months for you to see the full effects. But some sources say that after 2-3 weeks you can feel better with the effects of dairy making their way out.

    How Do I Transition to a Dairy Free Diet?

    Any time you make a change in something you are used to doing it will be difficult. This is because our daily habits are set in our life and we don't have to think hard about them.

    So changing those will take some brain power which takes more of our energy. But this doesn't mean that you can't make it easier, and one day the new habits will take over!

    Here are my tips for making the transition to a dairy free life easier:

    Start slow.

    • 22 min
    What Is a Raw Food Diet?

    What Is a Raw Food Diet?

    Many people want to know what a raw food diet is and how it differs from a traditional vegan diet. Our guest today is an expert on all things raw and is dishing out all the facts!

    It can get confusing keeping it all straight, and with so much information online it's hard to separate the real info. So we are making it easy!

    When it comes to deciding what way of eating is best for you, having up to date information you can trust is important.

    At the age of 28, Russell took a life-changing trip to Koh Samui, Thailand to clear up the acne that had plagued him for years. It was there he discovered raw food.

    Russell’s mission is to make raw food accessible every day. Whether it’s raw sandwiches or show-stopping dinner parties, your meals can be amazingly healthy.

    Today, Russell has had the pleasure of teaching raw food to thousands of people worldwide. Students have learned through his livestreams and online courses at therawchef.com.

    Definition of a Raw Food Diet

    A raw food diet focuses on food that is in it's raw state or cooked below 116 degrees Fahrenheit (although that exact number can change depending on who you ask). 116 degress is the temperature that food tends to lose the most delicate of it's enzymes.

    Raw chefs use different ingredients that are in their natural state or dehydrated in a dehydrator. With this they can create all types of recipes, from food like pizza, crackers and even bread.

    Sauces can also be made in raw form. The secret is using alternative methods like thickening with other raw foods (like sun dried tomatoes for a tomato sauce or cashews for a dip or dressing). Making things like crackers or pizza tortillas requires you to slowly crisp these foods in a dehydrator. It simply just takes longer.

    The Theory Behind a Raw Food Diet

    As we said before, food tends to lose it's enzymes at around 116 degrees Fahrenheit. So theories behind raw foods diets say that to get the most out of foods you want to keep the enzymes.

    While not necessarily backed by science, theorists saw our body has enzyme bank account and if you eat food with all it's enzymes in it, you don't deplete them from you enzyme bank account which allows your body to be in it's best state.

    Others will say that enzymes don't make it through stomach acid anyway so it doesn't make a difference. The bottom line is that you need to try and see what works for you.

    Everyone needs to do their own research. If you eat something and it makes you feel good, then do it.

    Is a Raw Food Diet Healthy?

    Whether or not a raw food diet is the best for you depends on your individual body. You need to listen to your body and what works for it. Some people can't digest things that other people can, so while eating some raw food can make you feel amazing, others may not.

    Ethically, you can't say a raw diet will solve all problems. What works for one person may not work for another. That being said, raw fruit and vegetables is filled with nutrients that our body loves and needs to function.

    Nutritional deficiencies take a long time to show up, so it's hard to base how healthy a raw food diet is on that fact alone.

    You also need to think about what satiates you, whether you can feel satisfied with simply fruits and vegetables or if you need other types of foods is purely an individual issue.

    Examples of Raw Foods

    • 56 min
    How to Master a Healthy Food Relationship

    How to Master a Healthy Food Relationship

    Having a healthy relationship with food is so important for our mental health, but it also affects our physical health. Tune in to hear our guest expert, a board certified pediatrician, share strategies and tips to keep you feeling amazing!

    Keeping a positive food relationship when you are trying to make dietary changes can be challenging, even when you are trying to eat a more plant-based diet. The online diet world is tough to navigate so leaning on experts to guide the way is really important!

    Dr. Yami is a board-certified pediatrician, certified lifestyle medicine physician, national board-certified health and wellness coach, author and international speaker. She is a passionate promoter of healthy lifestyles, especially the power of plant-based diets for the prevention of chronic disease.

    She founded VeggieFitKids.com where she provides information on plant-based diets for children. She also hosts the popular podcast Veggie Doctor Radio which boasts listeners from 96 countries and nearly half a million downloads to date.

    She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a diplomate of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, has a certificate in plant-based nutrition and is a certified Food for Life Instructor.

    Dr. Yami owns Nourish Wellness, a pediatric micro-practice in Yakima, Washington where she lives with her husband and two active sons.

    Her book is called “A Parent’s Guide to Intuitive Eating: How to Raise Kids Who Love to Eat Healthy”. You can learn more about Dr. Yami at DoctorYami.com and grab some of her free resources here!

    Definition of a Healthy Food Relationship

    While the meaning of a healthy relationship with food will be different for each person, it's really important that we strive towards having one. According to Dr. Yami, her healthy relationship with food is defined as:

    One the supports health and well-being and fuels the body but also fits into ones lifestyle, culture, brings pleasure and is never associated with judgement, guilt or shame.

    The journey and end result may morph and change as we go through life, but the main thing to focus on is that you are moving forward and not falling into traps that diet culture can bring.

    Why a Healthy Food Relationship is Important

    In the US, 70% of children's calories come from ultra processed foods. Let that sink in a bit. Offering a diet rich in all the nutrients is so important for a child's growing body. And doing so in a way that helps guide them into a healthy food relationship is just as important.

    By the age of 5 children have already unlearned tuning into their bodies. This is due to many things, but parents trying to get their children to eat more, finish their meal, clean their plates, etc is a big contributer.

    If we don't give our children opportunities to be in tune with their own body cues with relation to food is very damaging. They won't be able to tell when they are hungry, full, or even honor their body's cravings (which can be a signal they need a certain nutrient).

    If children don't have these self help skills when they become adults, it can lead to a range of disordered eating. Which then moves from generation to generation.

    However, if we help guide our children when it comes to food, we allow them to become adults with a positive relationship to food.

    What Causes a Bad Relationship with Food?

    There are many reasons why one would create a negative relationship with foo...

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
57 Ratings

57 Ratings

Angie Dasakis ,

So proud of this girl!

I’m so extremely proud of you Sophia! I’m so excited for your new season but in the mean time, I will be moving through all your season 1 episodes! Keep up the amazing work!

l6k12 ,

Podcast instead of music

I started listening to Sophia 2 weeks ago.
The podcast are extremely informative, helpful and enjoyable while I do my daily walk. I’ve only listened to about 8, but my favorite was about cholesterol. Lots of great information.
Thank you!

Teengirlmom ,

Fabulous podcast

Sophia has honest insight, humor, and down to earth advice as well as all of the awesome guests she has on her show. As a working mother of two teen girls I need all the help I can get! I have listened to her podcasts and followed her for many years and she is an inspiration. Thank you Sophia!

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