95 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!

    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
    How Foodways Plays a Role in Diet

    How Foodways Plays a Role in Diet

    While there are many things wrong with diet culture, a major issue is its effect on foodways and how it influences people into thinking the food from their culture may be deemed bad or wrong.

    There is no reason (other than a medical one) why you can't eat a food that is part of you and your culture. Just because our diet world likes to demonize certain foods, it doesn't mean it's right.

    Listen in to hear more about why this shouldn't happen and how to eat what makes you feel good while including all the foods you love!

    Dalina Soto MA, RD, LDN is a Spanish speaking registered dietitian. Dalina works as one of the few Spanish speaking RDs in the Philadelphia area and virtually across the country, teaching her clients how to ditch the diet mentality and keep their culture alive.

    Check out her Free Workshop: 3 Ways to Ditch Diets!

    What are Foodways?

    When we talk about foodways we mean what, how and why people eat as related to their culture or traditions. It isn't just about the actual food people eat but also about the reasons behind it, how it gets prepared, etc.

    Foodways encompasses the social, cultural and economic practices behind a person or groups of persons food.

    How Diet Culture Affects Foodways and Traditions

    Much of the science based training behind food (and diet culture), and how food affects health, is based on Eurocentric research (much like the history of BMI).

    This research doesn't include people in different countries, so how can we apply this science worldwide? We all know that even people within one culture are different in their bodies, the way they react to certain foods, what they can handle, etc. But yet, we apple the same science to them and to people in all different cultures.

    Instead of digging deeper and expanding our research, we apply stereotypes to all. The United States is a melting pot of cultures, it's the foundation of our country. So it's time to start being more culturally aware in many areas, especially when it comes to health and wellness.

    It is time to update the science to include things like social determinants of health, not just how food and exercise relate to our bodies.

    How to Eat and Keep Your Foodways

    One of the main things we need to start focusing on is the mental health aspect behind how we look at food. We need to move away from the diet culture message of what is "right" or "wrong" and away from extremes.

    Extremes sell, middle grounds do not. This is why we see extremes in main stream media and social media. But extremes also cause issues with our mental health, so it's up to us to control what we consume.

    There is a hierarchy of needs when it comes to our wellbeing: shelter and money are first. Then we can talk about nutrition. However, we often are made to feel like nutrition comes first and if you don't have the means then you are SOL (shit out of luck!).

    This is far from the truth. The sooner we can start using that hierarchy to help others guide their wellness, the more success we will have.

    First, start with reducing stress. Move away from what diet culture says you can and can't have. Honor what you have access to, and what you eat culturally. White rice is a great carbohydrate, and we need carbohydrates for energy. If you like it eat it, if you like brown rice, eat that. Both will provide carbohydrates.

    Try frozen and canned produce.

    • 33 min
    Vegan, Cruelty-Free and Clean Skincare

    Vegan, Cruelty-Free and Clean Skincare

    With all the info out there, it is hard to know what the best vegan, cruelty-free and clean skincare products are. But our guest today is an industry expert and is sharing all the info we need to choose the best products!

    Taking care of our skin is so important. It's the largest organ we have! And nothing feels better than high quality products that are good for your body and actually work. Which is why I always turn to OSEA Malibu for all my skin care needs!

    Use my link above and code veggies10 for 10% off your first order!

    OSEA began in Jenefer’s kitchen sink after a decade working as Spa Director at the historic Murrieta Hot Springs. Paired with her training in various healing modalities including Polarity Therapy, Acupressure, Shiatsu and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Jenefer was a thought leader in the burgeoning wellness space.

    Her desire to create active, vegan and clean skincare was revolutionary and what began as a personal passion soon evolved into a fully-fledged beauty brand, manifesting the seed of her idea into reality.

    What Does Clean Mean in Skincare?

    The term clean skincare doesn't have one set definition because it is not regulated by the government, so it is up to each brand to define what clean skincare means to them.

    In general, clean skincare uses products that are from the earth, sustainable and do not contain synthetic chemicals. They are often also vegan and cruelty-free.

    OSEA products focus on marine based elements. Most of their products are seaweed based.

    What Is the Difference Between Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

    When you look at a clean skincare brand, you often also see the labels vegan and cruelty-free. While these most often, and should, go hand in hand, they don't mean the same thing.

    Vegan means that they do not contain any animal products in the product itself. While cruelty-free means that the products are not tested on animals.

    Products can be cruelty-free but not vegan. But vegan products are also cruelty-free because vegan means that no animals were used at any point in making the product.

    Are Vegan, Cruelty-Free and Clean Skincare Products Best?

    Everyone has their own opinion on what products they believe are best. But over here, we focus on vegan, cruelty-free and clean skincare brands. They are more sustainable than those that use synthetic chemicals because they use ingredients from the earth.

    Typically, clean skincare tends to give people less of a reaction when using them. This is mostly because they don't contain synthetic chemicals and focus on earth based ingredients, however someone can react to ingredients from the earth as well.

    Reducing synthetically derived chemicals also makes it so that products can work with so many different skin types. Often times a person who thinks they have sensitive skin finds out it was just the chemicals they were reacting to and their skin is not that sensitive.

    Also, clean skincare tends to have sustainable packaging which is also another way to help the earth. OSEA for example packages their products in glass packaging.

    A vegan plant-based life is overall the most sustainable way for us to live, there is so much to choose from when it comes from earth!

    Ingredients in Clean Skincare Products

    Most clean skincare brands use ingredients from the earth.

    OSEA stands for Ocean, Sun,

    • 37 min
    How to Start a Vegan Diet

    How to Start a Vegan Diet

    If you're looking for info on how to start a vegan diet, you've come to the right place! Our expert guest is sharing all her best tips and tricks to make it easy and seamless!

    Change can be hard, but when you take it slow and commit to learning all you need to know it can be a lot easier than you think. Focusing on what works for you is most important!

    Having the info you need to make a change is also very important. We only know what we know!

    Monique Koch started her vegan journey in April 2010 because it was a way for her to protest animal & human exploitation, preserve the planet, and improve her health.

    Her purpose is to help everyday people learn about the benefits of vegan life with tips, recipes, and encouragement.

    After struggling to find easy recipes with accessible ingredients, she decided to start my YouTube channel to share all the creations she was making for herself and her family.

    A few years later, she started her podcast to have candid conversations with other vegans (especially other Black vegans) to inspire veganism in the Black community.

    Monique believes in “progression over perfection” and this compassionate approach gives everyday people the support they need to stay vegan for life.

    Make sure to pick up her free vegan starter kit!

    What Is a Vegan Diet?

    A vegan diet means you do not eat any products with animals. Veganism as a whole is not just about food though, it actually means that you live a life without any animal products.

    Things like leather, wool and even animal products in make up are things vegan people don't use. When the focus is purely on the diet part, it's more accurate to say you eat a plant-based diet.

    How Do I Start Going Vegan?

    The most important thing to start with is asking yourself why you want to do it in the first place. Is it health? The environment? Animals? There is no wrong answer, only the answer that resonates with you.

    As time goes on, you will go through moments that you really need to lean on your why. And your why may change! You need to make the decision for yourself because there is so much power in committing to something you really want!

    A great place to start is veganizing your favorite meals, this will give you something familiar that you can still eat.

    Focus on what you can eat and not what you can't eat. While many people think that you are eliminating so much, you are in fact adding in so much! There are so many new foods you will be exposed to and try that you may love.

    What Should a Beginner Vegan Eat?

    Other than focusing on finding vegan versions of your favorite meals, here are some ideas of simple meals you can make. The key is to keep it simple, eat things you love and making sure you are getting all your nutrients. Here are some ideas:

    Pasta: Use your favorite sauce or find plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy to make your favorite recipe.Smoothies: A great breakfast or snack and very easy to customize and add your favorite flavors.Soups: There are many options that are vegan, and you can even make your favorite non vegan soups using veggie broth instead of chicken or beef broth and adding veggies or meat alternatives.Find vegan versions of any staples you love like eggs, meat, cheese, ice cream, etc.

    Tips for Success

    The key to making a vegan diet part of your lifestyle is finding tips that work for long te...

    • 34 min
    Are Organic Foods Healthier?

    Are Organic Foods Healthier?

    The controversy between organic foods being healthier than conventional is ongoing. But what are the facts? Are organic foods healthier for you?

    I get this question often. I am unpacking all the details, and sharing my personal opinion about what organic means and making the choice to buy organic.

    Organic labels can often be used to spike prices and this is where food inequality comes into play. So does that make health overall an unreachable goal as well? This seems to be a common misconception.

    What Does Organic Mean?

    Some trains of thought out there say that organic food is no different than conventional food. That it's basically a farce and a sales tactic.

    While it can be used to hike prices, there actually is a difference with organically grown food. You can learn more about the details of organic farming in my post all about organic farming, but here are a few key points:

    If a farm grows conventional produce, it takes 3 years before it can sell it's produce as organic.Organic farmers focus more on the roots of the plants versus the end product, therefore they need to be more proactive and always stay steps ahead in order to catch an issue before it affects growth.The longer a farm is organic, the richer the soil is because organic farming has a mutually beneficial relationship with the earth as it gives to the soil as the soil gives back to the plants.Organic farmers have an approved list of substances they can use to treat issues that come up, however before they are allowed to use them they must show they tried physical, biological and mechanical solutions first.It takes a lot of time, effort and money to become certified organic so not all farms can make that happen.

    Why Is Organic Food So Much More Expensive?

    There is definitely a price difference between buying organic food and buying conventional. The main reason is that it costs the farms more money to grow organic food.

    While some brands may take advantage of this and hike prices even higher, most simply want to make a living!

    Do We Need Organic to Be Healthy?

    Overall, you get the same nutrients from conventional produce than organic produce. So on the nutrient level, there is no difference. However you do get less exposure to pesticides with organic produce.

    The question remains, does that exposure matter? Does it affect your health and cause issues long term? There isn't a hard and fast answer to this. Studies are not conclusive, even those that show a connection to pesticide exposure and health issues cannot be fully validated because people that tend to buy organic also tend to have healthier overall life styles and access to more health support.

    While a person can have allergies to certain chemicals found on conventional produce, this doesn't apply to everyone.

    The main overall advice is you should first focus on eating fruits and vegetables. The nutrients you gain far outweigh any risks of conventional produce. Then, if it's affordable and you want to eat organic, do so.

    Washing your produce and removing the outer leaves can even remove most of the pesticides used. Some also focus on only buying produce that is known to have higher levels of pesticides organic (such as celery, apples, grapes, tomatoes, strawberries and spinach) and don't worry about the rest.

    Benefits of Eating Organic

    There are benefits to eating organic when it is affordable and accessible.

    • 19 min
    Is BMI Accurate?

    Is BMI Accurate?

    Many health professionals use BMI to judge health and wellness, but is BMI accurate? Learn what we should actually use and what we need to know to make sure we are at optimal health!

    Overall wellness is guided by many things, and while weight can be important it isn't necessarily indicative of where we are in our health.

    As a country we are weight obsessed, this can lead us to having issues with our mental wellness. Which in turn can affect our overall health.

    Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS is a registered dietitian, nutrition therapist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and the author of Unapologetic Eating: Make Peace With Food and Transform Your Life. Alissa is passionate about advocating for people to reclaim the space to eat and live unapologetically.

    She is the founder of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness, a weight-inclusive nutrition practice that offers virtual counseling and online programs to help people liberate themselves from dieting, cultivate a peaceful relationship to food and their bodies, and live a more authentic, connected life.

    Her expertise has been featured in hundreds of media outlets and she speaks regularly at events, online trainings, and conferences around the country. She calls New York City home and spends her free time exploring the city’s food scene and searching for patches of green space to sunbathe in.

    Grab her FREE 5 step guide here!

    What is BMI?

    BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is a ratio between a persons weight and height.

    It is used to categorized people into groups of underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese and morbidly obese

    So many health professionals use this to evaluate and diagnose health.

    How is BMI calculated?

    The BMI equation takes a person's weight in kilograms and divides it by the person's height in meters squared.

    History of BMI

    A man named Adolphe Quetelet developed what was called the Quetelet index in the early 1800's. He was not a medical practitioner, but in fact was a mathematician, astronomer, statistician, sociologist and a eugenicist and had no interest in health.

    Adolphe developed this equation to study population models. The data that he used to develop the equation and the categories were taken from white European groups that were mostly male. Which shows how skewed it is.

    Meanwhile life insurance companies in the US needed metrics to determine their rates and began using these height and weight tables. Which again were developed using mainly white wealthy men.

    Their tables showed higher rate of death for overweight people, and even though later on studies showed the opposite, that they had a lower risk, they never changed it.

    Then a researcher in the 1970's was trying to find a different way to evaluate body mass, and he proposed using the Quetelet index which eventually became the body mass index and started being used by health professionals and researchers.

    Accuracy of BMI

    BMI is not a good indication of whether you are healthy or not healthy. It is simply a plugin of numbers.

    It's easy to change categories within the span of your life by small gains or losses in weight due to differences in the stage of life or season of life you are in.

    It is also found that when weight related feedback is given to people, they are less likely to make long term health changes.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
57 Ratings

57 Ratings

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!

Momspas ,


Sophia, is an amazing chef, but more importantly an amazing human. Great day to day tips, easy, tasty recipes and the cutest boys!!!

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