#86 Positive Psychology with Amy O’Sullivan

This week we veer a little off the nutrition path to bring you Amy O’Sullivan, a Positive Psychology Coach from Rochester, NY. Don’t worry, this topic still pertains to nutrition and body image and, bonus, will help you learn little steps to improve you overall well being in life. We know that knowledge does not always equate to behavior change so we brought on Amy to discuss how you can use the strengths you already have to capitalize on taking the steps necessary to help you feel mentally and physically better.

About Positive Psychology:
Founded by Marty Seligman in 1998. According to the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. It provides researched practices, training and habitual patterns that have direct positive effect on overall well being. Positive psychology offers us the choice to question the thoughts that no longer serve us, enabling us to change the way we think by cultivating positive feelings. Unlike past therapeutic approaches, Positive Psychology places an emphasis on innate strengths and what is going right in one’s life, instead of focusing primarily on what is wrong, mental illness, or flaws. The field presents an opportunity to become the best version of yourself simply by changing your perspective.

About Amy:
Amy O’Sullivan is Certified in Applied Positive Psychology through the New York Open Center, a certification administered and based off of The University of Pennsylvania’s Master’s Program in Applied Positive Psychology. She received her Bachelors of Science degree with a double major in Psychology and Criminology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Amy was a scholarship athlete and captain for the University of Maryland Women’s nationally ranked soccer team. For the past four years, Amy has modeled in New York and overseas on a very competitive level. The two experiences have informed her interest in the study of Positive Psychology and the demand for mindset shifts in all arenas of life. Amy currently works with female athletes to align their thought processing to support performance, mental durability, and consistency. In addition, Amy works individually and at The Healing Connection, to introduce positive psychology concepts as a tool for eating disorders patients in recovery. As a certified yoga instructor, Amy interweaves the underlying principles with breathe and movement. Amy hopes to begin her Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology in the Fall of 2018 at the University of Pennsylvania.

Topics covered this episode:

-What is positive psychology

-How focusing on positivity helps improve hope

-Identifying character strengths and how to build on them

-What is “flow” and how can you get in it?

-How positive psychology differs from psychotherapy

-Positive psychology for improving athletic performance

-Breathing for relieving stress and balancing the nervous system

Comments? Reviews? Criticism? Head over to iTunes or Stitcher if you like what you hear to leave us a 5 star review and you will be featured on the podcast!

Don’t forget to hashtag #AdventuresofSassyandPearl and #NutritionGeniusRadio while you are listening!

Connect with us:

Laura’s Website: TheSassyDietitian.com
Marie’s Website: PearlsofNutrition.com

Show Notes:

Via Character Strengths Test

Marty Seligman- Learned Optimism

Kristin Keff- Self Compassion 

Barbara Frederikson- Love 2.0

UPenn Positive Psychology

Cory Muscara

Connect with Amy:


# 84 Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, CLT

You may remember Lily Nichols from previous episodes of NGR and because she rocks and just came out with a kick-ass new book: Real Food for Pregnancy we brought her back on the show so she can school us more on how to eat to grow a happy and healthy fetus! (Okay, if we’re totally honest 25% of the reason we brought her back is so Pearl could say fetus over and over again.)

Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her bestselling book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes (and online course of the same name), presents a revolutionary nutrient-dense, lower carb diet for managing gestational diabetes. Her unique approach has not only helped tens of thousands of women manage their gestational diabetes (most without the need for blood sugar-lowering medication), but has also influenced nutrition policies internationally.

Lily’s second book, Real Food for Pregnancy, outlines the problems with current prenatal nutrition guidelines and provides the evidence—930 citations and counting—that supports a real food diet to optimize maternal and fetal health.

Lily is also creator of the popular blog, www.PilatesNutritionist.com, which explores a variety of topics related to real food, mindful eating, and pregnancy nutrition.

Topics covered this episode:

-Why current pregnancy nutrition guidelines are outdated

-3 foods all pregnant women should be eating

-How to manage cravings, food perfectionism, and weight during pregnancy

-Pregnancy nutrition myths

-The 4th trimester

-Movement during pregnancy

-and more!

Comments? Reviews? Criticism? Head over to iTunes or Stitcher if you like what you hear to leave us a 5 star review and you will be featured on the podcast!

Don’t forget to hashtag #AdventuresofSassyandPearl and #NutritionGeniusRadio while you are listening!

You can learn more about Lily by visiting:

Website: Pilates Nutritionist

Instagram: @lilynicholsrdn

Twitter: @lilynicholsrdn

#78 Back for Realzzz Part 2

Hot Topics in Nutrition Continued

Team Nutrition Genius is back this week with a continuation of our comeback episode  to give you more info on some hot nutrition topics in the media and a lot of laughs along the way.

Topics covered this episode:

New happenings with the team

Our favorite book- Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan

Nutritional yeast- what is it, how is it made, and should you take it?

What foods are Sassy and Pearl digging these days?

[Tweet “Hot gas? That sounds like what comes out of my dog’s butt. ” -Sassy]

Comments? Reviews? Criticism? Head over to iTunes or Stitcher if you like what you hear to leave us a 5 star review and you will be featured on the podcast!

Don’t forget to hashtag #AdventuresofSassyandPearl and #NutritionGeniusRadio while you are listening!

Connect with us:

Laura’s Website: TheSassyDietitian.com
Marie’s Website: PearlsofNutrition.com

Show Notes:

Chimney Bluffs State Park

Designed to Fit Nutrition

Moms To Be Nutrition Class at Whole Foods Albany with Sassy 

Cookbook for Dogs (no promises on if these recipes are #pearlandsassyapproved)

The Real Food Dietitians

Deep Nutrition

Dr. Cate Shanahan

Weston A Price Foundation- info on nutritional yeast

Suggested brands for nutritional yeast: Bragg, Fronteir, Harmony House, Sari*

*please note this is not an extensive list of all good quality brands. Do your research on the product you are buying. Tips for what to look for are included in the show and in the document on the Weston A Price Foundation site linked above.

Coconut Rolls

Frozen Riced Cauliflower

Shout Out of the Week:

Girls Gone WOD Podcast

#70 Nutrition Through The Holidays

NGR70Nutrition Through The Holidays

Between a belt-busting Thanksgiving meal and holiday cookie exchanges these next few months can be disastrous to your real food diet. Tune in to this week’s episode of Nutrition Genius Radio for tips and tricks on how to make it through this time without the forgetting everything we’ve been teaching you!

Topics covered this episode:

How to stick to your real food goals during the holidays

Ways to distract yourself away from the food

How to handle your family refusing to eat “healthy”

…and more! Continue reading “#70 Nutrition Through The Holidays”

Mashed Curry White Sweet Potatoes

white sweetI am always preaching to people to not go grocery shopping when they are hungry or in a hurry and yesterday I failed to take my own advice. I was in a super hurry and instead of getting white potatoes I grabbed Jersey white sweet potatoes. I didn’t even notice it until I got home and saw the receipt that said “potato sweet white.” Uh, what? I had to Google what it is. For a full guide to the difference between sweet potatoes, yams, and the varieties of each check out this article from Marks Daily Apple. Continue reading “Mashed Curry White Sweet Potatoes”

How To Be Mindful at Mealtimes

mindfulness at mealtimes

One of the things I see many of my clients struggle with is being mindful at mealtimes. Practicing mindfulness will help you to derive more enjoyment from the eating experience and keep you focused to ensure you are getting exactly what your body needs, no more no less. Read on, friends.

Distract less, enjoy more
So often we eat on the run or distracted in front of our TVs, cell phones, and other electronics and miss out on the opportunity to fully be present at mealtimes. If you are shoveling food in your mouth while watching the latest Buzzfeed video there is no way you’re going to notice the subtle sweetness of the carrots in your salad or the texture of the inside of a tomato. To avoid distracted eating you need to turn off electronics, end phone calls, put books down, and avoid dashboard dining. I just take the fun out of everything, don’t I?

Savor the flavor
Except I don’t because when you aren’t distracted you get to savor the flavor. When is the last time you slowed down enough to savor the taste of a fresh tomato or inhaled over a plate of herb roasted vegetables? Mealtimes should be a full sensory experience incorporating the obvious senses of taste and smell (which together give us flavor) but also by noticing the texture of foods, hearing the crunch of fresh vegetables, and seeing the rainbow of colors real foods contribute. Make sure to chew each bite thoroughly to get the full experience. When you utilize all senses during meal times you will find yourself enjoying meals more and craving real, whole foods rather than processed junk that requires chemical manipulations to hijack your taste buds just for a little attention. #gimmegimmemore

Sit at a table
Each time you sit down to a table you are helping to establish the pattern that being at a table undistracted is what you should be doing at meal times. Sitting down at the table, preferably with the company of family or friends, provides key connecting experiences that make life worthwhile and helps to minimize distractions. Children and adolescents that have family meals are more likely to have a better diet quality which extends into young adulthood (1), less likely to be overweight (2), use cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana, have a higher grade point average, less depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, and better self esteem (3).  Even for adults, eating on the go is associated with higher intakes of soft drinks and fast food and lower intakes of health promoting foods like fruits and vegetables (4). When you don’t have to worry about balancing your plate in your lap or while you drive you have more time and senses to devote to the food itself.

Put your fork down between bites
This one could be a game changer for you and it’s a super simple technique to implement while eating. Most of the time we’re eating so fast we have the next bite on the fork ready to go before we’re even done chewing the first one. By putting your fork down in between bites and not picking it up until you’re finished chewing you are slowing the meal down and giving your stomach the time it needs to tell your brain your are no longer hungry. This will also allow you to do more of the next mindful activity.

Engage in conversation
Not to get all philosophical but the beauty of life is our ability to connect with others and, in my opinion, the best way to connect with others is talking over a delicious real food meal. Loneliness and isolation are emotionally unpleasant and can be detrimental to health by interfering with normal sleep patterns, increasing cortisol levels, altering gene expression, increasing depression, elevating blood pressure, and lowering your overall sense of well-being (5). Social isolation is also associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes later in life (6). Connecting in real life allows you to form deeper relationships than anything you could do over social media. What you think and have to say is valuable, so open your mouth and share your ideas with others. The more time you spend doing this, the more connected you will feel to your loved ones. In addition to social connection, you can’t talk and chew at the same time so by opening your mouth to tell your family and friends about your day you are again slowing down the process of eating and allowing your gut and brain to communicate. Eating isn’t a race so take your time.

Drink a glass of water with meals
Drinking also requires putting your fork down so this is yet another trick to slow yourself down during meals. The added water will also add volume to the contents of your stomach enacting the stretch receptors and signaling to your brain that you’re filling up. Plus, you need water and most people don’t drink enough.

Use smaller plates
Most of the time when I ask someone when they stop eating their answer is when their plate is empty, not when they are no longer hungry. By utilizing a smaller plate you can check in with your stomach at the end of a meal and ask, am I really still hungry? If the answer is yes and you are utilizing the principles in this post then by all means, have more, but more chances than not you will find yourself filling up after that small plate. I can sense the athletes out there saying “come on, Pearl” but give it a shot. Worst case scenario you just fill up your plate again.

Stop when you are not hungry, not when you are full
There is a significant difference in energy intake from the time you are no longer hungry to the time that you are full. Utilizing the above tips will help you to identify this time but checking in with yourself throughout the meal, perhaps when you stop to take a sip of water, will help you to ensure you are getting the right amount of energy for your hunger at that time.

What mindfulness activities is most helpful to you?

Which one do you think you need to work on more?

Let us know in the comments!

xo pearl2

Friday Shout Outs! Round 2


Hey friends! Pearl here to give you week #2 of our Friday Shout Outs! In case you have no idea what I’m talking about check back to last week when Sassy had the brilliant idea to fill you guys in on podcasts, blogs, and Instagram accounts that we like to follow. We want you guys to see, hear, and read the same things we are to make sure you are making kick-ass nutrition decisions and rocking your real food lifestyle. Continue reading “Friday Shout Outs! Round 2”

#45 Private Practice w/ Amy Hager

 Private Practice for Nutrition


Today we are so excited to bring Real Food RD Amy Hager to talk all about Private Practice for Nutriitonists as well as her NEW book! Tune in to this week’s episode to also here about the private practice journey of both Sassy & Pearl. Continue reading “#45 Private Practice w/ Amy Hager”

#44 Gestational Diabetes with Guest Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, CLT

lily nichols

Real Food for Gestational Diabetes

Today we are so excited to bring Lily Nichols back to talk about Gestational Diabetes! If you are getting ready for a fetus, think you will be in a couple years, or just know someone who will harbor a fetus eventually this (and our first podcast with Lily) is for you!

Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT), and Certified Pilates Instructor whose approach to nutrition embraces real food, integrative medicine, and mindful eating. Her fascination with the dietary practices of traditional cultures combined with an abnormal love for medical research, especially regarding prenatal nutrition, has led her to become one of the country’s most sought after ‘real food for pregnancy’ experts. Lily has a book called Real Food for Gestational Diabetes which can be found at at www.realfoodforGD.com. Continue reading “#44 Gestational Diabetes with Guest Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, CLT”

Can Juicing Just Die Already?

juicing dieHi friends! This is a throw back article to the Pearls of Nutrition days but we referenced it in an upcoming podcast on fruits (to be released on 5.6.15) so we wanted to bring it back for your reading pleasures. The topic: juicing. And how it needs to die. Read on… Continue reading “Can Juicing Just Die Already?”