Comfort food healthy relationship to food

Comfort Food in a Healthy Relationship To Food

The other day I saw an “expert” say that Food is NOT comfort. I’m going to tick off all the other “heal your relationship to food” experts with MY expert opinion. For anyone to say that food is NOT comfort… They must have never had a meal that felt like “home.”

My grandmother’s meatballs COMFORT me and make me feel HOME. My mama’s fried venison and mashed potatoes COMFORT me and make me feel HOME. Tex-Mex from our local Mexican restaurant COMFORTS me and makes me feel HOME.

And I am certain you have foods that COMFORT you and make you feel HOME.

Food is ONLY Fuel

This idea that food is ONLY fuel is sh*t.

Food can ABSOLUTELY be comforting and nourishing to your soul. I have a HEALTHY relationship to food. I also find certain foods COMFORTING.

It’s important to acknowledge that certain foods DO bring COMFORT and allow ourselves to savor these foods and the way they nourish our soul. It’s also important to eat HEALTHFUL and for YOUR unique Nourishment Blueprint.


Can Comfort Food Fit in A Healthy relationship to food?

So… Here’s a CRAZY idea….  What if having a positive relationship to food is BOTH? NOT either/or. What if by acknowledging that certain foods do in fact BRING COMFORT, you are setting yourself FREE from shame, guilt and inner war? Because there should be NO shame, guilt or inner war when food brings soul nourishing COMFORT.
Now with that being said… are meals that make you feel home the ONLY source of COMFORT?  Heck no! There’s MILLIONS of ways to bring yourself COMFORT and you should explore that. Really.

Secrets of a “Normal” Eater

But here’s a secret “normal eaters” know. They know that they can eat a comforting meal with family at the dinner table AND feel nourished. And ALL they feel as they sit and laugh in good company is JOY and PEACE in their heart. They aren’t ashamed for feeling comforted by food or enjoying a meal that may or may not nourish their body as much as their veggie loaded salad for lunch. They simply eat until they are no longer hungry and ENJOY their time with family.  They also know they can feel COMFORTED by a cozy blanket and slippers, a warm bath or a lingering hug from someone they love or just a good book.

Food should be celebrated not feared because it brings comfort to your soul!

Love and goodness, Sarah

BTW!  If this resonates with you, feel free to share/comment below!! I would love to hear from you.


My name is Sarah Schneider and I am a holistic nutritionist. I help those who struggle with that one hook… a poor relationship to food… to help them bridge the gap between WANTING a health-centered life and CREATING a health-centered life for themselves.
NourishYourLife is a 3 month coaching program for mamas who want to discover their unique Nourishment Blueprint, Heal their Relationship to Food and Master Mindset for LASTING and SUSTAINABLE weight loss.


Discover Which Supplements are Best for YOUR Unique Nourishment Blueprint!

Hey NourishYourLifers!

If you have been joining me this week on the Facebook, then you know we have been talking supplements! Now while I am not a huge promoter of supplements, I do think there is a place for them depending on each person’s unique Nourishment Blueprint.

Oh! And!! Thank you for being soooo understanding about my little snafu with my first video being sideways! I will eventually win technology over and we WILL become fast friends but until then… thank you so much for your patience. 😉

So here’s the recap of EVERYTHING we have talked about on the Facebook this week.

DISCLAIMER: You should ALWAYS consult with your physician BEFORE taking any new supplements to determine if they are right for you. AND remember to discuss possible interactions between medications you are taking and nutritional supplements.


Day 1: Multi-Vitamin/Multi-Mineral Supplement

Here’s the deal. A healthy diet in whole foods “should” provide nearly all the nutrients you need for your body to perform at optimal levels and feel great. BUT… here’s the BIG BUT… life gets in the way sometimes and we simply fall short.

We just don’t always take in every. single. nutrient in the right quantities that we need for our unique Nourishment Blueprint every. single. day. Myself included!! So multivitamin/mineral supplements act like a little insurance policy and picks up the slack when we fall short.

Satisfying the nutrient requirements for your unique Nourishment Blueprint will also support a healthy body/mind connection. When your body is nutrient satisfied, it will not make all of those requests for more food in an attempt to meet those nutrient requirements.

Bottom line: These supplements are great if you are a relatively healthy person and just need a little boost.


I like whole food vitamins over synthetic vitamins. Whole food vitamins are exactly what they sound like, made from concentrated whole foods. They also contain a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, and trace elements that are beneficial to overall health and well-being. The body identifies whole food vitamins like regular whole food because it is whole food and metabolizes/absorbs them in the same way. Synthetic vitamins/minerals are formulated with each individual nutrient in an isolated form. Unfortunately they are not as bioavailable, meaning absorbed as efficiently in this form.

Easy on the belly

What I ABSOLUTELY love about whole food vitamins is that you can take them on an empty stomach! No nausea, upset stomach, gagging, vomiting, indigestion, etc. Just ONE happy belly.


DAY 2: omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil

There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids. Short chain omega-3 fatty acids and long chain omega-3 fatty acids.

Short chain omega-3 fatty acids are found in nuts and seeds like walnuts and flaxseed oil. And long chain omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like tuna and salmon as well as fish oil and algal oil. Algal oil is a plant-based, vegetarian source of long chain omega-3s.

Short chain omega-3 fatty acids like ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) do not deliver the same big health benefits as the long chain omega-3s. But short chain omega-3 fatty acids do have their own unique health benefits such as supporting healthy skin, hair and nails.

Long chain omega-3s have more of the health benefits that we hear so much about in the media. There are two types of long chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). EPA and DHA function differently and offer their own unique health benefits. EPA reduces inflammation supporting healthy cardiovascular function and joint health while DHA promotes cognitive development and maintenance.

While short chain omega-3 fatty acids can be converted by the body into long-chain omega-3s… the process is incredibly inefficient.


If you are a seafood eater and enjoy fatty fish like salmon and/or tuna, 3-4 servings a week can provide the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids. However, if seafood isn’t your thing, try a fish oil and if you are a plant-based eater,try an algal oil supplement. When selecting a supplement at the store, choose one that is molecularly distilled. Molecular distillation is a process that removes as many contaminants as technologically possible. Molecular distillation also allows manufacturers to concentrate the amount of omega-3 that goes into each supplement. So if you aren’t into swallowing several large capsules, check out a concentrated version.


DAY 3: probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that line your digestive tract and help your body absorb nutrients more effectively.

There are three really cool facts about the digestive system and specifically your intestines. 😉

  1. As you know… your intestines are the part of your digestive system. BUt what you might not have known is that this is the part of your digestive tract that actually absorbs the nutrients your body has worked so hard to break down! Cool, right?
  2. 80 percent of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract! 80%!! That is why a healthy gut = healthy body.
  3. You have a second brain called the enteric nervous system in your gut (intestines)!! And that second brain contains 100 million neurons! Yes, neurons just like in your head brain. Your gut neurons communicate with your head neurons to support a healthier body/mind connection.

Bottom line: The more good, healthy probiotics that take over the gut, the less bad bacteria… and that creates a healthy gut which helps with proper digestion, supports a healthy immune system and the best part helps your head brain and gut brain COMMUNICATE properly!


Choose a probitoic that has several strains of bacteria and that is encapsulated and released in the intestines rather than the stomach.


DAY 4: Vitamin D

I included Vitamin D not because it’s an absolutely vital nutrient that people are wildly deficient in (although you might be) but because I hear so many people taking massive doses of Vitamin D lately and well… you have to be super mindful of toxicity issues!! Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and that means if you consume extra Vitamin D, it is stored in the body instead of being released in your urine. And that my friends, can lead to toxicity (high levels that cause problems!).

So with that aside… Vitamin D IS really important in that it plays a role in immune support and aids in calcium absorption. Thus the reason you have vitamin D fortified milk. And it’s the SUNSHINE vitamin. Seriously… that’s what it is known for. It’s known as the sunshine vitamin because you actually NEED sunshine to be able to absorb and utilize it.

Are you deficient?

Ok, so are several reasons why some may not be getting enough Vitamin D. If you fit this criteria, make an appointment with your doctor, have them run your blood labs and see if you are deficient BEFORE taking an additional supplement.

  • You don’t get enough sunlight. If you live in a climate that doesn’t see much sun or have exceptionally long winters, spend most of your time indoors… than you might have a Vitamin D deficiency. This also applies to all of you who have elderly family members in nursing homes that don’t have the opportunity to get outside as often as they may have liked.
  • You wear sunscreen. I’m a BIG proponent of sunscreen and use a face moisturizer with sunscreen daily… but if you slather yourself in sunscreen from head to toe everyday than you might become deficient in Vitamin D. You don’t need a whole lot of sun for your Vitamin D fix. Even if you took a walk with your forearms exposed for 20 minutes a day, you would have plenty of sunshine to allow your Vitamin D to become bioavailable.
  • You have darker skin. People with darker skin need more exposure to the sun to get the same amount of vitamin D as people with lighter skin.
  • You don’t convert Vitamin D the way others do. Some people have inefficient conversion of Vitamin D with sunshine and just need a supplement.

Supplement suggestions

Ok, Everyone knows I LOVE Amazon Prime! hahaha So, I have done the hard work for you. Here are all of the brands that I have used over the years for each type of supplement above. Just click the image and it will take you directly towards Amazon! Easy-peasy! And if these brands don’t suit you, find one that works best for you!!





This is the one my kids take! It tastes delicious… really!


Vitamin D

Ok, this is the ONLY one I haven’t personally taken because I don’t have a Vitamin D deficiency. But the company IS reputable.

pasture raised eggs

Elevate the Quality of Your Food with Pasture Raised Eggs

pasture raised eggs chickens

I write a lot about the importance of eating quality foods because the higher the quality of food you eat, the MORE nutrients you receive from those foods and the LESS anti-nutrients you take in.

Anti-nutrients are the synthetic compounds found in foods that interfere with the absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Anti-nutrients can even interfere on the cellular level affecting proper cellular function. Eek!

You have heard the saying “you are what you eat” but when it comes to animal proteins and fats, the saying should actually go a little more like this… “you are what you eat, eats!” 😉

My mother brought me a half dozen of pasture raised eggs the other day from a friend who raises chickens on her property. These chickens roam around, pluck worms out of the ground, nibble on grass and rest in their chicken coop. See below! These chickens are sure livin’ the good chicken life!

pasture raised eggs chickens

When Mom sent me the pictures, warm feelings of abundance and joy bubbled up in me… there’s something special about witnessing animals raised the way nature intended. Seeing these pictures inspired me to give you guys the run down on the levels of quality in regards to eggs.

See there’s a concept I have called the Quality Food Spectrum. Conventional eggs, the cheapest eggs, would be on the low end of the quality food spectrum and the pasture-raised eggs would be on the highest end of the quality food spectrum.

This is not to say that eating a conventional egg is horrible for you! I am not that kind of nutritionist… But I do think it helps being well-informed to make the best decisions you can for you and your family.


These are your standard eggs from the grocery store and are they are the cheapest.


The unfortunate reality is that despite the picture of happy chickens roaming in a field on the egg carton, these chickens are raised in factories where they are crowded together in a small space either trampling each other or in an individual cage where they may not even be able to flap their wings much less have exercise. Some of these chickens spend their entire life without ever seeing daylight! They also may be fed antibiotics and hormones to keep the chickens “healthy” in such tight conditions. One bird gets sick… well they all get sick.

And I have to say this was the most attractive and clean picture of conventional “layers”. That’s what they call chickens in the industry who lay eggs, “layers”. Some pictures were down right gross looking and well… while that might be the reality, I wasn’t sure if you had your breakfast yet, so I thought I would tone it down a notch!

conventional battery hen eggs


These chickens are fed through automatic troughs with GMO-rich corn and soy based feed and these feeds can include “slaughterhouse waste”. Just the sound of that makes me wince; what about you? Slaughterhouse waste includes any “animal body parts cut off in the preparation of carcasses for use as food”… and that can come with bacteria, pathogens and any antibiotics or hormones the animals were exposed to before slaughter. Ick!! AND,  you probably recognize this already, but corn, soy and slaughterhouse waste is not the indigenous diet of chickens. Chicken’s bodies weren’t designed to digest and metabolize these foods. The health implications of this shows.


All natural eggs come from the same conventional chickens described above. Sad reality, sad quality of life. The only major difference is that the eggs marked “all natural” on the egg cartons are typically fed feeds without “slaughterhouse waste”. And if they are natural, they may also be free from antibiotics or hormones… but ALWAYS check the labeling. There are no FDA regulations for the term “natural”.


Omega-3 rich eggs come from chickens that are usually raised conventionally, meaning in crowded cages. However, because these chickens produce higher quality eggs and thus command a higher price tag, some (not all!) omega-3 egg producers do allow their chickens some access to the outside.


What sets omega-3 rich eggs apart is that their feed is vegetarian (so no slaughterhouse waste) AND the feed includes omega-3 rich flax seed. Flax seeds are a source of the short-chain omega-3 fatty acid, ALA, (Alpha-Linolenic Acid). Unfortunately, short chain omega-3 fatty acids HAVE to be converted by the human body to the long chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) in order for the body to be able to put it to good use. The problem is that the conversion rate is about 1% to 15%.

This is where the chicken comes in! The chickens are able to do the conversion work for you! They are fed the flax seeds that contain ALA, they convert the ALA to long chain omega-3’s EPA and DHA… and you get all of the added health benefits of the long-chain omega-3s in their eggs! EPA is an anti-inflammatory and DHA supports proper cognitive development and maintenance.

Their feed is typically free of antibiotics, hormones and steroids as well. BUT, always check the labeling to confirm!


Omega-3 eggs have 10X more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat and more than 2X the omega-3 fatty acids compared to conventional eggs. They also have 5X the amount of Vitamin D, 3X the amount of B12 and 38% more lutein.

Personally, I recommend organic, omega-3 eggs if you dont’ have access to pasture raised eggs! MORE, MORE, MORE nutrients!


Organic chickens must be raised caged free and provided outdoor access. Their feed  has to be made from all organic ingredients and be free of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides as well as no GMO or slaughterhouse by-products. This means they have LESS anti-nutrients!

Note:  Organic labeling simply means the feed needs to be organically sourced, it does not mean the feed includes the additional flaxseed required for extra omega-3. So check the labeling if you want to include more omega-3 in your diet.


I’m going to couple these because they are so similar. Cage free eggs come from chickens that are provided an open space rather than a cage or coop… but there are no regulations about how crowded they are. Free range eggs come from chickens that are given mandatory exposure to the outside. However there are no regulations in regards to the amount, duration, or quality of outdoor time… and a lot of chickens don’t choose to go outside despite being given the opportunity.

cage free chicken eggs


pasture raised chickens eggs

Pasture-raised eggs are as close as you are going to get to the chicken’s natural environment for commercially produced eggs. You can also purchase pasture raised eggs from local farmers or farmers markets. (They have the best deals!)

Pasture-raised chickens spend most of their time outside with space to be active and have access to a barn or coop. They eat the indigenous diet of a chicken, worms, insects and some feed (this may or may not be organic feed but typically is organic and it may or may not include flax seeds to increase the omega-3 nutrient content of the eggs).


You can tell how much added nutrition there is in an egg by comparing egg yolks… well at least in the United States you can! Did you know that egg yolks come in all shades of yellow and orange depending on what country you are in? Crazy, right?! Egg producers use an animal-feed additive which includes synthetic carotenoids which allows producers to create yolks in 15 different shades! And each country has their preference from lemon yellow in Canada to blood orange in Japan.

Here’s the really interesting part… While the EU tends to have stricter quality guidelines than the United State’s FDA, the FDA prohibits the use of artificial color additives in eggs.

What does that mean for you? Because there can be NO synthetic color additives, the various shades of egg yolks from conventional eggs (light, pale yellow) to pasture raised eggs (deep orange) represent the true quality of the egg.


I know I “talked” a lot about the environment in which the chickens were raised and their feed… but let’s talk taste… Pasture-raised eggs TASTE amazing! They have a deeper, richer, more “eggy” flavor. And that my friends is my official food review. 😉


One more thing… I know quality foods cost more. BUT, consider this.

If a dozen pasture raised eggs cost you $6… that IS ONLY 50 cents an egg! Seriously… have you ever actually sat down and done the math?!?! When you consider that it would cost you $1 for 2 eggs in the morning for breakfast… knowing that you are eating eggs full of nutrients and none of the crazy anti-nutrients found in conventional eggs, it makes the higher price tag a little easier to swallow (no pun intended!) when choosing quality eggs.

Consider this: How many times do you buy a bottle of water for $1 while out and about OR how many overpriced coffees do you buy that costs almost as much as a dozen pasture raised eggs?!

This week consider skipping your $6 coffee that probably has WAY too much sugar in it anyway, and try a dozen pasture raised eggs… and then tell me what you think!!


Buy the most nutrient dense, quality eggs you have access to and can afford to buy!  That’s it. Do your best with what ya got!

The History of the Fat-Free Diet-

The History of the Low-Fat Diet

This is not my typical type of post or since I am really just getting started, what I intend my typical type of posts to be. 🙂 I promise more rainbows and sunshine! Read on for the a brief history of the low-fat diet and what that means for you.

I think it’s important to look at the history of nutrition science sometimes. There’s a lot of contradictory information out there and a lot of us have given up on what is and isn’t healthy because of it. There’s a reason the medical community and the  American Heart Association have somewhat pivoted away from the low-fat, low saturated fat diet advice and started encouraging Americans to eat “healthy fats.” This is a fraction of one percent of the history but hopefully it will shed some light and provide greater perspective.

history of the low-fat diet

In the 1950’s, an epidemic of heart disease among relatively healthy middle-aged American men gained national attention. These men all had one thing in common-high cholesterol. John William Gofman , an American scientist, was convinced there was a clear link between cholesterol and Atherosclerosis, a cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up inside arteries and the arteries become narrowed and hardened. This idea that there was a link between high saturated fat intake and blood cholesterol with heart disease became known as the “lipid hypothesis”.

In 1955, Ancel Keys, a prominent nutritional scientist at the University of Minnesota began conducting large-scale clinical studies in an attempt to prove the “lipid hypothesis” correct. In the infamous”Seven Countries Study”, Keys recorded the associations between diet and disease rates between populations and individuals within populations.

Keys did not choose countries at random, a violation of scientific norms; he selected only those likely to prove the lipid hypothesis correct. Data was published from the United States, Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece and Japan because this data supported the lipid hypothesis. It was found that while total fat intake was unimportant, saturated fat intake was a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Critics have pointed out that Keys purposefully left out Switzerland, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany because these populations consumed high quantities of animal fats and yet exhibited low rates of heart disease. The data from these countries simply did not match the lipid hypothesis so they were excluded. Conversely, data from countries such as Chile where fat consumption was low, but heart disease was high, was also left out.

It’s incredible that scientific community not only refused to denounce this study but celebrated the findings. In fact, in 1961 Ancel Keys landed a position on the nutrition committee for the American Heart Association. In that same year, the AHA began recommending that the American public reduce saturated fat and cholesterol intake from butter, fatty meat, egg yolk, and full-fat dairy, replacing them with low-fat polyunsaturated oils and margarine.2

This prompted physicians to encourage their patients to adopt a low-fat diet to prevent heart disease and sent food manufacturers scrambling to quickly formulate food products to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

the 1980’s: Low-fat Diet and jazzercise

By the late 1980’s all health-conscious Americans were following the strict low-fat diet endorsed by the American Heart Association. It was a time of low-fat margarine, steamed chicken breasts, and fat-free SnackWell’s cookies coupled with spandex leotards and Jazzercise.

My family was no exception… My mother replaced real, all-natural butter full of the newly demonized saturated fat with low-fat, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, margarine. The marketing messages were clear. All-natural fats would lead to Heart Disease and chemical-laden, low-fat and fat-free substitutes created in a food science lab were something to be celebrated. Science had defied nature. We could have the same rich, buttery taste with little fat, fewer calories and zero guilt. This was healthy!

Margarine Spreadable Sticks

Do these bring back memories or what?

At the time, the average American didn’t know that there was very little evidence to support the low-fat diet… I would go one step further and argue that today most Americans are still trying to follow (in vain!) the low-fat diet without any knowledge that the data is flawed.

scientific data

While more Americans are consuming less saturated-fat than ever, we are the unhealthiest population we have ever been. But in case you want to see the scientific data, check these charts out below. WOW!


Source: Steve Guyenet (Harvard Law) “The American Diet” 2012 TED Talk

I can only imagine what this chart would look like from 2009 to 2016. This is what I find so interesting… Butter and lard rich in saturated fats are at an all-time-low despite all of the talk that Americans are consuming too much saturated fat while polyunsaturated oils are at an all time high.

What is even more telling is the chart below. Plant-based polyunsaturated oils (soybean, corn, and sunflower), the oils promoted by the American Heart Association,  is at an all- time-high and so is obesity, heart disease and diabetes.





CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation

Heart Disease

I would love to provide a chart of the Long-Term Incidence of Heart Disease but after an arduous search, I don’t think it exists. There are a lot of charts that span 40 years showing the decline of heart disease related deaths but let’s be honest, that’s not the same thing. Of course heart disease related deaths are the lowest they have ever been; it’s directly proportional to the rise in incredible, life-saving, medical interventions.

But I can tell you this, according to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women with about 610,000 people dying of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

Correlation Does NOT Equal Causation

Now I know that correlation does NOT equal causation. But, maybe it’s not as simple as the more fat we eat, the more we weigh and the unhealthier we are. Take a look at the U.S. Sugar consumption. Scroll up and compare the other charts. If we transposed all the data onto one chart… I believe the trendline would be quite telling.

We also have to consider the American philosphy of nutrition. Once we were told fat is “bad”, we avoided fat at all costs but gorged on foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, eating endless boxes of SnackWell fat-free cookies without regard to the volume of calories consumed.


Business Insider. “How Much Sugar Americans Eat”

my thoughts

The way I see it, there are a number of contributing factors to heart disease. And unfortunately, the science just doesn’t prove that by simply reducing the dietary intake of saturated fat, will reduce risk of heart disease. We have had half a century to prove Ansel Keys right by eating a low-saturated fat diet; Americans eat lower saturated fat as evidenced in the chart above and yet we are the unhealthiest population we have ever been.

Always with you,  Sarah

Comment Below! Tell me about your experiences with the low-fat diet. Challenges? Successes? I’d love to hear from you.  


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