In this inspiring interview, The Paleo Mom, Sarah Ballantyne, shares her healthy eating tips + favorite products, including her new AIP Collagen Blend with Vital Proteins.
This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Welcome back to the In Her Shoes series, where we share inspiring interviews with influential experts in health, nutrition and lifestyle.
Whenever I meet healthy, beautiful, successful women, I’m always dying to know what it’s like to walk in their shoes. What do they eat? What products do they use? What’s their routine? I’m obsessed with other peoples’ stories and love sharing uplifting women with y’all!
Today we’re chatting with Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D, of The Paleo Mom, a family-centric food and science blog.
GETTING TO KNOW Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom
Today, Sarah puts her medical biophysics doctorate degree to good use–after spending four years researching critical care medicine, innate immunity, gene therapy and cell biology, Sarah is now an internationally-recognized healthy advocate.
She's co-host of the syndicated top-rated The Paleo View Podcast, New York Times bestselling author of three books (The Paleo Approach, The Paleo Approach Cookbook and The Healing Kitchen), and creator of the online program Go To Bed.
What really resonated about Sarah's story with me is how her career was driven by her own health journey (something I can definitely relate to).
Related: How I Healed My Body With Food
Not only did Sarah lose 120 pounds using both diet and lifestyle to mitigate and reverse a dozen diagnosed health conditions (including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, IBS, acid reflux, migraines, anxiety, asthma, allergies, eczema, psoriasis and an autoimmune skin condition called lichen planus), but her background in science makes her intimately familiar with how the foods we eat and the lifestyle choices we make (including sleep, stress and exercise) interact with our guts, immune systems, and hormones to influence health.
In fact, Sarah has recently teamed up with one of my very favorite brands, Vital Proteins, to release a new AIP compliant blend of collagen protein that packs a whopping 11 organic fruits and vegetables, 20 grams of collagen protein (amazing for skin, hair, nails, digestion, joints!), 6 grams of fiber and 300% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C (hello, immunity boost!).
Needless to say, I couldn’t be more excited that Sarah is here with Root + Revel–I know that you’re going to find so many amazing healthy living tips in this interview!
So let’s get into it; let’s take a peek at what it’s like to spend a day walking in Sarah Ballantyne’s shoes.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST 30 MINUTES OF YOUR DAY LIKE?
I wake up about 6, get dressed in my work-out clothes and head downstairs to make coffee. It's usually an Americano with Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Pure Indian Foods Coffee ++ (about a teaspoon), which I blend up and drink hot.
Then my husband and I get my daughters up and ready for school. I pack their lunches while they eat breakfast, they practice piano while I sip my coffee, and then we hop in the car. After I drop them off, I go to my morning CrossFit class.
SHOWER TIME! WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO PRODUCTS?
I've been using Morroco Method International Hair Care products for several years now and LOVE the way my hair feels when I use them. They're made from all-natural ingredients like mud and seaweed, but somehow they work better than any shampoo I've ever tried.
WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL BREAKFAST?
If I'm in a rush, I grab an Epic Beef Apple Bacon bar or Epic Salmon Bites and mix up a glass of Vital Protein's Collagen Veggie Blend on the way out the door. If I have a bit more time, a typical breakfast is homemade soup or leftovers from last night's dinner.
RELATED: BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP FOR BREAKFAST
ARE YOU A TEA OR COFFEE DRINKER?
I just really love hot beverages! I have one cup of coffee first thing in the morning and then a cup or two of black or green tea mid-morning. After that, I switch to herbal tea which I sip most of the day; my favorite is Klio's Greek teas.
I sometimes drink coconut water after a tough workout, and I also drink lots of still or sparkling water. I always look for a mineral rich water to up my nutrient intake, so I add Trace Minerals Electrolyte Concentrate drops to filtered tap water or choose a mineral-rich sparkling water like Gerolsteiner.
WHAT’S YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE?
I work out at a CrossFit box with a trainer for 75 minutes 4 times per week. It allows me to prioritize exercise but make sure I can customize them to fit my stress and sleep levels. I also love to walk outside with my kids and I work at a treadmill desk.
TIME TO GET READY! WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO BEAUTY AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS?
Lately I am loving the all-natural makeup line from Araza Beauty! For skincare I'm testing a new line that my medical esthetician is developing. I'm hoping I can share more about her awesome work soon!
WHAT’S IN YOUR MEDICINE CABINET?
I work with my functional medicine practitioner to do targeted supplementation based on my individual needs, which I think is really important! There is no one-size-fits-all approach to supplementation.
I will say that the one supplement I've taken consistently for years now is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. It's made a real difference in my hair, skin and nails. Lately I've been switching it up with my new collaborative product with Vital Proteins, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne's Collagen Veggie Blend.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ON-THE-GO SNACKS?
- Epic Bars
- Paleo Angel Power Balls
- Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato Chips
- Collagen Peptides Stick Packs
- Smoked Oysters
- Inka Chips Plantain Chips
- Sacha Inchi Seeds
- Brazil Nuts
WHAT’S A TYPICAL LUNCH LIKE FOR YOU?
I like a really simple lunch of canned oysters or canned smoked sardines, Plantain Chips and some cut raw veggies like carrots, cucumbers or plain green leaf lettuce (yes, I eat that plain and love it!). I usually work through lunch, so finger foods are where its at for me!
WHEN YOU’RE GROCERY SHOPPING, WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU AVOID ON THE LABEL?
My family and I are gluten and (with the exception of ghee) dairy free.
When I'm shopping at the grocery store, one of the most common things I try to avoid is processed vegetable oils. They're very inflammatory and unfortunately, sometimes it seems like they're in nearly everything. This might show up on labels as ingredients like canola oil, vegetable oil or even soybean, safflower or sunflower oil. Instead I look for avocado oil, olive oil, palm oil or coconut oils.
I also completely avoid any artificial food dyes, artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup.
WHAT’S IN YOUR PANTRY?
My pantry is so important that I have two! Beyond the snacks I mentioned above and a huge collection of spices and vinegars, a variety of dried fruit and nuts, a variety of canned seafood, and several varieties of seaweed, here's what I stock:
- healthy oils and fats (like lard, tallow, macadamia nut oil, etc.)
- fish sauce (I add a teaspoon or two to almost everything I make)
- gluten-free flours (like Otto's Cassava flour, almond flour, coconut flour, etc.)
- coconut milk/coconut cream
- shelf-stable bone broth from Kettle & Fire
- I also have snacks for my kids like Clif Kit bars and Chomperz (which contain rice flour, but work well for them)
- high-quality dark chocolate
RELATED: HOW TO STOCK A REAL FOOD PANTRY
DINNER TIME! IF YOU’RE EATING OUT, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR ON MENUS TO STAY HEALTHY?
We rarely eat out. I enjoy cooking, it's cheaper, and we don't need to worry about gluten cross-contamination.
If I do, it's usually when I'm traveling, and I like to look for places that prioritize high-quality meat like grass-fed beef, and local and organic veggies are always a plus! This is getting so much easier as the farm-to-table movement gains steam.
WHAT’S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
My podcast partner, Stacy, and I have a running joke that I'm always reading some sort of dystopian teen romance novel, so that's usually what's loaded into my kindle. A researcher's gotta give her brain a break sometimes, you know?
BED TIME! WHAT’S YOUR NIGHTLY ROUTINE?
Sleep is one of my number 1 health priorities. I typically go to bed between 9 and 10 p.m, which means that by 8:30pm, I'm starting to wind down and relax.
I like to foam roll or stretch before bed and make sure I'm wearing my Swannies (blue-light blocking glasses) for several hours before bed, especially if I have to look at a screen before I start getting ready for bed time!
Coconut milk ice cream with homemade coconut oil magic shell.
FAVORITE HEALTHY INDULGENCE?
A few squares of high-quality dark chocolate or a Paleo Treat.
FAVORITE PRODUCT THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO TRY?
Right now my Vital Proteins collaborative product, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne's Collagen Veggie Blend, is my FAVORITE new product! I'm really proud that we packed 11 organic fruits and veggies, 20 g of collagen protein and 6 g of fiber into this blend.
There's no added sugars, sweeteners, dyes, flavorings, or emulsifiers and it easily stirs into a glass of water! I know it's going to help so many people improve the nutrient density of their diets, and it's very simple to incorporate into your daily routine!
And that’s a wrap. HUGE thanks to Sarah Ballantyne for sharing her story with us.
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust.