In this inspiring interview, Sarah Newman–Root + Revel's very own Business Manager–shares her healthiest tips for managing conditions like Leaky Gut, insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances, plus how to eat a modified Keto diet.
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 Newman, Root + Revel's Business Manager since June 2016. Sarah works mostly behind the scenes to manage R+R's partners like our sponsors and affiliates, helps with writing blog posts, social media and a whole lot more… and today, she's in the spotlight so you can start to get to know this integral member of the R+R team.
Truly, I can't say enough wonderful things about Sarah–she has the most radiant energy, soothing voice that instills instant peace and calm, and she is the very definition of kind, a gentle soul if there ever was one. Not to mention the fact that she saves me on the daily with her incredible work ethic, writing skills, brilliant ideas and organization prowess. I am SO stinking lucky to have her on my team.
So let's get to it, shall we? Meet Sarah!
GETTING TO KNOW SARAH NEWMAN
With a psychology degree and background in life coaching and working as the Project Manager for a multinational personal development organization, Sarah is fascinated by anything related to self-development, personal empowerment, and spiritual growth.
She also adores entrepreneurship and online business, so she's currently working on blending these passions together with the launch of her own podcast called Radically Radiant Life that will encourage women to live their most authentic, inspired lives while building supportive community together.
Sarah was never interested in health and ate a Standard American Diet until about 10 years ago, when she discovered that she had a gluten intolerance. Since then, she's been learning more about what's really in our food and environment, and was completely appalled as she uncovered the truth about the toxic world we live in today.
She–like Kate–has struggled with multiple health issues, including Leaky Gut, subclinical hypothyroid and PCOS, insulin resistance, estrogen dominance, MTHFR and many food intolerances. While not all of her conditions are fully healed, she's come a long way and overall feels better than she has in many years.
Sarah is always trying new things when it comes to health and wellness. She's experimented with many diets including vegetarian, vegan (for almost 3 years–she even had her own vegan blog!), and most recently Keto for about 8 months. Today she loosely eats a modified Keto diet with less saturated fats and a bit more carbs than traditional Keto (more on this below).
Sarah has a hunger for truth and loves getting to support the mission of R+R, spreading awareness so people can live their healthiest, most vibrant and joyful lives. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her cat, Kiwi.
Let’s take a peek at what it’s like to spend a day walking in Sarah Newman’s shoes.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST 30 MINUTES OF YOUR DAY LIKE?
I'm a little slow to rise so need to ease into my day gently. I've found that a morning routine is key for getting in the right mindset and setting up my day for success; if I'm ever running late and have to jump right into work or texts the whole rest of my day seems to get frazzled!
Almost first thing I make a fatty coffee usually with grass-fed collagen (since using two scoops of collagen every day now for many months, I can see a huge difference in my hair–it's so much healthier and my curls are more defined!), organic MCT Oil, and canned full-fat coconut milk with a dusting of cinnamon.
Sometimes I use Power Creamer–it's super tasty and is made with grass-fed ghee, organic coconut oil and MCT oil all in one–plus it's sugar free–so makes keto coffee a breeze. (Use the code ROOT10 for 10% off Power Creamer here!)
I also aim to journal for at least 10 minutes, either writing out gratitudes or a stream of consciousness to help unload my busy brain. Sometimes I'll use the time to do a meditation or visualization.
I also like to move my body so use my foam roller to help massage out any soreness, and will stretch while listening to some mantras like Deva Premal or beautiful spiritual music like my friend Denise Hagan.
SHOWER TIME! WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO PRODUCTS?
For my crazy curly hair, the best line I've found is DevaCurl, which is silicone-, paraben- and sulfate-free. It's not 100% clean because it has some ingredients like fragrance that are questionable, but after trying seriously so many products over the years, most 100% natural brands I've tried just don't tame this frizzy fro, so I've settled on just being okay with being as close to natural as I can get!
I also really love ApHogee Curlific! Leave-In Conditioner as both a leave-in conditioner and a styler to help tame my hair on days I don't wash it (as a curly girl, I usually only wash my hair two or three times per week).
For soap and lotion I love Everyone brand as it's really pure, smells delicious and is affordable. I also have extremely sensitive skin so recently tried a new shaving cream called Cremo Skin Clearing Shave Cream, and am finding that this helps reduce redness and irritation.
I also can't live without Native, a natural deodorant that actually works! My sister and I tried every natural brand on the market and none quite did the trick, but finally she found Native and now we're both relieved that we can smell good, naturally! The Coconut Vanilla scent is my favorite.
WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL BREAKFAST?
I don't usually eat breakfast; I'm just not hungry in the morning. I have my coffee and that's all I need, along with some lemon water. I prefer to do more of an intermittent fasting eating schedule, so usually don't eat until about noon.
ARE YOU A TEA OR COFFEE DRINKER?
Both! As I shared I love my coffee, and always drink organic as non-organic actually upsets my stomach with all the pesticides and chemicals. I just ordered Kion Coffee, which I cannot wait to try as it's not only organic but was shown in numerous independent labs to average at least double the antioxidant count of other popular brands, plus it's tested to be free of pesticides, mold, ochratoxins, aflatoxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and yeast.
I also really love tea too for afternoons and evenings. I recently tried Pique Tea and am in love! The tea crystals are so cool (I love how they dissolve in cold water too, so I can make iced teas in a snap) and I can really taste the purity as they test for pesticides, heavy metals and toxic mold, plus I enjoy how it has 12x more antioxidants than other teas.
WHAT’S YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE?
For fun and extra money I walk dogs with Rover part-time, so am outside walking for at least an hour most days (Rover is a great app if you need a dog walker or sitter–use my code SARAHN57834 to get $20 off your first booking!).
Beyond that, my routine really changes depending on how I feel; I really try to listen to my body. Sometimes I do more gentle workouts like yoga or T-Tapp–which helps support hormone balancing and our lymphatic system–but other times I crave more intense exercise like resistance training and HIIT workouts. My favorites are Beach Body's ChaLEAN Extreme (I've seriously done this 3-month program more times than I can count over the last 8 years), and Tony Horton's P90X3 when I'm up for a big challenge.
I really don't like going to a public gym and always workout at home, so these Bowflex SelectTechs Adjustable Dumbells are one of the best investments I made many years ago to really be able to do any strength training exercises in the comfort of my home.
WHAT’S IN YOUR MEDICINE CABINET?
Oh gosh, I could write an entire post just about this! Here goes. First, I tested as having super low levels of Vitamin D, Omega-3s and Zinc about a year ago, so have been supplementing with all those fundamentals and using EverlyWell to check-in on how I'm doing–I've improved, but am still not in optimal ranges so will continue to supplement every day until I am.
I've also had trouble digesting my fats according to an extensive GI panel I took last fall, so was taking Beta TCP for a while to help aid in fat digestion, as it supports bile flow from the gallbladder, and removes toxins. But I just stopped taking this to see if my body can do it on its own now. I also take a daily probiotic to support healthy gut bacteria.
For my estrogen dominance, I'm taking Cruciferous Complete.
To save the best for last, I mix in Amy Myers' Leaky Gut Revive with water to help heal my Leaky Gut (more on this below, as it's truly my favorite product!) and also add in a couple spoonfuls of organic psyllium husk for extra fiber.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ON-THE-GO SNACKS?
As mentioned above, these days I do a modified Keto diet. I did strict Keto for about 8 months last year, and while certain symptoms improved like my insulin resistance, brain fog and overall energy, I actually gained a little weight and still had symptoms of inflammation and Leaky Gut.
Part of this is because I found out I have trouble digesting fats, and–hello!–Keto is 80% fats. So I reduced my fat intake, specifically more of the saturated fats, and now try to consume more unsaturated fats like avocados, avocado and olive oils, and nuts and nut oils. I also don't worry about the carbs so much and just eat whatever veggies or fruits I intuitively feel like my body wants, but still hardly eat any grains and don't do legumes at all. I just don't care about them or feel like my body wants them.
So, when it comes to snacks, I love macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, chia pudding, berries, an avocado with salt, and making my own nut and seed bars. I really don't like typical keto snacks like pork rinds and jerky–so gross!
WHAT’S A TYPICAL LUNCH LIKE FOR YOU?
My days are so busy that I try to keep lunch super simple. I like to make big batches of food when I cook so that I always have leftovers, so often times for lunch I'll eat whatever I have in the fridge like leftover soup or roasted veggies and chicken.
If I don't have leftovers I'll whip up a salad with avocado, beets, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds with some Primal Kitchen dressing, or eat some canned tuna like Safe Catch, which is tested to be the brand with the lowest amount of mercury.
WHEN YOU’RE GROCERY SHOPPING, WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU AVOID ON THE LABEL?
Obviously anything gluten-related since I've been gluten free for 10 years. I just found out last year that I'm highly sensitive to lentils and soy, so have been avoiding those. Soy is a lot harder than I thought because it seems to sneak into all kinds of stuff like dressings and chocolate.
I also rarely eat sugar (even natural forms) since being Keto, so always look for sugar and its plethora of code names. I also try not to eat refined oils like canola, corn, vegetable, etc.
WHAT’S IN YOUR PANTRY?
- Nut and seed butters galore! I like to make my own like pecan and hazelnut with my Vitamix since they're impossible to find in stores without sugar
- Bone broth
- Primal Kitchen: love their dressings, avocado oil mayo and brand new unsweetened, low carb barbeque sauces–so good!
- Pique Tea
- Coconut Aminos since I can't do soy sauce or tamari
- Grass-fed collagen
DINNER TIME! IF YOU’RE EATING OUT, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR ON MENUS TO STAY HEALTHY?
I live on the coast, so often opt for wild-caught seafood like fresh white fish, shrimp or scallops. Sometimes I indulge in something higher carb like french fries if I really have a craving, but I try to stick to a side of veggies or salad.
I just like to keep it simple when I go out since I have so many food sensitivities and preferences, and you never really know what's in restaurant food. I always take activated charcoal after I eat out to help absorb and mitigate any unhealthy or unusual things that my body isn't used to consuming.
WHAT’S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
Right now the book Radical Metabolism by Anne Louise Gittleman, which I am completely loving! Her nickname is “The First Lady of Nutrition” as, for many years, she's been ahead of her time in her research and alternative health solutions.
I'm appreciating how she's putting words to what I've sensed but didn't know how to articulate since I'm not a nutritionist or scientist regarding what does and doesn't work with paleo and keto diets, and how to make these lifestyles work for you by detoxing and supporting key organs like your liver and gallbladder. I'm about to try the cleanse and reboot she suggests in the book, and hope it will help me release the remaining stubborn inflammation and weight I still have.
BED TIME! WHAT’S YOUR NIGHTLY ROUTINE?
On an ideal day, I'm off the computer at least an hour before bed. I want to get better about having more intentional time in the evening for myself, but in general I try to create space to relax and have self care time. Sometimes that's reading and drinking tea, sometimes it's writing in my journal, sometimes it's stretching–just depends on the day. I also like to play with my kitty because she's super frisky and loves her toys like the laser pointer, ha ha!
Food-wise, I love to treat myself to a latte and the best gluten-free brownie ever from this local coffee shop called Metto here in Charleston. Or, if I go to Starbucks I like to get their egg bites–it's the only fast food I ever eat!
FAVORITE HEALTHY INDULGENCE?
So Delicious' line of Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free Desserts like Butter Pecan ice cream and Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Coconutmilk Bars.
FAVORITE PRODUCT THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO TRY?
I teased this above when I talked about my medicine cabinet, but the one supplement I started taking last summer where I noticed an immediate and HUGE difference in my Leaky Gut was Amy Myer's Leaky Gut Revive (you can get $10 off your order when you use this link, or get it on Amazon here.)
I'd been struggling pretty intensely for a couple years, and while some other things I tried (trust me, there were dozens and dozens!) made tiny differences here and there, this product was a total game changer and I felt so much better and more regular with my digestion. I still drink it every morning first thing and think it's really supporting me to heal my gut in a long term way.