As part of my new web series, The Role Model In You, here is my most recent interview. The Role Model In You series discusses how individuals were influenced as a child to lead a healthy lifestyle. It covers who influenced these individuals, the changes they made in their life to be healthy, and the message they would like to convey to the youth of today. Our guests include doctors, soccer stars, Super Bowl champions, NBA players, Olympic gold medalist, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and just regular people looking to share their story. I hope you enjoy it!
1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
My name is Lauren Schmitt and I am a Los Angeles based registered dietitian, nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer, and owner of Healthy Eating And Training Inc. I provide nutrition counseling for individuals and major corporations including Sony Pictures Entertainment and Dreamworks Animation. I have ongoing projects with the WB and recently completed a project for the Creative Artists Agency.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
From age 8 through age 18, I was a dancer. Working out many hours per day most days of the week, I started to learn the importance of nutrition. My mom cooked very healthy meals and we rarely ate junk food. Having cereal after school was a “treat.” In addition to my mom’s influence, I saw a dietitian a few times during high school to ensure what I was eating was supporting the number of hours that I was dancing. After those few meetings, I knew that nutrition was a passion and I was envious of my dietitian’s job.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
My mom made sure we ate three balanced meals each day. We ate breakfast together most days and dinner was always a family meal. Dining out was a luxury as most meals were cooked at home. Our meals were well balanced and our portions were just the size we needed. In full, she taught me a lot of the things I teach my clients today. Also, the dietitian I saw educated me on the types of food I needed in order to maintain my health and support the amount of muscle on my body. She was my educator and I still find food and the human body to be very interesting.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
Both of these women taught me moderation. Although the core of my food intake was very healthy, my mom loved to bake. I remember homemade cookies on the counter a lot of the time but we never overate. They were there and we enjoyed them, but my brothers and I didn’t request an endless supply. We enjoyed every morsel we were given but we knew that was it. We also knew we had to eat our dinner first. My dietitian taught me how to fuel my body and how it can run the most efficiently. She taught me exactly what I needed to consume to stay active.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
Absolutely. My kids do eat well balanced with 3 meals and 2-3 snacks daily. I give my 3-year-old options so that he can start to make some decisions for himself when it comes to his food intake. He also loves to join me in the kitchen when I cook and runs to the kitchen when I bake. My kids are always presented with vegetables and fruits. My one-year-old daughter eats them all willingly and at times my 3-year-old will not eat them, but he knows they are there and he can tell you whether they are good for your eyes or your muscles. In time, he always tries the new foods. I also make fresh smoothies. My son usually requests a mango smoothie and at times, he joins me for a green smoothie. Once again, my 1-year-old daughter will eat whatever I put in front of her.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
I would want all children to get outside and stay active. Kids need a minimum of 1 hour of physical activity per day. Many children get much more than that. As a mom, I watch my son and it seems like he is always either running, eating, or sleeping. I would also encourage kids to eat a variety of foods and not to be timid when trying new foods. New food items can be really fun and offer different nutrients. Kids should also help their parents in the kitchen because it will make them more confident in the kitchen when they are on their own.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?
My company, Healthy Eating And Training Inc., provides individual nutrition counseling, fitness training, grocery tours, corporate wellness, individual consultations, and menu analysis.