We’re back with the incredible KIM SHAPIRA, M.S., R.D. — the super skilled celebrity dietitian who has helped all the top industry people in the city of Los Angeles.  She’s the wise one who dishes up science-backed nutritional know-how to top media publications and outlets such as Glamour Magazine and Dr. Drew.  Well today, KIM SHAPIRA is back with SHE SAID to talk about her recommended healthy back to school habits — and she advises us how to get in shape for this coming Fall and Winter!

Everyone who knows her heeds her words.  She’s gorgeous and in ridiculous shape — but the best part is that she’s relatable too.  She has a demanding career with a strong 24/7 commitment to her clients — and an immeasurable dedication to and gratitude for her husband and their 3 girls (bringing them to their soccer games and endless activities)!  She gracefully balances it all while keeping a sound body and mind.

So when she offers us words on how to get and stay healthy and lean, we listen.  She is crazed just like the most of us — but has managed to strike that sweet spot of balance, discipline, healthy mindfulness and joy.  Listen up as she spills the beans on her top healthy back to school habits!


FullSizeRender| Summer is leaving us and the Fall and Winter are our new neighbors.  What alterations should we be making in our diet?  I think we all need some guidance in terms of healthy back to school habits! | 

Even with losing the heat, we should not be making any changes to our diet.  I still stand behind normal eating which simply means you eat when you’re hungry and you stop when you’ve had enough.  If you don’t know what that feels like, then I would start by eating half of your normal portion until you can start recognizing your own body’s way of telling you that you’re satiated.

It’s not really about the food that you’re eating but more about how and why you’re eating the food.  In the winter months, you may start feeling depressed since you’re without the sun.  If emotional eating becomes a thing for you, I strong urge you to practice paying attention to whether you’re eating for reasons other than hunger!


My food mantra still stands:  One must be fulfilled from life, not food!


| What is an example of your food journal.  In other words, what is a day in the life of KIM SHAPIRA?  What are your go-to cereal and bread brands? |

This is a loaded question because it has a lot to do with what I have available and how much time I have to eat.  I don’t necessarily strive for 100% balance in a day – but I am conscious of whether or not I’m getting what I need.  I celebrate when I get to eat in a balanced way.

My day definitely starts with oatmeal and peanut butter for breakfast.  (I love it!)  I always make the same amount but I don’t always eat the same amount.  Sometimes I need more and sometimes I need less —  but I really don’t know how much I need until I’m eating it.  Then I strive to basically eat enough fruits and vegetables and yogurts between meals if I’m hungry.



Because of my demanding schedule, that doesn’t always work out for me — but I don’t get angry or hold it against myself.  I’m a big fan of the latte because I think it serves two purposes:  it gives me caffeine and I get to have a milk serving which offers me 33% of my calcium!  So that makes me happy.



I love putting into practice the things that I’m teaching my clients.  For example, the other day I was with friends and I was starving.  I had taken a spin class but I didn’t have a snack and I wasn’t able to eat anything for two or three hours.  Then I was at lunch with my girlfriends and I ended up ordering this yummy tomato soup and I ate it in less than three minutes.  Knowing it takes 15 minutes to feel satisfied – I was stuck with 11 or 12 minutes before my brain would catch up.  I could have easily eaten all of my friends’ food in the next 11 minutes but I had a conversation with myself.  I simply said to myself that if I’m still hungry in 15 minutes I will get more food.  Then I got distracted in a conversation with my girlfriends — and then literally three or four hours went by before I started thinking about food again.

| What do you suggest for exercise in our coming Fall and Winter months?  Any healthy back to school habits or regimen?  What do you do? |

Exercise is part of my lifestyle and is definitely something I try and do every single day regardless of the season.  I really don’t switch it up that much because I love everything I’m doing! I ‘m not in pain and I feel like I have a great balance of strength, cardio and flexibility practice.  I am a huge fan of Wunda Bar Pilates and Soul Cycle, hiking with my girlfriends, and I’ve now added Training Mate into the mix.  If life gets busy and there isn’t an opportunity to work out during the day, I’ll do it at night on my stationary bike while watching TV or my new InMotion elliptical.


| What are a few of your health mantras? |

  1.  Always have snacks with you.  This puts your mind at ease and removes the fear that food is unavailable.

healthy back to school habits

2.  Line up the amount of water that you’re supposed to drink in a day so you know if you’re actually achieving it.  Then when you do, celebrate that!  Shoot for 8 cups of 8 ounces a day.


3.  Pay attention to your thoughts.  Know that your first thought is completely automatic based on the fact that our brains are hardwired for survival.  This thought is going to come from any one of our senses picking up a sense of danger.  But the second thought is always the one of making choices.  So I choose the action that’s going make me happy.  For example, if you were to suddenly smell donuts, you could think how you could walk into that donut shop and eat all the donuts.  But then if you can catch that thought and laugh at it, you’d recognize that maybe eating all the donuts in the shop isn’t a great idea.  You could settle for one or skip it altogether.   The second (nonautomatic) thought is the key.

My health mantras really stem from a lifetime of working on boundaries — whether they’re personal boundaries or  professional boundaries.  For me, it’s been recognizing that what I was saying out loud wasn’t always matching what my thoughts were.  So now I’m working really hard at making sure that my thoughts match my actions.

I think that we’re evolving everyday.  My goal is to put myself first while wishing others well.  For example, if I’m dining with friends and I’m not hungry, I need to pay attention and not eat and not feel the pressure to eat.  It’s simple to take care of myself just by listening to myself!


|  What are 3 ways to make sure that we don’t gain weight in the Fall and Winter months? |

 1.  If you can carry your healthy lifestyle into these winter months you won’t be the average American.  (The average American gains 7 pounds between Halloween and the New Year.)
2.  Make a plan and get a group of people together to hold you accountable.  Honestly, I think Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have been successful because they have a group setting  which in some ways is a community or tribe making this way more effective.
3.  Work on mindfulness.  Concentrate on your thoughts and recognize that you have the power to change your mind.


| What are your thoughts on protein shakes/smoothies?  Do you think it’s better to chew your food than to down nutrient dense smoothies that go down in one fast swoop? |

 I definitely am not a huge fan of the protein shakes and smoothies.  It is always better to chew your food and break it down.  We are meant to chew our food at least 32 times.  Additionally, all the different enzymes and hormones and microbes that help break down serve a purpose.  So when the food is already broken down our body, can malfunction which then manifests in a stomach ache or joint pain and so much more.  Chewing makes the nutrients more absorb-able to us.  If it’s already broken down, the nutrients have been reduced making them less nutritious.  And these drinks are so high in calories!


I also think that when we add protein shakes to our  diet this adds more protein than we need.  We need .8 g per kilogram of protein unless you’re a growing child, pregnant woman, body builder or someone recovering from a major illness!


 | And most importantly, please tell us a little about the program you’re doing in September.  How can it help us? |

 I’m so excited I’m starting a four week WORKSHOP SERIES with moms on how to talk to kids about nutrition and how to serve as a role model for their kids.  We’re going to get into parenting types and whether or not we’re bringing our own fear with food into raising our children and what they actually need to eat!  My goal is for every parent to walk away feeling less shame and more hopeful about raising kids with a healthy self-esteem when it comes to food!   After all, food is everything! And while I believe nutrition is the key to good health, you have to understand your thought processes with the right mindset!  I hope to make parents less police officers and more supportive officials in their child’s journey to learning about food and their bodies!  For more information on the workshop series, CLICK HERE.

Kim Shapira is on it and knows what she’s talking about.  Who here doesn’t want her energy and her 20 year old body?  I thought so.

 +++ Thank you, Kim for being as rad and empowered and healthy as you are.  You’re an incredible role model — both as a multitasking career mom and mind/body health guru.  Thank you for all these tips on fall fitness and healthy back to school habits!


+++ AND STAY TUNED READERS:  Coming up on the blog are interviews with KIMBERLY SNYDER (holistic nutritionist and author of 3 NYT BESTSELLERS), THE AWESOME, GORGEOUS + HILARIOUS MOON ZAPPA, and the superbly awesome, positve and influential BALANCED BLONDE!


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