If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I am big on health. At the end of the day, refining your diet and taking care of your body is one of the most important things for you to do...and that's a job that requires daily effort.
I spoke with a friend of mine, Hallie Rich, who is the creator of alternaVites and is the co-author of a new top-rated health and wellness book called, "Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?" She and her co-author Ilyse Schapiro came to Steiner Sports recently to talk about the book.
I love this book because in it you will find the answers to common diet questions in easily digestible (haha) quick reads (99 to be exact). If you are serious about leading a healthy lifestyle, I highly suggest you pick up a copy: One for yourself, one for a friend and one for someone who think really needs it.
Enjoy reading through our conversation.
Brandon Steiner: Who did you write this book for and why did you write this book?
Throughout my career as a health industry expert, I am constantly asked about nutrition and wellness. Despite the overload of information on these topics, people are more confused than ever. That’s why I, along with my friend and colleague Ilyse Schapiro (who is a registered dietitian), came up with the idea to write this book to finally answer, once and for all, the most common questions people have about diet, food, health and supplements. It’s the antithesis of a diet book. Instead, we give you the information to make smart decisions that fit into your life and that will work for you. We also made sure to do it in a light, entertaining and fun way because it shouldn’t be so stressful and restrictive to learn how to make balanced and healthy decisions.
BS: If there were just one thing that someone had to take away from reading your book, what would it be?
That there is finally a book that addresses your health concerns in an aspirational way. It’s our goal to provide you with advice based in reality that can easily be adapted to everyday life. With so much information and so many “rules” out there, we believe that after reading the book, people will have the tools to sort through the BS and to know what is truly important and actually relevant to your life
BS: Should I scoop my bagel?
Yes - Since bagels tend to be low in fiber and protein and very high in carbs and sodium, scooping a bagel won’t leave you missing anything important. However, it will help you cut excess calories and carbs—but only if you throw out the dough you scooped.
We do know though that there are some people out there who refuse to scoop a bagel, and that’s ok too. If that sounds like you, we suggest eating half the bagel and limit the toppings or try a flagel, deli thin or mini bagel instead.
BS: You’re a third generation vitamin industry expert. Was this always the path for you? Or, what got you into diet and nutrition?
I think it was in my destiny to follow in my father and grandparents’ footsteps. While they are big shoes to fill, it’s been really nice to take the foundation of all that they taught me and carry on their legacy but to do so in my own way. They manufactured vitamin capsules and tablets and since I have difficulty swallowing pills, it has been really rewarding to create my own brand of melt-in-your-mouth vitamins & minerals, called alternaVites.
BS: What are the three biggest mistakes people make today with their diet?
We would think that they all fall into the same category and that’s following trends. Whether it’s gluten free foods or eating low-fat everything to juicing and cleanses to jump start weight loss, being healthy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. People too often do what they hear may work when it comes to dieting or to “getting healthy” but it may not be what’s right for them.
BS: What are the first three things people should be doing to improve their diet?
We believe that people should always read labels. All too often people buy products based on words like “natural”, “smart”, or “healthy” but many of those terms have loose (or no) definition so they can be misleading. It’s important to look at sugar content, calories, and the listing of ingredients. We would also recommend that nothing should ever feel like a diet or a sacrifice. You’re only setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration and to even feel like you can’t keep up. It’s ok to enjoy your favorite foods, you just have to do so in moderation while also making sure to make smart decisions as often as you can during the other times. Finally, it’s a good idea to consider taking a daily multivitamin since it’s very hard to eat well all day every day and a good supplement can be a great insurance policy to make up for the gaps that are all too common in our diets. Make sure to look for one with B complex vitamins, antioxidants, Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium.
BS: Talk about what Rich in Love is accomplishing.
Rich in Love was founded in an effort to turn personal tragedy into something positive and meaningful after my dear friend, Alison Love, and I both lost our fathers to cancer. It was so important to us to give back and try to ensure that another family didn’t have to go through the heartache of dealing with the tumult and tragedy that comes with this devastating disease. We focus our efforts on cancer research and prevention as well as going directly to programs that help support the patients and their families.
BS: What’s next for you?
Between the book, alternaVites and Rich in Love, I would say I’m a very fortunate person. I am very lucky to be able to do what I love as each of these are passion projects and true labors of love. I would like to see myself continuing with all of these different areas and exploring new opportunities as I continue to try to make a little difference in people’s lives as they focus on their health.
BS: Thank you, Hallie!
About Hallie Rich
Hallie Rich is the co-author of the top rated health & wellness book “Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?”. She is also a trailblazer in the vitamin industry, having created the award-winning alternaVites brand, and is the co-founder of Rich in Love Charity, which focuses on cancer research & prevention. She received her BA with honors from the University of Michigan and currently resides with her husband in New York City.