You guys are in for a treat this week because we have a guest blogger – Carolyn Brown MS RD!  Carolyn and I went to Tulane University (we were actually both Psychology majors and had a few classes together) and were lucky enough to call New Orleans home!  She’s now a nutritionist at Foodtrainers, a private nutrition practice in Manhattan, where she works one on one with clients, gives corporate talks, and works with food brands.  

Carolyn’s wellness motto is “you can have a healthy life without losing your social life”.  She got her masters in clinical nutrition from NYU after college – avocado and wine would be her desert island foods.  

Can you see why I love this lovely lady’s approach to health and nutrition?  

Read on below to get some of Carolyn’s keen insight:

We love to be fit and eat nutritiously, so what are your favorite before and after workout snacks and why?

I typically workout early morning so I grab ½ banana and a coffee on my way out the door – but if it’s later in the day, a string cheese and fruit, or a green juice w/ 1 fruit give me a little carb boost pre-workout sesh.  After, I try to eat within an hour.  It’s either a smoothie with organic whey or Philosophie protein, or a serious breakfast at my favorite NYC spot, Hu Kitchen.  Pasture raised eggs, greens, and my FAVORITE, roasted pineapple! 

There are so many food myths and fads out there.  What are your favorites to debunk and why?

There’s a new one every day, but the ones I myth-bust most often are that low fat dairy and artificial sweeteners will help you lose weight!  Fat (2% or whole, if eating dairy) actually makes you lean — plus research shows skim milk can negatively affect everything from skin to fertility.  Fat’s where it’s at.  And with artificial sweeteners, they are basically chemicals our bodies can’t digest, and make you have a serious sweet tooth.  Blue, pink, yellow packets have got to go. (I do approve stevia, though.) 

What about your go to quick snacks and why?

I am a reformed snackatarian; at my office at Foodtrainers we have insane small batch snacks from nuts and trail mix to healthy quinoa puffs to almond butters so it is a daily challenge not to go wild!  But my favorite snack of the moment is ½ avocado with a few Mary’s Gone crackers and a ginger kombucha. 

What’s your favorite bar and why?  We’re referring to a packaged food bar 🙂

Ha!  Right now I love a brand called YES bar, because they taste like heaven and have really simple ingredients.  I try to only have bars in emergency situations because so many are filled with total crap, and then coated in chocolate, and really aren’t that filling anyway!  My “bar rule” is 3 a week max. 

On that note, what is your favorite RD-approved cocktail and why?

I LOVE a homemade jalapeno margarita with Tanteo tequila.  The spiciness slows you down and is a metabolism rev-er. 

Ok it’s time to get real – what is one (or a few) thing in our fridge or pantry that we should toss now and why?

Fat free milk products, anything with artificial sweeteners in it, or food dyes! 

And while you’re at it… toss the pretzels too 🙂

What are a few things that we should definitely have in our fridge or pantry or why?

I am all about the freezer, keep frozen fruit and veggies on hand for dinner or a smoothie in a pinch.  I also always have a good almond or nut butter, eggs, pesto, and a few avocados around. 

What workout are you loving right now?

Soul Cycle and Fhitting room, and y7 yoga are my go to’s. When it’s warmer in NYC I run a few times a week too; I did the marathon last fall and training was one of the best commitments of my life.  Exercise is my meditation and now I consider it more of “working in” than working out.  Of course feeling super strong doesn’t hurt, though! 

You always radiate health, happiness, and positivity.  What makes you feel that way?

That is so kind!  I can get in a funk like anyone, but I am a believer that happiness and optimism are a choice you have to make daily.  Same with your food decisions. And then feeling well turns into a domino effect of positivity.  In the past few years I’ve also made it a priority to spend time with healthy, happy friends (and fam), because you are most similar to whom you spend your time with.  Laughter is a big priority, too 🙂

Thank you to Carolyn for all the awesome info!  So many great ideas and very important points…now I’m hungry, pumped to workout, and feeling happy, all at the same time.

Health + happiness!

Health + happiness!

What are some of your fave takeaways from Carolyn?

Laissez les bons temps roulez et bonne santé,



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PS By the way always check with your primary healthcare provider to make sure that any of the above suggestions don’t interfere negatively with your healthcare program!