How The Nutrition School Changed My Career


By Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, TNS

Before studying nutrition, I wanted to be healthy. I came across the same obstacles that you probably face…conflicting messages from the media, trouble socializing with my friends while maintaining my lifestyle, inconsistent workouts, and trying to find that healthy balance between loving healthy food without letting it become an obsession.

It’s taken about a decade of studying, but I’ve mastered the skills of healthy living and wellness and have a thriving company, The Well Necessities, and The Nutrition School was a key part of that journey.

My career began when I received my acceptance into Columbia University for my Master’s in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. For the first time in my life, I had worked hard for something I could have only dreamed of attaining. My passion came alive and I realized I had found my true purpose. I went on to complete my dietetic internship at North Shore LIJ (now NorthWell Health), where I honed my clinical and medical nutrition skills and learned to work with a diverse population. Once passing the RD exam, I opened my private nutrition counseling practice.

Still, I was missing some key skills that I thought The Nutrition School could provide, and it absolutely did. Here’s how:

  1. The business flow! When I started my practice, I felt very unsure and unorganized. TNS helped me figure out how to create structure.
  1. Having Keri as a go-to source of information. With 15+ years of education under her belt, Keri has heard it all.  She has become a mentor, friend, and someone I can always email with to help with a client.

RELATED: Sign up for the next class of The Nutrition School, now!

  1. The TNS facebook group. This is a very smart group of women who are eager to support each other.  From trainers to nutritionists, the group is filled with people who have had a variety of experiences and are willing to share their information.
  1. Ongoing education. Access to the class remains open and is constantly being updated with new information and guest speakers, so you really get what you pay for. Having TNS as a resource to refer to is very helpful for me to go and review information I am unsure of or to just pop in to hear from a new speaker. Even the handouts are great and so useful!

photo credit: Instagram @thewellnecessities

careerAbout Lisa:

Lisa Hayim, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and Mindful Eating Expert in New York. She holds her Master’s in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She works in private practice, helping clients and patients learn to eat real food and make choices mindfully. Lisa believes that healthy is a complete state of physical, mental, and social well being. When we nourish our bodies with whole foods and learn to be mindful, we are not only preventing and combating disease, but effortlessly learning to appreciate our bodies. Follow Lisa on Instagram @TheWellNecessities, or head to  or plant based recipes that are 5 or less ingredients!


The Best Healthy Gifts to Give this Year

Shouldn’t every gift you give help your loved ones live their most Nutritious Lives? We think so! That’s why our official 2016 Nutritious Life Gift Guide is filled with unique, healthy gifts for everyone on your list.

Help your foodie sister-in-law stock her kitchen with tools for eating well in 2017 (organic artisan spices?), for example, or your fitness-obsessed BFF recover faster (the best foam roller!).

Here are the healthy gifts everyone will be excited to unwrap—whether they’re already committed to a wellness-focused lifestyle or you’re giving them a friendly holiday nudge in the right direction.

Healthy Gifts: Eat Empowered

The Well Necessities Subscription, $40–50

A seasonal delivery of functional foods and lifestyle essentials that protect and promote your health, curated by dietitian Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, a graduate of The Nutrition School. (You can gift one delivery or set someone up for the whole year.)

healthy gifts

Organic Artisan Baking Spices in Magnetic Jars, $140

Art Basel meets Food Network: These good-for-you spices look like a piece of art and are super functional at the same time, since they stick right onto the fridge for easy access.

Brass Spoon Rest, $32–110

The home cook and hostess will love this chic piece for resting spoons while whipping up a feast or putting them out for serving at a dinner party.

Life’s Abundance Plant Protein Chocolate Powder, $55

Something for a smoothie-lover’s stocking? This plant-based protein powder is made with the highest quality, clean ingredients (I should know—I helped formulate it!).

The Hemsley + Hemsley Spiralizer, $17

For the pasta lover who’s trying every strategy to cut back on carbs, this veggie noodle tool—made by cool food bloggers Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley will transform meal time.

Healthy Gifts: Drink Up

healthy gifts

S’well Water Bottle, $25–45

S’well’s bottles keep water cold for 24 hours and, in cool patterns like Dark Forest, are super chic. They come in multiple sizes (the small nine-ounce is great for kids to throw in their backpacks), and gifting one also means giving back, since the company helps provide clean drinking water to kids around the world.

House of Matcha Gift Set, $89

Matcha’s position as the trendiest tea isn’t budging in 2017, and that makes us happy, given its health benefits and taste. This gorgeous gift set comes with the highest quality matcha.

Healthy Gifts: Sleep Deep

healthy gifts

Thrive Pillow, $88

A fun, cheeky reminder for the most overworked in your life that getting enough sleep is essential when it comes to getting ahead.

Healthy Gifts: Sweat Often

Withings Activite Steel, $150

Finally, a smartwatch the stylish dude in your life will actually wear, with a sleek design and effective fitness tracking.

Monrow Oversized Camo Basic Legging, $135

A fun print on a blend of cotton/spandex fabric makes these the perfect option for the woman who likes to wear her leggings from barre class to brunch.

healthy gifts

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 Shield, $125

A great pair of sneakers is really all anyone needs to get in a workout wherever they are, and this sleek new design from Nike comes with a bonus: a weather-protective coating that will keep the runner on your gift list comfortable (AKA dry feet) on slushy, winter runs.

Sweaty Betty Escape Sweater, $160

The perfect cute-and-cozy piece to layer over leggings on the way to yoga or on a long, cold-weather run.

Healthy Gifts: Nurture Yourself

Lauren Roxburgh Aligned Life Foam Roller, $15–45

A good foam roller can literally change an active person’s life. I use mine daily, and my kids love it, too—so you can consider it a family gift, really.

healthy gifts

Jiva Apoha Personalized Body Oil, $200

For the person in your life who needs a little pampering: order this for a friend and Jiva Apoha will have them answer questions before creating their perfect treatment oil with ultra-pure, high quality essential oils chosen to facilitate healing and promote well-being.

Healthy Gifts: Love More

Buddha Charm Disc, $210–990

Engraved with a Buddha motif symbolizing “Enlightenment,” this handmade charm acts as an all-day, close-to-the-heart reminder to focus on and project love and kindness.

Healthy Gifts: Live Consciously

Awair Air Quality Monitor, $200

This smart device tracks toxins and chemicals in the air and gives personalized recommendations for your giftee to create a healthier space at home.

healthy gifts

Glass Straws, $32-38

For the family member who’s constantly sipping smoothies or has kids that love to use straws, these reduce the use of plastic and minimize waste—and they look pretty, too.

Univers Series Office Set, $760

OTHR’s high-design products are 3D-printed to order, eliminating all production waste. And this desk organizer will add a little Zen to any workspace to promote focus.

Healthy Gifts: Stress Less

Meditation Mala Necklace, $240

Handmade in London using natural, recycled materials, this spiritual jewelry pick is made with one-of-a-kind gemstones that are said to still the mind and promote peace and tranquility.

Why Self-Discipline Is a Muscle You Should Start Flexing

By Patricia Moreno

When I was growing up, I thought the word discipline meant punishment. I didn’t like to be reprimanded, be told what to do, or follow rules. When I was in my 30s, I finally realized that line of thinking wasn’t doing me any good and that I needed to develop the muscle of self-discipline.

After reading The Yoga of Discipline by Gurumayi, I basically put myself into self-discipline boot camp.

I had a life coach at the time and the rules were strict. If I didn’t follow through on what I said I was going to do, I would have to pay a fine, give up drinking coffee the next day, or even do something more drastic.

Why did I want to put myself through this? I wanted to develop the ability to follow through on the things I said I wanted to do. I wanted to stop overindulging frequently and eat more healthfully. I wanted to stop regretting my choices and feeling hopeless in the attainment of my dreams. I wanted my weight to stop fluctuating constantly and to stop using unsustainable means to manage it. I knew that my bad attitude needed an overhaul, and I wanted a change. I was tired of letting myself down, and I finally realized that letting myself off the hook wasn’t always the answer.

Sometimes, I needed to simply follow through on things whether I felt like it or not. I needed to keep my word and delay instant gratification. In other words, I needed to flex my self-discipline muscle much more.

The Power of Self-Discipline

It sure wasn’t easy, but it was a great investment I made in myself. It radically improved my life and how I felt about myself and opened my mind up to more possibilities than I had envisioned before.

Take a second to think about it. What is holding you back from achieving your goals?

As we move into the new year—a time of reflection and new beginnings—it is a great opportunity to become more self-aware. Ask yourself, “What would my life be like if I had a little more self-discipline? What would more self-discipline open up the door to for me to accomplish?”

This year, instead of simply thinking of goals you want to achieve like losing 20 pounds or making an extra 100k, I invite you to instead focus on your character. Decide to use your goals as opportunities to develop self-discipline, integrity, self-acceptance, confidence, or appreciation.

The goals are a way to keep yourself in the game of becoming a total badass, inside and out, but when you set them, don’t think about the goal as the prize. Instead, focus on who you need to become in order to experience more personal fulfillment.

When you focus on developing yourself instead of simply achieving a goal, a whole new world of opportunities will open up for you. Exercise your power to choose.


About Patricia:

Patricia Moreno—a Guest Expert for The Nutrition School—is all about helping people awaken their inner bad-ass by combining practices that exercise mental, physical, and spiritual muscle so they can live a life of Thinner Peace. Her secret recipe is the integration of mind, body, and spirit and the deliberate development of self-love and self-mastery. She is the creator of the intenSati method and The Practice which will be released January 2017.


5 Ways to Find Workout Motivation When It Feels Impossible

By Jane Hanisch, NLC

Workout motivation is often tough to tap.

Maybe the days have gotten shorter and the winter chill is making you want to stay snuggled underneath a fuzzy blanket, or your work and social schedule has gotten so crazy you barely have time to slip on sneakers.

Whatever the reason, there are specific tactics that can help you continue or even start exercising when it feels impossible.

Try these 5 workout motivation boosters, now.

  1. Schedule it. Setting and maintaining a consistent exercise schedule turns it into part of your day. In other words, prioritize working out as if it were a doctor’s appointment, no skipping allowed. Just remember that it’s important to make a schedule that’s realistic and can be maintained. Some weeks require morning workouts, others midday. Over time, an extra day can always be added to your schedule, but don’t start out with goals you can’t reach and end up discouraged (i.e. are you really going to get up at 5:00 a.m. for spin class the morning after your weekly work happy hour?).
  1. Invest money. Paying for a gym membership or buying classes at a boutique fitness studio is not always cheap, and not everyone has this option. But if you do have some disposable income (hey, how many nice bottles of red wine did you pick up last week?), maybe paying for a personal trainer is what you need. Money has a way of changing your perspective because no one wants to waste it. Think of it as the best kind of investment—in your health.
  1. Switch things up. If you dread your sweat sessions, get creative and try something new. It could be that you just haven’t found your workout motivation sweet spot yet. Love cardio? Look into spinning or boxing. Want to tone and tighten? Try a barre class. Hot yoga might be what your body needs on a cold, winter day; lifting heavy at a CrossFit box might feel better during summer.
  1. Find a workout partner. Working out with a friend creates accountability—it’s harder to bail when you know you’ll be letting someone else down by not showing up. Bonus: research has shown that exercising with a partner can push you to work harder during the sweat session, and it’s bound to be way more fun, too.
  1. Treat yourself (post-workout). Choose something to serve as a reward after working out (no, not a gallon of ice cream). Think along the lines of a warm shower followed by a great face mask, or bigger treats for hitting specific goals. At the end of a really successful week, for example, you could buy yourself those pumps you’ve been coveting or a bold new lipstick.Think of something that really resonates with you, personally, that makes you proud of breaking a sweat and working towards those bigger health and fitness goals.

About Jane:

workout motivationJane Hanisch is a Nutritious Life Certified personal trainer and yoga instructor based in Charlotte, NC. She holds a degree in Exercise Science and is an exercise physiologist through ACSM. As a former professional ballet dancer, she witnessed the dangers of resorting to unhealthy diet tricks in order to maintain a certain weight. The experience showed her that food could not be the enemy, and after stepping away from the dance world, she began a career in fitness and nutrition to help other women live healthy lives. Follow Jane on Instagram @janehanisch or on her website

Activated Charcoal: Should We Be Chugging It?

by Molly Rieger, RD, NLC and Leah Silberman, MS, RD, NLC

Activated charcoal seems to be the latest fad in the juice world.

This “black magic” is being marketed as a powerful agent that helps you detox, fights bloat, whitens teeth, aids in digestion, and maybe even cures hangovers.  But before jumping on the charcoal bandwagon, let’s dig deeper.

Activated charcoal is derived from wood, peat, or coconut shells that are exposed to an oxidizing agent at high heat.

This process creates a fine powder with microscopic pores on the surface, which work as traps for compounds and particles.

The activation process causes the charcoal to have a magnetic effect; it attracts toxins throughout the body, inhibiting absorption, hence its rep as a “cleansing”  agent.

This charcoal powder is now being added to juices and supplements. The most popular varieties include charcoal activated green juice, protein shakes, and lemonade. Sounds awesome, right?

Wrong. Unfortunately, the charcoal doesn’t just attract the bad guys. It also attracts the good guys, which means that vitamin C and folate you thought you were getting from the greens in your juice may not actually be absorbed.

Major buzzkill.

Another big attraction of activated charcoal is that it allegedly helps to cure hangovers by preventing the absorption of alcohol.

But charcoal doesn’t bind well to alcohol and it would only work if the alcohol remained in the upper GI tract.

Unless you want to start chasing your tequila with a charcoal juice, this isn’t the best approach to avoid hangovers. 

You should also know that if you’re taking any medication, ingesting charcoal may reduce its effectiveness. Yes, this includes your birth control (YIKES). Don’t worry, drinking one juice probably doesn’t mean you’re bound to get pregnant but it’s certainly something to be aware of.

The good news is, activated charcoal may work nicely on your teeth. 

We know, it seems counterintuitive that a black juice can whiten your teeth, but when swished around in your mouth it binds to tannins found in coffee and wine and removes the stains, leaving a whiter smile. 

We’re all looking for the magic potion to fight toxins, so here’s the good news: our bodies are miracle workers on their own!

With a clean, balanced diet and proper hydration, our bodies work around the clock to detoxify and cleanse our digestive systems.

So for now, let’s keep our juices green and keep the black magic on the shelves.

molly and leahAbout Molly and Leah:

Molly Rieger and Leah Silberman are registered dietitians and the co-founders of Tovita Nutrition (link to , a virtual nutrition counseling and concierge service. As graduates of the NYU masters of clinical nutrition program, they combine their science and clinical backgrounds with the counseling and business skills learned at The Nutrition School.


Pilates vs Yoga: 4 Ways They Are Different

by Cassie Piasecki, NLC

“Pilates vs yoga…how are they different?” As a Pilates instructor, I get asked this all the time.  There are a lot of reasons, but these are my most common answers:

Pilates vs Yoga: 4 Ways They Differ


1. One is Ancient, and the Other is Modern

According to yoga historians, yoga goes back 5,000 years, and some even document longer. 

Joseph Pilates started developing his exercises during World War I, but it wasn’t until he came to New York City in 1926 that Pilates was taught in what we now call a Pilates studio.  

While yoga poses remain deeply rooted in those ancient traditions, Pilates continues to evolve.  Joseph Pilates died in 1967, but the lineage of Pilates instructors continued to modify the exercises and the equipment.  

The new exercises and equipment take into consideration the way our bodies live and move today.  

While many instructors adhere to the classical exercises, there is little doubt that if Joseph Pilates were alive today, he would have developed exercises to combat the effects of sitting at a computer all day and looking at tiny cellphone screens.  

Finding an instructor that combines both the classical repertoire with contemporary exercises is the new ideal.  


2. Inhale and Exhale

Don’t worry, you’ll be breathing in both yoga and Pilates.  Your yoga instructor will ask you to focus your breathing in your belly.  It becomes rhythmic and can be meditative.  

Since every exercise in Pilates starts with activating your “powerhouse” or your core and abdominal muscles, your instructor will ask you to breathe into your back or ribs.  This style of breath is called “lateral breathing.”  

Lateral breathing will allow you to keep the abdominal muscles activated while still being able to breathe deeply.  

One way to learn lateral breathing is to pull your belly button in towards your spine and then as you inhale, visualize your ribcage expanding.  Release your belly button and do one deep inhale and exhale from the low belly.  

You will easily be able to distinguish the difference.


3. That Machine and The Muscles

Yoga focuses on flexibility, flow of movement and large muscles groups, while using a mat and props like blocks and straps.  

Pilates focuses on strength, muscle toning, and flexibility, while using larger equipment or apparatuses.  

The Reformer is the most common apparatus found in Pilates studios.  It uses springs to create resistance while performing the exercises.  

In yoga, the mat and your body provide resistance to flow through the exercises.  The resistance cannot be changed.  Your workout will be structured around what your body can do that day.  

When you work on the Reformer, or any of the Pilates apparatuses, your instructor can play with the resistance to assist you on days when you need it or to push you on days when you feel stronger.  


  4. Mind and Body Without Chanting

There is no doubt that spirituality is the biggest difference between yoga and Pilates.

Many people choose to do yoga to help calm the mind and relieve stress.  

Pilates can offer many of the same benefits without the “om” or getting spiritual.  You’ll be focusing on lateral breathing, activating the muscles, and maintaining balance while working on the Reformer.  

This gives the mind a 60-minute reprieve from the stressors of the day.  You will leave physically worked and mentally refreshed.

As with yoga, the quality of the class will depend on the training of the instructor.  

You should look for certified “instructors” who have completed a 400+-hour training program to ensure that not only will your session be effective, but also safe.  The Pilates Method Alliance is a fantastic resource for locating highly-trained Pilates instructors.  

Always check with your health practitioner before starting any new exercise routine.  

About Cassie:

villa sqCassie Piasecki, NLC is a Pilates Method Alliance, Certified Pilates Teacher, personal trainer, and Nutritious Life Certified Nutritionist based in Newport Beach, California. With over 24 years of experience, Cassie has taught fitness to over 10,000 people! She now connects with clients both in the studio and online via her website.  Her favorite quote comes from Joseph Pilates, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.”

Is Having Willpower Actually a Bad Thing?

You wouldn’t have polished off that pint of Ben & Jerry’s had you had more willpower, right? Weakling.

But, then again, you tried to eat in moderation. And anything is fine in moderation, right?

Besides, you had a guilt free dinner first, so you have no reason to feel guilty…

If all those instagrams, pins, FB videos, and inspirational quotes everywhere online have been fueling you with good-for-you, empowering thoughts, then why are you feeling full and mentally crappy at 10pm after a single ice cream overindulgence?

Many of the messages we are giving and receiving are, perhaps…broken.

Are we (meaning those of us who are nutritionists, fitness professionals, etc.) giving advice that is doing more harm than good, and are those of us who are looking for motivation really paying attention to our sources for inspiration or the true meaning behind the messages?

It becomes almost too easy to repost, regram or regurgitate the sayings you see and hear all the time without stopping to think about what the messages really mean. What if you could learn not just only the science of nutrition, but also how to decipher and deliver your messages and your voice? That’s what real education is, and why you should know about The Nutrition School.

The fact is, social media quotes can sure look pretty, but some of them are doing the exact opposite of what they are intended to do, and it makes me cringe when I see… something like this.

Here’s what I mean.


Willpower, Moderation, and Guilt: 3 Words I Don’t Use

willpower is a muscle

Willpower is a term that gets a lot of positive attention. But, actually, it’s a term that is very negative. Have you ever said, “I’m not going to eat the cake!” or “I’m not going to eat the pasta!” It’s all negative energy.  Why should we focus so much energy on pushing ourselves to not do things? I have found with my clients that this just doesn’t work.

First, it can create stress, and we know what that does: Cortisol, a stress hormone, increases. This can cause weight around the midsection and make us crave the worst types of food. If you’re “stressing out” about eating the pasta, guess what? You may gain weight (without even eating the pasta, due to stress) and likely you’re going to end up eating it too, because cortisol causes you to crave it more!

Focusing on positive behaviors trumps willpower every day of the week. I have my clients focus on the CAN’s: you CAN have the blueberries and a cup of green tea that you love, or you CAN have a small bowl of pasta as a side dish with a big ole portion of veggies and some lean protein as your main course. Trust me. This works.

This is what eating empowered is all about, and something I teach in The Nutrition School. So, next time you feel like you have to white knuckle it to prove you indeed have willpower, just stop, and remove the word willpower from your vocabulary and your instagram feed.


Everything in moderation 1“Everything in Moderation” seems like such an accepting way to approach goals, right?

Wrong. It’s way too abstract to be effective.

Ask anybody what ‘everything in moderation’ means to them and each one will give you a different answer. What does moderation really mean, to you?

The first problem with this is that there are some foods that should never be eaten. Yes, just are there are healthy foods, there are also some “bad” foods!

That is not to say you are a “bad person” for eating them but as an example, fluorescent orange fried things out of a bag are “bad” foods! There is no moderation here.

Wine? Technically 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women is moderation. But my guess is someone would say double that is moderation, or others can justify drinking nothing during the week but as much as they want on the weekends.

Chocolate? Well this depends on other “indulgences” that are eaten and will vary from person to person. For some, a half ounce a day is moderation. For others, an entire chocolate bar in one sitting once a month is moderation.

Broccoli? No moderation. Please indulge more.

I think you get the point.

Moderation is often used as an excuse to do or eat something or stray from a healthy diet and at best it doesn’t mean much of anything.

While the ‘everything in moderation’ mantra sounds reasonable it can often be used as an excuse to proliferate poor behavior. Better to educate that same client to think about eating empowered and what she can eat or learning how many conscious indulgences she can work into her plan. It’s all about the attitude behind the actual eating of the cookie.

When giving advice on moderation, being specific beats blanket statements every time. Again, a concept anyone who has become Nutritious Life Certified is taught.


guilt free
“Guilt Free”
is a master-miserable-motivator. If guilt doesn’t exist in the first place, there is nothing to be free from. In order to learn to never feel guilt around food, we need to stop attaching it even in the ‘guilt free’ way.

‘Guilt free’ cookies? Eat this chicken parm ‘guilt free’? Isn’t that really saying that if we ate it another way we should feel guilty?

I know eating ‘guilt free’ is supposed to be positive, but really it’s just exacerbating the guilt feelings.

If you choose to eat chicken parm, it should be a conscious indulgence. Yep, you guessed it — a big topic I cover in The Nutrition School. It’s a choice you made to enjoy something delicious that you love, and one that you made willingly from a place of empowerment, knowing you can listen to your body and enjoy a small portion. There is no guilt in that, ever.

And therefore changing the ingredients or baking instead of frying, for example, should not somehow make that chicken parm ‘guilt free’. It just makes it healthier, which is all good in my book.  

We don’t feel empowered eating ‘guilt free’. There shouldn’t be guilt in the first place to be free from! We feel empowered eating from an empowered place and listening to our bodies.

So, the deal is, just as you put on an outfit every morning, look in the mirror, and figure out if it’s right for your mood and the weather, it’s time to start pondering the same for your inspiration.

Where did it come from? Why does it speak to you? Who is sharing it and why do they believe in it?

With so many voices in health and wellness sometimes it’s hard to pick out the ones that really resonate with you. And if you’re the one trying to have your voice be heard, are you thinking about what you are putting out there as much as you should? Are you doing it because everyone else is or because you really believe in it? Is your message the one you intend to give, or could you actually be giving advice you don’t fully buy into or love, accidentally?

I’m not here to judge what you are putting out there. I’m here to encourage you to think about what you’re giving, and what you’re getting.

If you beat yourself up because you have no willpower, perhaps you should  feel EMPOWERED deciding that that philosophy doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t work for me either.

And, if you ate guilt free french toast this morning but you still feel guilty about the piece of cake you ate for your co-workers birthday, then guess what? It’s ok to remove guilt free from your vocab. It’s not in mine.

And, if eating in moderation is something you say flippantly on the outside, but internally you get that twinge of regret when that breadstick hits your lips, then maybe you need to accept that moderation for you may just be an excuse to stray from healthy eating.

And if you’re the one posting inspiration about willpower and guilt and moderation or using these terms with your clients, I’m going to challenge you to challenge me. Why do you believe in it? Why does it speak to your clients and followers? I really want to know, and I’d love to hear your points of view!

Let me know your thoughts on social media, and take a peek at The Nutrition School. If you’re interested in learning more about my philosophies and how I educate my clients, you’re hungry for nutrition knowledge, and you want to join the outstanding Nutritious Life Certified community,  then applying to The Nutrition School might be the perfect next step for you. 




Guest Blog: What Are Essential Oils?

by Ronni Pitiger, NLC

So exactly what are essential oils and why is everyone talking about them? Well, I’ll tell you.

I used to think of essential oils as something that would evoke the woodstock generation, but there is so much more to discuss than your love or hate of the smell of patchouli.  

An essential oil is an aromatic, volatile liquid that is found within many plants, bushes, trees, roots and seeds. It’s the blood of the plant, and it protects them from disease and climate change.

They help detoxify cells and oxygenate the body, much like what you are trying to accomplish when you think about doing a cleanse. Basically, EO’s support your body to do what it’s supposed to, and they promote healthy skin, strong immune systems and stress reduction.

EO’s have been around for thousands of years, but they were introduced into modern medicine shortly after WW1 when they were used for their antibacterial and wound healing properties. After all, there was no CVS around the corner, so they had to use what was available to them.

But just like kale and quinoa have been marketed as new superfoods even though they’ve been around for forever, ancient EO’s are finding their much deserved 15 minutes of fame lately, too.

How are Essential Oils Made?

Some essential oils are distilled from plants, others resin tapped from trees, and citrus oils are cold pressed like the fresh juices we drink today.


How Are Essential Oils Used?

When I bought my first EO’s, I really had no idea what to do with them. They smelled nice when I opened the bottles, but after that, no clue! Basically, they can be used in 3 ways:

  1. EO’s can be diffused directly into the air by using a cold water diffuser, and not only do you get the medicinal benefits, but they add moisture to your dry living space and are much safer than candles.
  2. EO’s can be applied topically, or used “neat” directly onto the skin. One or two drops of these powerful oils on the soles of your feet is all you need.
  3. EO’s can be consumed internally. A drop of lemon in your water is a great way to stay hydrated and boost your immune system.

Essential Oils for Stress

It’s safe to say we’ve become a completely stressed out society juggling careers, commutes, family, eating right, exercising, the list goes on. Extra stress hormones can wear out the body leaving us feeling depleted and weak.

But good news: there are EO’s that help reduce stress, induce calmness, and promote relaxation.

Lavender, Roman chamomile and cedarwood each have distinct stress reducing properties.

A few drops in your evening bath or a few drops on the soles of your feet will promote a restful sleep. Diffusing a combination of these oils is also a great way to encourage a peaceful night’s rest. There are even EO’s for snoring!

Essential Oils for Immunity

Stress can also cause our immune systems to fail. There are EO’s that can be combined together  to create awesome immune boosters.

Oregano, which is antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and analgesic,  can be combined with lemon and frankincense for an immune boosting trifecta!

Combine them with a base of coconut oil for a rub, or apply directly on the soles of feet, wrists and back of neck. And don’t forget to diffuse!


Essential Oils for Allergies

Whether it’s pollen in the spring, mold and dust in the winter, or a random summertime cold, it’s no fun to suffer from allergies, asthma, colds, and coughs.

There are many species of Eucalyptus that are expectorant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. Peppermint is an EO all star when it comes to congestion by relieving pain and respiratory issues when inhaled from cupped palms over your nose, diffused into the air, or applied topically on chest, temples or neck in a base of coconut oil.

Homemade vapor rubs with no chemicals? Yep!

Essential Oils for Healing

Have you ever woken up the day after a bootcamp class and not been able to feel your quads? Holy sore muscles!

Having the support of EO’s is a great (and smart) way to encourage physical strength and tissue repair. Peppermint, Idaho balsam fir, wintergreen, and copaiba each have specific analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties.

They can be layered together with coconut, almond or jojoba oil for a natural healing balm.



About Ronni:                            

Ronnie PRonni Pitiger, NLC is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Lifestyle Consultant, and Young Living Essential Oils Consultant.. Ronni works closely with her clients to help them create happy, healthy lives in a way that is fun, flexible and free of denial. By working with Ronni, she can help you discover food and lifestyle choices that best support you. Making gradual, lifelong changes enables Ronni’s clients to reach their health goals. Ronni also has a passion for Essential Oils and will offer a consultation on their many uses and benefits.


How Can I Use My Nutritious Life Certification?


Are you looking to change or improve your life, or help others do the same?  The Nutrition School is my passion project to do just that. It has been an honor to work so many talented people who share my dream of helping as many people as possible live their most Nutritious Lives.

The Nutrition School has helped students become healthier versions of themselves and given them the education and guidance they need to coach others to do the same.

 If you are thinking about making a change in your life — maybe you want to begin a new career in health and wellness or maybe you want to find new inspiration in your existing one — then becoming Nutritious Life Certified might be your perfect first step.

 If you’re wondering how you could use your Nutritious Life Certification, here are a few ways it may help you achieve the life you’ve always dreamed of. We want to see your dream become a beautiful reality.

 Registered Dietitians: So many registered dietitians put in long hours in the classroom and hard work throughout their Dietetic Internship to achieve their RD credentials, but many still desire more career direction. Many RDs begin working in hospitals, but want to learn how to counsel clients on a more personal level outside the hospital. Some are already privately counseling clients, but struggle on the business side to build their practice and referral bases, while others are new to the field and need to learn how to effectively communicate with clients by turning confusing science into relatable lessons. Becoming Nutritious Life Certified can help each of these types of Registered Dietitians become better at what they do and give them the direction they need for a more successful and fulfilling career.

Fitness and Athletic Coaches, Yoga and Pilates Instructors, Personal Trainers, etc.: We can’t tell you how many group fitness and personal trainers have asked us for the best resources to use with their clients to address the nutrition component of their sessions. After all, a healthy diet goes hand in hand with regular exercise! The Nutritious Life Certification teaches trainers research-based nutrition straight from an expert so they can be confident they are giving their clients proper advice. It also gives them an edge up on their competition, since more often than ever clients want trainers who have a reputable nutrition certification. This allows trainers the flexibility to offer separate nutrition consultations, more comprehensive training sessions, and/or the ability to create the most effective full meal plans for their clients who have specific goals and need a diet plan to reach those goals.

Life Coaches and Health Coaches: Often Life Coaches and Health Coaches address a wide breadth of issues of their clients and they need a variety of certifications to be able to address specific needs. Being Nutritious Life Certified gives them a premier education when it comes to nutrition, and they will undoubtedly become better overall counselors by learning from Keri’s principles. Coaches will also learn how to grow their businesses and gain more clients for long-term success. Our students who completed other certification programs before joining The Nutrition School have described it as the perfect complement to fill any gaps, answer any questions, and give them a roadmap.

 Massage Therapists and other spa specialists: Those in the business of helping others live healthy lives can greatly benefit from understanding how nutrition complements their efforts. Many massage therapists and spa specialists perform treatments on clients interested in nutrition counseling, allowing this certification to go hand in hand with their efforts. Upon becoming Nutritious Life Certified, specialists will be well-prepared to guide clients on healthy lifestyle modifications and support them in their endeavours.

 Chefs: With so many consumers becoming health conscious, culinary arts experts are turning to nutrition education to become more current, more creative, and healthier in the kitchen. Whether working in a restaurant or a private home, chefs are constantly having to accommodate special dietary and allergy requests. The Nutrition School offers chefs the education to understand various dietary requests and how to best fulfill them. It also offers them a wealth of information that will no doubt help them become more creative in menu planning and more up to date on trends in the health and nutrition world.

 Stay at home moms: Who says you need to work outside of the home to be able to benefit from the Nutritious Life certification? Not us! Being the CEO of a family is one of the hardest jobs around, especially when you have a spouse with a food allergy, a toddler who will only eat things that are white, a teenager who eats too much junk food, and everything in between. Many moms tell us that they end up cooking 3 different meals to please everyone and either only have time to nibble off their kids’ plates or eat snacks out of a bag all day. Whatever the case may be, moms will get the education, motivation, and support they need to live their most Nutritious Life, as well as provide one for their families, no matter how many ages and issues surround their dinner tables.

 Writers, editors, and bloggers: What better way to be an expert in the health and wellness field than to learn from the premier expert in nutrition? As someone who is turned to for health and nutrition advice all across America, Keri helps explain the science behind so many stories consumers want to hear about. Writing stories and producing segments about health and nutrition becomes so much easier when you have the background science and foundation to support your points. As a Registered Dietitian and author, Keri knows all about what it takes to excel in the creative and media world with roots in nutrition.

 Nurses and medical professionals: Those in the business of helping others live healthy lives can greatly benefit from understanding how nutrition complements their efforts. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are constantly exposed to the effects of poor nutrition and many of their patients look to them for nutrition advice. The Nutritious Life Certification provides the background necessary to properly guide patients to prevent and treat disease, as well as inform them on current nutrition education information. Students will also be able to connect with other like-minded individuals through the community-based Nutrition School group to further support their goals and endeavors in the field.

 Career changers: Who says you have to sit at a desk for the rest of your career? There’s no sense in spending your days doing something you just don’t like. The Nutrition School is an enthusiasm-based and passion-led course that shows students the ins and outs of good nutrition and business practices in the field of health and nutrition. Upon becoming Nutritious Life Certified you will be able to guide and support clients to live their healthiest lives!