We can all agree that wellness is extremely important. Implementing healthy habits in our daily lives allows us to maintain good physical and mental health. I recently spoke with Shannon Haupert—certified holistic nutritionist who resides in Brooklyn, New York—about wellness and its importance. This conversation was edited and condensed for clarity.
Green Living: To get started, what is holistic nutrition, and why is it important?
Shannon Haupert: So, holistic nutrition looks at a whole person’s wellness without focusing on a single aspect. For example, a personal trainer might primarily focus on someone’s fitness and their exercise routine, and a general nutritionist might be focused on a person’s diet. Holistic nutrition, however, looks at the whole picture; a person’s mind, body and soul. It doesn’t just focus on one aspect of a person’s health.
GL: So, it encompasses all the different aspects of a person’s wellness.
GL: Considering all you have learned, what do health and wellness mean to you now?
SH: Well, the terms are a lot more broad than I used to think. When I thought of a person’s health and wellness, I believed that simply eating a balanced diet and exercising meant you were going to be healthy. But now I know that every person is different, and everyone’s body reacts differently to certain foods and products.
GL: So, wellness is different for every person. What works for one person might not work for another?
SH: Yes. That is exactly it.
GL: How has your lifestyle changed since you entered the world of health and wellness?
SH: I pay more attention to what I eat now. I pay attention to how different foods make me feel. Before, if I ever felt sick or uneasy, I would simply take over-the-counter medication to feel better. Now I try to determine what could have made me feel this way. I ask myself questions such as, what did I eat today? or did I get enough sleep last night? I am more practical in how I think of my health. I don’t try to simply find a quick relief or solution that really won’t help me in the long run.
GL: As you said, things work differently for everyone. But in a general sense, what are some small changes we could all make in our daily lives to improve our health?
SH: Generally, I would say to first pay attention to how different foods make you feel. Recognizing how you feel after every meal goes a long way. A lot of people have food sensitivities and they don’t even realize it. Also, I cannot stress how important sleep is. If you can’t get enough sleep at night, figure out why. Implement practices that will help you sleep better. And when it comes to being more active, make small changes as well. Don’t try to overreach because that usually doesn’t work out. Instead, implement achievable goals; take the stairs, walk to the store.
GL: What is some advice you would offer to someone during this stressful time that has been the pandemic?
SH: The pandemic has sucked. A lot. But, I think it is important that we show ourselves grace during this time. I have seen people posting about the COVID 20, and comparing it to the Freshman 20, and I think that is ridiculous. It’s a stressful time, and some people have gained weight, and that’s okay. It doesn’t need to be a negative thing. It is normal to gain or lose weight during a really stressful time, so show yourself grace. And also, simply do what you can. It’s a weird time, so don’t stress yourself about not being able to go to the gym or not eating something you want to eat.
GL: That’s really good advice. Now, are there any products you would recommend to our readers?
SH: It’s important to be cautious of targeted products that are supposed to be beneficial for our health and wellness but really aren’t. However, I would really recommend MaryRuth’s vitamins. It’s a family-owned company that is very transparent about the ingredients they use, which is rare. And a principal I would say for other products is: the simpler, the better. Get products with the least amount of ingredients. You’ll be getting less additives and hormones that could otherwise be harmful.
GL: You have a podcast—what is it about?
SH: So, it’s called But Honestly, and my roommate, Lily Moe, and I started it since we’re both in the field of wellness. She’s a health and wellness editor for a tech company. In the podcast we talk about subjects related to the wellness world, and about life in New York. Just this past week we did an episode on mental health.
We also talk about faith, and I think we’re going to do an episode on how that can impact health and wellness as well. We started about a month ago, and we have episodes out now.
GL: That’s exciting!
SH: It’s definitely been fun.
GL: Well, to conclude, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
SH: Yes. The biggest thing I have learned is that our relationship with food shouldn’t be something we are thinking about 24/7. There are a lot of different voices around us trying to tell us what is healthy and what’s not, and what diets we should go on today and what diets we shouldn’t try. However, we should always remember that food is not our life, it is simply a part of it. Wellness is more than what we are eating. So, we should care for all different aspects of it.
GL: Thank you for your time, Shannon.
SH: Thank you, I had fun.
For more information on Shannon Haupert and holistic nutrition tips, follow her wellness blog on Instagram @adailydashofwelness.