Samantha Attard

Wellness Coach, Yoga Instructor, Nutrition PhD

Wellness coach & yoga instructor with a Nutrition PhD from UNC. I help ambitious adults fit healthy eating into a hectic routine.

Call Rates

Duration Price
15 minutes $50.00
30 minutes $85.00
60 minutes $175.00

Tags

nutrition productivity energy stress yoga wellness stress management mindfulness action

Biography

I am Samantha Attard, PhD, and my mission is to help you become a happier, healthier human.

This mission is why I :

  • researched nutrition and earned my PhD in public health.
  • trained and teach as a Vinyasa yoga instructor.
  • studied and follow the best nutrition and wellness practices from Western and Eastern medicine.

It’s led to knowledge and deep insights that can have a powerful impact on your life.

 

I pursued my PhD in Nutrition so I could finally learn what people are "supposed" to eat. I dove into massive epidemiologic studies to tease out the causes of diabetes, hypertension, and excess weight in populations across the globe.

But do you know what I discovered? I found out that there is no one "right" diet.
We all have individualized needs.
We all have different preferences and barriers in our quest to live a healthy life.
We all need to learn to listen to our bodies to figure out what it is that makes us actually feel good.

I realized that even the most advanced scientists in the world can't pin down an exact diet that's best for everyone! So, I returned to my previous studies of Ayurveda (the ancient Indian medical system) and Traditional Chinese Medicine for explanation.

Both Ayurveda and TCM recognize that we all have individual needs. There is a season and a rhythm to our lives. We all require our own set of habits and routines that allow us to function at our best.

I recognized an exciting opportunity to bring this ancient wisdom into a modern context. I combine a rigorous training in modern nutrition with a deep understanding of nutrition practices that have withstood the test of time.

The best part is that I get to use this knowledge to benefit YOU! My years of studying Eastern and Western nutrition culminate in a wealth of knowledge that can help you figure out how to make your body feel it's best.

This information is too good NOT to share! I am so immensely grateful that I get to work with you to help you discover your best path to wellness and ease.

 

With some smart, insightful strategies, you will be a powerful force of happiness and health. Happy Healthy Human provides blogs and ebooks, an online community, in person and online workshops, as well as health and wellness coaching that makes wellness personal again. We help you clarify what happiness and health means for you and then implement a plan to achieve your customized goals. It’s a one-two punch that will leave you feeling calm, connected, and confident.

 

 

Our relationship is built on trust. Before I share a healthy living or productivity tip with you, I first gather and devour the best research out there so that I can deliver an accurate, evidence-based, message tailored for you.

Because of my years of experience as a researcher, educator, and Vinyasa yoga instructor, I excel at combining research savvy with strong teaching skills and a passion for helping others. And I want to share this passion with you.

With the resources I provide through Happy Healthy Human, you will have the confidence and knowledge to make healthy decisions now and throughout the rest of your life. You will find calm, knowing that you are living your best life today.

 

Start reducing your stress today with my FREE 3-minute meditations!

For the nutrition info you need to know - follow me on Periscope (or catch my rebroadcasts at katch.me/happyhealthysam!)

 

Experience

CEO

Happy Healthy Human
April 2014 - present

Happy Healthy Human provides the information, resources, and services that busy professionals need to live their best life! 

Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

American University
August 2015 - present

Education

UNC Chapel Hill

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
2010 - 2015

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Bachelor's Degree
2006 - 2010

Other

Certifications

Registered Yoga Teacher

Yoga Alliance
January 2015 - March 2016

Courses

Introduction to Nutrition

American University (HPRM 205)
2/16/2016 3:18:27 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:
Agreed - it is such a shame that fresh, healthy foods cost more in this country than unhealthy ones. 
 
A few great tips:
1. Buy in season. Peppers and berries are expensive during the winter months because it takes a lot of to grow and ship them! Instead, look for local produce that's in season and will likely be cheaper. That means zucchini, berries, peppers, and eggplant during the summer; butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pears and apples during the winter!
2. Go frozen. There are many frozen vegetable and fruit options that make preparation easy. They store for a very long time, and tend to be inexpensive!
3. Shop the sales & seconds. Use the sales pages to dictate what you prepare that week. Even if you're unfamiliar with a vegetable, you can always check online for recipes! Seconds are another great option - fruits/ vegetables that are safe to eat, but have visual blemishes or are close to expiring. You can get them at a much lower cost, and they still taste great!
4. Be careful about where you're shopping. Check out a few different grocery stores and options in your neighborhood to make sure you're getting the best deal.
5. Go plant-based. One major cost can be meat and milk products. Rice and beans, on the other hand, are delicious, cheap, and versatile. 
6. Make one-pot meals. Soups and stews are fabulous and filling. The best part is that leftovers taste great, and you can even freeze them for later in the week or month! 
 
Also, note that many farmer's markets are starting to accept food stamps, so that is an option to get cheap, local produce!

 

2/16/2016 3:34:18 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:

Colitis, or inflammation of the colon, is an annoying, painful condition that can greatly reduce your quality of life. While there is no one prescribed diet for all individuals with colitis, there are a few common food groups that trigger symptoms.

 

These foods to avoid include alcohol and caffeine.

 

Some studies have shown that individuals with colitis benefit from a low-FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo, di, monosaccharides and polyols.

 

Foods that are eliminated on a low-FODMAP diet include lactose (dairy), gluten, beans, and sugar alcohols like sorbitol. You eliminate all of these foods for 4 to 6 weeks, and then slowly add foods back in, noticing when your symptoms return.

 

Following the low-FODMAP diet is a great way to figure out which foods are triggers for you, and gives you a process to determine which foods are the true cause of your symptoms.

 

It’s very helpful to go through the FODMAP elimination diet with the help of a trained practitioner, so you can receive guidance on the proper foods and timing of the elimination diet!

Is cutting carbs the best way to lose weight?

Also, is there really a difference between "good" carbs and "bad" carbs? 

2/16/2016 3:40:09 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:
Eating less calories (and those can be calories from fat, carbs, or protein), and burning more calories than you're consuming  each day is ultimately what allows you to lose weight. But that being said, there is some evidence that cutting calories from carbs (rather than from fats or proteins) can be helpful in allowing you to lose that weight and keep it off long term. 
 
Here's why: calorie for calorie, fat and carbs make you feel more full than eating carbs do. That means you can cut the same number of calories, but be more satisfied if you're eating a diet that has less carbs in it.
 
High carb foods that we tend to over consume are also processed foods high in refined flours and sugars. These foods provide little nutritional benefit beyond calories, and are engineered to make our taste buds go crazy. If you're watching your carbohydrate intake, and as a result eat less pasta, cakes, and cookies, it will make losing weight a lot easier.
 
I don't say there are "good" and "bad" carbs, but there are some carbs that are going to do more for you than others. Carbs that come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are going to also come with important vitamins and minerals that help your body run at their best. Carbs from refined sugars and flours, on the other hand, are only providing calories, and not the essential nutrients that whole foods can give you.
 
As always, how many carbs you should cut differs for different people. So work with a coach to make sure you're cutting carbs safely and sanely, so you can make your weight loss stick!
2/16/2016 3:26:03 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:
If we're doing this by the amount I consume - it would have to be almonds. I always have a container of almonds for a quick snack when I'm on the go, love almond butter, almond flour, and slivered almonds in my breakfast. I'm a little obsessed!
 
I don't really consider any foods "cheat" foods... at this point, I know for myself that some foods simply don't make my body feel good, and that's what I use to decide if I want to eat it. That being said, if there was one food that doesn't make my body feel good, but I indulge in on occasion...it'd be an apple fritter from my favorite bakery. It's about the size of my head, and filled with cinnamon-y apple pieces. I truly enjoy when I get to eat it!

Does it matter what time of day you consume your calories?

I usually hear people said that having a big meal in the morning is the healthy or having 5 to 6 small meals a day. But I also hear others said that it doesn't matter when you have your meals, as long as you have enough calories intake in one day. What's your opinion on this?

2/16/2016 3:23:06 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:
Great question. Some people would say no - a calorie is a calorie whether you have it at 9am or 9pm. That being said, there are different times of day when it's better to have a larger meal than others.
 
So many of us are counting calories all day and end up eating only a small amount through most of the day, and then have to have a huge meal in the evening because we're so hungry. 
 
What's better is to focus your calories earlier in the day. Eat a filling breakfast and a satisfying lunch - that's what's going to give you the energy to be productive and effective throughout your day. In the evening, you can eat a little less - it will help your body start to relax, and you'll sleep better without a full belly! 
2/16/2016 3:00:45 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:
It's true - there are a lot of diets out there. They've done study after study trying to compare different diet plans and see which one is "THE BEST". What they find? -The diet that works is the one you can stick with. 
 
Whether paleo, gluten free, or low-carb, the most important thing is that it's a sustainable diet that you enjoy and can stick with. This is why diets that focus on extreme weight loss or cleansing aren't very useful long-term. As soon as you finish your "detox", you return back to your regular habits, and the weight comes back.
 
The diets that focus on reducing processed foods and added sugars, while adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods are the ones that work best for most people.
 
One other note is that a simple way to make any diet more effective is to also increase your exercise (even by a small amount!) Studies have shown that people find it easier to regulate their energy intake if they have a higher energy expenditure (i.e., they burn more calories throughout the day). So get moving! 
2/16/2016 3:53:03 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:
First off - I applaud you on doing what you can to eat well. It's very difficult when you have a meal plan or limited ability to cook! 
 
And this answer pertains to *anyone* with limited time and ability (or desire) to cook. 
 
 
First, I would suggest that you try to make your snacks as full of whole foods as possible. Maybe you're always going to be having a dining hall dinner, but you can get snacks that are less processed - fruit, almonds, yogurts...all of these are going to be better than a protein bar or other processed snack. 
 
Similarly, see if there are any meals in your day that you can cobble together a healthier meal. Maybe there's a salad bar available at lunch, or you can make oatmeal in your microwave. Look for those alternatives so you can limit the more processed foods when possible. 
 
Lastly - let your voice be heard! Talk with the people in the dining hall or in the office cafeteria about what you'd like to see offered. If there's enough consumer demand, there will be changes! 

What sparked your interest in Vinyasa yoga?

... and how does Vinyasa yoga differ from "regular" yoga, hot yoga, or any of the other types of yoga that are out there?

2/16/2016 3:47:46 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:
I originally got interested in Vinyasa yoga back in high school. We would do yoga classes around exam time, and I loved the power and strength of the poses.
 
As I continued to practice yoga, I found Vinyasa yoga and fell in love - Vinyasa yoga moves faster and emphasizes a connection between breath and movement. That connection really allows you to get into a flow, a rhythm that lets your worries and stress go.
 
I love that Vinyasa yoga is a vigorous, physical practice, but also takes time for quiet stretching and relaxation. It moves faster than Hatha or Iyengar yoga, but is not as rigid as Bikram or Ashtanga. There are different sequences in every class, so you never get bored!
 

 

2/16/2016 3:27:16 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:
There are a few major benefits of the eastern traditions for our Western perspective.
 
First, Ayurveda (the Indian system of medicine) and Traditional Chinese Medicine focus on prevention. They acknowledge that health is really a state of balance, and that going too far in any one direction can bring about disease. Thus, in these traditions, you're constantly trying to maintain balance, rather than waiting until you get a diagnosis, and then trying to fix the issues. 
 
Second, these Eastern traditions recognize the role of the individual. Rather than assuming that each person needs the exact same prescription or plan for health, these traditions formulate unique, personalized solutions to health issues. They look at the person, not just the symptoms.
 
Third, Eastern traditions recognize that what you eat affects your stress, work, and relationships. Everything is connected, and as a result, we look much more at the connections between different areas of your life, rather than haphazardly trying to fix different complaints. 
 
Together, Eastern traditions provide a more holistic picture of wellbeing than the West does, and incorporating these traditions as I do in my coaching practice help you discover and address the root of your health issues, rather than trying to apply band-aid solutions to the symptoms you present with.
 
 

 

2/16/2016 3:05:27 PM,
Samantha Attard replied:

If you're just starting out with yoga, I mostly recommend that you go to a dedicated beginner's class, or work one-on-one with a yoga teacher (most of us do private sessions). This will make sure that you're learning the poses and doing them safely, rather than just trying to copy the person in front of you.

 

As you learn the foundational poses, you'll be able to try different styles of yoga (Vinyasa, Iyengar, Power Flow, among others), and see which style feels best for you!