LA-Story.com welcomes our guest expert Alexis Sabatino, a certified Holistic Nutrition Coach and Mindfulness Mentor for women with chronic illness. Her business, “Mana Wellness” is based in Byron Bay, Australia but her clientele is actually global and she works with clients online. If you have questions about your life, your goals, your body, and your wellness, read the Q&A below that shares a snapshot of her evolution in her personal and professional life!
All photos are courtesy of Alexis Sabatino!
Alexis Sabatino is a certified Holistic Nutrition Coach for women with chronic illness. Her areas of focus are gut health, hormone balance, and emotional wellness. She lovingly guides her clients through an extraordinary transformation of mind, body, heart & spirit. She helps women activate their inner healer & flourish like a goddess.
She supports clients to engage their courage, embrace their bio-individuality, end cycles of self-sabotage and reconnect with vitality, radiance, and purpose. She uses a variety of tools such as food, movement, and mindfulness, with the intention to catalyze a joyful & sustainable lifestyle for her clients. Her wellness programs are designed to detoxify not only the physical body but the mental, emotional, and spiritual for optimal wellness & alignment.
1) How did you discover your passion for holistic nutrition?
Yoga was my door to wellness a decade ago. I became enamored with how our bodies connect to our minds and emotions. However, it was my own devastating chronic illness that propelled me into this work I currently do in Women’s Health. I became particularly fascinated with how food changes your mental and emotional health and how mental/emotional pain can impact your physical body. It was during my own recovery that I realized that you could be eating all the “right” foods and still suffer. The pivot point is that until (and unless) you take responsibility for the negative self-talk, unworthiness, and emotional pain you’re holding on to, that there will be no major changes.
This is where my passion lies because women are emotional creatures that have been fooled into thinking this is their weakness, when in actuality it is our strength and our power. Our current medical paradigm does NOT serve, honor or respect the female body, so I started a holistic practice that does! I want every woman to have the opportunity to get the care they need and deserve.
2)What is the connection between nutrition and the mind/body connection? What is your belief system?
It’s simple, everything that you put in your body either builds you up or breaks you down. So with that in mind, I teach my clients to become keenly aware of their choices and how those choices impact their body and thus their life. Ultimately, I ask my clients how they want to feel in their body, life, career, relationships, etc., and then work backward from there.
The Gut and the brain are always in communication with each other creating hormones that carry out all the functions in your body. If the right nutrition isn’t making its way into your belly, then your brain is going to lack power. Essentially it goes both ways; what you feed your mind impacts the health of your body, and what you feed your body impacts the health of your mind.
If you eat chocolate cake for dinner, that will create a specific effect on the brain. And if you repeatedly tell yourself “you’re fat, ugly, unwanted, unworthy, etc.” that will have an impact on the body. See what I’m saying?
3) How long have you trained and honed your skills? How does one find “the right practitioner”?
I’ve been working in the “wellness” industry for 6 years, in a variety of ways. I started in “corporate fitness and sport” and realized that health does not mean or equal fitness. From there, I started studying “Mindfulness Meditation” and devoted 6 months to learn about Ayurveda, Meditation, and Vegetarian/Veganism. I learned A LOT and grew tremendously. I managed various holistic health stores, centers, and establishment but during that time, I got very sick and had to study myself in a completely new way. I went back to school for Integrative Nutrition and became a certified holistic health coach and then opened my doors for business after a very long recovery from chronic illness. I wanted to be the practitioner that I wish I would have had before I got very, very ill.
To be honest, I’ve been honing my skills for a decade but it took time for me to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and heal my own body before I became the practitioner I am today. It was a very long journey that took the entirety of my twenties to understand.
In terms of finding the right practitioner, my advice is to listen to your gut! Don’t choose someone simply because of their credentials. Choose them because of how they make you feel when you work with them.
I’ve worked with some of the “best” doctors in the world both personally and professionally, and some of them are just assholes (Pardon my French). They come in and out of session like a tornado causing more havoc than healing. You want to work with someone who has compassion, understanding and TIME to support your unique journey.
Supplements and nutrition mean absolutely nothing if you don’t feel healing energy while working with your wellness team.
You NEED to believe that your healing is possible – and that message must come from your practitioner.
4) What exactly is your role in a clients life? How do you feel nutrition acts as self-care?
In the traditional medical paradigm, you are taught not to engage with your clients or patients in a loving or friendly way. Even dietitians are taught this! This is an insane method in my opinion and one that blocks healing.
My role in a client’s life is to help them realize that they are capable of anything, especially healing! My role is to provide them unconditional love and support, because many people aren’t getting that from anywhere else! How can we expect people to heal when their families, partners, colleagues, and community don’t support them in that! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very direct with my clients and hold them accountable where/when it’s needed; but to me, that is an expression of love, that I am not going to co-dependently allow them to carry on with dangerous behavior simply because I’m afraid of what they’ll think of me. I like to think my clients truly know how much I care about them, and even when I crack the whip, it’s for their own benefit and growth. They are hiring me to disrupt their lives, and that’s what I do – sweep in like Mary Poppins and share my tools, wisdom, and support with them!
In terms of Nutrition as self-care, when you empower a woman’s relationship with food, you empower her ENTIRE LIFE! What better self-care could there be than that?
She has been taught that food is bad, dangerous, and scary so my goal is to reconnect with food as a friend and advocate. I help them rediscover the joy of eating and nourishing their bodies in a way that uplifts and encourages them. Its important to remember that our relationship with food mirrors our relationship with ourselves and everyone else. If we can recreate that relationship to be one of trust, joy and peace than we have just significantly changed her life.
5) Please provide 4-6 tips anyone can do to make a difference in their nutritional life; that can be done easily, and not add hours to a work-day. “Eat this, not that”.
- Drink 2 glasses of warm lemon water with pink salt, first thing in the morning before food or coffee.
This is a REALLY simple way to wake up your body, flush out toxins that were being processed overnight, and remineralize the body. There are so many benefits to this super simple practice.
- Eat healthy snacks throughout the day to seep your blood sugar stable and your mind/body energized. This is especially important for women whose hormonal health depends on the stability of their blood sugar levels
3. Make your own salad dressing: get rid of the artificial dressings and mix up a nutritious one of your own in under 5 mins! My go-to ingredients are EVOO, mustard, celery seed, avocado, tahini, apple cider vinegar, lemon, garlic & oregano. Not all together–but it’s so simple to figure out which ones taste yummy together!
- Take hot Magnesium salt baths 2x/week instead of a shower.
This is a cheap, easy way to open your detox pathways AND take in minerals. Most women are dealing with magnesium deficiency due to high levels of stress and lack of nutritious food so the best way to absorb magnesium back into the body is via the skin. These baths tick so many boxes because you are detoxing, relaxing, mineralizing, and supporting sleep! I’m all about stacking functions 🙂
- Tongue scraping is a fantastic tool to use daily to change your oral microbiome.
Our tongues tell the tale of our organs so scraping it once or twice a day helps to remove unwanted bacteria from the mouth that inevitably will make its way into your gut. It’s an old Ayurvedic tool that has been around for 1000’s of years and stands the test of time. If you have gut issues, this is a MUST do and takes approximately 30 secs!
5) What is beautiful to you.
Fearlessness. Courage. Honesty. Wildness
A woman who is unapologetically true to the musings and callings of her soul. It’s like witnessing a flower in the wild doing nothing other than being it’s fullest expression. Wild colors, weird textures, and unique fragrances. I am in love with the raw beauty of each woman.
6) Your favorite self-care ritual
There are so many that keep me healthy but the ritual that keeps me most healthy is meditation. I know I would be a completely different woman without it. I would be consumed by my ego, stress, and insecurities. Meditation has completed warped my life in the best way possible. It’s a space for me to embrace all that ails me in a cocoon of love and compassion. I would be lost, like many others are, without it.
Warmest Aloha & Deepest Gratitude,
Holistic Nutrition Coach & Mindfulness Mentor
Thank you to Alexis Sabatino for her insight on her life as well as her evolution into being a Holistic Nutrition Coach and Mindfulness Mentor.
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