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Based in Chicago, Karina Heinrich is a Certified Integrative Nutritionist and Celebrity Health Coach. Her impressive client roster includes models, professional athletes, celebrities and CEOs – all of whom she helps guide with The Karina Method, her breakthrough nutrition movement. And now, on World Sleep Day, she’s offering up her nuggets of wellness wisdom as well as a peek inside a typical day in her life (spoiler: there’s no such thing!), with Lively readers.
Keep reading to learn more about the health guru and TV personality in our interview below.
Lively: It’s World Sleep Day! What would you say is the correlation between sleep and a healthy diet?
Karina Heinrich: The correlation between sleep and a healthy diet is stronger than you might realize. A healthy diet promotes deeper and more restful sleep, which in return, help register fullness more easily, promotes more mindful eating and reduces cravings. It’s a catch-22. You cannot have the best sleep without making healthy food choices. And you cannot easily eat healthy when you are not getting enough sleep.
Poor sleep is highly linked to weight gain and people with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep. Poor sleep affects hormones that regulate our appetites. Those who get adequate sleep are shown to eat fewer calories than those who don't. When we are getting high-quality, restorative sleep, research shows that this deeper sleep supports weight loss efforts … boosts your immune system and more. It’s recommended that adults get at least 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each and every night, but most struggle to even get 4-5 hours.
L: What does a typical day in the life of a health coach/celebrity nutritionist look like?
KH: I am scrupulous with my schedule. My alarm clock goes off at 5 a.m. for my morning workout. I work out in my home gym. I run on a treadmill 4-5 times a week and lift weights 3 times a week with my own interval training routines. I also incorporate daily yoga stretches and deep breathing into my life after my workouts. Even just 10 minutes’ worth helps me set my daily intentions and mantras.
I get ready for the day and review emails, social posts and create very clear to-dos for the day. I have clients all around the world and only coach 3-5 clients one-on-one per week, so that I can keep up with the high amount of texts and individualized wellness plans.
My three kids are up by 7 a.m. and it’s breakfast, lunch-making, backpack-filling and out the door for school drop-offs by 7:45 a.m.
My day is filled with client calls, media script writing and pitches, brand meetings, social media/PR calls and, of course, keeping up with client texts.
By 3 p.m., it’s school pick-ups, hockey rinks, dance studios, gymnastic mats, prepping the kid’s dinner, homework, occasional dinner date with my husband or a girls night. I do make an effort to tuck each child in for bed most nights...it’s a special time for this mommy and each child! Finally, I make sure to prep for the next day.
If I am in LA or NY for TV, it’s a whole different ball game of fun!
L: What is something you’ve taught your celebrity clients that other people could benefit from?
KR: I teach all of my clients my HIGH LOW LEAN NO nutrition rules. Each client is taught to evaluate food prior to consuming and to ask, “Does this meal or snack meet the criteria for HLLN?” HIGH: Water, fiber and clean carbs (think greens, berries and veggies), LOW: Healthy fats (think olive oil, avocado, unsalted nuts & seeds), LEAN: Proteins (think chicken, fish and tofu), NO: No added salts or sugars.
And my tough love approach: Hold yourself accountable. No excuses! Show up and work hard for it. Your body and health are worth it!
L: Is there a recipe you’re currently obsessed with?
KR: I am always obsessed with teaching my clients how to make my Homemade Granola and my Protein Peanut Butter Bites because it’s easy to sneak in so many incredible superfoods (my fav is bee pollen!). Both the Homemade Granola and the Protein Peanut Butter Bites make the ultimate snack for energy, beauty and health.
L: Sounds so good! What changes do you think some people should be implementing in their diets?
KH: I think in general most people know that sugar does nothing good for our bodies...
But let’s talk about salt! Sodium is a crucial electrolyte in the body. Healthy adults should consume no more than 2,300mg of sodium or about one teaspoon per day. The ideal limit is closer to 1,500mg per day. Shockingly, the average US adult takes in almost three times this amount. Consuming too much salt can raise blood pressure, cause major water retention and more.
Most of the salt in the modern diet comes from restaurant or packaged foods like processed meats, salted snack foods like chips, canned soups and soy sauce. It’s even found in some breads, breakfast cereals and cottage cheese. So, let’s stick to real foods as the majority of our meals, put the saltshaker away, and get rid of the packaged foods in our homes. You’re doing your body a favor without missing out on the flavor.
L: Thank you for sharing! Switching gears – we know you’re a big Vital Proteins fan. Can you share what your collagen routine looks like?
KR: Every morning, I scoop Collagen Peptides into my black coffee, into my oats (If I am having oatmeal) or into my green smoothies. During the day, I carry the on-the-go Collagen Peptides stick packs in my purse to add to my water bottle, hot teas, etc. I also add it to my recipes like my Peanut Butter Bites or Zucchini Bread. It’s just a part of my lifestyle and daily supplements that I never miss.
L: What’s your favorite Vital Proteins product and why?
KH: I have been using the Collagen Peptides for years and especially love that they also come in individual packets. I can add it to anything, so cooking comes easy. I love trying the new products and sharing with my clients. They all have such different lifestyles and Vital Proteins does such a fantastic job creating products for everyone. For my clients who have trouble sleeping, I have recently the Zen Collagen Shot and Sleep Collagen Shot. I am loving these new Collagen Shots – so many to pick from! The Glow Collagen Shot is a must before my next TV appearance! I cannot wait to see what products Vital Proteins will introduce next.