Meet Sarah Adler, the owner of healthy lifestyle and nutrition consulting company, Simply Real Health. Sarah, a born and bred Seattle girl, is someone who has impacted me tremendously to live a life full of purpose and passion.
I will admit, I have had a girl crush on her since I started working on my nutrition with her back in 2012 (though we originally met as little girls at Sunday School!). You cannot help but be drawn to her. Sarah radiates positivity, sincerity, and beauty – inside and out. I am highly inspired by her, her work, and her attitude towards life. Naturally, I was eager to pick her brain on how she lives her life by design.
Sarah Adler is a nutrition coach, healthy lifestyle expert, cookbook author, and food blogger. Her mission: to educate, teach, and inspire others to live their happiest + healthiest life. Through her programs and services, Sarah teaches a tangible, hip + modern approach to a healthy life. With chocolate. And happy hour. And all the fun parts of life included and celebrated, instead of ignored.
Name: Sarah Adler
Location: Seattle, WA
Current Title: Owner, Simply Real Health
Education: B.A. Communications, University of Washington; CHC, Nutrition, Food and Wellness, Institute of Integrative Nutrition (NYC)
What was your first job out of college and how did you land it?
My first job was at Komo 4 news in the TV Sales Department, which I landed because I spent the last 3 quarters of my senior year interning for them. Back then, I thought I wanted to be on camera as a career.
The day that I had to accept or decline, I had a panic moment. I didn’t want my life to be like my internship- spending hours inside at a desk trying to get my clients (like McDonalds, as it was at the time) to sell more Big Macs to people through their commercial timing. I knew I didn’t believe in it.
Something spoke to me (or within me, I learned a few years after) in a big, deep way that day. To push for something more, and to start looking for something in the field that I have loved my whole life—food and nutrition.
So you’ve loved food and nutrition your whole life, but when did you decide to pursue it as a career?
Yes, always! I grew up in a health minded family and was really into in at a young age. Like a little freak, 7-year-old child who loved going to the natural food store for my non-sugar cereal. I’ve always loved the healthy lifestyle aspect of eating well, but at that time, there weren’t many options for me to dream about.
Back then, you could become a doctor or a dietician, and I knew I didn’t want to work in a hospital setting, forcing people who didn’t want to eat healthy, to eat healthy. I played with doing the fitness thing for a while (as a yoga teacher or trainer), but it was always the food and healthy food piece that had intrigued me my whole life. I had read every single nutrition book for fun, done every single diet and was literally obsessed with the concept of eating the best you possibly could, so you could function at your highest potential. I think I was born with it.
Tell us about launching your own business. What were some of the biggest adjustments or struggles? How did you overcome them?
Holy moly. Launching my business was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.
It was scary. So scary! I didn’t have anyone else’s income to rely on or fall back on. Those first few months were intense as I taught myself everything I thought I needed to know or get set up.
I remember taking $2,000 of my own money I had saved and started a separate business account. I stayed up all night for the first month just trying to learn how to build a website and get it up and running. It was blissful and beautiful and I have never felt happier and more free, even in spite of the craziness.
To me, nothing felt better than getting to do exactly what I wanted to and to say what I wanted to say, and it was that thought that kept me going as to how lucky I was to get to do this. This big work. This important work in the world. And that I would never go back, it just wasn’t an option. So whatever I had to do to make it work, I did. And happily.
Launching a business was…blissful and beautiful and I have never felt happier and more free, even in spite of the craziness.
What tools do you use to continue developing and growing yourself? What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?
Oh gosh, this is such a huge piece of it for me. Anyone that has a heart centered and creative business of any kind, would say the same thing, I’m sure.
You have to stay energized and inspired so you can energize and inspire other people. The biggest piece of this comes from food for me- and why it’s so important for others. It’s the game changer.
Other ways is attending live events with other entrepreneurs, having lady business friends to lean on, taking lots of vacations and mental breaks, and having mentors myself. The spiritual piece is HUGE too. I read so many books and listen to so many podcasts on meditation, journaling, yoga, etc. I know myself well enough to know that I have to feel calm and peaceful to create. I need a little bit of this daily to keep me dialed in.
What advice do you have for others looking to make major career moves such as starting a business or changing career direction?
I can’t remember who said it first, but “feel the fear, and do it anyways”, pretty much sums it up.
Feel the fear, and do it anyways.
Walk us through a typical day as the owner of Simply Real Health. Give us a glimpse into your day-to-day life.
Honestly, no two days are the same. It just depends on the day and the week. Which is exactly what I love about it. If I’m in town and I don’t have any big events or talks that week, I usually get up around 6 or 6:30am, check in with my daily clients, catch up on emails, and have my green tea in little home office. Then, I go to workout around 8;30 or 9am each morning over at Fly Fitness in Kirkland because they are just that good, and a good workout is a non-negotiable for me every weekday morning.
Then, I usually have client calls and meetings from 11am-3pm which I can take wherever I am (usually a coffee shop) and have lunch between around 1pm. Then, late afternoon, I hit the grocery store for whatever I’m cooking that night for dinner or an event or blog post, then I head back to my house around 4:30pm and work until 6pm with a big glass of iced sparkling water or hot tea most nights before dinner.
I LOVE doing social things on weeknights, so most nights are either spent with friends over at my house, or me over at theirs, or out to eat if it’s a special night. Close friends, sisterhood, and even easy date nights at home make me feel alive and get me through even the longest feeling days.
I don’t check emails or work past the dinner hour most nights, and try my best to set boundaries around the weekends. Depending on the season, a lot of nights I end have evening events, and a lot of weekends do too, so when I don’t, I treasure it.
What personal characteristics would you say have contributed to your success thus far?
Learning my body well, treating myself well, and not stuffing down my emotions (even internally to myself). And the refusal to ever have to go back to a corporate job. And a really positive attitude balanced with a big dose of logic and plan b’s always help.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career thus far?
A tie between when Cooking Light Magazine flew out a reporter, photographer, stylist and equipment guy to photograph me in my kitchen for an upcoming printed issue and the day that the Simply Real Health Cookbook arrived and sold out of 3,000 copies in 3 months! And all the shipping that I personally did to make it happen.
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
Go for it sister. If not now, when? You’ll never be fully ready for anything that means a lot in life. Be smart about it, but not scared. All the things you need will appear for you if you’re willing to trust that you will be taken care of. If you wake up every day asking how you can send more love into the world, it always does.
Go for it sister. If not now, when? You’ll never be fully ready for anything that means a lot in life.
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
This is going to sound so funny, but my friend and fellow lady business owner Kate Den Oden. We have been friends for a year or two just by email and Skype, and we talk all the time, but have never met in person. But she’s just one of those people that you know you’re on the same wavelength with and could laugh for hours. I hope it happens for real one day!
The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. Life changing.
Favorite Instagram accounts?
What are some of your favorite things to do in Seattle? Favorite spots?
Westward for radishes, chickpeas and rose outside by the fire pit.
Walrus + Carpenter is the best happy hour spot in the city, with magical ambiance. Sit at the counter.
The Gerald has the best salad, cocktails, burger and fries in the city, hands down.
Terra Plata has the best rooftop.
Penny Royal is the best date night cocktail bar.
Pink Door has the best antipasti plate. I love ordering as my whole dinner.
Favorite way to treat yourself?
Monthly pedicures, yoga, long walks with friends, trying new restaurants, making fancy cocktails at home, saying yes to all travel opportunities, sunny vacations, and high quality food from my favorite grocery stores (PCC and Whole Foods).
Inspired? Me too. I just love her!
You can find Sarah in a few places:
Photos by: Jasmine Pulley and Carina Skrobecki