Going through a rough patch right now? Me too…

It’s been a few months since I’ve sat down to write. I’ve been going through some very uncomfortable but necessary growth and change for the past few months which I know you can relate to if you’re alive!

My 82 year old aunt who lived alone across the country fell and became unable to take care of herself.

My mom and I spent some unforeseen time and money this summer traveling to help her get back to the East coast where we live. I’m so grateful we were able to help her, and there is still a long road ahead.

There are other challenges we are handling now as well, but I’m not complaining. Life is always what we make of it.

It’s comforting to know that you, like me, are always ebbing and flowing with your self-love and self-care practices in order to feel more love (which leads to better and better health) every day, both toward yourself and the world regardless of what is going on in our lives.

Sometimes life throws things at us that seem insurmountable, but I’ve learned that even in the face of circumstances that scare the hell out of me me, that make me cry and feel like I’ll never see the other side, defaulting to my practices of self-love supports my knowing that I’ve gotten through MANY seemingly insurmountable experiences in my life so far, and this one is no different.

I just have to keep moving – just keep taking the next small step no matter how much I want to hide under the covers.

Five minutes of journaling here, ten minutes of meditation there, keeping myself hydrated, going outside, putting my feet in the grass and feeling the sun on my face.

These are just a tiny fraction of the multitude of self-love practices that we all have to choose from to keep ourselves grounded.

Thank you for your willingness to join me in practice and “love yourself to health” in order to spread more love to your family, friends, and into the world.

What I will be teaching and sharing moving forward will be even more dialed in to practicing love which undoubtedly and unequivocally affects every aspect of your health positively.

Love is a necessary daily practice just like brushing your teeth, and is the foundation of all wellness – mind, body, and spirit.

Through many years of my own experience and guiding thousands of others through the transformative experience of living into love, I’ve found that the wide variety of ways we can choose to practice self-love each day truly dictates our quality of our lives and the quality of our relationships, and small changes in your daily self-love practices will absolutely cause massive positive outcomes in all areas of your life.

The level of health and happiness we feel every day is directly proportional to the amount of self-love we are willing to practice.

Practicing love is a skill, a habit like any other. There is no perfect, only practice.

So, with that in mind, let’s choose to be more loving this week, both toward ourselves and others, because you deserve it and the world needs as much love as it can get.

Love, Daniele 🙂

What Is Love, & What Does It Have To Do With Personal and Financial Health & Wellness?

Throughout my own personal transformations in all areas of my life, and bearing witness to the wellness/relationship/spiritual/financial/career transformations of thousands of others who achieved things they previously believed unattainable for themselves, I’ve learned one major lesson that always rings true for every kind of change that people embark on achieving:

The amount of overall wellness that you feel every day in every single aspect of your life IS DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO the amount of love (self-love/care + love toward others) you are willing to put into practice day to day.

That is why changing your perspective on what love is (how you define/frame it and your perspective on it) is so important, and that is why allowing yourself to non-judgmentally redefine love is SO CRUCIAL to changing ones habits, practices, and choices sustainably and joyfully.

In our current societal structure, the most important things that all humans must have a solid understanding of in order to create a life that consists of more joy than pain are NOT taught in the standard school curriculum in the USA.  

The most basic thing necessary to build a happy, healthy life – understanding what love is (as a noun and a verb) – is simply left up to the individual to figure out on their own, almost like an afterthought.

Understanding, accepting and embracing that love is a daily practice shapes the quality of every aspect of our lives and directly influences our interactions with the most important and unavoidable aspects of human life such as food/nutrition, relationships (with ourselves and others), career choices, finances and all things financial, our ability to understand that we all have unfettered access to emotional management techniques at all times, and so much more, is the missing piece of everything that feels fearful instead of joyful.  

Nutritional and financial practices make or break the very physical, emotional and spiritual states of our entire lives as individuals and as a society, yet most of us are not practicing anything other than burying our heads in the sand so we don’t have to face the intense fear that comes along with valuing ourselves highly and embracing our worthiness of all the good things life has to offer.

I’m focusing on food and finance specifically here because these are two areas that I’ve gone through intense and long-lasting challenges with over the course of my life and have come out on the other side feeling free and less like I’m carrying the weight of the actual Earth on my back, and also because after speaking with thousands of people about their mind, body, spirit wellness journeys over the past eight years, these are the two topics I have found people struggling with more than any others.

Our relationship with food and our relationship with money shapes our entire mind, body, spirit reality every single day – whether it’s full of joy or full of pain or anywhere in between – and I haven’t met a single person who this doesn’t apply to yet.

You might wonder how financial education relates to love. Learning how to manage our finances systematically and consistently and in a way that doesn’t feel stifling is a major practice of self-love – same as nutrition. More than 70% of American families report living paycheck to paycheck and know that they are just one emergency away from total financial crisis. This is an extremely stressful way to live (trust me, I know this from years of previous experience), and it isn’t happening because people are stupid. It is happening because our entire educational system teaching us how to build our lives is critically flawed, and without any mention of love as the practice that is the foundation that all wellness sits upon.

We are taught that debt is “normal” when the whole concept of borrowing money in the ways we do today is a relatively new concept in American history. Debt, along with many mind, body, spirit dis-ease are merely symptoms of a damaged source that is devoid of love as a practice.

Figuring out the best way to manage your finances is a huge aspect of self-love; one that brings great stress relief once a realistic and easy to follow plan is put in place and maintained over time (again, same as nutrition).  A disciplined strategy for everyday management of income, spending, saving, and investing for future goals leads to the feeling that a heavy burden has been lifted from your being, opening up infinite space for personal growth and contribution, and will undoubtedly result in a life that is filled with more joy than pain.

There is no human being alive who doesn’t need to know how these things work, lest they create a life where there is seemingly constant pain coming from their own health and financial situations. If you really take a minute to think about it, I would imagine that there aren’t too many people you know (including yourself) that don’t find these areas of life stressful and sometimes hopelessly unmanageable.

What does all this have to do with love? EVERYTHING. Love is the only foundation on which all of these practices that literally shape the reality of our lives, our emotions, our relationships with ourselves and others, our health and our happiness, our ability to experience joy and gratitude every day, can be built sustainably. Love is a decision that only you can make, and one you must make over and over again. 

Love is nourishing your body and the bodies of those you may prepare foods for with nutrient dense foods and proper hydration more often than not. Love is giving yourself and those you love the gift of learning that your income is your most important wealth building tool—no matter how much money you are currently earning—and how to budget your income as an empowering practice in a way that actually feels good and gives you a sense of control you may have never felt before over your own choices.

If the majority of people were taught to and willing to practice implementing love into their daily lives as much as they are willing to practice watching TV, scrolling through social media, watching the news, talking about other people, etc., then we would all be in much better shape (in all areas). I can only speak from my own personal experience (and walking beside thousands of others through personal transformations), having myself been addicted to some of the previously listed things at one point or another (TV + social media particularly), and the difference it made when I consciously and intentionally MASSIVELY changed my priorities in life is almost indescribable, but I’m trying to communicate that here and now.  

I say all of this from a place of extensive and painful personal experience. There was a long time in my life where I had no idea about nutrition (having been obese with an eating disorder for many years while living with type 1 diabetes), let alone a detailed and ever-growing understanding of how nutrition influences and interacts with human anatomy and physiology, and have now been the “Diabetes Dominator” for more than eight years with the blessing of guiding others on their paths to creating the relationship with nutrition they’ve always dreamed about.

There was a long time in my life where my husband and I were in massive debt and barely making the minimum monthly payments on said debts (sidebar: we are still in debt, but have consciously and intentionally learned and implemented a ton together as a team, are in a MUCH better place than we were just one year ago let alone five or ten years ago, and can actually see the debt-free light at the end of the tunnel… and it feels AMAZING).

If you are willing to change your perspective on what love is, what it means, how you practice it, and embracing that love is who you are at your very core therefore admitting your infinite self-worth, your life will forever change for the better starting immediately in all areas, and the more you practice, the better and better things get.

The foundational love principles listed below are adapted from one of my most influential mentors/spiritual teachers, Julia Cameron. Her principles cover the basics of creativity, which have guided me immensely in my writing and spiritual practices.

Having these foundational principles (listed below) in mind all of the time has allowed me to learn, grow, and continually remind myself what love is, how it relates to my ability to create wellness in all areas of my life, that I am love, and that at any moment I have the free will to choose love over fear.

Practicing love daily is the missing piece, the secret sauce, the one trick that you have been missing, that one thing you haven’t tried when trying to reach whatever goal that seems to always be just out of reach. Practicing love is the magic secret tool that everyone has access to, yet is rarely taught as the foundational principle of creating sustainable change in all aspects of life.

Consciously and intentionally embodying these principles have been invaluable to me in my own personal growth in every single aspect of my life, and I hope these principles serve you as they do me.

I have them printed out and hung up on the wall in my bedroom so I can always easily remember that love is my guiding compass on all decision making processes, not fear.

Foundational Love Principles:

  1. Love is the natural order of life. We are born knowing only love. All other emotions are learned by conditioning.
  2. There is an energetic current and vibration of love that exists in all of life – including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to love – giving love, receiving love, consciously choosing to act from a place of love, and knowing that we ourselves are loveable and fully deserving of love no matter what – we open ourselves to the Universal force of love that is always present, yet often we’ve been conditioned to ignore it in ourselves and in our lives.
  4. We are, ourselves, love. And we, in turn, are meant to continue being love, regardless of any circumstances in our lives – past or present.
  5. Love is God’s/the Universe’s/the Cosmos’s/Infinite Intelligence’s gift to us. Consciously making all decisions from a place of love is our gift back to God/the Universe/the Cosmos/Infinite Intelligence.
  6. The refusal to be love – to admit that we are loveable and deserving of love from others – is a personal (often unconscious) choice, and in direct opposition to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our true nature of love, we open ourselves to the Universal current and energetic vibration of love which aligns us with everything else in existence. We are all one – we are all connected.
  8. As we open our minds and hearts to the acceptance of love as our true nature, many incredibly powerful synchronistic changes are to be expected in all areas of life.
  9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater love.
  10. Our dreams and longings come from the divine Universal source of love. As we allow ourselves to move towards our dreams, we move towards our divinity.

My husband and I wrote an easy to read bestselling book on exactly how to use the power of love as a practice that shapes every single aspect of your life positively because over the years we have found that consciously and intentionally deciding to practice love has by far been the most game-changing principal of creating the type of sustainable circumstances we want in all areas of our lives.  

Stay tuned for my next blog where I will talk about the fear-based beliefs that can get in the way of creating daily love practices if we aren’t conscious and aware of them, plus how to kick them to the curb when they show up!  

With that in mind, let’s consciously choose to be more loving today, both toward ourselves and others, because you deserve it and the world needs as much love as it can get.



I have had the pleasure of being a guest on many podcasts and radio/internet interview shows over the years, and have finally compiled them into one easy to access place in case you’re interested in listening to some motivational chats about mind, body, spirit wellness. 🙂

Click here to check out the new page! ‎

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you can type my name (Daniele Hargenrader) into your favorite podcast app and find some that way (apparently I have a lot to say)!

What are some of your favorite podcasts that make you feel better after listening to them than before you started?

Love, Forgive, Never Give Up Is Finally Here!!! <3

I’m SO EXCITED!!! The day has finally come!

After more than a year of writing, editing, writing, editing—literal blood, sweat and tearsLove, Forgive, Never Give Up is available on Amazon TODAY!

And as a special bonus, we are offering it for just 99 cents on Kindle for the first few days, so grab your copy now before the introductory promotion price expires!

If you know anyone who has experienced adversity or tragedy in their lives and could use a little easy to follow wisdom on how to turn it into advantage and triumph for themselves and those they love, please share this awesome deal with everyone you know by sharing this blog, and/or grab a few copies to keep on hand to give as meaningful gifts to those you love anytime!

We also have a bonus for anyone that leaves a review: A free copy of Love, Forgive, Never Give Up: Book 2 as soon as it becomes available.

Just let me know when you leave your review by sending an email to [email protected] and we’ll add you to the bonus list right away!

As always, let’s choose to be more loving today, both toward ourselves and others, because you deserve it, and the world needs as much love as it can get!

With Love and Gratitude,
Daniele and Bill 🙂

The Diabetes Online Community (#DOC): Who/What/When/Where/Why Is It?

Back in 2015, I was working feverishly on completing my first book, Unleash Your Inner Diabetes Dominator, How to Use Your Powers Of Choice, Self-Love and Community to Completely Change Your Relationship with Diabetes for the Better. It took me almost four years to complete that book, and I’m still profoundly grateful and humbled by the consistent positive feedback it continues to receive to this day.

One of the topics I cover in great detail in the book is the power of community (it is in the title of the book, after all) – the incredible, life-changing, epically powerful force that is peer support when it comes to living with a chronic disease and not feeling alone through the daily ups and downs.

The thing was, however, that no easily accessible website where the widely-varied multitude of avenues to explore regarding finding and engaging in  peer support in the #DOC existed. I knew that my team and I had to create it before publishing the book so we could reference it in the book!

Enter www.diabetesoc.com (short for diabetes online community.) 

Who? The Diabetes Online Community (#DOC) consists of people, non-profits, organizations, and more, all made up of people with all types of diabetes from all walks of life and from all backgrounds all over the world who feel passionate about sharing their experiences, information, resources, tips, tricks, strategies, and so much more in hopes of lightening the burden of themselves and others living with diabetes through the power of connection and community.

What? The Diabetes Online Community is a living, breathing, patient-created and patient-driven community that exists both online and in person in a wide variety of modalities so that no matter your comfort level or readiness to interact, the #DOC has something for everyone, even if you just want to start by lurking. 😉

When? The Diabetes Online Community exists 24/7/365, so there is quite literally never a time that you can’t go into a moderated chat room or Facebook group and speak with your peers live about anything diabetes-related (and more) that is going on in your life.

Where? The Diabetes Online Community is, well, everywhere. From chat rooms, to Facebook groups, to Twitter chats, to websites, to blogs, to Podcasts, to YouTube, to in-person meet-ups that are born of the lively and inspiring online chat, there really isn’t any area of life that the #DOC doesn’t permeate.

Why? Simply put, because we are so much stronger as individuals if we stick together as a supportive community. I can’t tell you how many times I and many others have reached previously unattainable health and diabetes-related goals because of the support and encouragement received in the #DOC. The spark of excitement that is ignited by possibility – by just seeing that someone else was able to achieve something and knowing that if they can do it, you can too, is magical and in many cases, life-changing.

DiabetesOC.com has evolved over the past three years into a community-created and sourced website. We have a form where people regularly suggest additions so that we are always growing and being mindful of new resources whose aim is to help people with diabetes live happier, healthier, more connected, more love and support-filled lives so we can share these resources with our amazing community.

I have had a multitude of healthcare practitioners, doctors, CDEs, NPs, and more tell me that having this website to pass onto their patients has been an invaluable tool that has helped with patient outcomes on all levels (mind, body, spirit), and I personally feel that if more healthcare practitioners became educated about the power of peer support in overall health outcomes and knew how to direct patients to find it, diabetes management across the board would be, well, more manageable for everyone involved.

To this day, I still get questions about where the DOC is, how to navigate it, and more, so I thought it would be a good idea to re-launch www.DiabetesOC.com in hopes of spreading even more awareness of the resources available, as well as to continue sourcing new resources for those of us who want to learn, grow, contribute, and feel more connected to something much bigger than ourselves!

So with that, please take a minute to visit DiabetesOC.com, and to share the site with your community so that we can collectively help as many people as possible to not feel alone in their ups and downs with diabetes. And if you have any resources you think we should add, please let us know!

Special thanks to our Diabetes Dominator Ambassador of Love, Sarah Schaff, for her selfless assistance in updating DiabetesOC.com and making it much more navigable over the years! 🙂

How I Turned My Passion for Helping Others Into a Successful Online Business – Podcast

I’m really excited to share this newly released podcast that I am so grateful to have been interviewed for!

Over the past eight years of nurturing and growing Diabetes Dominator Coaching from nothing more than a deeply-seeded dream that I couldn’t go a day without thinking about, into an increasingly successful coaching, writing, speaking, content creating, advocating, collaboration-minded, heart-centered business, I’ve learned a mind-blowing amount of lessons (many of which I learned the hard way so hopefully you won’t have to!)

I receive almost as many inquiries about how to transition into the type of online business I run now as I do about health/life/diabetes coaching, and that has been the case for the past four years.

Because of that, my husband and business partner (who successfully leads Cybersecurity Operations for a $36 billion dollar global organization, is a bestselling author, TedX speaker, life coach) and I created an awesome business coaching program back in 2015 for those who are looking to build a passion-based business while still working a traditional job that we teach together as a team.

In this podcast hosted by Yuri Elkhaim, founder of Healthpreneur and New York Times bestselling nutrition author, we discuss how my husband and I have grown our businesses into what they are today.

We also chat about how I keep myself accountable and on task, and why I believe mindfulness is a practice that must be cultivated for lasting success. This episode is a must-listen for any entrepreneur in the health space who wants actionable advice to make a lasting impact.

Here are a few other topics we cover:

  • Going from victim to action.
  • Posting publicly about products you haven’t created yet.
  • How spirituality ties into entrepreneurship.
  • The priority of providing value to people before they buy anything.
  • The advantages of collaborating with peers and being authentic/knowing yourself.

If you’d like to learn more about the Healthpreneur podcast or read the full transcription of my interview, click here!

Hope you enjoy the podcast! Let me know if you have any questions or comments on anything we discussed below! Please share! Thanks for listening! 🙂

Manifest (Your Own) Destiny

Over the years, I have consciously and intentionally become a more spiritual human being. By that I mean that I’ve come to trust that there is a deep, flowing, always present current of energy and knowledge that pulses all around us and knows what we are meant to do in order to live in alignment with our true nature – love.

I spent many years labeling myself as agnostic, mainly because I feel that organized religion does more to separate people than bring them together (my God only loves you if you do these things that humans made up…. that doesn’t work for me). Further, I didn’t know who I was. Now I understand that I don’t need any man-made labels or denominations to define who I am and what I believe in – I am love and I believe in love.

I have become mildly adept at the art of manifesting, and synchronicities – what also may be interpreted as “coincidences” – are a major part of my everyday life. They are signs letting me know that I am heading in the right direction. Instead of being surprised when they happen like I used to, now I just experience intense gratitude for the guidance each time it happens.

Not only has this practice of letting go of my ego and trusting in the Universe allowed me to have an even more loving relationship with myself, my diabetes, and everyone else I encounter, it has served me in my business growth as well.

About a month ago, my husband Bill and I were having a conversation about the future. And although we know what we want on a large scale, we were both feeling a bit stuck regarding the next best steps to take.

One thing I said (that I was crystal clear on) was that I wanted to do more consulting work. I really enjoy the process of helping a company that wants to help the diabetes community in some way to figure out if what they are proposing will actually be helpful to the people in the diabetes community, or if people in the diabetes community simply don’t care about what they’re proposing.

It is a fun and interesting process, and I enjoy it. I’d like to think it helps clear up some of the business-y BS that often gets in the way of clear, simple, directed actions that can be collaboratively approached that have the very real outcome of improving the lives of people with diabetes across the board.

I offer a perspective that business executives that don’t live with diabetes simply cannot see on their own, and I am grateful to represent the diabetes community since I’ve spent thousands of hours and have dedicated my career to speaking both one on one and in groups of people with diabetes who are working to improve their lives over the past eight years.

All that being said, in the past week, I’ve received two separate offers – seemingly out of the blue, but I know that it’s the Universe supporting me to fulfill my desires since they are aligned with my true nature of love – from two major insulin manufacturers to come in on a consulting basis, and getting paid what I feel is appropriate.

This is very important to learn and understand – the Universe isn’t going to go out of its way to support you if you don’t feel you deserve to be supported – I learned that the hard way!

Your self-worth is directly proportional to the Universal support you receive. 

My hope is that you will set aside thirty minutes to get crystal clear on one thing that you want.

Journal about it, meditate on it, take a walk in the park with the question “what do I really want? holding space in your mind. Don’t judge what comes out – often what comes out may seem absurd or grandiose. That’s usually a good indicator that you’re on the right track.

What do you want? Will you practice manifesting it? Will you trust in the Universe to support you? Will you support you?

I know I will, and I hope that you’ll join me in the practice of surrendering your ego to the collective conscious knowing of the Universe. It’s not easy, but it is certainly worth it. 🙂

Diabetes Adulting Hack

A few months ago I was invited to a local T1D meet up. About ten or so hungry peeps with diabetes met up at a restaurant in Philadelphia, and I was grateful to be among friends.

One of the fun and interesting things about sitting at a table with a bunch of other T1Ds is that my Omnipod PDM was among many on the table. My friend Roz picked mine up and when she hit the home button and the screen came up, she realized it wasn’t hers – and she noticed something else, too.

She noticed something that I have always done with my Omnipod PDM, which she called a “diabetes adulting hack,” and she encouraged me to share it, which is what prompted this post.

One time in my beginning stages using Omnipod about six years ago, I left the PDM (essentially the receiver needed to bolus, change sites, and everything else that controls the pump) at a restaurant.

Since there are no tubes connecting the pump to my body, I have to be very mindful to make sure I have it with me at all times (although the Omnipod will still continue to deliver basal insulin no matter whether the PDM is near or far, which is a feature I like.)

As you may know, the feelings of dread and anxiety involved when a piece of your pump or CGM equipment is broken or lost is palpable to say the least since you will have to either find it, replace it, and/or go back to manual injections until you are able to get a hold of a PDM. Either way, not having your PDM will be taking up ALL of your thought cycles until you get it back!

I am a particularly proactive person in general and intentionally do whatever I can to make my life easier in the case that something does go wrong, and in this case I had done something prior to this occurrence to help ensure that if I ever did lose my PDM, anyone who found it would know exactly what to do:

I put my phone number on the front screen which is always the first thing you see when you press the home button to operate the pump.

We received a call from the restaurant saying they had found my cellphone (LOL – most people would have no idea what the PDM was if they found it randomly) and boy was I grateful they did.

Since then, I highly recommend everyone who has an Omnipod does the same thing. First, enter your phone number, then your name as shown in the pic. That way you have an extra layer of insurance if you ever leave your PDM somewhere out in the wild.

This has been your diabetes adulting hack of the day, because, well, adulting with diabetes is hard! Diabetes on, my friends! 🙂

Please share this with anyone who could benefit from doing this for themselves or their kids!

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity for learning & growth! Join me + 25,000 others!

I’m here –as always – to gently urge you to intentionally set aside some self-love and self-care time, and I have a super quick, easy and majorly beneficial way you can do that for yourself right now!

I truly believe that the level of health and vitality we feel day to day is directly proportional to the amount of self-love and self-care we are willing to practice.

Self-love includes how much attention we’re willing to pay to ourselves, our feelings, and the signs our bodies are always sending us – being conscious, present, and non-judgmental, and being willing to change course when we know things don’t feel right.

I also believe that learning leads to growth, new ideas, new ways of thinking, and forward moving progress on all fronts, and I believe in supporting others who feel the same way.

With that in mind, if you’ve ever considered a whole foods plant-based nutritional lifestyle as a way to manage your blood sugars but wanted to learn more from the world’s most renowned experts on the topic (including yours truly) before making any decisions, then this FREE Mastering Diabetes Online Summit is definitely worth taking a closer look at.

I’m grateful and humbled to be presenting on the mindset of implementing sustainable change on this awesome summit running from March 28 – April 4!

Last year, more than 26,000 people with diabetes attended the online summit (I was one of them!), and began transforming their diabetes health, losing weight, reversing insulin resistance, gaining energy, and controlling their blood glucose better than ever before. 

My good friends, fellow people with diabetes, and hosts of this amazing summit – Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro – changed their nutritional lifestyles to a whole foods plant-based approach years ago and never looked back.

So my suggestion to you if want to gain some incredible new knowledge: register for the Mastering Diabetes Online Summit and see what you can learn!

I know that these guys worked their butts off to provide world-class knowledge for our diabetes community, and both have hearts filled with love and care for helping others.  

Since it’s free, there’s no risk of losing anything, and a huge opportunity to learn new things that you can use to continue to give yourself the gifts of self-love and self-care on your wellness journey.


Learn on my friends, and please share with anyone who might benefit from this awesome learning opportunity! 🙂 

Protein powder – do you need it? I don’t, and here’s why…

One of my awesome clients sent me this Consumer Reports article and asked me what I thought about protein powder, which is what prompted this post.

Please – do your own research!

Here’s my two cents about just about every single article, report, study, etc. published by any and all agencies to try to prove or disprove anything: only you can decide what is true for you.

After reading the article my client sent me, then digging a little deeper into the Clean Label Project who funded the study (always find out who funds any study you are reading that is trying to convince you of anything – where the money comes from is a great indicator of the bias of the findings of the study), I found what I find just about every time I dig a little deeper:

A whole lot of he said/she said, back and forth, back and forth.

To be clear – I’m not saying that the Clean Label Project, Consumer Reports, or anyone for that matter is right, wrong, or otherwise.

I am saying that, after performing my own due diligence to best serve my client that involved an intentionally short trip down a rabbit hole, which is where all research leads (I recommend limiting the time you choose to dive into said rabbit holes as it can become never-ending) I will continue to always choose to make my own assessments based on facts combined with how things make me FEEL after doing my own experiments – physically, mentally, spiritually – and using my best judgment and discretion based on the feedback my body provides.

That is what I will always recommend each person do for themselves as well.

Ever since graduating from personal training school in 2010 and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science, I have always had my suspicions about the efficacy, safety, and necessity of protein powder supplements, but that didn’t stop me from using them consistently for a long period of time.

Back then, I was not nearly as concerned or vigilant about the quality of ingredients I chose to put in my body, however, I was crystal clear on the fact that there wasn’t – and there still isn’t – any regulatory committee that oversees the truth in labeling regarding nutritional supplements, including protein powders.

I knew this meant that protein powder manufacturers could, quite literally, put anything they wanted on the ingredient labels and nutrition fact labels of their products and that nobody was there to ensure they were being truthful.

I used protein powder steadily for more than seven years. Throughout that time I was always active – lifting weights, Crossfit, yoga, Zumba, and a variety of other exercise modalities. First I used Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein powder, then as I listened to the signs my body was sending me and chose to move away from animal products, I transitioned to both Vega Sport and MRM Veggie Elite protein powders.

Around 2015, I simply began feeling gross – mentally and physically – anytime I thought about having a protein shake. The same shake I had every day for the past seven years, sometimes two times a day, no longer appealed to me and actually made me feel ill when I thought about drinking it.

My body simply did not want me to ingest it anymore, and at that point, I had consciously and intentionally trained myself to know how to first listen to my body – to my intuitive inner wisdom that knows everything about what I need and don’t need to be healthy – and then to act in accordance with the signs I was receiving.

Intuitive eating is how I live and what I teach others to use when building their own nutritional lifestyle.

I simply stopped using protein powders. I did not become protein deficient. I did not lose any of my muscle mass. I did not gain weight. I did not worry about replacing the 25-50 grams of protein I was no longer ingesting with protein specifically – I made it up with a variety of all macronutrients in whatever ratio I felt I needed each day. I felt a lot better overall – the same way I feel when I intuitively reduce or eliminate any highly processed food-like item from my daily nutritional lifestyle.

I was fooling myself into believing two things based on “popular science” and marketing bullshit that I no longer believe to be true:

  1. Protein powder is a healthy food, or that protein powder is food at all – it’s not – it’s a food-like item.
  2. I needed a large amount of protein in my diet daily in order to remain healthy, fit, nourished, and to be able to continue to build muscle.

I know now without any doubt that both of those things are not true for me.

I can’t say what is true for you. Only you can choose to experiment and see what your body really wants and needs, not because an article or a trainer told you so, but because it makes you feel in tune with yourself, satisfied, energetic, and not like you’re force feeding yourself or restricting yourself intensely to reach a certain set macronutrient ratio.

Here’s what I know for sure:

  1. We all have our own internal, intuitive wisdom that, if honed in on, will always guide us to the right choices when it comes to how to nourish our bodies, minds, and spirits. Learning to do this is a practice that will serve you for the rest of your life in ways you can’t even imagine.
  2. I personally don’t need more than 50 grams of protein per day in order to have what I consider the health I desire, including strength, endurance, overall physical fitness, mental clarity, great blood work time and time again (including cholesterol, blood pressure, Vitamin panels, thyroid, Hemoglobin A1C, and more – I love studying my blood work and get more blood work than the average bear, and more often).
    I am a woman, currently 35 years old and weighing 135 pounds that exercises 5-7 days a week consistently in a variety of modalities. I have had type 1 diabetes for 27 years. There are some days get 50 grams of protein, some days I get 100 and some days in between – whatever I need each day, I get.
  3. Eliminating protein powders from my life caused me absolutely zero problems.

I had no plans at all of writing this as a blog post, but once I got to writing back to my client, Misi (a 67 year old highly athletic female with type 1) I realized that I wanted to share this response with anyone else who might want to hear my opinions.

For some levity, check out this short parody that another one of my clients sent me on the topic of intuitive eating. I got a kick out of it, and it drives home the point of needing to know what makes you feel good versus believing everything you read without doing your own experimentation in a lighthearted way. 🙂

I’d love to hear about your experiences with protein powder as your feedback is so helpful in forming a clearer picture on the topic.

Do you love it? Hate it? Indifferent?

Please leave a comment below to help me gather real, community-sourced feedback!

Thanks for reading!