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A conversation with Keri Glassman MS, RD, CDN, and founder of Nutritious Life

In this Article

With May being Women’s Health Month and the month of Mother’s Day, we sat down with Keri Glassman, one of our favorite business owners who is also a mom, practitioner, and an all-around bad ass. We asked her how she successfully balances her life as a mom with running a thriving business. Read on to hear how this renowned dietitian, celebrity nutritionist, & founder of Nutritious Life juggles it all while also taking care of herself. 

Q: Tell us about your decision to become a mom.

A: I have to say I was definitely one of those people that always knew I wanted to be a mom and I was always very excited about it. When I was growing up, my vision of my future always included children. I got married at a young age, just as I was finishing my master’s in clinical nutrition, so my journey to motherhood began early. Both my kids are practically adults now. 

I got pretty lucky. When I decided I wanted to be a mom I was able to get pregnant quickly. I am grateful for that since I know not everyone has that journey. My pregnancy was smooth overall, but my first labor with my son was unexpectedly long and I always chuckle at the memory of his unique timing. He really is a “march to the beat of his own drum” kind of person to the Nth degree. When he was born, he arrived two weeks late, most doctors won’t even let you go that late. I didn’t want to be induced and I didn’t want to have a C-section, so I just kept pushing it until he was two weeks late. 

Finally, after many, many hours I ended up having an emergency C-section. So, I always laugh because I remember saying then that he really was on his own timeline and was going to do what he wanted, and now this trait persists into his adulthood. His birth taught me that no matter how meticulously we plan, our children have their own paths, and it’s our role to embrace and support them, allowing them to grow and flourish in their own way. 

 

Q: What was the inspiration for starting Nutritious Life?

A: Nutritious Life was sort of born when I was in college, even though I was a political science major and not studying nutrition. I played two sports in college at Tufts University, and I always had this love of nutrition and wellness. Tufts had this great nutrition program that always intrigued me, but I never really considered myself a “science person”, so I never took any nutrition courses in undergrad. 

My curiosity in nutrition grew when I gained weight during my freshman year even though I actively played two sports and tried to be healthy. I noticed my friends who were drinking diet cokes and not necessarily eating healthy managed to still fit into their skinny jeans. I remember thinking there must be a better way, to eat healthy and still fit into your skinny jeans. 

I remember connecting the dots about a healthier lifestyle. I noticed when I slept well, I was more motivated to work out in the morning and when I worked out, I was more motivated to study, and I studied better. Being a 19-year-old college kid, I realized all these positive changes ultimately led to me playing better on the field, even though I didn’t understand the science behind it. These experiences helped me recognize the interconnectedness of what I now refer to as the “Eight Pillars of Nutritious Life”.  

Fast forward, and I’m at my first job in the ad/sales department at Sports Illustrated, which had nothing to do with nutrition. At the time, Sports Illustrated was owned by Time Inc. and when Health Magazine came out each month, I would sit there and read it cover to cover and would be so interested in the content. I was living in New York at the time and was ready to go back to school. I strongly considered going back to Tufts but since I was already living in the city I decided to attend NYU instead. 

I took Nutrition 101 and fell in love with it. I decided to completely dive into nutrition and get my master’s in clinical nutrition while working part-time at a gym. I learned so much in class and was doing my own research too. This background laid the groundwork for my private practice, where my very first logo connected sleep, nutrition, hydration, and stress management—elements that have remained central to my business from the moment I started. Since starting my business in 2002, the concepts and my company have evolved, but these eight pillars remain, underscoring the physiological and behavioral synergy in leading a nutritious life. 

 

Q: What were the benefits and challenges of growing a business while being a mom?

A: I wanted to start a business almost as much as I wanted to be a mom, so it was important that I finish my master’s degree and launch my business, Nutritious Life. I always had this vision that I would have a career in nutrition and be a mom and I was very intentional about both goals. I knew that I wanted to merge my passion for nutrition and pursue this entrepreneurial bug that I had alongside being a mom. 

Reflecting on my journey as a mother and entrepreneur, I realize how vastly different the world is now compared to when I started my business. Back then, there was no Zoom for remote work or social media, which meant everything I did was in person. I remember the hectic years of trying to grow my business while being as present as possible for my children—which always left me running around like crazy.

Sometimes I look back and think I could have managed it all better, setting clearer boundaries or achieving a better balance. But the truth is, I know I did the best I could with the constant stress of raising my babies and growing my business. It was hard, it was not only a lot of work, but it was hard balancing it all emotionally.  

I remember once during my divorce, I had to speak at an event in Washington, D.C. and didn’t want to miss my child’s school dance performance in New York. The kids were with their dad for the weekend, so I didn’t really need to come back to the city. I could have gone directly to the next place I needed to be, but I didn’t want to miss my daughter’s performance. I managed to fly back to New York, attend the performance, and then rush back to the airport for my next commitment. It was a lot. 

Just the other day, I was scrolling through my phone and stumbled upon a photo of my daughter in preschool, holding a sign that read “I love you”. Her teacher had sent it to me knowing I was away in LA. It was a punch to the stomach, reminding me of what I missed during those busy years. But I did the best that I could. Right?

However, as my children grew, I definitely became better at being fully present when I was with them. I became laser-focused and present for all experiences. When they were babies, it was difficult, I remember thinking when I was at work, I should have been home with my kids and when I was home, thinking I should have been at work growing my business. It was this constant tug-of-war between work and home life that so many mothers experience. Sometimes I think back and wonder how I ever survived that.  

Now, I find myself in a different stage of both my career and parenting. I’m just as busy with my kids and work but it’s different. My approach to work is much more selective, and I continue to prioritize family time more and more. It’s nice that I can have open conversations with my kids about it now that they’re older. It takes a lot to get me to travel for work these days. I just don’t have it in me like I used to. And, I know so much of it isn’t often necessary. 

People are often in this building phase of their career when their kids are little and there’s so much pressure not to miss being with your kids when they’re young and to also not miss the opportunity to build your biz. I’ll admit that sometimes I get jealous of those people that either had their kids later in life when they were in a different place in their career or that had their kids first before building their career. Doing it at the same time is really hard. 

That’s not to discourage anyone from doing it the way I did but there are two things I would say about it. I wish that I had cut myself a little more slack (on the work and kid front) and I wish that I knew that I didn’t need to rush everything. That I could have gone a little slower and everything would still work itself out. You don’t have to (and won’t be able to) do everything for work and for your kids all the time. Be kind to yourself, prioritize and do the best you can. And, of course, ask for help!

 

Q: What are your top 3 non-negotiables for maintaining a healthy life as a mother?

A: During the phase when my kids were little and I was feeling run down and burnt out on every level, I established a weekly ritual that has brought me a great sense of calm and balance. Every week, I review my schedule and map out where my family time is and where I need to be fully present with work shut off. While my kids were younger, this meant planning activities and weekend outings, scheduling doctor’s appointments, and ensuring we had fun, relaxed nights at home. I always map out dedicated family time before filling my schedule with work commitments. Knowing that this time is non-negotiable, and I’ve planned for it, provides me with a sense of reassurance that everyone is taken care of and then I can pack in a million other things during the work hours I’ve carved out. It was important for me then and still is to have everything planned out, even if it’s 15 minutes to call doctors or speak to a teacher at school. 

Another non-negotiable is exercise. When my children were younger and online workout programs weren’t a thing, finding time to exercise was challenging. There were a lot of years where I was running to drop off the kids and then I’d have to run to the office and then I’d be running home, so I didn’t miss any time with them, and exercise fell to the wayside. I was teaching my clients the importance of exercise and I needed to remind myself that I needed to be exercising consistently too. As the kids got older and there was more access to fitness, I became more consistent with my workouts. For me, the mental benefits of exercise are my main motivation, followed closely by the physical strength and overall health benefits it provides. 

The last non-negotiable for me is eating empowered. As a dietitian, maintaining a well-stocked pantry with healthy foods is essential for me. Having the house stocked with healthy foods helps me feel more prepared and grounded, especially since I love to eat. I’m a big breakfast person too so I start my day with a nutritious breakfast and a glass of water. Even adding lemon to my water in the morning helps me feel like today is going to be a healthy day and sets a positive psychological tone for my day. When I’m running around doing a million things, taking even 10 minutes to sit down, put my phone away, and calmly eat a healthy meal is literal and emotional fuel for me.

 

Q: What aspects of your health and wellness routine have your kids adopted?

A: Honestly, my son is probably healthier than I am. He is super committed to his health, he eats balanced meals, works out a lot, and diligently takes supplements.  I’m a big smoothie person and so is he, so he’s probably adopted that from me. 

My daughter has this beautifully healthy relationship with food. She understands the importance of opting for whole foods and also doesn’t deprive herself. I’m proud of her for having this understanding at 17.  

Their health and wellness awareness also extends to the products they use and their competence in the kitchen too. I think it’s second nature for them to opt for products that are non-toxic since that’s how the house has always been. They’re both pretty good in the kitchen too so that makes them more mindful about their food choices.  

 

Quick Fire: 

Q: Mother’s Day brunch or Mother’s Day dinner? 

A: Brunch. I’m a morning person. I want to go to bed at dinner time or I’m winding down, so brunch for sure. 

Q: Meditation or workout? 

A: That’s tough. I want to do both but probably work out.  

Q: Favorite Quicksilver supplement? 

A: Glutathione or LipoCalm, I love both.

In this Article

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