Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Georgia Connick
While other women her age were hanging out with their friends, Sarah Wragge (now a Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach) spent her afternoons in and out of gastroenterologists’ offices. By the time she was 18, she had had a colonoscopy and two upper endoscopies, which showed nothing wrong, though she had never felt worse. She would go on to experiment with many different antacids, prescriptions and pharmaceutical concoctions, but nothing worked. Sarah was in such horrible shape - with inflammation, pain and various health issues - that it infringed on her professional, social and emotional life. Finally she had enough. Six years ago Sarah visited an acupuncturist who took one look under her tongue and said that she had textbook candida. She went on a 60 day cleanse with plant-based foods and self-care tools and suddenly she found herself strong, lean and feeling great. She embraced whole, unprocessed foods and endless amounts of energy and created a new lifestyle that inspired her to help others. So Sarah launched Sweat-working, a company that networks and connects women over wellness and fitness-themed events. She even went onto get a degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and before long, created her own unique diet program based on her experience taking the clean approach. Needless to say, we are beyond inspired with her story. We sat down with Sarah to talk fitness, medicine and how she gets her cheat on (she does!)
Your story is so powerful and truly resonates with me. I went undiagnosed with mercury poisoning for over a year. I saw every doctor under the sun - Eastern and Western and everything in between. I was finally diagnosed by a Functional Doctor, so I know what a game changer this is. Can you share with our readers how, after spending your 20s in and out of doctors offices undiagnosed with chronic diseases, you enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition?
I struggled my whole life with chronic yeast infections, and I'm not just talking about “you know where.” I had them in my ears, believe it or not. So one morning, I went into my doctor's office so I could get my standard prescription of diflucan (a drug that I should have bought stock in I used it so much). A woman walked in. She looked at my chart and told me no way she was writing me another prescription and it was time to get to the root of the problem. I left that day with the number of the doctor's acupuncturist. I called Mia that day and my life was forever changed. It was no mistake that my regular doctor was sick that day. The universe handled me. Through Mia I met my holistic nutritionist / health coach and my journey began.
I am also personally interested in the mental health part of eating & nutrition…can you dive into that connection for us?
I practice holistic nutrition because I believe it's not just about food. Food isn't the only thing that nourishes us. Music nourishes us, playing with a baby nourishes us, cuddling and laughing nourishes us. We have to feed our souls just as much as we feed our bodies to be complete and well-rounded.
Totally. Can you tell us about your philosophy and the different programs you offer your clients?
My philosophy is simple. YOU choose to make a shift and it's a domino effect. I can't tell you how many times a woman/mom/wife comes to me in hopes to become her best self and a week or two in, her six- year -old is asking for a green smoothie. My programs are highly customized to the individual. Usually throughout the course of 12-16 weeks, I change the program two or three times to keep the individual progressing towards their goal. Just as we need to keep the body guessing when we are working out, the food plan has to be dynamic to support the client wherever they are in the process.
I’m a strong believer that our kids should be eating the same foods as we do and I always have snacks in my bag that Callum and I can share. What are some of you faves that we can keep in our bags for those days when we’re on the go?
I couldn't agree more! Christian and I both LOVE Health Warrior Chia seed bars. Those are our go-to. I have also been known to carry around sliced purple sweet potatoes in his batman backpack for both of us after a play date. I choose the purple ones because they have less water than an orange ones - so it's not as messy when you're on the go!
How has the birth of your son changed your approach to food ? Does your partner share your parenting strategy when it comes to food?
When Christian was born I remember looking at him and thinking, "He's so pure. Untouched and Innocent.” All of my knowledge about what's in our food kept creeping up in my head. I didn't want to taint him and pollute his beautiful little system. My husband does share in my parenting strategy when it comes to food. We have a great balance because just as I would feed him kale smoothies and organic chicken all day long, I want him to be a normal kid. I want him to be able to have birthday cake on his birthday and pizza at pizza parties.
Please tell us how you indulge once in a while! What is “worth it” for you? And how do you get back on track when you occasionally derail?
I am really a clean eater until I am NOT, and then I go for it. Saturday nights are my time that I let things go a bit. Usually we have dinner out with friends or a dinner party and nothing tastes better after a jam packed work week, regular exercise and clean eating than a Don Julio Reposado with club soda and fresh lime juice. As far as what's "worth it" for me - french fries and warm chocolate chip cookies.
Yum. I know you love working out as much I do. What are favorites workouts at the moment and why?
I am a tried and true AKT fan. There is no more efficient and fun workout on the planet and believe me, I've tried them ALL.
What is your therapy?
A dance cardio class when I know the routine. I can add in my own style and get lost in it. Sometimes I'll discover parts of myself I didn't know were there. Like, wow, I am pretty sexy when I move like that. I didn't know I could do that with my hips. Connecting to movement is one of the most therapeutic things we can do.
What makes you fly?