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SLB Spotlight: Mia Syn

Contributor of the month Mia Syn shares her health tips

Meet Mia!

Mia Syn is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)  behind the site Nutrition By Mia. She holds a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from Columbia University, a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science Physiology and Metabolism from U.C .Berkeley, completing more than 1,200 hours of supervised practice in clinical nutrition before earning her Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

She is the host of Good Food Friday on ABC Charleston. Catch her sharing evidence-based food, nutrition and lifestyle tips on national and local TV affiliates across the country including FOX News, FOX Chicago, CBS Washington D.C., FOX Denver, CBS Good Day Sacramento and News 4 Jacksonville.

What do you eat for breakfast? Lunch and dinner on a typical day? 

Avocado toast is a staple in my diet and usually my go-to breakfast with a side of fruit. For lunch and dinner I try to incorporate a protein like salmon, a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice and load up on in-season vegetables.

Are you omnivore? vegetarian? vegan? If you happen to be passionate about a particular diet, please explain why.  

 I do not follow any particular diet but aim to eat plant-based and encourage my clients to do the same. Eating plant-based means focusing mostly on plant foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Plant-based foods are a natural source of fiber, a nutrient many of us don’t eat enough of, as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Do you have any rituals you use to try to resist binging on too much sugar and/or fat, such as hiding them or simply not buying them?

I teach my clients not to label foods are good or bad. It is also important not to deny yourself foods that you enjoy while also listening to your body. A great way to approach this is to focus mostly on eating a balanced diet focused on fiber-rich produce, lean protein, healthy fats. When you are eating a balanced diet, your body is getting what it needs to thrive and often you won’t find yourself grabbing these “forbidden” foods. On the other hand, if you do crave those foods, my clients have found that they are less likely to overdo it and are satisfied by mindful portions. 

How do you usually get your exercise? 

I love walking and think it is an underrated form of exercise! I walk almost every morning outside before work. It’s a great way to get my heart rate up, my steps logged and listen to good music or a podcast. Many people may not realize that you don’t need to engage in high intensity training in order to gain cardiovascular benefits from exercise. 

Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to food trends?

With nutrition, there is always misinformation circling around. The motivation for creating Nutrition By Mia was to provide a reliable, evidence-based resource for food and nutrition information that my readers and television viewers could trust. 

If someone is trying to get their diet back on track and live a healthier life, what advice would you give them?

You do not need to overhaul your entire diet in order to lead a healthier life. With my clients I have seen that small, sustainable changes make all the difference in the long run. For example, one week you may replace your daily soda with fruit-flavored sparkling water and the next week, you may incorporate one more serving of veggies into your daily meals. 

Check out some of Mia’s stories on smartlifebites.com: What treats are you handing out this Halloween? and Why You Probably Don’t Have to Go Gluten-Free.