Self-care is also inevitably intertwined with my nutrition as well. No matter how busy I am, I aim to make it a priority to nourish my body with nutritious food and make sure I am getting all the essential nutrients I need to feel my best.
At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s well being, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.
As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mia Syn, MS, RD.
Mia Syn is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) based in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a nationally recognized nutrition expert and host of Good Food Friday on ABC 4. She holds a Master of Science in human nutrition from Columbia University and has been featured by dozens of major media outlets including Women’s Health Magazine, Cosmopolitan and BuzzFeed. As one of the most recognized and trusted young dietitians in the country, she has helped hundreds of her clients and millions of her readers lose weight, improve their health, and adopt healthier eating habits.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?
I am from the SF Bay Area but now live in Charleston, SC, which has become one of my favorite places. I wanted to be a journalist for most of my life. I interned at NBC Bay Area and sought other journalistic pursuits including broadcast and print in junior high, high school and college. After taking a food journalism course with Michael Pollan (the NYT bestselling author of “Omnivore’s Dilemma”) at my alma mater UC Berkeley, I fell in love with nutritional science. I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree in nutritional science physiology and metabolism, then a master’s degree in human nutrition from Columbia University and eventually became a registered dietitian after completing over 1200 hours of supervised clinical practice and passing the national RDN exam. I love that with my platform today, I am able to marry both interests by sharing evidence-based nutrition information with thousands of people daily on television and online.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am grateful for the mentors in my life who have helped me hone certain skills that I use on a daily basis like interpreting research, editing and producing photos and video, and public speaking.
My dad started teaching me at 12 years old about photography and how to edit my own home videos. I am grateful to my speech and debate couches in high school who helped me place in the California state competition my senior year and give me the confidence to carry myself on TV each week so that I can share nutrition information that can potentially help thousands of people achieve better health. My college and graduate school preceptors including Dr. King and Dr. Korner who oversaw my theses, helped me gain confidence as a scientist and evidence-based provider.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
I have always had trouble with delegating because I like to have control over all aspects of my projects at hand and now my business. With only so many hours in the day and so much on my plate, it is tempting to cut corners to finish my tasks, which typically reflect in the quality. Leaning on experts who are best at their craft and asking for help when needed, has helped me tremendously whether it be outsourcing web design, video editing, food styling or producing.
As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?
What helped me build my platform was consistency. There will always be distractions and obligations in life. For me, I always made and continue to make it priority to share new content daily that could potentially help people — whether it’s as simple as a nutrition fact or a full recipe. I made it a priority and non-negotiable no matter how busy life got even if I had to wake up at 4am to do it before the day got started.
Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?
I pride myself in always being science and evidence-based. I come from a heavy research background having studied primarily metabolism and the nutrient pathways of nutritional science and working in a lab. Because of this, it is important for me to always share facts rather than what is trendy in the diet space. I believe this has allowed me to build trust with my community and viewers.
You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self-care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)
As an entrepreneur, it can be hard to turn off from work since you don’t have a boss to report to. I make it a point of taking at least one complete day off from work each week to help recharge my batteries. This has helped me become more productive during the week and creative in the content and messaging I share on TV and online.
Self-care is also inevitably intertwined with my nutrition as well. No matter how busy I am, I aim to make it a priority to nourish my body with nutritious food and make sure I am getting all the essential nutrients I need to feel my best. As an allergy sufferer, I also often experience the ‘allergy blahs’ or those feelings of fatigue. AllerLife Vitality ($17.99, target.com) is my go-to solution to address that. It is a unique vitamin and mineral blend, along with herbal ingredients, designed to help with those ‘allergy blahs’. It also comes in a Sleep blend and Energize blend.
Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)
I live on the coast so I love taking walks along the water daily while listening to music or a podcast. It always energizes me and helps clear my head so I feel ready to take on the day.
Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Cooking and eating nourishing foods: eating healthy foods not only helps me feel my best but also look my best. Incorporating plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins can help give our body the nutrition it needs to thrive from the inside out.
2. Moving your body. Exercising helps me feel my best physically and mentally. When I push my body in a workout, I come to appreciate it more and what it is able to do for me.
3. Speaking to yourself as you would to your best girlfriends: I think it is easy to be critical of ourselves or compare our lows to another person’s high. Speaking kind to yourself and using words you would use to speak to your best friends is one way that helps me feel beautiful.
Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?
As mentioned above, my IRL mentors have been monumental in shaping who I am today and allowed me to wear many hats in my business. One thing I have learned from that is to follow what interests you in your adolescence no matter how trivial they may seem because you never know how you may use those skills in your adult life and how they may be of tremendous benefit as they have been for me.
As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Be kind and go good for others while expecting nothing in return.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
You can find me on Instagram at @nutritionbymia!