Life is better in community. We know this from studying the Blue Zones of the world where people live to 100+. They eat together, work together, walk together and laugh together. Isolation kills. Find people that give you life and spend time together.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Morgan. Sarah is a modern-day inventor. Known for her innovative ideas that connect science to everyday life, she delivers high impact, science-based solutions for common health problems. Most recently, Sarah created Even — a first-of-its-kind wellness company that just launched The Other Pill and Statin Support to meet the unique nutritional needs of individuals taking common prescription medications Sarah’s wellness tips have been featured in Parents, SHAPE, Reader’s Digest, Huffington Post and the Dr. Nandi Show — her podcast, Gene Queen, connects serious science to serious health in a way that is seriously fun for everyone.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
It’s an honor!
Through my teens, 20’s and 30’s I have seen so many of my friends, colleagues, neighbors and workout buddies take oral contraceptives AKA “the pill” and complain about their symptoms. One friend told me, “Sarah I got on the pill because I didn’t want to get pregnant but while on the pill I don’t want to have sex. How ironic is that?!” It turns out that she was not alone and there were other complaints as well: mood swings, weight gain, headaches, nausea, fatigue, breakouts and more. And I could relate. I took the pill when I was first married and felt “weird” and “off” but wasn’t really sure why.
Fast forward to a Master’s degree in Nutrition, 13 years in clinical practice, endless hours reading and research along with discussions with my medical doctor colleagues, I saw a pattern. Modern medicine has provided many advancements that help us live better lives BUT medications are known to increase the needs of certain nutrients and may contribute to some of the symptoms people experience while on their medication. This is something known as drug-nutrient interactions, which are well documented in scientific literature. Basically, individuals taking medications have unique nutrient needs. Who knew? I know my doctor never warned me about these side affects when I went on the pill.
So I started thinking. Is there a way that people can continue to get the benefits of their medications AND feel great? And why has no one done this yet!? The information is there, we just needed to connect the dots. Even was created based on the belief that millions of people can enjoy the benefits of their medications and support their biochemistry to feel better; to feel balanced.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
REST. My best ideas happen when I am out in nature, resting and recharging. Our brains work differently when we rest and allow for some of our biggest breakthroughs. The most successful, impactful leaders in the world work in 3–4 hour increments of focused work with hours of time in nature. Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is a great read about this topic.
BELONG. Life is better in community. We know this from studying the Blue Zones of the world where people live to 100+. They eat together, work together, walk together and laugh together. Isolation kills. Find people that give you life and spend time together.
STUDY YOU. I have spent a lot of time digging into the biochemical differences of humans. We really do have unique needs and understanding these leads to big health breakthroughs.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I suffered a traumatic brain injury on a vacation in Mexico that left me grabbing walls to walk and struggling to hold a conversation. I was terffied I would never be myself again. I went through a 12- month recovery process that was emotionally and mentally grueling.
What’s fansciating is that my injury and recovery left me with a more creative brain. I was able to approach problems from new angles; see different types of solutions. And it gave me an extreme empathy for people suffering and an understanding of the very real challenge of keeping your mindset strong while you heal.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
This might sound cliché, but my biggest mistake early on was not believing in myself and my abiliites. I worked in a clinical practive early in my career and really was operating as less than my true self. I had to learn to trust myself, believe in my ideas and not be afraid of my own strength. Once I stepped into that mindset, my world changed.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
I want people to live life to the fullest. Enjoy their loved ones. Chase their dreams. Experience the best version of themselves. That’s why I created Even Health.
Medications save lives and provide benefit to millions of people but they are known to deplete the body of key nutrients. When people are nutrient deficient, they may experience negative symptoms while taking their medication.
I want to minimize the negative side effects people experience on their medications. Even Health exists so that individuals can get the benefits of their medications AND feel their best. Our research-based companion formulas are specifically formulated to replace nutrients that are often depleted by daily prescriptions
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?
Dr. Karl Holtzer. I met Karl during my Master’s program and thought, “How cool. A medical doctor going back to school to learn nutrition.” We became close friends over the next several years. Karl believed in me before I believed in myself and gave me the confidence to be my most powerful, brillant version of myself. I am forever grateful for his influence on my life.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Create a training course for health care professionals that teaches them to recognize and address medication-nutrient interactions with their patients.
What are your “3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Mindset is everything. You can’t control everything but you can control your thoughts. It’s easy to complain, think of worst case scenarios and spiral, but you have to practice mental toughness to lead. I give myself 60 seconds to freak out, cry, vent about an issue and then I move on to a solution. As women, we need to tell ourselves more often, “Yes, I am capable of doing this. Yes, I am strong enough to keep going. Yes, I can create this change in the world.”
- Deal with uncertainty. I think this is especially important for women as we tend to like certainty. Every step of leading involves dealing with some type of unknown outcome. It’s exciting and terrifying. You have to find ways to keep taking courageous steps forward when you don’t know how it will turn out.
- Be ready to learn. You don’t know what you don’t know. There will be moments of mistakes and failures. How you respond to these challenges and your ability to learn and rise above will be the determining factor between getting to the next level or not.
Do you have a “girl-crush” in this industry? If you could take one person to brunch, who would it be? (Let another “woman in wellness” know that you respect her as a teacher and guide! )
If Oprah has an opening in her calendar, I would love to talk health and wellness with her over brunch!
Kara Goldin, founder of Hint, is another powerhouse in the field with delicious flavored waters and the best smelling (safe) sunscreen on the market! I got to meet and talk with her briefly last year and would love to learn from her over brunch.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health is a big passion of mine as it has personally impacted my family. And I believe nutrients play an enormous role in mental health. In fact a recent study from Japan was released showing invidivuals experiencing anxiety had lower levels of vitmain B6 and iron. Both of these nutrients play an important role in the amino acid tryptophan being converted to our feel good neurotransmitter, serotonin. Interestingly enough, 80% of women on birth control experience an aleration in typotphan metabolism within 30 days of taking hormonal birth control. And guess what is one of the most common complaints?! Mood swings! Imagine if we taught women on birth control they could improve their mental health by supporting their unique nutrient needs? Talk about a big impact.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!