US model and influencer Sophia Culpo (younger sister of Olivia Culpo) uses her platform to share healthy nutrition tips with her followers.For the Health Bar app, Sophie has created a recipe bundle “Simply Sophia’s” and tells us more about herself and more about nutrition in an interview.
"Swap out the
or juice for a
healthy glass of
water to keep
and your skin
1. You are studying nutrition and health care at Boston University. Was there a certain reason why you decided to study that subject?
Growing up, I struggled with migraines and digestion issues. I quickly realized that what I put into my body directly affected how I felt and my overall health. This inspired me to study nutrition at Boston University and help others live the best, healthiest life possible.
2. What does a healthy diet mean to you?
Balance! I don’t believe in “bad” foods or restrictive diets in the long-term. Elimination diets can be helpful when diagnosing food intolerances, but long-term restrictions can lead to disordered eating and mental stress. I believe in enjoying your favorite foods in moderation while maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. This avoids binging and feelings of “guilt” around certain foods. Personally, I eat majority plant-based with occasional fish and white meat and very limited dairy. This is what I’ve learned works best for my body.
3. What are your three most important nutritional pieces of advice?
Fiber, variety, and hydration! Fiber is a nutrient of concern because so many are deficient in fiber. Fiber fuels a healthy metabolism and keeps your digestive tract healthy by feeding the good bacteria that live in your gut. The gut houses your immune system, so fiber is something we need to help keep us fit and healthy! Plants are great sources of fiber which is why fruits and vegetables are so important in our diet. Processed foods contain very little fiber usually.
Variety ties into fruits and vegetables. A healthy, balanced diet should be very colorful. Think of your plate as a rainbow— the more colors means the more nutrients and antioxidants!
Hydration seems pretty obvious but so many skimp on water! Swap out the soda, caffeine, or juice for a healthy glass of water to keep your body properly hydrated and your skin glowing! Water is crucial for healthy digestion and when you’re consuming adequate fiber, you need plenty of water to keep your digestion regular and moving.
4. Which superfoods give you a lot of power?
All foods are superfoods! You see a lot of attention to new, trendy foods in the media. Many think of kale or spirulina as a superfood because it’s currently trendy. However, good old fashion spinach and broccoli are just as powerful! Make your diet a “superfood” diet by including a variety of fruits and veggies!
5. What is your ideal breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Smoothies are great for busy mornings. I love my “Fix-it” smoothie from my bundle in the health bar app. I usually have this or overnight oats for breakfast. One of my favorite overnight oat recipes is also featured in my bundle.
My ideal lunch is usually a salad with protein or veggies and hummus with a portion of nuts and some fruit.
Dinner is always a combination of protein, a carbohydrate and healthy fat. My go-to, quick and easy dinner is grilled chicken with Cajun spices, sweet potato, avocado and broccoli with a squeeze of lemon.
6. Are there foods that should be avoided?
There are certain foods that should be limited, like red meat, processed foods, and sugar. However, I believe in balance and moderation. Food intolerances and allergies are different and very personal. Certain foods I tolerate, you may not and vice versa. We are each responsible for determining what works best for our bodies because one diet will not fit all.
7. You created the "Simply Sophia’s" bundle for Health Bar, what was important to you in the process of creation of the recipes?
It was really important to me that I included recipes my followers would enjoy. I took polls on social media to determine what dietary restrictions were of concern and what flavor profiles were preferable. Based on these answers, I created my favorite recipes that I knew everyone would love.
8. What is your favorite recipe from the bundle and why?
The collagen “cookie butter” balls are my favorite. These are made with cashew butter, collagen, cinnamon, and maple syrup. I always keep these in the fridge as a quick pick-me up or an on the-go snack. Sometimes I’ll have them for dessert too! They’re great for all times of the day and they taste absolutely amazing— like a snickerdoodle cookie!
9. Does sport play a big role in your life? Which sport do you particularly like and how often do you train during the week?
I aim to workout 3-4 times a week. I love yoga, pilates, spin classes and personal training. Since the quarantine, it’s been difficult to keep on track but I love getting out of the house and going for long walks to enjoy the fresh air.
10. What does your morning routine look like?
Every morning I wake up, wash my face, brush my teeth and change for the day. Then I go downstairs and make myself a cup of coffee with almond milk and sit down with my journal. I like to start my day journaling positive affirmations and quotes to get in a healthy, positive mindset while I sip on my coffee. My morning routine is definitely my favorite part of the day.
11. What are your must-haves beauty products for the perfect everyday look?
My must-have beauty products are Clarin’s instant concealer, SOS primer, and skin illusion foundation. Every morning I put this on to create a dewy, hydrated complexion. I also love Charlotte Tilbury’s highlighter wand for some extra glow and contour wand for some color. To finish my everyday look, I use Bare Minerals strength & length mascara, which actually nourish your lashes to help them grow, and then I’m ready for the day!
12. How does your skin look so radiant?
This is a combination of diet and proper skin care! Processed foods, dairy, and alcohol affect my skin tremendously and always make me breakout. When I’m eating colorful fruits and veggies and drinking plenty of water, my skin always thanks me. I have a smoothie recipe that I call “The Glow'' made with kale, collagen, pineapple, and turmeric that does wonders for my skin. Remember, your skin is a direct reflection of your health. So nourish your body from the inside out and you’ll see that radiant glow!
13. You grew up in a large family. How has that enriched you?
Growing up in a big family is a gift. I’m so lucky to have built-in best friends and an amazing support system. Some of my best memories are weeknight dinners around the dining room table with my parents and siblings. Food has always been a love language to me which is another reason why I studied nutrition. I love being able to share delicious, healthy meals with my family.
14. What do typical evenings with your loved ones look like?
Lately with the quarantine, my friends and family have been doing a lot of cooking. In spite of this crazy year, I love the slow pace that 2020 has brought. I’ve been enjoying the time spent with my family planning our meals, cooking together, and ending the night with a movie. A gentle reminder to slow down and appreciate those around you.
15. What is the best thing about family life?
I’d have to say sisterhood. I feel very lucky to have my two sisters, Aurora and Olivia. We are extremely close and even have the opportunity to work together. This year taught me that at the end of the day, family will always be there (even when they drive you crazy!)
16. What three things in life are you most grateful for?
My family, our health, and my job. I love what I do and I feel very lucky to be able to connect with so many people on a daily basis and have the opportunity to work with my sisters, like our recent clothing line at Macy’s.
17. You launched a great fashion collection with your sisters Olivia and Aurora this year. Do you have other joint projects planned that you can share with us?
Stay tuned! We absolutely love working together, so given the opportunity we’d love to collaborate again.
18. Are there situations in which you feel shy and uncomfortable?
I used to be very shy as a kid. If you told me I’d be in the public eye, I never would’ve believed it. Ironically, doing what scares me has helped me outgrow my shyness. I started acting in elementary school and modeling in high school and this helped me become more social and overcome social anxiety and stagefright. I still get nervous and there are days that I don’t want to be on social media, but I’ve learned tools along the way to help me overcome these feelings.
19. What goals do you still have in life?
My goal is to build my own brand in the health, wellness, and beauty space. My dream has always been to create my own line of real ingredient, whole-food products. Anything from nutrition bars, cereals, to skincare products and supplements. I believe health and beauty go hand-in-hand and I’d love to capture that in my brand.