Expert Advice

Eat Your Way to Health: Advice From a Hairdresser Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition

Anne Moratto | February 2, 2015 | 8:43 PM

A hairdresser's day can be a hectic one and often self-care takes the backseat to client care, especially when it comes to nutrition.   Lisa Botts, a hairdresser certified in plant-based nutrition who blogs at, understands these crazy days.  She spoke to MODERN SALON to share her enthusiasm for the benefits of a plant-based diet and offers tips on how to make better food choices.

What is meant by a plant-based diet?

A plant-based diet means that your food is derived 100% from vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. By eating a plant-based diet you experience foods and flavors that you may have never tasted. You get to eat more real foods and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to keep your energy up throughout the day.

Do we get enough of what we need when we eliminate animal protein and dairy?

YES! And more! A diet high in animal protein, which includes dairy, limits the amount of micro-nutrients our body needs for vital functions and energy. Contrary to popular belief we only need about 10% of our daily calories from protein.

To figure that out let’s use the example of a 1,400 daily caloric intake:

10% of 1,400 = 140 calories.

Divide 140 by 4 (the number of grams in a calorie of protein)

=35 grams of protein for the day.

This is easily achievable on a plant-based diet. Plus you get all the benefits of feeling better, more energy and glowing skin. The average person, eating a typical American diet, gets about 30-40% of their daily calories from animal protein. Which are usually served with other high fat, refined foods.

What many people don’t know is that the body doesn’t recognize “protein”. It recognizes chains of amino acids and then turns those into protein. There are plenty of chains of amino acids or protein found in a plant-based diet. One of my favorites is a mexi-bowl that is made up of brown rice, black beans, sautéed broccoli, topped with salsa and avocado and that has about 18 grams of protein. In one meal you’re more than half way there.

What changes did you see in yourself or in your clients as they moved towards more whole foods?

In myself I immediately had more energy. I was eating a lot more and lost a few pounds, my stomach “issues” disappeared and my skin is bright and clear.

I had a client who was a challenge due to her schedule. She was an advertising executive and traveled 3 weeks out of the month, always in airports, was never in the same office for more than two days and her typical work day was 14 hours. She joined my group coaching program and wanted to have more energy, clear skin, and to be able to sleep through the night. One week into the program she said she was able to get through her 14 hour days easily and no longer had the mid-day slump that caused her to eat unhealthy foods. At week two she said her skin was beginning to clear up and she was sleeping like a baby. And she lost a few pounds in the process.

What are some quick energy-snacks a salon professional could bring to work to keep them going during a busy day?

Start with a good breakfast of hot oatmeal with peanut butter and maple syrup or agave nectar swirled in. It tastes just like an oatmeal cookie. Bring a veggie sandwich from home loaded with avocado, hummus, cucumber, spinach and sprinkle it with sunflower seeds add a side salad loaded with more delicious veggies or tons of pickles if you love salt. Have your favorite fruit close by for an afternoon pick-me-up and if you need something more eat more fruit or my favorite is an avocado with salt and pepper. Just dive in with a spoon.

Kale was the ‘it’ vegetable for the past few years. Do you have a favorite vegetable or fruit that you can introduce to our readers? I LOVE avocados. They were my go-to food as I was transitioning into eating plant-based. They have a (good) high fat content so they replaced that desire for cheese. They are extremely versatile because of their neutral flavor they can be used in savory or sweet dishes. I made a delicious chocolate pudding the other night by blending 1 avocado, 1 banana and 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder together. It was divine.

And finally, who does your hair?

I am very fortunate to be married to Lucie Doughty, she does my color. And my good friend Julian Perlingero cuts my hair.



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