On today’s episode of the Your Biggest Vision show we are pleased to host the founder of Little Adapts by Jax, Jacquie Smith. Jacquie is a holistic nutrition health coach, wellness expert, barre and yoga teacher in New York. She is coming on the show today to share her wisdom and advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle while in pursuit of your biggest vision and how she was able to quit her corporate job to start her own business. I have done Jacquie’s 12 day cleanse and can attest to how effective her programs are. Don’t miss the group nutrition program that Jacquie is hosting next week!

Tune in to this episode to hear: 

  • Jacquie’s fitness and health journey from high school to where she is now
  • How making little adaptations to your lifestyle can make significant changes in your health
  • How Jacquie was able to leave her corporate 9-5 job to become a nutritionist
Tune in to hear Jacquie Smith, founder of Little Adapts by Jax, share her journey and advice on entrepreneurship and how to build a healthier lifestyle.
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Transcript of Episode

Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries. Welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I’m your host, Leah, and I’m very excited today to have Jacquie Smith as our guest. Hi Jacquie.


Jacquie Smith: Hi Leah. Thanks for having me.


Leah Gervais: Thanks for being here. Jacquie is the founder of Little Adapts by Jax and she has a really great philosophy on how to improve your life through nutrition. She is say, holistic nutrition health coach, a wellness expert, a bar and yoga teacher as well here in New York. And I can attest to what a great yoga teacher she is because I’ve taken her class. She is also in one in my mastermind this year, which will be last year when this comes out. But she has built a really incredible business that is really heart-centered and what she does is just incredible. So we are in for a treat today. So Jacquie, take us back a little bit to before you started your business, when maybe you weren’t as healthy as you are now.


Jacquie Smith: Sure. Um, so I always preface this with everyone that I, growing up, I was actually very skinny in high school. I always played, uh, high school sports. Um, I was very well rounded so I played sports, did the play, you know, student council, all of that stuff. Um, but I did have to say I did start doing diets with one of my best friends, um, who’s still one of my best friends. Um, you know, back in high school, right. So we’ve all done the fad diet. So I did them in high school. I did them in college. I was very big on a South beach diet cause one of my roommates was feeling it and it was great. I lost 10 pounds in two weeks, but I didn’t really know the core of what healthy eating was. It was more of like, you know, all or nothing. Um, I also got into running back when I was in college and that was actually due to my parents divorced. So rather than being mad or angry, I would take out my anger and frustration on the road.


Leah Gervais:  Hm. Wow. I mean that’s kind of a constructive way to deal with pain, but it’s still kind of a bandaid.


Jacquie Smith: Yeah, exactly.


Leah Gervais:  Okay. So you’re at this point where you’re going through something personally challenging and then you also are running a lot and you’re eating healthy, but you don’t really know how. How did you feel?


Jacquie Smith: Um, you know what? I actually felt like I was always using food, especially with like my parents divorce and it wasn’t a very pretty thing. Um, I would use food as a way to like control my environment so I couldn’t control what was going on around me. I could, you know, and again, it was like that all or nothing mentality where I would eat really well or exercise all the time. And I felt great and I looked great, but like it wasn’t a lifestyle. It was just, and I know a lot of women in their 20s go through this. You’re either on or you’re off. And it’s very difficult with, especially when you graduate college, you know, I was commuting from long Island. Um, so I think the first year I graduated from college, I didn’t even work out like at all because I literally was leaving at like 6:00 AM and I didn’t get home till 7:00 PM and I was starving.


Jacquie Smith: Um, so through my twenties, I pretty much was just like all or nothing. I haven’t received their on and I was in like a health kick or I was like off and just kind of living like a normal, regular life, not really exercising or being mindful of my food. Um, so that’s kind of what I did up until like I started traveling for work when I worked at Bloomberg prior to doing this full time back, uh, since I left in March, 2018 but that’s when things really hit rock bottom. So I basically developed cystic acne, horrible digestion, and just felt terrible, like literally exhausted all the time because I was traveling three weeks out of the month. So basically living out of a suitcase and my body was just like screaming at me like, you have to do something. That’s when I basically was like, I need to change my lifestyle. I need to change my diet. Um, you know, get to a regular exercise teen. And then also just changed my skincare routine. So like using all natural products.


Leah Gervais: Okay, great. So I want to break this down a little bit. So what did you go to school for?


Jacquie Smith: I actually went to school for business, so I went to Boston college and I was in the Carroll school of management, so I was a finance major.


Leah Gervais: Okay. And so you went to Bloomberg based on that major? Yup. And you started working there right after college?


Jacquie Smith: No, I actually, since I graduated in 2009 when we had the recession, I was there for a year and a half and then I moved to Bloomberg because I wanted to pursue a career that was more finance focused.


Leah Gervais: Right. Okay. So how many years into, I think you were there for seven years, right? How many into the seven did you start realizing like that I’m not… this is not sustainable and I feel awful.


Jacquie Smith: Well, you know what, I, when I got there, I, I don’t think I didn’t, again, didn’t, wasn’t on like a consistent lifestyle thing. The first year I was on something called the help desk. So that was really reactive customer service. And then that was 2011 and 2012 I moved into sales. So it was probably only a few months into traveling that I started to really develop these like severe symptoms.


Leah Gervais: Wow. Okay. And then what was your sort of moment where you’re like, okay, I’ve felt pretty bad for a while now I am actually gonna do something about it. What was the straw that broke the camel’s back?

Jacquie Smith: Um, this is going to sound like a very silly moment. So my now husband, his younger brother, um, I actually do notice that Jerry was a huge trigger for me. But of course when we are doing something where like, and my, the other background is my dad owns a dairy company, ironically. Right. So why not? They’re me. Um, and I remember being at my now husband’s like family’s house and me, my husband doesn’t like sweets, but his brother likes ice cream and I, we had ice cream and literally the second I finished the ball, my belly blew up immediately. Like it looks like I was like, like four months pregnant. Yeah. And I, I just remember thinking like, I can’t do this anymore. Like this something has got to give and this is not working for me.


Leah Gervais: Wow. Okay. So what action did you take from there?


Jacquie Smith: Um, so from there I actually made, I had actually at that point I had slowly had been developing cystic acne. So I had been going previously to a dermatologist across the street from Bloomberg and she was giving me cortisone shots.


Leah Gervais: Oh my God.


Jacquie Smith: It was not painful. Well, they were just ones that wouldn’t come to a head and there wasn’t anything I could do for it. So like need to reduce the inflammation was cortisone. Um, so I actually, if I smile, it looks like a dimple, but that’s actually a scar from assist. Wow. Oh my gosh.


Leah Gervais: Like, forgive my ignorance about nutrition, but it’s cystic acne from what you’re eating or was that, cause I know you mentioned you went into all natural skincare, so do you think it was because you were using harmful substances or you’re eating or both?


Jacquie Smith: It’s actually everything. So like everything stems from nutrition but also it like a lot of like your skin is your body’s organ. So if you’re putting products on your skin that are filled with chemicals, that’s only going to clog your pores more. Um, I think a lot of my issues are due to stress. So like if all of these things are not like you’re not doing handling any of them well or managing them, they’re all gonna manifest and your skin is like the last organ that does the detoxification. So it’s going to show in your skin. So like my digestion wasn’t working and I wasn’t removing toxins. Eventually it’s going to have to come out. But how does it show up? And also with cystic acne and can just be due to like stress and lifestyle, but it also can be due to hormonal imbalances. But I don’t think for me that was something that was a cause. But that is a big cause for our hormonal or cystic acne rather.


Leah Gervais: Okay. Okay. So you have kind of this moment where you realize that you’re, you look pregnant because you’re had a bite of ice cream. Like this can’t work anymore. Your cystic acne is out of control. What do you do next?


Jacquie Smith: So I finally, I went back to the dermatologist and she’s like, I’m like, I don’t know what else to do. And she’s like, you should go on Accutane. So if you’re not familiar with Accutane, it is a medication that has super harsh and you basically peel off all the layers of skin super dry. Um, if you, you cannot get pregnant on Accutane cause you can have like a deformed baby. So you have to get, you have to be on birth control and you also have to be, get regular blood tests for that reason. And so I looked at her and I was like, I’m not doing that. I tell her about it and she was like, no, like you can’t. There’s, and I just got upset because I was like, there’s gotta be something else. And then for the digestion stuff, I went to a regular general practitioner and I told her I thought I had a dairy allergy and she just told me, well just take dairy out, you probably just have IBS.


Um, and it was like very unhelpful. So then from there I probably did like I did an allergy test, which the, the skin prick is not very accurate. They did like a celiacs tests on me. But at that point I was like kind of frustrated with Western medicine. And so I actually started going to acupuncture while I started changing my diet. I removed dairy, I started training for my first half marathon and then I was just literally like, but I would try any natural skincare. So I bought dozens and dozens of products just because I was like, something has got award.


Leah Gervais: Oh my God. That’s so funny you say that because obviously I’m a big fan of a lot of Western medicine, but I don’t know if you noticed on me, I have horrible scoliosis. I was born with very bad, a very, very cricket back and I started wearing a back brace when I was like six years old and I did pretty much until I moved out of the house when I was like 18 and I went to so many doctors in New York, all these specialties took all this medicine. Like I just felt like nothing was getting to how I was actually going to live with this. Like they could get a better for like a day or like, you know, I could not feel pain from medication for like a day. And I had kind of a same realization where I was like, one Western medicine isn’t helping me too. I need to take this into my own hands. And the first thing I did that really made a difference to me was actually wanted to also, it changed my life.


Jacquie Smith: Yeah. Actually, I literally found someone like, and I still go to her this day and I refer off my clients, but I started going here for my skin and like my digestion and she was like incredible. I was like, you know what, I’ve tried everything else. This can’t hurt. And it was one of the best things I ever did for myself.


Leah Gervais: Wow. Okay. Amazing. And so, um, I want you to take this wherever the story is most helpful, but I’m curious now as to when in your journey, one you started seeing results and two you decided to become a nutritionist herself.


Jacquie Smith: Yeah. So through this journey, right, I was super excited that I did my first half marathon. I felt really good. I was in great shape. My skin was starting to clear up. I wasn’t getting like as many like sets as I was before. Obviously it takes a long time for all that to heal. Um, but my family and friends just started noticing what I was doing and like started asking me questions and like just kind of going, having me be like their go to like health guru. I was like coming up with new recipes and I was always researching stuff. Um, so then I started to think about, because I worked in sales and so I liked, I enjoyed talking to people and I was more of a relationship person than like a hardcore like salesperson. But, um, I wanted to figure out like how I can combine my passion of like how I live my life and then also, you know, still have the ability to like connect with people and really change their lives and help them.


Um, so I actually looked into, um, we’re actually, I reached out to my network and actually ask people who had done their undergrad in nutrition, their masters and then also people that had gone to the incident to, for integrative nutrition. And I basically like just set up calls with them and just ask them about their experience. Um, you know, what the costs were like, um, you know, what they were doing now. And at the time because I was still paying my undergrad, like college loans, I didn’t want to make a full investment into like going back to get my master’s because I didn’t know this was a thing that I wanted to do full time, but I did want to get educated to see if that was something that I build on the side. So I ended up deciding to do the Institute for integrative nutrition.


Um, and it was the best thing that I ever did. It was like a smaller investment, but it was much more well rounded and also has more of that like holistic approach versus you go get your master’s or you your undergrads. That is usually a route for like a, um, you become a registered dietician, which means you ask to be in a hospital and it’s more about helping people that are already sick versus like helping people to prevent before they get sick, which is really what I’m passionate about. Not help someone that’s going through something. But I think the key is to help people before to change their lifestyles before it gets to the point where they need to be on medication or it’s like a severe, you know, they’re having severe symptoms.


Speaker 1: (12:19)

Right, right. I think like in one of the presidential debates this year and heard someone say that in America, we don’t have a healthcare system. We have a sick care. Like we only care for people once they’re sick. We don’t have anything in place. Like we have horrible, horrible chemicals and so many of our foods, so many people are overweight. There’s nothing to like prevent people from getting sick. Um, so were you also kind of during this time when you were researching and maybe even a little bit before, uh, simultaneously deciding that, you know, you were working at Bloomberg and it was kind of that lifestyle that got you into this unhealthy situation to begin with and deciding you didn’t want to do that forever. Like how did that, how did you come to that conclusion? Cause you had a very good job.


Speaker 2: (12:58)

Yeah. Um, I mean for me, I had to stop traveling, right. That was the only way I could try to figure out what I wanted to do before I took that like full leap. So at the time I basically, my manager, luckily she had some sort of gluten and dairy sensitivities and I took her into her room and I basically started crying. I was like, I’ve never felt this sick, like I can’t travel anymore. And so they moved me to a New York based team where I didn’t have to travel anymore. So that, that made it like a little bit more easy, even though I didn’t necessarily love the work or I didn’t love finance, at least I didn’t have to travel anymore. So I could still do the things that I loved and I could start to like pursue this career in nutrition without having to give up everything.


Leah Gervais: Right. So when did you decide you were going to give up everything? When did you decide you were going to quit your job? Um, and like I want to be clear, not like when did you quit your job, but when did you make the decision that even though they had moved you to no longer travel, you still didn’t want to do this forever?


Jacquie Smith: Um, I think at the time I was still like figuring it out. So I ended up, I graduated in 2015 from IIN and then I decided to run the New York city marathon. So I like obviously didn’t start in business then. So I decided to launch in January, 2016 and what I really focused on was like just building clients. So honestly it wasn’t taking on a ton of people just because I was working full time. But I did have people from Bloomberg that worked with me. I had friends work with me, so it helped me to build like what my system was. How did my 12 week program work? I built my website, I created recipes, like all of the behind the scene things that happened. And then essentially I was, I needed to like a light at the end of the tunnel. Right. You have to work date. So I got engaged in October, 2016 and my thought process was that I was like, you know what, I’m going to have work paid for my helped me pay for my wedding and my honeymoon. And basically I get my bonus paid out in February. So after I came back from my honeymoon, which is over the holidays of December, 2017 I got married in October, 2017 I basically worked for three months and then I got my check on February 28 2018 and an equity the next day.


Leah Gervais: That’s awesome. What a good story. Okay, so let’s go to that time period a little bit because that’s so many people here can either that are listening can either relate to that or they are going to do that. So was it, was it scary? What was it like? What was, what were the first few days being self employed? Like it’s a big transition.


Jacquie Smith: Um, it was a very weird feeling. I also picked like the worst day. So my manager was out, my sales manager, her boss was out. So I honestly had no, Oh no, sorry, my manager was on maternity leave, no one to resign to um, text her and then was like, can I call you? And she basically handled it. They all, the thing about Bloomberg, the thing about when I worked was I didn’t hide it. They knew that I was doing nutrition. They knew that green bar, my sales manager would come and ask me what he should eat. So they all knew that there wasn’t anything at Bloomberg that would keep me there. So that was like a really nice thing. They just basically wished me well and said like, we love you, but like we know this is what you want to do with your career. So it was like a very nice send off.


But second I laugh. I think I had a friend from high school who’s also doing a health coaching and she had left probably like year or so before and she had randomly reconnected and she had called me that day and was like, I just want to give you a big hug. And like, I know this is a really tough transition, but it’s really good and I think I cried. I definitely cried. This is so weird. Like now I get to just work for myself and like want, um, which was awesome, but the first few days was like a huge adjustment, but eventually it’s like I never even worked there to be honest. I can’t even imagine my life not doing what I’m doing.


Leah Gervais: Right, right. What I love about your business and what I really try to teach that I think is kind of unique and you’ve done this very well, is it’s also the same thing I think about my business is that you are so mission driven and you don’t really, you know, I don’t, I don’t see your business as you just being a nutrition coach or a course creator or a blogger or a bar teacher or a personal trainer. And I love that you haven’t really given yourself that label. And I really feel like urban 20 something is the same way. I wouldn’t consider my business a coaching business even though I do a lot of approaching. I also wouldn’t consider it a blog, a blog, um, or you know, a course program or a course business, even though I have a lot of courses and I blog posts because the point is I’m on a mission to promote entrepreneurship and make it happen for as many people as possible.


Leah Gervais: And I feel like you’ve done such a beautiful job just being so mission-driven about holistic nutrition, about bringing people to be happier and healthier because you know what it’s like not to be. And so, but, and, and, but um, being that way can also kind of feel like you end up wanting to do so many different things. And I know you have done a lot of different things. So what parts of your business were you doing right when you left and then we can kind of segue into what your favorite things are that you do now?


Jacquie Smith: Um, so when I first left, um, so I actually got certified to teach bar literally like the month before I got married, which was like by far the best like wedding workout ever. It’s a good idea, two full weekends of straight bar. Um, but so I actually, at the time I had found a studio to work out. So I started like teaching in February of two, so like, at least I was having a place that I started to sub. And then eventually I picked up like a weekly, basically a week, a weekly class that I was teaching on like Tuesday or Thursday, I think it was Thursday nights originally. So I started doing that. I had connected with like a group of health coaches, um, that we would go to like corporate health fairs. So just, it’s, it’s basically a company that organizes health fairs and then they need to have like a nutrition person onsite. So we were able to, I was able to like promote my services, um, you know, get people to sign up for like my complimentary consultations. Um, and then a lot of it, I happened, I have like, right when I left Bloomberg, I had a few people that just came out of the woodwork and were like, yeah, I want to work with you.


So I had like a few clients, like right when I left, which was really cool. Um, and a lot of it was people that I knew that knew what I was doing. And I think once I went full time, they were like, Oh, she’s actually serious about what she’s doing and she knows what she’s doing. Um, so I’m gonna I’m going to take her up on her offer, which is good because then I got to continue just to like build out my program and, and kind of work with people. Um, so I was doing that. Um, again, it was nice. I could, I could take any workout class I wanted whenever I wanted, I’ll be off peak hours. Um, yeah. So it was a lot of, a lot of everything.


Leah Gervais: Yeah. It’s, you know, um, I love that you share that how once you kind of went full time, people took note because I think a lot of the times, especially in the beginning, we feel this fear around where our client’s gonna come from. Is anyone going to buy this for me? Is it really going to be successful? But a lot of times it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there before people start to take notice. I really believe that there’s so many opportunities all around us all the time, but you have to be ready to take them or they won’t appear to you. And so often I think the fear of not having, not knowing where our client’s gonna come from or not knowing if something’s working completely holds people back. And so I love that you’ve share how you know, it really is true. Once you went full time and once you are all in people, people took note. Um, what has been since then or when you started, whenever the, the hardest part of building a business or maybe something you didn’t expect because you went into this because you love nutrition and all of a sudden now you’re also an entrepreneur. And I know that that can be a bit challenging at times.


Jacquie Smith: Yeah. I think the biggest thing for me is, and again I’ve to you about this in the mastermind, but I think it’s the whole thing that I started out being so physically in front of people and feeling like only if they met me in person because I think you know, when people meet you, it’s much easier for them to get to know you and feel comfortable with you, which I totally get. Um, but I knew nothing about like filling an online business like I, you know, didn’t really know how to sell. Like basically it wasn’t sending any like sales emails. It was really just like one-on-one. I’d meet people, I’d get them to sign up for a consultation. I had an email list, but all I was sending them was like free recipes. So I think now is realizing that like, it’s great to try different things out and really like put yourself out there.


But sometimes you just have to put yourself out there in the beginning to get exposure and start to build your brand and have people notice you and follow you on Instagram and teach classes and develop your skills. And like your pitching skills, but I think the fine balance is figuring out, um, and kind of where I am over like the last few months is figuring out what do I love to do, what is going to make my business the most profitable, um, and what am I really good at, right. And how do I do that and be comfortable saying no to things that don’t really fit within that mold. 


Leah Gervais: This is such good advice because I think that from so many different directions, people get pulled by looking at what other people are doing by telling, by listening to what their friends and family are telling them to do by not knowing even what to do. And I love how self aware you are about it because I think if we aren’t clear that that’s what’s going on and how we’re being influenced by people other than ourselves or ideas other than ourselves, that’s when you end up feeling like you’re kind of on a hamster wheel running all the time because you’re not exactly sure what you’re running to. So it’s been amazing to see what you’ve done.


Jacquie Smith: And let me preface that with like it, it took a lot of time for me to be like, you know what, that doesn’t feel good. Next time that person asked me to do something, if it doesn’t fit exactly how I want it to be done or PV the amount that I want to be paid, I’m not doing it.


Leah Gervais: Awesome, so empowering. 


Jacquie Smith: It took me a while to get to that point because I was like, ah, should I just do it to make money and then I kind of totally regret it because it wasn’t to me. It wasn’t worth it.


Leah Gervais: Right. Absolutely. All right. I want to talk to you a little bit about what you do with your clients now. Cause I also selfishly have some interesting questions I’d love your advice on. So, um, when you, I want to go back to what you mentioned about like being in fad diets in college. And I think you said a lot of women in their twenties go through that. And I certainly agree with that. I mean, I don’t know, you know, if I’m like more on the extreme case or not, I don’t think I am. But now we live in the day… I definitely went through the phases of should I be gluten free? Should I be vegan? Should I be dairy- free? Should I be paleo? And like they’re all contradictory and it’s like so confusing. Um, and so I love your “Little Adapts” philosophy. Actually. Let’s pause and do you want to share what your philosophy is really quick before I finish my question?


Jacquie Smith: Yeah. So the reason, um, my business is called Little Adapts by Jax is for two reasons. So actually I can’t take credit for the name. My husband came up with it because he, I was trying to come up with it when I graduated. He said, Jax, what do you all about? And I was like, well, I dunno. He’s like the little things, like I’ve always been about the little things in life. And so he came up with Little Adapts by Jax and it has a really nice tone, but it also actually fits the way that I built my own healthy and happy lifestyle. Now I healed myself from cystic acne, horrible digestion, and brought me to today. Um, so what I like to do with my clients, and basically it’s, it’s what I did is it’s all about instilling Little Adapts or small positive changes.


So when I start working with a client and the way that I started, it wasn’t that I decided overnight, like I’m going to, you know, I have to run this half marathon or you know, I’m gonna like change all of my skincare or I’m going to change my whole diet. So it’s perfect. Like, no, I started with like one thing at a time. Like for me the biggest thing was like theory. So I tried this and again, it was very difficult for me to give up dairy. My, I loved cheese. My dad would bring the blocks of cheese in college, the dairy company, but I, but it was over time that I started experimenting with different like recipes. So over time, from a nutrition standpoint, it was just like each week I would try something new and if that works I’m either at work and if it didn’t work great, like I’d move on, try something else. But once I found something that worked in stuck, then I would keep that in and then I would add something else in. So it’s all about not removing foods, it’s about adding positive changes. So maybe for me it was, you know, finding non-dairy alternatives if not the time. There wasn’t a lot of good non dairy products like there are now, which is crazy. Like I just, at this point I was like, if you’re not going to be cheese, I don’t even want to eat you. You’re not the same thing. 


Leah Gervais: You know it’s, I love how you put that, how it’s like adding positive things instead of taking things away for so many reasons. But I, before my wedding, so as you know, I went to Italy three weeks before my wedding, which like was a food frenzy. I ate so much cheese and gluten and drank so much wine and blah blah blah. And I have no regrets, but I came back and I was getting married in three weeks, so I did your free three-day reboot that you have, which everyone listening to you and go sign up for it because it’s phenomenal. And you know, I had always really thought of myself as a healthy eater and I exercise a lot and I don’t eat a whole lot of dairy. But when I did your three-day reboot, that was the only time in my life that I had really cut out gluten.


And like I never, I didn’t eat that much gluten, but like in the mornings I’d have whole wheat toast with peanut butter and stuff like that. So anyway, all this is to say that I cut it out and I like never have gone back because in doing, I did it for five days instead of three. And in doing that I found that I love Brown rice crackers with peanut butter even more than toast. And it’s gluten free and it doesn’t feel like I’m missing anything at all. I don’t miss that toast. I never even would have known that I liked that. Like if I hadn’t have just tried that for five days and now I’ll never go back. So it’s a great philosophy and it’s so interesting to see how much more you can learn than take away. But going back to my question that you may have just answered, how did you deal with your clients and how do you deal with yourself of breaking out of those mental mindsets of fad diets and of feeling like this is a lifestyle change. And I mean, do you like do cheat days? Like I don’t even really know what I’m trying to ask, but I feel like you have such a different philosophy than like what would you’ve been brought up with?


Jacquie Smith: So my um, so while I, so what I do with clients is actually interesting. So like I’m not a therapist, but like I kind of am.


Leah Gervais: Yeah, me too.


Jacquie Smith: A lot of with food, right? So I can educate, right? Everyone knows what to do to eat healthy. They know what’s better for you versus what’s bad for you. But for some reason, mentally we can’t make ourselves do it, right? There’s some things, there’s some reason whether it’s like stress or where emotional eaters or like we feel like we worked out like so crazy this week, so we deserve to eat everything at this one meal. Right? And that’s not how it works, right? Because that’s again, still the all or nothing mentality. So I have two concepts that I talk to clients about and yet it’s about changing their behavior and how they think about food. So rather than… I tell people rather than thinking about satisfying a craving, I tell them to think about food as a way to heal, nourish and fuel the body, right?


That’s much different than thinking about like, I need this and I need it right now. There’s also probably a reason you’re craving something. So that’s a whole other story. But like, thinking about food is something that we’re using to really nurture the body, right? And thinking about our long term goals. So when you make decisions, think about like, what are my long term goals? Like, if I want to lose weight or I want to have clear skin, then I really need to be cognizant about the decisions that I make every day. Cause it’s more about consistency as opposed to being like perfect 100% of the time. So like you probably have heard like the 80 20 rule. Um, I’m a big philosophy, like a big proponent of that I should say. Um, but what I also think about and what I tell clients to think about, like the key concepts that I mentioned before, is it worth it?


So it’s not to say you’re never going to indulge. Your human, like you’re going to go to Italy. Like you should indulge, right? Like when, when are you going to be back there? Like maybe it’s the best damn you know pasta you’ve ever had, right? You just need to ask yourself the question. But if your answer is it’s not worth it, then you probably don’t want to eat it cause it’s not going to help you get to where you want to be. And an example I give everyone is like, we live in New York city right? So we have some of the best pizza around. Is that saying that I’m dairy free, that I’m never going to eat pizza again? No, that just means that if I’m going to eat pizza, it better be the best damn pizza I’ve ever had because then I can really enjoy it. And then after I can say, you know what, that was totally worth it. But then I go to the next meal and I think about, okay, I’m right back on track. How can I make this better? Like I’m just going to go back to what I normally do and then call it a day. Like I had what I wanted and now I’m back on track.


Leah Gervais: Hm. That’s such good advice. I think that that really keeps people out of the, um, falling off the all into nothing kind of patterns. Because you do see, often people are like, well, I’m dairy free but I ate dairy so now I’m just gonna eat dairy again. Or like, I’m just going to eat crap again because what does it matter? So I love that that’s how you approach that. Do ever, just kind of a personal question so you don’t have to answer if you don’t want it, I’m going to hope you do. Do you ever still like even how far you’ve come feel or experience guilt if you eat something that you don’t feel great about or like if you drink something or like I know we live in New York, which is pretty much exclusively fueled by alcohol and caffeine. So I always wonder like how, you know we’re supposed to, I think New York is getting healthier, but those things seem to still be like so present and I wonder how healthy people and just people in general, you know, find that balance I guess.


Jacquie Smith: Yeah, I’m not going to lie. Like I love, I’ve loved wine. I’m also a big tequila person, so it’s not saying I never drink. Right. I definitely drink far less than I did in my twenties obviously. Cause I had different goals and I’m still running a lot and then I wake up at like 5:00 AM every day. But I think for me it’s not, say I think it’s human, like we all have a little bit of guilt of like, Oh, I overindulged a little bit. And, and the thing for me now it’s like I probably over ate too many vegetables and now I’m like bloated because like vegetables have too much fiber. But there’s definitely times where I’m like, Ugh, that would probably like that probably wasn’t worth it, but I thought it was going to be really good. And it just, it’s natural. But then I just, I just, yeah, you just kind of have to be kind to yourself and just like move on to like the next meal, like and just say, I’m going to make a better choice and just go back to what I was doing and it really won’t affect you.


Um, and then with alcohol it’s actually funny. So, um, I partner with like a lot of the, we work buildings and I’ve been doing healthy, happy hours since healthy happy hour is such a big thing I’ve been doing is, and I’ve done a bunch of research on, you know, what are the best types of alcohol and like why you should drink certain things. And I’d basically come up with like a healthy cocktail for them to have, right. And then I have some sort of product come in so that it’s like fun and it’s experimental. Um, but I think it’s really just about making the best choices and then thinking about how much you’re going to have something, right? You’re not going to, like, if you’re going to have like 10 drinks, you’re not going to feel good the next day regardless of what it is. Right? 


Leah Gervais: It can we the healthiest cocktail in the world and… yeah.


Jacquie Smith: Yeah, but I would rather, I would rather have like, like two glasses of wine and probably like skip the indulgent dessert that’s probably not worth it. So he kind of like also have to pick and choose your battles.


Leah Gervais: Right. So it’s kind of just about like getting really clear about your lifestyle and what you want. Like if you want to keep going to happy hours that okay. Okay. But you need to be cognizant about what you’re drinking when you do it and go into it. Kind of thinking about how much you’re going to drink. Like you’re going to have pizza sometimes. Okay, but do it once a month and like when you’re out on a date night or something like that instead of just passively doing it. I love that. Um, and then there was Oh, another personal question. But going back to what I mentioned in college about how you went through some stress seating and things like that. So I’ve had lots of, I don’t want to say lots, but I’ve heard a lot of entrepreneurs and I’ve talked to a lot of entrepreneurs that gain a lot of weight in their first year or two of their business because it is so stressful and they investing more money than ever. And they might have kids or a spouse or a parent or like, you know, all these kinds of things that usually are supportive of them. Oftentimes I feel like people feel like they’re putting pressure. Those people are putting pressure on them, but it’s really just them putting pressure on themselves. But nonetheless, the stress is there. They’re nervous, they’re scared, and they end up gaining a lot of weight. So do you feel like you help people with stress eating and do you feel like that’s something you had to really heal?


Jacquie Smith: Yeah. Um, I don’t know. You know, it’s funny, I don’t know if I was necessarily necessarily a stress eater. Um, I think I definitely, like there’s either people that like are stressed out, don’t eat, and then there’s people that use it as like an emotional, like support basically parents that were very much emotional eaters. Um, and they were like, you know, had like weight issues. So I think I was like more conscious of it. I think for me, I’m more of like a snacker than anything. So it’s less about emotional. But I’m like, if I’m bored, like working from home, I’ll be like, Oh, do I need to have some like cashews right now or something, but I’m not actually hungry. So it is something that I do help a lot of clients with and I think emotional eating and also like just snacking for the sake of snacking, especially even for entrepreneurs, like I just mentioned, if I’m like, I know I have to do something, but I’m like, Oh, I’ll just take a break and have a snack right when I’m not actually hungry.


And those instances I’ve had people actually track their food. So having them actually write down or ask themselves like, am I actually hungry? Like take a second, just wait five minutes. If you find that you’re still hungry, then go have a snack. But if the answer is no, I was actually bored. And just like avoiding something that I want to do, then you kind of know your answer and you have some sort of pattern where you need to be cognizant that you’re eating for the wrong reasons. Um, and the same thing goes with emotional eating. Like if you find that you’re reaching for food because it’s comforting you, then you need to like as long as you can write it down and be conscious of it. And typically I’ll go look back at their food logs and then we talk through it like, well why are you emotionally eating?


What’s like a healthier alternative that you could implement that would help you to cut out this eating? Um, and a good example is like I have a client right now who was like eating at night, so she was just stressed. She’s so busy at work but then she would stay up till midnight and she was having like snacks after dinner. And so what we did was we implemented a like bedtime routine so she would turn down, you know, the TV, computer, phone at like 9:30-10:00 and then she’d go read in her bed and she would like naturally go back to sleep but she cut out all of her nighttime eating cause she has built a healthier habit.


Leah Gervais: Right, right. That makes a lot of sense. What about the flip side? What about when you don’t eat because your stress.


Jacquie Smith: So I’ve had a lot of friends who have had kids and they, they look great but it’s because they’re not eating. And I literally tell that and it goes from both perspectives, whether you’re eating too much emotionally or you’re not eating enough. Like you need nutrients to fuel your body. And at the end of the day, if you don’t have the most energy, especially you have kids, like if you’re not the best version of yourself, how are you supposed to help other people? Right?


Leah Gervais: Or do you have a business? I consider my business, my child.


Jacquie Smith: Let’s say your business, right? Your baby is so many different things, but like…


Leah Gervais: You have to be the best version of you or you’ll make decisions from a bad place.


Jacquie Smith: Exactly. So it’s, it’s more about, and I think that’s, and if you follow me on Instagram or you read any of my emails, it’s always about making your health your number one priority. So if you’re not, nobody else is going to. So like if you don’t make those little moments for yourself where you fit in a workout or you go for a walk around the block or you take three minutes to meditate, whatever it is that like your version of like healthy priorities are, or even just setting time aside to eat something, right? Like just making sure you’re eating and if you don’t have time, bring a healthy snack with you. Like if you don’t, that’s when everything else kind of goes to shit, if you will, because it’s going to make you do it. And then you’re just, you know, eventually there’ll be, you won’t have enough weight or you’re going to gain weight or your skin’s going to suffer or your sleep will suffer. Um, there’s like a whole host of things that will just unravel eventually. 


Leah Gervais: Right. Um, do you feel like, I mean, you must have changed so many of your client’s lives at this point because health is it. It is the foundation, literally and figuratively because it’s you and you can’t build a business, have a good relationship with your partner, have kids. Anything else? If that’s not taken care of. So is that hugely fulfilling to do what you do?


Jacquie Smith: Oh yeah. I love it because I know how much it’s changed my life and like the person I am now is not who I was five years ago, 10 years ago. Um, and I just, I find that like as I get to see someone change and they, they hit their goals and most of my clients had all of their long term goals because with the little adapts philosophy, I’m not overwhelming them. I’m fitting those positive little adapts into their lifestyle. So it makes me feel really great.


Leah Gervais: It’s so awesome. Great. Well it’s been amazing hearing your story and hearing everything you do and your, the business that you’ve built is spectacular. So congratulations. And thank you so much for being here. I a few your biggest vision questions. Are you ready?


Jacquie Smith: Okay.


Leah Gervais: What are, if you could pick one thing that you’re most proud of in your journey so far, what would it be?


Jacquie Smith: I think it was actually like leaving my corporate job. Like just the fact that you do it because that takes a lot of guts all on its own. Totally. Totally. Awesome.


Leah Gervais: What do you do when you are having a bad day? Things in business aren’t going well. Things just don’t feel good.


Jacquie Smith: I’m a movement person. I like, I’ll exercise. It’s like the thing, not that I do just like to physically look good, but it like mentally helps me feel good and it’s the one thing that like regardless, even if I don’t want to work out and I do it, I feel so much better.


Leah Gervais: What if you work out in the morning and then you have a really bad day or something bad happens to you? Will you go do it again or do you feel like working out twice a is too much?


Jacquie Smith: That’s too much that I’m like an efficient 30, 30 to 45 minute workout. If you’re efficient with your workouts, like that’s all you need. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym. Um, I, I think I just like take a long time to be honest and kind of like through things and try to not like, let it get to me and hope that it’s a better day.

Leah Gervais: Do you have a book or a podcast that has helped you build the business specifically and that you use some of your success to?


Jacquie Smith: Mmm, it’s tough. I’m reading a lot of like running and nutrition box right now, which I do love. But from an entrepreneur standpoint, I think it’s the one that I was telling you my acupuncture recommended me, but “The Science of Getting Rich”. Like that was helpful from a mindset perspective because I think a lot of owning your own business is really like what you project out into the world and how other people see you. But it’s also about being confident and positive in yourself. So that’s been really helpful.


Leah Gervais: Totally. That is like my number one. That’s my favorite book ever that nothing helped build my business like that. Okay. Where can people sign up for your free reboot?


Jacquie Smith: Oh, they can do it right on my website. So there’s a form when you get there or it’s right on the menu. Um, yeah, so it’s just https://www.littleadaptsbyjax.com/ everything is littleadaptsbyjax, even my Instagram. So super easy.


Leah Gervais: Great. And we’ll have that all in the show notes as well and where you guys can sign up her Instagram and everything like that. Thank you so, so much, Jacquie. This was amazing.


Jacquie Smith: Oh, thanks Leah. Thanks for having me.


Leah Gervais: Talk to you soon, visionaries! Here is to your biggest vision.

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