Daily Vegan Diary: Robyn Landis

Plant-based health coach, fitness trainer, and “everyday mature athlete” Robyn Landis fills her day with joyful vegan nourishment.

Health coach and fitness trainer Robyn Landis is a veteran of  wellness.  She’s seen every trend come and go over two decades, yet has remained steadfast in taking joyful care of herself—and showing others how to experience the pleasures of a healthy vibrant life. 

“I think in terms of ‘whole life nourishment,’” she says.  “Diet and exercise—or food and movement as I prefer to call them—are vital, but they are only two pillars of a healthy nourished life.  They tend be overemphasized. To have the body and energy you want, you need to think of what you GIVE to yourself in at least five key areas: food, movement, rest, un-stressing, and inspiration.”


Plant-based for 25 years and fully vegan for three, Landis defines nourishment as “everything you put in, on and around you.” And while food, movement, sleep and meditation are pillars, she also considers nature time, creative time, spiritual practice, reflective time, doing-nothing time, relationships, and even climate (she chooses the warm dry Sonoran desert for that reason!) to be forms of nourishment.


In a typical day, Robyn happily grazes all day long, eating three definite meals but also lots of snacks.  “I eat two breakfasts really: one where I have some dark chocolate and some seedy toast with Nuttzo 7-Nut and Seed Butter blended with Aloha chocolate protein powder, then later some tofu or tempeh scrambled with veggies.


Lunch is usually a homemade wrap or burrito with beans or lentils or tempeh and vegan cheese—or less often, plant-based “meats” (she minimizes processed food but isn’t extreme and enjoys an occasional “mock meat treat”—she loves Gardein Pork Less bites and Beef Less Burgers! And Amy’s burritos, Tofurky pockets and Sweet Earth burritos for travel).  She tops wraps with veggies, and garnishes with hummus or Just Mayo or wasabi mustard. She uses wraps that are either multigrain or sometimes cassava, coconut and almond flour, or even a collard leaf.


Afternoon snacks might be energy bars, chocolate, nuts, fruit, seedy crackers with hummus or bean dip, a Super Rebbl Dark Chocolate Protein, or a small homemade smoothie with lots of greens and herbs as well as cacao.


While not consciously gluten-free, her menu tends to naturally be low in grain and gluten without trying. Other than her favorite morning toast, her grain choices run to seeds like quinoa, amaranth, millet, or buckwheat—and she only includes grain in dinners several times a week, preferring massive vegetable dishes garnished with protein.


“When I check in MyFitnessPal, I'm usually falling pretty naturally in a sort of 45-50% carb, 35% fat and 15-20% protein...ish.  I’m within 5% on any of those usually, but that’s a range.  I don't think in terms of ‘high carb’ or ‘low carb’ or ‘high fat’ or 'low fat.’ I think ‘whole food plant-based’ and it comes out how it come out. It’s moderate.”

She notes that her own eating is not as low fat as some vegan recs, but “I don't need to be because I'm lean and my numbers are good. For a heart disease patient or one at risk, generally less fat is recommended. But the truth is I get most of my fat from two sources:  nuts/nut butter and dark chocolate. I don't add oil really, maybe a smidge of avocado or walnut oil to the water I stirfry my veggies in.” She confesses: “I may be the only vegan in the would who does not love avocado, but I do get it via guacamole!”


Robyn doesn't coach people to constrain themselves into macronutrient percentages or caloric intake, instead emphasizing basic “food moves” almost everyone can benefit from and that all approaches agree on: whole fresh real food, loads of veggies, moderate fruit (watching the sugar), complex and varied grains and seeds in small amounts, nuts, plenty of beans and legumes, moderate fat only from healthy sources, organic, non-GMO and low sugar.


She does encourage all clients to lean further toward plant-based than they start out.  She finds that simply through sharing resources and information, most become interested and move in that direction—often further than she expects, some going vegan within a 3-month coaching period on their own recognizance.  “Dr Greger and NutritionFacts.org is one of my favorite resources. I just share the videos and they speak for themselves. People are quite rightly convinced.”


More specific tweaks and suggestions come from a client’s specific fitness condition, health status, and goals—whether that’s more energy, fat loss, athletic performance, or reduced disease risk. “What is going to specifically work for someone depends a lot on where they are AND where they want to go,” she explains.


But she is adamant that the basics must be handled before fine-tuning tweaks can make any difference. She rebukes the wellness industry for often emphasizing random, picayune hacks over solid foundational moves that have a real impact.


Robyn also doesn't believe in “regimens” to be “followed,” and instead  teaches by modeling and by informing—using a mature, adult “here are the facts, what is it you really want” approach.


“I call my approach to motivation ‘Conscious Inspiration.’” she says.  Her specialty is helping people not only know what to do, but WANT to do it—something many health authorities claim is impossible, but with which she produces remarkable results.


“I don't try to ‘get people to’ do anything. I help people identify and cultivate awareness of what really matters to them, how important their presence is, how amazing their bodies are, and how unselfish self-care really is. We go through a process in which people connect these truths more deeply to their choices moment to moment. If you do that, you don't have to twist anyone’s arm. They choose what they want based on what really matters. This is work that is sorely neglected in most health and fitness approaches.”


In a typical day, Robyn wakes around 7:30-8:30 and spends a generous 1-2 hours on morning practices—a walk in natural blue light to ensure good melatonin production at the proper evening time, some meditation, a Reiki self-treatment or distance Reiki for others (she is a certified Reiki practitioner), and some journaling or listening to a wisdom teaching. “I want to consume healthy things for my mind and spirit, too—not much news and entertainment.  I'm as judicious about what I put into my mind as what I put into my body.”


The first breakfast usually takes place before the walk; the second breakfast as she is sitting down to work. Her workday is usually a blend of writing and content creation plus coaching and training.  In spire of being a trainer, Robyn spend a surprising amount of time in front of the computer (her clients are worldwide and coached via Zoom or Skype) so she sets a timer to take regular dance breaks, tuning Pandora to fun stations like “80s cardio” to dance to a song or two between sitting periods.  She might also bang out a few squats and squat jumps, pushups, lunges, step-ups or other bodyweight moves to boost metabolism, get the blood flowing  and unkink the muscles.


Afternoons are usually longer movement breaks, creating a natural space between the workday and dinner. “Some people have a martini; I have a hike, a bike ride, a run, a walk. I go to the gym a couple times a week for strength training or do a bodyweight workout at home.”  When not inventing her own routines for self and others, she enjoys Fitnessblender and BeFit channels on YouTube.


Robyn’s dinner is usually a plant-based protein stirfry with lots of brightly colored veggies and tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, nuts and occasionally as a treat, a mock meat.  She also favors soups. “Soups are awesome because they are so bright, colorful and creative, so satisfying and so healthy!" On this particular day she had Moroccan chili with pumpkin cornbread on the side.


Once “shutdown is complete,” there are evening rituals such as meditation, yoga (or at least Viparita Karani, legs up the wall pose,)  hot tea or golden milk (with turmeric, cardamom, a smidge of date sugar and almond milk), reading, quiet conversation.


Robyn admits that sleep is her pillar that constantly need the most attention—pushing too hard and too late is an old tendency, but using specific sleep hygiene practices (including blue-light-blocking glasses at night) she shifted her night own tendencies toward a healthier rhythm.


As vices go, Robyn enjoys "excesses” that in the grand scheme are probably healthier than most:  trail shoes, essential oils, wellness-gourmet smoothie ingredients, teas (she has 80 or so in the cupboard, mostly rooibos with some green and white), all-natural lotions and potions.  Robyn doesn't consider dark chocolate a vice, but rather a health food (as long as it’s above 80%, organic fair trade and low sugar). She enjoys Whole Foods and Natural Grocer more than clothes shopping, preferring to buy nice used clothing on eBay and spend more of her disposable income on healthy food, quality natural skincare, and herbal/natural medicines.


“I have a totally different way of looking at healthy living that I teach and live,” she explains. “It’s not about beating your body into shape or ‘doing what you SHOULD do’ or ‘getting yourself to’ do anything. No negative language. I don't take on the culture’s assumptions about it and I love to help others shift that way. It’s about giving to my precious body, investing in myself, taking amazing care of myself because I want to. It’s about the joy of delicious food, gratitude for a body that moves and performs, generosity toward myself, nurturing rest and practices that soothe and restore. These things are not optional because I need my body and energy to fulfill my dreams and purpose.”

She adds, “This can be cultivated, and that is what I help people do. It changes EVERYTHING radically to shift the way we look at and talk about and think about food, fitness and health. That is how we change what we do gladly, with pleasure and joy. This is the possibility I am here to share.”


About Robyn Landis


ROBYN LANDIS is an ACE-certified fitness professional, health coach, and bestselling author. Her books have helped hundreds of thousands to overcome confusion, overwhelm, and resistance to healthy living—and happily achieve energy, strength, leanness and a naturally ageless life. Robyn has “walked her talk” for over 25 happy, healthy, radiant years. She is a mind-body transformer who helps people get the body and energy that’s fit for their dreams—without hype, regimens, extremes, or concern for “weight.” Robyn offers individual and group coaching, including NOURISH U: 9 Weeks to Happier Healthy Habits and a Fully-Charged Life. Set up a free consultation by emailing Robyn (at) robynlandis (dot) net OR call 520-314-0994.