Episode 1 of the Fuel the Fire Podcast hosted by Shanon Safi, RD, LDN.
In this episode, the hosts are introduced. They discuss how the business, Fuel the Fire, came about.
They go into what brought them to this point in their careers and their mission.
Hey, welcome to the Fuel Fire Solve podcast. This is our first episode and we figured we'd give you a little introduction to who we are. My name is Shannon Safi. And I'm Catherine Grimes. We work slash own Fuel the Fire, which is a business. It's pretty much founded upon empowering women through different avenues, all related to health.
So, yeah, like I said, I just kind of wanted to open it up, do a little casual convo, little introduction to who we are as individuals, and how we got here. So I'll let Kat give a little spiel about how she came to Fuel the Fire, and then I'll tell you a little bit more about how Fuel the Fire got to where it was by the time Kat came on board with us.
Yeah, so I started at Fuel the Fire probably almost a year and a half ago. So I was actually working in a clinical job and didn't really enjoy that aspect of nutrition. So this job really was my ideal job that popped up kind of on Indeed, actually, I saw it. And right when I saw the name, I was like, I'm 100 percent going to work here.
I was like, this is definitely my next calling. So, it kind of had everything I wanted to do as a dietitian when I started, like, I knew I wanted to do nutrition counseling, obviously but it also had the aspect of like meal prep and personal training, and those three things together is what I envisioned myself doing.
So, once I applied I think it took a little bit, but I heard back from Shannon and I just kind of knew right off the bat, I was like, this is definitely where I'm meant to be and now looking back, like, I'm so happy I found this. I didn't really... Ever think of nutrition in the way like Shannon has kind of opened my eyes to it So I'm still learning and I think it's like really opened my eyes to my own beliefs my own story And trying to get other people to see like there's much more to nutrition than the surface level So it's been really a great learning experience so far Yeah, and I think it would be cool to tell them a little bit about like what led you to becoming a dietitian, too Yeah, I mean, when I was in high school, I feel like that's when it kind of started.
I got into personal training actually with my mom. So my mom and I were kind of working with a trainer. Her name's Janet. Shout out to Janet. Still love her. But yeah, she kind of introduced me to like all of the, you know, food and what it does for you. And I, I started adapting a healthier lifestyle around then.
And I guess, yeah, that just kind of fell into place. I went to IUP for my undergrad. And just from the beginning, like I said, I always knew this is the avenue I wanted to go. And I think I've learned a lot about different aspects of nutrition through this whole thing, but definitely the best way of doing it here is going more into the mental piece, which is, like I said a newer way of learning nutrition for me, but I definitely...
I really appreciate everything I've learned so far, so I just hope to keep, like, building from here. Awesome, I love that. Yeah, so I'll give you a little bit of background on myself. I, me, Shannon, I found it. Well, we'll just let this be known that I'm pretty awkward, so just embrace all the awkward things that we say.
So yeah, I started Fuel the Fire. I guess, yeah, I'll take it a step back further. So, when I was in school, I actually was a pre med student with no intention of studying nutrition. It was kind of an accident that I became a dietitian. I went to Pitt, and I was there again. It was, like, known to be a really good med school, which is, again, why I went there in the first place.
I think then, going through the whole process, like, taking the MCAT and applying to school, I think it was, like, In that moment I kind of felt like as I kept like rereading my applications over and over again as to like why I wanted to be a doctor and definitely helping people was the main reason that drove me and I will never forget when I was going through the process of applying and doing all these workshops and I just remember this one woman saying that people don't even become doctors because they want to help people anymore And I think I just, like, I never forgot that one split second, I don't know, it was like a five second statement and it just kind of like really got in my head where I was just like maybe this isn't the way I'm meant to help people, like, I feel like it's all I knew because when you're in school, like, you know, sure, we took aptitude tests, but like, I don't remember a dietician being on aptitude tests at all, let alone like what Fuel the Fire does now, I don't even think is even close to a traditional dietetic role, so, I think at that point I decided to like, withdraw my applications and what a waste of money, but I'm really glad, you know, whatever it takes, like it redirected me.
And I ended up pursuing grad school for nutrition and became a dietician. And when I, you know, this is pretty wild. So like, of course I think you always have some like pretty terrible things that redirect you into the most amazing parts of your life. And I had some really challenging difficult jobs before this that really pushed me to just start my own thing And so that's kind of how that started.
I kind of just like took a leap and Had a tiny little office with Without like a window in the front So it was like really awkward because people were just like walking on other people's appointments And when I say other people it was like my two cousins that like pitifully decided to agree to help the Or like, kind of help me get started and be my clients at first.
Mm-Hmm. . So of course I felt like I made a huge mistake because you can't really survive off of like $200 a year . But , I kept pushing and I just knew, I was like, you know that little voice in the side inside of me that was like, keep going with it. Like you're on the right track. And so whenever, yeah, I just kept pushing through it, even though, like I said, it was definitely really challenging in the beginning, but I kind of have that attitude where.
If, you know, there's other people that have done something similar, it means there's a way to do it, so I just need to figure out, like, what that way is. And then, from that office, again, it was like, it was like bad thing after bad thing, so it's kind of amazing that we still made it this far, because then our landlord came and was like, Um, you have two weeks to leave because I actually just sold the building.
And so I was like, alright, well, I've been here, I think I was there for like nine months at that point. Still maybe like three clients at that point in time. And I was like, oh my god, these three clients that I worked so hard to get are gonna hate me because I'm like changing locations. And so I found a new spot, thankfully.
And at that new spot, it was definitely like an upgrade, so that was nice at least, but I was like, okay, well, if I'm going to be paying more money to be in a better spot because I had no other options, because I had two weeks to figure this out, I'm going to need to make more money so that I can afford to at least make, you know, let's say like, let's try to make a hundred dollars more than the rent that I'm paying mom, like it was really low standards at that point because I had no idea what I was doing.
So we go through that and yeah, it built up. So it was pretty nice. As time went on, of course, like, I changed my methods and was kind of able, like, I always had the vision of having all different aspects of health being included in the business. But I was only growing with whatever I made, so it kind of, like, kept pace for the speed at which the business was growing, because I didn't have, like, help or monetary assistance from anyone, so it was like, whatever I made was the only thing that I could really afford to invest.
So then at that point after I think. I was probably there for like another two years, then I was like, wow, all right, like I'm in this office and the spot next to me was empty. And so the landlord was like, Hey, if you want, you can use that space. And I was like, awesome. Like he said he wouldn't charge me.
So that was great. So that's when I found a trainer and I was like, Hey, like, do you want to train people in this uncomfortably small office that is not a gym at all? But we're going to turn it into that. I was like, yeah, it was like a carpeted office space. So definitely a gym did not belong in there, but I was like, whatever.
If people believe in me, they're going to believe in my product and what I have to sell. And again, like, we probably had three clients, one of which was my friend, and so, like, and that was the point at the gym. There was a lot of nutrition clients at that point too, so that was kind of carrying it. But the gym part, that was definitely hard to get started.
But then when we moved into the new space, which is the Fuel the Fire that we're hanging out in today, That's when everything really kicked off, so I found a new space that we had a space to do, to set up the kitchen, to teach like, cooking lessons, and we renovated the gym downstairs so the basement became like a nicer personal training zone.
And we have the upstairs with a couple of offices, which is where we do like our nutrition counseling. And then, so yeah, that's how we got here and how Fuel the Fire kind of happened. So things kind of grew just as... I saw the need for these different elements to really keep people making progress towards their goals.
So it's really hard to talk about something and it's a whole nother level to be able to physically show them whether it be in the gym or in the kitchen. So I just really loved being able to like put that all under one roof. And I think that's why a lot of people love coming here is because we really do try to like give you everything you need to make changes.
And this podcast is taking it, like, one step further, which I'm really excited that we finally got to start because now we can kind of talk about, like, more on the mental side and, like, the reality of what we face, because it is hard to, like, get all of this in in one hour sessions with different clients and stuff.
So to be able to have a platform where people can listen and re listen and really take the time to work with a lot of these principles that we talk about, I think will, again, like, be that next step with fuel the fire so we can keep adding to it. Yeah, I agree too because even during our sessions, I feel like we just need to keep repeating what we're saying because a lot of it is like, you know, your, your memory and like your habits of what you're doing.
So like, I know my me personally, I always am listening to a podcast while I'm driving or something to kind of Um, shift into more of a mindset focus and changing my habits and like the stories like we've said. And this is honestly something I've never even thought about before. Like, I can tell you, just from talking to Shannon and being like, now a friend, like it's been, um, A complete turnaround of like, I'd never even would've like, what's a story?
Like, that never was a thought in my mind until, you know, Shannon like, kind of cornered me. No, I'm kidding. No, but she, you know, kind of went over because, you know, we do so much here that's not just, all right, you're gonna eat like, one egg in the morning and like, a half cup of oatmeal. You know, like, we're definitely, that's very like, the last thing kind of we talk about.
It's really more so like, You know, why are you doing, or why are you eating what you're eating? And, I just don't think I've ever really thought about that, especially Kind of working in a clinical setting like that was the last thing that was no, no disrespect to like clinical Dietitians, but that is just not what I wanted to do in terms of like, you know Your people are kind of forced to talk to you So it's good to kind of have people that want to make these changes and I don't think they even realize it coming in How deep we go sometimes but it's definitely a completely different avenue, like I said, that has been completely opened up to me, even in the last year and a half from being here.
Yeah, I think after, I think it's my almost five year anniversary of Fuel the Fire existing, which is pretty cool, but definitely through that, I mean, just like you said, I like, I honestly would say like nutrition is like 20 percent of what we do and like 80%. That like diving deeper into why it's so difficult to make changes and that's so different and unique for every individual So that's why I think it's really hard to study and learn in school.
Like even if you studied psychology I mean like every person you interact with and meet they're gonna have just like a different Combination of things that got to them got to that got them to this point in their life. And so with that Every person, it's like an individual, unique experience and interaction that you're going to have with them.
So to kind of see like what makes them tick, like what's really holding them back, like what are they not sharing with us? What are they not even sharing with themselves and have acknowledged? So that's kind of why we're taking it this direction because It's so much more than just knowing, like Kat said, like, Oh, eat some oatmeal for breakfast, like, you're good, do this, do that.
It's like, we can know that stuff, and we all kind of have a general idea of what healthy nutrition looks like. But, a lot of us don't understand how to actually make these changes last, and like, what's really holding us back. And so I think that's the fun of this, and that's what we hope to kind of like, unfold throughout this podcast.
Is like, how to break through some of that stuff. And really kind of like embrace these different aspects of ourselves or these darker aspects of ourselves and how they actually make us stronger and allow us to kind of work through a lot of these challenges that maybe we're only looking at surface level typically.
And then yeah, this is just diving deeper for the people that are just genuinely ready to get to that next level and willing to do whatever it takes to get there. And yeah, that might be a little ugly, but it's the only way through. So. I'm hoping, yeah, really, to reach some, like, really conscious women that are ready to embrace a new journey and, like, see the other side of this challenge.
Yeah, I definitely agree. And I think, like, I don't know. It's always so frustrating when people ask you what you do as a dietitian. Oh, you write meal plans? Like, yeah no. Probably like the furthest thing from that actually. So it's kind of hard to describe what we do here. But we do a lot. So I can definitely say that.
Yeah, and I think definitely if you talk to a lot of the women that have been here, and men, like we've had men that come through. It's definitely unlike any other experience and even like I would say it's it's not like traditional therapy It's also not like traditional nutritional counseling. It's just like its own unique hybrid And that's why we're kind of opening opening this up because I feel like it's what a lot of people need and they just don't know That they need it sort of thing.
I think it's one of those things where You know, I mean like even with like a relationship you don't know that you when people are like, oh when you know You just know it's like the same thing with this sort of challenge where like you don't know until you have it and then you're like Oh shit There goes our first curse word There goes our curse word Like I didn't know I needed this until I had it and like I mean, I love seeing those breakthroughs.
So yeah, if you, hopefully we have some of our clients on here who've gone through that transformation so you can kind of hear that and get that side of the story. Yeah, definitely. And I think like in our own journeys too, like I think you and I have gone through a lot, probably individually that we can share our own struggles, you know, like I've seen a lot of sides of nutrition.
I've done a lot of things to try to like, you know, get to that ideal body image and like, You know, even competing in my show like that really was recent and I'm still like Trying to undo what that like did mentally to me And I think you know, it's always you're always learning like definitely you and I still are learning about ourselves I think which I think is really beautiful and It's a lot to learn and like you never really know yourself until you kind of dig in a little bit deeper Yeah, and I think that one big thing I believe in general is, like, being a lifelong student.
You never really stop learning, and I think the day you decide you stop learning is the day you stop living, to me. And so, there's always more to learn about yourself and the people around you and the way the world works. Like, you know, it would be amazing to know 1 percent of the information there is to know on this planet.
And if you think about that, it just kind of makes you realize, like, Like, holy moly, like I have so much to experience and learn and like most of the things I never will. But I think the fun of it is the growth that you experience through at least trying and like continuing to expand your mind, which is what we're definitely all about.
Like the mental journey of this nutrition slash health aspect and like how that fits into making progress and becoming the person that you were meant to be and have the potential to become. Yeah, definitely. And I think, like, if anyone is like me, like, I definitely never even thought about it before.
Like, that journaling was nothing that ever crossed my mind. Like, I didn't dig into anything about myself. And like I said, it's like a learning thing. Like, you're never gonna stop. Learning about yourself. It's just different avenues your brain goes, I guess you can kind of say. But yeah, I don't know, like kind of just from working here and like, like I said, talking to you, it definitely opened my mind to a different, you know, complete world of nutrition and like self-love and just confidence, you know, overall.
And like, like I said, I'm definitely not perfect, but just working through some of those things or understanding some of those things too. Yeah, so that, that gives you a little taste of what we're about. And so I hope that you guys continue to tune in as we release episodes. We're going to dive into all sorts of different things.
Like, I can't even sit here and tell you all the things, but I absolutely know we'll get into a lot of the deeper stuff with like, you know, how to work past traumas and how that influences your health aspects. And the reality of certain things in terms of nutrition and fitness and self love and what that all really means and all these general terms that we hear and like, how does that look in practice?
And like, how do you actually apply it to your life and make it stuff that like lasts a lifetime and like genuinely changes you in a way that empowers you, not just like a cover up for your challenges. It is like, we really want to. On earth and uproot all these negative things that have held us back in the past and like I said just become This beautiful human that we were always intended to be so I'm really excited for this podcast to start and Yeah, follow us along on social media.
That's definitely where you can find us hanging out. We post stories all the time and lots of Food, nutrition, spiritual, mental, all the fun things. So yeah, fuel the underscore fire on Instagram. That's really where we are most of the time. And we are on Facebook for those non Instagram users, but. Like I said, you get the best taste of us on Instagram, so you should just make an Instagram account if you go.
Perfect. Yeah, I agree. So, I think there's a lot that we're going to go into, and I think there's a lot to learn. So hopefully you'll follow along with us and tune in to our next podcast. But, any other notes to go on, Shannon? I think that wraps up our first episode. So yeah, like I said, follow us along.
We'll post some links in the show notes for where to find us. And like I said, we can't wait to dive into these different topics with you guys. Thanks for listening.