Autumn Fladmo Smith is a Certified Eating Psychology Coach with a Masters in Holistic Nutrition. She founded Paleovalley with her husband and brother-in-law, a company whose mission is to disseminate excellent nutritional information and organic food products to 100 million people worldwide, and Wild Pastures, a regenerative meat delivery service. Autumn is also a certified yoga instructor, professional dancer, celebrity fitness trainer, and co-host of the Optimize Paleo Podcast.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life? 

I grew up in a small town in Eastern Montana. I had an exceptionally loving family but I struggled in high school. I had health issues and mental health struggles that lead me to alcohol, smoking, and drug use. I was even kicked out of my parent’s house before I graduated from high school. As a result, I learned what NOT to do in order to thrive fairly early in life.:) Since meeting my husband, finding natural solutions for my health challenges, and having my son, Maverick, my life has been dedicated to cultivating vibrant physical and mental health. About 8 years ago we also founded our first company, Paleovalley, to help share high-quality, organic food products and supplements that facilitate vibrant health with as many people as possible.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

You are powerful and your own best advocate.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

A calorie is just a calorie.

All dietary fat is harmful.

Food is just fuel.

There is one perfect diet.

Exercise is more important than diet for weight loss.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

Honestly, I’ve had many dark periods in my life. As I mentioned before, high school was VERY hard for me. I learned to “get by” rather than thrive because I didn’t know there was any other option. Meeting my husband changed my life. He taught me to expect better for myself and to never give up. Together, we identified the many causes of my health challenges and created a plan to help me reclaim my health. It worked and today we have a company called Paleovalley, dedicated to helping others do the same. If it weren’t for my Chas (and his love, guidance, and patience) I am not sure what my life would look like, but it probably wouldn’t be pretty. 🙂

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

My tenacity! Since my health transformation, I never give up or stop believing in myself and my team. I am not the most talented, prettiest, or the smartest woman alive, but I will outwork almost anyone. 😉

What is your morning routine?

Morning routine – Wake between 5 and 5:30. Morning gratitude (3 things I am grateful for). Body Check-in. Cuddles with my son, husband, and dog. Organic Decaf Coffee + Paleovalley Apple Cider Vinegar Complex. 5-7 minute Cold Shower. 45 Minute Workout (Tracy Anderson method, dance, and/or yoga). Breakfast with my boys (usually a green shake with very little fruit and tons of veggies).

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

YOGA & Gratitude. I am HIGHLY type A and have so much energy it can drive my husband crazy. Yoga slows me down and keeps me in the present moment. And gratitude has transformed my historically pessimistic brain into one that is persistently positive.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I block everything. I have blocks in my day for family time, for eating time, for simple errands, for non-brainy work tasks, for creative tasks, for rest, and for exercise. I also plan my months (in terms of work, socialization, and exercise) in advance according to my natural rhythms and energy levels. Most importantly, I block out weekends for FUN only so I maximize time with my little one, family, friends, and husband and feel refreshed and excited to work every Monday morning.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton. Both have taught me about the importance of our relationships to ourselves and others – and how to optimize them. I couldn’t recommend them more highly!

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

“Fitness is not the same as wellness.”

“Health is coming back to the self.”

“Thoughts aren’t facts.”

“You are your only limit.”