The Social Impact Heroes of Social Media: “Focus on progress, not perfection” with Angie Asche and Candice Georgiadis

Focus on progress, not perfection. It sounds so cheesy, but honestly the moment I stopped trying to be a perfectionist with my work, that’s when my company really started growing. I think entrepreneurs can get caught up in thinking everything has to be perfect, but this sets you up for failure. No one is perfect. You’re going to make mistakes along the way. Another one of my favorite quotes that goes along with that by Winston Churchill is ‘success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm’.

As a part of my series about social media stars who are using their platform to make a significant social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angie Asche. Angie is a registered dietitian and clinical exercise physiologist who is revolutionizing the social media industry by providing an abundance of factual, unbiased nutrition advice in a sea of influencers. A recent study came out indicating 90% of social media influencers are dishing out false nutrition and weight loss advice. Angie is using her platform and her credibility to be a reliable source of nutrition information her followers can rely on.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I knew I wanted to be a registered dietitian and specialize in sports nutrition at a very young age. It wasn’t until my experience working as a personal trainer throughout college that I realized just how much I loved the consulting side of health and fitness; how much of an impact you can have on people, getting to know them on such a personal level, with one-on-one consulting. Years later after completing my Master’s degree, I realized that private practice was the direction I wanted my career to go, and that’s when I created Eleat Sports Nutrition.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

Honestly, I think the most interesting thing has been getting to see how my business has grown. What started as a small business by a dietitian from Lincoln, Nebraska is now a name top athletes from all over the country are beginning to recognize- it’s still unbelievable to me! I am so honored and truly humbled by how much of an impact it’s had and how much it’s grown over the years.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I wouldn’t call it a funny mistake as much as just an experience I wasn’t quite prepared for…but turns out, when you talk about a weight loss supplement and the risks that come with it, the false claims being made, the lack of research on the product, you receive a lot of backlash from people who make commission selling that product. And at first I remember thinking “ugh this is awful, I hate getting these rude messages from people, maybe I shouldn’t talk about this or that product or diet.” And then I thought now wait a minute, that goes completely against what I stand for which is providing accurate, unbiased nutrition advice. So if they get mad because I am telling people the truth about what they’re trying to sell, then that’s their problem and honestly, they should know this information before they try to sell it to people anyway.

Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?

I’m using my social media platform and credibility to be a trustworthy source of free nutrition information and clarity. Through blog articles, weekly videos, and more. There’s a lot of awful nutrition advice available for free right now, whether via a quick google search or from a self-proclaimed nutrition expert, it’s all so confusing. So if I can take a few hours out each week to create something that will educate thousands, then it’s well worth it to me.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?

I can honestly say there hasn’t been just one individual who’s been impacted by the free education I provide. I’ve received hundreds of emails and messages from people who either said how much my content helped their own struggles and relationship with food, or saved them so much money from almost buying a weight loss product stating false claims. One message that really stands out for me recently was from someone who had tried every diet you could imagine, and it only made her feel worse after ‘quitting’ a diet feeling like she had failed. She said she had ‘never found such peace with her body and with food as she has now since following me’. And this wasn’t even a client of mine, just someone following along on my social media and website! Getting messages like this tells me the work I put into providing free content is so worthwhile.

Was there a tipping point the made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?

February 2018 I was working closely with an athlete struggling with an eating disorder. She would see progress, then see something on her Instagram feed that triggered negative thoughts again. It would be anything from seeing an influencer labeling a certain food as being ‘bad’, or listing how many calories they ate in a day. I first approached this by having her delete any accounts that made her feel bad about herself, but then came to realize there really did need to be more places on social media where athletes and all people could go to learn factual advice on why food is so nourishing. My ‘Fueling Fridays’ videos began, and each week I started sharing a 1-minute video about a different food or nutrient and why it was so nourishing for the body — never mentioning numbers or demonizing certain food groups. It then grew from just talking about a specific nutrient, to talking about fad diets, supplements, and breaking down the most relevant research studies in the news into simple terms.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

There’s bad nutrition advice just about everywhere you look. Everyone wants to provide the new greatest and latest thing, because eating a healthy, balanced diet and doing exercise you enjoy just doesn’t seem to excite people as much as ‘lose 10 lbs. in 2 days and look and feel your best’.

Here are 3 steps I think people should take to make sure they’re getting accurate nutrition advice from reputable sources.

1. Look and see what credentials the person has. It’s incredibly easy to get an online certification and label yourself a ‘nutritionist’. Does this person have any educational background in nutrition? At the minimum a Bachelor’s degree? Are they a registered dietitian (RD) or maybe a medical doctor (MD) that specializes in nutrition? Just because a person eats food doesn’t make them qualified to tell you how and what to eat.

2. Look and see if there are any studies to back product claims being made. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And if someone is trying to sell you on a supplement, is it because there’s actual studies to show it’s efficacy? Or are they trying to sell it to you for the commission they’re making off of it? If you’re unsure how to dive into the research yourself, this is a great opportunity to reach out to a health professional about the product before purchasing, and have them give you feedback.

3. For any type of 30-day diet or weight loss program, look to see if there is any education provided by a credentialed health professional involved. You’d be surprised to find that majority of these 30-day weight loss programs or diets sold by supplement companies provide absolutely zero education, but rather make it required that you use their products, often times as meal replacements, in the place of real food. So what happens after 30 days? Did you learn anything worthwhile? Or just learn that drinking two shakes a day instead of two actual meals leaves you unsatisfied, and out hundreds of dollars?

What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?

Be original and authentic. Find a way to fill a void within the social media space. Take some time to observe and ask yourself — what’s missing? What do I wish my clients would see more of? What kinds of posts do I absolutely dread seeing? Think how much time people spend every single day on social media — how can you make it a better experience?

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

I honestly don’t really have five things, but I do wish I would have started sooner in the social media space. While this past year I’ve given it a lot of my time, I feel like it’s given me back so much more in return. The emails and messages I get from people that have been positively impacted by the information I share is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced in my career. My goal is to educate as many people as I possibly can, however, I’m limited on how many clients I can take on at one time to ensure they receive the highest quality service from me, so social media has really become that space where I can still educate and impact thousands of people.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Nourishment over numbers. This is a concept I’ve been educating my clients on for years, helping to restore their relationship with food. I help them understand the impact nourishing their body, both physically and mentally, has on their overall performance. And once it clicks, it’s truly life changing. This approach goes beyond athletes, to all people.

In a world full of counting macros and tracking calories, I feel like so many of us are missing out on what nutrition is really about — nourishment. People can become so obsessed with tracking numbers that they may overthink their food choices and ignore their body’s nutritional needs — both physically and mentally. They may choose a food solely on the numbers, low calorie, low carb, without acknowledging the nutrient density of the food. Food is so much more than carbs, fat, and protein. When we focus on nourishment over numbers, we make better choices. How is this food nourishing me? What kind of nutrients does it contain? Any vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega 3s, fiber? So maybe it’s not rich in nutrients, but how is it nourishing me mentally or socially? Am I truly enjoying this food? Food is also nourishment for your mental and emotional health. Food is so important, but when thinking about it begins to take over every important thing in our lives, it can truly suck all of the joy out of eating. You can be hitting specific calorie or macronutrient numbers and still be malnourished.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Focus on progress, not perfection. It sounds so cheesy, but honestly the moment I stopped trying to be a perfectionist with my work, that’s when my company really started growing. I think entrepreneurs can get caught up in thinking everything has to be perfect, but this sets you up for failure. No one is perfect. You’re going to make mistakes along the way. Another one of my favorite quotes that goes along with that by Winston Churchill is ‘success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm’.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Joy Bauer, she is a dietitian I have looked up to throughout my entire career. She’s truly done it all when it comes to being a nutrition entrepreneur, written several books and cookbooks, hosts her own TV show on NBC, and is the nutrition expert for the Today Show (dream job!) I could learn so much from her.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @eleatnutrition

Website: www.eleatnutrition.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!


The Social Impact Heroes of Social Media: “Focus on progress, not perfection” with Angie Asche and… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.