Over the years, Haylie Pomroy’s body has put her through the wringer.
A laundry list of health issues—including the severe autoimmune disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, widespread eczema, and a debilitating nervous system disorder—kept her in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices for years. Her severe dyslexia and ADHD didn’t help matters, making it difficult to concentrate and hampering her academic abilities.
Instead of simply resigning herself to illness, however, Pomroy did something incredible: She took her health issues in stride, and learned how to manage them herself. Today, she’s a successful nutritionist, founder of several integrative medical practices, and the bestselling author of “The Fast Metabolism Diet.” We caught up with Pomroy ahead of the release of her latest book—“Fast Metabolism Food Rx”—to chat about her approach to nutrition, pick her brain about fad diets, and learn what it’s like to be one of her patients.
In your book, you use the phrase “body whisperer.” What do you mean by that?
It’s being able to communicate with the body, not metaphysically but physiologically.
I typically get sent the most difficult cases from doctors all over the country when things just don’t add up or when the typical approach isn’t having the right response in the body.
Personally, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and the protocol that was given to me wreaked significant havoc on my body. I had to learn from a biochemical standpoint what is happening in my body, and what that means for me.
Whether that’s the thinning of the eyebrows, or a cracked heel, or fatty deposits in places you typically don’t store fat, it all means so much.
What is your health philosophy?
It’s learning how to create a dream team [of treatments]—whether that’s western medicine, or integrative medicine, or faith healing—and you’re the captain. It’s not for me [as a nutritionist] to say what’s right for you. It’s up to you to create a “health victory.”
It’s about finding out what’s going on with you. It’s accepting that your body is doing exactly what it needs to do, whether it’s gaining weight or losing hair, because it needs to survive the environment that it’s in. And it’s about learning how to provide a better environment through food.
How does the way you interact with patients differ from what people might be used to?
I would not give you a one-size-fits-all approach. I would first be super curious about you and determine what your wishlist is. We’d figure out what the divide is between where you want to be and where you are, and build the best approach ever.
There are so many different diet and health trends. Any common misconceptions you’d like to shed some light on?
People believe so many different things about food. They believe that sugar is the devil, that you should only eat this or that.
There are so many food philosophies out there. They’ve forgotten that you are in that equation. You can’t be a die-hard on any of those philosophies in a clinical setting, because the diversity of clients and diversity of genetics gets lost.
I believe that e + m = h—“eating plus metabolism equals true health.”
That said, what are some of your favorite healthy snacks?
I’m obsessed with cherries and pistachios and mangoes—and Brussels sprouts! Those are my favorite foods. I eat to treat—I gauge how I’m feeling and what my day is like and I eat therapeutically, and mentally. I believe that’s so empowering.
What is the best wellness advice you’ve ever received?
To firmly believe that I have a limitless potential. The belief system that my body is so smart and that I have the ultimate potential for energy, for memory and cognition, for everything. For me, a dyslexic who sat for her GREs and tested at a 3rd-grade reading level, to be the author of bestselling books. It’s all possible—and I want that for my clients and my readers.
Photo credit: Haylie Pomroy