When you’re fed up With Fixing and Fighting Your Body — I’m Here.
- Skeptics who’ve tried everything.
- Women who’ve out-smarted Weight Watchers.
- Visionaries who want their health care progressive, like them.
- I see you. I get you. I was you.
A holistic approach
You want an approach that sees all of you, that connects the dots, resolves the root causes, and gets results worth your time and money.
You know diets don’t work. You also don’t want some amorphous “body love” process. You want a research-based approach that adapts to your life and lets you off that all-or-nothing roller-coaster.
A trusted guide
If beating yourself up worked, you’d be the thinnest, healthiest, happiest person you know. You’d prefer to be less self-critical and more self-aware. You’re looking for a guide-on-the-side who will challenge you kindly with new perspectives and deeper insights into your battle with food.
“If everyone had to think outside the box, maybe it was the box that needed fixing.” — Malcolm Gladwell
I’m Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC, founder of Truce with Food®, keynote speaker, host of top-ranked podcast Insatiable, holistic nutritionist, integrated health coach and rebel with a serious cause.
I am academically, practically, and empathetically aware of how the medical system, diet culture and body positivity movements all have their own flavor of crazy. Most concerning, each of those choices demands that we settle on the degree of freedom and results possible.
How I got Here
I thought my body was broken when I entered the suburban strip mall Weight Watchers at 11 years old.
A cancer diagnosis at 13 years old confirmed my suspicions. I became a binge and emotional eater in college.
By 23, I had Accutance and antibiotic-resistant acne, depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I put on 50 pounds between high school and college.
Weight loss became an obsession. I knew sugar fed cancer, but I loved carbs too much. Facts weren’t enough – I knew the problem was me. Specifically, my willpower. Food held power. I did not.
Cue: Indigo Girls “…how long till my soul gets it right?”
When I finally examined my health, my body and my battle with food, life-changing magic occurred.
I reversed my acne, IBS and depression. I lost 30 pounds as a side effect of healing my chronic health issues and the emotional patterns that were causing my auto-eating spirals.
I feel more healthy, alive and on fire today, than ever in my life. And, I’m thrilled to share, so do my clients.
Despite all the wellness tools I discovered while coping with cancer, I never found an approach that explained which foods would keep me healthy, and why I wasn’t eating them despite my good intentions. That’s exactly the kind of knowledge gap that sparks insatiable curiosity in me, and I started digging, working my way through…
Masters of Science, Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania, 2013. Concentrations in Change Management, Coaching and Leadership
Lois A. Ginsberg Community Award, University of Pennsylvania, 2013
Functional Medicine Apprenticeship, 2008-2012
Institute for the Psychology of Eating, 2010
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition/Columbia University Teachers College, 2006-2008
I was my first success story, and, ever the scientist, I needed to know if I could replicate my results. Spectacular progress with my first several clients catapulted me into the study of transformational emotional change. Because clearly food is only half the equation.
Word on the street
Just so we're clear
I like questions and debate more than answers.
I’m insatiably curious. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.
I delight in the beauty of paradox, because that is where truth resides.
A Little More About Me
My partner along for the ride is my best friend, husband, and favorite comedian, Carlos. He’s a brilliant writer who challenges me when I’m frustrated that the world is unfair, especially to women, and I want to make sweeping generalizations about smashing the patriarchy. He makes my ideas stronger because he’s a feminist too.
We recently moved to Pittsburgh, my hometown. I left for 18 years and never thought I’d come back. I recently got my first dog ever, Coffee. He's stolen our hearts.
As a life-long outsider, the misfits of the world are my people. To me, we’re life artists moving the world forward to a more vibrant, healthy and fair place for us all.
I’m a city person at heart. I spent 12 years in Philadelphia, a city that will always have at least half my heart. It’s where I grew into a free-thinking woman.
Fall is my favorite season.
Hip Hop is my kind of dance, until I notice people taking pictures. I refuse to be meme’d.
If we were to meet for tea, I’d ask you:
- What do you think happens after we die?
- What are you currently learning, in real life or from books/podcasts/etc?
- Where are your favorite places in the world?
I am committed to diversity and inclusion.
I believe that innovation, strength and power come from different perspectives, backgrounds and cultures. I open-heartedly invite diversity in clients and attendees, including ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, body size, religion, and physical ability.
The Deeper Story
Told in a Timeline
Born into my mother's family who fought the Nazis in the Hungarian-Austrian mountains and my Dad's who were Jews fleeing persecution in the Ukraine. Truth, justice and intensity are in my blood.
Eye surgery to correct a lazy eye. I wear a full Wonder Woman underwear set to my follow-up appointment and show my optometrist. I am deemed enthusiastic and full of chutzpah.
I get a pink slip home for "shouting" out in class without being called upon. I start an underground newspaper the teachers don’t know about. I will not be silenced!
Relentlessly bullied and isolated in fifth grade. I try Weight Watchers for the first time and begin eating bagels after school in private.
Diagnosed with cancer. Nine months of chemotherapy and radiation.
I’m skinny from chemo. And it’s AMAZING. I get attention and positive feedback from everyone. I get a boyfriend. I can wear whatever I want. I am normal.
I become an emotional eater in college. I gain and lose weight. I struggle with depression. I get on meds and find a therapist. I don’t get worse. I don’t get better.
Devastating first work experience in the corporate world. I’m diagnosed with IBS.
Hoping my continual weight gain is because of my thyroid, I see my primary care doctor. My thyroid is normal, and she gives me a low-fat salmon recipe with Splenda.
SPLENDA? That’s a known carcinogen.
SPLENDA of all things, is my slide into the Heroine’s Descent
(life is hysterical)
I have done everything right, worked hard, got good grades, graduated from Penn State’s Schreyers Honors College, had the well-paying corporate job working all over the world (hello Paris, London, Madrid, Stockholm and Prague).
And yet, I feel fat. Unfulfilled in my job. Never going to meet a partner.
Being thin was amazing. Why couldn’t I stay there? I’ve tried so hard.
Listening to everyone else wasn’t working. I needed better questions.
I meet Carlos at an Irish Pub in Philly. He’s attractive. Smart. Kind. And really into me. So of course, this freaks me out.
He asks me out and I say yes. We fall in love even though I’m 30 pounds above my “goal” weight. This interrupts my unshakeable ‘once I lose weight, then I’ll meet someone’ logic.
What else don’t I know about what I thought I knew?
I go back to school and discover food as medicine. My skin glows, and my IBS and depression are gone. How did I not know about this for the past 18 years?
Dark night of the soul ensues as I realize no one is at the wheel of our medical system. And Big Corporate interests are riding shot gun.
What else don’t I know about what I thought I knew?
When you stop eating pre-packaged foods, you stop wanting a pre-packaged life.
Everyone needs to know about the power of food!
After getting results with my first several clients, I leave my corporate life to spread the good news and support other people who want food freedom too. (This is literally my business plan).
I enter Penn for my Masters to study what transformational emotional change happened with me and is happening with my clients. Food is only half the equation. Yet I’m unclear what the second half is beyond overly simplified self-help and coaching platitudes.
What an (exhilarating!) rabbit hole. The matrix is real. And I’m grateful to be out of it and feel so free.
It turns out my medical records left out the most meaningful experiences and medicines of my life. The pesticide poisoning at the age of six that caused toxicity, inflammation and my initial weight gain. The steroids and mustard gas in my chemo and the antibiotics and Accutane for my skin, which were destroying my gut and were the root cause of my depression, stomach and skin issues. The traumatic experiences of being bullied and having cancer made me my own worst enemy. Unresolved, they created a battle with myself that caused me to lose profound pieces of myself and the bravery to live the life I really wanted. I was self-critical but not self-aware.
The resilience and results from building my business healed me from cancer as much as chemo did to cure me. I released old stories, patterns and behaviors and replaced them with my natural and well-earned chutzpah and enthusiasm.
I’ve returned to my roots: the nine-year-old me who owned the underground newspaper is now the host of the Insatiable podcast. It’s an independent, wisely rebellious show because there’s tremendous value in going against the (GMO’d) grain.
I consider myself a midwife for others who want to get off the all-or-nothing eating roller coaster, stop monitoring themselves with food (and in life!) and reclaim the freedom and bravery to step into who they truly are.
It’s the personal growth challenge and opportunity of a lifetime. If you’ve read this far, you certainly have the curiosity and stamina to set yourself free, too!