In case you ever thought working with bone broth could be remotely boring, think again. In fact, we just took five with Superman’s personal chef. That’s right, Erin Blevins -- founder of shutupEAT and shutupWORK, was the one-woman powerhouse who took care of transforming actor Henry Cavill into our most loved, chiseled, Justice League superhero. Learning alongside her highly decorated chef father in her youth, Salt Lake City based Erin went on to master techniques related to training and nutrition. She now blends her love of outdoor sports, training, and bikini wearing with baking, cooking, and enjoying delicious meals. Her organic approach to coaching others into a positive self-image is through a special blend of hard physical training and intuitive tasty eating, She also happens to be a die-hard bone broth fan, so...it was only natural that we chat about nutrition (and Superman!)
We have to start with the question we know is on everyone’s lips: How did you become Superman’s personal chef?!
I guess it is kind of a strange, going from a cake baker to cooking for the Man Of Steel but it started when my husband and his business Mark Twight were responsible for Henry’s original transformation into Superman back in 2010. They had grown so tired of trying to make boxed meals and pre-prepared foods work so that they could control the nutrition. It is next to impossible to teach a trained chef about accurate macronutrient profiles because their focus is flavor, and also as unlikely to teach a nutritionist about flavor because in most cases that can’t be taught. I have always been into training and eating so I just kind of naturally filled this need for a “Super chef”.
Tell us a little about your path to becoming a personal chef and nutrition and fitness coach
My fitness path really began when I was recovering from giving birth to my daughter. I had to kind of figure it out so I watched DVDs and copied workouts on the internet but eventually I wasn’t getting the progress I wanted, so I hired a coach, and then another coach, and probably a dozen more after that. I kind of figured out if you want to learn something, there is someone you can pay to teach you. I’m not talking about just hiring a personal trainer (who generally doesn’t have a vested interest in you knowing everything they know) but hiring a teacher, so you can do things on your own. It helps that my husband (Michael Blevins) is probably one of the most sought after coaches on the planet, but even he hires people when he wants to learn, so it’s kind of a family thing at this point.
Seeing as you work with clients as both a personal trainer and a nutritional coach, which would you say plays a bigger role in their over health -- fitness or food?
I always gear people towards getting control of their food before they are concerned about formal training. It’s simply an exposure thing. You train for maybe an hour a day (if you are dedicated and good at scheduling -- I am not) but you eat somewhere between 2-6 times a day. Your chances at messing up are so much less drastic if you have your eating habits in check. Food intake is probably 95% (if not 99%) of what makes your body composition, and for me at least when I look good I can make myself feel good; the next step of hitting a training session is so much easier to do when I feel like I look good doing it.
With all the unique diets out there, is there one particular diet that you follow personally? If so, why?
I don’t. In fact it is one thing that I strive to teach people; learning about food and what certain foods do to you specifically, makes any arbitrary, fad diet pointless. I deal with all sorts of people and their eating rituals, from Vegans to Keto to paleo fanatics that only eat foods that start with the letter “r” -- (that last one is a joke, at least I hope it is). Their success is never contingent on what foods they eliminate but what foods they enjoy eating and how to make those work with their individual lifestyle.
Do you believe a healthy diet is more about what you take out (gluten, dairy, soy etc.), or what you put in?
To kind of broaden on the last answer, unless you have a verified allergy or medical condition, we humans are robust, and we have survived in almost every habitat, on every continent on this planet for 200,000 years. We are children of adaptation, sometimes by way of Hormesis. Exercise works because it’s uncomfortable and your body adjusts to that discomfort. Nutrition is no different -- go without carbs and your body adjusts, add protein in strategically and your body compensates, take away calories for long enough and your body learns to adapt. It has been so ingrained in us culturally to never be uncomfortable, so I find most people get a slight stomach ache and blame whatever is popular to blame—claiming some kind of allergy. This year it’s FODMAPS, next year it might be tobiko (the tiny little fish eggs they put on sushi).
What are your 3 top tips to people who are trying to embark on a healthier diet?
1-Don’t tell yourself “you can’t”. We are all toddlers, and the second you say “no chocolate, no beer, no sugar” your inner child wants exactly that.
2-Instead focus on hitting certain goals first throughout the day: quality protein amount, don’t go over a predetermined calorie amount. After those are minded, knock yourself out...
3-...nutrition should be fun, not a chore. It’s challenging, sure, but most things worth learning are. I find that learning to cook as opposed to this robotic counting calories machine we are told to be is a way to disguise the work. Get your family involved, make it a game to go shopping and try to incorporate new veggies and meats into stable dishes. We always have taco Tuesday, where my husband and I compete to make the most outrageous taco variation (so far I have the trophy with a chicken thigh korma topped with pickled red cabbage and pistachio).
We know you are a big proponent of bone broth. What is it about bone broth that you love so much?
There is something very nourishing about a good broth, and I find the richness of such a simple nutritious food can warm you on a cold day and ease the worst cold. I incorporate it as a base for other sauces any chance I can get, and if I ever don’t know what to make I know stewed meat in bone broth is never complained about.
What are some of your other “must haves” in your daily diet?
I am a salad girl. I need my greens, but I also have a sweet tooth so I’m always looking for tasty ways to satisfy that and also stick to my nutrition plan.
Ok, we have to ask… If we follow your diet plan, will we all have a body like yours?!
LOL! I think deep down we all have this desire to have someone else’s body (the grass is always greener, right?) I find myself browsing Instagram thinking how awesome it would be to have that girl’s butt or this girl’s eyebrows; but if I did have them, I probably wouldn’t appreciate them, I would just want someone else’s body parts. The trick, at least for me is setting physical goals and then doing my best to crush them, because when I can do that, that’s the body I want. I want the body that can smash that weight, or ride that bike up that mountain. I want a body that can do that because what I want more than any specific feature is to use my body to see the world.