With a decade of experience working with major health and wellness brands, Stepfanie Romine is an author, yoga instructor and health coach specializing in weight maintenance, work-life balance, stress management and healthy eating, including meal prep. She’s the co-author of three best-selling wellness titles, the most recent of which is The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, chosen by Sports Illustrated as a top health and wellness pick of 2017. She is currently working on a medicinal mushrooms cookbook, and she teaches yoga and runs a private health-coaching practice outside Asheville, N.C. A trained journalist who parlayed her passion for healthy living into a career, Stepfanie has lived and cooked on three continents. She has taught yoga since 2009 and is certified in health coaching and fitness nutrition through the American Council on Exercise, with additional training in herbal supplements and holistic and integrative nutrition. Stepfanie is available for individual sessions and group workshops, both online and in-person, and she frequently consults with brands in the natural products and wellness industries.
What do I do best?
Before I started writing books and teaching yoga, I was a journalist. My training as an editor and reporter taught me how to use my natural curiosity to discover the truth. This allowed me to cultivate good listening skills — imperative to my current roles — and to embrace humility and seek answers outside myself to best serve my students and clients.
This strength allows me to ask tough questions — and to truly listen to the answers in order to understand, not merely respond — to help others live healthier, happier lives. I see myself as a health concierge (as inspired by Ganesha), removing the obstacles that stand between you and the life you want.
What makes me the best version of myself?
When I learned to stop comparing myself to others, to let go of imposter syndrome and to embrace my calling to help others find health and happiness, I was able to share my best self with the world. I walk the walk: Practicing self-care — including yoga, a plant-based diet, plenty of movement and stress management — to allow my best self to be present in every class and client meeting.
What are my aspirations?
I aspire to help others lead healthier, happier lives, both individually and through my books. I want to create a culture of curious yet critical consumers. We are inundated by advice on health and wellness; trying to determine what’s hype and what’s not can feel daunting. Using my training as a journalist, I strive to help others look at sources objectively: Is a professional practicing within his or her scope of practice? Is someone merely trying to sell you a product or get you to participate in their multilevel marketing program? Does a blogger or writer have any true knowledge or experience on a subject — or are they simply trying to boost traffic by using certain SEO keywords?
I am expanding my online and in-person workshop offerings, and I hope to continue to have the opportunity to educate others and help them find their path to healthy living.
In my personal life, I strive every day to be a loving and generous partner, daughter, sister and friend. I’m also working on my outer strength, including strength training in my wellness regimen. I’m (slowly) learning German, as my husband works for a German company, and we’ll be visiting soon.
My Biggest Success?
I struck out on my own last year, leaving behind the security of a 9-to-5 job. I not only earned more than I would have in that role, I also worked less — but the work I did fed my soul and allowed me to really connect with others. Every day I offer gratitude for this life I’ve created for myself.
I am a doer, an achiever, a recovering perfectionist. I am so proud of all I’ve been able to achieve — leaving a small, struggling town in Ohio with a full ride to college, graduating with honors and two degrees, traveling the world, transitioning to a career path the truly fulfills me, finding a partner who respects, loves and supports me… and I feel like I’m just getting started!
My Most Challenging Moment?
For far too long, I sacrificed my own health and happiness to be a team player. I didn’t have healthy work-life boundaries — and I knew it! I kept telling myself it was temporary, that I knew what I was doing, and that it was for the greater good. I ended up feeling helpless, as I struggled with anxiety and exhaustion. Through self-care, therapy and a change in my work habits, I have re-established my equilibrium and come through stronger and more resilient. This challenge also informed the work I do with clients, and it inspired me to complete my advanced yoga teacher training with an emphasis on pain, trauma and stress management.
For too many years, I worked for men who told me I was both too much and not enough. I let them tell me I wasn’t talented enough, that my writing wasn’t inspiring, that I was too emotional/too loud/too rebellious for not doing things their way. Meanwhile, praise poured in from colleagues, readers and peers. I was miserable on the inside but had what I called my “dream jobs.” It took a lot of self-reflection, tears, therapy and mentorship from some strong women, but I have vowed to never again let anyone silence me or make me feel “less than.” Now I get to help others find — and believe in — their best selves, too. I call that success.
Today I did my best; tomorrow I will do better. (This helps me cope with my recovering perfectionist tendencies.)
Lead with your heart; the rest of you will follow. (This allows me to act and speak in alignment with my values.)
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Brene Brown. Elizabeth Gilbert.
My yoga teacher, Kim Nietch, is among my favorite humans on the planet. Morning after morning, she rises early and holds space for her Ashtanga students. She is humble and inquisitive, intelligent and generous with energy, resources and knowledge. Through her friendship and guidance on and off the mat, I am a better person.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
My favorite place on Earth is Paris. (I have a degree in French!) But, these days, my favorite place is home with my husband, Sam, and our three cats. We live in Western North Carolina, outside Asheville. I love the mountains that I call home, and they constantly challenge me and remind me of my place “in the family of things” (h/t Mary Oliver).
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Things are things, but they can make life easier, that’s for sure! I have had my Manduka yoga mat for coming up on a decade, and it knows all my pain, my secrets and my dreams. It’s a sacred space!
In the kitchen, I can’t live without my Cuisinart food processor and Instant Pot for quick meal prep.
Professionally, I couldn’t survive without my planner and journal, as well as my laptop.
I’m also obsessed with my RAD Roller (not sponsored, just a huge fan) to work out kinks and keep my connective tissue and muscles supple and happy.
I am an herbal devotee, and I take both mushroom and herbal products every day. These days, I take maca powder, vitex berry, turmeric (always and forever!), reishi and astragalus (from fall through spring to naturally boost my immune health since I spend so much time teaching).
And finally, I couldn’t live without plants! I eat a plant-based diet, with minimal processed foods. Vegetables (especially green ones), herbs, fruits, grains, legumes… I love them all and feel so inspired and nourished by nature!
My Current Passions?
I’m passionate about healthy aging, for myself, my loved ones and my students. I want to help others live long, pain-free lives!
I am in love with hiking and running in the mountains, and I also love strength training, which was a recent shift for me. I mostly do body-weight and TRX training.
I am a cat lady, through and through, and I give to cat rescues any chance I get!