Enjoy this interesting interview from popular health coach and Instagram sensation, the Freckled Foodie, aka Cameron Rogers!
After working on Wall Street in Sales & Trading for 5 years, Cameron had a life-altering moment and decided it was time to wave goodbye to the corporate world and pursue the Freckled Foodie full-time. Since then, she’s grown her community, worked with notable companies on creating content, helped dozens of individuals achieve a more healthy and balanced lifestyle through her health coaching practice, and developed her personality as a podcast host on Freckled Foodie & Friends. By doing all of this, she was fortunate enough to be named one of the five entrepreneurs changing New York’s wellness scene by Forbes.
In this show, Cameron goes beyond the success story of quitting Wall Street for a career in health to talk about her longtime struggle with anxiety and the coping strategies she has used successfully and recommends to her clients. A great sound bite is that we must accept anxiety as inevitable, but figure out a way to make anxiety spur action and accomplishment. Cameron also relates an evolved approach to dietary transformation, where she encourages her clients to stay away from the stress of orthorexia by allowing occasional or regular sensible indulgences.
For her, this means having a small bite (or two) of ice cream everyday after dinner, because the fact that she knows she can have more tomorrow allows her to avoid both overeating and the guilt typically associated with “treating yourself” or having a “cheat day.” This is also why Cameron no longer classifies foods as “healthy” or “bad” anymore — “The second you take something off the table, you’re like, ‘I need it now, because I have no idea when the next time I’ll have it is!’” she observes. Instead, she always aims to approach her and her clients’ diets from a balanced and realistic perspective.
Enjoy this interesting show with Cameron and check out her podcast here!
Cameron Rogers is not only describing her life transition of moving into the world after college, she talks about the dietary strategy that she uses in her coaching others. [01:22]
The more Cameron got into cooking, the more she became focused on how her body was impacted by what she ate and drank. [04:32]
When seeing a physician about her severe abdominal issues, she learned she had mercury poisoning as a result of some dental work! [06:14]
Focusing too much on the food journey led her to realize her lifelong anxiety struggle was attached to eating. [09:37]
How does one manage anxiety? Alcohol is not the solution. [16:50]
What recommendations does she give to her clients? She deals with each individually. Once you restrict something, you usually crave it more. [20:08]
When she’s working with clients, looking at diet is important, but talking about how one feels when eating while eating, and after eating is important. Are you actually paying attention to the food you eat? [24:09]
Her approach is a bit different from traditional therapy. Cameron calls herself an accountability coach. [26:24]
Cameron tells of her journey from her job, to Instagram, to her business model. [31:47]
How does she help someone who struggles with the assignments they are given? [39:49]
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Get Over Yourself Podcast
Hey listeners, you’re going to love this very interesting and wide ranging show with Cameron Rogers, the freckled foodie, and, you know, I get pitched, uh, to interview guests all the time from, uh, PR firms and whatnot. And, uh, it’s kind of overwhelming at times. I have a lot of shows already lined up, uh, but I said, okay, fine. I’ll talk to this lady. And, um, talk about how she switched from Wall Street into a career in health coaching. But there was much more dimension to the show rather than the successful career transition, although she gave some excellent insights and advice along those lines, uh, she got really personal and talked about her lifelong struggle with anxiety and the coping strategies that she’s put into place. She has a very interesting take on diet, and that is that she does not tip her hand. She is not pigeonholed into a certain rigid dietary strategy and she works with her clients, uh, in, in different manner to, uh, figure out a way that they won’t get overly stressed or anxious about their food choices. And overall, I think what’s really cool is that she’s working with young people, especially females in her peer group, in their twenties, struggling with that major life transition of getting out of college and making your way in the career scene. And I think that’s so awesome that, uh, people in that age group are seeking, uh, this type of, uh, support from a health coach from a comprehensive accountability partner. So here we go with Cameron Rogers, the freckled foodie.
Cameron Rogers. I have you direct from, are you still in New York?
Yep. I’m here right now. I’ve been back and forth between New York and my parent’s house in New Jersey, but I’m currently in New York
And we have to talk about Freckled Foodie and this amazing life journey that you’ve been on. And it’s so interesting these days. Uh, it seems to be quite a lot of people dreaming of pursuing a career in the, in the world of health that they’re so passionate about. And it’s kind of a difficult journey. Uh, and here you are to tell us all about it because you were working on Wall Street, you are deep into the, into the scene, and now you spun out on the other side. So I’d love to hear how this whole journey got started.
Of course, yeah, two very different lives. So I started working at JP Morgan in sales and trading right out of college. I graduated in 2013 from Lafayette college in Pennsylvania, and I had interned for two summers at JP. I loved it. It really, um, fit a lot of my attributes and characteristics from being a college athlete. It was very fast paced. You had to make quick decisions. It was competitive, but it was team oriented. And I loved it. And while I was working there, I was struggling with some digestive health issues and I was on these elimination diets. And the more things I was being forced to cut out based on my doctor’s recommendations, the more frustrated I was dealing with restaurants and like the quick lunch pickup places, just because it was so hard to have conversations of like what exact ingredients they were using.
And so I started cooking for myself and honestly, food has always been something I’ve loved, but I was never someone that cooked until I graduated from college. And once I started cooking, I realized how creative it was and how fun it could be and what a great outlet it was from the very structured and like intense career I was doing. And it kind of just spiraled from there to be totally honest. Um, the more I got into cooking, the more, I was also interested in how my body was impacted by what I was doing or what I was putting into it. And I just got really interested in the whole wellness scene and it became really clear to me that once I started Freckled Foodie, my Instagram account, that I really cared about that. And the downtime on the trading floor was being spent researching like recipes and restaurant reviews and reading new articles about the space and less of like what’s happening in the muni bond market, which is the product I was selling.
And that was my first red flag of like, maybe this isn’t for you. Maybe you care a lot more about something else. And as much as I loved everything I was doing on my Instagram account, I wasn’t making any money off of it. I had no idea how it could potentially make money off of it. I was putting in as much possible time as I could, but I was still obviously restricted from a ton of opportunities because I was working such a demanding intense job. And honestly, a big of it for me of like not wanting to leave JP was the ego aspect of it at all. It was a huge badge of honor for me to say, I worked there. I made great money, the golden handcuffs. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without that steady salary. And I kind of accepted, I have a great career path here.
Freckled Foodie will just be a side hobby and that’s that. And I then had a pretty life altering moment. I’m okay. I always want to preface with that, but I actually got hit by a car while I was crossing the street and separate from a pretty bad concussion. And during that time, I then during recovery, I was on two months disability from work. And for anyone who’s had a concussion, you know, you know, you can’t be on your phone. You can’t be watching TV. I couldn’t read, I could barely go outside. And so that’s when I learned how to meditate and really deep into my practice. I journaled a ton. I talked to all my friends that was all I could do. And it became so obvious to me that I was so passionate about this other thing. And I had the opportunity and the privilege to be able to take a chance.
And so I went back to work for a week and I sat my boss down and I told him I was leaving. He was very confused because I think. He was an older man and was just like, what do you mean you’re going to do something on Instagram. I don’t get this. And a lot of people didn’t understand. I was leaving a very prestigious, steady job to go try something. But I promised myself that I would give myself six months to see where it took me. And, you know, it was the best time of my life to be able to do that. I didn’t have any responsibility other than myself. And I had saved a lot of money to be able to take this chance and risk. And now it’s been, I guess, like two and a half years. So clearly I never went back.
Wow. So the whole thing started with, uh, some digestive issues and elimination diet was that recommended by traditional physician? And I’m wondering how that went and what they wanted you to eliminate? What you discovered that brought you back to health?
So I had been, I carry a lot of my anxiety in my stomach first and foremost. I think that’s something I’ve definitely come to notice and is obvious when I reflect back on my entire life, even as a child. And post-college, I, all of a sudden had severe bloating, tons of like IBS-C symptoms. And I was really uncomfortable all the time, but I, I was kind of ignoring it and there hit a point where I was so bloated that the acid was almost like moving up my body and affecting my breath at night. And I was at my friend’s wedding and I was trying to yell across the room to someone and I didn’t have the breath to do it. I kept coughing and I turned to my then boyfriend, now husband, and was like, I have to go see a doctor. So I saw a traditional gastrointestinal doctor.
Um, that’s when I tested positive for SIBO, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth. And that time I’ve had it twice now, but that first time I went on the typical, um, antibiotic treatment that they put you on and it killed it, but I still had a ton stuff continuing to go on. And that’s when I then, and decided to see a functional medicine practitioner. And with that, I treated a second round of SIBO, but more through supplements. And we actually found out that I had mercury poisoning that had been undetected for five years. We think I obviously, you can’t trace it back to anything specific, but given how high and really absurdly high the levels were, um, we think it’s from a removal of a metal filling I had that was potentially improperly done. And the timeline of all of that really adds up cause it happened right when the digestive health issue started to unfold and it’s a big symptom of mercury poisoning.
And so that was like my whole, that’s a very short version of what went down, but the elimination diets I was on now it’s pretty popular the low FODMAP diet, but back then it was very early on. And so I was cutting out mainly gluten, soy, garlic, and onion, and garlic and onion were huge triggers of mine. And at the time people looked at me like I 10 heads now in the wellness industry, feel like it’s more of a known thing, the low FODMAP diet and that those can be triggers for some digestive responses. Fortunately, I can now tolerate them after working on healing my gut a lot. Um, but it was definitely an overwhelming time because I was constantly afraid of what I was putting in my mouth in fear of a potential flare up.
Wow. So I guess the healing of the damaged gut lining now allows you to eat a more varied diet, but I’m sure you’re familiar with this carnivore movement where these people are experiencing miracle healing from excluding all plant foods and, you know, having a really restrictive diet. And I guess if you get rid of those irritants, uh, and, and live a healthy lifestyle and get enough sleep and whatever you are eating, uh, has some nutritional value, uh, you can progress really quickly in a way that, uh, doesn’t seem to be there when you’re just dosing with antibiotics, which comes with all kinds of downstream problems, whatever they’re attacking, the first goal and succeeding. Now,
I definitely am not someone that would ever be able to be only on a meat only diet. I do eat meat. Um, but I really try to not set boundaries on what I’m eating because from experiencing these elimination diets and restricting, I definitely have a bit of a controlling personality. And for me it became a little too restrictive and I became a little too obsessed with what I was eating and kind of disordered thoughts on like the orthorexic spectrum, just because I was, the intent was I didn’t want to have a stomach flare up and there was a right intent, but the impact ended up being a little too obsessed. So for me, I definitely try to stay away from any restrictive or like, I guess, trend diets, because I know personally the mental aspect is more hurtful than the impact it might have on my body.
Yeah. Well said, I mean, you have to heal. And so you have to go down a road where if someone says, Hey, you need to quit smoking or you’re going to get lung cancer. Um, that person might be obsessed with th the missing cigarettes when they usually reach for them, or in your case, you had to go on a low FODMAP diet. And it’s extremely important to ask the hot dog vendor, uh, what’s in there. But I like how you described, you know, once you’re kind of making progress and, you know, I guess being able to introduce new foods back in or however your journey’s going, um, there comes a point where it’d be really nice to loosen up a little bit. I mean, I’ve traveled around with athletes when I was a triathlete that were so strict in their diet that they’d get extremely stressed out if they couldn’t find exactly the food that they needed. And that in itself is a stressor. You said you carry your anxiety and your digestive tract. So you’re, you’re in a very bad hamster wheel there thinking.
New Speaker (12:52):
It really, it definitely got to me. And then I started to be anxious over what I was eating and when I was eating it, and it was just exactly a hamster wheel of anxious thoughts and then stomach pain.
Uh, so you talk about anxiety on your blog, it’s in the mix with your food recommendations. So maybe you could drill down on that subject further. I hear so much of it, especially we’re recording this and 2020 the year of changing life. And, uh, the word anxiety comes up as like the number one, uh, fallout side effect of quarantine and, and all the, all the changes in culture.
Yeah. I mean, I definitely have struggled with anxiety my entire life. I think now that I’m older, I’m able to reflect back on times when I was a child and I just didn’t have the vocabulary for the feelings I was experiencing. So I have vivid memories when I was probably in like the 10 to 13 range. I don’t know the exact age, but having conversations with my cousin about what would happen after we die and like how time exists forever. And the fear of the unknown and time are both big triggers for my anxiety. I now can assess that. But at that moment, I didn’t realize what my reaction was, but I would have these visceral physical reactions where I would feel like I was going to throw up. I would feel this like lightheaded and take over my body. And I’d say, we have to stop talking about this.
I feel like, so nauseous, this conversation, it makes me so uncomfortable not knowing that it was causing me anxiety. It was just making me feel really weird. And that was the only way I knew how to explain it at that age. I also was diagnosed with lactose intolerance, but I really think the pain was anxiety and like induced because I mean, I would still eat like pints of ice cream because it’s my favorite food. And for me, I think a lot of it also was attention based in the sense that in the middle of the night, I got to spend that time with my mom. And it was just the two of us and my like healing for my stomach aches, quote, unquote healing would be these like warm baths with, um, cinnamon Eggos. I would eat. It was the weirdest situation as a kid, but I really think it was me like, hello, pay attention to me, spend time with just me.
I’m one of three girls and I’m the middle child. So, um, attention needy as always. Um, but I think then when I went through high school and college, my anxiety played a role in my performance in a positive manner because I’m a people pleaser. I really don’t want to let people down. I get a stint of performance anxiety. However, it helps me succeed in a way. And so all of these triggers and things that were happening were causing me in a great way to accomplish things, but then I was positively affirmed for those. And so it just re-encouraged that type of behavior. And I was like, Oh, but this is just how I am. And this is what I have to do to like succeed. And even at JP Morgan, when I was working, you know, I would be the first one to do something. I’m gonna answer right away.
I would always be on top of everything. And it was because I was so anxious, but on the counter side, I was getting told how great I am at my job, how I’m so reliable. And so I felt like I had to continue doing all these things. So it’s been really interesting for me. I mean, since leaving my job, I’ve really focused on better managing my anxiety. I think it’s something I’ll always have. I’ve accepted that. I’m not trying to get rid of it. I’ve heard a few people say, like we can use as our super power, which I love the concept of flipping the script on that, but I am trying to manage it. And I do things across a very wide spectrum. I meditate every day, twice a day. I journal every single morning I limit my caffeine intake. Um, I do take CBD. I was on an antidepressant and anxiety medication for a year. And you know, I indulge in plant medicine. So if it’s there, I do it and I try it. Um, but you know, it’s a constant journey and I think it always will be. It’s just figuring out what specifically works for you, because we’re all very different in what helps us.
Wow. I’m going to have to take a breath and reflect on that where you said it, you know, it could be your super power whereby I mean, look, what’s the opposite of anxiety would be apathy or something. Right? So it’s not going to get you very far if you have a complete lack of anxiety, I heard someone else on a podcast recently say that, look, everyone has anxiety. It’s just, what level, when does it come out? How does it affect your life or adversely affect your life? So I think we’re, we’re getting, you know, focused in on how are you going to manage it best and do something about it. And in your case, you alleviate every time you excel or accomplish something until, until the next go round, what kind of, what sport were you playing in college? You mentioned that your performance.
I played LaCrosse,
I’d be anxious out there too with this stick flying in my face and stuff.
Yeah. Unfortunately it led to a few concussions, which didn’t help when I got the other one.
Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been there. I understand. Yeah. I remember I had a concussion, uh, the first couple hours of vacation landing in Hawaii after high school graduation. And it was pretty bad as in the hospital. And then when I was released, um, the guy said, okay, um, don’t go out in the sun, don’t drink alcohol, don’t exercise. Don’t elevate your body temperature. Don’t go swimming for a week. And we were there in Hawaii for a week, so I could hang very well. I disobeyed his orders. And then I had, you know, a bad time, a few days later cause I need my body temperature and you don’t want to do that when your brain’s already swollen.
But back to anxiety and the connection to diet, what do you find there?
Huge for me, um, you know, I notice if I’m eating foods that don’t make me feel good, that, and that personally triggers my anxiety just because I have a lot of anxiety around my health because I’ve experienced a ton of things. And even with the concussion, you know, the feeling of being feeling as if you’re broken. And that’s something that for me, triggers a lot of anxiety because it’s like when is this ever going to heal? When is this going to be over? When am I going to feel quote unquote normal again. And so I’ve noticed that the more I eat foods that make me feel good, I don’t like to label foods as healthy or bad or good or bad. Um, but foods that inherently make me feel good in my skin. That’s when my anxiety is at its lowest and alcohol for me, you know, I love a good cocktail. I definitely drink, but I’ve definitely cut back on my alcohol consumption because there is nothing that gets me more anxious than a bad hangover. It is like, you don’t want to be around me. And the next day I get really bad anxiety. And so I’ve definitely taken into account what I’m eating, what I’m drinking, especially like how much I’m sleeping, because I realize how much those affect my anxiety. And if I can do what I can to manage it, I’m going to try that.
Yeah. I guess the, uh, alcohol is believed to be the instant solution to anxiety. Right? And when you drink it and then the long-term repercussions are not so pleasant.
Exactly it does. You reach for the glass cause you’re anxious. And then the next day you’re even more anxious.
Okay. So you’ve, um, characterized your relationship with food, uh, really beautifully and high-minded. You haven’t pigeonholed yourself into Cameron, the carnivore diet woman. Uh, so, uh, where, where do you stand with your, uh, approach strategy recommendations to your clients?
So for me, I think that the best way people ask about balance all the time and for me, I think it’s finding comfort and confidence in that gray area. So eating foods that make you feel good because you want to, like, we all want to feel good in our skin. We to have energy. We want to be able to exercise. We want to feel great about ourselves. But I also don’t want to restrict 10,000 things because I think once you restrict something you’re craving, I mean, it’s been proven once you restrict something, you crave it even more. And especially the females I work with as a health coach, or mainly in like the 24 to 29 age range. And a lot of them have experienced this, not yo-yo dieting, but you know, we’re getting these diets thrown at us from every angle of the media.
Oh, you should cut this out. Oh, don’t eat this. You have you have to make sure you’re only eating this. And they’ve told me the second they cut these things out. It’s all they want. And then they go on these binge episodes where if they’re not allowing themselves to eat ice cream, for example, and they are around it, they’re finishing a pint in one sitting. And that’s why for me, I try not to restrict anything because as I mentioned, let’s use ice cream as an example. It’s my favorite food. I’ll have like a bite or so every day, because I love it after dinner. But because I allow myself that opportunity to eat it whenever I feel like it rarely am I eating a ton of it. It’s usually just like one, two, three, sometimes a small bowl. But if you bite, because that does the fix for me, like, that’s all I need. I love it. I’ve had enough. I’ll have more tomorrow. The second we take something off the table. It’s like, I need it now because I have no idea when the next time I’ll have it.
Oh, mercy. Um, I’m wondering, you know, I think about this a lot because when you, if you can lock into the great strategy for your client, Oh my gosh, it’s going to be a wonderful transformation from being orthorexic or being completely dysregulated and having no dietary standards and eating anything. Uh, but I’m wondering if it’s kind of personality related. So if you allow one person, a spoonful of ice cream every night, they’re going to report back in a week that they downed a bunch of pints versus another person who that works perfectly for where we’re trying to deny themselves would turn into binge eating.
And I think that point exactly shows the importance of bio-individuality across this entire wellness space. Like every single person is different and every person is going to react differently to either something that they’re told to do or even consuming food. Like, look, we used in the beginning of the step. So when I talked about some of my anti or elimination diets, like garlic and onion were foods that I could not personally digest. However, garlic is a very healing food to many people. There are healing factors within garlic. So me going out there and being like, no one eat garlic and onion would be wild because a lot of people can digest them and it’s beneficial for them. And I think that just shows right there. Like yes, one person can maybe do well with more restrictions. Take keto. for example. Some people really thrive on keto.
I would never be able to. You know, whole 30, I’ve done whole 30 and do I feel great at the end of it physically? Yes, mentally, no. I feel like I’m going crazy. And that’s how I personally react to those things. And I think we are all very different and that’s why I don’t have a one kind of base approach to whether what I’m talking about on my Instagram, but also when I’m working with clients, because it really varies per person. And people always have different goals as well, which that plays into a lot of it.
Uh, Instagram is Freckled Foodie. We find you okay. Since we’ve been talking about it so much, who knows, maybe people will multitask right now and be pulling it up while they’re listening or watching on YouTube. So, I mean, you’ve, you’ve talked about your health coaching career and, uh, it seems like your approach is much broader than someone who’s mostly dialed into food and lifestyle optimizing making sure you have time to work out. So when you get with a client, um, are you, are you digging into issues like anxiety or things that extend beyond their, their food choices?
Absolutely. Um, honestly majority of my health coaching is not focused on food. There are some clients who it is focused more on what they’re eating and the mental aspect that’s going into each meal. Cause I think that’s huge. Like how are you feeling when you’re sitting down to eat? How, what are you doing while you’re eating? Are you eating a bag of chips without even paying attention and watching a TV show? And next second, you know, you look down and the chips are gone or you mindfully eating where you’re not looking at technology while you’re enjoying your food. And you’re actually paying attention to each bite you take, which is so important. And obviously that’s covered a bit, but honestly the majority of the program, the offering is to help you find the best version of yourself. And so each person I work with is very, some are focused on career and like navigating the corporate world as a new college graduate and just feeling incredibly overwhelmed by that transition because it’s a really hard one.
Um, some are also focused on anxiety and managing that in either the workforce or with family and friends or anxiety around food and body image, body positivity is a huge thing right now, especially for the females I’m working with in that age range. Um, a lot of us, myself included, have struggled over the years by comparing ourselves to quote unquote media standards and what we’re being shown in magazines and TV shows and on Instagram that have all been filtered, edited and altered and is not reality, but we’re taking it as reality. And so each client is focusing on something very different, but I definitely attack it for more of a broader spectrum than just, okay, well, what are you eating? And that’s all we’re going to talk about.
So of course you’re not a trained therapist, you’re a huge proponent of therapy. That was one of the bullet points. And so I’m curious, I’m not trying to put you on the spot or anything, but like describe the distinction between a traditional therapy relationship. I teed you up because I know you’re familiar with that, how the relationship works versus what you’re doing as a coach?
So that’s something I always like to make a very clear distinction of is that I am not a trained or licensed therapist. It’s something that I’ve actually considered doing.
However, I know a ton more than your therapist does about. Okay.
Um, no, I definitely don’t. Oh my God. I know way less than your therapist knows. Um, I, I’m a huge proponent of therapy. It’s been one of the most life-changing things for me. I, it fits something that you are able to afford. I w I wish it was something that we could all afford, but I really recommend that being a step in managing any type of mental health struggle you’re going through, um, what I propose myself as more as an accountability coach and like a person along this journey. So a lot of my clients actually see therapists as well, um, for more specific and, you know, actual clinical diagnosis and potential medication and things that they need real assistance with on that end for me, our sessions. And when you get notes from the session and then I’ll have like goals and asks, and then we’ll be in contact throughout the week.
So it might be something as simple as, you know, one of my clients, we are actually working on weight loss because she’s overweight and it’s been a lifelong thing for her. And she finally wants to get in a place where she is physically able to like, go on longer walks or experience different aspects of life that she feels her weight has held her back from. So on that, we’re talking more about like, okay, well, let’s try and find a workout that you love and maybe do that a few times a week. And so we’re having actual goals that she is being held accountable for, and she’s trying to reach. They could also be things like if I’m working with a client who is struggling a lot with body image and they find themselves body checking in a mirror where they’re waking up, and the first thing they’re doing is looking at whether their stomach is flat or not.
And that is setting the whole status of the day, whether it’s a great one or bad one. And unfortunately this is happening a lot with females in their early to mid twenties and later, but I am just noticing in that age range. Um, so a goal for that might be take the mirror out of your bedroom for right now. Or every single morning we’re going to start your day by positive affirmations, which is something I practice. You’re going to write down three things you love about yourself. It doesn’t even have to be about physical attributes. It can be about how kind you are, how smart you are, how driven you are, just things that you’re positively affirming yourself. So the goals and at, and then ask some more general things. Whether it’s like try to get more fruits and vegetables in this week, if we’re talking about food or try to flip this script, whenever you hear yourself, critiquing yourself, like stop, turn to yourself and say something positive right there. So those are things that like, we’re trying to get into a routine of doing. And then the goals are more concrete, actual tasks to complete throughout the week.
And what did you say your age group is usually
It’s like 20 I’ve had the youngest has actually, I did work with a high schooler once, but usually it’s in the like 23 to 29 range.
That is so cool that they, the young people are reaching out and getting help in this, in this area because it’s kind of esoteric. It’s a difficult decision for a lot of people to make. And most people whine and complain that they don’t have the budget to hire a coach. But, you know, it would seem like a top priority, especially for, uh, a young person in that, uh, life transition phase where they’re not anchored into the same routine for 15 years straight. Yeah. Yeah. Really cool. Um, so you’re coming from a lot of life experience, obviously that you shared with us a little bit. And did you also go and get further training when you knew that you were going to change your career?
Yes. Um, I actually did this while I was still at JP Morgan because I really just wanted to learn more for myself.
Don’t tell anybody that it’s, uh, she, she didn’t okay. She did in her spare time, she was allowed to
No, they know I was doing it in my spare time
Clients at JP Morgan, as a matter of fact, cause it’s such a stressful job.
Yeah. Um, so I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is one of the top health coaching programs. It’s online. Um, at the time they only offered a one-year course. Now they have one year and six month offerings, but I did the one-year course and I was doing it on the side. So do listen to the modules while I was commuting. I would also do them all weekend and nighttime. And, um, that I actually finished. So I’m trying to think of timeline wise. I started it while I was still working. And then I think when I quit was midway through my program. So I finished the program while I was doing, I was when I quit my job, I was focused mainly on my Instagram and I was meal prepping for people. So I was actually going into their homes and meal, prepping their food for them for the week. And so then I continued taking the online programming and I graduated about a few months after I had quit my job. And that’s when I started offering health coaching services.
Yeah. I think we now have to get into detail there because it’s such an amazing transition, especially from someone who’s locked into a high-income career, that’s, you’ve been highly trained for, and now you’re going into the unknown. So tell us how the Instagram was the leverage and then how you set up your, your business model.
So at the time that I left and I really went against everyone’s advice, everyone was like, you need to be making decent money before you leave. You need to have a business plan. Like why don’t you transition halfway and go work in the wellness space and still run your account on the side. But I had hit this point and honestly, this would’ve never happened had the accident not happened, but I hit a point where I was like, life is too short. I can take this risk. I’ve saved a lot of money. I come from financial privilege. I had a safety net. Like I can take this opportunity. And I just ha I know I have to do it for myself. So I had been saving, I tell this a lot, but a trader on my desk told me our bonuses were pretty hefty on the trading floor.
And one of my traders when I was very young and I had first started said, do not go waste your bonus on a bunch of designer bags and clothes, save it. You will need it someday. And I was like, okay. I mean, I don’t really like designer bags and clothes anyway. So I would save 95, I think, percent of my bonus every year. And so I built up a pretty hefty savings account and I didn’t know what it was for. And obviously it was for this life decision I was going to make later on. Um, so before I quit, I assessed what amount do I have in my savings that I’m willing to invest into me doing this full-time and I had set up an exact amount number. I then assessed what is my living expense every single month? Like how much does it cost for me to just live the way I live in New York?
And obviously cutting a few things back, but things like rent, internet, like the staple things within a little bit of spending budget. And I assessed how much that was every single month. And then I was like, okay, do I have enough to give myself six months of making no money whatsoever and living like that? And I did. And I then looked at what services I could potentially offer. So at this time it was meal prepping. So I would cook. I would go into the home and actually cook the meals for you. And I priced out what that would look like. Um, I was doing things like grocery store walkthroughs, where I would take you into a grocery store and walk through and help you pick out the best new ingredients and things that would make you feel great. And maybe swap out a few items.
I was doing kitchen audits where it was going into your kitchen and walking through, like, what are your favorite things? Are they the best options of that variety? What could we maybe replace it with? Um, I was doing cooking classes in person, which I still offer virtually now that COVID has happened and then eventually health coaching. And so I looked at all of those things. I kind of priced them out and I then built out a structure of, okay, if I can do two cooking or, you know, eventually I got up to five, but if I could do three to five clients a week for meal prepping and I could have three clients every month for health coaching and a few kitchen, you know, I really built it out. And I looked at what that amount would be. And then can I live off of that for the time being, and then hopefully grow.
And this was before my Instagram was making any money, which is now my main business driver, the influencer aspect of my business. Um, but I was very fortunate in the sense that I had no overhead in this industry. It’s not like I had to lease a building. I wasn’t buying any equipment to manufacture a product. There was actually no overhead. It was just myself. And so I was profitable from the first month because I, I ended up getting clients. I mean, I totally put myself out there. I created this draft email in the third person saying, Hey, this is my friend, Cameron. She just left her job. Here are all of her offerings. And I sent it to every single person I knew. And I said, can you please send this along to anyone? Do you think it would be interested? I’m really trying to start this business. I just quit my job. I made it so easy for you. All you have to do is forward the below. And it just kind of spider web from there. And I gained clients and momentum and then my Instagram started to grow and it’s taken a ton of turns. I never expected to happen, but here we are.
And how long ago did you leave? Uh, JP Morgan and friends?
Almost three years in, yeah, like just over two and a half years ago.
And you moved your cooking classes to virtual. Has there been any other changes in your relationships with your clients due to the quarantine and the changes this year?
Fortunately not because my Instagram community was all over the internet anyway. Um, my health coaching was always over the internet because I didn’t want to pigeon my hole pigeon hole myself to just New York clients. Um, so that has all remained the same. What’s changed is cooking classes. I used to host events at least once a month, which were amazing and so incredible to meet the Freckled Foodie community and just get together. We would usually do workout class and then socialize. And it was a great space for people to meet other people in that area who are like-minded and interested in the wellness space. And so I was doing those in New York. I did one in Chicago, Philly, Boston, it was so much fun. Um, and then also my podcast, I used to interview in person, which I do think I’m grateful that we’re able to interview virtually nowadays, but I obviously think that there’s something about an in-person interview, so that has changed and I’m hoping to eventually get back in the studio soon.
Wow. That’s really, uh, you know, you jumped off into the unknown from this consistent career into the health coaching, but the way you describe it with the, you know, the budgeting and the forecasting, uh, I’m, I’m wondering, you know, those listening who might be struggling on that path of transitioning their career into something in the health world. I mean, these seem like incredible tips where, you know, you, you set out your, uh, your, your steps so specifically, and then it was just a matter of executing them. But I think, um, we kind of, a lot of times float around in the dream world where we’re crossing our fingers, hoping that email will work. And, um, you you’ve really had that methodical approach, which seems like it paid off. So great advice for other aspiring coaches.
Thank you. I mean, I definitely believe in the aspect of putting things out there and manifestation and I practice that a lot. However, I also think that you have to do the work. It’s not just going to happen. So you’ve got to find that balance of the two.
Oh, wait, could you speak into the microphone more clearly please? Yes. He believes in manifestation and doing the work. What an incredible one, two combination. You can’t beat that. Oh my gosh.
Yeah. I think a lot of times, right now we’re given these like media things that are just manifest it, manifested it, put it out there and like, yeah, sure. There is, I do believe in it in a small sense of the law of attraction, but I also think that you have to do the work to be able to be in a position to then manifest and attract these things. You can’t just sit on your couch and hope that somehow these things are gonna happen to you.
Yeah, well said I also had a great quote from Luke Story, the lifestyleist podcast, when I interviewed him and he was talking about this subject, which he’s deep into and he said, you know, this stuff doesn’t really work unless you’re grateful for where you are right now. So if you’re desperate to have the six foot three man with the, the, the, uh, the stubble and, uh, he, he drives a red Ferrari because you’re so disappointed with your life right now that guy’s not going to show up, but if you’re extremely grateful and you’re, you know, then in this position where you can attract further things and take, take action in your case. So, um, yeah, that’s, that’s well said, I appreciate that.
Now, let me ask you, if you have this wonderful offering for a client and you’re the accountability partner and you’re doing a list of goals. And then the other thing you said was the goals. And then what the asks, right? Uh, what do you do when someone is struggling, such as you check in a week later and they, Oh, they spaced on the ask . Sorry about that. Uh, I’ll try again next week. And, uh, it doesn’t seem like they’re clicking into a high gear.
So I think each client is different. There are some clients that need a little bit more of the tough love, I guess you could call it where I really try to hold them responsible. And then there are others who get really overwhelmed by trying to live up to these specific asks or goals and they just feel like it’s maybe too much. And they went from zero to 60 too quickly, and now it’s just a lot for them to take. And so it’s a continuous conversation. Um, I do check in, in the middle of the week to make sure things are going okay. It’s not, we meet every week on FaceTime, but we’re still like texting and emailing throughout the week to confirm that everything’s all right. And obviously do, do I want these clients to accomplish these goals a hundred percent, but life happens some weeks, some weeks you don’t get around to the things that you hope to get around you.
It’s just that we’re hopefully continuously making a priority and thinking about them and not just deciding, Oh, I’d rather sit on my couch and then do any of these things. I’m hoping if the goals aren’t being met it’s because they’re actual things in their life that are happening that are keeping them busy and maybe they weren’t able to get to it, but they still want to the next week. And also there are times just like any business where it might just not be a great fit with the client and the coach. You know, I offer an initial session for free to get to know the person because there are times where I’ve turned down a client, because I think maybe, you know, I’m very much do I want to help people a hundred percent, but if I think there’s something deeper going on that needs more professional and clinical assistance, that’s not something I’m able to offer.
And I don’t want someone paying me and wasting their time and something that I can’t help with as much as they need. And so I have had an instance where during the initial health history call, it was very evident that this person struggled with a severe eating disorder. And I said to her as much as I would love to work with you, I really think that you should seek more clinically professional assistance with this because it’s not my territory. And I cannot be the one responsible when something so severe is on the line because that’s just not something I’m educated enough in. And I’m the first to admit that
Very nice Cameron, you’re, you’re killing it. I appreciate the story so much. Especially, you know, with your working with your peer group and the people who don’t usually engage in this stuff until they’re much older and have made more mistakes or what have you. So, um, talk about your podcast and what you’ve learned from launching that and connecting with other people.
Yeah. So it’s called Freckled Foodie and friends. I released an episode every Friday morning at 6:00 AM. It is completely conversational based. Um, I honestly started it because I felt like the more I was opening up about my life and talking about my journey on my Instagram stories, I was connecting with my community deeper. I was growing faster. I was loving my job more and more. And I felt like I had way more to say than the 15 second Instagram story was allowing me to. And I was a big consumer of podcasts. And so I liked myself decided, okay, I’m going to have a podcast. And then all of a sudden I went like zero to 60. I was like, yes, I’m doing it. And I researched how to make one how to, you know, I was on endless hours of YouTube tutorial videos, which I’m sure you’ve done when there are issues going on technologically wise.
Um, I bought all of the equipment and I emailed a few of my close friends, um, that are in the industry. Some who are not that I think are just awesome kick-ass people. And we just started chatting on the microphones and I started recording it. And, you know, each episode is very different. We talk about a wide variety of topics. Um, some are, you know, being an influencer in the wellness space, what that looks like. I’ve had my mom on. I’ve had people on to talk about, you know, losing a loved one to suicide and what that looks like. We’ve talked about plastic waste, um, a ton about body positivity. Recently I do a few episodes by myself. Um, but those are a bit more rare and we are about to kick off a season three. So it’s been so much fun as, I mean, you I’m sure I feel the same way. It’s just an incredible way to connect with people. And I feel so blessed to have been able to learn from so many different people and just absorb all of their integrity and knowledge. And incredibleness
Cameron Rogers. Thank you so much. What a, what a story? What a show? Uh, we want to go connect with you at Freckled Foodie website. Freckled Foodie and friends podcast. What else?
Yeah, so honestly, I would say Instagram’s the best at Freckled Foodie. Everything is there. That’s definitely my most active channel. I have another Instagram for the show, which is FFand friends, pod. Um, but everything is linked through there. So thank you so much for having me. This was so much fun. I love being on the other side of things every once in a while.
Yeah. You get to relax. Hold that my go to town. It’s different, huh? Yeah. I, I love, um, I’m very happy to join you and look forward to connecting again in the future sometime.
Yes. Thank you.
Cameron Rogers people. That’s a show.
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