Sophie Scott is FIAFitnation’s Head Trainer – Nutrition who hails from Sydney’s northern beaches. She is passionate about nutrition, fitness and behaviour change coaching.
As a Registered Nutritionist, Sophie takes a holistic approach to nutrition, focussing on people’s relationship with food. She has worked as a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor for many years and has taught a range of group fitness classes from yoga and Pilates, to Zumba™ and bootcamp.
She started teaching at a gym in Vanuatu, then moved to Wellington, New Zealand to launch her own business, fitandfed, focussing on women’s health and fitness, before moving back home to Australia.
To top off an already impressive resume, Sophie is also a proud Lululemon Athletica Alumni Ambassador for Wellington, NZ.
Sophie took some time out of her busy day to answer some questions for us…
What made you decide to pursue a career in nutrition and fitness?
Mum has always been into food and has a library of diet and nutrition books. Growing up, she used to hide the 100s and 1000s – they were the only sugary thing we had at home! Health, fitness, experimenting in the kitchen, and being connected to nature, were all important components of my upbringing.
Environmental science was my first career. I worked for the Australian Conservation Foundation on the GreenHome program, designed to help people to ‘green-up’ their lives at home. I learnt about the close connection between food choices and the environment, so decided to become a nutritionist and merge the two fields. It’s quicker to become qualified as a fitness professional than a nutritionist, so I did this first, which allowed me to get into the health and fitness industry fast and work as a PT and group exercise instructor. I studied nutrition at the same time, then built my business, fitandfed and brought it all together.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
Teaching the Nutrition Coach course allows me to reach more people than I could conducting one-on-one nutrition consultations. I know that one student, over the span of their career, can speak to hundreds of clients and motivate them to change their eating patterns. I love researching new information and am so excited about our new Nutrition Coach course which includes emerging nutrition topics such as the gut microbiome, nutritional genomics, innovative weight loss solutions, the psychology of nutrition and food and the environment. There is so much to learn and I’m lucky FIAFitnation places a strong emphasis on quality education and thoroughly researched course content.
What motivates you?
A desire to share nutrition information based on evidence and the belief that we can turn around this obesity epidemic through education coupled with policy change.
Is there a piece of advice you can share with people interested in pursuing a career in nutrition?
So many people train hard and for long hours at the gym and don’t see results – nutrition can often be the missing key. We can’t do a weights session then smash down a burger, fries, and a protein shake as a reward and still expect results. There will always be jobs for people who can coach people towards healthier eating patterns.
Nail your LinkedIn profile , your Instagram account and talk to as many people you can in the industry, because many jobs are sourced from word of mouth. For me, being selected as a Lululemon ambassador really lifted my profile.
What’s one piece of wisdom that you apply to your career?
If something scares you, then you should probably give it a go.
Which FIAFitnation course would you recommend to people interested in pursuing a career in nutrition?
The Nutrition Coach course allows people to work with clients to change eating behaviours for the long term. The content includes comprehensive reading materials, videos and loads of extra resources and is backed by the most up to date nutrition research and evidence. The course includes topics such as: nutrition for weight loss, the gut microbiome, online nutrition coaching, nutritional genomics, the future of food, food labelling, creating a social media plan, the psychology of nutrition, eating disorders, food and environment, meal and menu planning, nutrition for athletes and evidence-based nutrition.
Can you share a career highlight?
Presenting Channel 7’s Eco Reno program on the Sunrise program. This fast tracked my career in presenting. Although I was nervous during the first episode, it got easier as I gained more practice – this set me up well as a teacher and presenter in the health and fitness industry. Being on billboards across New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, was also a surreal experience.
What’s the most memorable experience or moment you have had at FIAFitnation?
Launching our new Nutrition Coach course, which has been the culmination of two years of research, industry and graduate consultations, planning, filming and writing. I also love writing blogs about nutrition for the FIAFitnation website, as this enables me to share the latest tips and ideas around nutrition.
What does a day on your plate look like?
||Banana smoothie: ½ frozen banana, 200ml milk, 1 tsp peanut/nut butter, ½ tsp honey, 1 Tbs yoghurt, 1 tsp maca powder
Or porridge (1/4 cup oats, 150ml milk, 1 Tbs sultanas, 1 tsp peanut butter)
||8 cashew nuts + an apple
Or 1 cube of cheddar cheese and a fig/cucumber
||Wrap with smashed boiled egg or tuna, lettuce, tomato, grated beetroot & carrot + mustard & mayonnaise
||5 chocolate covered goji berries + 1 Tbs yoghurt
Or 1 tbsp Pilpel’s hummous and 3 rice crackers/carrot sticks
||Pan fried salmon + coconut rice and steamed broccoli
||Walkers shortbread and a Lindt chocolate square
Your favourite recipe / food?
My go-to meal to prep for the week is quiche: Fry up some onion and bacon, add spinach and capsicum. Add this to a quiche dish lined with a puff pastry sheet (or make your own base) and add in beaten eggs and cream, topped with pecorino cheese. Pair this with a salad, and lunch for two people is done for the next three days.