Find out how to make room for yourself in your own life, turn workouts into personal playdates, and make healthy eating feel indulgent.
...You could finally trust someone else to hold the ball sometimes?
...The voice inside your head sounded more like a bestie than a bully?
...You had the courage to bring your whole self—quirks ’n all—to the party we call life?
Hi, I’m Allison and I come from a family of teachers, entrepreneurs, and addicts. I’ve turned a lot of that into fuel to transform my life.
I used to be the problem-solver who made sure everyone else was taken care of while neglecting myself. An only child raised by a workaholic single mom, I often had to fend for myself. By my 7th birthday, I was responsible for everything from getting to the school bus on time to putting myself to bed at night while my mother was at her third job of the day. It didn’t seem fair, but I thought that if I could be the perfect daughter, I would earn the love I so desperately craved.
After school, I came home to an empty house. Once I finished chores and homework, I shoveled down frozen dinners and swallowed my loneliness as I followed in the footsteps of my family’s food addiction and poor health. Throughout my younger years, I remember hearing my mother and grandmother obsess about their latest fad diet—even as their bodies grew sicker—and something inside me knew there had to be a better way.
To figure it out, I spent my late teens and 20s devouring every library book on healthy eating, self-help, and natural healing. I vowed to get to my own truth about food so that whatever path I chose, it would be for life and not just a diet. No wonder I became rapt in a food love affair for over 20 years by:
》Starting the first online vegan bakery and chocolaterie, Allison’s Gourmet
》Writing an award-winning magazine column on delectable plant-based comfort foods
》Publishing Quick + Easy DIY Salad Bar and Comfortably Yum
》Co-created The Dairy Detox and The Dairy-Freedom Cookbook
Sadly, even with all my nutritional knowledge and success, I couldn’t save my mother. At the young age of 59, she died of a heart attack. I was 20 weeks pregnant with her only grandchild.
I felt alone, lost, and confused, just in time for the arrival of my greatest teacher: my daughter. Truth: I was a perfect mother—right up until the moment I went into labor. 😉 That’s when my life really unraveled.
I had a beautiful baby girl who would. not. sleep. Betraying my slumber rendezvous, our whole world was marked in 15-minute blocks. Who knew a tiny 7.5-pound being could crush this consummate caretaker? I felt like a complete failure as a mother.
Trained to be compulsively self-reliant, I believed it was my job to figure this out for myself. Nothing was working. Bleary-eyed, terrified, and hopeless, I had nothing left to lose. Taking a deep breath and opening my eyes wide so I could look worthy, I braced myself to take the risk that would become my moment of truth: I asked for help.
In time, I got the lesson my baby had been so patiently delivering over and over again. She was demanding that I pull back from the world and gather my focus on her, which would ultimately lead me back to myself. With awareness, I traded in my baggage and perfectionism for tools that:
》support and nourish me with more than just food
》retrain my inner drill sergeant into a nurturing ally
》give me the confidence to unleash my wackiness
》bolstered my boldness to lovingly say YES to myself even if it means disappointing others
Once I learned how to care for myself without feeling guilty, my mothering confidence soared and our entire family life smoothed out. We're not perfect, but then again, perfection isn't what I strive toward anymore.
Listening to other women* and moms, I started seeing a common thread. No one was admitting it, but we were all wild-eyed and worn out from putting the entire world before ourselves. The thought of doing something for "myself" set off the guilt sirens. A new part of my puzzle snapped into place. I was ready to own the career that my whole life had shaped me for. After more than a decade of testing out my new strategies and training, I now see that food is only part of a much bigger puzzle. Let's put your pieces together too.
In all the work I’ve done with women*—both individually and in groups—I’ve seen that at our base, we all want to be happy and loved. And yet we're afraid that if people knew who we really are, we'd lose that love. Pssst...Come a little closer...the thing you don't want anyone to know is exactly what makes the ‘right’ people love you even more. It's true!
It's exhausting to pretend we're someone we think we should be. When we choose to let our guard down, stop worrying about what others think, and are honest with ourselves, that's when our lives really begin. Maybe that's why 50 is the new 30! 😉
With my guidance, self-care will become an easy habit you can do in minutes a day. I've tried it all, and I know what works quickly and for good. Even though it'll be a new skill to practice, I promise you'll tell me that it's worth it.
Here's what my client, Kim, says about working with me:
“I chose Allison as my coach because of her caring and compassionate manner. When I started working with her, I was depressed and riddled with daily anxiety. She has helped me in so many areas of my life. My health and my relationships have improved. My stress level has decreased to where I no longer feel like I must be perfect at everything to succeed. I have more insight into my life goals and a clearer route of how to get there. She gives me a new perspective in which to view the world and I have discovered so many things about my life that I was unable to see before. Allison is an amazing coach and I love working with her.”
Ready to meet your inner bestie? She's waiting for you under a palm tree, fresh coconut water in hand.
Allison Rivers Samson is currently pursuing her degree in social work. As a Coach, Speaker, and Workshop Leader, she has helped women* make room for themselves, turn workouts into personal playdates, and makes healthy eating feel indulgent.
Allison is certified in Plant-based Nutrition from Cornell University and received her training as a Health and Wellness Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
She founded Allison’s Gourmet, the first online vegan bakery and chocolaterie, which she retired in 2016. Allison is an award-winning vegan chef and author of Quick + Easy DIY Salad Bar, Comfortably Yum, and The Dairy-Freedom Cookbook; co-creator of The Dairy Detox; Nia Black Belt instructor; and mama to lifelong vegan Olivia.
*I honor all self-identified women. My experience is with cisgender women who have been raised in the patriarchy as females and have unwittingly internalized misogynist messages.
"The self-care sessions Allison created were transformative. She taught us things that I hope to never forget. She was able to plant seeds of self nurturing with deep roots. Allison always speaks from a place of love and intention. I am so grateful for her guidance. "
"Allison is a caring, compassionate coach. Before working together, I was depressed and riddled with daily anxiety. Within a few months, my health and relationships improved, stress has decreased, I've let go of perfection, have new insight into my life goals, and how to get there."
"Allison knows how to help you find room for yourself, even in the busiest life. She also knows how to make healthy eating indulgent, turn workouts into personal play dates, and turn what you have to do into what you can hardly wait to do. She's kinda magical."
"Allison's message—genuine, engaging, compassionate—resonates so deeply. I am enjoying life more: I am learning to gracefully decline overcommitting myself, to speak to myself in a loving way, and to do what I love without the need to justify it as productive. "
"Allison shares more than the material aspects of self-care, like sleep, exercise, and good food, with a wise twist that taking pleasure in vegan food promotes joy on the planet. She also speaks of the deep psychological aspects of cultivating an inner voice of kindness."