Megan Barnett of Florasophy: 5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Can Dramatically Improve Your Wellbeing

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis
Authority Magazine
Published in
13 min readMay 17, 2022


Air Purification at Night. Air purification in the bedroom at night is something that’s non-intuitive, but it turns out there’s a lymphatic system of the brain, a “cleaning” of the brain that happens while we sleep. Recent research has shown that if you sleep in clean air, your body cleans out waste from the brain more effectively than sleeping in polluted air. This is not something people are talking a lot about. It’s not just about the quality of your sleep and sleeping eight hours, but it’s actually about the quality of the air you breathe while you sleep that impacts your immune and your brain health!

As a part of our series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Megan Barnett, Co-Founder of Florasophy.

Megan Barnett is a Functional Medicine Practitioner and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. In 2021, she co-founded Florasophy, a collection of clinician-developed, soluble fiber blends that optimize digestion, enhance detoxification, and promote overall well-being. Her background in dietetics, human nutrition, and functional medicine, along with years of research and clinical experience treating patients with a variety of health issues led her to better understand the role of soluble fiber in the human body to improve not only digestion and gut health, but also in balancing blood sugar and hormones, improving cardiovascular health, and aiding in detoxification and weight loss. Megan is an expert at treating the human body from within.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

Absolutely. My entrance into wellness began in yoga teacher training in 2007. Six months pregnant, with a toddler at home, I was looking for ways to balance my body, mind, and spirit. The training not only introduced me to the connection between my body, mind, and overall wellness, but I also met Lee Carson, who many years later became my business partner in developing Florasophy. That definitely marked a pivotal time in my life, as well as a shift in my professional focus.

About a year after yoga teacher training, and with two young children at home, I developed chronic pain. I was eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, but it took months of appointments and diagnostics with numerous doctors and medical practitioners to determine what was going on. That was actually the trigger that propelled me back to school where I pursued an undergraduate degree in dietetics and a masters in functional medicine.

It turns out, an imbalance in my microbiome was driving chronic inflammation. Digestion was the canary in the mine during that time, as medical practitioners struggled to find the root cause of my issues. And until I started using Florasophy, I hadn’t truly restored my digestive system despite all those years of trying to use food to manage my autoimmune condition. At the end of the day, my own health issues have really been the catalyst to my passion and dedication to the health and wellness space.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

One of the most exciting things about my career is that I get to act as an investigator and frequently come upon interesting stories as I have the opportunity to dig into people’s health histories, symptoms, and entire lifestyles in what I do. I’d say the most interesting cumulative experience has been recent — in the last few years — with regards to better understanding women’s hormone health. It has led to incredible outcomes for patients in their 40’s and 50’s. Many of these women have experienced decades of physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms wrapped up in their own hormone balance that we’ve been able to resolve through working on the gut. And I think we’re at the forefront of that research now in understanding how the microbiome impacts overall health and wellbeing, but it’s very exciting to actually see the outcomes. I’ve seen young women who’ve been told since adolescence that their hormone symptoms are normal. But they’re not. They’re just common. And the interesting outcomes are a representation of that narrative in our culture that says it’s normal to feel awful because of your period and your hormones. That’s simply not the case. And we’re seeing it unfold in breakthroughs one patient at a time.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

There is a tendency, if you’re a research writer, to be extremely loyal to research literature, and skeptical of anything that seems “trendy” in nutrition science. I had a physician ask me to write an article about celery juice, and I responded to him by stating, “I don’t write fads, I write research.” And he responded to me, “Read your research.” And I went on to read approximately 20 research papers in PubMed® explaining the scientific benefits of juicing that specific vegetable, and so that was a bit embarrassing! I continue to be humbled by how many intelligent, well-read, well-educated people there are in my field. It was a great reminder that I can never live in a space of assumption. I should always rely on good research and not undercut other people’s approaches before I’ve looked at the literature myself.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

Sure. My expertise is a combination of life experience, a degree in dietetics and a master’s degree in human nutrition and functional medicine, and five years now serving patients in a clinical functional medicine practice, BioLounge. My decision to go back to school happened at a time when I was not only experiencing my own health symptoms but my children’s as well. So as I’ve mentioned, I was interested in wellness from a “mind, body, connection” perspective.

All of that said, the experience of launching into a research writing career right out of my graduate program gave me a much better understanding of the biochemistry that I was about to put into practice in a clinical setting.

When you begin to see through research that a certain intervention in health care improves a lot of different conditions or symptoms, you start to pay really close attention to how you might use that treatment or intervention to impact a large variety of your own patients.

And that is what happened with soluble fiber for me. I realized this is critically important to not only men dealing with cardiovascular disease, but also patients with gastrointestinal issues, cognitive decline, and hormone imbalance. I wanted to determine if the health outcomes of soluble fiber that were showcased in the research, could benefit my own patients in a clinical setting. And so I started searching around for soluble fiber that was all-organic, with no fillers or additives that could cause potential complications for patients. When I couldn’t find anything that hit all the marks for me in the marketplace, I decided to create Florasophy, which I truly consider my unique contribution to the world of wellness. I have seen amazing results in my patients in short periods of time, including autoimmune conditions essentially reversed.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I would say my Florasophy co-founder Lee Carson because there’s no way Florasophy would have come about without her.

I’m a dreamer and I come up with good ideas, but actually implementing them is not necessarily my forte. So when I had the idea for Florasophy, I called Lee because she’s the most strategic, committed, intelligent person I know. And I knew that she would have the skills to bring this product to the market. I understood the science, the clinical outcomes, but there was no way I was going to do this alone. And she has been amazing at helping me get this business off the ground, and helping bring the benefits of soluble fiber to people who need it.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Information Overload. It’s very hard to integrate information when there’s so much conflicting noise out there. It’s hard to get back to the basics when even the basics are confusing now. For instance, should I eat raw vegetables or cooked vegetables? Non-starchy vegetables or starchy vegetables? It’s just a lot of information — in various formats — and can be a lot for people to take in.

Health Comes with a Price Tag. Health has been priced out of the budget for many people in many ways. A lot of the things that we consider factors in optimal health are expensive, and unattainable for the mass majority. For example, we know that the air that people are subjected to when they live near freeways in urban centers is much more toxic than the air when you’re further out, and yet the solution to that is air purification in your home which is an added expense. The same could be said for water. Purifying water significantly improves the health of your body but then you have to purify your water which means you’re purchasing something. And the biggest example of this is the price of organic whole food versus processed foods, conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, and factory-farmed meat.

Fast-Paced Lifestyles. Changes around healthy behaviors often take time, and what I call “activation energy.” It takes significant time and energy to implement a new habit. And, as a culture, we tend to already be overloaded with too many things on our plate. As a population, we are very busy and I think that gets in the way of our ability to make positive shifts to better our health.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

Air Purification at Night. Air purification in the bedroom at night is something that’s non-intuitive, but it turns out there’s a lymphatic system of the brain, a “cleaning” of the brain that happens while we sleep. Recent research has shown that if you sleep in clean air, your body cleans out waste from the brain more effectively than sleeping in polluted air. This is not something people are talking a lot about. It’s not just about the quality of your sleep and sleeping eight hours, but it’s actually about the quality of the air you breathe while you sleep that impacts your immune and your brain health!

Drink Electrolytes. Don’t just drink water, drink electrolytes in your water. If you pay attention, you’re probably drinking 80–100 ounces of water a day because you know how important that is. Clinically, what we see is that you’re actually dehydrating yourself if you don’t have enough electrolytes to hold the water in your body. So you can actually dehydrate your system unless you improve the electrolyte content of your water. One teaspoon of sea salt a day in your water or two servings of your favorite non-sugary electrolyte per day is what I recommend to my patients.

Look at Your Poop. It may sound strange, but look at your poop every single day. Looking at your poop is a form of self-care [chuckles], because what comes in must go out, and the version of what is coming out tells you a lot about what’s happening between your mouth and your tail end. It can be very telling if something’s wrong, so it’s good to notice what is “normal” and if something has changed.

Take a Fiber Supplement. If you speak to most medical professionals, they’ll advise you to increase your fiber by eating more vegetables. Vegetables are a great source of insoluble fiber; they’re good for you! But you also need to focus on foods that provide high amounts of soluble fiber like beans, lentils, flax, chia, and avocado. Soluble fiber binds with toxins, hormones, and cholesterol in the GI tract; feeds the microbiome; and regulates the consistency of your stool. The bile is the carrier of the hormones, toxins, and cholesterol and acts like a garbage truck, taking all the bad stuff out with it when it exits your body. U.S. dietary guidelines suggest that adults should be consuming a minimum of 25–38 grams of total fiber per day; however, most Americans fall short, consuming an average of only 16 grams per day. Taking a fiber supplement is a convenient way to get in a concentrated source of soluble fiber with amazing health benefits and outcomes.

Focus on the Things You Can Control. There are a lot of things that create a stress response in our bodies, an actual fight or flight response, which affects our hormones, our digestion, our mental health, our fatigue vs. energy, and lots of other things. Sometimes there is so much information coming into our brains that we have a chronic stress response, which has negative health effects. The list of things you can control is a tool to move into your parasympathetic nervous system, your rest, digest, and restore mode. A healthy balanced nervous system is one of the most important things you can do to stay well, so you’ve got to focus on the things you can control whether it’s what you’re going to have for lunch or choosing your bedtime.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

There is new research just in the last two years showing that skeletal muscle acts as its own endocrine and immune organ, helping to balance the immune system and keep hormones balanced. Increasing skeletal muscle in both men and women is critical to longevity.

Another thing that we don’t often talk about is the detoxification aspect of exercise. It improves the flow of your fluids and excretion of fluids that are doing their best to help move waste out. It’s your body’s natural ability to process waste and an added benefit.

Lastly, I would say using exercise for a mind-body connection is an added health benefit. But it’s important to find the one that works best for you. For example, when I exercise, I go out in the forest, because that’s where I’m well in both mind and body, instead of trying to work out in a gym. Obviously, exercise is mentally and emotionally restorative to most people. I recommend only doing the exercise that you like. Whether it’s strength training, cardiovascular exercises, or stretching, you can find the important categories of exercise in the activities that you enjoy. My belief is if you do something you hate, you’re increasing your stress response, so find something you love and go do that.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

Strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and mobility are all critical to a balanced exercise plan.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

A couple of years ago, my youngest sister asked me to read The Bean Queen by Karen Hurd. My first comment was that I don’t do nutrition trends. Thankfully, my mother reminded me that the author is a very well-educated nutritionist who had some very important things to say, and in fact, she was the one who introduced me to the physiological and biochemical benefits of soluble fiber. So thank you, Karen Hurd! You were the beginning. I spent an entire week listening to her book on tape and educational resources — and Florasophy was born just a few months later. I should send her a thank you note!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

It would be using the information your body is giving you as clues to what is happening under the surface. Our bodies communicate to us all day, every day, and just because something is common, doesn’t mean that it is normal. Instead of brushing off symptoms as “normal” for an adolescent, a toddler, a woman in menopause, an aging man, etc., I would say let’s begin to listen deeply to that information our bodies are giving us, and respond knowing that we are meant to function optimally. I tell my patients that my goal for them is to be healthy and happy until they eventually drop dead [laughs]. I don’t want people to suffer for 20 to 40 years with a litany of symptoms and diagnoses until they eventually slowly fade away.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

My father always said, “It is not the situation, it’s how you handle it.” I live it, I breathe it, and it’s relevant to every single thing I do as a provider. Because it is not the symptoms, it is not the diagnosis, but it’s how we handle it. You have more control than you know about how you handle things. That quote taught me to be very solution-based.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

I would say Brene Brown. And the reason is her study of vulnerability (I love research and data!), but also her own vulnerability. She has been a guiding light for me as a provider, as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter. She has become the type of leader that informs the decisions that we make in our business. And she’s a brilliant scientific researcher! Authenticity and vulnerability are the foundations of the connections we make with other people and as a provider, if you do not have that, you cannot help your patient make meaningful change.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!



Candice Georgiadis
Authority Magazine

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.