The word “diet” has a negative connotation nowadays, no thanks to the myriad of fad diets that produce no meaningful results. Dietitian and life coach Karie Cassell addresses this issue head-on in her new book, The Domino Diet, which redefines “diet” as a whole lifestyle that goes way beyond just how and what we eat. Going against the grain of mainstream diet culture, Karie looks at nutrition holistically, in every sense of that word. Joining Juliet Clark in a light and fun conversation, Karie explains at a high level how her system works and how it differs fundamentally from the more well-known diets. We also get a glimpse of how Karie injects humor into her chapters to create a compelling reading experience. Tune in for more!

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The Domino Diet: Bringing Back The True Meaning Of A Controversial Concept With Karie Cassell

We have a different and exciting episode. We’re going to talk to one of my authors who has a book being released. Before we go there, I want to remind you to go over and take our Promote Profit Publish Quiz at Find out if you are ready to publish this book. Do you have the publisher picked out? Have you asked the right questions? Is everything planned out before you put it out there and expect people to buy it? Because that’s not how it works. There’s a lot of work involved. Also, don’t forget to go over our YouTube channel,, and follow us, like us and subscribe. You can see all these people who are on the show. You can see the videos over there.

My guest has a book releasing, and her name is Karie Cassell. As a dietician for many years and being in wellness for several years, Karie has worked in acute care, long-term care community and has developed a chronic care model for a diabetes program in the ‘90s, which was her first in her home city. Karie is a wealth of health with a study in Traditional and Nontraditional Medicine, Diabetes Educator, and an IOC Sports Nutritionist Diploma. After discovering missing pieces in the curriculum, she took it upon herself to certify as a life coach.

Upon discovering a treasure trove of pieces, she filled her successful practice after noticing positive changes with a whole approach to wellness. She wrote The Domino Diet, which is taking a 360-degree change in using The Domino Diet Formula. Karie is a dietician on a mission, bringing back the true meaning of the word diet while putting the heal back in health with a message that it’s time to fast your diet thinking and feel your healing thinking in The Domino Diet Formula. That formula is thought, breath, hormones, feelings, actions and results equal freedom or something like that. Welcome, Karie.

Thank you for having me, and good job with that. You made me sound better than I realized. That’s kudos to you and the way that you intro.

You wrote it. I always love that when people say, “That was a great bio.” It’s like, “Thank you. I wrote it myself.” For all of you out there, when you write your bio, it’s hard if you’re not like a big, braggadocious person. It’s hard to pull out all those things that are key about yourself. It’s fabulous. I’m excited to have you because one of the reasons that I was excited about your book when we got it was that you approach dieting in an entirely different way than all the other books out there. You actually struggled with putting the word diet into the title. Tell us about what was up with the struggle?

Did I ever struggle? Yes, certainly. After being in perimenopause for about 10 years at that point, I was losing my passion for being a dietician. It was sad for me because I loved that career. I’m talking past tense because now, it doesn’t feel like it’s just dietician anymore for me. Nonetheless, it was time to toss in the towel, I thought. I struggled with the fact that it wasn’t the first time that you hear, “Eat some fruits and vegetables. That might be a good idea. You should go for a walk. That’s a good idea.” Implementation was definitely the challenge.

What had happened is I was going to throw in the towel. I ended up finding more tools for the trade, to speak. Through the middle of the night, I have this idea, what would some people call a dream, a daydream and inspiration, something rather takes place where I see these dominoes. They’re all wooden dominoes, very specific. They’re falling and I could see this formula realizing that it’s our thoughts that lead to how we breathe. I knew that our breathing created a system within our hormones, but I thought, “I don’t think most people know that, and I think that’s important.”

I was starting to see that there’s this curriculum that is spilling out of me, that isn’t just in the role of diet. Nonetheless, in that same daydream state, I hear the word domino diet. I think that sounds catchy enough that I argue back and forth with that voice because the word diet has a very negative connotation, I think, and has become that case.

Ironically speaking, the true origin of that word in the Greek language is dieta, which means a way of life. I thought, “That is true. It is a way of life to be however you eat. Why don’t I bring that back? How about I help people revolutionize that whole concept again and bring it back?” I toyed back and forth, but nonetheless, it lands with The Domino Diet as the title.

The Domino Diet: How to Heal You From the Inside Out

I struggled with the word, but I also heard along that journey, not everyone reads self-help books that talk about self-development the way that I maybe have studied. I heard this voice saying, “This will be the bridge for those who haven’t.” They might still pick up a book that has that gravitational pull, but they’ll see quickly hopefully by the front cover, for instance, that there’s a formula that goes beyond the diet. Diet is actually at the end.

What impressed me the most about this was that when we talk about overeating and emotional eating, you have an explanation for it that I don’t think many people realize that there’s a reason we do it. Not only that, the life coaching aspect you brought to this was root causes like, “How do we stop it forever?” Most of those people emotionally eat, they starve, they balloon, they go back and forth. I am buying the woman with the size ten and the size four in her closet, and she goes back and forth everything in between. Tell us about how that technical body breathing piece that you have goes with this emotional eating component?

I’ll speak twofold to that because most of us are very familiar with the word willpower. The analogy I talk about in the book is it’s like holding a beach ball underwater. You can only do it for so long. That type of force energy, the ball pops back up, and so does our thinking, unless we go to empowering or the will to empower. That knowledge and connecting the dots means actually going to the basics. First of course, how you think. Sometimes you don’t even know what you’re thinking, but you might catch it maybe in the way you’re breathing. If you don’t catch it there, you can catch it elsewhere, but it comes down to this.

Most of us by default, we’ve been designed for survival. For centuries, the name of the game was to eat to survive. We’re ingrained in our thinking about not being hungry. It kicks in by default, a majority, the fight-flight response, and most have heard about that. That fight-flight response is based on how you breathe. Your brain is listening, so to speak, or feeling how you breathe. If it’s shallow, it’s likely going to respond with a fight-flight response. It doesn’t know, are you in danger? Do you need to run from something? It’s getting all systems ready versus the opposite, which is calm breathing. When you’re breathing a certain way, your brain will read that, “You’re safe.”

A different cascade of hormones occurs based on either type of breathing. Imagine you’re driving, you’re thinking about a fight with your spouse, you’re in traffic, you’re frustrated, and you’re eating your sandwich on the way. You’re more than likely, even though there’s no mammoth, you’re going to be breathing and acting as though you’re in the fight-flight response.

Therefore, not digesting or absorbing your nutrients optimally, and also potentially bypassing the whole fact that you ate, then craving later for more, versus being present with it, breathing, calm. The calm system is called the parasympathetic system. Another wording for that is rest, digest, create. Right there in the title is digest. It’s optimal digestion. You’re going to have more absorption of nutrients and more serotonin, which means potentially more fulfillment.

You’ve explained the scientific reason why this happens. It’s not just a theory. It’s actual science behind it. Another thing that impressed me, you told me about your body goes through a renewal process, your body’s metabolism, every 120 days. It’s always a gift when people bring me a book and I learned something. It queued that I’m a big sugar whore. You guys all know that, please don’t send me candy anymore. I gave up sugar. It’s weird because I learned the cravings piece of it. I craved for about the first ten days, and then it was gone.

There was also something else that happened there that touches your life coaching, where I also felt like I was emotionally out of sorts for those ten days. Some of it might have been an addiction. I likened it where I didn’t do it for 30 days. Then on day 31, I had sugar. I went on a three-day sugar ban, and I looked at it like I was an alcoholic who didn’t drink. It’s exactly the same thing. It’s an addiction. It was a test of your theory. I had to dig down in that ten days and go, “What the hell is going on? Why am I so emotional? What is it I missing?”

I figured out it was anger. The sugar was anger. I ate sugar when I was angry, and I may not have been like, “I’m going to do this or I’m angry,” but like subliminal anger. Talk about that renewal process because I’m halfway through that 120 days, I feel great, and I’m not craving. How does all that work? Does that work with everything that we’re doing?

The word diet originally meant ‘a way of life.’ We need to bring that meaning back and revolutionize the concept. Share on X

The answer is twofold. First, under anger is that fight-flight response. The idea is to flee and run, stocked up muscles and all the fueling that’s required for that. If you’re in the fight-flight response, you’re thinking survival, you’re thinking sugar, you’re thinking things that make you survive. That would be potentially why those triggers are subliminally there as you described it.

As for the renewal process, which is a slightly different twist here, your body renews quite constantly, actually depending whether it’s skin cells and intestinal cells. A measurement of your health is often done when you go to the doctor and they say, “Go to the lab.” Your red blood cells will be drawn, and they’re measuring your actual health by that.

The good news to me was when I realized and learned in my Science degree that your red blood cells last 120 days or 4 months. A brand-new batch will be made and up-leveled hopefully if we eat a certain way, for instance, in 120 days. In a pause, like a hibernation, there’s always renewal potential going on. With that potential, I already realized that through studying fat cells or membranes, that the membranes of your cells will be stronger if you eat healthy fatty acids. We know that if you have more calcium intake or healthier diets, that your bones grow better when you have broken bones.

What about when we’re eating a certain way, thinking a certain way, throwing with supports, positive thinking? Studies are showing that absolutely you’re up-leveling your renewal process. I use the red blood cells as a marker and as a goal target to say, “In 120 days since you’ll have a brand-new batch, how about you make that your goal so that your next batch will be starting you off with that much more optimal health and well-being?”

As you’re experiencing, you’re seeing some changes within serotonin. You’re seeing changes within chemistry, I suspect. Because you’re simply noticing means, your metacognition, meaning self-thinking. Meta, meaning self. Cognition, meaning thought, is dialing upwards with it. From a healthier mindset comes more healthy thinking, therefore a healthier body. It’s never the other way around. Unfortunately, that’s how our medical system has been for many years at the symptom level versus the mind.

Here’s another thing that always bugs me about diets that your book addresses. There are all these fad diets like keto, just eat protein. There’s one where you eat a lot of fat. I did like that diet at one time. I’m fairly thin now, but I liked the one with lots of bacon. Who doesn’t? There’s always this, “Eat one family of foods and cut out the others.” Can you speak to that because you don’t recommend that at all?

I don’t for a plethora of reasons. You introduced the fact that I’ve been in wellness for a long time, which made me privy to seeing trends. I worked in alternative medicine at the beginning. At that point, it was carbohydrates. This was the ‘80s, and it was carb-up. Then to the ‘90s, it was fats, percentage of fat, all these formulas. You might remember spiky hair, Susan Powter. Then into the next decade, it was protein.

All along, I thought, “Why is this happening?” They’re all important underneath these macronutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the micronutrients. Why is no one talking about these? You can’t just simply say, “Don’t eat carbs or don’t eat fat,” without knowing that these are micronutrients. Micronutrients are vitamins, antioxidants, fiber. If you take out one group, I use the analogy of a home with four walls. You’re literally taking a wall of support out. If you don’t understand what carbohydrates truly are or fats and vice versa, then taking one out could be detrimental. You’re not going to up-level your red blood cells because there are certain nutrients that you’d be taking out.

I believe in flexitarian eating, where you’re conscious of Omegas and where that comes from, you’re thinking about meats maybe, but if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you just have to know where the iron and B12 come from. If you’re on a Western diet, you need to know about balancing. I think they all belong if there’s fine-tuning, but you don’t know what you don’t know, and it could be harmful too. Best to keep them all there and fine-tune with portion control.

A little bit more about the book, one of the things that is catchy, and I’m going to have you rattle a few off. She has the best sense of humor in the titles of your chapters. What is the one about Jack Daniels?

PRP 160 Karie Cassell | Domino Diet

Domino Diet: Taking one or more macronutrients from your diet is detrimental to your body. It’s like taking one of the four walls of a house. The key is to keep them all there and fine-tune.


That was called Digesting Your Feelings with Your Friends, Jack and Daniels. I wanted to bring in actual case studies. I changed the names. This was a man’s point of view on digesting feelings and would be sometimes with alcohol, not necessarily. You mentioned cravings, that can be shopping cravings, and it can be smoking. In this case, it was alcohol and how eventually this poor fellow ends up with gout.

These are true stories. When it came right down to it, it was a mask for other things and suffocating himself in the way of his corporate job, not living the life you truly were designed to do and have and be. Once that was extracted using the life coach hat, and the dietician had almost followed after the fact, it ignited this individual that was otherwise angry.

Eventually, which will happen to all of us, your body will speak to you through symptoms, and that got his attention. We extracted his true dream, which you might have to read about it, but it ends up that he’s a singer in a band. That is what alleviated all of his symptoms because it was incented by this idea of, “I want vitality to fulfill my dream.” Vanity no longer was working as it doesn’t for most of us as we get up there in age. It feels a great way to ignite the desired level in him that’s in all of us once we get to excavating the dream.

This is where that life coaching comes in because you could have said, “Quit drinking.”

I’ll try that. That’s the old hat way back in the day.

I think that’s what most diet and exercise books lie. This lie is, “You have willpower, be disciplined.” Is there an underlying cause why? I think I mentioned this to you before. I went on a trip with somebody who’s diabetic who proceeded to eat sugar an entire day, and then complain about how he didn’t feel good. You look at it, and you can see from the outside that you’re sabotaging.

When I talk about that in the book, we have hidden sabotage, fears and fears of success. Some of the reasons go way back. You don’t want to be kicked out of the herd that far back. Once you begin to, “I didn’t know that. Nobody talked about that. Nobody taught me either.” It just came with the life coach hat to be able to bring it all together and bring back that compassion, so the towel is no longer thrown. That shadows again.

Do you find that people get to a point with their diet where they finally have to go back and heal some of this? Maybe that food has been an avoidance of going back and healing some of the childhood things.

One hundred percent. I also think that society’s way is juvenile thinking. We’re still coming out of the era of survival thinking. The strategy of having the diet and the scale being a measuring tool, I think, is a distractor. We’re afraid of what’s around the corner from that. We have this pit stop on the journey of eating healthy, and lo and behold, it’s not. It doesn’t make us happy. The number of the bank account didn’t make us happy either. It’s very similar to how we measure by numbers. Our IQs, how long we’re married, our birthday, it’s all measured by numbers. This is yet another one of those, but around the corner from that is something else as it was for Steve, the character in the book I talked about.

From a healthier mindset comes a healthier body, never the other way around. Share on X

I think COVID is added to that in a sense because people sat around, they were anxious, they ate, and it was that fear of the unknown, “What was going to happen?” A lot of people have had to embrace that. What bothered me, and I know I told you this, the pet peeve of COVID for me was not encouraging people to go out, diet, exercise and give up those things that put them in that high-risk group. They said, “Go get a vaccination or go get this.” It was never, “Walk. You have all this free time.”

“How do you enhance your immune system?”

“Are you eating right? Are you shoving crap in your mouth?” I think that was one of the biggest things. It’s like, “Why aren’t you talking about that? There’s a high-risk group.” What did they call them? Not the older people, but the people with that high-risk health, I don’t remember what they called them. They didn’t encourage those people to do something different.

We call them comorbidities. There’s this extra risk, but again it comes down to if you think back when it first began the toilet paper craze. There wasn’t a fight-flight response to that. All this fresh produce was still sitting in the grocery store, and the cans were limb. There were hardly any cans left. They’re going backward. Why? Because we went right into survival, and we’re buying cases of things because we were afraid of hunger.

I have to say the one thing that disappointed me is the Diet Coke aisle. When I went, it was wiped. I remember saying to one of my children like, “There’s a necessity. Really, people? You can’t live without a Diet Coke? We’re all going to die.”

So was the alcohol.

Here in Utah, we have state stores you have to go to. I went to get a friend of mine a wine gift for doing something nice. I don’t drink, so I never go to the state store. There was a freaking line out, 6 feet apart through the parking lot and street. People were walking out with full shopping carts, because they don’t sell anything but alcohol. I remember going home and going, “Utah is drunk.”

Ironically, my daughter who’s a yoga teacher was losing some of her classes and so forth due to COVID. As a second job, she worked in a liquor store. That one, she was busier. Meanwhile, she was offering free yoga classes online, not as well attended. It’s exactly what you said.

Karie, your book has already hit the Bestseller list. It hit it in July 2021. She was a hot new release, so it took pressure off of her. She had a party, so I’ll propose that you probably hit the Bestseller list from that too. Where can we find your book, and how can we get ahold of you?

PRP 160 Karie Cassell | Domino Diet

Domino Diet: Your body will speak to you through symptoms.


Due to some kind people that have assisted me to upload on the Amazon, we are on Amazon. The audiobook will soon be released too by the way, but not quite. The best place probably is Whenever you’re in doubt, anything Domino Diet. If you search that up, you’d find me. My email is as well. Essentially, that’s probably the best way.

Thank you so much for coming and talking about the book. I’m super excited for this release because I think you’re onto something.

I appreciate that. It’s been my pleasure. There’s a sub-chapter I have called Men Old Pause, and need I say more?

You have some great chapter titles. It was fun marketing this book.

It’s good to know. Looking forward to answering questions from anybody who reaches out as well.

Thank you so much.


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About Karie Cassell

PRP 160 Karie Cassell | Domino Diet

As a Dietitian for about 30 years and in wellness overall for 40 years, Karie Cassell worked in acute care, long-term care, community and developed a Chronic care model for a Diabetes Program in the ’90s which was a first in her home city. Karie is a wealth of health with study in traditional/nontraditional medicine, a diabetes educator and IOC Sports Nutrition. Diploma.

After discovering missing pieces in the curriculum for her, she took it upon herself to Certify as a Life Coach. Upon discovering a treasure trove of pieces, she filled her successful private practice and after noticing positive changes with a whole approach to wellness, she wrote The Domino Diet which is taking a 360-degree change using The Domino Diet Formula.

Karie is a “Dietitian on a Mission” bringing back the true meaning of the word diet while putting the Heal back in the Health with a message… It’s time to fast your diet thinking and fill your healing thinking with The Domino Diet Formula:

  • Thoughts
  • Breath
  • Hormones
  • Feelings
  • Actions
  • Results
  • Freedom

The theme from most of her testimonials is, “Karie Cassell has the mind of an experienced dietitian and the heart of a transformational life coach.”


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