sid garza-Hillman // bio

Sid Garza-Hillman is the author of four published works: Approaching the Natural: A Health Manifesto, Raising Healthy Parents: Small Steps, Less Stress, and a Thriving Family, Six Truths: Live by these truths and be happy. Don’t and you won’t, and Ultrarunning for Normal People: Life Lessons Learned On and Off the Trail. He holds a BA in Philosophy from UCLA, is a public speaker, podcaster (What Sid Thinks Podcast), certified nutritionist & running coach, Oxygen Advantage breathing instructor, and founder of Small Steppers (stress management / habit change coaching program) He is the Stanford Inn & Resort’s Wellness Programs Director and Race Director of the Mendocino Coast 50K trail ultramarathon.


“My philosophy is that the closer we get to what is natural for us as a species, the better we live, even in the context of the modern world. Through my unique brand of small steps I teach clients and listeners how to include more of what is natural to them in ways that are minimally stressful, and result in true, sustainable change over time. Those who follow my approach learn how to better negotiate the modern world stresses with greater balance, joy, and a feeling of being grounded.”


  • I had been listening to Sid’s podcast for about a year when I first began pondering the idea of working with him as a health coach. I would soon be completing chemotherapy treatments and wanted to gain back some sense of health and happiness. Knowing I was not capable of making big leaps, and after listening to his small step approach, I really felt this was exactly what I needed. I already knew biting off big chunks didn’t work. Lucky for me he agreed to work with me! Any of you who listen to his podcast or watch his videos know about the steps list and tasks he works through with clients. Let me just say that the tasks may sound simple, BUT THEY ARE NOT. I will tell you they work if you give them their due diligence. The month goes quickly and you start to wonder what your life will be like post Sid. Remarkably, I discovered I was capable of exercising and eating healthy food every day along with several other things. Yes, I have phone alarms set to remind me to do some of my steps. But, that’s okay. What are phones for if not to help us be better individuals. He often mentions that weight loss is a side effect of a healthy and happy life. I have some weight to lose, but this was not even my focus going into the relationship. I wanted to feel alive and in control of what was happening to my body. Being a cancer patient takes much of that away. I didn’t question when he suggested I walk 1 minute every day. Before my brain would have said that’s not worth doing, why bother? I didn’t question anything. I just did it. Within the first week I began to walk taller and feel lighter inside. Those initial steps grew! More importantly I grew with them. I found I was able to accept if I missed a step one day. It was the “most of the time” that matters in the long run. He showed me a no stress way to improve my life. I won’t win any races, or be the biggest loser in 30 days. But, I will still be doing what I am doing and maybe more a year from now. I can’t thank Sid enough for showing me how to be happy and healthy in a no stress way. I got a tattoo several months back. It’s the initials ATN with a set of foot prints. It makes me smile when I look at it and is another reminder that small steps move you forward.

    P.H., Virginia Cient
  • There is no doubt in my mind that Sid’s knowledge of nutrition is exceptional, his expertise was essential for my shift to a healthier lifestyle. For me, most importantly, Sid is there for you every step of the way, guiding and mentoring you through your transition to a healthier life. Thanks Sid.

    A.C. Fort Bragg, California Registered Nurse
  • Sid has helped me to lose weight and increase my energy level by improving my diet. I am much healthier than before.

    P.G., Austin, Texas Vice President
  • After a cancerous tumor removal and assorted health issues, it finally became evident to me that I was in need of a lifestyle change. I felt this change was needed to correct a lifetime of poor eating habits, which I felt contributed to my cancer and other health issues. I was introduced to Sid Hillman by phone during the fall of 2009 and have now become a practicing vegetarian – avoiding animal proteins, and with his encouragement by phone and email, enjoying food more – particularly raw vegetables. I am feeling better, enjoying the lifestyle change and choosing restaurants wisely. His guidance was very doable. Both my family and my doctor have seen improvements in my eating habits and my health. I have found Sid to be passionate about the need to improve and enhance our way of life by eating the right foods. Thank you, Sid.

    S.G., Houston, Texas Senior Manager
  • My experience with Sid Garza-Hillman was extremely positive. He is very knowledgeable about health and diet, and his professional mannerism made me feel very comfortable to talk with about personal issues I have with my own health. I have experienced issues with my stomach for many years now, such as pain from gas. After consulting with Sid, I have less gas and less pain in my stomach. Also, with other advice I have received from Sid, I am more regular and have more energy.

    D.S., Mendocino, California Student
  • Our five year old had chronic constipation. After several years on fiber medication prescribed by our pediatrician, we turned to Sid. Sid recommended simple dietary changes and supplements to address the constipation and bring her whole diet in balance. Her constipation cleared in a matter of days. Sid took the time to listen not only to the problem we were having, but asked about the whole picture of our daughter’s diet. As a father of three small children he understood how difficult it is to introduce new foods to children and had a lot of great advice about ways to transition children into a healthier diet. Sid treats the whole child instead of just the problem.

    Y.L., Berkeley, California Attorney and Law Professor
  • Sid Garza-Hillman was a great resource for my family on our nutritional quest. Sid led us in the right direction with his recommendations for healthy eating and living. Sid also is very knowlegeable when it comes to a child’s diets and recommendations for food eliminations to help with specific health issues. We truly appreciate his help and his responsive and passionate voice.

    K.F., Washington, Pennsylvania mother & designer
  • My wife and I have been working with Sid for over two years. When we first began consulting with him we were fairly strict but not perfect vegetarians. During the past year we have become vegans-not because Sid preaches veganism, but rather because his deep knowledge and logical approach to good health made us want to seek a more plant-based diet. I am 72 and my wife is 66. We are in excellent health, feel great and lead very active lives. My wife swims, walks, and does light weight lifting. I participate in long distance cycling, tennis, walking and light weight lifting. We are certain that a large part of our happy and healthy life style is a result of our dealings with Sid.

    R.H., Healdsburg, California Airline Consultant