On introspection and choosing another path

In my other life, as a health coach helping people gain a healthier relationship with food while losing weight happily and healthfully, I have recently made a pretty major business decision. It is one of those shifts that is like jumping off of a cliff. It feels like there’s no going back. Like you’ve got to be all in–100% committed–or the scene will look like one from the coyote and roadrunner cartoon.

The thing is, I wasn’t getting anywhere with what I was doing. I was doing everything the marketing people told me to. I was authentic, passionate, and unique. I had an elevator speech. I regularly shared my story with soul-baring honesty. I walked my talk and am a product of the plan I was trying to sell. All I heard were crickets. Could it be that I wasn’t clear about what I was selling? Essentially I was selling myself on the internet. I mean, that’s pretty vague.

Authenticity is one of my core values, so my business plan reflects that. As a result, it is both rigid and fluid, and that might come off as wishy-washy. My compass is my internal barometer, which sometimes causes me to float in circles. I needed a solid plan, but first I had to figure out what was wrong with the other one. Continue reading “On introspection and choosing another path”

Could your attitude about food be worse than the food itself?

I have multiple food intolerances. Just recently I discovered that my IBS, which has gotten much worse over the last few years, is rooted in gluten intolerance. So now I have become that person. The difficult one who asks if the sauce or the soup contains gluten. Intolerances of this nature tend to make food the enemy. Every meal has the potential to cause incapacitating digestive issues, extreme fatigue, brain fog, or irritability. The struggle is real, the intolerance is real, but does the attitude I bring to the table make a difference in how badly my body reacts?

A friend of mine tells a story about a time when she indulged in a gooey triple chocolate brownie at a fancy restaurant. It was rich and delectable, full of gluten and sugar and bad oil, and completely irresistible in its confectionary splendor. The whole time she was eating it she was thinking about how terrible it was for her and how much she was going to regret it. After only a few bites, she was kicking herself for her poor choices and had herself completely tied up in knots, but she couldn’t stop until it was gone. Continue reading “Could your attitude about food be worse than the food itself?”

I Ate Like a Normal Person For a Weekend and Here’s What Happened

I have a tendency towards Orthorexia. Many people in my vocation do. We spend so much of our time studying about diet, food ethics, and nutrients that it is very easy to become obsessive about the quality of food we eat. We’re naturally food nerds to start with. Plus, we feel that we ought to be setting an example for our clients about clean eating and a healthy lifestyle. Being a product of our own programs is great advertising. It’s walking our talk, right? I’m great at walking my talk. So great, in fact, that I have myself in a bit of a sheltered situation where I forget what it is like to eat “normally”.

Orthorexia Nervosa: a fixation on righteous eating. Those suffering from orthorexia typically spend an unreasonable amount of time focused on the quality and purity of food and may feel guilt, and/or experience social isolation as a result.

The thing is, insisting that your food meets an exhaustive list of prerequisites before you eat it isn’t a healthy way to live. We would never recommend this path for our clients. If you spend most of your time thinking about, shopping for, and preparing your food at the expense of everything else in your life, you may want to revisit your priorities.

Continue reading “I Ate Like a Normal Person For a Weekend and Here’s What Happened”

Mindful Eating

Welcome to Thanksgiving week, otherwise known as the beginning of the season of gluttony. Yes, Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around the feast. It really is about celebrating food. Giving thanks oftentimes comes in second to what ends up on our plates. Thus, it sets the tone for the remainder of the year. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m saying it happens.

Many people fill up on the ever-present food this time of year because they feel empty. They hope that they can fill this empty space easily, avoiding confrontation or even thinking, by substituting stuffing and pie for a loving relationship, rewarding career, or creative outlet.

If you are watching what you eat, whether it is in an effort to lose weight or to maintain a healthy lifestyle, this time of year can be difficult, to say the least. There are endless parties, cookie exchanges, ladies’ teas where everyone brings festive treats, friends send boxes of goodies, an endless parade of tempting delights marches through our personal space…you start to think it seems wrong to let all of this fantastic food pass you by. You start to wonder if your enjoyment of the season is being decreased by what increasingly seems like a very restrictive diet. You start to question your motives, stories justifying just one bite float through your head, and you think that maybe taking a holiday from clean eating for the next month is warranted. Your resolve starts to weaken and eventually you run the risk of binging on the very next plate of sugar cookies or gingerbread. If this scenario sounds about right, read on, my friend.

Continue reading “Mindful Eating”

Shoulding on the Holidays, part 2: Expectations​

I look forward to the holidays every year. Just the other day we had our first snowfall and the air took on that touch of that crispiness it has around the holidays. You know, that bite of chill you feel right before the inside of your nose freezes. Suddenly I was thinking of the annual trip my little family takes into the hills to go tree hunting every year. I bought our tickets to the Nutcracker ballet just the other day and we have begun to talk about which Christmas movies we are most looking forward to. The decorations packed away snug in their totes, innocently hibernating until the designated day — because only a psycho gets them out before Thanksgiving. Am I right?

Visions of the ideal holiday with beautiful table settings and glittering lights start to flood our thoughts. We imagine lovely parties full of engaging conversation and holiday spirit—but not too many spirits. Our expectations start to look like a mix between the opening scene of the Nutcracker ballet and the animated version of a Dickens classic. You can almost see the frosty window panes and hear the carols.

Continue reading “Shoulding on the Holidays, part 2: Expectations​”

Whole Food Plant-Based Omnivore

This is my new favorite diet label. I mean, if you really need a label for the way you eat. It has everything important in it. The most important part is first, “Whole Food”. This one concept could erase our dietary woes and heal many of the “diseases of modern civilization”. Instead of concentrating so hard on percentages of macronutrients, maybe we should focus our energy on consuming real, actual food the way nature intended. Second, the “Plant-Based” part implies that most of what we would be eating on this plan would be plants. You’re exactly right! If you were to look at a plate and cut the plate into quarters, 3/4 of the plate would be some sort of plant. Then the omnivore part is where your choice of protein fits in. Obviously, if you were to choose a plant-based protein, your plan wouldn’t have “omnivore” at the end of it, but you would still benefit by paying close attention to the “Whole Food” part. My point is, processed foods that have been altered and adulterated in order to be cheap and shelf stable have no business in our diet and we would be healthier by far if these foods are removed from our plate. This “diet”, which isn’t a weight loss diet (although you will probably lose weight), is universal. Anyone can do it, regardless of allergies, location, income level, moral concerns, or health issues.

Continue reading “Whole Food Plant-Based Omnivore”

You Neanderthal

You may have been hearing quite a lot about the ketogenic diet lately. Popular diets such as The Bulletproof Diet, The Primal Blueprint, Primal Fat Burner, and Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy have been making headlines. My goal is to give you information and reliable resources so you can make your own informed decision about this type of diet. These are essentially upgraded versions of the well-known, but largely misunderstood, Atkins Diet and what is commonly known as Paleo or Keto. So what is up with the resurgence of these low-carb diets? Didn’t they already have their day in the sun? Let me clear up some confusion about how these diets work.

Continue reading “You Neanderthal”

Eat well, be well

I got up this morning and felt well rested for the first time in more than a week. Even though I strive for a good night’s sleep every night and believe sleep is one of the cornerstones of health, my routines have been off and quality rest has eluded me. I succumbed to the bright, shiny lights of festival season and my self-care routines took a hit. So, what can I learn from this past week to avoid the feeling of sludge running through my veins, not to mention my guts, and get back to vitality? Let’s rewind the week and take a look. First off, my self-care wasn’t stellar. I did get my exercise in, but my bedtime routine was non-existent, my meditation was cut short or didn’t happen at all, my nutrition was terrible, and I didn’t set boundaries. Consequentially, I was left feeling bloated, tired, crabby, and slightly depressed. Although a lack of attention to self-care was a large part of my problem, my terrible food choices have caused lasting effects, which are still with me. For me, processed foods and alcohol absolutely wreck my dodgy gut, which in turn wrecks…well, everything!

Continue reading “Eat well, be well”

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