Tag Archives for " Healthy Eating "
This light and delicious potato salad is perfect to bring to a summer BBQ, or a potluck dinner. Use red bliss, or heirloom potatoes for an even yummier salad and leave the skins on for extra nutrition. The tarragon gives it a very special flavor that will delight your taste buds.
Boil potatoes until tender but not too soft. Drain and cool. In a large bowl, combine potatoes with remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold. If salad becomes dry after a day or two, add a bit more mayo.
Long term dieting, counting calories, restricting and depriving yourself of your favorite foods can lead to one thing: Food Obsession. Being on a diet creates a constant stream of thoughts about food; what you can't have, what you can have, how much you can have, how many calories, and so on. It's exhausting....
And included in those obsessive thoughts, are are all the judgements and food rules that you have been taught along the way. We try to eat perfectly, and stay away from the "bad" and "forbidden" foods that we feel out of control around. When we are "on track," we feel good, but we have to fight to stay there...it's not consistent and then the dreaded pendulum swing happens.
Learning to love your food and enjoy/savor it versus obsessing about it, will be the key to shifting your relationship to it. It will also free up a whole lot of brain space in your head, and the energy you spend thinking about food all the time. And when I say "loving your food," I don't mean the out of control feeling you have when you're around it, or that you can't stop eating it. That's not what truly loving and being connect to your food is. The obsessive, out of control feeling is how you are giving your power away to it. It ends up controlling you.
When I was dieting, binge eating and struggling with food obsession, I was afraid to eat and I there was a constant, running total in my head of the calories I consumed. I then based how I felt about myself that day as a result of the calories I ate, or didn't eat and if I was "good" or "bad" with my eating. Or the weight I lost, or didn't lose. It was such a vicious cycle.
Over the years of coaching hundreds of clients and supporting them in truly shifting the way they approach food, I have witnessed incredible courage and powerful transformation happen. And what my clients come to realize, is that their struggles with food have nothing to do with the food! The food is just the symptom of something deeper.
Learning to love your food and enjoy it versus obsessing about it, will be the key to shifting your relationship to it.
The diet industry is notorious for instilling food rules. And we all know the diet industry does not provide long-term solution. Look, I know it can feel scary to let go of food rules, because we feel as though we might get out of control without them. But having food rules keeps you stuck in deprivation and also creates bad feelings every time you eat something you think is "bad." Another important thing that having food rules prevents is a connection to, and trust of, our bodies.
By identifying all the rules you have around food, you can then start to shift your mindset so you experience some more freedom and a loosening of the grip on food obsession. This journey is all about being able to trust yourself and your body to make choices that will serve you. I used to have a hard rule about not eating past 8pm. Or that eating pastry and candy was bad. And guess what? I'd end up bingeing on both of those things and doing it in the middle of the night. SO much for those rules.
The moment we put rules on food, our brain goes into survival mode. Especially when we deprive ourselves of the things we love. And guess what? Then we want those foods even more.
When I finally let go of my food rules, I realized that I didn't even really want cupcakes or candy anymore. So, now if I want sweets, I choose to have them sweets in a form that feels good to me and my body. I take the time to truly savor them without judgment, and I give myself FULL permission.
You will need to dismantle your rules one by one in order to keep your ego from freaking out! The ego doesn't like change and notices immediately when you're taking a different action. Like I said, pick one that doesn't feel so big, but would feel freeing if you let it go. Over time you will build the trust and confidence in yourself and you will not need to have food rules ever again
Most of us have been on a diet at one time or another. There is one thing I know about dieting; it keeps the obsessive food thoughts VERY alive. And it also is the creator of all the food rules we tend to live by, as mentioned above.
If you truly want to begin to loosen the reins on your food obsession, you must be willing to give up dieting. Over 90% of people who lose weight on a diet, gain it back (and then some.) This vicious cycle is exhausting and keeps us stuck in survival mode, and self-loathing. When we are dieting, we are in survival mode, and our mind will latch on to anything it can to create safety for us. This means obsessing about the food that we are depriving ourselves of.
I'm sure you've had the experience time and again of telling yourself you will start over on Monday, or "be good" for the rest of the day, or never eat sugar again; and what happens? You quickly fall off track or overeat those foods you swore off just hours earlier. The natural order of things will always create a pendulum swing, so when you are constantly obsessing over food, and restricting yourself, there will be a swing to the other side to balance things out.
The first step is to start to pay attention to your dieting mindset. Identifying your food rules will definitely help with this. Notice all the times you think about food, and all the negative talk you have around it. Awareness is the first step in giving up the dieting mindset. The more you put these new strategies into practice, the more you will begin to trust yourself.
We search for answers all over the internet but never check in with our most important source of wisdom, our bodies!
Yep, that's what I said. With social media and the internet, there is a constant barrage of information coming at us all the time that can be confusing, and feel overwhelming. The other day a client of mine emailed me to say how confused she was after hearing two different experts talk about the best diet for curing Type-2 diabetes.
One of them said a high carb, low fat diet was the best way of eating, and the other one said a low carb, high fat diet is the answer. Who is right?? This is why we are all so dang confused, and feel like we will never figure it out. We search for answers all over the internet but never check in with our most important source of wisdom, our bodies!
I do believe that most of us understand the basic rule of thumb when it comes to healthy eating, but then why do so many of us struggle to figure out how to eat? Because we are listening to everyone outside of us, versus our own body. By getting off all nutrition, diet and health lists, you can start to learn to rely on yourself and your body to give you the information you need. And trust me, it will.
When I stopped looking for answers outside of myself, and started to attune to and listen to my body's own wisdom, it changed my world. My body knows exactly what it likes, and what it doesn't like. But so many of us will override these signals our body is giving us, or the things we are craving to follow some diet because it worked for your neighbor's-daughters-boyfriends- sister. NO!
Start by unsubscribing from all those email lists you are on. The ones that confuse you, or leave you feeling like you still don't know what the answer is, or how you should be eating. Look, when it comes to nutrition, there really isn't that much new information out there. And most of the time people are looking for the next quick fix, or that THING that will finally make them lose weight. But none of those things will be the answer, or work for the long term. But building trust with your body, and shifting your behaviors and mindset around food WILL!.
Continue to practice taking different action when it comes to your relationship to food. By doing that, you will begin to create new neural pathways, that will eventually become brand, new healthier habits down the road. Remember, this is not a quick fix solution, and takes consistency, and patience. You have to be more committed to your freedom, then getting sucked into another external diet or program that will only lead you back to the same place.
YOU GOT THIS!
I work with smart, busy professionals, just like you, who are frustrated and tired of the vicious yo-yo dieting cycle. I help them to stop dieting and radically transform their relationship to food so they can say bye-bye to diets once and for all, and find their natural body weight. If you're ready to finally BREAK FREE, learn more about my private and group coaching to see how you can finally create the life you have dreamed of that is free from diets and food struggles.
It's easy for us to blame food when we are making poor choices, or say we have addictions to food, or that we are out of control with food. And even easier to blame our body when it gains weight, or doesn't look the way we want it to. We think it's fighting against us.
What I have learned through my years-long struggle with food and body image issues, is that both are blameless. I only blamed them because I wasn't looking deeper at what was driving me to eat the food and hate my body. I had to start to take responsibility for my actions and behaviors, and that meant looking at what was behind my need to set food rules, and what was behind my emotional eating, and all the other crazy ideas I had in my head about food and my body. Food was just the symptom of something else going on that I wasn't ready to face.
How often have you said to yourself, "I will never eat [insert "bad," "unhealthy" food] again," or "I will start over tomorrow and be "good?" Those two lines were famous in my vocabulary for years. I started over a million times, and I swore I would never eat cupcakes again for as long as I was alive. But that just kept me stuck in the vicious cycle with food and my weight, and I NEVER kept those empty promises to myself.
The truth is; our issues with food have NOTHING to do with the food.
In today's VLOG, direct from my Facebook LIVE training, I offer 2 strategies you can use to start to take responsibility for yourself, and to stop blaming the food and your body. These strategies will help you to take a step back, and to begin to relate to food and your body in a different way so you can be more of a "normal" eater.
Cravings! Ah yes, we all have them, and most of the time they can be unhealthy. Cravings for foods that are sugary, salty, fatty, crunchy and fried are among the most common types of cravings, and as most of you know, these types of foods are usually not always the healthiest choice for us.
As a wellness coach and nutritionist, I work with people coaching them on how to get rid of bad habits and create new, healthier ones. I help them to recognize their cravings and how to work through them by using many different methods, which bring them to a new state of awareness with their eating.
The majority of the time our cravings are emotional and often times the act of eating emotionally can result in a lifetime of bad habits. Think about it. When we were kids, our parents usually fed us as a reward if we did something good, or as comfort if we were hurt or sad. Our first food came from our mother’s breast, the ONE person we equated love with. So it’s no wonder we equate eating food with receiving love.
And not only is that not enough, we have the large corporate food companies dialed in with scientists working around the clock to create the perfect combination of sugary, salty, fatty foods. These foods stimulate the feel good centers of the brain and leave us wanting more. If these foods are eaten enough, they can actually rewire the brain to crave more of the same. They alter the biological circuitry of our brain (see “The End of Overeating” by David A. Kessler). Just the right combo of these three together will spark your brain into caving for your craving. And from there, habits are built.
So not only are cravings emotional, but they are physical as well. But don’t fret, there are ways to alter your habits and control your cravings. You don’t have to be the one who “caves” every time there is a cookie in front of you, or a slice of wedding cake sitting on the buffet. You look at it, and you don’t really want it, but something in you goes for it, and before you know it, you have finished a huge hunk of cake. It’s that feel good center of your brain that remembers how it felt when you had this decadent combo before. You have rewarded that behavior. The pathway that you have created from eating so many of these types of foods in your lifetime is activated and then you want more.
But you can control your cravings, and although it may seem daunting at first, these three simple steps will change the way you relate to food and yourself.
1. Recognize your craving and what is driving it: stop yourself before going for the food; take three deep breaths and ask yourself what is driving this craving. Are you really hungry? Or are you making an emotional choice? Get quiet and listen. A lot of people will go for food when they are stressed, sad, lonely or emotional. If you feel any of these things, or you just experienced a stressful situation (a fight with your partner, unwanted news, etc.), tell yourself that food is not the answer and then reach out to a friend, write in a journal or take a walk around the block.
2. Plan your food each week so that you know what you will be eating and how much: Take time each week to make a menu of what foods you will be eating. Make healthy choices and know that eating healthy foods will bring you a sense of prolonged wellbeing versus the instant gratification you get when eating the “cave” foods. Eating healthy foods will begin to crowd out the bad foods and create newer, healthier habits.
3. Take contrary action: Do the opposite of what you’ve always done. I learned this awesome and very powerful slogan in a 12-Step program and it changed my life. Anytime you find yourself wanting to indulge in a craving, take an opposite and healthier action. Instead of eating candy, grab a piece of fruit. Instead of eating cake at a wedding, ask for a glass of sparkling water with lemon. Instead of sitting in front of the TV eating a carton of Ben & Jerry’s, pull out your yoga mat and do some stretches instead. The very act of doing these healthier and contrary behaviors will start to rewire the brain and you will find that you will start to crave the bad foods less, and crave the better actions you are engaging in. Your brain will start to connect stretching in front of the TV as a positive and from there, you will continue to build on this foundation to a healthier way of life.
I know that controlling cravings isn’t easy. Believe me, I have been on a lifelong journey learning how to give my body what it really needs, versus what I think it wants. I have found that the healthier I eat, the less and less I want these unhealthy foods that don’t serve me. It’s a process and a journey, so remember to be gentle with yourself and just take one positive step forward when you find you might Cave to what you Crave!
When I begin working with new clients and I hear from them that they have tried every diet known to man with no “success,” I always know there is something deeper happening than their desire to lose weight. Of course their desire is valid, but usually it’s not just about the weight that they are carrying and they want to shed. They’ve struggled with yo-yo dieting and cleansing and many other avenues that they thought would get them healthy and lean, but they ended up back where they started or even further back.
The reason I became so interested in food and nutrition, is because I have struggled most of my life with emotional eating and a distorted body image. I must say, it hasn’t been an easy road at all and I have done so much work around deeper healing and looking into why I have this “issue”. Some days I have intense feelings that keep me up late into the night obsessing over the bag of rice chips I ate, or the ½ pint of coconut ice cream that I downed when I wasn’t even hungry. I can also tend to obsess over body image issues…that my jeans are tighter today than they were yesterday, or my belly is not as flat as it was the day before, or if every calorie I put in my mouth is going to make me fat. These times come much less frequent these days and I am not going to say that I have totally healed, but I have definitely dug into deeper parts of myself to see what is running these parts of me and learned how to give myself what I really need in those moments to move through them much more gracefully than in the past.
Eating is something we need to do to stay alive. It’s not like other addictions where we can give up said substance and still survive, even though it may feel like we are going to die without it. Food is our nourishment, our vitality, our life. If we don’t know how to relate to food and our bodies in a healthy way, then we will have issues with weight, overeating, under-eating and so much more. I think you get the picture.
Our emotions and feelings play such a big role in our lives. It’s so important to look deeper into these feelings we have around our body, eating and food as they will give us messages of what our bodies and our souls really need. It’s not about the next quick fix diet, or cleanse or fast. It’s about really going inward and asking your body what it needs, or asking your soul what it needs and most of the time that answer is – Love.
Loving ourselves is such a huge part of learning how to live with emotional eating. I don’t think this “addiction” ever fully goes away, but the more we learn to love ourselves, the more this little, or big, monster will calm down and take the proverbial back seat. I know that some of you may be thinking that you are not ready to look at what it is that is driving your overeating, or emotional food choices or body image obsession, but I am here to tell you that the only way out of this, is through this.
If you struggle with any of the things that I have mentioned, seek out help with a professional, start to write in a journal, begin to really get in touch with “WHEN you are eating, WHY you are eating and WHAT you are eating.” Start to notice what you put in your mouth and why. Is your body really hungry or are your emotions screaming out to you for something else? Are you craving love, attention and affection? If so, how can you give this to yourself? Maybe you could call a friend, or stop and take a few deep breaths – whatever it is that will help you really tune into what is going on internally, before you fill your mouth with an unhealthy food that will not nourish you in any way except to feed your “in the moment” craving for something else bigger.
Begin to really notice those moments when you have a craving and see if you can stop, take a breath and check in with yourself. Do you really want that sugary donut, bag of chips or chocolate bar? Or do you really want a hug from someone? So many of our food cravings are brought about by memories of comfort when we were kids. So it’s normal to want certain foods if we are feeling down or sad, but the wise thing to do in a situation like this is to skip the food and find a way to comfort yourself. I know this sounds strange, but the love we give to ourselves and feel for ourselves is the most important love of all. So where and how can you start to love yourself more so that you don’t become slave to your emotional eating, which can lead to extra pounds, depression, shame and self-loathing?
Just one small, positive action can start to break the cycle…what will yours be?
I have been a vegan for quite a while now and I am also a vegan chef, so being vegan is part of my livelihood and I believe in it. For most of my life I have gone back and forth between the labels of vegetarianism and veganism. For a long time, these labels fed my ego and helped me to feel “powerful” in a sense. I felt better and “smarter” than others, because I was doing the “right’ thing. I was making healthy choices and saving animals at the same time. I would even go to the extent of preaching to others how they should be vegetarian and I judged them if they weren’t or if they ate unhealthy.
But, what I am finding now, as I live a healthier life and work closely with others to assist them in finding a healthy lifestyle that works for them, is that these labels do not matter and in a way, I am discovering that they can actually hold us back. When we label ourselves, we set ourselves up for minimal growth and also scrutiny from others. I cannot tell you how many times I have been scrutinized by people when I eat out or when I make a decision to eat an egg, and listen to my body vs. following my label of vegan. And, how many times I have looked over my shoulder to make sure no one sees me eating an egg or a bite of goat cheese! Our ego needs to give almost everything we do a name, and most of the time that doesn’t serve us. Think of any kind of label, even designer labels. Some people will spend thousands of dollars more on a designer label so that they can get attention or feel good. I personally know people who are addicted to designer labels and feel unworthy if they are not donning some expensive purse or piece of clothing. I am not saying this is a bad thing, yet it’s definitely an ego-based decision and doesn’t seem to allow for much internal growth.
When we live in a world of black and white, right and wrong, good and bad, I can understand labeling, but if we want to grow as a society and in our own personal lives, labeling leaves much to be desired. Labeling can pigeonhole us into ONE way of being and thinking. Even political labels can do this. Yes, we all have our beliefs and there is nothing wrong with that, or, in fact, even right with that, they are just beliefs. And as human beings we get to make new choices and have new beliefs any time we want and that is the beauty of free will. I have found that labeling myself a vegan has, at times, brought me much discomfort in the eyes of others. I understand that this discomfort is my own, and I also understand that I get to call myself whatever I want without buying into the judgments of others.
To me what matters most is that I am healthy, energetic and I am eating whole, plant-based, unprocessed foods and listening to my body by giving it what it needs. Also, that I am being of service to the world no matter what my label. For me veganism was a choice for many different reasons, which started with health reasons. As a kid I suffered from allergies, digestive issues and the like, yet it was also a natural progression that happened as I started to care more and more about what I put in my body and how I wanted to feel. The cleaner I ate and the more I cut out the processed foods, the better I felt. But I could’ve just cut out processed foods and continued eating meat, yet for me, my body really didn’t like it. Honestly, it grossed me out and I just didn’t want it anymore. So I decided to become first, a vegetarian and eventually a vegan.
What I realize now is that I don’t want to label myself as a vegan anymore. I know how much it means to me, but if I am following the “vegan guidelines” of how to be a “proper” vegan, I fall way short. Why? Well, because I still eat honey (something vegans frown upon), I still wear leather (and I am mindful not to buy new leather products), I will on occasion eat an egg if my body wants it, or even have a bite of creamy burratta mozzarella when I am in Naples, Italy where Buratta originates…When in Rome. I don’t want to be under the scrutiny of the vegan label anymore, and that doesn’t
mean that I won’t still claim I eat vegan, cause I do, but what I am leaning toward now is that I am a person who loves vegan food. I am a person who loves to eat plant-based, whole foods and I am a person who cooks vegan food for others and teaches others how to have more plant-based foods in their life.
Vegan, Vegetarian, Flexitarian, Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian, Pescetarian, these are all just labels that we use to describe the way we eat. One thing to know is that these descriptions of eating lifestyles don’t necessarily mean that we are healthy! And they definitely don’t always mean that we know what our bodies need or want. The key is to listen to what you really want and what resonates with you in your heart, not what others do. It’s about your own wellbeing and no one else’s.
I have learned that the way to teach is to lead by example and not from a place of preaching and self-righteousness, but from a place of my own authentic experience and how it has changed me for the better.
And on another note, I love, love, love animals and don’t think that they should be mass produced as they are and killed for food. I love the Earth and I know how the meat and dairy industry negatively affects the earth. I became a vegan chef so that I could do my part and teach people how to eat healthier, while helping to save the planet as well and I am also aware that preachy vegans or people who judge others for their choices are not helping themselves or others. Everyone has to find their own path in their own time and we get to give them the dignity of that!
AS SEEN ON….There is a little old saying from a funny looking guy with specs, and I mean that in the most loving way, that goes something like this, “If you want to make God (or the Universe) laugh, tell Him your plans.” How many of us have planned something for months, days, weeks or even years only for it to turn out completely different than we wished or hoped?? I think that’s what Woody was talking about when he came up with those very clever words. As much as I agree with Woody on so many levels, I also think there are specific arenas in our lives that are very important to make a plan, and healthy eating and taking care of our bods is one of them.
As a wellness coach and nutritional educator, I teach my clients to plan their meals, plan their eating, plan their workouts, plan their cooking, plan their shopping, etc. When it comes to health, Planning is the Key. You can’t be healthy without a plan. Well you could, but it would be hard and take a lot of work and you’d eventually get frustrated and give up.
The most important thing planning does for us, is gives us a structure which most of us need when we are learning anything new. Actually it even works when we aren’t learning anything new. It gives us a schedule – a way of being with ourselves that is committed. If you really want to eat healthy but don’t know how or where to start, planning will be the way to get you there. Of course pretty much anything new we try out has a learning curve, and eating healthy is no different. It’s about a commitment you make to yourself and your family, if you have one, to lead a healthier and happier life.
As I lead my participants through 30-day Vegan cleanses, I tell them that their key to success is PLANNING and it doesn’t just end with the 30 days, it’s a lifestyle choice! If they don’t do this, they will be stuck in the middle of the day with nothing to eat and then they will make an unhealthy choice. How many times have you done that??? And this doesn’t only apply to my cleansers, this applies to anyone who wants to eat healthy and take care of their temple that they have while being on this earth. It may not come easy at first, but aren’t you worth it?
Some people tell me it’s too much work. What? Too much work to take care of your health? They’d rather go through a drive-thru because it’s quick and convenient than make a choice to plan out their meals for the week. Well, let me tell you, the first choice will lead you to sickness, disease and possibly a heart attack.
This is not to say that you have to keep this plan for the rest of your life, in fact, it will eventually become habit. Just like driving through that greasy drive-thru became a habit when you’ve had nothing to eat. Keep in mind that all habits, good or bad, are created on our own. Some in childhood where we were taught to make certain choices, and some in adulthood out of pure laziness, convenience and not caring about what we put into our bodies.
This is about creating NEW, HEALTHY habits that will last you a lifetime and you need a plan to do that! I still do it, I plan out my food on the weekend that I will cook for the week, then I go shopping and buy the food and spend a couple hours in the kitchen, listening to some cool tunes, sipping some tea and chopping my veggies, not all simultaneously of course. This has become a way of life, and it’s a way of life that produces happiness. I look forward to it. Why? Because I’m healthy, I have no illness, I have no disease, I have energy, I have vitality…are those good enough reasons for you???
So when I say that planning is A Key to Happiness, I certainly think that all the benefits you get from healthy eating and the time you take to make sure you do so will bring you a happy belly, a happy body and in turn, a happy life!
What change will you make today to make a NEW plan for your healthy life??
I’m sure you have all heard that The Oz, and I don’t mean the Wizard of, has gone vegan. When I heard this, I thought, “how great to have another convert on board that is taking charge of their health.” Whenever I learn about people going vegan, of course I am always excited because I believe so strongly in it and how it can change lives for the better and help to heal illness. I know because it did for me. I also feel a bit of concern inside because when most people go vegan they do it on a whim after seeing a movie or reading a book, yet they are not really educated on what going vegan means.
Anytime a celebrity turns vegan it makes the news and it’s the biggest news of the day. It’s almost as if everyone is waiting for the “fall” of that person going Vegan. When Natalie Portman stopped being a vegan while she was pregnant, she got flack. When another celebrity went vegan after she got pregnant she was criticized. When did our food choices become such big NEWS other than the awful state of the obesity & heart disease in this country? That’s what we need to see more of, not when a celebrity goes vegan but when an unhealthy, disease-ridden person takes charge of their life and decides enough is enough.
I’ve met many unhealthy vegans and vegetarians in my day and it’s mostly due to the fact that they stopped eating meat but didn’t know how to supplement their diet in a healthy way, so they used a lot of processed foods to do that. Eating & adding all these processed foods to their diet ends up making them sicker than before they became a vegan. Going vegan is not just about cutting out meat, well, to some vegans it is, but to me it’s really about getting healthy through a plant-based diet. I wrote an article for the awesome Daily Love last week about labels, and how I’ve felt scrutinized through labeling myself a vegan, and how sometimes labeling ourselves can prevent us from really growing (you can read that here). This way of life is about health and nothing more. Being vegan doesn’t work for everyone. We are all not cookie cutters and what works for me, certainly may not work for you. That is why you need to explore and educate yourself if you are thinking about a diet makeover.
My job is to educate others on a healthy eating lifestyle as I feel it truly is the most important thing in life. What you put in your mouth has everything to do with how you feel, what your body looks like and the state of your health. Of course, there are a lot of other factors, but what we eat is where it all starts. If we put bad food in, we feel bad. If we put good food in, we feel good. It’s pretty simple really, yet so many of us just cannot get that equation right. Many genius scientists from the past were on to this way before we were. I know we have all heard the saying from Hippocrates, “Let thy food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.” This dude knew what he was talking about. Back in his day there were no processed boxed, canned or bagged foods. There was only food that came out of the ground and grew on trees or bushes. This is how our great-grandparents ate. Food healed us and it can still do so today, but we need to respect it and learn about and get back to the root of it.
I know the OZ has suffered with a lot of health issues and some..uh..dementia so I am truly happy he has gone vegan after seeing the awesome documentary, Forks Over Knives, which by the way, I recommend anyone reading this to watch it. I am really interested to see how veganism changes his life. He made a positive choice and that’s a really great thing.
What positive choice can you make for yourself regarding what you put in your mouth? Before you label yourself a vegan, consider just cutting back on certain things, going slow, taking it one step at a time, adding more healthy, whole foods to your diet and then see how your body responds. I guarantee your life will get better and better and then you will start to make more and more positive, healthy choices!
GO OZZY…thank god the bats are safe!
Do you often find yourself eating on the run? Shoving a protein bar down your throat because you dont’ have time to get a proper meal? Drinking protein shakes instead of eating a REAL MEAL? Standing over the kitchen sink while you chew on a piece of toast for dinner? Buying processed and packaged foods for convenience?? GUILTY!!!
This is what I refer to as the FOOD DISCONNECT!! The majority of us Americans, especially those of us that live in the City of Angels, are oh-so-busy, and we don’t have time to sit and eat a proper meal or we are always eating on the go. Do you realize what this can do to your body??
First of all, FOOD, and I mean HEALTHY, WHOLE FOOD not the processed packaged junk, keeps us alive, along with water, air and sleep. Food is the fuel that makes our body go. And we don’t respect it. We plow through a meal without even coming up for air, we don’t take the time to really taste or savor our food, we treat it as an object rather than something that nourishes us and keeps us ALIVE! We count calories until we are blue in the face, deprive our bodies of real nutrients by buying “light” or “fat Free” or “natural” packaged foods. We use it as a tool to keep us fit, thin, skinny, deprived, you name it. Eating has become such a burden to so many of us, yet we don’t understand why we aren’t healthy or our digestion sucks when we eat what we think is “healthy”, or drink high nutrient shakes in place of meals. We can’t drop weight, and we feel like poo-poo all the time. We eat out 5 nights a week and make food part of a social event, we overstuff ourselves on holidays, and us Americans create every reason in the world to eat – Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Christmas, Hanukkah, Memorial Day..you name it. Did you ever notice that every holiday is centered around eating and drinking? And it’s usually not of the healthy nature
Our bodies are begging us to slow down by giving us indigestion, acid reflux, bloating/gas or constipation/diarrhea. This is the result of eating on the go, eating too fast, eating too much, combining lots of different foods together, eating processed, greasy foods and drinking liquid with our meals.
We need to connect to our food. Taste it, savor it, chew it slowly. Cut it, cook it, steam it and saute it. Find out where it comes from and how its made if not in our very own kitchens! Food is Life, Food is Vitality, Food is Health. So why do so many of us care so little about it or treat it like it’s last on our list of priorities? Why do we only care about how something will taste in the heat of the moment instead of the longterm effects it will have on us? Why don’t we see it and appreciate it for what it really is?
Connecting to your food will change your life. Listening to your body and what it wants will change your life. Your digestion will work better, you will find your natural body weight and your metabolism will normalize! Are you eating out of boredom, habit, cravings or emotions? These are the times when we are truly disconnected from our food.
When I work with my cleansers, I ask them to be very aware of What they are eating, When they are eating and Why they are eating over the course of the 30 days. This brings them in touch with their food and their habits. The majority of them realize that they have been mindlessly eating most of their life and never really connected to or tasted their food. I challenge them to use cooking as a way to really connect and see their food as the life it provides. To slow down, chew, breathe, cut out all liquids when eating and really get the full benefit of how healthy, whole food can provide us with all the nutrients and fuel we need. To invite their families to join in and rekindle the family dinners when members would gather in the kitchen and cook meals together and then sit down as a unit and enjoy the meal…slowly. I am not implying that we don’t do that now, I know that we do, but what I am hoping to inspire in you is the opportunity to look at where you can make better choices for yourself and reconnect to the one really important thing that gives you life – YOUR FOOD!
So I am offering up a challenge, and that is to take notice of every time you put something in your mouth and why you are putting it in your mouth. Is it because you are truly hungry or just eating out of habit, or cause your traininer or workout program tells you to? Really start to listen to your body and what it wants, not what your mind wants. Most of the time, your body will give you the healthy answer. Tune in, slow down and connect to your food! Become aware of all your actions around food and I guarantee your relationship to it will change, and as a result, your life will too!
Here are FIVE great tips to help you Reconnect to your Food:
1. Chew more and savor the taste of the food.
2. Cut out liquids until at least 30 minutes before or after meals
3. Learn where your food comes from
4. Sit down when you eat & put your fork down as often as possible between bites
5. Give thanks for the food that is on your plate and for all the workers who helped get it there!
I had to write this post today because this topic comes up SO often when I work with my cleansers or anyone who is on the healthy eating path and I must say that it frustrates me to no end. My clients and cleansers more often than not, tell me that their families/friends think they are freaks or show “concern” about them because they are not eating meat, giving up gluten or eating more vegetables and healthy food than not.
My clients and a lot of people I know on this path are also afraid of hurting someone’s feelings by not eating the high cholesterol, fat laden, processed food their host made for dinner, or the b-day cupcake at someone’s bday party, or the overly sweet, cardboard cake at their dear sister’s wedding. Sometimes they just eat it so someone else won’t feel bad, while they torture themselves and the result is that they feel bad physically because of the timebomb they just ingested. Or they will take a piece then only to throw it away when someone is not looking. What a waste of food! I also come across people who are afraid to be a “burden” at the dinner table when out with friends because of their special diet or when going to a friends house for dinner. When did eating healthy become “special?” Isn’t eating healthy a way to live longer, have more energy, combat disease and have a happier more vital life? I think it is..and I am living proof, as well as many others that live this way!
Well friends, I have to tell you this! STOP!!!! Yes, STOP!! STOP worrying about what others think about your “diet” or way of eating. STOP worrying about someone else’s feelings, and choking down a piece of cake so you don’t offend someone. STOP going to dinner parties without notifying the host of your healthy eating lifestyle and putting yourself in a positiion where you will lose, when it comes to finding something good to put in your mouth. STOP ordering food at a restaurant you really don’t want because you don’t want to be a “problem” at the dinner table.
Afterall, is this journey about YOU, or THEM??? Isn’t it your choice to be healthy and don’t you want to lead by example? When I go out, I don’t care about what anyone thinks about my way of eating..and I am a PICKY and sometimes High Maintenance eater. But, you know what? It’s the most important thing to me because when I eat healthy I feel good, have more energy, my skin is clear, I don’t get sick and I look younger..just to name a few of the benefits.
SO, I am going to give you some helpful tips on how to overcome these hurdles other than just telling you to STOP! although that would be a really good place to start! Remember that most people will question your way of life because either 1. they are interested in learning more or 2. they are threatened by it. Most of the time it’s #2. And the reason why, is that people are afraid to change. Yes, change is the only thing we can rely on that is constant in this world, yet we, as humans are afraid of it. Especially the change that we have no control over. We like the change that we are responsible for making happen, like reaching goals, finding a new job, making a choice to move to a different city, etc. But when we feel we are out of control, that’s when we hold on tight to the reins and fight against it. But, it will happen and most of the time we have no choice over it. But, you can make a decision to change the way you eat and change the way you think about food and what others think about what you are eating!
Everytime I would go out with friends and not drink alcohol people would question me. And my response was, “it just doesn’t make me feel good.” And that was the truth and no one could argue with that. When I don’t eat cake, it’s the same response. It’s not worth the 5 seconds of creamy goodness on my tongue for the hours of torture I will experience afterward and the food hangover I will have in the morning. People feel threatened when they witness me saying no to these things and it’s because it brings forward parts of themselves that maybe they need to take a deeper look at. Most people don’t want to give up drinking or eating cake, and that’s fine. I am not here to tell them they need to, YET I am also here to tell them they will FEEL BETTER and possibly LIVE LONGER if they do! But really it’s about leading by example, not forcing it down anyone’s throat and I know that most people who witness me take care of myself, get a chance to look within to where they can make some change. And maybe they won’t be ready, but at least I know I have planted a seed…
So, here are a few tips as promised:
You can be a leader in helping others to make healthier choices just by doing it yourself. Sometimes people can become preachy when they start eating healthy, trust me, I was one of them. But what I have learned is that people are curious about it and they DO want to know more. The soft approach of Leading By Example is what I find works best and that’s what you can do! Remember, stay true to yourself and your path and don’t let what others say or do push you off that track!