What would your life be like if you didn't have to worry about what you ate? What if you knew that everything you bought was made with top quality ingredients and was completely beneficial to your wellbeing? Unfortunately, we do not live in a world governed by these principles and there are foods you need to stop eating, like yesterday.
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Have you ever finished a meal only to find yourself snacking half an hour to an hour later? You are not alone! I hear countless stories from clients who have a tendency to snack after they've finished a meal, and most often, this meal is supper. So why are we still grabbing for snacks after we've eaten? Are we really still hungry, did our bodies not get what they needed throughout the day, or is it something else? "What am I doing wrong"!? This is the frantic cry I hear ALL the time. So lets take a look as to why one might be continually snacking or feel like they need to continue eating after a meal, particularly in the evening.
Have you ever been in a situation when you can't figure out what to do? You may be starting up a business, entering into a new job, falling in love, starting to have kids, or experimenting different ways to eat. Whatever you are trying to do will always be accompanied by times and feelings of uncertainty. A lot of people (including myself) don't really care for uncertainty, yet everyone loves a good adventure. We love going on trips or vacations, spontaneity, and the thrills we get when we watch a movie full of suspense. If basically all human beings like a good adventure, then we offhandedly like uncertainty.
Now I don't negate the fact that there are those text book, A type personalities, that read the plots and outcomes of movies before they watch them, they look at dinner menus online before they go out to eat, and they read the last chapter of a fresh new novel before they begin the book, but even those people like a good adventure...they just want to know it's a good adventure before it begins.
The way we can embrace the uncertainty of life is to change the way we view uncertainty. When we look at uncertainty and we change the verbiage to something like "Life Unfolding", we can take a step back and look at the big picture. We are never going to know what's going to happen at every moment in life, but that's the adventure. Some circumstances are not fun, like experiencing illness, or the death of a loved one, losing your job, or going through a divorce, but in every situation Life continues to unfold for us.
Because I deal with people's eating behaviours, I see all kinds of uncertainty when it comes to the foods they eat and the way they consume them. I see uncertainty with the thoughts they have towards themselves or food, and I see uncertainty when we sit in a session together and I tell them to embrace uncertainty. But everyone loves a good adventure.
Eating challenges present us with a chance to view Life Unfolding in a tangible way. When I was bulimic, I used to hate myself after each episode, and although I no longer struggle with an eating disorder, I look at it now as being a teacher and a guide. My behaviours, though damaging both mentally and physically, were actually helping me at the same time. They were a continual wake up call from my body saying that it needed help. This was my experience with Life Unfolding.
What areas of your life cause you anxiety or stress because you're uncertain of the outcome?
What is the uncertainty of each situation trying to convey to you?
Most often, we are challenged with uncertainty because Life is calling us to trust, to have faith, and faith in something greater than just your own self. The interesting thing about trust and faith is that they physiologically put the body into a relaxation response (Ie: Rest and Digest), which is the exact opposite of the Fight or Flight response. When we are in Rest and Digest, we think clearly, we breath slower which increases oxygen to all organs and muscles efficiently, and we can be at our highest metabolic potential. When we are in fear or anxiety, Fight or Flight is turned on and we are no longer in Rest and Digest. Do you think your body could possibly be smart enough to try to get it into a state where it can be at it's most vibrant and healthiest place?? The answer is yes. The body is physiologically beckoning us to trust.
Stress and uncertainty will always present itself, but the more important question is how will present yourself before stress and uncertainty? Will you continue to live in fear, or will you trust that Life is calling you to a higher purpose and trying to convey a higher message?
Hello Readers!! I am happy to announce that I have officially graduated from The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and am a certified Eating Psychology Coach!! With the training from the institute under my belt and as I look forward into the future of my practice, I want to give everyone reading this a clear message of what I am all about as a practitioner, what my mission is, my vision for my practice, what my core thoughts and beliefs are, and what services I provide.
My Mission Statement
I help people understand how their relationship with food is a direct reflection to their relationship with life. To empower and enrich a deeper understanding of oneself, and to elicit powerful changes in the mind, body, and spirit.
I have this overwhelming sense of urgency to get the word out that we have been brainwashed by so many different mediums when it comes to the way we view food and the body. We have been taught to hate it, abuse it, criticize it, starve it, over-work it, and pick it apart piece by piece. The vision I have for my clients, as well as myself, is to help uncover the many lies and toxic thoughts that have been ingrained in us from a very early age, to start to discover the meanings behind the symptoms and challenges we face on a daily basis, and to equip you with simple yet powerful tools and strategies that will transform the body from the inside out.
My Core Beliefs
- Where the mind goes the man follows
- The way we eat is a reflection of how we live and vice versa
- Embracing change creates transformation
- Self chosen stress has to go
- Change comes from being more not doing more
- Quality of food = Quality of life
Where The Mind Goes The Man Follows
- Wherever you allow your mind to wander is exactly where you will go
- If you want to be successful in any area of your life, you have got to change the way that you think about life first and foremost
- Before we "train" our body, we must train the mind first
The Way We Eat Is A Reflection Of How We Live And Vice Versa
- We can tell a lot about ourselves by the way we choose food, and the way we consume food.
- By looking into this avenue, we can identify root problems we have with food and with self.
- Example: If I eat every meal as fast as I can, 9 times out of 10 I am living life at a high speed.
Embracing Change Creates Transformation
- If you cannot embrace change in life, how do you think you're body is going to change shape or health?
- Change is the flow of life. You can see this clearly and evidently through each season. The world constantly changes, it has a rhythm to it and that rhythm is change.
- The way we eat should be constantly changing and evolving through life. If you are under the impression that you should eat the same way forever, you are not going to see the change you want in your body or in your health.
Self Chosen Stress Has To Go
- Because the stress response has such powerful effects on the body, it is of the upmost importance that we rid ourselves of self chosen stress.
- Example: self deprecating beliefs, negativity, an unforgiving attitude, stressful thoughts about the body, the need to be famous or noticed, using exercise as punishment, etc...
- Stress will always present itself but the more important thing is how you present yourself while under stress.
Change Comes From Being More Not Doing More
- Change occurs when we embody, meaning when we are in our bodies. Everyone embodies differently but we disembody by many of the same ways.
- Example: preoccupying our minds with other peoples bodies or lives, comparing ourselves to others, constantly trying to change the body, ignoring the symptoms or challenges we have or by putting a bandaid on them instead of looking for the root causes, by refusing to be aware or present.
Quality Of Food = Quality Of Life
- No matter what you eat, eating the highest quality version of that food will yield powerful results.
- When we take the time to nourish ourselves with high quality food, our lives begin to reflect that quality in the way we conduct ourselves, dress ourselves, the thoughts we think, and the way we treat ourselves and those around us.
- Quality supersedes any diet plan.
- one-on-one Nutrition Coaching in person or over Skype
- Group meetings or lunch and learns for corporations
- Speaking at private events or health and wellness seminars
- Customized meal planning for individuality of lifestyle
- Eating Psychology Coaching
- Mood and food, immunity and the diet, chronic dieting, binge eating, over eating, weight gain, fatigue, macronutrient balance, meal timing, stress and weight gain, desires, sexuality, spirituality, and the many aspects of our lives that directly effect the way we eat.
I want to thank everyone for your continued support and openness to what I talk about. I know it's not as the rest of the world teaches, but I think we can all agree that what we've been doing isn't working. It's time to truly think out of the box!
Hello again my faithful followers and readers! This week I will be discussing just one topic I have been thinking and talking about for quite some time now. It's the topic pf gluten free diets, and why they are and are not beneficial. A lot of people I talk to automatically believe that if a food gluten free, it must mean it's healthy. This is not always the case though... 7. Gluten Free Means Healthy
This is a very widely discussed topic throughout the nutrition world, the fitness world, and throughout the world in general. Gluten free has become a posh way of eating regardless of gluten intolerance or not. So what is gluten exactly? What is gluten intolerance, and is gluten free really the way to go?
I have been asked by clients numerous times about gluten free, and of course, I have tried it for myself. I ate gluten free about 95% of the time for about 2 years. Am I still gluten free? No, I am not, not because I don't think gluten allergies and sensitivities are real, but because I don't have one.
What is gluten?
Gluten is the protein found in the endosperm of wheat. Glutens job is to nourish the plant embryo during germination and also contributes to the elasticity of the dough when you bake with it. Gluten is composed of two proteins being gliadin and glutenin and isn't just exclusive to being found in wheat products, but other grains such as rye, barley, oats, and other various crossbreeds.
What is the difference between gluten allergies sensitivities?
When someone is allergic to gluten it is called Celiac Disease. When they eat anything containing gluten, their body will create an immune response that damages their intestines and prevents them from absorbing vital nutrients. According to The National Institute of Health, about 1 in every 141 people have Celiacs Disease (in the United States). In more recent research, scientists have come across another potential form of intolerance called non-celiac gluten sensitivity where common symptoms of celiacs disease are present, but the intestines aren't damaged. This could include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, joint pain, skin conditions, etc..
Obviously if you are celiac, or know 100% that you have a gluten sensitivity, then by all means, please eat gluten free, but if you aren't, then why would you think you need to adopt a way of eating that is quite frankly, unnecessary? Following a gluten free diet when you don't have to can have it's drawbacks if you aren't careful. Often gluten free foods are made with refined, unenriched grains and starches which makes them high in caloric value, but low in nutrient value. Gluten free diets can also lack adequate amounts of fibre and other vitamins and minerals such as calcium, folate, iron, phosphorus, B12, zinc, and more.
So why the craze around gluten free??
Generally people will start feeling better when they stop eating gluten not because of the gluten itself, but because of the increased amount of gluten containing treats being expelled from their diet. This means that cookies, cakes, pasta, bread, and french fries are all gone. Whenever you cut out something from your diet, your body is going to respond or react. For example, when you happen to cut out sugar, your body just so happens to react in way that includes but is not exclusive to: weight loss, mental clarity, improved sleep, improved digestion, improved skin health, improved dental health, lack of anxiety, lack of mood swings, etc.. So is it the breads fault we are feeling sick, tired, and are overweight? Maybe, but most likely not, seeing as celiac disease affects 1% of the population.
My take on eating gluten free is this: if you are celiac or have an extreme sensitivity, cut out gluten and adopt a gluten free diet, but make sure you are eating a well balanced and healthy diet, not just loading up on gluten free junk food. If you aren't celiac or have any sensitivity, eat gluten containing foods in their truest form, being their highest quality. This means: eat organic whole grain products that are unrefined and unbleached. Enjoy a bowl of large flake oatmeal, have a piece of whole wheat toast with an egg on it, these are fine. Eat gluten contain foods in moderation because like anything else, too much of something never turns out well.
Ask yourself what truly may be making you feel ill in your life. Is it gluten or is it maybe some animosity going on with your spouse? Is it gluten making you sick, or could it be the fear of losing your job, the mountain of debt you're in, or the fact that you just lost someone close to you? Life is calling us to wake up, listen, and take an inventory of what's going on. Are you sleeping enough, are you dependent on caffeine, sugar, or alcohol. Are you harbouring resentment or do you need to forgive someone in your life? What are your symptoms and how are they teaching you, calling you to evolve? These are all contributing factors that can cause symptom or disease in the body, not just the food you eat itself. Don't mask the real issues of your life by trying to change something in your diet, it will never work.
I'm sure I can speak for most women, and more recently men as well, that dieting has drawn you in one or more times in your life. I used to religiously diet on and off for years. From the age of 18-25 I have been on some type of "special" diet. High protein, low carb, high carb, low fat, high fat, low protein, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, ketosis, pescetarian, cabbage soup, elimination diets, you name it, I've tried it.
This is my consensus, which one is the best? All of them and none of them. Which one works? All of them and none of them. Which one would I recommend? All of them and none of them (but particularly none of them). All of these diets will work and then all of these diets will fail. You will for sure lose weight, and you will absolutely gain it back. Chronic dieting (CD), is a virus that is sweeping the nations and has been "winning" for the past 5 decades.
Chronic Dieting Definition:
Someone whose world is ruled by constant, long term, on and off dieting and food restriction.
Chronic Dieting is:
Chronic Dieting demeans us, it keeps us small, affirms that we are not enough, that we are unlovable, it disembodies us, and is a waste of our Life energy. If dieting worked, why would we need to be on them continuously? "There is absolutely zero clinical or experimental or accepted research that validates long term on and off dieting as a sustainable weight loss strategy".
The truth is that dieting may seem to make sense, but we have been deceived into believing that something that causes so much harm to the body is actually good for us. CD is a gateway drug to shame, it takes us out of the present and puts us into an unattainable future. CD makes us believe we are a part of a special social club, it's like a competitive sport. It makes us feel like we have something to work towards, and yet our goals are rarely reached or barely maintainable.
CD is it's own religion. It has it's own set of rules, it asks a lot of us, it asks us to have faith, and we must perform daily rituals to meet the requirements of it. Religion of any sort binds you. Relationship is the antidote for religion, whether with soul, spirit, body, or food.
CD causes unwanted health challenges. "A great number of food and health issues, such as fatigue, poor digestion, low mood, immune problems, headaches, constipation, binge eating, inability to lose weight, and more"...
CD is anti-weightless because of protein and essential fat deficiency that usually follow the protocols. CD or food restriction puts the body into survival mode and creates a stress response. When the stress response is activated our digestion is impaired because blood is shunted away from the stomach and towards the extremities to prepare the body to fight or flee.
Increased stress means:
- Increased: cortisol, insulin, fat deposition, neuropeptide signalling for appetite
- Decreased: mitochondria number and function, thyroid, growth hormone, sex hormone, oxygen intake and utilization, muscle building
More often than not, when we CD we cut out fat because we are made to believe that fat makes us fat. This couldn't be further from the truth. We NEED fat, without any fat on our bodies we would die. We need EFA's in our diet to promote cell function, brain cognition, hormone production, thyroid support, vitamin absorption, brain nutrition, plasticity, weight management, and more. We often tend to cut out protein which leads to decreased muscle building, decreased thermic efficiency, decreased immunity, brain chemistry imbalances, low mood, low energy, low vitality, low sex drive, etc.
If you are struggling with unwanted eating habits such as:
You are in luck! One of the major keys to overcoming unwanted eating challenges is to discontinue chronic dieting. These challenges are predictable when we restrict the body's natural appetite, when we artificially feed our bodies, or when we are calorically or nutritionally starving. Something like binge eating is absolutely necessary when the body is deprived of necessary macronutrients or micronutrients.
We spend so much time and energy dieting, hating our bodies, trying to find the "right" way, all while failing to tune into our bodies own wisdom. Your body knows what to eat and what not to eat. It knows how much to eat and when to stop. We need to trust that the body knows what it's doing. When we are in a state of trust or faith, we kick the body into a relaxation response, which is the opposite of the stress response. Parasympathetic dominance takes over when we trust and sympathetic dominance takes over when we are in fear. Fear of food, fear of fat, fear of pleasure...all activate sympathetic dominance (aka: stress response).
Here are a few remedies for chronic dieting:
- No weighing yourself
- No dieting
- Adopt movement, let go of exercise
- Increased fat intake- as needed
- Increased protein intake- as needed
- Slow down with food
- Fully nourish yourself
- Let go of artificial sweeteners
- Moderate your caffeine intake
I truly believe that we are meant to live an abundant life. We are meant to have space, be able to flow, to create, to use wisdom, to embody, and to overcome. Chronic dieting is the road to contraction and will rob you of your time, energy, and life. It's time to let go of a set of rules and regulations that hold no merit for YOU in particular. You are not a set of systems and guidelines, you are a person with individuality, who needs something specifically for you. I will leave you with this question:
Where would your energy go if it didn't go to dieting or controlling your food intake/body?
*The ideas presented in this blog have been used from my studies at The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and Marc David, Founder and Author. Two of his books that information has been taken from that I highly recommend are The Slow Down Diet and Nourishing Wisdom.
I've had this scratching feeling on the inside since I started my studies through The Institute for the Psychology of Eating. The feeling that leaves me so deeply moved to say something is the feeling of being fed up. I'm fed up with all the lies we've been fed and manipulated to believe around food and body, I'm fed up with mass producing companies claiming to be healthy, low fat diets, eating less/exercising more protocols, and focusing on weight loss first before focusing on what's happening inside of us. I'm fed up with a lot, but most of all I'm fed up with people hating their bodies, beating themselves up in the gym, starving themselves, not diving deeper into themselves, tricking, playing, restricting, measuring, weighing, pinching, poking, and dismissing themselves. When will we all get what life is really about? We teach what we need to learn....
I'm at fault too, no one is immune to this way of thinking and behaving, not even me, especially not me. I have been through physical, emotional, and verbal hell against myself when it comes to my body and the way I eat. You name it, I've tried it, all in the name of "something greater". Ask me about any diet, I've done it and I've put countless people on programs just like them, all in attempt to finally be happy. That's the goal isn't it, To happy? Though we continue to learn and progress in our knowledge everyday, this I know for certain:
Happiness is not in the future
Happiness is not in the extra 0-25lbs you want to lose, happiness is not in the gym putting on muscle, it's not in the new shiny car, or in a pair of skinny jeans. Happiness doesn't come when, happiness comes now. This is what we've been made to believe, that happiness will only come when .... you fill in the blank.
I've been so skinny and still hated my body, I wanted to kill myself at one point I hated me so much. I may have been ultra thin but it wasn't because I was the poster child of health (even though that's what I claimed to be). I would workout twice a day and claim to be this big health nut, but then go and sniff coke and throw up everything I ate at the end of the day just to keep my slender figure and my inner world numb. Does that sound like happiness? What kind of life is that? Do you want to live like that if it would mean you were this unrealistic size or shape?
I'm fed up with people believing that every skinny person walking around is the most happy, vibrant, sensual, loving person they can be because more often than not, this couldn't be further from the truth. Does that mean all skinny people are unhappy? Of course it doesn't, that's not what I'm saying, but I am saying that whether skinny or bigger, if you hate your body now you will hate your body then, regardless of it's shape.
There will always be something for you to pick apart when it comes to your body, always. Every time we flip through a magazine or turn on the tv we are reminded of how unworthy we are, not matter what you look like. There's always someone who's thinner, prettier, richer, taller, shorter, more symmetrical, has nicer hair, bigger muscles, a small nose, straighter teeth, whiter teeth, nicer clothes, bigger house, nicer car etc... The list goes on. When will you finally be happy?
Happiness is not when, happiness is now. If you live a life of comparison, or with your appearance being your most important goal, you've completely missed the mark and your life is as shallow as a bed pan. When will we all get past the surface and get deeper with ourselves, with our lives?
I am not immune to it either, just so you know that I know that I'm not. I'm just fed up with an unending strive for something that never comes. I'm done letting the world dictate how I should look, think, feel, act, or talk. I'm fed up with conforming for the sake of pleasing people who don't truly care for me and who have no interest in seeing me for who I truly am, which is more than my body. Your body is an expression of you, it doesn't define you. If your identity is solely in the way you look, it's time to grow up and open your eyes. Life is more than just creating your appearance, life is about creating happiness as you are right now.
I am blessed to work with some of Calgary's most successful people, both financially and personally. I train CEO's, Engineers, Lawyers, Partners, and many others. I'm in contact with some of the most brilliant people in the world, I truly believe that. These people are hard workers, entrepreneurs, and high achievers, and I get to pick their brains everyday. I have been working on a list of qualities and advice on the keys to becoming successful from theses brilliant minds. I've gotten a lot of information so I am going to do a 3 part series of success.
- Have a Vision
“Without a vision, the people perish”. In order to be successful in life, you need to have a clear vision of how you want your life to be. Everyone’s definition of success is different, and each one of us have a special role that we play here on earth, and because we are all very different, it’s important to set out just who you want to be and where you want to go. You can get ideas from others that have gone before you, but ultimately, your life will look different. If you do not have a vision for your life, you will never live up to the person you were created to be. Sit down with a pen and paper and write it down. Post it on your bathroom mirror so you can see it every day and start to work towards making your dreams become your reality. You cannot just simply dream without taking any action and expect to achieve results.
- Keep Your Life Balanced
Successful people are balanced people. Yes there are very rich, stressed out people who work long hours, but remember, the definition for success isn’t just having a ton of money. To be truly successful means having a life you are proud of at the end of each day. If you spend all your time working and neglect your family or friends, you are not fully successful. Set aside some time each week to do something that is not work related. For me, I call a friend or family member just to chat, even if it’s only for 10 min. Take vacations when you feel burnt out. Buy something nice for yourself after a profitable month.
- Laugh In The Face Of Adversity
If you think there are never going to be hard times that come your way, you are sadly mistaken. When we are going in the right direction is most often when we come against the greatest adversity. If you are facing a trial in your life, it’s most likely because you’re on the path to something great. When you are doing what you’re meant to be doing in life, it will initially come effortlessly and the chips just kind of fall into place, but there will be people or things that come against you that test your dedication.
- Get Back Up After You Fall
One of the world’s most famous and successful pop vocalists, Beyonce Knowles, quoted this in her song, “Perfection is a disease of a nation”. Perfectionism has been the thorn in people’s sides for a long time, and the cause of their demise. A perfectionist thinks that they should never fail, but failure is one of our greatest tools to learn from. When we fail, we get the opportunity to get back up, to create strength and determination. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing, failure is a learning tool, so accept the fact that you will fail. Be ok with getting knocked down, but don’t be ok with staying knocked down.
- Surround Yourself With Positive People
Your level of success is determined by the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with people who complain all the time, people who are negative, and people who are unsuccessful in life, it will rub off on you eventually. People’s attitudes are contagious so it’s crucial that you surround yourself with people who have positive and successful attitudes. If you want to be inspired, get around people who are driven, who laugh, who put others first, and who have a strong work ethic. Get around people who motivate you, those people that, when you leave after having a conversation with them, you have a renewed zeal for life, get around those people.