Why Should I Listen To You?
I recently had a family member in complete jest say ” Why would I listen to you, I have seen how your kids eat”. Now to clarify he was joking and he sees my boys at holidays where there is more sugar and processed foods, but he also sees them eat a ton of whole foods.
But it got me thinking, hmmmmmm I wonder if others think this when they see my boys on the ball field or if they see me enjoy a margarita and chips and salsa. I started to think, I have never hid the fact that I am a firm believer in the 80/20 rule, but maybe I need to clarify a few of my beliefs around wellness.
As a Holistic Nutritionist/Health Coach, I have had years to develop these beliefs. I have worked with every sector of our population and studied how to make lasting change with people. I have studied not only the science of nutrition and physical activity, but learned how to change behavior through motivational interviewing. Many people think, “oh it is easy just tell people to eat less” or “why would you pay someone to tell you to eat healthy?” What they do not realize is that there is so much behavior change that needs to take place in order for this person to simply eat healthier. This is where I come into play!
I have also gone from being able to control most of what my little guys eat to having to let go when they get to be a certain age and let them really own their health. To be clear I truly believe the first three years of life are very important in establishing nutritional habits. My children did not see much sugar or processed foods during the first three years of life. But as they have gotten older, my knowledge and experience have increased and I have really been working with each of them on owning their health.
What does that mean you might ask, they are kids for the love! It Means they learn make their own choices around health (now I still prepare dinners and always have healthy foods for them to grab). But my house does have what I refer to is “slow foods” (chips, cheez-its, granola bars, etc.). My one rule that I encourage is to keep your added sugar to 25 grams per day on average. We of course have ice cream days where we go over this, but it is not daily! My children have dairy and they have gluten. These are aspects of their diets that they can tweak when they get older, if they find it is not working for them.
I try and buy the cleanest sources of foods for them, but will stand firmly in the fact that a conventional egg is a far better breakfast that a honey bun if you cannot afford or simply do not want to buy pasture raised eggs. I have worked with low income communities to bring healthier foods into their diets that do not cost a fortune and still gives positive change. You do not have to live at Whole Foods to be healthy.
With all that said here are some of my beliefs as a Holistic Nutritionist/ Health coach and mother.
- No matter you age, I want you to start to connect what you eat with how you feel. If you feel horrible after you eat it , you are less likely to consume that food. I want you to learn to listen to your body. Your body is truly your biggest teacher in gaining optimal health.
- I want children to learn to own their health. I want them to learn to make solid nutritional choices for themselves. In the day of helicopter parenting, you can have helicopter nutrition moms and what I say to that is you will not be with them forever, they need to start to learn to make choices on their own. Now you can most certainly guide them, but teaching them the why and letting them have some autonomy is more effective for long term health.
- Children learn from role modeling. My hope is that even if they fall into a bag of Doritos or push back on how “stupid” it is to be healthy, that one day the foundation that we have laid will click with them.
- If you are looking for perfect, then you need to unsubscribe and keep scrolling. I will never say that I am perfect with nutrition and wellness, nor will I ever try and obtain that. I do what works for me and nutrition is not black or white.
- Sugar, processed foods and seed oils should be limited. Limited is what works for your body and finding a threshold for what you can tolerate. There are times when I am resetting and I do not consume any of these foods for weeks. My daily food intake for the most part is clear of these foods and I save them for special occasions. What I can tell you without a doubt is these three cause inflammation which in return can cause a ton of other problems for you, so its best to limit or eliminate.
- A diet rich in whole foods wins every time. Stop looking at these fad diets, if anyone tells you that they have the program that will succeed for everyone, run quickly in the opposite direction. It might work for a while, but at the end of the day it is learning how to piece together a whole foods diet that works for you. As a health coach I look at your day to day living and we personalize your health journey for you.
- Stop beating yourself up when you indulge. This is why I wrote the Reset Method. I wanted to give women in particular a guide to resetting when maybe you indulged a little. I honestly think celebratory meals with family and friends is a part of being optimally healthy! It is once again learning your threshold of what you can tolerate and putting in the foods that make you feel your best. I always say if you are going to have a cocktail then make sure your dinner consists of just protein, fat and veggies. It is about finding your balance.
- I have zero tolerance for food judgement. Just stop judging. I have been in the wellness field for over 17 years now and it is a great field, but I see so much judgement in this arena (especially with social media). Be okay with how others are living their lives and what is working for them. Chillax people! If your friends are vegan, or paleo or just have a standard American diet, try and leave your judgement at the door. With friendships and family, I rarely talk about what I know unless I am asked. People have to be ready for certain changes and I certainly do not push my beliefs on others unless they ask my professional opinion. I want you to eat like you not strive to eat just like me. Yes, take my guidelines and advice and then make it your own.
- Pay attention to who you follow on social media. If you want to compare yourself to someone who has photo shopped their picture and who is backing the “next Awesome” diet, then this most likely is not going to give you peace. You have zero idea how that person truly eats or doesn’t eat. Stop comparing yourself to people who are not real. Some of the wellness gurus honestly live in a little bubble, which is totally awesome, but throw in three baseball games, school, homework, melt downs, and sibling wars and it is quite simply a whole different world. Follow people you can relate to.
- I want everyone to learn that life is an ongoing search for balance. I wake up everyday trying to balance out parenting stress, exercise, nutrition, and simply just being a human being. My goal is to help people find optimal health for that day and each day may look different. It is about focusing on the habits and eventually they will lead to a healthier lifestyle!
I will leave you with this, take the parts of my message that speak to you and make it work for you. Remember that your body is your biggest teacher and is better at telling you the truth than any piece of research.
Wishing you all Love, Health and Happiness!