Green juice: 60% of the time, it works every time.

Green juice: 60% of the time, it works every time.

When I was vegan, I started to believe that I could cure anything if I just ate well enough. 

 Kriss Carr used a plant-based diet in her battle against cancer. Dr. Esselstyn wrote about how a plant-based approach can prevent and reverse heart disease. Dr. Fuhrman suggests that you can speed up your recovery to the common cold by eating plant-based.

Every holistic person I encountered had some elaborate concoction for curing any ailment:

"Oh, are you knees hurting? You should avoid nightshade vegetables and drink cinnamon." 

"You're getting sick? Take this green drink with a ton of ginger and garlic"

It felt like information overload. It felt like I was personally responsible for anything bad that happened to my body.

The DANGER of Focusing on Weight Loss

The DANGER of Focusing on Weight Loss

You've heard from me before about the dubious links between weight loss and health. 

It's how we psychologically twist a need to be skinny or good looking into "self-care." It's also how we mix up "concern" with discrimination. But, sometimes, focusing on weight loss can be unsafe. .

The best example of this is...pregnancy. 

Just because you were a size 2 once doesn't mean you should be there now.

Just because you were a size 2 once doesn't mean you should be there now.

I once was a size 2. Actually, if you go back far enough, I think I used to be a size 0-2 months. 

Ba doom cha! 

Seriously, though. This is the diet trap. 

One time when you were "really really really good," you were able to be this size. This is your ideal size. It seems reasonable to you because you were there once. It's not like you want to look like OG Barbie or even like Taylor Swift, you just want to be this size again. 

A Quest for Immortality

There can only be one highlander. 

Sometimes, studying nutrition feels like searching for immortality. I know I'm guilty of pursuing a way out of my inevitable fate. 

I REALLY struggled with this in my more "disordered" days with food. I have always considered myself to be a smart person, so it always really frustrated me that I couldn't just FIGURE it out. I used to spend hours hopping around the internet to every article I could find about "what to eat to live to be 100". Can cantaloupes keep you from aging? Can avoiding butter keep my heart safe? If I get enough Vitamin C, can I prevent cancer? 

This a rough part of being human. We want so badly to be in control. We want a say in how many years we get. 

This makes nutrition is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, research has shown that managing your diet can prevent and reverse heart disease, and decrease risk for cancer.  

On the other hand, nutrition is a "fledgling science" and for every study that proves that one food or nutrient is good for you, there seems to be another that says otherwise. When I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), I experienced this time and time again, learning over 100 different dietary theories from some of the most renowned nutrition researchers in the world. 

This is why I have found great solace in intuitive eating.

Intuitive eating has shown me HOW to make sense of all the different information out there about food. 

Intuitive eating has taught me (along with lots of research) that restriction and dieting can really hurt me in the long run. It's taught me that over-exercising and stressing about how many french fries I've eaten is not particularly great for my physiology. It's taught me that I can be healthy at any size and that every body is different. Intuitive eating has taught me how to LISTEN to my body and honor my body. 

So, when fear of death makes you want to sign up for yet another diet, here's what I recommend: 

1. Know that restriction is actually bad for you.

This is something that I talk about all the time. Calorie restriction slows down your metabolism and can physiologically set your body up for a binge of the very foods you're trying to restrict. This puts stress on your body.

Vacillating between following your meal plan 100% and 0% is actually worse for you than following it pretty well 60% of the time. Recognize that life ebbs and flows. Your diet, lifestyle," or eating plan should learn how to roll with the punches too. 

2. Stress is bad for you too. 

Im not going to spend a long time explaining this one. We know stress is bad. Bad for your heart, bad for your immune system, bad for your sex life, bad for your relationships, bad for your teeth, bad for your hormones. 

Stressing about whether or not that cheeseburger could kill you could kill you. So, let it go. 

3. Accept your body. 

Shame will not make you healthier. Actually, in my personal experience, it's pretty terrible motivation.

So what if your healthiest weight happens to be 100 pounds heavier than Gisele's? It's YOUR body and you deserve to be loved and taken care of your whole life. If you have limited control on how long you have on planet earth, at least you should be grateful for the sculpture of cells that is you.

4. Accept your differences. 

 Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of Institute for Integrative Nutrition, is a big fan of the concept of "bio-individuality." This concept suggests that each person needs different nutrition. Certain foods work better with different bodies. 

Tuning in to your body's individual responses to food and how it makes you feel is an important part of taking care of yourself and a powerful tool for figuring out whether or not certain foods are really the right ones for you.

5. Be grateful for today. 

Gratitude cultivates presence. Presence nourishes mindfulness. Mindfulness is AWESOME for your health. But, it's also awesome for helping you maintain a sense of self. It can help you decide what you want to spend your time doing, how you want to feel and what you want to eat. 

You are living your life right now, so instead of focusing sooo much on securing another 5-10 years at the end of your life, focus on being happy about today and really savor the present. 



Honor Your Health

The 10th  and final principle of  the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating is, "Honor Your Health---with Gentle Nutrition."

Notice that this is not the first principle. It's the last. When you've completed all 9 of the other principles, that's when you're ready to start paying attention to nutrition. 

Most people get it backwards. We focus first on what we think we should be eating or not be eating and we start down the rabbit hole. We eat our "healthy snack" at a designated snack time when we're not hungry. We wait until our designated "lunch" time to eat an totally unfulfilling vinegar salad that's burning our lips and leaving us starving. Then, we go to the bathroom to berate ourselves for getting something "calorie dense" in our salads. And suddenly, you hate the pants you bought two days ago because you look fat or something and you need to wash your hair again tonight, probably because of that "calorie dense" item in your vinegar salad. And, then maybe, you go home from work, skip your workout and eat ice cream all night, vowing to start the Paleo diet and attend two crossfit classes next week. 

But... if you've been reading this blog you know that you never have to diet again. You can eat when you're hungry, not eat when you're full. You're cool with getting "calorie dense" options in your salad and even, dare I say, creamy dressing. You've made peace with food and you don't care what the food police have to say. You stopped wearing those pants that are too small for you because you respect your body the way it is now. You had a lovely walk this morning after your chocolate croissant because it helps you manage your stress at your job which is the real reason you ate ice cream and didn't like your hair in the afternoon. You have also invested in a hair cut you like instead of crossfit classes because you realized you hated going to that anyway. 

But.. maybe this is just my story... err.. I mean my "friend's" story?

The critical switch between chronically dieting and intuitive eating is SELF LOVE. 

When you stop tuning out of your body like its the Taylor Swift song you've been listening on repeat for too long, you can start to actually take care of yourself.  And that's the coaching process for Phenomenal Jane. I'll take you on the journey from vinegar salads to the life you love. 

Because it's not about hating how you look or berating yourself for decisions you've made around food. 

It's about, well, shaking it off. 




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