Your one-stop shop for real food, nutrition education and holistic living. Erin Holt, Holistic Nutritionist, RYT B.S. Nutrition. This blog promotes functional nutrition & nontoxic living, as well as provides healthy gluten free, grain free, vegan and paleo recipes.
Are you obsessed with food rules...or are you just conditioned to be that way?
A few weeks back, I stumbled across this quote on Instagram:
This struck a nerve with me, so I took to Instagram stories with my thoughts.
(Are you following me over there? I post what I’m thinking, studying, reading, cooking and spying on — catching my toddler and husband unawares whilst dancing.)
Here’s what I said:
“We like to put things in boxes. We have ways to diagnose anorexia, bulimia, BED, even orthorexia, but what we fail to see is that there’s a lot of disordered eating outside of diagnosed eating disorders.
Disordered eating is so rampant, that we don’t even see it anymore because to us it’s the new norm. And while yes, it’s very, very common…it is NOT normal. It’s not normal to psychoanalyze our food every day. It’s not normal to restrict our food.
Diet culture is so insidious and so many of us buy into it. The scary thing is that people who are in power — nutrition professionals, people giving health advice — believe in it.
So we continue to perpetuate the same message. And in order to stop that, in order to write a new narrative, I think what we have to do is to call it out when we see it. And I don’t mean point your finger at someone and call it out, but instead…pay attention.
Start to notice your own thoughts, but also pay attention to other messages you hear in the media, on your social media platforms, and start to pay attention to the disorder in our thoughts around food. And if you can see it, you can start to change it.”
I’ve led online nutrition programs for about 7 years now, and recently I’ve been thinking about the name Fueled+Fit. In fact, I almost shelved the program so I could change the name. Why? Because it felt a little too diet culture-y to me.
I am working hard (like, really hard) to change the rhetoric of our food culture. I am pushing to write a new narrative. And in doing so, I am being extremely conscientious of the words that are coming out of my mouth and off my fingertips. I see SO MANY practitioners and “coaches” speaking out of both sides of their mouths — because diet culture is INSIDIOUS — and I don’t want to fall victim to this.
Ultimately I know what my program offers, and I want to be sure the name and the marketing convey this without using diet culture rhetoric.
I call this program Fueled+Fit because my hope is that we can stop looking at food as the enemy, and instead see it for what it is: FUEL for our wonderfully capable bodies. Despite what we've been led to believe from the diet industry, we are actually FIT to make our own food choices. This program shows you how.
Even though food is MORE than just fuel, I decided to leave the name as-is (at least for the time being) because I think it demonstrates a message of self-love and self-trust.
In response to my video, someone wrote in the following question:
“This is making me think! So when does something like Whole30 become an eating disorder? Especially since it’s all about food freedom and many folks claim it transforms their relationship with food - also designed by someone with an addiction history. Maybe when you become obsessed with the rules, right?”
This is a great question — so great that I wanted to address my answer here. Because so much of this is addressed in Fueled+Fit.
When does following a food program become disordered eating?
For some people, rules provide not only structure, but safety and freedom.
Geneen Roth, binge eating expert, writes: "I stepped up to every challenge with enthusiasm, even reverence. I loved being told what to do. It made me feel that someone was in charge. Someone had assessed the situation, understood the mess I was in, and discovered the answer."
Many of us like rules because we don’t trust ourselves to create our own. But I wonder how much of that is programming versus truth?
What would happen if the rules were lifted? Would the levy break? Would utter chaos ensue?
Diet culture tells us that YES - if left to our own devices, utter chaos WILL ensue. We are not to be trusted with food, we are not to be trusted with our own bodies, WE NEED THE RULES.
(I think it’s important to add that childhood trauma and stress play into this need for rules and structure and control - it's like the perfect breeding ground for diet culture messages to take hold.
As Mary Caro May writes: “Some people grow up with chaos and survive by creating order.”
So if you find yourself getting excited about food rules, question why that is. How long as that been in play? Are you like that in other areas of your life, too?)
I think a large part of this whole food thing is to get people to come back to themselves, realize they are NOT a mess that needs to be cleaned up, and rediscover self trust. To get people to feel comfortable enough to say: "this is what's right for me, so this is what I will do - irrespective of what any set of rules is telling me".
A large part of the work that I do is getting people to think critically about their food - and to eventually create their own rules.
"the greatest teacher will send you back to yourself” -Nayirrah Waheed:
We MUST come home to ourselves to get the answers we need...and I'm not so sure following a hard and fast set of rules does that.
At the same time, we can't overlook the mess that is the food industry. We can't shove chemically addictive food down people's throats and then tell them "everything in moderation!" What's implicitly stated in that mentality is - if you can't moderate your food, it's your fault, and you are a lazy failure.
So I think embracing real food is an important step to honoring, respecting and trusting our bodies. But how to we make the shift without disorder?
In switching people over to a real food diet with the Fueled+Fit program, my work-around has been to create a food program with 3 levels, so there’s a lot of flexibility built into the program. This allows participants the freedom to make choices for themselves instead of following a set of rules that someone else mapped out for them.
We also can’t ignore the fact that some people have food sensitivities that need to be addressed in order to stamp down the inflammatory response and stress response of the body.
Some folks need to address these things in order to heal. Therefore Fueled+Fit has the option for a type of elimination diet. I’ve seen great healing with this way of eating, and I think it can be beneficial. For some people.
But I've also seen folks attempt it with a LOT of struggle. And I'm talking mental struggle here.
So how do you navigate that without restriction and disorder? How do you attempt to heal without spiraling out of control with RULES?
I was recently interviewed by Carrie Forrest on her Clean Eating for Women Podcast, and I talk about the serious issues with approaching healing protocols and elimination diets from a place of restriction.
It must be approached with love and gentle guidance. Part of the reason Fueled+Fit participants have access to me is so there can be some dialogue about the rules, about how people are feeling, and so they can assess in real time is this right for me right now?
And once you figure it out...you need to move on to create a diet that works for you. There truly is no ONE diet. There is only YOUR diet. Like my Erin Plan. Elimination diets (like Whole30) can be a means to figuring your plan out for yourself, but it shouldn't be the end game. In other words, if you are attempting an elimination - or other restrictive - diet, there needs to be an exit strategy in place.
So to answer the original question…
When you become hyper-focused on the rules, and allow the rules to govern your choices instead of your body or your common sense...there's probably some disorder in that. Or when a set of rules instills food fear (I will absolutely die if I eat a chick pea!!!!). Or when you feel guilt or shame for making a decision that is off-plan.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Where do you sense disorder in your own eating habits or thoughts around food? Where do you see it in the world around out?
I am running my Fueled+Fit program LIVE one last time. If you want to get curious under the guidance of an experienced practitioner, be sure to sign up for March’s program!
My diet has gone through lots of twists and turns and shifts and shimmies over the years.
When I started Erin Holt Health, I was a real food vegetarian. After I had my daughter, I needed to add animal products into my diet to feel well, and I slowly shifted over to more of a paleo template. Once I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I went through many iterations of different healing food protocols. I've since landed on a way of eating that works really well for me right now. I call it the Erin Plan, because it's not based on anyone else's rules, only what's right for me.
Today I’m going to share with you the four ways I’ve been able to gain enough confidence to develop my own Erin Plan - and how YOU can find your ideal diet.
1. Realize that diet is a helper, not the center of everything.
Because I have an autoimmune disease, I do need to be exceptionally conscientious about food.
Modern “food” is refined, processed, hyper palatable and addictive. It not only trains our brains and hormones to crave more and eat more, it also messes up our guts and trips up our immune system.
The first step for many of us in feeling better is to shift away from potentially problematic and difficult-to-digest food and embrace whole foods.
Dr. Mark Hyman says, “Food is the foundation of feeling good.”
Food matters. But it’s not the ONLY thing that matters.
When I found out I had an autoimmune disease, I was determined to heal myself. I tried many elimination diets over the course of 2 years (AIP, low FODMAPS, GAPS), but ultimately I realized the healing work went deeper than diet. Diet didn’t put my autoimmunity into remission; reconfiguring my life did.
The way I live my life trumps whether or not I adhere to a strict food protocol. My Erin Plan includes lifestyle medicine as much as it includes diet. That’s why my nutrition programs always involve alternate healing modalities.
I currently eat a primarily paleo diet, but I’m not dogmatic or rigid about it. In fact, I'm consistently eating foods outside the paleo template. You can hear my thoughts on treating Paleo as an exploratory lifestyle on Episode 20 of the Funk’tional Nutrition Podcast.
Diet is a helper, it's not the center of everything. Keeping this truth in mind helps to take the stressful, frantic energy out of any dietary approach.
2. Understand that you’re not broken.
In America, girls connect over what parts of our bodies need to be fixed. We connect over our feelings of brokenness. The belief that we are broken runs deep, and it’s consistently reinforced by diet culture.
It’s no wonder so many of us fracture (overtaxed adrenals, thyroid issues, autoimmune disorders, utter depletion).
No matter if your own personal brokenness comes in the form of body hate, or binge eating, or constant dieting, or disease…
You must release the idea that you are broken in order to find your true north.
All diets and healing protocols are tagged with an Alice in Wonderland-esque “fix me!” label. If deep down you think you are broken, you will be swayed each and every time. You’ll never be able to lock down your ideal diet if you approach food from that frantic, needy place.
While you may fracture from time to time, you are not broken. You are - and have always been - whole. It was when I was finally able to grasp this that my true healing set in.
3. Get curious. Stay curious.
Now I’m not saying you can’t attempt positive change in your life. I’m suggesting that instead of feeling pressure to be fixed or healed, look at it as an adventure: fun exploration up ahead!
Change is the only constant in life, so you want to be able to adapt when your life and/or your body changes. You don’t do this by blindly following a set up rules that someone else crafted up. You do this by being curious.
A good part of my personal Erin Plan involves self experimentation, or n=1.
A year ago, I attempted a ketogenic diet for this exact reason. (You can learn about my experience - and more about low carb and keto diets - here.)
Because I approached it with curious investigation (I wonder how my body will respond to this?) instead of dogma (this diet is the only way, this diet will fix me, this diet MUST fix me), I allowed myself to gracefully bow out, rather than beating myself up for being a failure.
I gathered information (my body feels a lot better with carbs), and now I can use that information moving forward.
And if something changes in my body or my life (and it will because I am human!!), then I will keep using that curiosity to explore and adapt.
4. Learn to listen to your body.
Ultimately, we have to get to a point where we’re listening more to our body than we are to diet culture, or the media, or what people on Instagram tell us what to do.
But in order to listen and respond to our body, we must first understand that diet isn’t everything. We must know that we are not broken; we do not need to be fixed. We must then be willing to get curious about ourselves, our desires, and our bodies. THEN - and only then - can we trust our body.
That trust is hard earned because we’ve been told NOT to listen to our bodies for a long, long time.
Our bodies communicate with us via symptoms. We are taught - from a very young age - to ignore those symptoms.
If we have a headache, we take Tylenol. Heartburn? Tums. Constipation? Laxatives. Eczema rash? Steroid cream. Moodiness? Prozac. Fatigue? Caffeine. Menstrual cramps? Birth control.
Yep, we even shut down the vitally important mechanism of menses.
When we suppress symptoms - with medication or disregard - this puts the body’s communication on MUTE. We expect a lot of our bodies, yet aren’t willing to commune with it.
To build self trust means we must turn our body’s communication system back on. We must reacquaint ourself with our body. Self trust asks you to rewrite a contract you made long ago with your body. It might even ask you to trust the parts of yourself that you’ve always warred against.
Like hunger or cravings.
Yes, these too are your body’s communication.
Yes, these too need to be heard.
Self trust is earned, but it’s SO worth the work - and patience - it takes to get there.
Because once you get there, you can stop second guessing every food decision you make. You realize YOU are the expert on you. No guru, coach or influencer can tell you what your ideal diet is. Only you can do that.
Does telling you this make me a rich woman? It hasn’t yet! But I keep championing this message, because it’s the truth.
My nutrition & wellness program doesn’t ask you to blindly follow rules, or question “what does the master say?”. It promotes self trust and self efficacy.
You stop seeking out a savior because you realize you are your own savior.
My program gives you the tools to figure out your own ideal diet. And it allows you to navigate your food around life, not the other way around. It's the last time I will offer Fueled+Fit as a live program, so be sure to sign up for the March 12 start date!
Just so you know, creating a recipe title is hands down the hardest part of writing a recipe. I don't even know what's happening here. It's a type of bread. But it's not banana bread or zucchini bread or pumpkin bread. It's good. And there's a whole can of beans in there, so that's pretty tricky, no?
I made this for my kiddo and ended up eating half of it myself.
There are five different fruits and veggies slammed into this smoothie bowl. If made according to this recipe, it offers up about 400 calories, 14 grams of fat, 11 gram of fiber and 25 grams of protein. Not too shabby whether you're feeding it to your kids, or eating it yourself!
This makes a super thick smoothie, so plan to eat with a spoon.
I'm hard at work over here coming up with a brand new online nutrition program for you guys...and it's all about detox. From where I stand, detoxification is grossly misunderstood. So I wanted to create a comprehensive program to help people understand the detoxification processes in their bodies, as well as ways to support them.
The program will help participants identify sources of toxins coming in, as well as ways to naturally get 'em out (without extreme fasting or crazy supplementation)! I'm trying to give people the information to take charge of their own health, and it seems like online programs are a good way to do that. Be on the lookout for it this spring!
I'm also developing lots of new recipes for the program. And I'm gonna share one with you this week because Super Bowl and chili go together like...super bowl and chili.
I've been making veggie chili for over a decade, and I've never once written down a recipe. But I did you guys a solid and actually measured out ingredients and listed out steps. I tweaked my OG recipe a little bit to make it more detox-friendly. This particular recipe doesn't call for canned tomatoes, because eating too many cooked tomatoes gives me heartburn. But feel free to toss a can of Muir Glen diced tomatoes in there.
I know it seems like a long ingredient list, but don't let that intimidate you. Half of them are spices. I talk a lot about variety, and getting many different species into your diet - spices are one way to do this. So load up!
Detox-Friendly Vegan Chili
3 sweet potatoes
1 summer squash
1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)
1 pint grape tomatoes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2.5 teaspoons cumin powder
1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon harissa
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon coarse ground sea salt, divided
2 cups water
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 15 oz can Eden Foods Organic black beans
1 15 oz can Eden Foods Organic black soy beans*
*If you don't do soy, skip this and buy two cans of black beans instead. Black soybeans are a detox-supportive food, which is why they're included here.
*If you don't buy Eden Foods Organic brand, be sure to drain and rinse the beans.
Chop 1 of the sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, pepper, onion and scallions. Put them in a large soup pot with the tomatoes, olive oil, all the spice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat over low-medium heat, stirring a few times. Cover and let cook 10-15 minutes, until veggies are soft and tomatoes have exploded. (If tomatoes don't explode on their own, smash them with the back of a wooden spoon. You don't want to leave them whole or they'll burn the inside of your mouth off when you bite into them, and then you'll be super sad. Even if the Pats win the super bowl.)
Meanwhile, chop the other 2 sweet potatoes. Transfer them into a small sauce pan with 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt (you could use chicken broth instead of the water if you'd like). Bring them to a boil, then cover and simmer until fork-tender. Once they're soft, transfer pot's contents to a blender and blend until smooth. OR, use the back of a fork and mash it together. Transfer into large chili pot.
Pour in beans and chopped cilantro. Stir, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and a few squeezes of fresh lime juice.
I wanted an easy and nutritious snack that we could pack up on the fly...so I made these cookies. They contain fat, protein and fiber - the 3 things I look for in a hearty snack. They’re super tasty (pleased both the adults and toddler), but definitely not your traditional chewy gooey chocolate chip cookie, more like a snack bar in cookie form. So heads up there. We’ve already made them 3 times. Try ‘em out!
Grain Free Snacking Cookies
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 T ground flaxseed
2 T maple syrup
1 T melted ghee
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
3 dates, pitted and chopped*
2 T chopped dark chocolate
*Before mixing the ingredients, I threw the pitted dates into the food processor and pulsed until they got all chopped up. You can just do this part with a knife if you rather.
Add first 8 ingredients (almond flour through salt) into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add in dates and chocolate, then pulse until combined.
Use a tablespoon to scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
I buy at least 80% chocolate (or use cacao nibs). My daughter is 3.5 and I feel comfortable with her eating dark chocolate (and she’s really getting a small amount here since she’s only eating 2 cookies or so). But you can totally swap out the chocolate for raisins or other dried fruit for your kiddos!
I don’t really have a favorite brand of chocolate - I spread the love! As long as it’s fair trade, organic and above 80% I’m game!
I use Bob's Red Mill almond flour and coconut flour. Not organic, but easy to find.
My social media rule: If someone makes me feel yucky about myself, I unfollow them.
(Understanding full well that there’s nothing wrong with this person, there’s just something wrong with the way I feel in response to that person. It’s on me. But it’s also on me to clean up my social media feed and make it feel like a safe, welcoming and kind place for myself. Since I spend WAY too much time there, ha.)
On the other hand, if someone makes me feel empowered, strong and capable, I watch them like a hawk. Follow their every move. Hang on every word.
Summer Innanen is one of those people, and I love the message she puts out. Last week I shared this on Instagram:
If your "lifestyle change" makes you feel like a failure when you can't stick to it, it's not a lifestyle...it's a diet.
I referred to them as a wolf in sheep’s clothing: programs that use “lifestyle change” language to promote diet-culture agenda.
People are looking to get healthy, and deep down we know that this requires us to alter our lives. The savvy diet industry is on to this, and so they market their unhealthy quick fixes as “lifestyle changes” to sell to more people.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get healthy. That’s not the issue. The issue is how we approach it. Diet culture instills unrealistic ideals of beauty and provides us with unhealthy ways of achieving them. And then they make a hefty profit.
Dieting is a $60 billion dollar industry.
Meanwhile, obesity rates are at an all time high and 1 out of 2 Americans has a chronic disease. Something isn’t working. But instead of thinking: diet culture failed me, we think: I failed this diet, I am a failure. We we run back to another diet and quick fix that inevitably won’t work. And the diet industry continues to profit. So how do we start to identify that wolf?
If a food plan asks you to replace any meals with powders and shakes, it’s a diet.
If a program involves more supplements than food, it’s a diet.
If a food plan requires you to weigh, measure and portion your food, it’s a diet.
If a program doesn’t educate you about food sourcing and quality, it’s a diet.
If a food plan requires you to eat less than 1800 calories a day, it’s a diet
If a program makes you feel like a failure when you can’t stick to it, it’s a diet.
If a food plan encourages you to ignore your hunger cues, it’s a diet.
If a program doesn’t take into account your individuality, your back story and your starting point…IT’S A DIET.
The cultural programming we’ve received isn’t based on sound science, it’s based on diet culture rhetoric: Exercise more and eat less, everything in moderation, count calories, willpower is the key to weight loss, no excuses. These concepts simply don’t work.
This week on the Funk'tional Nutrition Podcast, I interviewed Dr. Cristin Zaimes who talked a bit about how the brain impacts SO much of what we see, how we behave and decisions we make. Understanding this neuroscience is fundamental to making shifts in our bodies and lives: advances in brain science prove that a one-size-fits-all approach DOESN'T work. We must create INDIVIDUAL habits to best support our health. These habits might look different for everyone, and the way we approach them might also be different.
One thing is for sure: diets won’t get us the results we’re after. At least not sustainably.
3 simple things you can start doing for true, sustainable health.
Eat at home more.
Overheard on Instagram: “learning to cook is liberating!”
Restaurant foods and prepared packaged foods are filled with inflammatory oils and weird additives that don’t support health. Preparing food at home allows you to be your own nutritional gatekeeper - you get to choose what goes into your body.
If you’re afraid to cook, or not sure where to start, just try ONE new recipe or ONE new food. It doesn’t need to be complex or challenging - simple food is some of the tastiest.
Check out my Pinterest page for some real food recipes. But don’t just pin the recipe; transfer the ingredient list to the “reminders” or “notes” app on your phone. That way, the next time you’re at the grocery store, you’ll know exactly what you need.
Get more sleep.
Americans aren’t sleeping enough. One-third of us get fewer than six hours of sleep a night. This is a big deal. Robb Wolf devotes almost an entire chapter to sleep in his book Wired To Eat. What does sleep have to do with food, nutrition and health? A LOT.
Just a few nights of lackluster sleep can impair insulin sensitivity, increase inflammation, mess up the gut, impair immune function, alter hormones, cause cravings and impair brain function.
When working with clients, sometimes sleep is the first thing we address, even above food.
Let’s be honest: true self care isn’t always about green smoothies, lemon water and detox baths. True self care is about re-evaluating your relationship to your stress, your life and yourself. And doing the thing that you least want to do. Like dropping some items on your to-do list so you can carve out more time for sleep. Because if you’re not getting enough sleep, no amount of lemon water will help you.
Go to a restorative yoga class.
Restorative yoga is like the gateway drug to mindfulness, presence, and being in your body.
Slowing down and getting still allows you to retrain your brain, which is the driver of everything.
Anyone can do restorative yoga - you don’t need any special clothes, equipment or skill set - and it’s one of the best ways to step into your optimal health, and even your optimal weight.
Restorative Yoga - YouTube
Dr. Cristin Zaimes explains the benefits of restorative yoga.
Any food plan or program that doesn't encourage you to do the above three things...it's a diet, NOT a lifestyle change.
If you do these 3 things consistently over time, you will see some positive change. You gotta be in this for the long haul. I know this goes against everything diet culture tells you: you’ve got 21 days to fix yourself! You must get bikini ready! Abs by summer! Six weeks to a leaner you!
What are your health goals? Are you okay with not achieving them tomorrow? I find that when we approach change with a frantic attitude, it creates a lot of stress. This is taking the diet mentality into our health, and this backfires. True growth and change takes time. Give yourself that time.
I’m not really a New Year’s resolution gal. It always seemed like an arbitrary time to dig my heels in and go after something. If there’s something that I want to do, I just do it. Admittedly, many of my actions are marked by compulsion, irrespective of the calendar. I don’t wait for a certain time of year to start creating what I want. I’m a work in progress around the clock. To focus on one specific thing for the year has always felt rather constrictive and suffocating to me. (What about all the other things I want to do??)
2018 is a little different, however.
In an attempt to reconnect with nature, I’ve been paying close attention to lunar cycles this past year. I’ve crafted some simple rituals and have started syncing up my intentions with the changing moons. It has given me a newfound respect for beginnings and endings, as well as a new lens with which to view the new year. There’s something to be said for a clean slate and a clear vision.
I'm carrying over some of my practices into 2018, and I'm sharing them with you today. The Earth is in orbit, after all, so we may as well just lean wit it, rock wit it. Here’s how we can use the start of a new year to our advantage.
1. Look to the past year.
Learn from it, grieve any losses, celebrate the wins.
That celebration part can be tough, I think. We tend to acknowledge where we’re falling short, where we don’t stack up, what needs to be fixed. But what about the the triumphs? The delights? The hard-earned successes? Where can you pat yourself on the back? Be sure to focus on that. There’s no sense in charging forward with new goals if you can’t honor the ones you’ve already accomplished.
What have you accomplished over the past year?
How have you made others feel great?
What’s one scary step that you took?
What has emerged in your life?
Is there a theme for the past year?
What was the dominant lesson you learned?
How do you feel about 2017 coming to a close?
What are you longing for in 2018?
2. Get clear for the new year.
Did you set a goal or resolution for yourself? Call it to mind. And then go deeper.
I want to spend more time in the gym.
I want to start a yoga practice.
I want to get out of debt.
I want to work on my marriage.
I want to lose 20 pounds.
I want to start eating healthier.
What is the underlying feeling you are seeking with your goal(s) for the new year?
Some folks like to choose a word to stay focused throughout the year. Some examples: peace, freedom, confidence, vitality, calm, excitement.
Focusing on how you want to feel delivers clarity for ALL of your decisions throughout the upcoming year. You can stop to ask yourself: Does this action bring me closer to or further away from how I want to feel?
If you’re having a tough time getting clear on the feeling, dig in deeper.
What do you want to project out into the world?
What are your values?
How do you want to show up for others?
How do you want to show up for yourself?
What makes you the most excited about the new year?
What are you committed to building in your life?
How do you see yourself a year from now?
How does it feel in your body to think about it?
3. Don’t wait.
Can you feel that feeling RIGHT NOW without it actually happening?
Can you have gratitude for achieving that thing even BEFORE it happens?
This is huge, healing and life-changing.
Sit in meditation after journaling. See yourself in the future. Combine that image with a positive feeling. Truly feel that in your body as you hold the image of your future self.
When setting goals with my clients, one thing I always encourage them to do is prepare for setbacks. Not exactly the first thing you want to think about when embarking on a new exciting endeavor.
But eventually, the novelty wears off, and you’re faced with the same ol’ challenges. So figure out what they are. This might be logistical (how will I fit in exercise if I’m stuck late at the office), but I also encourage you to go deeper. 70% of our thoughts are negative and redundant. Are these negative mind loops and limiting beliefs holding you back?
We can be our own worst enemies. We can attach ourselves to old belief patterns, we can fail to see our own self worth, we can feel undeserving of new opportunities and therefore block the good things coming in.
Maybe self-sabotage is a dear old friend to you. If that’s the case, okay. Some of these thoughts have been anchored in for many years. Some of them are put on us by society. Acknowledge it. Honor how these patterns have perhaps served you in the past. And then be open to releasing what is no longer serving you. You can do this through therapy, meditation, EFT, journaling or quiet introspection. I use a combination of all 5. Release the blocks to make way for new opportunities that will help you feel the way you want to feel in the new year.
What are you leaving behind in 2017?
4. Want more?
If you want to continue this dialogue and experience a physical practice to go along with it, join me at 3 Bridges Yoga in Portsmouth, NH on Sunday, January 7th at 1pm. Through lecture and practice, you will examine, release and detox from cultural programming, limiting beliefs and trapped emotions that keep you from creating the change that you want.
This workshop is my response to diet culture telling us we must cleanse, purge and repent our food and body sins at the start of each year. #nope
Diet culture's New Year customs are not supportive of the body’s own rhythms and natural detoxification processes. In fact, drastic detoxes and quick fixes fail to get us the results we’re after, and can even do more harm than good.
We’ve got to GO DEEPER and look not only at what’s going on physiologically within the body, but what’s happening emotionally and energetically as well. This is how we truly detox.
This 2.5 hour intensive features a detoxifying practice - including asana, pranayama and guided meditation - along with a discussion where I will cover:
How detoxification works in the body and how you can support it everyday
How gut health affects overall health and what you can do about it
The problem with low calorie diets when it comes to weight loss
The fallacy of self care
How you have the power to change your own genes
What food has to do with all of it
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What's better than chocolate chip cookies that you don't have to bake? Not much, I tell ya. These aren't ooey gooey like your typical chocolate chip cookies, but they sure are tasty. They're one of my faves. I make them often and loooove them. I hope you do, too!
Sharing now in case you want to whip them up for an extremely low-maintenance sweet treat for an upcoming holiday party!
No Bake Chocolate Chip CookiesMakes 10-12
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
3/4 cup blanched almond flour
1 heaping Tablespoon coconut oil
3 medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon very coarse ground sea salt
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Equal Exchange)
Put coconut in food processor and whaz until it gets crumbly. Add almond flour and whaz to mix. Keep it going a little while so the mixture isn't super gritty. Add coconut oil, and mix until well blended. Then add the next 4 ingredients (don't add chips in yet)! Once that's all mixed up, then add the chips. Pulse a few times until they're dispersed throughout.
Roll into heaping tablespoon-sized balls. You can keep them as balls, or press your thumb into the top to make thumbprint cookies. Add an extra chocolate chip into the thumbprint. Keep refrigerated.
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