Lyndi Cohen is The Nude Nutritionist, a Sydney media nutritionist, wholefoods dietitian and blogger helping people stop emotional eating and end yo-yo dieting. Get healthy eating tips, nutrition inspiration and learn how to stop binge eating.
Some days it’s easier to be confident or fall asleep or manage your cravings.
Some days are better than others for going bikini shopping or taking a photo you like.
Some days are perfect for making plans while other days (I learned the hard way) work out best when you make no plans at all.
I discovered all of this and heaps more from tracking my period for 9 months.
Yes, it is a weird thing to do. I surprised myself!
Yet, I’d do it all again because what I’ve learned has transformed how I live - and my health.
Here’s how it all started…
Nine months ago I was on holiday in the South of Spain (amazing, right?)
I should have been feeling fabulous, but instead, my mood and confidence was low.
I felt bloated and emotional. I felt fat, and keen to ‘fix’ my body. It stopped me from being able to have fun or enjoy or feel confident in a swim suit.
But just two weeks earlier, I had been feeling wonderful, sexy and energetic!
So I checked the date, and sure enough; Yup. My period was days away.
Could my period be having such big impact on my life - and I’d just never realised?
You see, I’d spent the previous 17 years (ever since I first got my period at 11) thinking my period was a burden.
In fact, I tried not to think about my period at all!
Except at times when it embarrassed me.
Like when I had to shove tampons down my sleeve to go to the bathroom at work
Or when my period caught me unaware (as has happened to all of us). Bugger!
Here I was. At 28 years old. Finally realising that maybe my period was worth paying attention to.
Could understanding my period better help me take better care of my body?
My lovely sister-in-law, Kamina (who is a divine yoga teacher, mum and brilliant person) suggested I check out Claire Baker and download her ebook Adore Your Cycle.
I read it. Curiously. Furiously. There was a lot to learn.
Claire encourages us to rethink our periods and come to adore our cycle. The idea is that there are “four phases of the menstrual cycle”.
These phases affect us hormonally, physically, emotionally, creatively, sexually and spiritually. Learning how you can work with these shifts, rather than against them, can empower you.
And so with a healthy dose of scepticism - and curiosity for the science behind it all…
I began tracking my cycle. Daily.
I’d tried to use apps before (like Clue) but found the habit never stuck. So this time, I just started tracking my cycle in iCal app on my mac computer.
Here’s an example of what that looks like. It only takes 1 minute to do each day. Which is probably why I kept doing it.
Here’s an example I created for you to see. Note: not my actual data ;)
Every day, I’d track which day of my cycle I was on (e.g. Day 1-28) and then I’d record how I felt about my:
Other symptoms like pain, cramps, discharge
Hunger and cravings
“I’ll do it for a month”, I thought.
But one month turned into nine.
The patterns I was discovering were so profound. I couldn’t stop! How had I not realised all this before?!
And lovely reader. I admit. I really didn’t know If I would/could share this - such personal information - here on my blog.
Talking about my period is new to me, as it’s still seen as taboo.
But honestly, I hate that women are made to feel ashamed of something our bodies do naturally.
So because I don’t want to be part of keeping women small or keep us hating our bodies, and because what I learned has honestly changed so much for me, I wanted to be brave and share with you so that maybe it can help you too.
So, with an open heart:
Here is what I learned when I tracked my period daily for 9 months. MOOD
For me, my mood is seriously affected by my cycle. I have clinical anxiety but I never realised that it was so tied to my period.
I’m a happy, easy person for 3 weeks of the month. ButLlike clockwork, my mood seems to dip dramatically once a month - the week before my period (days 21-28).
During these days, I tend to record things like: “Feeling irritable, moody”, “sad and anxious”, “unmotivated” or “sensitive today”.
My strategy? Simply knowing “Oh, it’s day 24, no wonder I feel this way” has helped a lot! This helps me have compassion for myself and stop blaming myself for being short-tempered.
I’ve also started trying not to make social plans or taking on work projects (such as doing a presentation).
I now write DO NOT MAKE PLANS in my calendar for that week every month. This isn’t always possible but even cutting down on my commitments really helps me manage my PMS anxiety.
I haven’t seen anyone else talk explicitly about the link between body confidence and periods before.
So when I started to notice a huge connection, for me... I was blown away.
But even still, without fail, from days 21-28, I feel a lot more body aware and conscious. The temptation to diet during this week is STRONG at this time (even starting from day 18).
I feel more bloated and I look softer. I’m lower in energy.
If you weigh yourself (which I personally don’t recommend), know that your weight can increase by a 0.3-1kg during this time depending on how much water your retain.
For me, simply realising: “It’s OK, Lyndi - you tend to feel unhappy with your body around this week. It’s not your body, it’s your hormones. Why not wait to next week and see how you feel” has prevented me from attempting many quick fixes and is another way how I am actively kind to myself.
From the follicular phase onward, my body confidence flourishes again. And I’m back to my body accepting self.
I wonder if it’s the same for you. Have you noticed this pattern as well? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and let me know?
Both photos are taken 5 minutes apart (after a sneaky change in a back alley). Same weight. Same body. But it’s amazing how we can feel so differently about as our hormones shift. Images: Luca Prodigo
Due to the incredible shift in hormones (progesterone, oestrogen, and testosterone) that happens during the month, your skin can be really affected by your cycle.
Breakouts tend to happen just before and during your period. And I found, regardless of my skin care routine!
By day 21, I will consistently get small breakouts around my chin that linger until day 2-3.
You may notice your skin is very dry (due to low oestrogen) just before and when you first get your period so I like to up my moisturiser here.
As oestrogen and testosterone increases, so does the production of oil. Your skin tends to look it’s best during the follicular stage (Day 1-14).
I try to cut back on foundation when I ovulate and just use concealer on my spots. By working with my skin and cycle, my skin has never looked better.
For me, by day 21 (that’s where my PMS symptoms start - without fail), other symptoms creep in like swollen breasts, stomach cramps…
My glands often get swollen at the end of the Luteal phase, around day 24-28 (apparently due to changes in progesterone).
This symptom prompts to try to get more sleep and be gentle with myself.
The amount and colour of discharge changes during your cycle due to changing hormones like progesterone. It can also hint that you’re about to ovulate!
Your discharge (colour, smell, consistency) can also hint to your vaginal health so it’s a handy one to be curious about.
HUNGER AND CRAVINGS
“WHERE IS THE CHOCOLATE?!”… is pretty much me the week before my period.
Cravings are high but what I notice the most is how I am noticeably more hungry from day 21-28. So I don’t fight it. I try to make healthier choices but if I am hungry, I trust my body needs more food. So I respond, feeding it without judgement.
So if that means I eat my homemade muesli for lunch one day, I don’t hate on myself. I know this is not my usual diet so it’s OK.
During ovulation from days 11-18, my hunger decreases. During this time I can forget to eat! I conscious ask myself: Do you really feel like that? I notice I don’t really feel like dessert at this time. I roll with it!
What this teaches me is that there is no need to fight my body. My body is guiding me - sometimes it’s more hungry, sometimes it’s less. I simply need to practice listening to it. It’s divine.
As you might already expect, the best workouts tend to happen from day 8-21. I find that’s when I have the most energy and motivation. What about you?
During ovulation, that’s when I’m keen to do high intensity like going for a run or a circuit. I might even put on some music and dance. I’m generally feeling really good and energised around this time!
On the lower energy days toward the end of the cycle, I might go for a walk, stretch, go to pilates or yoga.
Exercise should always feel good.
I have no guilt for lighter exercise days. They are just as important!
By working with my cycle, I feel most in sync with my body.
Image: Luca Prodigo
On top of the crappy skin, poor body confidence, swollen boobs and glands — you may also notice your bowels change just before your period.
Perhaps you notice constipation before your period and then once you hit day 1 (when your period starts) it can go to diarrhoea.
This seems to be common but maybe it’s the opposite for you?
Sometimes, you might think these bowel changes are related to your diet but your hormones can majorly impact your gut. Something to think about…
The week before my period, because my anxiety is high and so sleep is really tricky for me. I can lie in bed for 1-3 hours toward the end of my cycle.
It’s pretty crazy! I’m yet to work out a solution, though I am practicing meditation and not scheduling so much is helping.
To improve my sleep, I also sleep with my phone in another room and try not to use social media at night (but damn, it’s hard)!
Is your sleep connected to your cycle?
I’m not going to dive into this too much as Claire Baker does a good job of this.
But obviously, as your hormones shift, so does your sex drive.
Working with your hormones can help you get the best intimate experiences and feel connected with your partner (or your own body).
Image: Luca Prodigo
And here’s my wrap up…I’ve never felt this connected to my body.
I find it’s so much easier to forgive myself for not being perfect…for being moody, or for disliking my body or wanting to eat the entire kitchen!
Tracking my period has helped me feel empowered by my body. I feel less resistance, guilt or frustration.
I’m still trying to work out how to best manage my symptoms, but maybe the trick is also to just accept them?
…To trust this lovely body and know it’s got my back.
I don’t know yet.
But I do know that owning and embracing my cycle has helped me reach the next level in my wellness journey.
And I wonder… what would you learn about yourself if you tracked your cycle, too?
Sick of eating really well only to fall off the bandwagon and start again from scratch? Check out the Keep It Real Program.
It’ll teach you how to stop emotional and binge eating - and eat without guilt.
More healthy blog posts you might love:Some healthy recipes you might love!
But first, I want to say that while I excepted Ian to be lovely…
I didn’t expect him to be so open and so authentic when talking about his own struggles with depression, mental health and body image.
So here we go.
Here’s my interview with the lovely, legendary and divine Ian Thorpe.
Ian Thorpe: Patron for Reach Out and Laps for Life
Lyndi: Finding motivation to exercise is something that many people find hard. How do you stay or get motivated?
Ian: “I think half of doing something is actually getting started.
“You know, people go "Aw, it's raining, it's freezing outside."
“If you actually get out of bed and start walking to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, have a coffee, or you have a shower, whatever your routine is - if you just get out of bed - you're not going to get back into bed.
“You've actually started! And then you're 50% of the way there. And so then you end up going and doing it, and you feel better…
“So I think motivation is as simple as just start”.
“For me, I have a trainer in the gym. I have that trainer because I get more out of my time. But I also feel as though I'm letting someone down if I don't go to training”.
Lyndi: What kind of strategies do you use to help you manage depression and help you feel good?
Ian: “I make sure in my diet I have some fish with some really good oils, omega-3s and omega-6s. I particularly like ocean trout, but salmon's the obvious one there for people. Something like cashews is good for energy levels, and also I've found that it improves my mood”.
“I think if you cook, you actually have an advantage of knowing exactly what you are having! For me, it’s about having a great variety in the food that I eat”.
“One of the simple things people can do - and this is what we're told when we go into the [Olympic] food hall where it's overwhelming with how much food there is.
“There are 10,000 athletes that need to be fed, and you can eat anything. We're told that if we have as many different natural colours on our plate as possible, you've probably had a nutritious meal”.
Lyndi: Do you ever do things, apart from exercise, like meditation, counseling or any other hobbies that you help you feel better?
Ian: “I see a psych. At the moment, I just go quarterly. Previously, I'd go every week or every two weeks. If I was going through a tough time, I'd put in an appointment and get in there and do it.”
“If I'm going through a rough patch, I walk in more frequently.”
“I consider the process [of going to a psychologist] as ‘outsourcing your problems’. If I can go and chat to someone for half an hour, and feel better after walking out of it, why not? I know I feel better.”
“But there are other things that you can do... I have a dog. Well, actually, she's still a puppy. But if you take your dog for a walk, you pet your dog, instantly the anxiety goes down.”
“If I'm anxious before a speech or I'm with a lot of people, I do an activity where I'm just present in the situation. I touch something, I smell something, and I hear something. That just puts me in the moment and gets me out of my head. `
Lyndi: I love that. It's a really practical, simple thing that people can do!
Ian: “Yeah, If I have a stubborn thought in my mind that's in my headspace… that's ongoing, I either write it down, what the problem is. I actually write - not type it - and usually I can let go of something that way.
“You can write a letter to yourself… and you mail it. You get it back in a week, and you go, "What was I thinking?" That’s usually my response to it. Because you're not in that same mindset at the time.
Lyndi: I think in some ways it’s harder than ever to love our bodies. How do you deal with your body image?
Ian: “I had to come to the reality that I am never gonna look like what I did when I was swimming. I've had an Olympian's body for half my life. And for the other half - well, maybe not half of it yet! - but for the rest of it, it's not.”
“Having to re-frame what a healthy body image for me is very hard.”
“I'm not prepared to do 30 hours or 40 hours of exercise a week just to look the way I did when I was swimming. You know, I'm at the gym four times a week and walk the dog every day. The reality for me now is very, very different.
“And having to get my head around that takes a little while. But that's the same for all of us, as we get older. Your body shape changes. It's not as easy to stay in the shape that you were in when you were in your teens or your twenties. And it’s important to realise that that's okay as well.”
“The body I used to have is not attainable. I've come to that reality.”
Lyndi: Spot on. Your body is not meant to be the same as when you're 18, or when you're 30, or when you're 50. Your body is allowed to change!Lyndi: What do you do on days when you wake up and struggle with your body image?
Ian: “My thing is, if you feel that way, get on with something. Just do something that you know will either improving your wellbeing or mental health.
“So for me it would be walk the dog, or make sure I've got my sessions in at the gym. I have some goals in my fitness program of where I'd like to be. But I don't expect to be able to achieve them in couple of weeks”.
Lyndi: So it sounds like you’ve got a long-term plan because real change doesn't happen overnight. And also, you're not expecting perfection from yourself….?
Ian: “Yeah, perfection is hard when I'm in the gym. I have a trait that's not all that healthy, but it means that I pursue things as well as I can. But it's also accepting how well you did in that particular situation each day.
“For me, I don’t aspire to ‘perfect’.
Lyndi: So what advice would you give to someone who's looking after or cares for someone with mental illness?
Ian: “I think a message that always helps is "Hey, I'm here if you need me. And if you want to talk about something, I'm here, but I'm going to give you your space and let you go on if you want me to."
Or you can simply ask "Is there anything I can do to help at the moment?"
“In doing so, you just open that door just a little bit, so that someone knows that they've got your support”.
Ian Thorpe explains the new ReachOut.com - YouTube
Are you struggling with mental health issues? It’s OK to reach out. You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Need help being kind to yourself?
My book The Nude Nutritionist is packed with strategies for letting go of perfectionism and showing yourself the love you deserve. Click here to find out more.
More healthy blog posts you might love:Some healthy recipes you might love!
Here’s a photo of me looking incredibly comfy and laughing casually with a mug of tea… as one does. What was so funny? We may never know. Pic taken by the photo magician Luca Prodigo
I used to be pretty good at beating myself up.
I’d lie in bed at night for hours running over all the ways I’ve ever failed (there are lots!) but neglecting the ways I’d done good.
I expect a lot from myself. And so I’d get disappointed when I’m anything less than perfect.
So my new year’s resolution last year (2018) was simple: Be kind to myself.
But like - exceptionally kind. This meant changing up my thought patterns and default habits.
What I realised is that when you are kind yourself, you are so much more confident. I no longer rely on compliments from others to feel good.
Because I’m kind to myself, I feel good to be me and I have my own back. I feel grounded.
I don’t feel tied to other people opinions. I care less about what other people think. I love my body more. And it feels fantastic.
To be kind to yourself is to love yourself.
Being kind is the act. The result is loving yourself.
Start with the act. The feeling will follow.
During my quest for self love, people often told me to ‘talk to yourself like you’re talking to your best friend’.
To be honest? I’ve always found that advice tricky-to-implement.
I wanted something more practical. So I went looking. And here’s what I learned from my year being kind to myself.
Being kind to yourself means loving yourself enough to:
Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Choosing to remind yourself that you are already enough.
To focus on your best qualities, rather than zeroing in on your inadequacies.
And to say ‘no’ when people ask too much of you (and know that the temporary discomfort you might experience in doing so is far better than resenting them (or yourself) for saying yes later.
Being kind to yourself isn’t something you just wake up and decide to do one morning. It’s a process. An act…
It’s something you have to actively choose to do every day.
Here are some simple things I’ve done over the last year or so that have helped me be kinder to myself.
1. Notice your thinking
The first step? Realise when you’re giving yourself a hard time. If you don’t even realise when you’re beating yourself up, it’s really hard to change.
When I lie in bed at night now, and a negative thought comes into my head, I simply try and notice it. I might say to myself “Oh, this is comparison” or “this is anxiety”.
I try not to lurch into “Oh Lyndi, you’re comparing yourself again. Stop it! You’ve been awake for hours already. You need to sleep!” because that’s not very kind. And it’s doesn’t help. I try to seperate the emotion from me… (I.e. This is comparison VS You are comparing).
This is surprisingly simple and wonderfully powerful.
2. Challenge your social media time
You might thing scrolling on social media is ‘down time’, but social media is an exchange of energy.
Social media requires energy from you. It takes from you…
This might be why you feel tired, or drained or shit after using it. Or why you feel like you never have time for yourself.
When you’re already feeling a bit crappy, the last thing you want to do is look at someone else’s highlight reel. While I actively try and point out the BS you see on social on my Instagram, it’s kind of hard to avoid.
But if you’re a smart cookie (and I know you are), then you’ll know you can take control of your feed.
On a similar note, get rid of anyone on your social media feed that makes you feel anything less than amazing and inspired. And be ruthless.
Culling those offending accounts is essential.
They don’t even have to know you’ve unfollowed them, thanks to the ‘mute’ function on Instagram. (Just click the three dots on the right, next to their photo to mute them).
If you want to be kind yourself, I also highly recommend not using the ‘search’ function on Instagram (that’s the magnifying glass thingy).
4. Accept compliments
Compliments used to fly right past me while criticism would punch me in the face. And when I decided I would start accepting compliments, I started to feel more worthy.
I don’t mean that you should come to rely on compliments for your confidence or self worth, but I do think that sometimes others can help us remember that we are worthy in those moments when it’s easy to forget.
Swap the usual “What, this old thing?!” for a simple and gracious “Thank you so much”.
5. Keep a compliment diary
I know, I know — it seems a little self-indulgent.
But I actually do this.
I keep a log of all the lovely things people say about me. Otherwise, I forget. And then at 2 am, all I can remember are the ways I’m no good or have failed.
So when someone sends me a lovely note, or a friend gives me a genuine compliment, I save it in a word document on my computer. Or in the notes section on my phone. Or in a journal next to my bed.
Sounds weird. Totally works.
When you need to pick yourself up on a down day, you can read through the compliments.
6. Don’t assume you’re the problem
If someone is being rude to you, is it your default to assume you’ve done something wrong? ie. “they obviously don’t like me?” “maybe it was something I said?”
Apparently, women are most likely to assume fault in these kinds of situations.
Truth is, you don’t actually know what they’re thinking or what’s going on in their life and the far more likely scenario is that it’s got nothing to do with you.
Be self aware - sure - but also - practicing giving less $#!ts about what other people (may or may not) think about you.
If someone doesn’t like you, that’s Ok. It’s not your job in life to be liked by everyone.
7. Comfort yourself
When I notice negative thoughts circling my head, I actively switch to my mother voice. This is that kind, soothing voice that says “it’s okay, you did you best’.
Find your mother voice and use it often.
8. Ask: ‘What can this teach me?
If you replay your mistakes again and again in your head, stop and ask ‘what can I learn from this? ‘
Every situation can teach you something, even just sitting in traffic (e.g. patience!) When you ask yourself this question, you tend to flip the situation into something positive.
I also like to write things down. It helps it get the thought out of my head. (hello journal that sits next to my bed). Once it’s on paper, it feels like closure.
9. Get a mantra
Honestly…How wishy washy does the word ‘mantra’ sound? Any way. While I am yet to accept the word ‘mantra’, I have started using mantras and find they really helps.
My psychologist taught me this one which I’m practicing and enjoying recently:
“I am enough. I am essential”.
I used to love “I accept myself and I accept others” which helped me with my perfectionism/expectation.
For me, a mantra acts like a circuit breaker for the brain, helping me notice unhelpful thinking and ‘change the channel’ like flicking the remote control.
When I go into comparison mode, a) first I note: “This is comparison” then b) repeat my mantra then c) change the channel. Rinse and repeat as needed.
10. Forgive yourself for not being perfect
It is not your job in life to be perfect… or to get everything right. You do not need to look perfect from every angle or have everyone like.
You were made for so much more.
If you’re being hard on yourself, it’s because you’re expecting perfection.
It’s OK to have high standards, to dream big. It’s not OK to be angry with yourself when you mess up. You can want a lot for your life - and also let go of the perfectionism that’s holding you back.
Perhaps you’re scared that people won’t like you as much if they work out you aren’t perfect (cool/pretty/thin enough)?
Interestingly, when you let your imperfect side show, people tend to like you MORE. That’s because it’s a relief when we find out someone else also isn’t perfect - just like us!
When you turn up as you are, others can finally sigh in relief because they can also let down their facade and be who they are. And that’s much more lovely than everyone pretending to be what they aren’t. Don’t ya think?
11. Watch comedy
Okay, this one might sound silly but research backs it up. When you’re sad, you naturally want to listen to sad, melancholic music and happy people can be a bit annoying.
But watching comedy can take your mind off things, remind yourself that life isn’t all doom and gloom and elevate a sucky mood.
Treat yourself to some Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bojack or whatever show tickles your fancy!
12. Find someone to listen
No, I don’t mean your mum, or your best friend, or your hairdresser. I mean a professional, who is paid to listen.
Some people get massages when they’re feeling down but I see a counsellor and it’s one of the kindest things I do for myself.
You go to the gym for your body, why not exercise your brain?
13. Practice saying no
Feel too tired to go out or help someone else? That is ok. You don’t have to.
I remind myself:
Say no now so you won’t have to regret it later.
I’d rather have short term discomfort than long term resentment.
Yes, it feels uncomfortable to say no but it gets easier and while saying no to someone else can feel unkind, you know it’s an incredibly kind thing to do for yourself.
I’d love to tell you I do this all the time. But I don’t. I’m working on it. I always feel better, more grounded, confidence and less anxious when I do meditate.
Meditation feels like the ultimate way of being kind to yourself.
So I needed to pop ‘meditate’ in this list because being kind to myself is also accepting I don’t need to have arrived at my destination to help other people.
And maybe you, lovely reader, can leave a comment below or on social media and share tips on how you learned to meditate consistently.
15. Make your lunch first
I know a lot of people who care for a family. People who make everyone else lunch using the leftovers (or making a sandwich) but then leave nothing for themselves.
If this is you, it’s time to change.
It’s time to give to yourself like you give to others.
Yes, I’m telling you to put your mask on first. But more practically, make your sandwich first. Or at least, make it a priority to have give to yourself what you give to others.
I’m not telling you to be selfish. Just reminding you that you’re allowed to take up space, to ask for your fair share and be incredibly kind to yourself.
Please leave me a comment so I know my mum is not the only person who reads this blog…
How are you kind to yourself? What works for you? Leave a comment below (at the very bottom) or share with me on social media.
Need help being kind to yourself? My book The Nude Nutritionist is packed with strategies for letting go of perfectionism and showing yourself the love you deserve. Click here to find out more.
More healthy blog posts you might love:Some healthy recipes you might love!
If there’s one food I NEVER thought I’d see be called a ‘trend’ it’s celery.
Because let’s be honest, it’s pretty much the beige of vegetables.
It has no discernible taste, doesn’t really go with anything (apart from peanut butter but PB goes with everything) and is literally made up of 95% water.
Plus, I thought we’d left the juicing trend back in 2007, along with apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur.
And yet, here we are.
It’s 2019 and celery juice the the wellness world is losing it’s mind over celery juice.
The hashtag #celeryjuice has amassed over 80,000 photos on Instagram.
Everyone from health bloggers to celebs like Kim Kardashian, Miranda Kerr and Gwyneth Paltrow (huge shock!) espousing the benefits of the stalk-like vegetable.
My local juice store say they can’t keep up with demand.
But why is everyone is drinking celery juice right now? Is celery juice healthy and should you drink it?
Where did the celery juice trend come from?
So, why is everyone suddenly drinking gallons of celery juice? Where did this strange beverage trend even come from?
Well, funnily enough, the celery crusade started with a medium (yep, as in a psychic medium.)
Anthony William goes by the Medical Medium, due to the fact that he believes he has the ability to ‘read’ people’s bodies. (Yes, I am rolling my eyes. Are you?)
He has NO medical or nutrition credentials whatsoever, which should tell you a lot about the validity of the celery juice trend.
In all three of Anthony’s New York Times best-selling books, he raves about the benefits of celery juice. He recommends drinking 16 ounces (around half a litre) of it every morning due to its ‘potent healing properties.’
According to Anthony, doing so has an ‘incredible ability to create sweeping improvements for all kinds of health issues’—including detoxing viruses, clearing the skin, boosting gut health and even fighting cancer.
Remember - these are all reported benefits… none of which have been backed up by even one study.
For the record, you don’t need to detox your body (thanks to your liver, kidneys, lungs…) and if celery juice cured cancer, oncologists around the world would recommend it.
Why is celery juice healthy?
The people of the internet are certainly drinking the Kool Aid, raving that their daily dose of celery has done everything from cure acne, eliminate bloating, boost gut health, reduce brain fog and helping with weight loss.
But does drinking celery juice actually have any benefits?
Let’s start with the good stuff, shall we?
Celery farmers are killing it right now and good for them! They work hard and finally get to have a great pay day.
While I don’t believe in ‘superfoods’ (they’re foods, not deities), celery is a healthy food. It’s hydrating due to its water content, and high in fibre. It also contains a little bit of vitamins like calcium and potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin K. How lovely!
Celery juice is also low in sugar.
If you go from eating virtually no vegetables to drinking a green celery juice every morning, that’s cool and it’s a nice way to get hydrated with a few nutrients thrown in.
However, there’s no research (as in none, zero, nuddah, zilch) to back up all the magical benefits that Anthony claims it has.
Should you drink celery juice?If you happen to love celery juice, then by all means incorporate it into your daily routine.
Ultimately, ALL healthy food should taste good. If it doesn’t, you’ll find it hard to keep doing for more than a few weeks.
Keep me in mind that because many of the nutrients tend to be lost in the juicing process (goodbye precious fibre), I don’t recommend celery juice.
There’s plenty of other drinks that’ll give you way more nutrients like a normal smoothie or green juice.
Is the celery juice trend dangerous?
Unlike other diet trends, I don’t see anything dangerous from drinking celery juice, apart from the fact that you might lose money on yet another thing that doesn’t work for you.
They say you can never have too much of a good thing.
And yes, there are a few things I believe this statement applies to: holidays, puppies, beach swims, Tim Tams (okaaaay, that last one might be debatable).
But two things that can definitely be taken to the extreme are healthy eating and exercising.
Don’t get me wrong - You only get one body, and it’s important to take care of it.
But it is absolutely possible to go overboard with eating healthy and exercising, and you can end up doing you far more harm than good.
What happens to your body when you overexercise
When you overdo it with exercise, you never really give your body a chance to properly recover.
This not only increases your risk of injury, but it can hinder your exercise performance, too.
If you push yourself so hard that you end up hurting yourself, it can put you out of action for weeks, months and even years — and you’ll wish you’d just taken that damn rest day!
Overexercising can also wreak havoc on your stress levels — both mentally and physically.
If you get into a pattern of overexercising, you'll likely feel constant pressure to work out even when really don’t feel up to it. Plus, putting unrealistic expectations on yourself can lead to feel crappy about yourself and negative self-talk on those days you don’t exercise — such as feeling lazy or like a failure.
Then, there’s the physical stress overexercising puts on your body. If you’re already stressed and you continue to push your body through exercise (especially through HIIT training or other high intensity cardio), it can send levels of your stress hormone - cortisol - through the roof.
This can not only lead to burnout, but can also slow your metabolism.
You’re much more likely to get sick because your immune system can never really get to where it needs to go. And you bet your gut health is totally affected big time too. You might notice your stomach is sore, bloated or you get IBS symptoms.
How to know if you’re overexercising
If you’re not a professional athlete, working out more than once per day, every single day without rest, is a pretty good clue you’re overexercising.
I don’t recommend exercising for more than 1.5 hours (that’s the max, my friends, not the goal) per day… assuming you’re also having rest days.
And ideally you should be including a combination of higher intensity exercise (like HITT or a run) with gentle exercise (like yoga or walking). Hello balance!
If you’re training for a special event or purpose e.g. a Ironwoman, marathon, big ocean swim and you’re exceeding these boundaries, then get a medical support team including a sports dietitian and sport physio on board.
Other telltale signs you’re overexercising or under eating include:
Constant soreness or feeling exhausted
Frequently injuring yourself
Being unable to progress with your weights in the gym
Being unable to complete your workouts
Gut upsets (e.g. constipation, bloating, cramps etc)
Feeling like you don’t have time for other things in your life e.g. friends, work
Losing your period
Constantly missing out on social arrangements because of your training schedule
Relationship break ups
Not sleeping well
A note about losing your period: Your body is constantly trying to give your signals (aka feedback). Losing your period is a really clear and strong message from your body that something may be out of balance.
It’s not as simple as thinking “Oh, it’s ok. When I start eating more or exercising less, my period will come back”. Sometimes you can do permanent damage. If you’ve lost your period, or it’s ‘all over the shop’ i.e. timing or flow wise, please go have a chat to your GP.
What happens to your body when you under eat — or are too obsessed with ‘eating healthy’?
Research shows that being underweight is MORE harmful for your body than being overweight.
If you’re not eating enough energy, you’re literally starving yourself. If you’re severely under eating, your body functions will eventually start to shut down and it will likely lead to serious health complications.
You know it - and I know it - you can’t live your fullest life on an empty stomach. You’re meant for great things but you can’t reach your potential or live your best life when all you think about is food.
What many people don’t realise is that being overly obsessed with eating ‘clean’ or taking healthy eating to the extreme can also be incredibly harmful.
If you’ve ever been on any type of fad diet that involves cutting out entire food groups (for example, a low carb diet), there’s a good chance you were lacking in key nutrients.
This can lead to vitamin deficiencies and make you feel tired, lethargic and moody. Even just doing simple things can feel like a huge effort, let alone exercising!
If you’re under eating to change your body composition, it can also completely backfire.
If you’re not eating enough protein or carbohydrates, it can be nearly impossible to gain lean muscle. Like overexercising, not eating enough can also spike your cortisol levels and slow your metabolism, suck your energy, impact your gut health and sabotage your immunity.
Lastly, let’s not forget about damaging effect food restriction can have on your mental health and social life.
It can lead to obsessive thoughts, negative self-talk, guilt and anxiety around meal times.
Constantly worrying about how much you ate or whether you’re eating the ‘right’ things distracts you from all the important shit you were put on this earth to do! And we can’t have that, because the world needs what you’ve got to share.
How to know if you’re under eating or are too obsessed with eating healthy
Generally, anything under 1000 calories is considered a starvation diet, no matter how little you weigh. It’s not fun and it’s not healthy.
Other signs you’re under eating or may have developed orthorexia (obsession with healthy eating) include:
Obsessive thoughts about food — what you can and can’t eat
Rapid weight loss
Anxiety or guilt around mealtimes
Low energy levels or mood
Hair falling out OR increase in body hair
Losing your period
Ok… So maybe you’ve worked out that you’re over exercising or under eating. What now?
Here’s a few simple steps to help you bring back balance.
Step 1. Go chat to the loveliest GP you know.
GP’s are smart, wonderful people who’ll help point you in a more balanced direction. Don’t like your doctor? Fair enough. Find a new, more lovely one. Ask your friends who they like. Find someone supportive, compassionate and who ‘gets it’. It’s worth it.
Step 2.Do a really serious assessment of who you follow on social media.
WHO are you allowing to influence you? Are they positive influencers or can you see how they’re leading you to adopt extreme and unhealthy habits? Get unfollowing. Opt out of the bullshit and nonsense. Opt into balance and real health.
Step 3. Involve your people
Under eating and over exercising tends to happen in secret, because it’s something we’re tempted to hide for fear of judgement. Know that your people will actually be a big help when finding what ‘normal’ looks like again.
If you’re not ready to share your experience with a whole crew, find a psychologist or counsellor to speak to. If you’re like me, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. It’s kinda like gym for your brain…!
Step 4. Re-channel your energy into becoming someone truly comfortable in their skin.
Remember my loves, you don’t need to compromise your well being to look a certain way. Killing yourself at the gym or starving yourself or missing out on life hasn’t helped you feel worthy enough - and it’s not going to no matter how much you try.
You can’t keep chasing a goal you can’t ever seem to reach.
You are already worthy. You are already good enough. You just need to find a little more balance to help you feel good in your body again.
Learn to be healthy, not obsessed.It’s never too late to bring back balance.
And for the record, Kate Moss had it totally wrong. TRULY…. Nothing feels as good as loving yourself feels.
PS. Need gentle guidance to stop obsessing over good, banish food guilt and bring back balance? My new book The Nude Nutritionist is packed with practical tips for improving your body image and embracing moderation. You can get it online here.Enjoyed this post? Here’s a few more healthy blog posts you might love:Some healthy recipes you might love!
You’re tucking into your favourite meal, whether it’s pizza, a burrito or your mum’s home-cooked spaghetti.
You’re in heaven as you devour every last morsel of delicious, carby goodness. But within about 0.5 seconds of your final mouthful, the enjoyment is replaced with that familiar feeling of regret.
Your belly feels swollen, distended and like you’re three months pregnant.
Yep, it’s the ‘dreaded’ post-meal bloat.
As a society, we seem to have a phobia of bloating. Everywhere we look, there are well intentioned guides on how to naturally reduce bloating.
Our Instagram feeds are filled with ‘before and afters’ of bikini models with abs looking slightly less shredded after a big meal.
But here’s the thing: a little bloating is completely natural. Our stomachs naturally distend after eating to allow for digestion, even if you’ve eaten something perfectly healthy. How to deal with bloating
When bloating is purely a superficial issue (ie. there’s no pain or major discomfort), the best thing you can do is change your mindset around it.
It helps to remind yourself that it’s normal, your body’s natural processes at work. Your body is just digested, and using all those glorious nutrients to fuel your body!
Often, what we hate so much about bloating is the fact that it makes us feel like we’ve literally gained 5 kilos in one meal.
Also, when was the last time you noticed that someone else was bloated? I’m willing to bet the answer is ‘never.’ Remember, you’re probably the only one who’s going to notice your food baby.
PS. Need a little help learning to love your body, even when you’re bloated? My new book The Nude Nutritionist is packed with practical tips for improving your body image and letting go of perfectionism. You can get it online here.
That’s not to say that bloating is always something to be ignored. Some people have genuine food intolerances which when left untreated, can lead to severe discomfort and other health issues like a compromised immune system.
So, when should you be worried about bloating? If that swollen feeling is accompanied by pain or other digestive issues (for example, constipation, diarrhoea, or needing to run to the bathroom) it’s important to see your doc.
Another telltale signs is smelly farts (sorry, had to be said!)
Gas is actually a natural, healthy reaction as it means fermentation is happening within the gut. So a little gas, can be a good thing.
However, if the odour is so bad that your dog won’t even look you in the eye, you’re going to want to get that checked out.
What to do when bloating is an issue
If bloating is actually an issue for you, there are a few things you can do to deal with it:
Identify which foods are causing it
Eliminating all foods unnecessarily is a bad idea, as you can miss out on valuable nutrients.
Plus, it makes it hard to pinpoint what is actually triggering the issue.
The FODMAP Diet (where you eliminate all common food intolerances) is extremely restrictive and should only be done with the guidance of a doctor or qualified nutritionist or dietitian.
Consider the not-so-usual suspects
People are quick to point the finger at gluten or dairy when it comes to bloating. And while these are common food intolerances, it can sometimes be certain ingredients in them that cause the symptoms.
For example, lectin is a carbohydrate-binding protein found in everything from dairy products and grains to legumes and certain vegetables — and many people have been found to be intolerant to them.
Similarly, some people think they’re intolerant to rice (which is gluten-free, by the way!), but the problem is actually the garlic or onion that’s served with it.
Some people believe they have food intolerances, only to discover that they actually have a gut infection like H. Pylori, which causes similar symptoms.
Bottom line is to start by having a chat with your doctor who can refer you to a dietitian.
Don’t break up with beans (yet!)
Beans and other legumes like chickpeas are ah-mazing for you. They’re naturally high in protein and rich in fibre to help keep you ‘regular’ and keep you full for longer.
Unfortunately, they’re also a major source of bloating in some people. That said, you necessarily have to go cold turkey on beans if they’re made you bloated in the past.
Try switching to tinned beans, as these can be easier to digest than dried. Rinsing them twice before using can also help.
The portion size is also important. So, start with small amounts, eating them more regularly before you up your potion size. Many people rarely eat legumes, eat a whole serve, then wonder why the feel average.
If you eat them frequently, chances are your gut will get used to eating them. And If your gut doesn't get used to eating legumes, that's okay! They’re not for everyone and there’s plenty of other delicious foods out there you can eat instead.
Other blog posts you might love:Some healthy recipes you might love!
You’ve survived the festive season, danced your way into the new year and now, it’s officially 2019!
As you nurse your champagne hangover and pick the last remnants of glitter out of places you didn’t even know you had, there’s a good chance you’re vowing to be a healthier, fitter and ‘better’ you in 2019.
For many people, this means writing down New Year’s Resolutions or goals.
Now, I know some nutritionists have a problem with New Year’s Resolutions and the idea of ‘new year, new me.’
Personally, I’m all for setting new goals that inspire you (if that’s your thing). The idea of a ‘fresh start’ can be just the thing you need to develop healthier and more uplifting habits.
However, my problem with New Year’s Resolutions is the fact that they often involve starting a new diet or losing weight.
Image via Unsplash
Business Insider recently surveyed 1,102 people about their New Year’s Resolutions, and more than half had goals about starting a new diet or ‘eating healthier’ (which is normally just code for going on a diet, BTW).
Research shows that 80% of people are likely to fail their New Year’s Resolutions by February.
Ask yourself how many times you’ve started a new diet in January, only to abandon it a few months, weeks or even days later?
Diets don’t work when you start them in March, in September and they don’t work when you start them on January 1st, either. In fact, they’re even more doomed to fail if you start them on New Year’s Day, as they normally coming from a place of guilt after the so-called excess of the holiday season.
So, I have a proposition….
Let’s vow to make this the year we stop making weight loss or diet-related New Year's Resolutions?
Because, they’re not serving you, and they’re just distracting you from setting goals that actually matter. ‘Like what?’ you say. Well, I’d like to suggest some better New Year’s Resolutions you could make instead.
Set health goals, not weight loss goals
Newsflash: your health goals don’t have to involve losing weight!
There is so much more to your health that the number on your scales, or the size you wear. I want to encourage you to set health goals that have zilch to do with how you look.
This might be about how you feel — for example, you might want to feel physically strong enough to run around after your kids, or feel energised when you get up in the morning. It could also be to do with what you can do — like running a half-marathon.
If these goals have a strong ‘why’ behind them, you’re far more likely to actually stick to them.
Here are some fab ideas:
To be less busy and do more of my creative things
Go swimming with my family instead of just watching from the sidelines
To keep enjoying my running
Re-ignite my passion for cooking
To consume less and be more mindful
Do an unassisted pull up
Please leave a comment below and share your New Years Resolution!
(PS. didn’t stick to your health goals in 2018? Check out this blog post to learn why that’s okay, and how you can use this to set better health goals this year).
Learn to love your bodyI want to challenge you to make 2019 the year you learn to love your body exactly as it is.
Let me just say, this isn’t something you just wake up and ‘choose’ to do one morning.
Body love isn’t a destination. It’s a practice. It’s a skill that needs to be mastered. But it’s one that will serve you for the rest of your life.
Because the truth is, our bodies change throughout our lives — we age, give birth and our weight fluctuates for a myriad of reasons. But if you learn to genuinely love and accept your body in all of its beautiful states, you really can’t lose.
Be kind to yourself
Last year, my new years resolution was to be kind to myself. And what a difference it made.
Self-acceptance isn’t about ‘letting yourself go’ or neglecting your health. Quite the opposite, actually.
You’ll find that when your intent is coming from a place of love — not guilt or fear — you’ll actually be more inspired to take care of yourself. This means giving your body what it needs to feel its best, whether that’s nutritious foods, plenty of water or regular exercise.
It also means taking care of your mental health, by meditating, going for walks in nature or even seeking therapy if needed — whatever you need to feel happy and balanced.
Make 2019 the year you stop dieting or ‘trying to be good’
We’ve already established that diets don’t work. So, instead of always trying to get ‘back on the bandwagon’, why not set the bandwagon on fire and ditch it altogether? Imagine how much mental energy it would free up if you could stop obsessing about food and trying to be ‘better’ tomorrow!
PS. My book The Nude Nutritionist is available now!It’s packed with practical strategies for learning to love your body, letting go of perfectionism, ditching the diet mindset and so much more. Order your copy before Jan 7th 2019, and you’ll get my 10-day Love Your Body course free!More blog posts you might loveSome healthy recipes you might love!
If you liked this post, I think you’ll love my new book!Pre-order The Nude Nutritionist book before 7th Jan, 2019 and get my 10-day Love Your Body course free. If you've bought the book, click here to claim your bonuses!
More blog posts you might loveSome healthy recipes you might love!