Food… it’s such a simple thing, and such a complex thing. Both Emily and I have built our lives and careers around wellness, nutrition, and food. It’s something that we talk about every single day of our lives. We have spent months perfecting our group wellness program, Food Freedom, and wanted to share a little more today about what that means to us. These steps we created come from years upon years of practice. Not just in our private coaching practices, but in our personal lives.
I speak really openly about my former battle and obsession with food in this blog post, and share about how suffering from food and issues around self image started at a very young age for me. Actually, it started the day I was born. I was born sick. I was sensitive to foods I didn’t even know about until I was 25 years old. From a young age this created issues in my life forming a desire for control, since I didn’t have any control (so I thought) over the way I was feeling on a daily basis for my whole life. So creating a program like Food Freedom was my next step, my evolution as a health practitioner and upon teaming up with my dear friend and Clinical Nutritionist, Emily Potter it all happened. For this I am so grateful, and I wanted to share it with this community of amazing women today.
Step 1: Learn how to Check in with yourself.
Yep. it’s as easy as that. In Food Freedom we teach you the skills and tools in how to listen and navigate what your body and what your soul are asking for. It’s all about learning how to tune inward. To us, half of the battle is actually being aware there is a battle. Try it. With me, right now. Check in with yourself. Take a deep breath… and a moment or two to just notice. Notice how you feel, and what is really going on, especially in your physical body.
You see, the more mindful you are, and the more aware you are, the more you will tune in when it comes to food, and making food choices. This is freedom ladies, this is power!!
Step 2: Learn the Fundamentals.
Education is by far one of the best ways to feel free and empowered through food and what you fuel your body with on a daily basis. We teach you everything you need to know about protein, carbs, fats, greens, how to cook them, etc. In a way, this program is sort of like becoming your own nutritionist because there is SO much to learn, and you (and your family) will greatly benefit from this part of it. I personally think that the more you know, the more fun food becomes. 😉
Step 3: Learn to Crowd out.
This means instead of being focused on what you can’t have… start thinking about what you can have! Do you get overwhelmed with all of the foods you ‘shouldn’t eat?’ Uggg, we do! But, here is our little trick. It’s called crowding out. Lets say you want to have pizza. Well if you know me or Em, you know we both LOVE pizza, and we both EAT pizza. Yep! But, we use this little crowd out tactic. We crowd out the gluten heavy crust and cheese and substitute delicious (and healthy for you) brown rice tortillas, and a raw cheese that is easy to digest and load it with our favorite pizza toppings. And voila, you have a nearly guilt free pizza. And it’s delicious. And trust us, there is no deprivation there. We encourage our women to have fun with this, get curious about new foods, and crowd the bad stuff out with the good stuff. Or another way to look at it is, upgrading your plate vs. taking away.
Step 4: Learn what foods are fuel, and what foods are poison.
We actually teach you how to test for your own food sensitivities, at home, for free. This will be a transformational process as you can begin to notice what foods make your immune system work harder than it’s suppose to. We also offer in depth a clinical food sensitivity testing for those that need it.
We are all made so differently, and in our training as nutritionists we learn about bio individuality. This is where someone might feel amazing after a bowl of oats because they metabolize the carbs really well, while someone might feel sluggish and bloated vs. someone who has an omelet that feels charged and rejuvenated, and someone that gets stuffy sinus from this same omelet. We are all diverse and different, and we are very mindful about that when it comes to supporting our clients. No two people are alike, and no two diets are alike. We guide our clients to understand what their bodies are communicating with them so that each individual can live their healthier, happiest, and best life.
Step 5: Food Prep, food prep, food prep.
Are you guilty of opening the fridge, looking around, wishing you had something to eat, and grabbing something easy, something from a box, fast food, or just cereal? All you need is a plan. You will learn how to create a beautiful well-prepped kitchen in our program. And, it seriously only takes a few hours each week. We say to choose 2 hours a week to commit to. Put it in your calendar and stick to it like you would an appointment.
Our food freedom program includes menu plans, food prep suggestions and really helpful and smart ways to prepare and cook food. We will teach you how to cook once, and eat three totally different meals from that one time of cooking. For example, there is a recipe for an amazing chicken stir fry, and brown rice for dinner. For breakfast you use some of the vegetables from the stir fry and scramble with a pastured egg. Lunch could be chicken tacos using the the same ingredients. Seriously, so simple, and so brilliant.
Step 6: Don’t Stress about the Calories.
Do you know the exact number of calories in your protein bar, and breakfast oatmeal? If so, please keep reading. Sadly, we have been truly mis-guided when it comes to the theory of calories in, calories out. Proponents of the “calories in, calories out” way of thinking say that the only thing that matters when it comes to weight loss is calories, disregarding completely the metabolic and hormonal impact of foods and not to mention the emotional stress that comes with it.
Let’s face it – 100 calories of a twinkie look very different in your body than 100 calories of a salad. Can you imagine the weight that is lifted off your shoulders when you stop thinking about the calories and focus on eating whole foods, mostly plants and minimally processed food? When it comes to the food we eat we need to think about the entire food, how was it raised, can you pronounce the ingredients you’re putting in your body, and does it make you feel good, what is this food’s prana or life force. These are the questions to consider, not just the calories. In fact, it’s been a LONG while since I’ve counted calories, and that has given me so much Freedom!
Step 7: Overcoming the Sugar Addiction
We explore sugar and sugar upgrades and if you are someone who loves their sugar, and you know it’s an area that needs support, you are in good hands! Once you can get on top of sugar cravings, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to enjoy sweet things in life.
Step 8: 80/20 Balance with Grace
We love this rule. It’s called the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, follow your healthy eating plan and goals while you choose wisely and choose foods that nourish and foods that fuel you. 20% of the time, do whatever your heart desires (besides the things that hurt you). Eat the cake (stick to gluten free if that’s what your body needs), drink the wine, sip that latte, and enjoy it and love it feeling guilt free. When in doubt, honor the 80/20 rule. Remember that 100/0 is a diet and 99% of diets end in failure. Now is a good time to write down what foods go into your 20%. For me it is wine, pizza (gluten free for me always), chips, coffee, and gluten free pastries.
We believe grace = freedom, and we want you to have freedom in your life when it comes to food. Freedom from these obsessive thoughts, and freedom from that constant hamster wheel of trying to figure out how to do it “right”. And we want to teach you how to tap into the ability of loving yourself from the inside out.
In our food freedom program, We will hold your hand step by step to lay the ground work in nurturing the relationship you have with yourself, and with food. Awareness is powerful, especially when it comes to food, your hunger level, what you are putting in your mouth and body, and why you are making those choices, and so on… We lay out the building blocks in week one of our program to really teach you how to tap into this greater awareness. And, not to mention, our Food Freedom program offers the opportunity to work with two nutritionists (me and Emily) and creating a community of accountability and support!
Here is a fun testimonial from a previous food freedom participant. “For me, food freedom is being knowledgeable on how I can use food to benefit my mood, skin, and stomach… for example, I love dark chocolate now in place of milk chocolate because, who knew that cacao powder increases your serotonin levels?! Why would I not eat something that will make me feel good, over milk chocolate that makes my tummy a bit bubbly and my skin not as smooth because of the dairy? A recipe in the back of the Food Freedom book was “Serotonin-Inducing Hot Chocolate” that was a suggested upgrade to dessert after dinner. I have been making my own desserts now using cacao powder, my current favorite is Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream which only has four ingredients! Cacao powder, almond butter, almond milk, and a frozen banana.”
Most of all, we love that this program brings together like minded women on a quest to get healthier. The group camaraderie and cohesion creates momentum and accountability. The love and support felt between the participants just blew us away. It is truly life transformational- and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Click HERE to join our program. The doors are open NOW, and we don’t want you to miss this opportunity to transform your life!!