Psychology of Eating Podcast: Episode #245 – Ready to Heal Her Relationship with Food

Jo, almost 40, starts off this episode by letting us know she truly wants to heal her relationship with food. We learn that it has been a life-long struggle to look a certain way. Her mother would hint that she needed to be skinnier, and she started dieting at age 11. From a nutritional standpoint, she has also noticed some shifts her body is calling for when it comes to diet. As a vegetarian for 20 years, she has recently been thinking she should re-introduce fish into her diet, and has become sensitive to some vegetarian staples, such as avocado. Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, gives her some practical changes to experiment with in her diet. Jo also comes away with new insights on how to continue celebrating her successes along the way, and grow into her queen by accepting herself with love and confidence.

Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

Real people. Real breakthroughs. This is a Psychology of Eating podcast where psychology and nutrition meet to uncover the true causes of our unwanted eating concerns. Your relationship with food will never be the same. Now, here’s your host, eating psychology expert and founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Marc David.

Marc: Welcome, everyone. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Here we are in the Psychology of Eating podcast. And I am with Jo today. Welcome, Jo.

Jo: Hello.

Marc: Hello. Let me say a few words to viewers and listeners, and then you and I are going to jump in. If you are a returning visitor to this podcast, as always, thank you. I really appreciate you coming by. And if you’re new to this podcast, here’s how it works. Jo and I are meeting officially for the first time in this moment, and we’re going to spend 45 minutes to an hour together and see if we can move things forward for you Ms. Jo.

So if you could wave your magic wand and if you can get whatever you wanted to get from this session, tell me what that would look like for you, young lady.

Jo: What I would like is to heal my relationship with food, and what that means for me is being more relaxed around food and being able to regulate my appetite naturally so that I eat when I’m hungry, not when there’s food around. And I’d like to lose some weight as well because in the last 12 months or so I put on probably about eight kilos, and I would like to go back to the way that I was 12 months ago. So mainly so that I don’t have to buy all new clothes.

Marc: Yeah. Got it. So the weight that came on in the last bunch of months, why do you think that weight came on, if you had to guess?

Jo: See I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot because I don’t think I’ve changed the way I eat all that much. But as I’ve been reflecting on the past 12 to 14 months, I think quite a lot happened in my personal life, and whether it’s me not processing those emotions, I don’t know. That’s the only thing that I could think of.

Marc: So diet hasn’t changed for you much then?

Jo: Not really. No. I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for now three years, and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing.

Marc: So when you say plant-based diet, are you vegetarian? Are you vegan? Can you be more specific?
Jo: Yes. I’m mostly vegetarian, so I eat eggs. I eat very little dairy. Very occasionally, I will eat some cheese, but generally I don’t. I still eat honey, but I don’t eat meat or fish.

Marc: And you’ve been eating like that for you mentioned three years?

Jo: So I’ve been vegetarian for 20, and then I dropped dairy about three years ago.

Marc: Got it. Got it. Got it. Okay. And can you tell me how old you are?

Jo: I’m turning 40 in February.

Marc: Yay! What a great marker. What a great transition.

Jo: Yeah.

Marc: Yeah, it is. So vegetarian for about 20 years. So you started when you were 20 years old.

Jo: Yeah.

Marc: What inspired you?

Jo: I’ve never liked meat is the honest answer. Ever since I was little, I would always say no to meat—obviously, I ate meat when I was growing up when you’re fed by your parents and you don’t really have much control over what you eat. But as I was growing up, and I was able to choose my meals better, I would always say no to meat and I would just eat salad and whatever else there was.

Marc: Interesting.

Jo: And then later on, I think I stopped eating fish maybe 10 years ago, maybe seven years ago. So it was gradual as well.

Marc: Got it. So how long have you been trying to lose weight?

Jo: I’ve been trying to lose weight probably ever since I was a tiny baby. But in the last sort of three or four, maybe five years, my thinking about the whole thing shifted, and I turned more into like healthy eating and learning more about nutrition. And that’s where my focus has been. And it’s worked for me really well up until the last few months when I gained a lot of weight. Like 12 months ago, I was at a really comfortable weight. Like most women, I still would probably say that I wanted to lose another five kilos, but I didn’t have to. I felt comfortable. I felt confident. My clothes fit well. And then the weight came back.

Marc: So you’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time, since you were young. What got that in your head? How did that start?

Jo: I grew up with a belief that in order for me or any person to be liked or loved or successful you have to be skinny. And my mother, bless her, she tried to make me skinny like really hard. I think from an early age I never knew when I was hungry. If there was food in front of me, I would eat as fast as I could and as much as I could. Because anytime I would say, “I’m hungry. Can I have some food?” My mom would say, “No, because dinner is in like two hours.”

So I basically learned to eat as fast as I could and as much as I could. And then the whole dieting started. I’ve been prescribed some diet pills when I was I think 11 or 12 as well. So I was on that for some time. That didn’t really work that well. And then I got older. I was like in my teens. Then I would do all the diets I could get my hands on. So I tried the powders, the meal replacements, one egg for breakfast and then salad for dinner kind of thing. I tried everything.

Marc: I get it. What country did you grow up in?

Jo: Poland.

Marc: Grew up in Poland. Got it. And you’re living in England now, correct?

Jo: Yeah.

Marc: How long have you been living in England?

Jo: It’s going to be 14 years in January.

Marc: Wow. I have Polish blood in me.

Jo: Oh, do you?

Marc: My grandmother spoke Polish. Yes. Yeah.

Jo: Really?

Marc: Yeah, she was from the old country for sure. She spoke Polish. She spoke English. She spoke Yiddish. She spoke Russian.

So 20 years of vegetarian. Do you know what your blood type is by any chance?

Jo: Yeah, it’s group A, A+.

Marc: Yeah, that makes sense. By the way, for people tuning in, I ask that because in the blood type diet system, which is actually a very useful system for understanding some general nutritional proclivities, tendencies, needs. Oftentimes, people with blood type A, they seem to very naturally lean towards a non-meat or a vegetarian diet. It’s fascinating to watch, and they tend to fare well on that kind of diet compared to, let’s say, a type O who they seem to be more the natural meat eaters.

So, so, so. Are you a fast eater these days?

Jo: I’m a recovering fast eater. I have to make really conscious effort to eat slowly. It’s a process for me, and I basically learn this with every meal I have. I could say now that I’m probably moderate-to-fast. I’m still not moderate to slow, but it’s progress.

Marc: Sure, sure. That’s great. So you mention in the last year when you’ve had some of the weight gain here, yeah, there’s been some emotional challenges. Put the emotional challenges said. Put it to the side for a second. Has anything changed in this last year? Have you moved? Have you switched a job? Have you gone on any prescription drugs?

Jo: Yeah, I’ve changed jobs. I work as a contractor, so I work on interim contract. So I finished my last contract this time last year and then started new contract in March this year. But it’s pretty much the same job, just a different place.

Marc: Sure, sure, sure. Can I ask if you are on any kind of prescription medications?

Jo: Yeah, very recently, maybe for the last two or three months, I’ve been prescribed anti-reflux medication. But that’s because for a couple of years I felt like I had something stuck in my throat, so I went to the ENT doctor. And she looked in and she said, “I think it’s inflamed from the reflux.” So she gave that to me, and I don’t know if it’s making any difference. I’m going back to see her in January.
Marc: Got it. Got it. Got it. Okay. Give me a quick idea of a typical breakfast for you.

Jo: I’m very much a savory person, so usually I would eat a couple of slices of bread with eggs, with like a fried egg, or I would have it with hummus. Yeah, that’s pretty much usually. Sometimes I’ll have some porridge with like peanut butter or some hemp seeds and maybe a few slices of a banana. But that’s pretty much what I would do Monday to Friday, and then on weekends we would maybe have an omelet or something like that.

Marc: And how about lunch?

Jo: Lunch, I usually bring in with me. So I take my lunches to work, and I would usually have some sort of greens. So like now, I eat a lot of kale or cabbage or whatever is in season. Then I would usually have maybe like a sweet potato or a little bit of black rice. And then I try to have some protein, so I would have lentils or maybe beans, also maybe some tofu or something like that.
Marc: And dinner?

Jo: Dinner is challenging because I find that I do quite well during the day with my meals and how I eat and what I eat. And I find that oftentimes when I come home in the evening, that’s my time to like, “Aah,” like relax and unwind. And I think I tend to overeat at dinner, but I would probably tend to eat pretty much the same that I would for lunch. So I would have some greens, some starches or some carbs, and some protein.

Marc: And if you overeat, you would just overeat. You would eat more of any particular thing?

Jo: No, if I overeat, I just tend to eat whatever is there until it’s gone.

Marc: Alcohol?

Jo: I don’t drink that much. Like I would have a glass of wine maybe if we go out to dinner maybe a couple of times a month.

Marc: How’s your sleep?

Jo: It’s good. I usually wake up a couple of times a night, but I don’t have problems going back to sleep.

Marc: Are you under a doctor’s care? Have you had any blood tests in the last year?

Jo: Yeah, I’ve had quite a lot of actually blood tests because a couple of years ago I think I did like a blood check-up. And they found that I was low on my white cells. So I’ve been going back every few months for a check-up. So they do all sorts of tests. And I’ve also done, on my own, I’ve tested for vitamin D. This time last year my vitamin D levels were literally on the floor. They were like so near to zero. So I’ve been on supplement for the last 12 months, and I got it re-tested a couple of weeks ago. And it’s still not within the good range, but it’s much higher on the bad range.

Marc: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Jo: Yeah.

Marc: Okay. That’s good to know. Did they talk about your blood sugar or your thyroid?

Jo: So I’ve done blood sugar last year as well, and it was normal. And I’ve done the thyroid hormones as well. And I’ve done one test that it came a little off. And then I had those repeated and it came back normal.

Marc: How’s your energy level?

Jo: It’s generally okay. I sometimes feel a little run-down. What I’ve noticed as well for myself when I’ve been playing with the food and experimenting with the food, I don’t do that well on wheat or like if I have… And I don’t do well with sugar. So I have no sweets pretty much whatsoever. I don’t eat cakes or cookies or anything. But I’ve been noticing it for years now that I don’t even eat that much fruit because I find I get that high for the first few minutes and then I get real lows even after I eat an apple.

Marc: Sure. So, interesting. You mentioned we. Are you in a relationship?

Jo: Yeah.

Marc: How long?

Jo: So four and a half years.

Marc: Married, living together?

Jo: No, we’ve been living together. We’ve been engaged for a couple of years now. We’ve been living together.

Marc: Congratulations.

Jo: Thank you.

Marc: How long did you know each other beforehand?

Jo: We didn’t. We just met and then we started dating and we went steady. So, yes, it’s four and a half years.

Marc: Do you guys have similar—how should I say—approaches to food and health? Is there a lifestyle match there?

Jo: So, no. My partner’s name is Tony, and he’s completely differently to me like totally. He’s your potato and meat kind of man. He’s Irish as well, so like all he wants is just potato and meat. He’s got such a sweet tooth as well. When we go out and we order dessert, that dessert always ends up in front of me because everyone thinks it’s the woman who’s going to eat chocolate. I’m like, “No, thank you.”

Marc: So how does he feel about your body? Does he care about the fact that you might’ve gained a few kilos? What does he say?

Jo: He doesn’t care. He keeps telling me that I’m beautiful and he loves me and he loves my body. He always says it like, “You need to put on more weight.” It’s like, “Nah.” He’s not bothered.

Marc: Are you close with your mom?

Jo: No.

Marc: Okay.

Jo: Not really.

Marc: How is her relationship with her body and her weight?

Jo: My mom, she is super skinny, like super skinny. I think where it started for her, I found out only recently when she was in—I think it was in high school. She was told by one of her teachers that she was too chubby or something, and then she went and lost a lot of weight when she was maybe 17. And she kept that weight off, and she is very controlling when it comes to food. And she’s very restrictive. Yeah.

Marc: Got it. So when are you going to get married?

Jo: Well, we were meant to get married September gone, so three months ago we were meant to get married. But then Tony got really sick November last year, so we had to postpone it. So we don’t have a new date yet.

Marc: Mmhmm. Understood. So is that part of the emotional challenge of this past year?

Jo: I think so. I think it was one of the big things that was meant to happen and didn’t happen.

Marc: Got it. Anything else you want to share about the last year that would feel good and okay and safe to share now about what’s been happening for you?

Jo: So, yes. We had to postpone the wedding. Tony got sick. He’s okay now. He’s on treatment and everything. But it was scary at the time. And then my best friend broke up with me. So one of the relationships in my life fell apart. I think the other thing that has been quite big in my life in this year is that I think I came to realize that I’m not going to have kids because I am hitting 40 and Tony’s older as well. With him being on treatment, it’s unlikely that it would happen. So I think, for me, it’s a big part of what I need to process or let go of or grieve maybe even.

Marc: Had you planned on having kids in your mind?

Jo: Oh, yeah. Like in my mind, I was married and had two kids by the time I was 30. So not hitting that target.

Marc: Yeah. That’s big. That’s a big life let-go, for sure. Okay. I could keep going, but I think I’ve got a lot of good information. And I appreciate you answering all of my questions. I really do. So I’d love to put together some of my thoughts here, and we’ll take it from there and see where we get to.
I’m going to start with big picture first. And I’m going to say to you that usually in conversations like this I’ll have a pretty good idea of why I think a person has extra weight on their body or they put on weight. Usually, it’s not that difficult to kind of narrow down. I’m not so sure for you. I’m really not so sure for you. And that’s not a bad thing, by the way. It’s not a bad thing. I’m going to mention to you some possible factors that I see going on.

Here’s a possible factor number one. You’re turning 40, and you’re 40-ish.

Jo: 39-ish.

Marc: 39. Okay. You’re turning 40. Got it. So that’s a big transition. It’s a big transition emotionally. It’s a big transition personally. Physiologically, I’ve noticed the same thing. I have no research to back this up other than observation, but I am convinced that especially when people turn 40 there’s a physiologic shift. There’s an internal shift. And whatever that shift is, for sure the inner shift that I’ve noticed is that there’s a part of us that incarnates at 40. There’s a part of us that’s born at 40. It’s sort of like the adult in us. It’s sort of like our voice comes through like never before. Who we really are starts to come through like never before.

It’s also a change place because you’re not in your 30s anymore. There’s something about the 30s. It’s a certain kind of youth. And 40 marks a different phase. It’s a different adult phase, and it’s also this thing where arbitrarily we say, “Whoa, if I’m hitting 40,” then for a woman it’s clearly like, “Wait a second. Is that too late for kids?” It’s right at that moment, really. And it is a big transition for you, given what you’ve been going through, given your partner’s health scare, given that you had big plans for a wedding. That’s huge. And also seeing that, “Whoa. Wait a second. Given the situation, my age, his age, where he’s at, where we’re at, it doesn’t look like kids are going to happen.” So that’s a lot.

It probably feels like a lot to you or maybe not, but I’m saying from over here, from outside looking in, that’s a lot. That’s a lot of life to digest. So to me, it would not be unreasonable for the body to gain weight for no apparent reason. If you tell me I’m eating the same and this weight comes on, usually what that means is that there’s a physiologic change happening in somebody’s body. Like, “Wait. I’m doing everything the same,” and now here’s this weight gain or, for some people, weight loss. Like, whoa.
So usually, it’s a physiologic shift in the body which happens. Sometimes we just change. The body just changes, and it doesn’t let us know. It doesn’t give us an email in advance. It just shifts. That’s a possibility for you. But also, when we have powerful life transition, sometimes the body responds by putting on weight. It’s a way to help us ground. And it’s just what the body does. It grounds us. It protects us. It keeps us more here in a certain way.

There’s another piece of the puzzle that I want to put into the mix that I don’t know if it’s true for you or not. Oftentimes, what happens is for a vegetarian diet, let’s say, for most humans a vegetarian diet, it tends to be what I call a genetic experiment. And I’m not knocking being a vegetarian. I was a vegetarian for many, many years. You don’t come from a lineage of vegetarians. Your ancestors were not vegetarians. So when you become a vegetarian, you are taking a genetic hard right or hard left. You’re going in a whole different direction.

Sometimes the genetic experiment works and sometimes it doesn’t. Again, this is with any kind of diet, whether you become a vegetarian or raw food, a meat eater. I don’t care what it is. Anytime you do something different than your genetic history, it’s an experiment. And it’s fine. I love experiments. So oftentimes, what can happen is certain diets have a timeline on them. And a diet might work for us for five years, 10 years, 20 years, however long. And then all of a sudden, body shifts, body changes, and we change.

So that’s a possibility. Do you ever find yourself craving more meat, more protein?

Jo: That is so interesting what you just said because I found in the last few months, maybe a year even, I’ve been really thinking of going back to eating fish. And I’ve been really thinking or feeling that I’m struggling with protein sources. So, yeah. So I’ve been considering going back to eating fish.

Marc: Yeah. So what I would say… And again, if you’re tuning in and you’re listening into this right now and you’re a vegetarian, don’t be mad at me. I love vegetarians. I love meat eaters. I love everybody when it comes to food and diet. I might not like what they eat all the time, but it’s all about what works and what doesn’t. And we have to be smart scientists. We have to be smart clinicians. We have to be smart observers, plain and simple. So I understand all the great reasons why one would be a vegetarian. They’re awesome. In fact, my bias is that the world eats too much meat. That’s my bias.

And for you, given what you’re saying and given that you’ve been thinking about this and considering it, that tells me that it’s your body wisdom kind of talking a little bit potentially. So from the standpoint called, “Huh. Maybe she’s having a physiologic shift,” which happens to people. We change. We get older. At different age group, at different times in your life, you could be all of a sudden more sensitive to foods you were never sensitive to.

Jo: Yeah, that happened to me as well because there are three foods that I really can’t eat which is avocado, poppy seeds, and pineapple that I’ve never had problems with them. And then, I suddenly started having problems with them. So eating a plant-based diet and not being able to eat avocado is a lot of times it’s difficult.

Marc: That’s too bad. That’s my favorite kind of like substantial food. When I was a vegetarian, I probably had six avocadoes a day, so I understand. So this is telling me more and more that your body is shifting. So from that evidence, from that data that you’re presenting to me, I’m considering this an experiment. I’m considering your life an experiment, our nutrition as an experiment. It’s useful to say, “Okay. Well, here’s what’s happening. Oh, my goodness. Yeah, I can’t eat avocadoes anymore. I can’t eat pineapples. Can’t eat poppy seeds. Huh. Some weight is coming on. Huh. I’ve been thinking about going back to fish. Huh. I’ve been having problems with protein sources.” And then when I know your lineage and I know Eastern Europeans were—we ate meat.

Jo: That’s so true.

Marc: I would be interested to see you as an experiment for six months having more fish in your diet if that feels right for you. See if you could do it once a day. And start to notice what the difference might be. I’m also wondering where fat in your diet comes from. Where would you say you get fat from?
Jo: I get fat from olive oil. I use olive oil on all my salads. I use coconut oil for cooking. I eat probably too many, but I eat nuts as well. I snack on nuts.

Marc: Okay, great.

Jo: So nuts and seeds as well.

Marc: So I’m interested for you to start doing fish once a day and just begin to see if that makes a difference. If I was getting paid 10 million dollars to help you lose weight sustainably, I’d probably want to focus on increasing the amount of protein in your diet and, ideally, introducing a non-plant source base of protein, either meat or bird or fish. That’s what I would experiment doing. Just for the heck of it. Just because it makes sense. Just because it can work. It’s a good bet.

So I’m going to guess for you—and this is an educated guess—that there’s probably a number of factors going on for you that’s contributing to the weight gain. And I think part of it is personal. Personal, emotional. What you’ve been going through is a lot. You’re in a major life phase transition where you’re letting go on one level of a lifelong dream. You said, “Wow, I thought I’d be married and have a couple of kids by 30.” So that’s a big life dream to let go of.

Sometimes when we’re going through challenge, the body just wants to hang onto more weight because that’s what the stress response does oftentimes in the human body. Some people lose weight. Some people gain it. Some people, nothing. So I’m going to guess it’s a combination of that, and I’m going to guess it’s probably also your body shifting. Your metabolism is shifting, so we have to shift a little bit. That’s why I’m interested in for you experimenting and following your hunch, following your intuition here.
I would especially like to see you eating protein in the first kind of half of your day as opposed to just at dinner. I’d want to see you get more protein in during the day because that will kind of signal your body that there’s protein in my system as opposed to waiting at night when it’s our—kind of evening time is not as much of our nutritional part of the day. We’re winding down. We’re not out there hunting and gathering and doing all our activity.

Those are the pieces I would love to see you focus on. I think it’s also good to continue in the vein you’ve been working in and become a slower eater. Really, what that does and I don’t always explain this fully because it takes a little while. You’re training your body to take in food in the optimum state. When we take in food in the optimum state which is relaxation when there’s nobody chasing you, when you’re not running for your life, if I’m eating fast I’m sending the signal to the brain that I’m not safe while I’m eating.

At the same time, there’s a reason. It’s usually habit for many people, but the habit is driven by something. So the habit of fast eating is driven by, “Oh, my God, there’s not going to be enough food,” or, “Oh, my God, I’ve just got to eat this fast. Some other creature’s going to take it.” Or, “Oh, my goodness. I’ve just got to get this over with because food is really not good for me. Food kind of makes me fat, so let me just eat it quickly.”

So there could be a lot of information going on in your head that then causes this habit. But as we change that habit, you change your physiology. Literally, how we eat is just as important as what we eat. So I want to see your physiology getting finer and finer. Now, the challenge is as you and I get older things fall apart. So we have to work smarter and do the things that seemingly can make a bigger difference.

So even though the body gets older, we can train it in certain ways so that it functions finer. When you’re young, you could throw food in your body. You could eat a lot of junk and your body can recover. When you’re older, it takes longer to recover. So what I’m saying is we have to be smarter with the body as we get older because then the body functions smarter. So I think you’re at a point where—and I think you’re good at this because you’ve been paying attention to your diet. It sounds to me, from what you’ve said, your body talks to you. You listen to it. You notice, “Oh, this food doesn’t work for me, so I don’t eat it.” Even when you overeat, you’re not overeating junk.

Jo: No. Yeah.

Marc: So what I’m saying is you have trained your body to be smarter. Not everybody does that. What you just said to me, most people who complain about overeating or binge-eating, they’re eating things they know they shouldn’t be eating. Do you follow me? So I’m saying that you’ve been, to me, progressing well in this realm. And all I’m saying is you’ve got to get better and better in order to keep your body where you want it to be.

So with the weight gain, I’m going to say this is a bit of a mystery. We have some good ideas. We have good ideas, meaning there’s a good chance that it’s connected to what you’ve been going through personally and emotionally. There’s a good chance that it’s related to the experiment called “be a vegetarian for 20 years” now wants to shift a little bit. Because genetics talk to us.

Genetics will eventually catch up to us I find when it comes to diet. I’ve just noticed that over the years. So I think there’s a little bit of genetic pressure happening for you. And I also think your body is just changing. And when the body changes, we have to change along with it. If, all of a sudden, my elbow hurts, I’m probably going to not play as much tennis. That’s all. I’m just listening to my body. How’s this all landing for you so far, what I’m suggesting and what I’m saying to you?
Jo: I’ve got a practical question that I’ll park for now. But in terms of how it’s landing, it’s almost like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders because what you just said to me sounds like it’s okay. I’m not a total failure. I’ve not been doing everything wrong. Yes, there are potentially things that I need to tweak. But it’s okay.

Marc: Yes.

Jo: And yeah, in that sense, I feel like, “Okay. Marc gave me permission to experiment or to do whatever it is.” I can relax and I can be even kinder to myself and take another step on that. I said earlier I stopped dieting and being on a diet a few years ago, and I think maybe old habits die hard. And every now and again, I would go back to self-attack or self-hate and everything and all that.
That’s another thing that I think I have been getting better over the years, and what you just said as well reinforced for me, it’s like, “Okay. It’s fine. Maybe you’re just 40. Maybe you’ll need to buy new clothes, but whatever.”

Marc: You mentioned another piece of the puzzle which is for most of your life you’ve been carrying around the belief that I have to change this, this whole thing. When we’re told, “You’re chubby. You’re fat. You need to lose weight…” When we’re young, even when we’re older, we don’t hear, “Oh, you just need to lose a bunch of body fat.” What we hear and what we’re really told is, “You’re not okay. You’re not lovable like this.”

Jo: Yeah, you’re a bad person.

Marc: Yeah, you’re a bad person. You’re a bad fat person. And that lives in us. And it’s an awful insult. It’s awful. And it’s a terrible thing to carry around. It’s a poison. It’s a toxin. It doesn’t belong in the system. And what often happens for people is we reach a point when we realize, enough. This doesn’t work. Carrying around such a belief and such an insult in our system which you didn’t invent. It was given to you by the world. It was put in your mind.

When we carry that around, it’s a burden. It’s a stressor. Stressors impact us physiologically. They impact our metabolism. They impact our digestion. They impact our calorie-burning. It might not affect a person in a great way, or it may. And it might not affect us in a big way physiologically until a certain time when the body just—the nervous system, it’s too much.

So I think what is also happening right now for you is you’re stepping into your womanhood in a different way, and it’s time to accept yourself.

Jo: And I do feel the change, the energy shift. I do notice that I feel differently. Even when I talk to my mom, I’m having different conversations. I’m not allowing it to affect me as much at least consciously. So, yeah, I do feel the shift. Yeah.

Marc: Yeah, that’s a great thing. It’s important. And here’s the paradox. Jo, here’s what I want you to remember which is on the one hand, I want you to lose weight if there’s weight that your body wants to lose, absolutely. Absolutely. But I really would love to see you relax into this like never before and make it not that big of a deal. Meaning, “Oh, okay. Huh. This extra weight came on. Huh. Maybe I shift my diet. Huh. Maybe I eat slower. Huh. Maybe I just kind of pay attention a little more to myself and see where I can just be letting go more. Oh, maybe I’m going to eat more protein.”

It’s having that goal but, at the same time, not making it like our religion that we worship every moment of every day and make it the most important thing in our life. Make sense?

Jo: Yeah. And that’s another thing that has shifted for me very recently because I’ve always wanted to be slimmer so I can be liked. In the last, I don’t know, maybe couple of years or maybe last year, it started shifting for me. As I said to you in the beginning, my goal now is to actually heal the relationship with food and be relaxed around food. And if that means me not losing that weight that I put on, I’m okay with that now.

And that has been probably the biggest shift I’ve had in the, I don’t know, however many years.

Marc: Good for you. Good for you. As part of moving in that direction, I’ve just got to tell you the thought would’ve never entered my mind, “Huh. If only she would lose about eight kilos, I’d really have a much better time in this conversation. I’d like you better.” I would never think that. Who thinks like that?

Jo: I have been told that if I was slimmer or skinnier I would have found my partner earlier. And because I am fat, I had to wait until I was 36 to meet him.

Marc: I see. I see. Well, let me tell you something. I know a lot of skinny girls, and they ain’t any better off at age 30 or 40. It doesn’t matter. So all I’m saying is, yeah, it’s kind of silly on the one hand. And if there’s anybody that is not interested in you because they think you should be skinnier, if anybody doesn’t want to be your friend for that reason, which you’ve probably met few people like that in your life, you don’t want them as your friend. That’s a god-awful friend to have. That’s like you saying, “I don’t want to be in a relationship with somebody who’s going to get old and get sick,” because those people are going to get old and get sick. Whatever.

So you’re in a big transition here. You’re in a big life shift. There’s a lot happening. Again, I’m going to say—I want to be super clear with you—I think you have made so many smart decisions along the way. And the way this conversation has gone, you’ve really demonstrated to me that you’re paying attention to yourself. You’re listening. You’re tuning into your body wisdom. Yeah, it’s not all perfect. But whose life is perfect? Whose work is perfect? Whose relationship is perfect? Whose eating is perfect? Nobody really.

So the goal that you want, which is to love your body, that goal is the kind of goal we work at every day. It’s not the kind of goal where you win a lottery ticket one day, and you go, “Oh! It’s all gone. I got the winning lottery ticket,” and it disappears. It’s the kind of goal that is daily effort. And I think you’ve been doing that, and it’s not easy. If it was easy to love ourselves and have an easy relationship with food, we’d all do it. It’s very hard because we get programmed with absolute nonsense from a young age.

So we’re on a journey of reclaiming our power. We’re on a journey of reclaiming who we are in this world as human beings. Our power gets taken away from us in many different ways. We get many messages that tell us we’re not good enough and we’re not loveable as we are. It happens with food. It happens with body. It happens with money. It happens with size, shape, height, skin color. There’s a million things. At some point, we detoxify.

So you’ve been detoxifying all that. And so far, so good. So far, so good. I think you’re in a very good place. I really do.

Jo: Thank you.

Marc: I really do. Yeah, I think you’re in a really good place, and I would love for you to think of this time in your life as you’re embarking on a new path of your womanhood. Age 40 to 50 I call it queen-in-training. You’re not a princess anymore. You’re not a young lady anymore, but you’re not yet a queen. But all of a sudden, your womanhood is more present. It’s born. It’s here. And you’re learning how to be more and more of a woman, of a queen. A queen sits in her throne. A queen knows who she is. A queen is giving to the world. She gives her gifts.

She’s not sitting there saying to her subjects, “Do all you guys love me? Am I okay as who I am? Should I be eating peanuts instead of almonds? Will you like me better if I lost a pound or two?” A queen doesn’t say that. She doesn’t care. Of course, she cares about her looks and her dignity, but they don’t define her. And for that reason, she has a different kind of beauty that moves from within.
So you’re on that program right now. And I really want you to look for evidence that life is calling you into your womanhood because I think it is.

Jo: I think so too.

Marc: And I think you’re rising to that occasion. I think you are. And this is one part of it. So you’re looking to take care of your body. I think this conversation is perfect. You’re like, “Wait a second. My body’s doing something. This doesn’t make sense. I want to understand this more. I want help.” That makes perfect sense. A good queen will turn to her allies and turn to her advisers for help.

And then she takes in the information and she goes, “Okay. That was useful information to me. This piece wasn’t. I’m going to try this. I’m not going to try that.” That’s what a good king or queen does when they get advice. They measure it. Does that work for me or doesn’t it? Whether it’s something I say to you or anyone says to you. Because you’re the authority of you ultimately.

How are you doing?

Jo: Good. It makes so much sense what you’ve been saying. Thank you. So, thank you for that. It really means a lot. I think it’s one of those things that I probably will be thinking over the next days, weeks, and months and probably get more insights. It’s like, “Aah.” Yeah.

Marc: Yeah. You have been consistently living in the message that “I’m not good enough.” That message is a lie. It’s not true. Most humans live with that for different reasons. So that’s starting to leave your system. One of the ways we help it leave our system is instead of fighting that negative message we simply look to the other side of the coin which is, “Wait a second. Where am I good enough? Where can I celebrate my efforts? Where can I celebrate my successes? Where can I acknowledge myself?”

If you’re going to push yourself—and, Jo, this is for you. This is for anyone listening in. If you’re going to push yourself and push yourself and push yourself and try to make yourself better, fine. But you’ve got to balance it out with celebrating your successes. Otherwise, when you get a success, you’re not even going to know you’re there. And then people who get their goal, they hit their goal, and then they’re onto the next one. And we never relax. We never enjoy. We never feel the victory. We never allow ourselves to have the feeling that we think we’re going to have when we get where we want to go.
That’s just me saying to you it’s time to start celebrating some of the successes that you’ve had. And really, I think that means acknowledging yourself because you’ve worked hard in this realm. You really have. And you’ve done well for yourself.

Jo: Thank you.

Marc: Yeah. Good job, young lady. I’m pretty proud of you.

Jo: Could I have a question?

Marc: Of course.

Jo: Just going back to what we talked about earlier about me experimenting with eating fish. Do you have kind of any practical advice or thoughts on me transitioning into…? My concern is that I’ve not eaten meat for like 20 years and probably not eaten fish for seven or more. And the reason I haven’t done it yet is that I’m worried that I’ll eat that fish and then I’ll have digestive issues and get sick. If you have any advice on transitioning, that’d be really helpful.

Marc: Sure. Sure, sure, sure. I would look to eat, A, the kind of fish you’re most attracted to. See what literally you’re attracted to. What are you drawn to? I would start out with a small amount. I don’t know how to measure… Two ounces. Half the size of your hand would probably be two ounces. And start out with a small amount with the kind of fish that you’re attracted to. And take it from there.

What I will say to you is I will bet you that you’re not going to have a bad reaction especially with that amount. Most of what you’re going to probably feel is more the emotional piece of like, “Oh my God, I’m eating this thing that used to swim and move that I haven’t eaten for so long.” So I think it would be useful to be aware of if there’s any personal, emotional, moral piece happening for you to do whatever ritual you need to do to make good with planet earth, to make good with the fishes and the animals.

Like whatever ritual you need to do, whatever prayer, whatever affirmation, whatever it is for you to get clear that you’re not eating a fish because you’re a murderer or you don’t care. You’re eating this because we live on planet earth, and everything eats everything. There is not a single thing that is not eaten by another single thing, at least in its death. It’s like a whale dies, and fish are going to eat it. And bacteria are going to eat it. And sharks are going to eat it. Everything gets eaten. Your body dies. The worms are going to eat it. We get eaten. And we eat. And it’s how life works on this planet.

So we have to get good with that. Is it a sweet and pretty thing all the time? Absolutely not. It’s like whoa. It’s a crazy experience. So we have to understand this is what planet earth is and how do you make good with that? How do you participate in that so you can feel good about yourself, so you can feel empowered? So those are the pieces I think are important. Start out with a small amount, the kind of fish you’re attracted to. Eat it more either at breakfast or lunch as opposed to late in the day.
Jo: Mmhmm.

Marc: And figure out what you need to do inside your own self to ritualize this experience so it feels like you’re stepping into it with more authority and more dignity, as opposed to eating the fish and going, “No! I really shouldn’t be doing this. This is bad. Oh, no, I have to. But, no, I really shouldn’t.” I want you to find a way to do it so you’re doing it. So that you’re getting behind your choice and getting behind your decision. Does that make sense?

Jo: That makes perfect sense. Yeah.

Marc: Yeah.

Jo: Thank you.

Marc: Yay. Did you have another question?

Jo: No. I just wanted to say thank you because I’ve been following you for some time. The work you do in the world it’s lif-echanging, and it has been for me as well. Thank you.

Marc: I so appreciate that, Jo. I really do. And I appreciate our conversation, and I have a ton of confidence in you. I really do. I think you have everything you need to get where you want to go. I’ve got no doubt in my mind.

Jo: Thank you.

Marc: Yes, you are welcome. And thank you, everybody, for tuning in. I so appreciate it. I so appreciate you being on this journey with us. Please, if you enjoyed this, share it with a friend. Let other people know about it. Find out more about what we do and lots more to come, my friends. I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. You take care.

I hope this was helpful. Thanks for listening to the Psychology of Eating podcast. To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video series at That’s I for Institute, P for Psychology, E for T-i-p-s. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of dynamic eating psychology and mind/body nutrition that have helped millions of people forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health.

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The Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked

Quality sleep is one of many benefits of sleeping naked

Insomnia is a bigger issue in the United States than most people think. More than a third of all American adults aren’t getting enough sleep. That’s enough to be considered an epidemic. Sleeplessness doesn’t just make you yawn; it has a significant effect on obesity, diabetes, blood circulation, muscle health, heart health, the immune system, and cognitive behavior.[1]

Because of our sleep crisis, more people than ever before have resorted to sleeping pills. In 2015, Americans spent an estimated $41 billion on sleep aids. A 2013 study concluded that nearly nine million Americans use sleeping pills, and that figure continues to rise.[2] This is cause for concern as sleep aids can have severe health consequences. They may lead to dependence, addiction, and a host of negative side effects.[3, 4] Fortunately, there’s an all natural (and au naturale) trick you can try to sleep better tonight.

Simply sleeping naked has a host of health benefits including better sleep, balanced mood, better sex life, weight loss, and sexual health for both men and women.

1. Sleeping Naked Gives You Better Quality Sleep

Temperature has a tremendous effect on your sleep patterns and quality. While your body temperature is usually somewhere around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, studies have found cooler ambient temperatures support better sleep. A slight drop in room temperature signals your body that it’s bedtime, causing your brain to release a sleep hormone called melatonin. An ideal room temperature for sleeping is around 65° F.[5, 6]

Ambient temperature, pajamas, sheets, blankets, down comforters, the body heat of a sleeping partner, and the family cat dozing on your feet can all add up to make things uncomfortably warm, causing you to wake up. Shedding your pajamas and sleeping in the buff is a fantastic way to cool yourself down and enjoy your rest. Since nudity is free, it’s also significantly cheaper than cranking up the AC.

2. Napping Nude Supports Your Mood

Chronic insomnia drastically increases the risk of anxiety and depression.[7] Even partial sleeplessness can put you in a cranky mood. Fortunately, a good night’s sleep can quite literally clear your mind. We’ve always known that sleep helps support brain health, but only recently have we begun to understand why.

During your waking hours, your brain tissue gradually accumulates beta-amyloid, a protein that is toxic to nerve cells. When you sleep, your body signals the glial cells in your brain to open up and flush away these toxic proteins. With the better sleep you’ll get from going au naturale, you should be able to drain your brain and feel refreshed the next morning.[8, 9]

3. Sleeping Stark-Naked Sparks Your Sex Life

Frequent nudity leading to more frequent sex may seem like a no-brainer. However, there’s a little more to it than just easier access. Skin to skin contact triggers your pituitary gland to release oxytocin. Often called “the love hormone,” oxytocin promotes feelings of attachment and emotional closeness. In other words, sleeping naked will put you in the mood for love more often.[10]

4. Going Commando Promotes Sperm Count

Not only does sleeping nude help with the aforementioned increase in sex, it can help improve sperm count as well. The ideal temperature for sperm production is just a few degrees cooler than body temperature. Tight undergarments leave the testes too hot. A 2016 study investigated the effects underwear choice had on men’s sexual health. It found that men who slept sans undies had a higher sperm count and better sperm quality than those that wore boxers or briefs.[11]

5. Nudity Supports Vaginal Health

Sleeping naked isn’t only important to men’s health, women can get the benefits of sleeping in the buff as well. The vagina is a resilient, self-cleaning organ, and sleeping nude helps it maintain balance and regulate PH levels. Constricting clothing traps heat and moisture. Warm, moist conditions encourage the growth of yeast and bacteria, possibly leading to vaginitis. Fresh air is the enemy of infection. Letting things air out by leaving your body uncovered at night can help prevent yeast infections and leave you feeling fresh.[12, 13]

6. Lose Weight by Losing Your Pajamas

No, you probably won’t be able to just sleep yourself slim, but when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, proper sleep can help support metabolism and encourage weight loss.[14]

Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your hunger hormones, leading to weight gain and obesity. Your hunger hormones are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin decreases your appetite, while ghrelin increases it. Your body produces leptin naturally while in the stages of deep sleep. Fitful sleep prevents your body from producing an adequate supply of leptin, while overproducing ghrelin.

This imbalance in your hormone levels leads to an abnormally elevated feeling of hunger, causing you to eat more than you should. A study by the University of Wisconsin confirms that poor sleep patterns are closely associated with high Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity across all ages. Stripping before bed allows you to get better sleep and normalize your hunger hormone levels.

7. Sleeping Bare Helps Skin and Hair

Beauty rest is absolutely a real thing. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that your body produces in response to stress and low blood sugar. Studies have found that missing sleep can also cause a surge in cortisol levels. Unfortunately, elevated cortisol levels suppress growth hormone and disrupt your system, damaging hair growth and degrading skin. Keeping your cortisol levels low with the right sleep schedule will help keep your hair strong and your skin beautiful.[15, 16,17]

Try It Tonight

Proper sleep is critical to your overall health. Sleeping nude won’t cure all sleep disorders, but it could may help you rest a little better. It’s fun and free in more ways than one. Give it a try tonight and see if you feel the difference.

The post The Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


Natural Beauty & Wellness in Oslo – My Personal Army

Coming from the eco-beauty and wellness mecca of Vancouver, Canada, it is needless to say I was at a total loss when I arrived in Norway a few years back without a new army of natural beauty and wellness stops in Oslo. Need a colonic? Forget it! Want to get your eyebrows done? Wait until Summer holidays in Canada…

For years, I continued getting my eyebrows and hair done on every trip home to Canada – I simply hadn’t found where the right fit in Oslo yet. Not only that, every trip home (and every work trip to NYC), I’d arrive to a room stacked with boxes from my favourite shops in the US and Canada and dutifully fill up my suitcase (or in some cases, “suitcases”) with my favourite superfoods, beauty finds and eco-chic accessories.

I’ve finally started to feel a bit settled when it comes to getting my hair done, and taking care of my health and wellness in the city that I currently call home, so I thought I’d share with you all my Top Places for eco-beauty and wellness in the city of Oslo. This post also comes as an inspiration following my beautiful colleague who suggested it – and is new to Norway, thus facing a lot of the same trials I had when I first moved here.

And so, without further adieu, here’s my Oslo Personal Beauty Army list.

Green Beauty Shops in Oslo & Online in Norway

For online and offline shopping, my green beauty go-to’s are growing.

Right now, my favourites: is one of the best when it comes to stocking my favourite skincare from around the globe. For example, they’re the only one in Norway carrying my fave Plume Science’s Lash & Brow enhancing serum.

Heaven Scent Eger

Down in the beautiful department store Eger, you will find a beautifully curated Heaven Scent, which carries a tonne of green beauty finds that you will love and admire as much as I. Think RMS & Tata Harper, just down the block from you!

Gimle Parfymeri

In the fancy streets of Frogner, you’ll find the Gimle Parfymeri, which has an “organic” side, stocked with wonderful brands that have been carefully curated for your green shopping pleasure. Check them out here.

Best Hair Stylist in Oslo

For hair, I trust one man, his name: Andrés Klovstad (don’t forget the accent on the e – you’ve been warned, hah!). He’s a talent to say the least, and knows how to turn my long hair (lovingly referred to by my mother as “amish style”) into something with a banging body.

Find him at Gevir Salon in Oslo. Find Andrés at Thorvald Meyers gate 15, and book ahead. I don’t do colour, so if you’re seeking out natural colouring, please bring your own (and discuss with Andrés first)!

Natural Brows Shaping & Hair Removal in Oslo

I don’t let anyone but Khushi Chawla do my facial hair – she does it out of her home (and also does sugaring / threading and facials). She is my hair removal favourite in this city and threads “seamlessly.” I prefer threading on my brows as it doesn’t stress the delicate skin around the eyes (which can lead to unnecessary stretching of the skin). She also does natural sugaring to remove the hair, so you’re never using toxic artificial waxes on your skin.

Everything is super sanitary and she uses a new pot of sugar for the “sensitive areas.” You’ll need to call and make an appointment in advance, since she operates out of her home (Trelastgata 21). Email her at

Natural Facials in Oslo

My facialist is only in Oslo for 2 weeks / month, so you need to make an appointment in advance. Shirley of Sund Hud is amazing, and uses only the best natural products, as well as the bio-peeling machine. You can read more about that on my Instagram. She is between Copenhagen and Oslo each month, so you can also find her when you’re across the pond. She ends the treatment with lovely ISUN products.

Natural Healing & Wellness

I am a big fan of healing ailments naturally (big surprise?). Healing what’s going on, on the inside has everything to do with what is going on, on the outside. Acne, weight gain, psoriasis and the likes all start beyond the surface of the skin. Here are my favourite Oslo healers:


For acupuncture when I’m having a difficult moon cycle, or any other health issue that’s tough, my go-to is Katharina Nes at Akupunktur Huset.

Energy Work

Mesedeh Dakini is a healer. She works with cupping and energy healing. Find her via her Instagram. She works out of her home, and she fills up fast (especially around full or new moons). The photo above is a few days following a treatment with her. It doesn’t hurt, rather, it relieves pain.


For when something is out of alignment, Morten Berg at Oslo Osteopati is your go to – again he books up fast, so you will need to get your first appointment several weeks in advance.


Working with something more emotional? Like a breakup or other big life transition? Meet Anne Grethe from InnerLife Senter, who works in unorthodox ways to help you heal. She also runs workshops around mindfulness and stress reduction. Contact her directly here.

Energy, Shamanic Healing & Astrology Chart Reading

I recommend a dear bestie, Tonje Naess, who works with natural healing – specifically she works with energy and shamanic healing as well as reads astrological charts. She’s not in Oslo often but can offer many of her services online. Find her here.

Homeopath & Reflexology

For homeopathic doctors, who works with functional herbs and homeopathic remedies, I seek out the advice of Helene Moxheim from Balderkliniken. Find her here.

Colonics & Cleansing

Every 6 months, I head over to Tveitan Klinikken for a cleanse. This is great for ridding yourself of toxins and helping clear the skin. Try to get in with owner Marianne, who always has a good story to tell.

Float Tank

Yes, there are float tanks in Oslo, and you will find them at BareFlyt. It is pure relaxation for 1 hour, where you are silently immersed in a salt water pod that feels kind of like.. well, the womb. Chill out and drop the mind clutter. Check them out in Sagene, and online here.



Most of you know I’m a certified yoga teacher, so I’m partial (of course) to the studio I teach at: Leela Yoga. Come down and take a class with me in Grunnerlokka – find the schedule here.

Hope you enjoyed this follow up to my outdated, but popular post “Natural in Norway“, I bring you my Norwegian green beauty & wellness army. I suppose I should probably also write the same post for Vancouver, LA, NYC and Paris…

Oh, and if there is something I’m missing and need to check out – post below!!! Who is in your Person Beauty Army?



The post Natural Beauty & Wellness in Oslo – My Personal Army appeared first on Living Pretty, Naturally.


How a 3-Day Fast Resets Your Immune System

3 day fast can help rejuvenate the immune system.

The benefits of fasting are many and various. Fasting supports good health by promoting a healthy body weight, encouraging normal cognitive function, and even facilitating detoxification. Now, research has also shown that fasting may help reset the immune system.

How Does Fasting Reset the Immune System?

Like every other system in the body, the immune system is subject to wear and tear. Aging, aggressive medical therapies, oxidative stress, environmental toxins, and the like can all accelerate the degradation of immune cells.[1, 2,3] When immune cells are weak and frail, they’re not as effective as they should be in protecting your health. This is where fasting can help.

When you fast, your body looks for nourishment everywhere it can. It goes after stored fat, but it also recycles malfunctioning or inactive cells, like those old, worn out immune system cells.[4] This cell recycling process, known as autophagy, makes room for your body to create fresh, new immune cells. It’s similar to spring cleaning, in that you declutter your body and end up with a rejuvenated immune system. Many people, especially those whose immune system is compromised, make a concerted effort to fast for a few days once or twice every six months to reset and reboot their immune system with fresh, strong cells.[5]

How to Fast

Forty-eight hours appears to be the minimum duration to see benefits to the immune system. If you’ve never performed a fast, start slow. Intermittent fasting is a fasting technique in which you increase the amount of time between meals until you can go most of the day without eating food. If you tolerate this well and aren’t under the care of a health care professional, you can try alternate day fasting. When you’re feeling ready, you can embark on an extended water fast to boost the immune system even further.

Have you tried fasting to improve your immune system? What was your experience like? Leave a comment below and share your insight!

The post How a 3-Day Fast Resets Your Immune System appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


Everything You Need to Know About Ketosis

Ketosis may help contribute towards weight loss.

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat, rather than sugar, for energy. Your body shifts into ketosis when your blood sugar is low, and the glycogen in your muscles has been depleted. Typically, this happens when you eat a low carb diet or fast from food altogether for a prolonged period. Ketosis is usually heralded as a fast and effective way to lose body fat. Research suggests that ketosis may positively affect health in other ways, as well.

How Does Ketosis Work?

Normally, your body is powered by sugar from carbohydrates, a macronutrient. However, if you drastically limit your intake of carbs, your body will tap into its sugar reserves, called glycogen. Once those are used up, a process that takes about three days, your liver begins to metabolize fat. This process is known as ketogenesis, and it produces ketones. Ketones are byproducts of fat metabolism that your body can use as an alternative form of energy.[1] One technical side note—some components of your body require a very small amount of sugar, but your body can produce that small amount of sugar by itself in a process called gluconeogenesis.[2]

The Ketogenic Diet

For your body to shift into ketosis, you must consume almost no carbohydrates. There are a couple of ways to limit your carb intake. One is through various types of fasting; another is by following a ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet is high in fat (70-80% of your daily calorie intake), low in protein (15-20%), and very low in carbohydrates (5-10% with no more than 20-30 grams of carbs per day).[3] There are different variations of the ketogenic diet, but, in general, it consists of low carb vegetables like leafy greens (not starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn) and healthy sources of fat and protein like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil. Depending on preference and dietary restrictions, some people consume eggs, meat, and fish.

How to Tell If You’re in Ketosis

A few telltale signs that your body is in ketosis include a rebound in energy and a lack of appetite. If you need a more definite answer, there are a couple of ways to determine if your body is in ketosis and to what degree. Urine test strips are the most common. They’re widely available and are color-coded to measure the presence of ketones in urine. Tests have also been developed to detect ketosis through exhaled breath.[4]

Health Benefits of Ketosis and the Ketogenic Diet

There are many health benefits of following a ketogenic diet. Putting your body into a state of ketosis may help with neurological disorders and sensory disturbances, abnormal cell development, and even recovery from spinal cord injury.[5][6][7] Most often, though, ketosis is praised for its beneficial effects on weight loss, blood sugar, and overall well-being.

Ketosis and Weight Loss

Because the ketogenic diet causes the body to burn stored body fat, it is effective for promoting weight loss.[8] A 2008 study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that overweight men who followed a ketogenic diet for a month lost, on average, 12 pounds.[9] Many people in ketosis develop healthier cholesterol levels, too.[10]

Ketosis and Blood Sugar

The ketogenic diet restricts the consumption of sugar, and it’s a helpful way to manage blood sugar levels.[11] In fact, many of the benefits of ketosis and the ketogenic diet are directly or indirectly related to reduced sugar intake.

Persons with type 1 diabetes may be susceptible to ketoacidosis, a potentially serious condition in which the acidity of the blood increases, and should not follow a ketogenic diet or seek ketosis without approval and observation from their trusted natural health care professional.

Ketosis and Healthy Aging

The ketogenic diet can help slow and soften the effects of aging by promoting longevity and strength.[12] Some research even suggests that it improves risk factors for some age-related health conditions.[13]

Ketosis and Brain Health

According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, a low carb diet supports normal cognitive function.[14] Animal studies suggest that the ketogenic diet may be helpful for neurodegenerative diseases.[15] This is because ketosis protects neurons from oxidative damage in the neocortex, the wrinkled, folded outer layer of the brain.[16] Damage to this area is a characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases.[1]

Ketosis and the Immune System

According to researchers at Yale School of Medicine, ketones support normal immune system function.[17] In an animal study, researchers found that hypersensitivity to allergens was significantly reduced when ketone levels were elevated.[1] Additionally, the diet stimulates the body’s immune cell recycling process to clear out old, worn out cells and make room for fresh, new, robust immune cells.[18]

Are There Side Effects of Ketosis?

It’s important to note that as ketones are produced, the acidity of the blood also increases. For most people, this isn’t an issue. For some people, like those with type 1 diabetes who don’t produce insulin, it can lead to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. Ketoacidosis can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, although it is much less common.

Ketosis is an individual experience that can be difficult to begin but the rewards are tremendous. The first two or three days are regarded as the hardest since you’re not eating sugar, but your body hasn’t yet entered ketosis. As a result, most people report feeling hungry, tired, irritable, and slow.[19] Once ketosis kicks in, and they start burning fat, their physical energy and mental clarity return. It’s tough but the juice is worth the squeeze.

If you’re interested in putting your body in ketosis but aren’t sure where to start, check out my vegan, ketogenic fast. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from people who’ve tried it.

Do you have experience with ketosis? What insight can you provide? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

The post Everything You Need to Know About Ketosis appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


Psychology of Eating Podcast: Episode #243 – A Mother Helps Her Son with Food Concerns

Amy has reached out to Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, in regards to her 9 year-old son, Xander, who has a complex, picky, and troublesome relationship with food. Marc explains the possible reasons for Xander’s anxiety around controlling what he eats. Amy learns what it could look like to support her son, while not trying to fix him. In Marc’s words, he is a sensitive, interesting soul, he is complex, and he is whole. He is not broken. In turn, Marc invites Amy into a new strategy of being curious with her son, in a way that will support him to manage and grow through his experience, as opposed to both of them being stuck in the spinning wheel of “what’s for dinner?… I don’t want that”.

Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

Real people. Real breakthroughs. This is a Psychology of Eating podcast where psychology and nutrition meet to uncover the true causes of our unwanted eating concerns. Your relationship with food will never be the same. Now, here’s your host, eating psychology expert and founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Marc David.

Marc: Welcome, everyone. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. We’re back in the “Psychology of Eating” podcast, and I’m with Amy today. Welcome, Amy.

Amy: Thank you, Marc.

Marc: I’m glad we’re here. Amy, let me just say a couple of words to viewers and listeners before you and I jump in. So, if you are a returning visitor to this podcast, thank you so much. I so appreciate you. I so appreciate you being part of our world. If you’re new to this podcast, Amy and I are meeting officially in person for the first time right now. And we’re going to be spending about 45 minutes to an hour together and seeing if we can make some good magic happen.

So, Miss Amy, if you could wave your magic wand and get whatever you wanted from this session, what would that look like for you?

Amy: Tools for helping my 9-year-old son not be so worried about eating.

Marc: Tools for helping your 9-year-old son not be so worried about eating. Tell me, what’s going on with him? What does it look like?

Amy: Um, he’s a very picky eating. Which is not new or different, but he tends to like something for a little while and then not like it. To the point of, I’ve provided a meal, he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t know what he wants, and he’s just not going to eat. And he will do that all day long. He’s hungry, but he doesn’t know, and even if I give him two options of things I know he likes, he’s just kind of not excited about food. Unless it’s chocolate or chopped Ramen.

Marc: So, he’s not excited about it, and give me more information. So, will he refuse to eat?

Amy: Yes. He refuses to eat. It’s confusing, because he eats well. I do meats, I do vegetables. He doesn’t like any spices or sauces on things. So, when I’m preparing meals for the family, I’m cooking meat and setting his portions aside and then adding spices and whatever I do to ours. He gets tired of chicken, because he’s always eating plain chicken or plain steak. And so he gets tired of it. But that’s just what he wants. He’s not adventurous when it comes to food. And even if he’ll try something and say, “Oooh, I kind of like this,” then the next time you’re like, “Ok, we found something new you liked, let’s go eat it,” he just is like, “No, never mind. I don’t like it.” And I don’t know at what angle I should be forcing him to eat new things or not or how do I get him interested in food.

Marc: Interesting. What was the last thing you said? “How do I get him interested…?”

Amy: In food. In nourishing himself beyond… I cook for people. I feed tons of people, and they love it, and I can’t feed my son.

Marc: Uh huh. Do you have any other kids?

Amy: I have an older son who’s 16, and he eats anything.

Marc: Uh huh. And how does your older son and your younger son get along?

Amy: Very well. They have their differences. They’re six years apart in age, so one is in high school and one is in grade school. So they have things there that they get under each other’s skin. I guess the little one wants to be like the big one and it’s not possible. But I would say in the last 6 months to a year, things have gotten better, because I’ve encouraged the older one to be more of a, not a father figure, but a better…

Marc: A big brother.

Amy: A big brother, yeah. A really big brother. We lived in Italy, and we moved, and that was a little bit traumatic. And then, their father decided to move back there, and we are divorced now, so I don’t know if that has a bit… My son, the little one, he wasn’t a very interested eater to begin with. So, I don’t know if that could’ve compounded that, but it just seems like it’s getting worse. I assumed that eventually he might be interested in food, and he just seems to be getting worse.

Marc: Uh huh. So, right now your two boys live with you?

Amy: Yes.

Marc: Mmhmm. How often do they see their father?

Amy: It depends. The little one saw him for 5 weeks this summer, and before that he saw them in the November before. Not often, and not regularly.

Marc: What’s your younger son’s name?

Amy: Xander, with an x.

Marc: Xander, ok. So, when did all this food stuff start with Xander, that you could notice or recall or remember?

Amy: At about 2 years old, he would start asking me what was for breakfast. The night before, he would ask me what was for breakfast, and I thought, “Ok, I can tell him.” And then he’d be like, “Well, I don’t want to eat.” And this is until the next day. And then we’d have breakfast, and he would eat stuff. He would want to know, as soon as breakfast was over, “Well, what’s for dinner?” And I would tell him what I was making for dinner, and he was like, “I don’t want to eat. I don’t like it.”
And it was like he would worry about it all day. Like, “I really don’t want to eat that tonight, Mom.” So, then I stopped telling him: “Xander, I don’t know. I haven’t decided.”
“Well, if it’s this then I’m not eating. So, I didn’t know if telling him was a good thing or not telling him was a good thing.

Marc: Got it. Does he have any other health issues?

Amy: No.

Marc: No asthma?

Amy: No.

Marc: No digestive issues?

Amy: No.

Marc: Ok.

Amy: When he was a baby, he had a hard time pooping, and I found that eliminating milk—me stopping eating milk—helped that. And so, I don’t have him drink milk now. Rarely does he get cow’s milk.

Marc: Was he born in the United States?

Amy: No, he was born in Italy.

Marc: Was he vaccinated there?

Amy: No.

Marc: Where was he vaccinated?

Amy: He hasn’t been.

Marc: Oh! Was that a choice of yours?

Amy: Yes.

Marc: Good for you. Ok, that’s actually very helpful for me. Were you a vegetarian when he was younger?

Amy: No.

Marc: No, ok. Ok. What’s his birthday?

Amy: June 9, 2007.

Marc: June 9. He’s a little Gemini.

Amy: Yeah.

Marc: Ok, ok. And tell me how old your older son is again.

Amy: Sixteen.

Marc: Sixteen, ok. How was your relationship with their father when Xander was born?

Amy: It was very good.

Marc: Mmhmm.

Amy: We were very close, and we were on the same page as far as—I had him at home, which in Italy at this point, they don’t do it, have babies at home. And his father delivered him, and we didn’t vaccinate; we didn’t circumcise; we just wanted to be natural. We eat really healthy. At first, we were eating all the breads and pastas there, but then we decided to cut back, because we were eating that a lot and felt heavy from it. And so, when we did come back, that helped the entire family, I feel, have a little bit more energy, noticeably. And, culturally, things just started to fall apart and change him. He is an American, he was here 20 years, and we were really on the same page as far as raising our older son. And then, I feel, when Xander was about 3, things started to fall apart. And so, eventually, I moved them back here, and that seemed to do well for all of us. And then, their father decided to move back to Italy. So.

Marc: Got it, got it, got it. Ok. Does Xander know what he wants to be when he grows up? Does he ever say that?

Amy: An actor.

Marc: He wants to be an actor, very interesting!

Amy: He’s a dancer; he’s an entertainer. He loves people, and he’s not shy in front of adults or anything. He’s an amazing entertainer.

Marc: Ah-ha! Interesting. And how does he do in school?

Amy: He does well. He’s not head of the class, but he’s just average. He keeps up. He’s very good at speaking up and being a part of class—participation. I work in the class every other week, and I get to see him and how he interacts. And the teachers always love him. He’s a very strong personality, and he’s more a leader type. His favorite thing last year was that he got the whole playground, all the kids on the playground, to do the cha-cha line around the playground. He’d been working on it for weeks, trying to get everybody involved, and finally one time he did. So, the teachers were like, “He’s going to be a leader. Whatever he does, it’s going to be amazing.”
He doesn’t change focus very well.

Marc: Is he sensitive to smells, perfumes, odors?

Amy: Not that I’m aware of. I don’t wear stuff.

Marc: No, he would say so.

Amy: Ok.

Marc: Is he sensitive to texture?

Amy: Eating-wise. Yes.

Marc: No, on his skin.

Amy: No, on his skin, no.

Marc: Ok. And he eats meat? Different kinds, sometimes?

Amy: Yes.

Marc: Understood. Ok. I’m just kind of putting this all together in my head to have some thoughts. Who does he remind you of, in your family? Or, does he remind you of anyone in your family?
Who does he take after?

Amy: His dad.

Marc: Really! Is he aware of that?

Amy: Yes.

Marc: No, when I say “he,” is Xander aware that, “Oh, you’re just like your dad!”

Amy: Yeah, um, probably not. I mean, no. It’s not something that I like to say, honestly.

Marc: I get it. I think I understand. One last question. He’s 9 years old now, correct?

Amy: Mmhmm.

Marc: Has he ever had any kind of blood tests?

Amy: No.

Marc: Ok. Ok. So, I’ve got some things I want to say.

Amy: Ok.

Marc: There’s a subset of children who exist in the world, who do what your son does, when it comes to food. They’re picky; they worry about it; they’re planning it; they’re thinking about it; they can get obsessed about it; they change their mind: “I like this, I like that. This is too this, I don’t want to eat it. I don’t like the spice. I don’t like this. I changed my mind.” And it’s exactly as you’ve described. And sometimes worse, sometimes not as bad. Sometimes it can get very intense. Here’s what I believe happens. I think there’s a number of key reasons why children can be like that.

One of the reasons that a child can have this interesting relationship with food, where they get extremely specific about it, is because of a trauma. So, that trauma oftentimes is the trauma of vaccination. It is the trauma, it could be, of certain drugs taken in pregnancy or in infancy that impact the nervous system, that end up affecting a child’s development. And what happens is they are living with a stress, and they perceive stress, they know they have a stress. And children quickly learn that when you have a stressor that’s living in your system—which, they don’t even think these things—but you immediately try to control. Whenever there is something out of our control—my anxiety, my fear, my stress, my uncertainty—you try to control something, symbolically. And the one place children can control is food. “I don’t want this. I don’t want that.” He’s in control.

So, on one level, it’s as simple as that. It’s his way of having control, not because he’s a “control-freak,” but because there is a place where his system feels stress, anxiety, fear. So, if it wasn’t caused by an actual birth trauma or birth event or drug event or vaccination even—and those are common, by the way—what I’ve also noticed, interestingly enough, if there’s a lot of tension in the house, if there’s tension between the two parents, that the child will absorb. They don’t even know what’s going on. They wouldn’t even know to say, “Mommy and Daddy don’t get along.” But kids pick up on stuff. So, that’s why I was asking about your relationship. I was just trying to get a sense of like, “Wow, might he be picking up on something?” We’re not going to know for sure.

Here’s another piece. Another piece is, certain souls just come in, and they’re sensitive. Certain souls come in, and there are certain things we have to handle in our early years. And it’s inexplicable, and you can’t ever know for sure why, but there’s certain things we just have to help our children grow through. I am going to guess that this is probably where Xander falls into. It’s just his soul, and whatever he’s come in to learn in this life and do in this life and be in this life, at the beginning stage, he’s an interesting little cookie.

You know? He’s not a typical little kid. He’s an interesting cookie. He’s had an interesting little life, and he’s lived in a few different countries, different cultures. He’s been exposed to different things. He has two parents that care, that care about his health, that are present for him, that are tracking him. And he’s probably a complex soul, an interesting soul, a soul that has some things to learn that we can’t quite understand right now. So, give him that. That’s where I would land with this, if this was my son.
Given that, then the question becomes—the very good question, which is why we’re in this conversation—what do you do now? Given all this information, what do you do, from a practical standpoint? So, I’m going to give you some advice.

Amy: Thank you.

Marc: I’m going to give you personal advice here, and this comes from being a father. You know, I’ve raised a kid around food; I’ve been around other kids with food. I’ve dealt with this a lot. And, in many ways, I was probably Xander when it comes to my relationship with food when I was his age. So, I want to suggest a two-pronged approach for you. And I’m going to warn you in advance that these two prongs are going to sound very different. But it’s still part of a system, and I will explain.

So, the first approach of the prong is, I want you to stop fixing him. I want you to stop looking at him like there’s something wrong with him. I want you to stop looking at this like there’s something you are doing wrong. Ok? He’s not broken; you’re not broken; nobody’s broken. There is nothing to fix here. We’re not looking to fix this; we’re looking to go with it. We’re looking to work with it; we’re looking to be with it. Because as soon as you try to fix something that ain’t broken, it gets ugly. It just gets a mess, and nothing gets fixed, because nothing’s broken. And things get weird, because you’re trying to fix something that ain’t broken. And it just gets weird. And it’s not going to work.

So, what I want you to consider is that you as the parent are here to help him grow through this. And grow through it means grow beyond it. The way you help somebody grow through an eating challenge like this is you get into their world. And you don’t make their world wrong. And you get as curious as possible about all the little details. “Oh, you don’t like this, and you don’t like that? Wow, that’s interesting! Because I remember, well, it was two days ago you said you really liked this! I’m just fascinated to know, Xander. Just, I really want to know. Like, what happened? What changed for you? I’m just interested.”

The less you could react, the better. The less you could look at it that something’s wrong, the better. “Oh, wow! Yeah, we’re going to be having chicken tonight. You don’t want to have chicken? This is interesting; that’s what I bought. I’ll tell you what. You know, see how you feel in the evening. You might change your mind, and you might not. Understandably, if you change your mind, I’m not going to hold that against you. I get it. Maybe we’ll throw something else together for you, maybe not. I don’t know how I’m going to feel, but let’s just see how you feel then.”

So, I want you to try to not make him wrong for his behaviors. I want you to try to go with them. And I know you’ve probably been doing that. But there’s also a little part of you that’s trying to fix this. Or fix you. So, I want you to stop fixing it, because there’s nothing wrong. This is what he has to grow through. Different kids go through different challenges in early parts of their life. There will be a time in his life when he won’t even remember this. And if he does, it’ll be like, “Oh, oh yeah. Right.” And it’s not going to be an issue.

So, it’s not going to damage him. It’s not going to mess him up. This is something he is learning. He is learning how to manage his world by having an interesting relationship with food. He’s using food to express his tensions. He’s using food to have some kind of control. He’s using food to create intimacy. Why? This creates dialog. Mommy’s got to keep an eye on him. Mommy’s got to do this. Mommy’s got to do that. Mommy’s got to cook something else. Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. So, it actually keeps him connected to you. It keeps you in the game with him. He’s a little scared. He gets a little nervous, and it’s this interesting part of him.

So, what I’m going to say is there’s nothing wrong, and he’s going to grow out of it, and your job is to A) not make him wrong, to B) not see this as something deficient or needs to be fixed. This is something that you’re helping your child with so he grows stronger. And it’s not about food. Even though it’s about food. What’s going to happen is because your profession is about food, and this whole conversation is about food, it seems like it’s food! And it is, on one level. It is, it is, it is. I’m not denying that it’s not. But it’s really not. On a deeper level, it’s not about food. So, I need you to remember that. Deeper level: not about food. Deeper level: this is him learning how to regulate and manage his experience. He is trying to regulate and manage his experience of life. He gets nervous. He needs to plan shit. He needs to know what’s going to happen. He needs to know. He needs to think about stuff. He needs to mull over stuff. And he does that through food.

Maybe he does that in other parts of his life, but food is the place where he can do it where he gets a bunch of attention. And in part, it brings him attention. That’s another piece; he just needs attention in this way. He needs attention: “I want to make sure I’m on your radar.” So, part of it’s attention.

Amy: That makes sense.

Marc: As simple as that. Next strategy. We talked about a two-pronged approach. The first prong is you love and accept him. You get that there’s nothing to fix. You get that he’s not broken. You get that this is something I am helping in grow through, and there will come a day when this is a distant memory, and it’s so not an issue.
And then you’re going to say to yourself, “Man, I wish I didn’t worry so much.”

Amy: Right.

Marc: You with me?

Amy: Yes.

Marc: Yeah, you are. So, here’s the next prong of the approach. It’s going to sound a little different, but it’s not. I want you to have your boundaries. I want you to have boundaries. I want you to have places where you draw a line. Ok, so it’s dinner time. He said he was ok with—fill in the blank—chicken. You served chicken, and he goes, “I don’t want it.” I want you to have moments where you draw a line. You go, “Ok, listen. Xander, I’m kind of done in the kitchen today. I’m going to tell you, as your Mama, I love cooking, and sometimes, I’m just like, I’ve had enough. I don’t want to cook anymore. I’m cooking for all these different people here. And it’s a lot. And I’m your mother, and that’s part of my job, but also, I’m tired. I don’t want to make another meal. So, I understand if you don’t want to eat this meal. I prefer you not go hungry, but if you’re going to go hungry, that’s fine. I don’t want to force you to eat something you don’t want to eat. So, it’s up to you. But I’m not going to make anything else.”
I want you to have those moments where you draw a line. Have you ever done that before?

Amy: Yes.

Marc: What does he do?

Amy: He’ll go to his room, sometimes fall asleep, then he eats in the morning. Or he comes out at bedtime, “I’m hungry. Can I please just have a banana?” He has in his head what he wants, then. And he’ll ask specifically for something. And sometimes I’ll allow it, and sometimes I won’t.

Marc: And why wouldn’t you allow it?

Amy: If we got all the way to the dinner table with him being ok with what we were eating and then suddenly say, “No,” then the food that I am presenting is catered to him. It does not have sauces or spices or anything extra, and I feel like there are situations where it’s not about the food. He’s pulling a stunt. Maybe that’s his, as you say, his call for attention. And sometimes, I say, “Look, I understand this may not be your favorite thing to eat, but it’s not unpalatable. It’s not gross; it’s not something new and strange. It’s exactly what you like to eat, and you can eat some of it.” And if he still refuses, then a banana later is the wrong message. So, I’ll refuse it. If I’ve made something different and he’s tried a bite and refuses to eat the rest, and I know that there’s things in there—it’s not overwhelming and shouldn’t be that big of deal—and he still chooses to go to his room, I’ll allow that. And then, when he comes out and wants a banana before he goes to bed, I’ll give it to him. Because he at least tried a bite.

Marc: Ok, great! I think it’s great. I love what you’re doing. I think that’s perfect. I’m glad you’re drawing lines with him, glad you’re creating boundaries. I think that’s exactly what’s needed. And what you just described, I think you handle A+. I really do. Because you have to create your adult rules. Because, guess what? You’re the adult. You’re in charge here. You’re the mama. What you say goes. When he’s living out of the house, he can do what he wants. When he’s living in your house, I’m sorry, but it’s your rules. That’s just the way the system is set up.

I have told my son that time and time again, from the beginning. Whenever he objects to my rules, I’m like, “Yeah, they’re my rules, but these are the rules of life, young man. You are the kid; I am the adult. You live by my rules. Why? Because I’m the guy that brings in the money. I’m the guy that provides this house for you. I’m the guy that drives you around. I’m the guy that buys you all this nonsense and protect you and takes care of you. So, you live by my rules, ’til you’re on your own. That’s just how it is.”

Amy: Yeah.

Marc: Boys understand that, by the way. You tell that to a boy, they actually get it.

Amy: They like the—

Marc: What?

Amy: They like the lines.

Marc: Yeah, they do! They really do! They do. They need those lines. They need those boundaries. They need to know what the rules are, and they will push you and test you. And as long as the father is not consistently around, you will have to play mother and father. And this is a time when you have to play father. When I say “play father,” I’m thinking more the traditional father or masculine or male role, which is, “Here are the boundaries; here are the rules; here are the guidelines. You don’t cross over this line. That’s it. There’s no conversation here. There’s no argument. It’s just the way it is.”

Amy: Right.

Marc: So, he’s going to grow out of it is my message to you. And you have to be patient, because it might take him another 3, 4, 5, 6 years. Or less.

Amy: Ok.

Marc: But here’s the other piece. Think of this as you’re in it for the long haul, and I don’t want you, as best you can, as best you can—so this is also part of your practice now. Part of your practice is going to be to do your best to not make a big deal of it in his presence.
Amy: Right.

Marc: So, do your best. Something like, “Oh, ok. You said you wanted it, I served it to you, and the moment I gave it to you, you said you didn’t want it. But I cooked this for you, so, you either eat it or you don’t. It’s up to you. Whichever choice you make. But you’re not going to be eating anything else before you go to bed. And it’s totally up to you. Oh, gotta go! Got to go make a call.” So, you can be nonchalant about it. Be a little more detached about it. Don’t show him your emotional charge around it. Because if you show him your emotional charge around it, then he’s going to read that as he’s being successful. Because he’s got you thrown off your horse a little bit.

Amy: Yeah.

Marc: So, there’s a part in us that’s going to be tested. Because he’s a kid. Kids will test their limits. So, the less you can show him your reaction, even if you’re having it—because there are going to be times when you might get really annoyed. It’s fine to be annoyed on occasion and show him that, but overall, I’m saying, in the big picture overall: “Yup, no biggie. If you don’t want to eat dinner tonight, I understand. I don’t want to see you go hungry, but you’re probably going to be hungry. And I can’t guarantee that I’m going to let you eat anything later.”

Amy: Right.

Marc: And there it is. And, over time, he will come to gradually grow out of that. And there’s not going to be a need for him to be relating to you in that way.

Amy: Ok.

Marc: Right now—

Amy: Um—

Marc: Yes?

Amy: What would you suggest when he comes out for breakfast, and I’ve got two options that he eats all the time, and he just says, “No, I’m not interested. I’ll wait for lunch” And he does. Health-wise, I fear—not that he’s malnourished—but he should eat something! And it’s going to be 4 more hours before lunch. I guess that’s the mommy fear, that your child’s not getting enough food.

Marc: That’s an interesting one. So, is he usually hungry in the mornings?

Amy: Yes.

Marc: And, when he says, “Ok, I’ll wait ‘til lunch,” are you around him? Can you see his energy level when he skips breakfast?

Amy: Yes, and he just wants to lay around. He doesn’t have the energy.

Marc: Ok, so that’s a place where you can draw a boundary that has consequences, that has to have consequences. “Ok, fine. You don’t have to eat breakfast, but, here’s the consequence. So, in this house, here’s the rule: we eat something at breakfast. Why? Because, I know. I’m the mother. I’m smarter than you. And I see, if you don’t eat breakfast, you lie around like a couch potato. Not ok for me. I don’t want my kid to be a couch potato. So, we eat breakfast. If you don’t eat breakfast, there’s a consequence. So, you can give me, Xander, if there are other choices you want to have for breakfast, let’s discuss that. So, we either expand your repertoire, so you don’t have just these two choices, or you choose between one of those two choices. And, if you don’t, there’s a consequence.” So, you have to come up with a consequence that he will feel. Which usually means taking something away that he likes.

Amy: Right. Easy. No tech.

Marc: There it is! There it is. And it’s a simple rule. And it’s just action-reaction: “That’s fine. You don’t have to eat this breakfast. I’ll feel disappointed a little bit. It’s going to be hard seeing you sit around like a couch potato, and it’s going to even be harder watching you not have any tech to play with. That’s the consequence.” So, you always choose a consequence that he will feel.

Amy: Ok.

Marc: And that will impact him. That will make him think twice. And you keep doing that consequence, if you have to do it six days in a row.

Amy: Yeah.

Marc: I really mean that. Because he will eventually rise to the occasion. He will eventually start to eat breakfast, if you keep taking away the thing that he values.

Amy: Right.

Marc: Which is your prerogative as a parent. And, it’s not fun. I get it. Who wants to do that? Who wants to be in that kind of relationship with your kid?

Amy: Right.

Marc: Just eat your stupid breakfast so you can play with your tech!

Amy: And I can do what I need to do!

Marc: Right! Exactly, exactly. So, this is what you’re helping him grow through now. So, you’re helping him learn some things. You’re helping him learn how to be in relationship with himself, his own body. You’re helping him learn how to be in relationship with you. You’re helping him learn about life through food. You’re helping him learn about rules, boundaries, consequences, energy level, taking care of himself, how he changes his mind, how making choices and then unmaking those choices can have consequences. So, if you look at it as the larger act of parenting and helping him grow through something, as opposed to, “Oh, this stupid eating thing on my kid,” then you will understand that you’re doing him a service. Even though, it’s not fun for you. And even though it’s not the ideal parenting activity you would choose. Welcome to the world of parenting.

Amy: Right.

Marc: You know?

Amy: Right.

Marc: I have one more suggestion, and maybe you’ve done this already. Have you tried to enlist your older son in coaching your younger son around food?

Amy: No. The older one more berates him, because, you know, “I eat this. I eat that.” It’s more of a show-off. “Well, why can’t you? I eat this, and it’s not bad.” That’s not worked so far.

Marc: Yeah, in order for that to work, he’s got to be more of mentor. He’s got to not be in competition with him. He has to show his little brother why him eating food is a good choice.

Amy: Yeah.

Marc: You can ask your older son the question. If you get some ideas, that’s great. Ask your older son the question, or just tell him, “Hey, listen, you know, I’ve been thinking about Xander. I just had a conversation about him, and the thought came up, that I think you could be a real big help to your little brother. If you did a little bit of coaching and mentoring for him around food. And I almost don’t even know what you would say, but maybe you could think about it. Think about you being an older brother. What could you say that would kind of inspire him a little more? Not just, ‘Well, I ate this. Why don’t you eat this, dummy?’ Not like that. But more like, how do you get him to do it by cheerleading him, by inspiring him?”

And ask him if he has any ideas. See what he says. So, kind of draw him out a little bit. He might have some interesting ideas. Who knows? He might not. But that’s definitely something. I’m always looking to see what support can you marshal from your system.

Amy: Right

Marc: So, your older son, because your younger son looks up to him, that’s a good thing. He wants to be an actor. Does he have any favorite actors?

Amy: All of the superheroes. Not particularly.

Marc: But he likes the superheroes in the movies?

Amy: Definitely. Oh, yes. He’s got every costume there is.

Marc: Got it. Ok. So, you know, I will tell you, with a young man, you can always pull out the strength card when it comes to food.

Amy: Yes.

Marc: Do you ever do that?

Amy: Yes, yes. Yes, I have. He’s a very strong little kid. He’s short for his age, but he’s solid muscle. Which is exactly like what his father is. And so, he’s always had big arms compared to other kids his age. He even has some pectoral muscles already, because he’s done Tae Kwan Do, so he’s got good form, good balance. He’s very athletic. So, he doesn’t really care. He’s like, “I’m already strong.” But, I don’t care.

Marc: Well, you’ve got the pull the card called, “Yeah, and you want to stay that way.”

Amy: Right, and you need to get bigger. You don’t need to. You want to get as big as your body wants it to get. And if you’re not feeding it well, it’s not going to rise to its full potential.

Marc: Yeah. I would try that on, and he might be immune to that, for sure. But does it resonate for you when I say to you that this is something that you need to help him grow through? As opposed to something wrong with him or a problem to fix?

Amy: Absolutely. It’s a good insight.

Marc: Yeah, and to me, it will change the tenor and the flavor of how you’re with him. And, I’m hoping it brings you more peace as a mother. And I mean that, because there’s nothing wrong with him that this is happening. That this is just an indication of this is what the relationship—meaning your relationship and his—this is what the relationship is asking of you, as a mother. In relation to this young son. Here’s where the action is. Here’s where he creates action. So, here’s where you need to be 2, 3, 4 steps ahead of him.

Constantly. And that 2, 3, 4 steps ahead of him means 1) always understand it’s not a problem, it’s not something to be fixed. This is relationship. Your son is learning how to do relationship, and he’s using food to play around and explore. He doesn’t know he’s doing it. It’s unconscious. It’s a way that he gets to be in an interesting relationship with you. Who know? It’s probably his karma with you as well. Kids are different! Your older kid is different from your younger kid. There’s nothing you did differently with each kid that made my older one like this and my younger one like that.

Amy: Right.

Marc: There’s nothing you did different. That’s how they came out. So, in my experience, kids come in how they come in. And they come in with a soul; they come in with lessons to learn. They come in with a personality, and we just watch it unfold. Do we have some places where we shape that? Absolutely. But they are who they are who they are. And you’re learning how to be with him. And you’re learning how to help him. And the way you help him is by not thinking that there’s something wrong with him.

Amy: That makes sense.

Marc: Or wrong with you.

Amy: Right. Or I’ve done something wrong, or can’t do something right. Yes.

Marc: Exactly, so any time you have that thought, I hope you just take it off the table as soon as it comes up. And you realize, “I have not done anything wrong.” In fact, you’ve probably done 98% of things right. And it would’ve been a hell of a lot worse had you not known the things you know! You’ve given your kids a great start. You care about food; you care about health. You have good distinctions around food and health. Lucky kids! I wish I was that lucky when I was their age, when I was growing up. You know? So, you’ve given him a great head start, and that’s a beautiful thing. Good for you!

Amy: Thank you.

Marc: So, closing thoughts. Key things you’re taking away from this conversation, that are useful for you.

Amy: Right. I am relieved that I can look at this as not a problem that I have to fix, but as just, with everything in growth with your children, everything is a step. Everything is a learning process, like learning to walk. You had to get through those stages. So, I’m going to focus on this learning to eat and relate to food as just one of the steps of growing up, and I’m there to help him through it. And that is a huge change of paradigm for me, and I’m excited about that.

Marc: Yes! Good for you! Good for you! Good for you! It’s going to make your life way easier.

Amy: I hope so.

Marc: Yeah, and it’s going to help him get where he needs to go quicker.

Amy: There you go.

Marc: Yeah, yeah.

Amy: Very good.

Marc: Well, Amy, you’re such a great mom!

Amy: I try!

Marc: You’re a great mom. You’re a great mom. You’re a great mom. You really are, and I hope after we finish this call in a few moments that you take a moment and just bask in that a little bit and give yourself that. I mean it. Because I know you care, and I know you work hard, and I know you’re dedicated. And you’ve got two real lucky kids. And good for them. And good for you.

Amy: Thanks.

Marc: And I’m honored to be in this conversation, and I’m glad I can help with this. Because, what a beautiful thing, to give our kids just a great head start with food and body and health? It’s just the best foundation we can give them, you know?

Amy: I agree.

Marc: Yeah. Yay, Amy! Great work!

Amy: Thank you!

Marc: Thank you! And thank you, everybody, for tuning in. I really appreciate you being with us. I appreciate you being part of our world. I’m Marc David on behalf of the “Psychology of Eating” podcast. Take care, my friends.

I hope this was helpful. Thanks for listening to the Psychology of Eating podcast. To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video series at That’s I for Institute, P for Psychology, E for T-i-p-s. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of dynamic eating psychology and mind/body nutrition that have helped millions of people forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health.

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Sustainable Style: The Best Place to Shop for Sustainable Fashion

Having worked for a sustainable fashion brand about 5 years ago, I have certainly had my nose to the ground when it comes to finding other brands doing beautiful things in the space of sustainability and fashion.

Today, long gone are the old stereotypes of bland “Eco” fashion.  That mentality is slowly melting away as people become better educated and interested in sustainable design, thanks to companies like Rêve en Vert.

Founded in 2013, Rêve En Vert (French for “Dream in Green”), has established itself as the premier online retailer of sustainable luxury. Sustainable luxury being quality style made from a place of consciousness, to which they hold their selected designers. They focus on four tenants: organic, re-made, local and fair. Style is never sacrificed for ethics. The collection is highly curated by their team who exclusively features designers who operate their businesses with respect for people and the planet. Love.

I had a chance to try on some of my new faves, thanks to the team there – and we collaborated on an interview over on their site (check it out here).

Some of my faves on their site included the below.

My first love was these limited edition Melissa Joy Manning Earrings, which are citrine and imperial topaz mismatched earrings. The stones are ethically sourced and reused materials are used when possible. They have an environmentally green factory and methods are green certified. With each product you can read about their specific sustainable fashion efforts.

They are wonderful on too 😉

I paired them with this super simple and flowing summer mini tunic from Mara Hoffman. A perfect beach piece, or just cruising for these last days of summer. Mara Hoffman is committed to transparent supply chain, a diligence to reduce fabric waste, ethical employment standards, focus on employing women, partnerships with artisans and sustainable and innovative materials.

And to add on the perfect addition to any summer wardrobe, I picked out these super sleek Carla Colour Barton glasses in Midnight and Hunter.  Carla Colour Barton only works and partners with suppliers who share their ethos and can verify their factories adhere to the highest socially responsible standards. All of the frames of their glasses are made from renewable sources.

There is still some summer stock left, so I hope you have a chance to hop over and check out the latest. While you’re there, why not also check out our interview. x

Happy Monday, Beauties!



The post Sustainable Style: The Best Place to Shop for Sustainable Fashion appeared first on Living Pretty, Naturally.