I’m Jennifer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Mindful Eating Coach. While I am a healthcare practitioner, I also used to be a mindless eater who enjoyed numbing out with food. All too often I would stress eat and find comfort in a pint of ice cream or other “bad” foods. On one end of the the spectrum there were some days where I felt like my food choices were pretty close to “perfect” and I had the energy to power through my day in a positive manner.
But then there were other days where I could not stop eating or made really “bad” choices and wanted to just numb out with food in front of the TV. Once I finished off the pint of ice cream, box of cookies or package of potato chips, I would mentally beat myself up and feel so guilty about abusing my body and digestive system “yet again!” It felt as if I would get a good start on a diet but then would cave after a couple of weeks because of crazy hunger levels, a rough day, bad habits, negative self-talk, and an unstable relationship with food that was directly related to the chaos going on in my life.
What really made me crazy was I couldn’t seem to break this cycle! The good days were really good and the bad days, ugh, were a struggle. I craved consistency and knew I could look and feel better and have more energy without the damaging mental dialog that took place. But sometimes I was left wondering why am I doing all of this anyway? On the whole, I feel like I ate a very healthy diet the majority of the time, but there seemed to be a missing piece somewhere in the whole food equation. I just wasn’t getting it. I wanted to end my personal suffering and find peace with food.
And finally after over 20 years of hitting repeat on yo-yo dieting, running back and forth from the diet hamster wheel to falling off the wagon, this simple concept of Mindful and Intuitive Eating found me and everything started to click very quickly.
Establishing a mindful eating practice and reconnecting to my innate intuitive eating skills has, without a doubt, blown me away. I’m happy to say that my relationship with food and my body is the healthiest it has ever been from a mental, physical, emotional and psychological perspective, and only gets better the more I work with it. Mindful Eating has been so profoundly life-changing that I decided to create my 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge to help everybody else end their food struggle too.
It’s a full mind-body-food reboot program that I studied and worked with extensively (some would say obsessively) for almost a year before testing the concept with a group of willing participants. It turned out to be a huge success: people stopped dieting (hooray!), reconnected with their innate intuitive eating skills, ate foods they enjoyed, deleted food guilt and stress eating, as well as lost weight without trying (*weight loss was just a side-effect and NOT the goal of this program! I don’t know how your body is going to respond to mindful + intuitive eating and it’s important to delete that as your ultimate goal since it drives a wedge between cultivating a healthy relationship with food).
From that point forward, I started teaching mindful and intuitive eating skills to my private clients and to groups of people at boutique fitness facilities and other conscious corporations. During every group challenge I would witness the positive changes taking place, people reconnecting with happier eating habits, feeling better, and more in charge with their relationship with food. It really is a shame that this powerful concept of eating mindfully is not embraced and introduced to us at a young age to prevent yoyo dieting, weight gain, and disordered eating. Knowing what I know now, I understand why the diet culture seems so attractive, especially on January 1st every year. It’s because diets promise false hopes → the quick fix. Unfortunately they don’t deliver over the long-term.
The reality is we have this simple mindful eating concept that can break our negative cycles of eating.
Food is without a doubt, one of the greatest pleasures in life. Not only does it provide basic nourishment, but also comfort and joy. Somewhere along the way we took a detour and started to abuse food and our body. Food manufacturers are trying to turn a profit and can create food that stimulates our taste buds and brain, causing us to overeat and feel guilty about it (ps: when you work with intuitive and mindful eating skills and adopt an all foods fit philosophy, these “bad” foods that might feel “addictive” can be enjoyed without guilt or fear of weight gain – I see this time and time again with clients and it’s magical to delete the “good” food vs. “bad” food mentality). Life got challenging, disappointing and stressful. Instead of learning how to manage our emotions and/or thoughts, we use food to cope. It’s everywhere. It’s easy. It’s quick. And less work. And to some extent, it works.
Until it negatively impacts your mental health and physical wellbeing.
Then you try the latest trendy diet, cleanse or detox that your bestie or colleague is rocking. You might lose weight but eventually gain some or all of it back (maybe more) and feel defeated. It’s just not sustainable or you miss your favorite foods. There must be another diet out there that you don’t know about since everyone else seems to be on one and having success.
But the truth is you are now stuck on the diet roller-coaster ride. On a diet, off a diet with a matching damaging mentality to boot. And this 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge is created to help you break away from the diet culture and establish a healthier, sustainable relationship with your mind, body and food.
The types of foods we choose to eat shift us in many ways and impact us on a mental, physical, spiritual, psychological, and biochemical level. What we eat and how much we eat can either energize, stimulate, or deplete us. Why we eat, what drives us to eat, and how we eat or overeat changes who we are on a psychological level. Mindful eating is becoming aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through your food choices and preparation by listening to and respecting your own inner wisdom.
By using all of the senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging your responses to food without judgment, and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide how you eat, you can learn more about yourself and your food decisions while positively changing your relationship with food for good.
Mindful eating is allowing yourself to become aware of your personal eating habits, without judgment, so that you have the ability and awareness to hit pause between your triggers and your actions.
This simple concept is the missing piece so many of us are looking for.
On a personal note, I feel better than ever and know this can be the sustainable solution for so many people who are struggling with a healthy relationship with food too. Stop dieting, restricting and suffering. Start living again!