I'm excited to be here with you guys for our final episode of our five-part Eat Right Series. If you've missed any of the previous Eat Right episodes, then you can start right from the beginning. If you're watching this in the future, you can watch all five in a row. Each of the episodes has a different component that we've built on as the five weeks have gone.

Today, we are doing the last 15 mistakes that I see all the time when people are trying to eat right. It's 15 out of 30. I was surprised by that when I finally got to the total number that it was 30 really great lessons, I think, for all of us to take on. So, I'm excited to wrap up this series, and then, we're going to take a couple of weeks off from our weekly workshops, and we'll be back in January. I'm really excited. I have some awesome guests lined up for you guys, and also some more Body Wisdom question. So as part of the Body Wisdom Series, I like to bring in guest experts.

If you haven't checked any of those out, then you can check them out on the website, just drkristinenewman.com under workshops. The guests always bring us really good information, like golden nuggets. I love all the people that we've had into the group, and we're going to be taking some questions like we did in the past with the Body Wisdom Series. So if there is something that you have a question about, if there's something that you're struggling with, if you're finding something to be a challenge, then reach out and you might get featured in the Body Wisdom Series. It's really good because you're going to get two experts who are coaching you through whatever the situation is you have going on. So if you're interested in that, just drop me a line and we'll see if you get featured.

Let's drop right into our last 15 mistakes. 

The last 15 (of 30) mistakes we makes eating right

Being Unrealistic

Number 16 is that you are being unrealistic, you're trying to change too much too fast. This will not be sustainable. If you are eating no vegetables and you try to go to all vegetables, it isn't going to work. You want to improve a little bit each week, just like little iterations every week, a little bit better, a little bit better, a little bit better.

When you try and do a wholesale, burn down the house, start from the ground up again, and do everything new, it's too much. Your body will revolt, your mind will revolt, and it won't work. So, don't be unrealistic. Remember, small improvements over time. And if you're tracking them, then you can see them. It can seem like from week to week not much is changing, but then when you look over the course of a month, over the course of two months, over the course of six months, you can really see that these small changes add up, and they're sustainable, so nothing too unrealistic.

Looking for a quick fix

Number 17 is a good follow-up from that. No quick fixes. Extreme diets do not work. They do not work. If they worked, then nobody would ever have an issue with weight, energy, sleep, skin because we would have the solution. They don't work. What you want to do, and this is why I did the Eat Right Series, is it's a lifelong change that you're making. So, be in it for the long haul, be patient, and know that no quick fix is ever going to work in the long term.

Ignoring the most important metric

Number 18, you have to pay attention to how you feel. When we're looking at metrics of eating right, this is the only one that truly matters. How do you feel? When you eat right, you feel good, right? If you are eating past the point of eight on the scale of our ... Remember our hunger scale from 0 to 10? We want to be eating between five to seven, maybe the occasional eight. Eight is getting pretty stuffed, though. So if you're feeling more than 80% full and you're eating processed foods, there is no way on this earth that you feel good. This is the only metric that matters. How is what you're eating making you feel? And incidentally, you're the only one that can know how it makes you feel, which makes you the expert, which is good.

Rules & restrictions

Next, we're going to look at another issue when it comes to experts, and that is too many rules and restrictions. We don't want so many rules and restrictions around what we're eating because then what happens is you break a rule and you ended up ditching your diet entirely just because you broke that one rule, or you end up overeating, or eating bad food, food that makes you not feel good, that's how we define bad food, just because you broke a rule. So instead, we went with a framework, that’s our eat food, so real food, mostly plants, not too much, right? That's pretty easy. You want to stick with the framework. If it has too many restrictions and rules, then it really blocks you from reaching that inner clarity.

All of this is about is figuring out what works for you. So, we're just guiding you towards that inner clarity that you know what makes you feel good. And if you haven't felt good in a while and you're not sure, then you're uncovering it. You're a scientist. You're just examining what makes you feel good. We want to unravel and unwrap that inner clarity, so get rid of the rules and restrictions.


All right, number 20, not focusing on being mindful. That's right. If you are not mindful ... And this is going to tie into our strategy for this week. When we sit down to eat, hopefully you're sitting down. Sometimes we're shoveling food in in the car. We're on our way to a meeting. We're super busy. We're not really paying attention to what we're doing. When you start to eat your food, digestion actually starts in your mouth. You have digestive enzymes in your mouth, especially for starches. One of the best strategies that I have found to help people just slow down, also helps your digestive system digest the food that you're sending it, is to chew.

It sounds really basic, but you are technically supposed to chew. This isn't a rule because you know I don't like rules. But technically you are supposed to chew until all of the food in your mouth is in liquid form. This is the start of the digestive process. So if you are throwing down big chunks of food that are not digested or pre-started with the digestive process, it's going to take longer for your stomach, and your intestines to do their work. What can also happen is you don't get that signal that you're full because the food isn't broken down enough for your body to recognize that there are nutrients there available for it.

For this week strategy, I would highly suggest, even if you just think of it a couple of times ... You know, I know we're in December right now. If anyone is watching this in the future, right now it's like Christmas is less than a week away and it's holiday season, so thinking about what you're eating might not be top of mind for everyone, but this will still be here in the future. And certainly in January, if anyone setting New Year's resolutions, or at any point in the future, you can come back to this Eat Right Series. I would highly recommend you try this chew challenge. All you do is just chew until everything in your mouth becomes a liquid and then swallow. Just see how you feel. You're going to forget. You're not going to do it every time. You're going to think, "Oh my gosh. Am I still chewing this same mouthful of food?" But, this is really how we're designed to eat. So just remember, challenge yourself to actually chew your food.

All or nothing 

Number 21 is the all-or-nothing thinking. Who's ever done this? “I have to do it perfectly. If I don't do it perfectly, then I might as well not do it at all.” This stems from perfectionism, from being achievement oriented. After being in private practice for over 15 years, working with patients for over 20 years, and now working with women online when it comes to health, I'm going to say this is the biggest mindset that holds us back. I'm trying to think of another one really quickly as I'm speaking here just to make sure I don't mess that up, but I really think this is it, this all-or-nothing thinking.

Any goal that you're trying to reach ... Oh, Megan, you're saying that's you. Yes. I think all of us. I have not met a person who doesn't sort of get hung up in this one area, so it's a process. You're not going for perfection. And this is you if you start something and then you have one bad day, so you just stop it. Because what you're doing, and I've been there, too, is you're saying, "I have failed at this," whatever it is, "therefore I feel like a failure, therefore it's never going to work, so I might as well quit." But, that's crazy because everything has failure baked into it. I mean, if you picture a kid learning how to walk, you'd never say, "Well, he tried once. He failed, so he gave up." That just doesn't happen, right? You have to keep trying. You could be one failure away from everything that you ever wanted. It's part of the process.

Getting rid of this all-or-nothing thinking is absolutely, hands down, number one thing that you need to do to shift your mindset. I highly recommend working with someone on this because sometimes you don't realize that this is where your thinking is. So, getting a little extra help with this mindset stuff can be a game changer. And just remember, if you have one slip up on a meal, because we're talking about eating, that lasts a day, a weekend, a week, it does not matter. This is a marathon. This is the rest of your life. You have many meals in front of you. One mess-up does not mean that you have fallen off the wagon, that you have failed or that you quit. I do not give you permission to quit because you had one bad day, okay? All right. Hopefully that gets in somewhere because this is a mindset thing that I have seen, as I said, for over 20 years I've been doing this work, and I've seen this time and time again.

Results focus

Focusing on the end result and being impatient. It kind of goes hand in hand with a bunch of the things we've been talking about, but what you don't want to do is just focus on the end result. You want to focus on the process, and you want to be aware that the end result will come. Basically, we want you to feel good and to look good, but feeling good is ... Let's use a food analogy ... Feeling good is the cake, looking good is the icing. What's most important is that you are feeling good, right? You want to focus on the process and realize that it's going to take patience. It doesn't just happen overnight because you still need to investigate what does make you feel good. But if you're just focusing on the end result, you can start to feel like you're getting nowhere. 

Forgetting to celebrate your wins (Good/Better/Best)

Number 23 is you want to celebrate your short-term wins.You don't want to just focus on that end goal. You want to see where you've come from. I always say you can't leave a destination unless you know you're there, unless you've arrived. You want to see where you are and then move on from there. And the good, better, best framework, I think, would actually work really well here. So when you are setting a goal, what you can do, and I use this in my own personal life, is this concept of good, better, best.

Good would be ... Let's use it in the context of eating. Say you want to eat more greens in your diet. A good goal could be eating greens three meals this week. That's a good goal. A better goal could be eating greens six meals this week. And a best goal could be eating greens at every single meal you have. The best goal, you really want it to be like a stretch. You want it to feel just on the ... just maybe a tidge over the side of probably not going to happen because it's really pushing you out of your comfort zone and out of what you normally do.

But the reason we set this framework is because your good goal, if you reached your goal, that's great. That needs to be celebrated. So often we're going for these best goals. All the time we have this end result, and we forget to celebrate until we get there. But the point is is you're never actually going to get there because it's constantly moving and constantly changing. So if you just think, "Good, better, best. What can I do this week? Good, better, best," okay? It actually is a framework that works really, really well.

Skipping flavor

Number 24, trying to eat right and forgetting flavor in food. In the meal planning episode, which I think was number three, we talked about having killer sauces, three to four delicious sauce recipes you know you can put on top of anything and make it tasty. Spices and herb's, make the food that you're eating taste good. Do not forget about flavor.

Complicated recipes

And number 25, complicated recipes. Go back and watch the meal planning one, which was number three, for our 4 formulaic recipes, things that you can just toss together with a great sauce. Boom. You're done. Dinner is done. You want them to be fail-proof. You want them to be simple. You want them to fit in your schedule. You're not going to have, a three-course meal on a day where you have activities coming out both ends before, during, and in the evening, right? You want to make your meals fit your schedule. And don't make them so complicated, just make them delicious. That's the most important thing.

Avoiding fat 

Number 26, avoiding healthy fats. I don't know if any of you were raised in the time that I was, but fat was always enemy number one. Low fat, no fat, that's what everyone bought. Everyone thought that was best. The research has really shown that that is not true. Fat is not making you fat. Now, there are really low quality fats, but where you're running into trouble is when you're eating processed food, which has low quality fat and sugar. Put those two together and it's a hormonal disaster. It messes up your entire body.

Fats are really important because some of the vitamins that we need are called fat soluble vitamins. That means that you don't absorb the vitamins unless there is a fat there, too. So when you have, say, a salad, you want to add some avocado, some salad dressing, really easy, half lemon juice, half olive oil, a little salt and pepper, great dressing. So, you have your fat to help you absorb the nutrients from the food that you're eating. Fat also helps you to feel satisfied for longer.

There are really great fats out there, as I said, like avocado, olives, nuts, seeds. These are the kinds of fats that you want to be eating, don't fear fat. When you're making a smoothie, add in some nut butter. Just don't be afraid of adding some fat because it will make you feel full longer and it's more nutritionally dense. So just remember, fat does not make you fat. I was raised believing that that was the case. I don't know if I'm the only one.


All right. Twenty seven, skipping meals and under eating. This I hear a lot. Lots of people think they're doing a really great job if they're skipping meals. This is a terrible idea. Again, this is going to mess with your hormone system, so this is going to deplete your energy, your brain power, your blood sugar, and your hormones are going to be a disaster. You do not want to skip meals. You don't want to get to that stage. Everyone knows it's called hangry when you're so hungry you're angry. This means you've kind of blown it. You need to be eating regularly. You need to keep your blood sugar steady. You need to keep your hormones happy.

When your blood sugar gets really low, then your body is signaled that you need to eat immediately. This is a dangerous situation, and this is hangry. Don't skip meals.

I can't even begin to tell you how many women I've worked with who are not eating enough. They're not eating enough and it seems counterintuitive, but when you start to nourish your body regularly, it gets used to that and it stops trying to hold on to all of that excess weight. When you skip meals, your body gets confused about what is happening. Just eat when you're hungry. Don't eat when you're not. If you're hungry, then eat.

Winging it

Trying to wing it or deciding what to eat in the moment. This is why meal planning is so wonderful. Remember, we talked about those higher level brain functions, you want your higher level brain, that executive function, deciding what you're going to eat. You do not want that lower level brain, the little toddler, as I call it, that's inside your head that wants what it wants now, and it wants something sweet probably. You want to be deciding with a plan. So just trying to wing it or waiting until you're already hungry is a terrible idea. Sometimes this is going to happen. Sometimes you're going to end up in this situation it’s unavoidable, and that's okay. Because remember, it's not all or nothing. You're not perfect. Nobody's perfect. It's just a process. But, having a plan will help you to avoid being in these situations.

The 2 S’s

Number 29, if you are trying to lose weight, you have got to address what I call the two S’s, and they are sleep and stress. I've worked with a lot of women who are really working hard on the diet side of things, but they do not get enough sleep and they don't have any stress management in their lives. Ghrelin is a hormone that makes us hungry. Leptin is a hormone that makes us feel full. When we are overtired and overstressed, these hormones don't function properly, alongside all of the hormones in your body. It's a very complicated topic, so you can't just narrow it down to two, but this gives you a sort of snapshot.

If you don't get enough sleep, that interferes with your body's ability to produce leptin, which will tell you that you're full, and you will produce more ghrelin if you're under stress. So, you want to avoid stress. And they go hand in hand, don't they, stress and not sleeping? Those are two things that you must address, just as important as your diet when you're thinking about the long haul and how you feel and how you look as well.

Normalized bad eating habits

Number 30, this is actually my favorite of all of the mistakes. I think that what has happened is we have really normalized eating badly. It is not weird to go out to a restaurant and have gigantic meal, feel overstuffed, still have dessert. It's more normal for someone to say, "Oh, you're not having dessert? Oh, you're so good," or, "You know, you've worked so hard. Just have a little treat. Treat yourself," and this is normalized. But, let's think about that in terms of something else, like cigarettes. You'd never say like, "Oh, you're not having an after-dinner cigarette? But you've been so good. You worked out three times this week. You should have an after-dinner cigarette." No. We have normalized bad eating.

Another one that drives me absolutely crazy is if you ever watch movies, like romantic comedies, in order to show that the girl is cool, she's a cool girl, she won't eat a salad. No. She has like a juicy burger with gross stuff dripping down her chin. Then we know she's cool. This is so bizarre to me. We have really normalized and made it our business what other people are eating, and we'll comment on it. Just pay attention to this. Watch for it in movies and TV shows, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

It isn't ‘normal’ or ‘not normal’ to have dessert. It is okay to not have birthday cake. It's also normal to have dessert and normal to have birthday cake, but a societal commentary isn’t necessary when you are choosing the food that you eat. And we don't use food as a punishment or reward, so what does having been good all week have to do with anything? It has nothing to do with anything. All you want to do is eat so that you feel good.

You don't have to overstuff yourself. You don't have to go to an all-you-can-eat place. It's just become a very strange relationship that we have with food. And as I said, the more you're aware of it, the more you'll see it, and you'll think, "Oh, yeah. That is a bit strange, right? That is an odd thing.” Saying things like, "Oh, just have another one. Oh, just have a little bit of desert." It's an odd thing to do, especially if you put it in the context of other things that aren't good for us.

So those are our 30 mistakes. I've had some really great messages from you guys, and I know that you're enjoying the series. I think, as I said, you might want to pick it up again in the new year since we are now on holidays for the next couple of weeks. We will be getting back to our Body Wisdom Series in January. I'm really excited. If you have any questions that you would like featured in our Body Wisdom Series, let me know and I will be back on January 8th, I will see you then. Have a very wonderful holiday season. If it's not a holiday season, then just have a wonderful day wherever and whenever it is. Bye.

EPISODE 7: THE EAT RIGHT SERIES (4) ~ The First 15 (of 30) mistakes getting in the way of you eating right


Hello, everybody. Welcome to our fourth out of five Eat Right series. It's nice to be back. We took last week off for the Goals that Stick challenge. That was a ton of fun.  I had a great time with the women who joined that challenge, and the stuff they came up with was incredible. It was so good. I will definitely be running that challenge again. If you're watching this video in the future, underneath the video I'll add a link so that you can sign up for the challenge in the future, because it's a really good one. We look at the ways you can set goals that are really true to what is going on in your life, and what you need right now. It's really powerful stuff, but it is nice to be back to our regular programming with another episode.

For the next two episodes, episode four and episode five, I am going to talk about 30 mistakes that we make when we are trying to eat right. Today we're going to go through 15, and then I'm going to give you a killer strategy for dealing with anything social, parties, holiday season, restaurants, traveling, all of that kind of stuff, so that you know what to do in those situations. Then next week, we'll do another 15 mistakes, and give you a really top notch strategy, so hopefully you find these helpful.

I definitely found it helpful to put them together, and I was surprised when I came out with 30. I thought, "Well, there's got to be some overlap," so I started going through," and no, there were actually 30 big mistakes. Let’s jump right in. 

15 mistakes we make eating right 

Exception Meals 

Okay, number one is not having your exception meals. Some people use the word cheat, like a cheat meal, or a cheat day, and I think sometimes there's maybe a negative feeling around the word cheat, so I like to use the word exception. It just sounds like more planned. Something about cheat seems like it's a free for all, and out of control, whereas exception seems like there's some thought behind it.

One of the big mistakes I see is that people skip these exception meals. They think they're doing better by skipping it, but the truth of the matter is that you are not. You need to make sure that you are getting your exception meals in every week. You want to know that you can trust yourself around the foods you like. Otherwise you're not making any real progress. You're just staying away from what you feel like you cannot control yourself around. You want to be exposing yourself to these exception meals. They should be wonderful, joyous occasions. You should be savoring the foods that are exceptions in your diet now, and also knowing that you can trust yourself around these foods. If you stay away from them, you will never know that, so number one, not having exception meals. 

Weighing Yourself 

Number two, this one's a bit controversial, and I flip flopped on this, so bear with me. It's weighing yourself every day. I was always a big fan of not doing this. I thought that this was maybe not a healthy thing, but I have worked with a lot of women now who actually find this to be very empowering.

My point to you is, how does it feel for you? Does it feel good? Are you gathering information for yourself. It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate one, two, three pounds even in a day. This doesn't mean anything so it's not something that you're going to beat yourself up over, but if you're just gathering information, and noticing, okay, when I eat this food, my weight does this, or when I feel like this, this is what's going on on the scale, I could see where it would be helpful, but only you can answer this honestly. I don't think that you need to do this. If you're not doing this, don't start, but if you are doing it, and it's working for you, then I would say keep doing it. I don't own a scale personally myself, and I can't think of the last time I weighed myself, and you have to figure out what works for you when it comes to this. As I said, it's a little bit controversial, and if it's making you feel bad, I say don't do it. If it's making you feel good, then continue to do it.

Food as punishment or reward

Okay. Number three. Using food as punishment or reward. I think this is something that gets modeled to us as kids, right? We learn ‘oh, if you're good, then you can have a treat later’ or ‘if you get an A on your exam, we'll go for ice cream’ that sort of thing. We need to heal this connection. There is no room in eating right for looking at food as either a punishment or a reward. Food is fuel. You use it to nourish your body, and support your body, and you use it to look and feel the way that you want to look and feel. You don't deserve a treat because you were good. You're not being bad when you have a treat. Some people will say, "Oh, I'm being bad. I'm gonna have a treat now." That's really not the way to look at it. You do deserve to nourish your body, and look and feel your best. That's the only thing you deserve. 

Food is not a punishment, and food is not a reward, and if you start to listen to yourself, you can hear this, or even not just yourself, but other people you'll hear: ‘Oh, I've been good all week, so….’ No. You can have a treat. You don't need to justify it. There's no justification to eating what you want to eat. No more food as a punishment or reward. We are going to break that connection for good, and be aware of little kids that are listening to you when you're saying these kinds of things. It's so easy to do. I found myself doing it. I was looking after my niece not that long ago, and I almost said, "Well, if you do this, then you can have ... " She wanted this ... I don't even know what it was. It was some cookie thing that she came with, and I stopped myself, because I thought, oh, I don't want to start modeling that, but it's so common, so just watch yourself with that language. 

Fearing ‘bad’ foods

Okay. Number four is a big one. I wonder if you have experienced this one. If you're here watching live, say hi, and tell me ... I find this with a lot of people fearing certain foods. You start to develop an almost pathological fear of certain foods, and you think that they are bad.

There is no such thing as a bad food. All foods are fine. What makes you feel bad might be bad for you, but it might not be bad for me, so there's no inherently bad foods. You only want to look at foods that make you feel bad. That's what you want to avoid, okay, so there's no bad foods to avoid. 

Eating foods you don’t like because they’re ‘healthy’

Number five kind of follows on this. Eating food you don't like because you think it's good for you. Stop that. Why are you doing that? If you do not like it, it is not good for you. If every bite you have to force it down, that's not good for you. That's not nourishing your body. That's punishing yourself. There are so many great foods out there, natural foods that are delicious. Try something new. Find what you like. If you hate salads, don't eat salads. Maybe you like sauteed greens instead. Eat that. Stop trying to pretend that it's okay, and that you sort of like it when you really don't. You don't have to eat those foods. Life is too short to eat food you don't like.

Avoiding ‘carbs’

Number six, avoiding carbs, and I use quotes. “Carbs.” What you mean is you want to avoid refined processed sugar and foods. Vegetables are carbs. You are not avoiding vegetables, right? You want to avoid things like danishes, donuts, cakes, cookies, ice cream, things that are full of sugar, and refined. Just watch your language on this. A lot of people say, "I'm giving up carbs." No, you're not giving up carbs, and you shouldn't give up carbs. Nobody should give up carbs. What you're doing is you're trying to cut out refined, processed, sugary foods. End of story. That's the stuff that is not good for you. It's not good for me. It's not good for anybody. Does that mean you can never eat it? Of course not. We talked about exception meals, and we talked about no food is inherently bad, right? It's just how it makes you feel, so when you pay attention to how that food actually makes you feel, then you're probably going to want to eat less of it.

Not reading labels 

Number seven. Not reading labels. This is a big one lots of stuff will say on the package, "All natural, gluten-free," all sorts of interesting things that really don't speak to the quality of the food. You need to know how to read a label. It's basically, when you flip it over, if it's got tons of stuff that you have never seen, couldn't buy in a store yourself, have no idea what it is, then it's probably pretty processed. That's safe to say, right? Four grams of sugar is a teaspoon, so when you do the math, if it has 16 grams of sugar, that's four teaspoons of sugar in that product. You'll have to think carefully before you decide you want to eat it, so just be aware of labels. This is one of the easiest things to start doing, even if you don't want to change anything right now. You guys, I get it. It's December. We're talking about eating right. These videos will last long past December, though, and hopefully help you into the future, but even if you just flip over the back of something, just look at the label. See how those ingredients made you feel, and go from there.

That's really one way to put the power back in your hands, is to understand what you're putting into your body. 

Eating only ‘safe’ foods

All right. Number eight, eating only safe foods, and again, I say safe in quotes. I have seen this time and time again, where people come to me, and they have sort of a handful of foods that they consider are good for them, and safe to eat. What happens with this is you get really stuck in ruts, and you're stuck in a foot rut, and you're eating the same thing over and over again, that's when you start to get bored and feel deprived. There's tons of interesting food out there. I love trying new things, and just last week in my veggie delivery box, they sent a persimmon. I'd never had a persimmon before, and it was actually pretty tasty, so there's so many things to try out there. Don't get consumed with thinking that only some foods are safe for you, because it's not true. You can expand what you're eating, and then when you do, you are far less likely to quit because it's boring, and you're eating the same things over and over again, and you're feeling deprived.

Thinking you can exercise away a bad diet

All right. Number nine. This one I hear a lot, too. Thinking you can exercise away a bad diet, so I hear from people all the time, I can't lose weight because I have an injury, and I can't work out. This isn't true. It may be true that you can't work out the way that you want because of your injury. That absolutely could be true, but that's not why you can't lose weight. Weight is 80 to 90, if not more, percent what you are eating. Does this mean exercise doesn't matter? Of course not. It is great for you. It is great for your mental state. It is great for your digestion, your sleep. It is great for your mood. It is so important for every system in your body. I'm not saying don't exercise. What I'm saying, though, is you cannot eat really poor food and expect that your working out is going to make up for it, because it isn't. Okay, so remember, diet is 80 to 90% of what you see when you look in the mirror.

One caveat to that is if you are having an exception meal, if you know that you're going to be eating a lot of sugar, is it supporting your body to throw on your running shoes, and go out for a brisk walk, to try and use up some of that sugar? Yes, but you're not trying to out-exercise every meal that you're eating. This would be an occasional thing, so you can support your body with exercise. You can burn through some excess fuel if you've eaten too much sugar, and that can be a healthy, supportive way of treating your body, but you are not going to be able to go to the gym, and spend hours, and hours, and hours there to make up for eating poorly. 

Drinking sugar

Number 10, so drinking your calories as sugar. This is the worst. If you want to change one little thing, it's getting rid of the mocha-chinos, frappuccinos, lattes with whipping cream, pop, mixes for alcoholic drinks, the hard lemonades, juice, anything that is really high in sugar. This is a terrible way to be putting sugar and processed stuff in your body, because your body can really not defend against it.

All the fiber is gone. It's just sugar going straight to your bloodstream. This is probably one of the number one things that I would suggest changing. This is just paying attention to what you're drinking. Really you want to be drinking water, tea, coffee if it works for your system. Even bubbly water. Bubbly water can be really helpful when you're trying to stop drinking pop. Does this mean you can never have juice, or pop? No, of course not. That's not what it means, but if you look at your week, and you are consuming a a lot of these sugary drinks, then it's time to start to seeing what other drinks you might enjoy that aren't so sugary. 

Forgetting fiber

Oh, my gosh. Number 11 is one of my favorites. Okay, so you guys are out in the world. You know people out in the world. How many of you have met someone who has kwashiorkor. Have you ever heard of that? I don't know anybody.

Have you ever met someone or heard of constipation? Yes. Right? Okay, so kwashiorkor is a protein deficiency. You do not have a protein deficiency. You do not have kwashiorkor. You don't know anyone that has it. You don't need to worry about your protein as much as you are but as I said, have you heard of constipation? I think you probably know someone that's had constipation. Maybe you live with someone. Maybe you are that someone. Guess what? Fiber is key. Forget about protein, and think about how much fiber you're getting. This is going to be a game changer when it comes to eating right. If anyone meets someone who does have a protein deficiency, and proves me wrong, then you absolutely let me know, but it is probably more likely you've heard of constipation and not kwashiorkor. 

Focusing on calories instead of nutrients

Number 12. Thinking a calorie is just a calorie. Who was that guy who did that Subway diet guy, who lost all that weight eating those Subway sandwiches? I think that this is where we started to think a calorie is just a calorie. Here's the thing. If I gave you a small bag of potato chips, and that's all you ate, once a day, for 30 days, you would lose weight. You would absolutely lose weight, but would you be eating right? No. A calorie is not a calorie. Instead of worrying about calories, I think it makes more sense to focus on nutrients. How nutritious is what you are eating? You could have a bag of M & Ms, or you could have an apple with almond butter. That's what I would focus on instead of calories. Forget about calories. What you want to eat is highly nutritious, super nutrient-dense food that is going to support your body, and make you look and feel the way that you want to feel.

Portion size 

Number 13. Portion size. You know what? Who cares? Who cares what the portion size is? Who cares if the plate is gigantic? Who cares if the plate is small? What you need to know is how does it feel in your body? When we talk about eating, you're going to eat between five and eight, on a scale, so on a scale of one to 10, 10 being so full you actually feel physically sick, one being you're passing out you're so hungry, you're going to aim for starting to eat around a five, five or six, and stopping around a seven or eight. What does this look like? You feel 70 to 80% full, that's when you stop eating. You're not getting to that point of being overly full. Does it matter what size your plate was? That doesn't matter in the least, so forget about that. Will you sometimes leave food on your plate, if you're paying attention to your body and you feel full? You will. That's okay. Will you sometimes go get more food? You will, and that's also okay, all right? Don't worry about portion size. It doesn't matter.

You're eating to what feels good in your body. 

Veggies and protein for every meal 

Number 14, I see this one a lot. Lots of women try to just eat protein and vegetables, and that's it, and think that this is really healthy. Our bodies need complex carbohydrates, so what'll happen is if you just eat protein and vegetables, you might start to lose weight to begin with, but eventually your body's going to start to crave some carbohydrates. What do I mean by complex carbohydrates? I mean things like beans, quinoa, sweet potato, fruit, what we call wet carbohydrates instead of dry carbohydrates. Wet carbohydrates are the things we just talked about, things like beans. Dry carbohydrates would be things like chips, crackers, cereal, and can you ever imagine being, sitting on the couch watching TV, and you can't stop thinking about the extra lentils that are in your fridge, like oh, I've got to go eat those lentils. No, nobody craves wet carbohydrates, right?

It's always the dry carbs we crave ‘oh, I've got those chips in the cupboard. Maybe I'll just have a few’, okay, so when you're thinking about complex carbohydrates that are really healthy to add to your diet, you want to focus on the wet carbohydrates. Especially for women, when it comes to cutting out and going too low with carbohydrates, this is really going to mess with your hormonal system, so you need to be very careful and make sure that you are getting some complex carbohydrates into every meal. You cannot just eat protein and vegetables. That is going to get boring, and it's also not going to satisfy you. This is not ... Carbs do not ... We talked about carbs earlier, but they do not make you gain weight. What makes you gain weight is when you starve yourself, and then you binging afterwards, and this is what happens when you try to go too low with your carbohydrates. Make sure that you are not just trying to eat vegetables and protein.

Deprivation & sacrifice 

Number 15, so this is our last one for today. You are not going to focus on sacrifice and deprivation. What do I mean by this? You need to learn to trust yourself, and trust your instincts, and trust your data about what feels good in your body. This way you don't need to worry about any situation or any food that's put in front of you. You don't have, I think Natasha called them red light foods. You don't have to worry, because you know that you'll be able to control yourself around that food, because you have been eating it all along with your exception meal, or you just know how to feel when you're full enough that you're going to stop. Instead of focusing on sacrifice and deprivation, it makes far more sense to focus on crowding out bad foods, so instead of worrying about all the things you're not going to be able to eat, start adding in better stuff. If your plate is half full with greens, quarter full with another great vegetable, who cares what the other quarter of your plate is almost, right?

You're crowding it out, and then you're still able to eat the foods that you really do enjoy, and you don't feel as deprived, and you're getting a nice variety as well. 

If This Then That Strategy

Okay, so those were our 15 mistakes. Next week we're going to go through the last 15 mistakes, and wrap up the whole series, but before we go today, I have a strategy for you that I think is a killer strategy when it comes to planning, because we're in party season right now, to plan it, to plan for parties when you have to eat out, workplace events, traveling, all of that kind of stuff. This is the if this, then that strategy. I don't know if any of you have heard of this, but it would be along the lines of, if there are treats at work, then I'll have one. What you're doing is, you're actually pre-planning how the event is going to go for you, and this really can be helpful to get you in the head space of being in control of what you are going to be eating, and really sticking with that eating right.

If I am invited to go for dinner out, then I will look at the menu before I go, and choose what I'm going to eat before I'm there, and I'm starving, and surrounded by everybody else. If I'm traveling, then I will pack snacks that will nourish and support my body on my trip, and I want to include another thought here, and that is, if I overeat, then I'll pay attention to how I feel, and I won't beat myself up, because that's really important. We are in the season where it's not uncommon to be invited to a lot of social events, and sometimes we're going to overdo it, but the only thing you need to gather from that is not that there's something wrong with you, not that you made a mistake. If you follow eat right, the whole formula, everything we've been talking about, then you know you can make a mistake every once in a while, and it's fine. You're just going to go back to eating right the next day. There's no worries about that and you're not going to beat yourself up about it.

If you overeat, just pay attention. How did that make me feel? How does my body feel, right? That's all you have to do. You're an impartial scientist. There is no judgment there. You're just observing. What happened? How do I feel about it? What can I do differently the next time? I think this strategy is very, very helpful, and it helps you to pre-plan. I think you can also use it to be easy on yourself as well. If I slip up, then I'll just get back to it tomorrow. No big deal, right? Okay, so hopefully that was helpful. We went through 15 big mistakes that people are making. Next week we'll go through the last 15, and I'll share another strategy with you. If you have any questions, if you have any comments that you'd like to share, and you're watching the replay, then share. I love to hear your comments, and I will be back here next week with the last in our eat right series. All right, I hope you guys are having a great Tuesday. I will see you in a week from now. Bye, everyone.

Epsiode 5: The Eat Right Series (2) ~ how to be more in control around food


Hello, hello. We are on week two of our Eat Right series. Last week, we really set the foundation. We laid the groundwork for the rest of the four lessons to build upon.

Now, I'm not going to lie, this week was really challenging to narrow down and to distill into a usable lesson and action step because it is such a big topic. So when we're talking about how to be more in control with food, we're looking at things like overeating, over drinking, eating when we're not hungry, all of those things. It’s a big, big topic. I almost feel like this could be a five-week course, and I'm trying to get it down to under 30 minutes for you just to have that bite-size, power-packed action step lesson, okay?

Hopefully you guys find it to be really helpful, because this is a topic that has come up again and again when I'm talking to you. I know that we need some solutions where this is concerned and before we move on to the next lesson. Good news is next week is going to be about meal planning. It's going to be very practical, and strategic, and not as mindset heavy as this week is. I picture you coming back to this particular episode more than once just to really get the full impact of everything that we're talking about today.

So, let's jump in, all right? I'm going to have a sip of my coffee. As always, if you have questions, if you want any clarification ... Most of you guys watch on the replay, and I totally get it. It's the middle of the day on a Tuesday. If you have questions, some of you like to reach out to me through email, you can also post in the comments, and I will get back to you there as well.

What we’re talking about today

All right, so false pleasures. That's where we're starting. What is a false pleasure? Why do we do false pleasures? Why does it matter if we do them? How to identify false pleasures in your life. There's two questions that you ask yourself, and also three strategies to get rid of false pleasures.

What is a false pleasure?

First of all, we talked a little bit about this last week, and we're going to get into more depth here. A false pleasure is something that disconnects you from yourself and disconnects you from what's going on around you. It numbs you to the present moment and the experience that you're currently in. It feels really good in the moment, but it does not feel so good later on. It subtracts from your well-being, and it's concentrated. So, it's like a really intense hit of pleasure. It's also an artificial emotion. That's what a false pleasure is.

What, in contrast, is a real pleasure then? Real pleasure connects you to the moment. It amplifies the experience that you're having. It feels good in the moment, and it also feels good later on. It adds to your well-being. It is a subtle hit of pleasure, but it is a real emotion. You can see the difference between false pleasures and real pleasures right away.

Why would we ever choose a false pleasure?

It's a good question, right? The answer is actually in how a false pleasure affects us. So remember I said that it disconnects us and it numbs us to what's going on within us, so the emotions that we're feeling inside, and also what's going on around us. That's the answer. We use false pleasures to buffer our emotions. What does this mean? This means that you need some distance between how you're feeling, what's going on around you, and the best way to do that is to cover up that emotion with something else instead of dealing with it.

Why does it matter?

That doesn't sound great, but it's really not that bad, right? Well, here's the problem. If you do this, if you are covering up your negative emotions, you're like someone driving in their car, and you're on the highway, and all of a sudden your check engine light comes on. Instead of dealing with that, you take a piece of tape and you just cover it up, keep going, and hope that everything's going to be okay. The problem isn't solved, right? The check engine light is still on underneath that tape. You're just not dealing with it. That is never a good solution. What happens is those negative emotions simmer below the surface and then pop up.

What do I mean by that? Maybe you yell at your kids, at your spouse, at the poor store clerk who has nothing to do with anything in your life. Where did that come from? What kind of monster am I? That's what happens when you let these negative emotions simmer underneath. That's bad enough, right? That it detracts from your well-being. You have these negative emotions you're not dealing with.

Now what does this have to do with happiness? What is the difference between happiness and well-being? Happiness can be just stacking those external false on top of each other. I could ask you, "are you happy?" And you could think, "Yeah, you know what? I do all sorts of fun things. I'm feeling pretty happy." What that means though is that you could be on what I like to call the pleasure treadmill. That is where you have to chase an external pleasure, experience it, but then you lose it, so now you need to chase another one, experience it, then you lose it, then you chase another one, and we're constantly chasing things outside of ourselves to make us feel happy, and we feel entitled to feel happy. We feel like not feeling happy is a bad thing. That's something that is a pervasive message, whether you're watching TV, reading, magazines, reading books, we're all supposed to be happy all the time, so we tend to want to avoid negative emotions.

If you're on this pleasure treadmill, you are dependent on things that are outside of yourself to be feeling okay and everything's for sale. You can eat something, drink something, buy something, consume something, watch something, and you will feel happy. How is that different than well-being? Well-being is a state that's inside you. It comes from within you. It's a confidence. It's a self-assuredness. It is not for sale. You can't buy contentment. You can't buy joy. You can't buy well-being? It's real. This is not something that you chase outside of you. It's something that's inside of you.

These are all great reasons. You want to have well-being. You don't want to be chasing happiness. Who cares if it feels good in the moment, right? Well, here's the main reason I think you're going to be interested in getting rid of false pleasures. If you're watching the Eat Right series, which you are, then you have a goal of some sort, right? Maybe your goal is you want to have more energy. Maybe you want to have glowing skin. Maybe you want to sleep better. Maybe you want to make sure that you're there to walk your kid down the aisle or hold your grandkids. You know what? Heck, maybe all you want is just to fit into your darn skinny jeans and feel like you look good. It doesn't matter what your goal is.

Skinny jeans is a great goal. But what's happening is your skinny jeans are here and you are here.What is in between where you are and where your skinny jeans are? A whole bunch of false pleasures. So the problem, the biggest in the moment, right now problem with false pleasures is they are keeping you from where you want to be. They're keeping you from your skinny jeans. I think that's a good enough motivation to take a hard look at why and how we're using them in our life.

Let's look at an example of what a false pleasure might look like.

Let me think of a good example. Say you had a bad day at work and you get home and you just think, "I just had the worst day. Terrible day. My boss yelled at me. A customer was rude to me. My hair looks terrible, my life is a disaster. I'm going to have a glass of wine." After two or three glasses of wine, your husband, your roommate, your girlfriend, whoever comes home and says, "How are you doing?" You're like, "I'm great. I'm so happy," and you have all this energy and you're full of like happiness and you're laughing. Is that real? Is that real happiness? Some of you might say yes. Some of you might say, no. I would challenge you to answer this question, though. Would you trade places with that version of you? Would you go through life with that in that state? Would you go through life feeling that level of happiness, that two to three glasses of wine level of happiness and being disconnected?

And what about two glasses later, four or five glasses in, and now you're crying your eyes out. Is that true sadness or is that just an artificial emotion? That can give you an idea of what a false pleasure does. It takes away the feeling that you're experiencing and puts something else in its place, usually something that's more desirable. The problem is you still have that negative emotion that's underlying everything and you've added a consequence, a very real consequence, a negative consequence. Because if you have three to five glasses of wine, you're probably not going to be feeling so great the next day and you probably won't sleep well that night.

There's nothing that could inherently be a false pleasure, or a real pleasure. One glass of wine for me, it could be a real pleasure and it could be a false pleasure for you. What we need to do is to figure out if something is in fact a false pleasure for you. You probably have an idea in your head. When I said that there's something in between where you are and where you want to be, there's a habit that you have, I'm pretty sure most of us can think of a habit that we know is probably holding us back. I'm going to give you a second. Think about that habit while I sip on my coffee.

Now we're going to apply the 2 questions that will tell you whether or not this is a false pleasure or a real pleasure.

Once again, you are studying yourself. When you ask the question, "Am I doing this to avoid an emotion?" if the answer is yes, it's a false pleasure. The second question, is there a negative consequence on the tail end of this that I am not choosing? There's a negative consequence, and you feel out of control when it happens. If you answer yes to either of those two questions, are you using this to avoid a negative emotion and/or is there a negative consequence that you aren't choosing, then it is a false pleasure.

So what do we do with this? The first question was, are you using it to avoid a negative emotion? This is a really important question to ask yourself because, as I said earlier, we are taught that negative emotions are bad, right? Nobody wants to feel bad. Of course we don't want to feel bad. But there's enough research out there to show that you can only feel as good as you're willing to feel bad.

You can live your life in this sort of very narrow box of emotion. If you're only willing to feel a little bit of bad, then you can only feel a little bit of good. If you're willing to go a little bit deeper and feel some of those more negative emotions, then you're able to go a little bit higher. I'm not going to get into all of that here because it is a huge topic. If you just keep that as your premise for now, that negative emotions are normal, they're in fact something that we should be experiencing. It's not right to believe that we're never going to feel bad. Sometimes we're going to feel bad and things are uncomfortable, and that's okay. That's how we grow. And any emotion is not going to last forever. They're all temporary. Now, does that make it any easier to deal with them? No, it doesn't, and that's why we use something like buffering with a false pleasure so that we don't have to face some of these emotions that we don't want to.

What I'm going to suggest you do instead, so remember I said think of that false pleasure, that habit that's keeping you from being able to throw on your skinny jeans and think you feel amazing and look right. We're just choosing that as an example. Whatever your goal is, whatever the habit is that is getting in your way, that's what you're going to use. What I want you to do with that is use that negative emotion. Figure out what it is, and then use it to develop a real pleasure around that emotion.

What do I mean? What you're going to do is you're going to look at the habits. Say your habit is you go to parties and every time you say, "I'm not going to drink," and every time you end up drinking, and you end up drinking too much, and you feel terrible the next day. What could be an emotion that's behind that? I don't know because it's not me. You're going to have to figure it out for yourself. The tool that I absolutely love, and anyone who's worked with me knows I'm obsessed with this, is something call ugly journaling.

You know when you go to a bookstore and they have all those beautiful journals and maybe they have like gold-lined pages, and a beautiful ribbon marker, and then the cover is beautiful? There's like unicorns and fairy dust on there and you just fall in love with it and you can't wait to get at home, only then you never write in it because it's really too pretty and you don't really want to wreck it. This is not that. This is grab an ugly, old piece of scrap paper, a handful of scrap paper, rip it out of a notebook, and what you're going to do is set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes or you can write for three pages and you are just going to write down "Why do I drink wine at parties? What emotion am I trying to buffer? What emotion do I not want to feel?" And you're going to see what comes up.

Say for you it's loneliness. You feel lonely when you're around all these people. Nobody wants to feel lonely. I don't want to feel lonely, and I know you don't either. So, what does it feel like in my body? Where do I feel loneliness. If you can really tap into where that is in your body, how you're feeling it, and then you can make a decision. Is this emotion something that I can live with? Is not feeling loneliness worth not fitting into my skinny jeans? Only you can answer that for yourself.

Then what you're going to do, keep asking why. Why do I not want to feel lonely? Why do I feel lonely? And then you're going to strategize ways to support yourself through this emotion. So maybe if loneliness is what you're feeling instead of drinking wine the first person you see just go and start talking to them.

You’re going to strategize a different approach.

So far, this is all on paper. You haven't had to do anything or give up anything at this point. This is all happening on paper. It's all information for you. What we have to do though is we have to take this out into real life, and this is where it gets hard. This is where I need to put in a really strong caveat. This is not an exercise to beat yourself up with. This is a non-judgmental, look at yourself as if you were a scientist and you're just studying a subject. This is not to beat the crap out of yourself, okay? You've been doing that for long enough. Stop. This isn't that. If you're going to do that, don't do this exercise. This will not work. None of this is going to work if you aren't willing to stop being so horrible to yourself. This is an area of non-judgment. You are just trying out some new strategies and seeing how they fit and how they feel. You're going to examine what's going on underneath the surface, and then you're going to try them out in the real world.

In the real world, what happens is there is an event, something happens, you have a thought about it. The thought creates a feeling about it, and then you act. Event, thought, feeling, action. So what might this look like in the real world? Say you have a really bad day at work. You get home from work and so that's the event. You get home from work, and you think, "I had a really bad day at work. This day sucked." This gives you a feeling. Maybe the feeling is anxiety, stress. Then, the action is you eat a bag of potato chips. We have event, thought, feeling, action. What we're going to do is we're going to actually interrupt this. So instead of feeling like you just ate the bag of potato chips and there was no thought behind it. A lot of you guys said to me it's just mindless. There's no decision. You're just doing it, and you don't even notice until you're done. Then, you're beating yourself up over the fact that you ate the potato chips.

There is, actually a thought, and this is why I went through the event, thought, feeling, action with you because what we want to do is we want to interrupt at the level of the thought or the feeling. And don't worry, I'm not taking away those potato chips. Don't panic. What you're going to do is you're going to come home. You're going to have had the bad day. You're going to have the thought, "I had a bad day." You're going to have the feeling of anxiety and stress. Then, you're going to see the potato chips as an option. It's going to be a choice, and you're going to see one of the things that you could use instead when you're feeling anxiety. Maybe that is you make yourself a cup of tea, take a few breaths, and sit down with a funny sitcom that makes you laugh. I'm just making up examples. These are going to be personal for you.

In this moment, this is going to be our mindful moment, and there is a four-step process. Just like there's four steps, event, thought, feeling, action, they are going to be four steps to interrupt before you get to the action. The first step, you're going to choose. You're going to choose the potato chips or you're going to choose the hot cup of tea, few deep breaths, and the sitcom, all right? You are not going to beat yourself up. Both of these choices are valid. It's completely fine. It doesn't matter which one you pick at this point. You are just gathering information, so you choose. That's our C. We're making an acronym here so it'll help you remember. C, choose.

The next one is R, which is you are going to have a reason. That's all. You're going to choose the potato chips, and you're going to give a reason why. I'm choosing potato chips because they'll make me feel happy as I crunch through the bag. I'm choosing hot cup of tea because I deserve to fit into my skinny jeans. Whatever your reason is, it doesn't matter, but it's your reason and you're making note of it.

So, we have C, R. The next one's A, and that's going to stand for attention. You're going to pay attention to how you're feeling as you eat the potato chips or you're going to pay attention to how you're feeling as you sip your tea. You're just observing. You're just gathering information. Again, not criticizing yourself, just paying attention.

Then, the last letter is E, which stands for evaluate. At the end of it all, you are going to evaluate your choice and the reason behind it. This is not judgmental. You're just evaluating it. Did that choice work? Was the reason good?

Our acronym is C-R-A-E, and it stands for choose, reason, attention, evaluate. And as someone I work with pointed out, someone who is way cooler than me because I didn't realize this, and sorry to if you think I'm cool, I'm totally not cool. Apparently, C-R-A-E, is like what the cool kids call crazy, cray. Maybe they don't anymore. I'm probably saying this, and you're like, "Yeah, that was so last year." Either way, I think it's a great acronym. Because if you think about just eating the chips without any thought, afterwards, you do feel like you weren't in control, and not being in control is a bit like being crazy. So if you just think CRAE, okay? If that crazy acronym works for you, you're probably cooler than me, or maybe, as I said, it's long past. I don't know. But just remember C-R-A-E, choose, reason, attention, evaluate. This'll take seconds. It’s taking a little bit longer to explain, but it will really take seconds for you to do in the moment.

Now you have all this information. Why am I having you gather this information? You will not feel deprived if you need to make a choice in the future and you know that choosing the chips is a terrible choice. You've evaluated it. You've looked at the reason. You've looked at how you feel afterwards. You realize you feel like crap. You realize it isn't working for you. Then, when you don't go for that bag of chips, you're not going to feel deprived. You're not going to feel like it's a sacrifice. The choice becomes clear. The choice becomes easy. This is why you want to gather this information.

For the rest of your life you can apply this to any sort of situation. Is it a false pleasure? Am I using it to buffer an emotion? Is it getting in the way of where I want to be is really the question you want to be asking. But in the moment, are you using it to buffer an emotion? And if you are, then you want to apply this four-step process and start to evaluate how it actually makes you feel. This is really valuable stuff, and hopefully it's in a framework that makes sense to you.

Decide if you are a moderator or an abstainer

Now, the next thing you're going to do with this information, you need to decide if you are a moderator or an abstainer. A moderator is the kind of person that can have a bowl of candy, cookies, chocolate, caramels, jelly beans. Whatever you really love, picture a bowl of that in front of you on your desk as you work. Can you have one on Monday and then not think about them again till Wednesday and have two, and then not think about them until Sunday? And I can hear probably people are laughing at that thought. If so, you are what we call a moderator. That means that there is no mental chatter in your head about the food. You either eat it or you don't eat it. End of story.

Most of us are what we call abstainers. We will obsess over that bowl on our desk. Should I have one more? Should I stop? Maybe I've already had three today. Maybe I can have two tomorrow. It'll just be this constant mental chatter that is taking up space in your brain. This is when you know you need to be an abstainer.

Let me give you an example. If you had a friend come over to your house and they left, and they accidentally left behind a package of cigarettes, and this is assuming you are not a smoker, you are not going to look at that package of cigarettes and think, "Ooh, should I have one? Oh, I know what it will taste like when I ... " Well, I guess you don't. Well, you put them in your mouth. Or, "When I take a puff, I know what it's going to smell like when I light it." You're not thinking that you're like, "Oh, they forgot their cigarettes," but that's not something that applies to you, right? That is not something that you do, so there is no mental chatter around it. That's what I mean by mental chatter.

If you're constantly thinking about whether or not to have something, then you need to abstain. So what does abstaining means? It means that you don't do it. You just don't do it. If you decide that having a glass of wine at a party is not serving you, you went through our CRAE process and you decided that you are not going to have that wine, then you don't do it. It's not that you can't do it, and this is the most important word swap. When you can't do something, it leaves room for, "But could you? Can you sometimes?" It feels like a sacrifice. It feels like deprivation, and it just feels like there's some wiggle room in there. Make it a don't. I don't that. Period. End of story. No mental chatter.

Sometimes there are caveats to this, though. Every once in a while you are going to make an exception. So remember, we decided a false pleasure is something you're using to buffer an emotion or there's a negative consequence that you aren't choosing. If it's yes to either of those questions, it's a false pleasure. What do I mean by negative consequence you aren't choosing? I mean sometimes you can negotiate a negative consequence for yourself, and that's okay. that's an exception. You're not going to continuously choose something that makes you feel terrible, but every once in a while you might choose it.

let me think of a good ... You know what? I'll give you an example from my life. I injured my knee and ever since if I eat sugar, I have a lot of pain in my knee, which is a real bummer. For a day or two afterwards, I'll have a bit more trouble walking if I eat sugar. Once a week, I meet a group of friends for a trivia night and we have a blast. It is so much fun. It's held in a venue that has really tasty desserts and treats, and we win gift certificates. If you win, you win a gift certificate that you can spend in the venue. It's pretty smart business model really.

Every week when we go, there's always treats that we've purchased with these gift certificates that we win. When I go, I know I don't eat those. I know I'm not willing to sacrifice one or two days every week just to have that sweet treat. I can look at my questioning and say, "Would I be eating those sweet treats to avoid an emotion?" No. So they are not a false pleasure. Would there be a negative consequence I wasn't choosing if I ate them? There would be. So, I'm choosing to have no negative consequence when I go to trivia.

However, over Thanksgiving, my family was in town and we had my grandma's pie. You guys, my grandma's pie is like chewing on sugar. It is very sweet, but it's also my grandma's pie and she's very sweet, so I made the exception and I chose the consequence of knowing that I would have pain for a couple of days afterwards. I could answer the question, am I eating that pie to buffer and emotion? No, it actually made me feel more connected to the moment, more connected to my family, and to my grandma. So, it amplified my experience. Was there a negative consequence I wasn't choosing? No. I chose that. I negotiated that negative consequence for myself. Hopefully that makes the distinction clear for you.

I know we covered a ton of stuff today. And as I said, I think you're probably going to want to rewatch, relisten, reread the things that we've talked about because there is a lot here. I know 100% that if you can really get this deep down and start applying it, that you are going to go so far with whatever goal you have. Which reminds me, we have the Goals That Stick Challenge that's coming up. I will put a link below on Crowdcast and on Facebook for you guys to sign up for that. I'm really excited about this because this is goal setting in a way that I guarantee you have never done before. It'll make you really want to stick to these goals. I think it's going to be a blast.

So today, we went through false pleasure, what it is, why we do it. That's the buffering. We're trying to separate ourselves from emotion. Why we don't want to do it, because it's keeping us from where we want to be. How to identify in your life if you are using false pleasures. Those two questions, one, am I using this to buffer and emotion? Two, is there a negative consequence on the tail end that I'm not choosing? And then we went through three strategies to help you overcome and get rid of these false pleasures.

Trust me, getting rid of false pleasures is going to move you so far closer to your goals and so much easier, and this data will help you for a lifetime. So just remember CRAE, C-R-A-E. You're going to choose. You're going to have a reason. You're going to pay attention. Then, you're going to evaluate. Then, everything else will flow from there. You'll figure out whether it's a habit you want to keep or one that you don't want to keep.

All right, so that'll wrap up for today. Next week, as I said, we are going to jump into more strategic tips and planning. It won't be so mindset heavy. We're going to be looking at meal planning. This is definitely a part of eating right, and I will see you back here next week. Bye.

Episode 4: The eat Right Series (1) ~ The only way to eat right


I am so excited to be hopping in here to start our Eat Right series. It is going to be a five part series. Today is going to be setting the foundation. We're setting a framework and if you think of it like a wheel, today is the middle of the wheel. The next four lessons will be the spokes or the support to today's framework. This really lays the foundation and then each of the other lessons is going to build on how do we actually live this foundation.

And I want to say thank you to everyone that helped me put stuff together for this series. You guys were awesome and quite honestly, hilarious. I will be quoting some of you for sure throughout this series because you guys are really funny and really helped me a ton putting this together. So I just want to say thank you and I also want to say you're not alone.

I totally get where you're coming from. So not that long ago I was so frustrated with the food that I was eating, I was frustrated knowing what to eat. I would listen to this expert, I would follow this research, I would do what they said only to find out a month later that wasn't the right thing. I would eat food that I thought was quite frankly disgusting because I thought it was healthy only to find out that it wasn't healthy and then it was healthy and then it wasn't healthy.

It was really frustrating and I found myself in a total food rut. I found myself afraid to eat certain things and really limiting what I was eating and feeling kind of just crappy about the whole thing to be totally honest.

What we’ll be covering 

  • what eating right is

  • what it isn’t

  • six signs from your body that'll tell you how what you're eating is effecting you

  • three rules, this is going to be our framework, these are really important 

  • and two quick start steps

what Eating Right isn’t 

This is the four D's, these four D's do not work. They never will work.

 (1) First D, dogma. 

Okay these are the experts, these are those people that will tell you they have all the answers, they have this one way of eating that is going to change your life. You're going to look fantastic, and you'll have a million dollars in the bank when you're done. Right?

These are the experts that are telling you, "Do this, don't do that. If you do that you are going to spontaneously combust, and your whole world will blow up." They create confusion, chaos, conflict and also make you quit. 

When it comes to eating right, dogma, makes you believe there's an expert, there's a diet out there, there is something you should be doing and if you aren't doing that, then there's something wrong with you. The problem isn't that expert, that belief system, that dogma, the problem is you.

(2) second D, diet. 

All right people, here's a newsflash. Diets do not work. Shocking, I know. Okay, so I'm going to put a caveat in there, diets do all work in the short term. No matter what diet you're choosing, no matter how ridiculous the diet is it'll probably work in the short term, but guess what? They do not work in the longterm. There is no research that supports that diets actually work in the longterm. So what does this mean? You try a diet for a little while, and you start to feel better and look better.

You think, "This diet works. This works, I found what works." But it sucks, it's hard, it's challenging, you're going away with your family and then you stop doing the diet, and it doesn't work anymore. Well that makes you wrong again, right? You tried the diet, it worked for you for a little while, it works for everyone else, so it's just because you're lazy, unmotivated, you know just not good enough, I guess, to stick to that diet. But if you went back to that diet, you just know that it would work. No, it wouldn't. It wouldn't work in the longterm so just let go of that. Okay?

(3) Third D, deprivation. Food is supposed to be pleasurable. When we eat, when we think about food, when we see food, if you're under a functional MRI machine, which I'm sure you're not right now. But if you were your whole brain lights up because it's supposed to be a pleasure, not only that, we do it every day. And I can hear what you're saying. You're saying, "Yes it is a pleasure. But it's too much of a pleasure for me and that is the problem."

No, that is not the problem because there are two kinds of pleasure. There is real pleasure. Real pleasure is what connects us to our body, connects to the moment, connects us to the people around us. Right? And it feels good in the moment, and it feels good an hour later, and it feels good a week later. In fact, you probably forgot about it but it feels good. Constantly, consistently.

False pleasures might feel good in the moment but then you feel like crap in an hour, in a week, you feel guilty about it, it isn't connecting you to the moment, it is disconnecting you from the moment. You are using it to disconnect from where you are in space and time. And I'll tell you what, we all do this. Every single one of us unless you're a robot and anyone in the health circle, you have been screened because you had to answer questions to get in there and I know you're not a robot. So you will choose to disconnect sometimes from your body by overeating, over drinking, over spending, over thinking, over Netflix-ing. Right? We all do this but that is a false pleasure and in fact that's next week's spoke.

When it comes to deprivation, we are going to look at instead of taking stuff away, we're going to look at adding good stuff in. We crowd out that bad stuff. And we're also going to ditch the concept of calorie counting. If you were to eat 2,000 calories of butter tarts or you were going to eat 2,000 calories of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, nut seeds, legumes, beans, whole grains. Let's think about that.

You’ve got 2,000 butter tart calories or 2,000 nut seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, in calories. Don't you think one of those might be slightly better than the other one for your body? What we're going to look at instead of calories is nutrients. We're just going to look at how nutritious something is. We're going to look at how it's going to fuel our body.

And you know what, if you love calorie counting and you hate everything I'm saying right now, remember, eating right is not dogma. You don't have to listen to me. I am just laying out a framework for you to try. Okay? You can try it for a little bit, doesn't work for you then that's cool. This is not dogma. 

But I still think there's more value in looking at the nutrients and not deprivation. Because what happens when you deprive yourself, you end up hungry. You end up grouchy and guess what, you don't stick with it.

You’re doing math every time you eat and it's just too hard and you don't stick with it. And guess what, you are the problem because you aren't doing the math, and if you just did the math then you'd look the way that you wanted. Right? So it's not dogma, it's not diet, it's not deprivation. 

(4) Last D, destination

You are not going to reach a day when you can say, I've arrived and now I eat right. I'm there. I know it's corny, I know it's a cliché, it's the journey not the destination but it's so true.It's the process, not the outcome. When you measure yourself against the outcome constantly instead of remembering to live and enjoy the process then you are setting yourself up to fail. Because you know what, if you have a bad day of eating then and so many of you said this to me "I'll do really well for a while and then I'll have a bad day and then I'll just fall off the wagon for a year."

That might be an exaggeration but still you know what I mean. When it's part of the process, failure isn't really an end point, it's just part of the process. It's a learning experience and if you have one bad meal, that doesn't define you, that's not who you are, it's not your character. You just do better the next time. It really isn't that big a deal. And in fact, again, you are not a robot so we expect it and weave it into the process. Learning as you go is shifting from that destination kind of thinking. 

So not dogma, not diet, not deprivation, not destination. The number one reason that it is not any of these four things is because every one of those makes you the problem.

You are the problem. Not the 50 billion dollar diet industry. They're not the problem, you are the problem because you couldn't stick with it. And you suck because of that. Now you know I don't think that but this is why eating right has nothing to do with any of that. 

What eating right is

let's talk for a second about what eating right is.

Remember how those four D's all made it so that you sucked and the that the answers were outside of you? Well when you're eating right, you are the expert. Answer this for me. Is there anyone on the planet that knows what it feels like to be in your body? Other than you? I don't know what it feels like to be in your body. I don't know how food feels in your body. I don't know what your body does with the food.

The only person equipped to actually know how to eat right for you, for your body, is you. Right? The answers are all inside you. So eating right is a personalized and customized plan for you. You're going to eat foods that make you feel good. And before anyone says it because I know you're going to say it. If you ate ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner you wouldn't feel good. Well actually, you know what I challenge you to try that and actually see how you feel. And then get back to me because it's going to make you feel terrible. That is not eating in a way that makes you feel good.

6 signs from your body 

Okay so we've established that you are the expert, that the four D's suck and here are six, by the way that is the only way. When I say there is only one way to eat right, that's what I mean. The only way to eat right is for you to figure out what works for you and what feels good in your body.

All right. Six signs that your body is either liking or not liking the food that you're eating. 

There are three visible signs and three invisible signs. 

The three visible signs are

(1) your weight. So when you look in the mirror, do you feel like you look good? And I'm not talking about thigh gap and six pack abs and air brushed magazines. I mean real life, when you look in the mirror, how do you look? Do you feel like you need to lose some weight in a realistic way? Do you feel like you need to gain some weight?

Do you feel heavy? Do you feel good? Your weight is definitely one of those visible queues. 

(2) your skin. Is your skin breaking out? That is a sign that something is off in terms of what you're eating. Do you look exhausted all the time, do you look gaunt, sallow, just not looking your best? Your skin is a really good reflection of how your body is liking what you're feeding it. 

(3) my favorite and the daily report card, literally every day, your body tells you exactly what it thinks of what you're eating. It tells you what it's doing with what you're eating and gives you a full report and that is, there's no delicate way to say it, that is your poop my friends.

Your poop tells you a lot about how your body is processing the food that you're eating. Okay so that valuable daily report card, what do we want it to look like? I'll give you a brief run down, basically your poop should be from your wrist all the way to your elbow in length. That always astonishes me but that's how long it's supposed to be. It should be smooth, it should be sort of an S shape. It is a light brown color, it should make no noise as it goes into the toilet and it should come out of your body in under a minute without much gas.

As I said, there's no really delicate way to talk about this, it should leave no smears or streaks in the toilet bowl, and if you are what we call a hyper wiper, you have to wipe many, many times before you feel nice and fresh, then that is a sure indication that your body is not liking the foods that you eat. 

If you want to know more, if you want to be able to read the signs from your body, if you want to know a number of self tests that you can be doing at home, on yourself, in the privacy of whatever space that you have. Then I highly, highly, highly recommend that you watch My Gut in a rut workshop. Because it goes through this in great depth.

So our three visible signs, weight, skin and poop. 

Our three invisible signs. Energy levels, mood and immune system. 

  1. energy - if you are dragging your butt around all day and you have no energy, you'll remember from my energy workshop that 40 percent of our energy is directly related to what we're eating. Remember, the food that you eat actually becomes your body. And it fuels every single one of your cells. So if you have no energy, that's a good sign that your body doesn't like what you're eating. 

(2) mood, are you cranky? Are you yelling at your kids, grouchy with everyone you see, about to kill the person standing in front of you at Starbucks who doesn't freaking know what she wants to order.

(3) immune system, are you catching every cold, flu, bug that flies around? Are you under the weather more than you're feeling good? That's an indication that your food's not agreeing with you. 

So energy, mood and immune system are the three invisible clues that you're going to pay attention to.

The 3 rules 

Okay, so now we've established that you are the expert, your body is telling you exactly what it likes and what it doesn't like, now we're going to talk about the three rules. This is really, really important. And I almost want this to become like a mantra to you. 

  1. the first rule is, eat food. 

  2. Shocking, right? So eat food, what does that mean?

You know what food is. You also know what crap is. Crap comes through a vending machine, a drive thru window, it comes in a package, it comes with a label. It comes with an ingredient list that is as long as your ideal poop.You want to eat whole foods. If it took 14 steps to get to your mouth, it is not a whole food. All right?

For example, if you had an apple versus apple juice, an apple is whole food, apple juice has a label and it took steps to get there. That is what we're going to consider crap. Okay? So you want to eat food. This means you're going to have to read labels, this also means that you're going to have to cook. 

All right? So eat food. You guys are smart, I know you know what food is. So eat food is our first rule. Eat food.

(2) Second rule, not too much. 

Sometimes we eat too much. Sometimes we don't really know how much is too much. There's a Japanese saying basically eat till your 80 percent full. And I agree with that. It can be hard to know what 80 percent full is though so we're going to go with a scale. 

On a scale of one to ten, one being "you're absolutely starving." Like you can't think of anything except eating. Ten would be "you are so full you feel disgusting, the thought of eating something else makes you feel like you're going to physically be sick." In fact, you just feel like you're physically going to be sick.

What we're aiming for is to be somewhere between six and seven on that scale. So to put it in perspective, five would be like "you're not hungry but you're not not hungry." This is where you might eat out of boredom. Again, we'll talk a little bit about that next week. Six, seven would be you're satisfied, you don't have a physical desire to eat but you could eat if there's something really enjoyable placed in front of you, you could certainly have a bite and not feel disgusting. Anything above that you're feeling very full, uncomfortable and bloated.

So we want to stay in that scale of "you could eat more especially if something enjoyable was put in front of you," but you don't want to be getting into those upper scales. We've all be there. It feels terrible. We just want to pay attention. 

I'm going to give you one other little trick but I really don't want you worrying so much about weights and measures and portions exactly. The only reason I'm going to give you this trick is so that you can start to gauge how much you're eating and how full you feel.

If you use your fist, the front of your fist is about a cup. The side of your fist would be about half a cup. Your finger from the first knuckle to the tip would be about a teaspoon and then your thumb from the first knuckle to the tip is about a tablespoon. Now I wouldn't use these measures for baking but it gives you a nice roundabout. Again, I'm not concerned about much, it's more so that you can start to relate amounts to how you are feeling.

All right so our first two rules, eat food. Not too much. 

(3) The third, mostly plants. 

I guarantee you if you do these three things, if you stay in this three part framework, you will be eating right. There's nothing else you need to do, just these three things. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. So what would mostly plants look like? Look at your plate and make three quarters of that plate plants. Pretty simple, right?

I really like if you make half that plate green plants. Anyone who's worked with me knows I'm a bit obsessed with greens but so green plants and a quarter of the other half colorful plants and then a quarter of the other half, who cares? Eat what you want. Eat what makes you feel good. If you really want to have pasta that your family is having for dinner, then a quarter of your plate can be pasta. FYI, arugula is really good on pasta, I always put it on top of pasta and pizza.

So you're going to aim for mostly plants. I think it was Natasha in our group who said, "If it comes from a plant, you want to eat it. If it was made in a plant, you don't." And that goes back to eating food, right? 

Here's our three. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. In case you think I came up with this, I did not. This is Michael Pollan's framework, I learned about it probably about 10 years ago and I think these are three rules to live by.

So while you're watching, I know it sounds boring because I keep repeating it but I want this to stick in your head. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. If those are the only three things you take away and you look at your meals and say, "Am I eating food? Did I eat too much? Did I eat mostly plants," then you're going to have your answers to this question.

All right, so that is the framework that we're going to be building on. 

2 quickstart actions

And we're going to get you started. You know that I love action. I want you doing something right out of the gate to start to solidify this. 

(1) The first quick start step that you're going to take, I hesitate to even tell you because you guys are going to hate it, but the first thing you're going to do is you're going to keep a journal. I know. Everyone hates keeping a food journal. It sucks.

But listen, this isn't about how much you're eating, doesn't matter. This isn't about the calories or the macros, the protein, fat, carb. Who cares, who cares, who cares? What you're doing, and I've actually made you some pretty journals that I'll put the link down below on Facebook and I'll put the link on CrowdCast, there'll be a green button that you'll see in a minute.

What you're going to write down is what you ate and how you feel. You don't need to use the journals I made. You could take a piece of paper and write a line down the middle and write "What I ate, how I felt." Under how I felt you could be making a scale. You could say, "Energy on a scale of one to ten, mood on a scale of one to ten. My magnificent poops on a scale of one to ten."

Whatever you want that'll indicate to you how you're feeling with the food you ate. Why do I want you to do this? Am I just this mean person who wants you to write down what you're eating? First of all, make this quick, make this easy. You can do it on your phone as well. Second of all, the reason I want you to do this is it's going to save you time and money.

How does it save you time and money? One, you'll either figure it out for yourself, what feels good in your body and how to eat. Great. Then you don't need help from anyone. Or two, you may still feel a little stuck in the weeds and need some help from someone like me, but what happens is you bring this information to me and you save time and money because I don't have to spend time with you figuring this stuff out. You're bringing it to me, we can hit the ground running.

This is a very valuable and worthwhile thing to be doing even though it is sort of the opposite of fun. If you do this for a week or two, you're going to have so much information. If you miss a day, who cares? If you miss three days, who cares? It doesn't matter. You just need to get this information compiled for yourself. Why? To save time and money. Everyone likes saving time and money, right?

Okay the second quick start is, remember we said we're going to crowd out of some of the bad things. Well the second thing we're going to do is I'm going to get you guys to drink more water. And this is actually something that almost everyone needs to do. We're going to use a little bit of formula, we're going to say you're going to drink half your body weight in ounces. So let's just say for the ease of math and I should have done this before I was live on camera. We'll see what my math skills are like.

Say you weigh 100 pounds, then you are going to drink 50 ounces of water every day. That's half your body weight in ounces. And that would work out to be about six cups if I'm doing the math correctly. So if you weigh 100 pounds, you're going to aim to drink six cups of water starting today.This helps almost everything. It helps your digestive enzymes digest your food. Most people don't realize that part of the chemical reaction requires water and this is going to help you to digest your food.

It also helps you to start to distinguish when you're actually hungry and when you might be thirsty. It helps you to flush things through your body and make those magnificent poops move through you quicker. So that's your 2 quicksteps for this week. You're going to drink half your body weight in water and you are going to do the dreaded journal but make it fun.

Maybe at the end of the journaling you reward yourself in some way. Okay so quickly let's review, today we went through what eating right isn't. Those four D's that never work. That always make you wrong. What it is, you're the expert. The six signs, three visible, three invisible. The three rule framework that we're going to be building on and you're going to stick to as we move forward for the next five weeks.

Actually there's a challenge in the middle of that, so the next six weeks. And you're going to do your two quick starts, you're going to do your journaling and drink half your body weight in water. Hopefully this sets a nice foundation for you. If you guys have any questions at all then let me know. All right have a great Tuesday, I will see you next week. Oh wait, next week. We are going to talk about emotional eating, bad habits, false pleasures. So we're going to talk about things like nighttime snacking, eating when you're not hungry, that kind of thing. And we're going to work through a framework to try and support us moving away from that sort of false pleasure behavior.