Jacqueline Pirtle is the founder of FreakyHealer.com. Her passion for happiness shines through in all of her work as an accomplished energy healer, mindfulness-happiness coach, and author of 365 Days of Happiness. She has helped hundreds of clients shift into a “high for life” frequency where they can reach happiness anywhere at any time. As a result their health peaked, women unable to conceive finally conceived, success and abundance arrived, and life shifted to being magnificent for them–because that is what being happy will do for anyone.
Jacqueline has been featured on many podcasts, guest blogs, and has had international speaking engagements. Her professional background is in health, wellness, holistic medicine, energy healing, law of attraction, and happiness. She holds international wellness degrees and is internationally certified as a Reiki Master.
[00:00:00] You’re listening to the Nutrition Experts Podcast. Featuring guests who take the scientific talk about food and break it down for practical use. You’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat.” Come find out what that really means. Experience conversations with experts in the field of nutrition and understand the power of food for our health, wellbeing and beyond. Now here’s your host Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Mathea Ford.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:27] Hi there! It’s Mathea. Welcome back to Nutrition Experts Podcasts. The podcast featuring nutrition experts who are leading the way using food starts today right now with our next guest. It’s great to have Jacqueline Pirtle on the show today. Jacqueline welcomes to Nutrition Experts. I’m excited to have you on this show and share your expertise with my tribe.
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:00:49] Thank you, Mathea. I’m super excited. Thank you for having me.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:52] So, Jacqueline let’s just start with the basics. What made you interested in this topic – this topic of energy healing food, energy together. What is your interest in that?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:01:07] First of all, I’ve been a foodie all my life so I grew up in Switzerland in a family where my mom was home and cooking every day fresh food and which was amazing and my parents were like hobby gardener. So, I grew up knowing fresh foods so when I was younger I didn’t even realize that I’m actually into food which is kind of normal for me. I think growing up in Europe that’s just how things went there. Probably still are.
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:01:34] So later in life then I realized that just like how much I enjoy food but it’s not just on a on a level where I enjoyed when I eat it. It’s also on an energetic level right? And when I look at my relationship with food it really is on an energetic level that I really take time to really consciously acknowledge my food when I eat it. I also like have a connection with them talking and chit chatting with my food. What is good for me and I try different ways and what I found is that my connection to my food really helps my health so I also taught that to my children when they are growing up to ask their bodies what kind of food would be good for them. And it just showed over and over again that it really adds up in your health and in your enjoyment. And then I took it deeper and you just like really feeling and really seeing tasting thinking and really connecting with the food in a way that I just knew what energy I’m entering or I let enter with the food I eat right. So that’s really how I very much got into it that I just saw the goodness of really connecting with your food not just to do it as eating or to do food but really to connect with it and to do to eat with a feeling and with their consciousness that’s present when I eat.
Mathea Ford: [00:03:05] You talk a little bit about how you talk to your food, how you work with your food, how it gives you energy. How does that energy become part of our healing? How does it affects healing because you do some energy healing? How does the food and the energy healing work together?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:03:23] I come from the belief that everything is energy so and everything is the same energy and everything is connected and everything shares its energy so I am energy, my body’s energy and my table that I’m sitting by adjacent to my computer so is food, food is energy too right? So, when you look at food that it is energy then you also can understand and realize that when you eat you let energy enter right? So, let’s say you eat a cucumber right? You look at that cucumber. What kind of energy does a cucumber really carry? Like it’s refreshing. It’s like a juicy, it’s green right? The color green which is harmony. So, when you look at the cucumber you really take a second to feel what type of energy does a cucumber carry. And then when you consciously feel that and become aware of that energy and then you eat it. It means that this energy enters your body. You and the cucumber become one. So, the energy of yourself and the energy of the cucumber become one which means every single cell of your body is going to be filling up with that energy the cucumber carries which means when you choose food that feels good to you that matches the energy meal that you have at that moment when you eat, it means that you can refill yourself with the energy you need which then becomes an energetic healing in itself.
Mathea Ford: [00:04:59] How do we know what energy we need at that moment since most of us kind of just eat mindlessly?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:05:05] Basically what what makes you feel good. Now,there is what makes you feel good in your mind right? When you see a cookie it’s like “I like cookies too” so but when you see a cookie and you say like “oh my gosh I really want that! That will make me feel so good.” To take a second and say “Well, was that my mind speaking or was that really my body, you know my physical body and my soul speaking. Right? Is that where is it? Is my heart saying “Yes, to the cookie or is my mind saying yes to the cookie” right? Because there’s a really big difference and the difference is if your mind says “yes to the cookie” you don’t so much feel for that cookie but if your heart says “yes to the cookie” you will feel in love with that cookie and when that happens it’s not going to leave you alone anyway so you might as well then say “alright, my heart says yes to that cookie” and then you can focus on that cookie the happiness that cookie makes you right? It’s like putting a smile on it well, smile right? Even laugh about it and then eat that cookie which means then you fill your body with everything that you could use right then and there. Right? So, to use this to really slow let’s say you’re hungry, you go up in the kitchen and you say “Okay, what shall I eat? Don’t just eat what’s there. That’s one thing. Give yourself a couple seconds to say what would feel good for me. The way I do it is I stand in a kitchen. And then I visualize or I think about a food, I think about a cucumber, I think about a piece of bread. You know I visualize myself eating pasta. So those are a couple foods and in the beginning that may take a little longer but you practice a little bit and it goes really fast and then really like which would make you feel really good. Right? Like you feel for it and then prepare that food. And the amazing part is while you’re doing that and figure out which food you’re getting, your whole physical body with your digestion everything ready for that perfect food that’s fitting for you. Then you prepare it right? And then when you eat it your body is really ready so you fill your body with that feeding energy of that food and your body is already ready and opens up its arms and says “Welcome, we’re ready” right? So, I mean the co-creation of healthy energy and happy energy in your physical body is just incredible because to me it’s like food wants to be your good friend, food wants to have a relationship with you. Food is not just something you just kind of pop in. Food makes you. It’s a co-creation, it’s like a best friend relationship. I wrote a book it’s called 365 Days of Happiness. It’s every day, it’s a step by step guide every day. It teaches you a little bit about mindful living being happy and it’s based a lot of energetic being and it’s a a lot of good stuff in there and very funny sometimes too. And one of those excerpts is about your relationship with food. To really create a best friend BFF relationship with your food is whatever you put in your body. The food you put in your body is that what a best friend would bring into your life. And is that also how you behave towards food right? So, to just really create a relationship and a fun time. Have a party with your food right? And fall in love with your food and that the more you practice that it might sound a little complicated in the beginning instead of just pop something down but it just creates such an amazing healthy environment for you, for the food, the food entering your body your health peaks. And you know something else I realized that when I work with my clients and explain this and they practice this is that the happier they get and the more mindful they get about everything including food the less people are actually eating like the amounts and what not. They just feel like they don’t need that much anymore which is true righ? We don’t really need that much food. And also they choose more of the food that’s actually good for them because they’re starting a relationship with the food right? It’s like a good friend right. You can’t ignore them. It’s like you know you want to be with them.
Mathea Ford: [00:09:51] It sounds a lot like you’re reminding us that we need to be mindful when we eat and we need to take a moment and not just start eating food but we need to think through what’s there and what we need right now. Some of that is what you have in the house but you were talking a little bit at the end there about how happiness affects intake. Can you give some more information about that how happiness and what you mean by happiness affects your intake?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:10:22] To me, happiness comes in many different ways and shapes and sizes. It’s not always that happiness means you’re joyfully and laughingly jumping on a trampoline. Right? Happiness is really many many different things and happiness can be achieved right here right now with nothing to be changed. So, that’s first of all my book is based on what you don’t have to change anything to be happy. For instance if you receive a smile you know that’s happiness. If you drink a good cup of tea which I’m doing while we’re talking that’s happiness right? If you have a good cry and that release and cleansing off your energies and feelings that is happiness. If you get angry and then with that forceful powerful energy you’re going to go clean your house or your car for instance. Right? That is in need of cleaning. Well that’s happiness too. So first off happiness is really you don’t change anything. It’s just really the way you are perceiving something. So that’s first of all that’s really important to me about to say what happiness is you don’t have to do anything right? You just sit back. You accept, respect, appreciate, thank and laugh. Everything there is for you. Receive everything as a gift and then from there you can start mindfully looking for little things that just make you feel good. Right? And when it makes you feel good that’s called Happiness to me.
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:11:56] So what I found is that when when people work on an all over well-being of you know like not just with the food or just with money or just with anything else that’s going on but when it’s like an all over whole being healing and mindfulness when that is practiced then your whole being will have different needs for instance. And one of the needs that I saw decreasing is for people needing food. Right? So, what happens is then their food intake becomes less because they’re not necessarily grabbing food for their happiness. They’re grabbing food because they’re in need of more energy. Let’s say they’re hungry, let’s say they just exercise they need something. It’s just a different type of feeling. And then when they eat, when they do it, when they take food in they’re also going to feel good about that food intake. Right? It’s like when when I’m unhappy and I eat food to make myself happy then a lot of times comes that guilty feeling afterwards and you can just realize that downward spiral of not feeling good. It’s not going to work but when you’re working on an all over deep mindful happiness with everything also your body and with whatever is going on in your life then when you eat it’s going to be an intake of an energy exchange or an addition to your energy like “I’m hungry and I’m looking for a fresh food.” So you go in your kitchen and you are looking for fresh food. The energetic value of that will be you know in fresh vegetables and fruits or whatever that might be even a glass of wonderful water with a piece of lemon in it and then you indulge in that and it matches the energetic need you have but not because you’re unhappy.
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:14:03] And what I see is is that it’s just people eat less. They grab more the right food and they actually enjoy that relationship with the food they have and their health will just peak you know and whoever is looking for losing weight they will lose weight.
Mathea Ford: [00:14:21] So, Jacqueline emotions you talk a little bit about and I see how people sometimes do use food to either cover up their unhappiness or celebrate, do other things besides to give us nourishment and those emotions do affect how we eat. So, how do you think people can affect or change that cycle?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:14:45] The easiest to say is to One, work on you that you can mindfully be happy. That’s not attached to anything. If you’re sitting in a room and you’re unhappy to not look for anything that would make you happy for instance focus on your breath. Right? Take a deep breath in and out and just focus on that beauty inside of you. And that happy great feeling of every breath you take right? And every breath you breathe out because it is life right? And when you do that then your needs for being happy on the outside for instance food will decrease right so that will be my first tip. But don’t take me wrong, I also am I love chocolate for instance and sometimes I just grab my little piece of chocolate because it just makes me so happy. I’m not saying don’t ever do that anymore. It’s just more like weighing it a little bit right?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:15:49] It’s like to to not to maybe not look at food as your happiness giver a but to rather find happiness with whatever it is inside of you mindfully. And my second tip would be to fall in love with food. Look at food like it’s not your servant and it’s not just something you do is like “No, it’s like your best friend is visiting” and you’re having a great great great time and you fall in love with the food that you eat maybe even go as far as to say if there is food in front of you, ask yourself “Can I fall in love with that food?” And if you can’t don’t put it in your body because it’s obviously not going to be very helpful for you. But if you have food in front of you and you can really feel that you fall in love with it like that feeling right? Like on top of the world have fall in love really oh my gosh then eat a piece of chocolate or you got banana or eat that pasta right? So, to really just have some fun with food and not so much pressure about food right?
Mathea Ford: [00:17:00] So Jacqueline, it sounds like you’re saying kind of go back to listening to your body like we’re encouraged to do a lot of times when we’re younger to listen to what we’re hungry for, to eat as we’re hungry. How do you know what your relationship is with food? And then if it’s not the best then how do you go about starting to change that?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:17:26] Ask yourself when you eat, “How do I feel?” Right? Like a lot of times we’re probably eating. A lot of people are very used to that feeling on that they eat and then they feel guilty afterwards right?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:17:40] So, that will be an absolute indication that your relationship would profit if you know if you fall work on falling in love with your food righ? That’s for sure something or I mean if you just don’t feel so good about food or feel like “Oh! This is going to make me fat!” Those kind of thoughts are just really not helpful and those are not really thoughts that will resonate with a high fly frequency which is happiness. So, anything of that would be you know to really look at your relationship with wouldn’t say “Okay, I kind of want to change that. Right?” I mean do you have fun with your food? Are you in love with your food right? Those are some simple questions and if you can’t say “yes” to them then I would suggest to start working with it because I tell you what, is like food is part of this physical experience here. Right? So, were different components were the physical body where the mind, where the soul and consciousness anchored now. Right? So, in our physical experience called life, food is an amazing part of it and it’s here to you know to see it, to taste it, to smell it, to think about it to feel it, right? To hear it right? Try hearing food I tell you until you heard, until you tried to hear food, you haven’t really experienced food yet because… And try to chit chat with you would have some fun with it right?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:19:11] And that’s part of the physical experience that we’re so gifted to do here and life is just a bunch of fun when you really can… when you can really experience food in that way.
Mathea Ford: [00:19:25] So, I know you do a lot with happiness and energy healing. So, can you talk a little bit about what those energies are that we might have and what might need to heal about them with relation to food and what we eat?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:19:42] When You look at everything is energy that means feelings or energy too, thoughts are energy too right? And a lot of times I mean think think of yourself now as a grown up person. You don’t really want to think or feel that way about food right? But it’s kind of there. It’s like this automatic program you’re running and that really comes from growing up and I would say that most people have some sort of you know some sort of hurt or some have trauma or some have just like a thoughts that are not helpful with food that’s just like also how we grew up right? And instead of getting too deep into the Why and the How and the walk from back in time it’s just really you know look at it and say “Okay, I’m not very positive about food.” Right? And that’s an energy it’s everything is energy. And I want to kind of heal that energy. And what would you do is what you what you could do the simplest thing is to just think the opposite. So this food makes me fat for instance. Well, think this food makes me think for instance right? Or this is this is “I’d like that food but it’s going to be so unhealthy for me.”
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:20:57] “While like that food this is going to be so healthy for me.” Just jump to the opposite. So, if you have a thought towards of food and energy towards the food that’s not fitting think the opposite. And the more you do that the more you train your mind to think positive about food and have some fun with food and that’s really where the healing comes in.
Mathea Ford: [00:21:19] I had one am I going to say it’s not guilty or not guilty it just is you know the Twinkie didn’t commit robbery type thing.
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:21:27] I agree. I really agree. You know I can maybe give you an example. So when my kids were little we were one of those some what are they called they’re like the festivals with the rides and what not and then I always made sure that my kids grew up eating healthy right? So and I educated them but we never forbid anything, we just asked them and explain to them we just had healthy stuff at home but we ate cookies too. Its just I made them from scratch things like that. But then we were at that festival and then one of my kids said “Can I have the sweets, the sweet treat?” And I thought “Okay, well sure.” So, the child ate the sweet treat and then like he was so happy all over the moon happy because normally at home we didn’t do that right? So anyways and then like half an hour later my child looks and he says “I have a bellyache.” And I said “Oh really?” And then my child that it’s probably because of that sweet treat.
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:22:29] And then I said “Listen. Maybe, maybe not but I tell you what? How did you feel when you ate that?” And he says “OHh! Over the moon happy! I was so happy!” I said “Yeah, I saw that! And was that enjoyable?” “Yeah oh! Yeah! Yeah!” I said “then, Instead of saying I am now having a bellyache because of that sweet treat rather focus on how happy it made you when you ate it. Because when you ate it that was a split second and then the next split second you have a bellyache has nothing to do with it.” Now, in the physical world maybe people would say actually it does. It’s because of the coloring and all that comes up. But from an energetic level at that moment happiness was created right then and there. And then half an hour later the bellyache happened and you know what happened is then with focusing on a happy feeling and not really in the mind focused because of that I got now a bellyache, the bellyache disappeared because it’s an energetic level. It’s created happiness right then and there and that was the most important part.
Mathea Ford: [00:23:37] So I love everything you’ve been talking about and I’m trying to think of ways we can help our listeners to use this information because you’re talking about gratitude and just basically having gratitude for all the things we have in our lives and having happiness from that gratitude being feeling blessed. So, what are some ways that listeners can use this information in their daily life to improve their lives?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:24:06] First off, fall in love with food. Fall in love with food and realize that food is not simply there to eat but it is there to co-create health and joy with you right? And food wants to be your partner for life and for joy. That will be my first thing, the next one would be to bless heavy food that enters your body. You know to blessed even the cookie to bless the food and say “hey I’m so happy thank you so much. Bless you and thank you for bringing all the happiness in my body” and then indulge and then chit chat with your food. Have a good time with your food and then of course be present when you eat right? So, be really present then and really feel and get into what is entering your body and that’s always really really powerful right? And then make your time with your food to celebration like a fun time put on nice music, light a candle that’s amazing. Lighting a candle so like a celebration, very very nice act to do and then you sit down and you eat right? It brings peace and blessings into the situation and just make it a social time and really just relax about food, relax about food and smile at your food and then indulge in it.
Mathea Ford: [00:25:24] One of the things that I’m thinking when I’m listening to you is this is absolutely wonderful for when I have the food in my house but how I get the food in my house is to go grocery shopping or online shopping or whatever. How do you improve or make sure that you have the right energetic foods in your house because you somehow have to get them there? They don’t just magically appear. Maybe they will in the future.
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:25:52] The way I shop is when I go in a grocery store. I mean I have some ideas and kind of what I would want to eat during the week or something. When I go in a grocery store I walk through the aisles and let’s say I’m standing in the vegetable aisle for instance right. I look at all everything. I take a second and I really look at every single food there is right? And is like everybody else around me is like crazy going faster while I look at it and then I say “Okay, I’m going to buy tomatoes” because they speak to me right? “So what are we going to buy today?” Well, my body tells me exactly what to buy. Some tomatoes I look at all the tomatoes and then I choose which tomato looks the best for me right? And then I also will figure out how many. So, when you’re connected to food like that you will buy whatever you’re going to then eat in the next couple of days. So, that’s how I shop and you just being connected even when you buy the food.
Mathea Ford: [00:26:53] What’s your favorite food? Are you a vegetarian? Do you follow any sort of special foods and what’s your favorite one?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:27:01] I eat pretty much everything! I’m not such a big seafood person. I love fish though once in a while. I’m not a big meat person. I eat meat though once in a while and then I asked my body what it needs. But to me like fresh clean food veggies, colorful food, I love colorful food. I really liked that and I like chocolate for instance. I also like red wine once in a while. So, every split second is different right? It’s like “right now, I love this the next day I love that right?” So, I love food in general but I make it fitting for me. And then it’s immediately it’s the perfect food that I fall in love with. So…
Mathea Ford: [00:27:45] The whole idea of happiness just not related to food. How do you think that that changes our lives? Your 365 Days of Happiness book and how does that transform your life?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:28:01] The biggest transformation is that when you learn and practice to mindfully being happy with whatever there is in your life and that’s the book what it’s based about was my work, that’s my passion. Then it transforms your life in that way that you will never really need any change anymore because you and happiness you’re one right? It’s like you are happiness and happiness is you. No matter what’s going on around you and you become one. And it’s always present. It’s like a package how you say it’s like the best package deal ever because it’s always there. And to me that’s the biggest transformation because you’re never needing anything from the outside really but because you always have that available inside of you. Now, you sometimes sleep? Do I sleep? Of course you know and that’s also normal, that’s part of the physical life and I always think of it that when I sleep and I feel like “oh! I just sleeped into not feeling so good. Well it’s a great practice for me to… So, now what am I going to do about this mindfully so I can shift back to happiness so it becomes a gift in itself because it’s a great practice I get stronger and stronger every single day, every single sleep I get stronger to to stay happy right? And to just work with I’m feeling good. I make it a priority like every morning I get up and I that’s that my decision is my biggest goal today is to feel good no matter what to feel good and funny enough what happens is everything just kind of falls into place the way it’s good for me right? My health peaks and things are coming my way that are just like “wow! I didn’t even know that exists” right? And plus you know you spread it right? It’s like if you’re in a state of feeling really good you spread it with everybody around you with everything around you including your food right? And then you shift everything around you too it’s like a movement almost.
Mathea Ford: [00:30:09] So, what type of person do you find is drawn to doing this type of practice with their food? What they’re eating to working on improving the happiness and the energy? What type of person is best suited for that?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:30:25] Anybody that is not really happy that would love to be happier. That would love to have a more vivid experience in life. Anybody that would like to be healthier or anybody that would love to attract more goodness in their lives or for instance a family member like a parent. Usually it’s the moms that started with the book you know that would love to transform their family right? So they start to practice with them and they spread it to a whole family and it’s just everybody everybody gets a chunk of this goodness. So, if you feel like you’d like a change in your life. If you want to be in control of how you feel and if you just want to say “that’s it! I don’t want to change anything in life, I just want to change how I feel and not base it on other people or other things that are happening whatnot.” Then this practice is really for you.
Mathea Ford: [00:31:21] Alright Jacqueline, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. It was a pleasure to have you on the show. I know my listeners have learned a lot about gratitude, happiness and even if they think it’s a little “woo woo” to talk to your food and be that engaged, I still believe that there’s a lot of value in the mindset switched to being happy and choosing happiness that will help you to just live a better healthier life. If listeners want to connect with you what’s the best way to do that?
Jacqueline Pirtle: [00:31:58] Well I have a Web site it’s called freakyhealer.com And I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Under that name Freaky Healer. And my book is available on my website or on Amazon.com. And I also have on my website on the post, you can subscribe to my free posts and it’s all about health and happiness and inspirations every day most of day most days. And then you get a free three golden tips to being happy guide into your e-mail. Very speedy when you do that.
Mathea Ford: [00:32:35] Well guys this has been another great episode of Nutrition Experts podcast. The podcast all about learning more so you can do more with nutrition in your life.
[00:32:45] You just listened to an episode of the nutrition experts podcast. Be sure to get more information about this week’s episode at www.Nutrition ExpertsPodcast.com. Tune in next time for another great conversation with a nutrition expert and expand your personal knowledge in the field of nutrition. One conversation at a time.
Christine Hansen is a holistic international sleep expert, speaker, and sleep coach. She is the creator of the “5 Step Sleep Like A Boss Process” focusing on sleep foundations, gut health, thyroid issues, nutrition and hormones that helps people to fall and stay asleep without having to rely on sleeping pills.
As a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Spencer Institute Certified Sleep Science Coach and Nutritional Therapist, Christine combines emotional, lifestyle, and biochemical stress management in bespoke programmes for her clients.
Her expertise has been featured in numerous international publications, such as The Independent, The Guardian, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Entrepreneur on Fire and many more.Christine is a mother, #1 Amazon best-selling author for her book Sleep Like A Boss – The Guide To Sleep For Busy Bosses and award- winning entrepreneur of the coup de coeur award of the Creative Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg Awards. Christine is based in Luxembourg and fluent in English, German, French, and Luxembourgish.
[00:00:00] You are listening to the Nutrition Experts podcast. Featuring guests who take the scientific talk about food and break it down for practical use. You’ve heard the phrase you are what you eat. Come find out what that really means. Experience conversations with experts in the field of nutrition and understand the power of food for our health, wellbeing and beyond. Now here’s your host registered dietitian and nutritionist Mathea Ford.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:27] Hi there! It’s Mathea. Welcome to the Nutrition Experts podcast. The podcast featuring nutrition experts who are leading the way using food starts today right now with our next guest. It’s great to have Christine Hansen on the show today. Christine welcome to Nutrition Experts. I’m excited to have you on the show and share your expertise with my tribe.
Christine Hansen: [00:00:48] Hi everyone! It’s super great to be here. I can’t wait to dive into this!
Mathea Ford: [00:00:54] Great. So let’s start with letting you tell the listeners a little more about you.
Christine Hansen: [00:01:00] All right! So, I go by the title of a sleep expert and coach but also I work very holistically and I think that’s really what makes it special. So, I started off with simple sleep hygiene kind of the typical thing. And then I added nutrition which was absolutely key and functional diagnostics. So, now I really look at five pillars which is nutrition, thyroid, guts, hormones and sleep foundations. And that is what changes the world for my clients.
Mathea Ford: [00:01:33] Excellent! So, what created your interest in this topic? How did you get to be a sleep expert?
Christine Hansen: [00:01:38] It all started when I was pregnant with my daughter.
Christine Hansen: [00:01:41] And it wasn’t as many people believe because she was a bad sleeper but it’s because I was really worried that she would be one day. I saw everyone around me having kids and becoming sleep deprived and I’ve always known that my life depends on how I sleep. And so I was really really scared. I was honestly very very anxious about it. And the more people I saw who were you know miserable the more I thought there has to be another way. And that’s how I got into sleep. And then it took a couple of years of development you know as well as for myself because I became an entrepreneur. And it was two roads. It was my development as an entrepreneur and on top of that also my sleep kind of knowledge development realizing how complex sleep is and how many different facets are to sleep.
Mathea Ford: [00:02:33] So, how do you know as a person, individual since you’re a sleep expert. We all sleep, right? Everybody’s probably got an opinion but how do you know how much sleep you need? Just to start out with.
Christine Hansen: [00:02:44] It’s when you go to bed. And when you sleep well. The way that you know that you get enough sleep is that you wake up and you feel great. That’s a very simple way of knowing.
Mathea Ford: [00:02:55] So, if I wake up and I’m tired and groggy because I didn’t go to sleep till late and then in the morning I have to get up early to get my kids off to school. So, if that happens three or four days in a row I get more progressively tired but can I catch up on that sleep over the weekend? Is that such a thing?
Christine Hansen: [00:03:16] Yeah absolutely!
Christine Hansen: [00:03:17] That is a thing. So the scenario that you described is a person collecting sleep debt basically which means that every day we don’t get enough sleep and that’s accumulating. And the good news is that you can catch up on your sleep debt within one night. And actually there was a guy in there I think it was probably the 80s or 90s who tried to set up the world records in the Guinness Book of Records of not sleeping and he didn’t sleep for a few days. I think it’s probably seven or eight and he started hallucinating having all kinds of issues. But the thing is he slept for a day afterwards like a little bit more than 24 hours and everything that had gone wrong in his body due to sleep deprivation was back to normal. So we can catch up very quickly on sleep in that sense.
Mathea Ford: [00:04:11] So, what are some signs that we’re sleep deprived? Because I know it when I mean if I’m staying up too late I’m getting up too early but maybe there’s more signs or more ways to know if it’s not that obvious.
Christine Hansen: [00:04:26] The thing is that a lot of people start to get used to being sleep deprived so they don’t really remember what it’s like not to be sleep deprived. So, things that we need to look out for is just our reaction time.
Christine Hansen: [00:04:40] A lot of times we suddenly noticed that we’re slower, slower in the way that we’re thinking, we are drifting off a lot more quickly and the difference is if when you’re not sleep deprived you notice that your mind is wandering pretty quickly but if you are sleep deprived your mind will wander off and it will actually take some time for you to realise that and put it back on track so you’re wasting a lot more time actually being sleep deprived. Other things are that while you will have obvious signs that your body will react in terms of the way that you look, you will age a lot more quickly, your skin is going to be a lot more it’s not going to be as healthy and then you have a cascade of reactions that are going to happen. So, you start to have you know your body is basically breaking down so you have digestive issues, concentration issues, your mood is obviously impacted, you will feel that you handle stress a lot less positively or you know just have a lot more trouble with that. Your patience obviously. So it’s really your body and your mind starting to act up. I have to say though that most people that I work with they are not in the position where they voluntarily don’t sleep in terms of that they know that they are pushing their bedtime too late. But for them it’s they actually really want to, they try to, they have a great sleep hygiene, they tried to do everything right but they still can’t sleep and I think that’s a big big difference that we need to think about. You know there’s a huge difference between the people who want to sleep but can’t and those who are living in circumstances where they push their bedtime.
Mathea Ford: [00:06:18] So, you mentioned that there are five pillars that you typically look out with relation to sleep and one of them is gut health.
Mathea Ford: [00:06:26] So, how does your gut health relate to your sleep? What sorts of things does that involve?
Christine Hansen: [00:06:33] So there’s different ways that the gut is connected to your sleep. So number one is that a lot of the clients that I work with have been under chronic stress so their cortisol has created damage in their intestinal lining. So, leaky gut is a huge issue that I encounter a lot. So suddenly you have molecules peeking through your gut into your immune system and it creates inflammation and a lot of that inflammation happens at night because the liver kicks in around 2 to 3 A.M. and a natural anti inflammatories are hormones like cortisol or adrenaline and those two are actually stimulating hormones. So, when you wake up at 2 a.m. which you most likely do because you know a sleep cycle is done and you should get into the next one. But if you have a full on inflammation going on it’s going to be tricky because you have stimulating hormones messing around. The other thing that happens that when your gut is weekend you tend to have opportunistic parasites and bacteria settling down and those create a lot of damage. They are also nocturnal so they will also be active at night time stimulating your body. So, that’s a huge issue and it’s my job to find out what is going on you know. Is there presence of parasites or bacteria? What is causing inflammation? Is it maybe food sensitivities that we need to look at? These are crucial crucial pieces that are just take detective work for me to find out what is going on.
Christine Hansen: [00:08:01] But it’s it’s a huge piece that everyone who is not healthy and doesn’t know why should look at.
Mathea Ford: [00:08:07] So, for something like bad bacteria setting up in your digestive system what do you typically work with people to get probiotics or what types of other things do people do to improve that?
Christine Hansen: [00:08:22] So I have a protocol that I set up with my clients. So, usually what I do if we suspect that there is something in the gut that is not supposed to be there I will start with something that’s called a biofilm disruptor and the biofilm is like a protective shield for parasites and bacteria and it’s basically first of all protecting them from medicine but also from being detected. And it’s also according to new research allowing them to communicate with each other. So, before I do anything I use a biofilm disruptor to basically disable that shield so that when we do testing to figure out what we are actually looking at it will be easier to pick them up. Plus, we will have weakened their defenses. So that’s what I start with. And then depending on what we find out that is there in testing I will use herbal protocols to clean up everything that’s in there. And the good thing about herbal protocols is that they are selective so they will get rid of parasites that are not supposed to be there but they will not be toxic for good bacteria for example. I always use probiotics especially Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG which is a very specific strain that has been shown to be super efficient and beneficial for a lot of different conditions so I always recommend especially that strain and then it really depends. So, when we have parasites bacteria and yeast. I would first start with parasites, then bacteria and then yeast or fungi – always in that order. I would give some liver support because all of that is going to release some toxins. So, we want to support the liver to get rid of that if my client is showing detoxification symptoms I would use something that kind of binds all of those toxins together to reduce those and that’s how we would work. I would also look at nutrition of course. So, really reducing sugar during that time gluten usually. And it depends on every client. But I would really try to have a harmonic kind of work – working all the different pieces together.
Mathea Ford: [00:10:26] So that leads really well into my next question because you mentioned another one of your pillars w as nutrition and I know certain chemicals -caffeine – can affect your sleep but what types of things about nutrition truly are disruptive to sleep and then maybe even w hat things are helpful to sleep?
Christine Hansen: [00:10:48] Yeah absolutely! So, I really start with the basics. Really figuring out whether my clients have enough nutrients in their bodies so I would do a nutrient assessment to see whether they’re vitamins and minerals in good levels. Because all of that is affecting our health and the way that our body is working. And then as you said you know the first ones that we’re going to avoid is obviously caffeine and any stimulants like sugar but if we’re looking at sleep in particular there are a couple of things that I give a little bit more attention to. So, I’m going to share those with you and for anyone who’s listening.
Christine Hansen: [00:11:24] If you have insomnia if you’re working with people with insomnia those would be a couple of protocols that I would look into. So, number one is I always look at magnesium and magnesium levels. Magnesium is just a relaxant and it’s a muscle relaxant and it’s been really shown that there’s a big relation with sleep. So, that’s something that I look at. Also calcium and Vitamin B6, those have tranquilizing effects so those are some that I put priority to. Then, I also look at tryptophan which is a precursor to melatonin. It’s difficult to get all of those just via food you know for me nutrition it’s also supplementation. So, tryptophan I would really look at a supplement that has 5 HTP. So, the number five and then the three letters HTP which is really grade to increase tryptophan and highly effective for insomnia. It’s also non-addictive. So, I actually prefer it to melatonin and then I would also look at eating seeds, nuts, roots, green leafy vegetables is great because they are high in calcium and m agnesium. Nightime Teas can help like he said include Camomile, Tilia flowers, Spearmint, Blueberry, BlackBerry leaves, Orange blossoms, Lemongrass, Hawthorn, Rosebuds or Rose Hips -those are things that I would include in my nutritional protocols and then during the day and basically for all meals I would really hugely advocate low glycemic foods. Foods that will slowly rise your blood sugar levels or basically release that sugar more slowly into your system so that you avoid having those spikes and crashes because you don’t want to have a blood sugar spike at night time just because your body is used to living in that zigzag pattern. So those are things that I would implement.
Mathea Ford: [00:13:21] With regards to hormones as well. What sort of hormones are going to be affecting our sleep and is there anything that nutrition helps with that?
Christine Hansen: [00:13:32] Well all our hormones are affecting our sleep. So, what I really notice is as soon as a hormone is out of balance it will affect your sleep most likely. So, whether that is your estrogens, whether that’s your testosterone, your progesterone doesn’t matter your cortisol you sleep will be affected pretty quickly also your thyroid hormone. So, nutrition wise everything that helps your body to relax is amazing so it’s really important for me to get a food sensitivity test done or to have an evaluation which I can also do with my clients without having to do the testing and avoid anything that stimulates that inflammation because that is going to put the body in high alert and contribute to having hormonal imbalance. So, that’s my first thing to focus on foods that do not have inflammatory capacity which is different for every kind. And then there’s different things that you can do – cumin or tumeric is an anti inflammatory for example – so I tried to have that in a lot of my clients’ diets. It has a musky taste. It’s beautiful yellow colour so I include that a lot. Again, blood sugar levels are super important so cinnamon is something that I include in a protocol for example or suggestion program that I do for my clients.
Christine Hansen: [00:14:56] Otherwise, sometimes it’s difficult just with food alone to really influence hormones too much but what it does is if you have a healthy diet which doesn’t include processed foods, doesn’t include artificial fats or doesn’t include too much sugar and is organic, it just basically going to reduce the stress load on the toxic stress load on your body so much that it’s going to start to relax and everything is going to start to get into balance as well so it’s an absolute necessary foundation as well that you need to have in place.
Mathea Ford: [00:15:32] Is there anything related to age that seems to be consistent? Like is there a point in our life where we tend to have more issues with sleep?
Christine Hansen: [00:15:44] I think for women definitely menopause you know when estrogen levels start to drop. It’s a huge huge impact on sleep. Night sweats keep women awake and things like that. So, definitely for men it can be as well. However, it’s also important to know that we don’t need less sleep just because we’re getting older. It’s a misconception that a lot of people have but a lot of the time what is happening is the older we get the less we often need to work because of retirement. And people start to nap too long and that is why a lot of older people have suddenly issues sleeping at night it’s because they have a lot of naps. And I think that plus a lot of people being suddenly indoors for a long time not getting the sunlight which is contributing to having a disregulated biological clock that can contribute to having issues of sleeping at night. But it doesn’t mean that we need less sleep. That’s actually not true if we just look at how everything changes on a homeowner basis, I would definitely say women in the perimenopause which can start with 40.
Christine Hansen: [00:16:52] It doesn’t mean that you need to be 55. You can really have symptoms pretty early but pre menopause and menopause is definitely two stages were in for women that will contribute to that. Yeah.
Mathea Ford: [00:17:06] Are there any chronic diseases or conditions that tend to cause issues with sleeping?
Christine Hansen: [00:17:13] A lot of them do. Definitely anything that’s autoimmune like thyroid, Hashimoto’s or Grave’s Disease. A lot of autoimmune conditions that have to do with pain. Unfortunately, it’s kind of the feedback loop you have the pain having people sleeping not as well. And then the sleep deprivation is increasing the notion of pain so very often you have Fibromyalgia, Lupus that can be very painful as well. So, those are definitely also impacted by sleep and vice versa unfortunately.
Mathea Ford: [00:17:49] I know exercise, being more active. You kind of skimmed over it a little bit but I know that that’s been known to help people with sleeping just because you get that release of energy. How does exercise timing affect sleep? How does it go with around the time you know should you exercise late in the day? Should you avoid exercising late in the day? Should you always exercise in the morning? Is there any advice about that?
Christine Hansen: [00:18:17] Number one movement is absolutely beneficial and I’m on purpose s aying movement because exercise depending on what kind of state my clients are in actually be stressful. So, if I have someone who has already a lot of health issues I would not recommend them going to the gym five times a week which is additionally stressing out their body. So, that’s I’m seeing movement and movement could be having a funky dance in your bedroom.
Christine Hansen: [00:18:47] It could mean getting off the bus stop a little bit earlier. It could mean parking your car further away from the supermarket. You know just moving in itself is undoubtedly amazing for s leep. Exercise can also be great first of all for your health but also for stress release as in timing it depends on your system. So, in general, exercise has been recommended because your temperature goes up and when it drops it can favor the sleep because a temperature drop in general is really connected with going to sleep. So, the philosophy is that you know when you favor or when you encourage a temperature drop it’s going to help you to drift into sleep which is true but for some people especially after cardio, their body has a hard time of regulating itself back to coolness and then they are lying there and they have a racing heart have a high pulse and sleep is even worse than before. So, for those I’d definitely not recommend doing exercise especially cardio in the evening. Yoga or something like that is absolutely okay. The other thing is that if you go to boot camp and you have an instructor screaming at you and glaring lights and light and super loud music and you know it’s super stimulating that’s not going to help your sleep either you know. So, for some people they’re going to be so exhausted that they’re just going to drop dead and it’s fine or drop this you know for sound asleep. But for people who are sensitive to these things it can just be overstimulating and sleep is a process.
Christine Hansen: [00:20:25] You know, you drifting into sleep. It’s not an on and off switch so going from super stimulating c lass like that straight to bed can sometimes be counterproductive. So, there’s different things to consider.
Mathea Ford: [00:20:38] I have noticed that there are some habits that seem to lead to better sleep specifically putting my phone to the side 15 – 20 minutes before bed time and just relaxing by reading a book or talking to my husband. So, are there any specific groups of habits or anything that you recommend that if someone seems to have a little bit of trouble at times going to sleep what might improve that?
Christine Hansen: [00:21:08] Yes so bedtime routines are definitely helpful because they just train our brain right? It’s just like getting on autopilot and having a domino chain reaction. However, bedtime routines are highly individual because we just like different things. But my favorite that you have a timer that goes off an hour before you go to bed. And so an hour is a lot of time. You know you can get a lot done and it’s just preventing from that crazy wash that you have before you need to go to bed and you need to finish everything for the next day. So, set your timer for an hour before. I find that very very helpful. And then a couple of other things are to be tidy. That’s not what I used to be I can promise you the bedroom used to be the place where I lived in, worked in and everything but having a super tidy bedroom, very minimalistic, don’t have the chair with all the clothes on it. A plant in it, beautiful, simple, clean, empty, more less space is going to help you because it’s calming on the eyes.
Christine Hansen: [00:22:14] It’s calming on the mind. So that’s definitely something that I recommend. I also recommend doing your bed every morning because it’s just such a beautiful feeling when you come home and when you go to sleep so it’s just already connotation with something positive and then another technique that I love to use with my clients is that they have a beautiful notebook that they spend a little bit more money on and they write down three positive things before they go to bed and it simply helps you to not think about what happened during the day and finish that day on a positive note. So, that’s something that I always recommend as well. Then, of course leave the charger of your iPhone in the kitchen and leave your iPhone charging in the kitchen as well. You will be sleeping which means that you won’t be checking your iPhone.
Mathea Ford: [00:23:01] Well, there will be a problem of use t hat as an alarm.
Christine Hansen: [00:23:05] No that’s an excuse. That’s just an excuse. I’ve been being fine without iPhones for decades and they’re still good old battery operated alarm clocks out there. So, you don’t need your iPhone.
Mathea Ford: [00:23:20] Absolutely! So, my listeners are typically healthcare professionals, dietitians, nurses, doctors, students. So, thinking about them in their day to day life and when they interact with people what sorts of things are going to come up that may make them think that someone is having problem with sleep? Or is it a good idea to always ask about sleep and what types of follow up kind of information would you gather?
Christine Hansen: [00:23:52] Absolutely ask about sleep. There’s just been an article in a Harvard Medical Journal about Sleeping: The Third Pillar Next to Nutrition and Exercise and it’s really true. So, sleep has to be in my opinion really has to be a part of your intake form. Look a little bit, ask questions as to when they say that sleep is an issue. I often see that people are overly worried so that they think they have to get eight hours of sleep even if they are not tired in the morning. So, really listen to what they’re telling you. Are they having the feeling that they’re not getting enough sleep? Do they have control over not getting enough sleep in terms of I know that I should get to go to bed earlier? Or is it really about them not being able to sleep? So having done a lot of things but not being capable of. That’s when the red flag would go up you know all the rest you can do with coaching and lifestyle optimization. But when they really can’t go to sleep that’s when you have to go digging a little bit deeper.
Mathea Ford: [00:24:54] Okay. So, what do you think is next in this field of sleep and understanding sleep and how it affects us? What types of things do you see coming and how do you think it’s going to affect healthcare?
Christine Hansen: [00:25:09] Well, I was at the Web Summit in Lisbon in November and the CEO of Fitbit was there and he was talking about how Fitbit is focusing on sleep. How they are gathering data and they are working actively with healthcare providers to see how sleep is actually affecting health and also how they are actually telling people if they suspect that there is an issue which I find absolutely fascinating. So, I think sleep is going to be more and more a part of just a routine section of healthcare because it is so crucial and it needs to be a foundation before you try to just focus on the issue. Meaning that a patient who isn’t sleeping is going to have a much harder time recovering from any disease than someone who gets the restorative sleep that they need. So, that’s what it’s going for. I also think that at the moment if we look at medical sleep education it’s mainly about sleep disorders. So, let’s say Sleep Apnea, Circadian Rhythm Disorders, Restless leg. It’s not as much looking at other factors like hormone or gut health and so forth. So, my hope and my mission and what I’m doing with my certification program is really teaching people to do that, to look further and to help people getting back to sleep that way. So, I think that’s where it’s going it’s going to be just a standard pillar of any healthcare protocol. And hopefully it’s also going to be more holistic.
Mathea Ford: [00:26:52] Yes, I think the self measured society that we’re becoming where we have our tracking on our arm that heart beat and checks how much sleep you get. In a way it’s a very positive thing in some ways and it can highlight some issues that we may not even realize because people may not think that may think they’re sleeping just fine and yet they’re wearing Fitbit and it’s saying hey you’re waking up multiple times that you didn’t realize. So that could lead them to ask more questions.
Christine Hansen: [00:27:25] Unfortunately, I see it the other way more often. So even though I like that they say that sleep is just as important as the rest. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people with us measuring tools being worried about nothing. You know they are worried because their Fitbit told them they didn’t get enough sleep. And when I asked them “Well, are you tired?” They say “No, I actually sleep okay.” So you know it’s common sense. I think sometimes.
Mathea Ford: [00:27:50] No. I totally understand what you’re saying. It does make you more stressed and nervous like “Oh my gosh! I’m sleeping well.” But you’re not having any symptoms or issues then maybe it really isn’t a problem. Maybe it’s just your normal body thing. So, who is going to be best suited to doing that type of change?
Christine Hansen: [00:28:11] So, my clients are typically those who are sick and tired of hearing from their regular practitioner that everything’s okay you know. So, they know that something’s not right. They’re not sleeping. They usually have lots of other symptoms – digestive issues, hair loss, thyroid issues you name it. But when they go to a lot of regular practitioners they are just being told everything is okay. Everything is fine. And that’s when they just know it’s not true. So that’s when they come to me.
Christine Hansen: [00:28:42] Then when we look at the holistic kind of the the big picture and how everything is connected that’s when they get motivated because you know even though we often find that a lot is wrong with them when we do our testing, it’s great news because finally we have something that we can work on instead of just being told everything’s okay, well then nothing’s going to change. But when we actually see, “Look there’s things that are not okay we have to balance your hormones. We should look at your gut. We have to clean that up and coach sat back to health.” That’s when a beautiful journey starts. And anyone who knows that they’re not okay but they just haven’t found that person yet who is listening to them and who’s believing in them. Those other people that are my dream clients.
Mathea Ford: [00:29:33] We a ll have trouble sometimes sleeping and when I think about my kids on the weekends like Friday and Saturday night. They go to bed a little later but in them it’s always a struggle to get them to go to sleep at their normal bed time on Sunday night getting ready for school the next day. And so I always question whether I should keep a consistent bedtime or give them that little bit of freedom that they why on the weekends “because it’s the weekends mom, I shouldn’t have to go b ed!”
Christine Hansen: [00:30:04] Unless there’s really an issue like a real issue, just leave them the freedom it’s the same for us. I mean it’s a hassle b ut its going to get better but I think it’s beautiful memories that we create during that time as w ell. So, unless it’s a real sleep disorder and it’s really affecting them hugely I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
Mathea Ford: [00:30:25] Yeah my kids are kind of funny because they’re speaking to not necessarily going to sleep but waking up. My son has decided that there is a certain way that he wants us to wake him up because he doesn’t get his cell phone so he can’t have an alarm at night. So, he wants to be you know don’t just walk in and flip on the lights and pull back the covers. He wants to have a couple minutes to kind of bring that awareness of awakening and my daughter walk in there and say “Hey, it’s time to get up you flip off the fan, you kind of jostle her a little and she’ll get up you know but she’s not like so it’s just funny. It’s the opposite. She goes to sleep if you tell her it’s time for bed go to sleep. Go get in bed. Once she gets in bed she kind of have that routine takes up her glasses put some to the side and goes to sleep. So, anyway, enought about me.
Christine Hansen: [00:31:24] No! But it’s like I’m not a morning person. I hated when there’s a abrupt alarm and I think it’s also because it’s just from a scientific point of view it’s an alarm. So it’s going to raise a cortisol levels to huge extent and I think for some people that doesn’t matter as much for me I just hate my day when I have to wake up that way. So, I have a very gentle alarm and I just get up so peacefully but I need some time like I’m not there. “Okay. It’s Wake up time. Let’s go. That’s not me.”.
Mathea Ford: [00:31:57] So, what are some ways that the listeners can use this information we’ve talked about in their day to day life? So, just to improve their daily lives, what sorts of things do you suggest?
Christine Hansen: [00:32:10] So, I always start with a foundation so look at the sleep foundations that we’ve talked about to try to implement a couple. And then I think they know about nutrition a lot. A lot of it is common sense but really looking at having Low Glycemic Index food, avoiding processed foods, avoiding unhealthy fats and pesticides and then I think a lot of it is also feeling into yourself and seeing what is my body actually telling me like do I feel healthy? Do I feel great? If I don’t then something is probably off you know. So, that’s where.. That’s a really important step.
Mathea Ford: [00:32:51] Okay. So, one of my questions I tried to ask everyone is the food related question. What’s your favorite food?
Christine Hansen: [00:32:59] My favorite food is not a healthy one. It’s White Pasta Tortellini Panna e Prosciutto. So, which is ham and cheese and it’s great and so in the oven so Gratinati.
Mathea Ford: [00:33:21] Ohh! That sounds delicious! That got a cream sauce?
Christine Hansen: [00:33:22] Yes.
Mathea Ford: [00:33:23] OK. It doesn’t have to be healthy yeah!
Christine Hansen: [00:33:29] It’s not an either. If I have it at lunchtime, I’m not going to work that afternoon because I’m just like I’m so tired it’s it’s killing me but it’s so good.
Mathea Ford: [00:33:39] Alright. Well, Christine thank you so much for being on the podcast today. It was a pleasure to have you on the show. I know my listeners have learned a lot about sleep and how it’s affected by nutrition and your gut. And so listeners want to connect with you what’s the best way to do that?
Christine Hansen: [00:33:55] So there’s two different parts to this. Listeners who are like “Okay, I have sleep issues I want to look at that!” They should they can just basically go to my website which is sleeplikeaboss.com and for practitioners who say “Look, I really like what she’s doing I want to add sleep to my practice!” They can go to holisticsleepcoachinstitute.com which is where I am offering my certification program.
Mathea Ford: [00:34:20] Okay. Well, guys this has been another great episode of the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast that is all about learning more so you can do more with nutrition in your life.
Recording: [00:34:32] You just listen to an episode of the Nutrition Experts Podcast. Be sure to get more information about this week’s episode at www.Nutrition ExpertsPodcast.com. Tune in next time for another great conversation with a nutrition expert and expand your personal knowledge in the field of nutrition. One conversation at a time.
I am so excited to present this episode this week – I heard Christine Palumbo speak at our OKAND state meeting and I wanted to share her message because it’s important to understand the generational differences when we do our jobs. Many new ideas and processes came to my mind when we were talking because it’s just so phenomenal to think about how we can change a few little things and appeal better to our audience based on their frame of reference.
Christine Palumbo, MBA, RDN, FAND BIO
Christine is an award-winning dietitian and principal of Christine Palumbo Nutrition, a nutrition communications practice in Naperville, Illinois. Her entrepreneurial career includes freelance writing, corporate wellness, private practice, nutrient analysis, corporate consulting and dietetic education. She pens the Good Sense Eating column for Manhattan Family and several other New York Parenting magazines.
Christine is frequently featured in print, broadcast and social media and has hundreds of interviews under her belt. A highlight of her career was the day she was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She also once debated the late Dr. Robert Atkins of the Atkins Diet Revolution book fame on television.
She has received every possible award from the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, including Outstanding Dietitian of the Year. She received a Bronze Award from the Parenting Media Association for outstanding work as a columnist. A graduate of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Christine was named the University’s Outstanding Alumnae, the highest honor given at St. Catherine. She also received the prestigious Four Pillars Award from Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois.
A current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nominating Committee, Christine has served on numerous national committees and on its Board of Directors and was also named a Fellow.
Christine’s website is christinepalumbo.com
[00:00:00] You’re listening to the nutrition experts podcast featuring guests who take the scientific talk about food and break it down for practical use. You’ve heard the phrase you are what you eat. Come find out what that really means. Experience conversations with experts in the field of nutrition and understand the power of food for our health wellbeing and beyond. Now here’s your host registered dietitian and nutritionist M athea Ford.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:26] Hi there. It’s Mathea. Welcome back to the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast featuring nutrition experts who are leading the way using foods starts today, right now with our next guest. It’s great to have Christine Palumbo on the show today. Christine welcome to Nutrition Experts. I’m excited to have you on the show and share your expertise with my tribe.
Christine Palumbo: [00:00:48] Hi Mathea! And I’m just as excited to be here with you so thanks.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:52] It was exciting to listen to your presentation at Oklahoma Dietetics Association meeting last month and I wanted to talk to you some more because I thought it was a very interesting topic. So, the topic we’re going to talk today a little bit more about is generational trends, food differences. That type of stuff. So, what made you interested in that topic?
Christine Palumbo: [00:01:17] You know I have always been interested in learning about what makes people tick.
Christine Palumbo: [00:01:25] I noticed that you have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration as I do which is a rarity among Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists and I remembered for one of the classes being at a library and there was a whole magazine publication about psychographics and it was not just looking at demographics of people but other types of people are interested in it that drives their behavior. So, I’ve always been fascinated with that. I’m also very interested in the younger generations. I’m a boomer. I’ve got a sister who is believe it or not Gen X and I have three children who are millennials and of the millennial children two of them are married and have kids. One was recently married no kids yet. So I’ve always watched with great interest how they eat, their attitudes towards nutrition. I like to see how they grocery shop, how they cook and especially because the millennials are very much interested in eating out. You know how often they eat out.
Mathea Ford: [00:02:37] Fascinating! So, can you tell me or talk a little bit about the biggest concerns that the different generations have when it comes to nutrition? So, kind of go through each generation and maybe your their concerns related to nutrition?
Christine Palumbo: [00:02:54] Absolutely. So, first I’m going to start with the silent generation. These are people who were born between 1930 and 1945 so they are older folks. They are very interested in healthy aging and they are also interested in brain health, preventing dementia. Many of the Silent Generation members are in excellent health. They’re the subscribers to the newsletter such as Environmental Nutrition or Tufts University Health Letter and finally, Nutrition Action which is published by CSPI. And then again, there are people of the silent generation who are in poor health and those who have also passed away.
Christine Palumbo: [00:03:40] So those who are still at good healthy want to stay healthy as long as possible and they want to keep their wits about that they want to stay keep their brain healthy. So that’s the Silent Generation and then we move it to the next generation the Baby Boomers. So, those are people who were born between 1946 and 1964 and along with the Silent Generation, the Boomers want to keep healthy brains keep keep their memory keep their alertness. It’s message for those who are still working. They want to stay healthy for their grandchildren if they have any or those who are about to be born and they also want to engage in the anti-aging. They, a lot of boomers don’t feel like what they feel like they’re the exception. They think that they could prevent aging. They also think that they can cheat death which is impossible you know. As the pastor of my church says every so often during his service he says “None of us are going to get out of get out of this alive.” That’s that group and then we move it to Generation X. It’s a it’s a it’s a smallest group sponsored a generation and those members of that group are born from between 1965 and about 1980. And just a little aside the only group for which there is a formal definition by the U.S. Census Bureau is the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and everybody who comes before or excuse me comes after that. There’s a little bit of squishiness when it comes to the d ividing mark with their ages or their years of birth.
Christine Palumbo: [00:05:23] So Gen Xers are parents of college students in some cases they are parents of grown children but usually they’re in college or high school and perhaps even still in middle school. Gen-Xers as well as the millennials which we’ll talk about in a moment. Gen-Xers are very interested in taking care of themselves so that they can take care of their kids. They are very busy with various types of sports, marching band and so forth so they need to have the energy to keep up with their their youngsters or kids and they’re also interested in their children’s nutrition so that the kids can perform well at school, boost the test scores, get it good schools and launch successful careers. They’re also interested in their kids nutrition or sports. That’s Gen-X. So, the millennials were born from approximately 1981 to about 1994. Although I have seen to about 1997. So, again there is no formal definition no agreed upon definition of who the millennials are. The way I like to look at it it’s probably not necessarily fair but I think of the millennials as the children of the baby boomers. But that that’s just Christine’s definition. So, this is the largest generation the millennials have eclipsed the Baby Boomers as the largest generation in this country. And they again they’re starting to. They have kids at home. Some of them h aven’t yet form to households but they are very seriously in the market if you will for the forming households and settling down and h aving children and then Generation Z. So, another term for Generations Z would be the post millennials or even the iGen. They were born from approximately 1995 or again maybe 1998 to about 2012.
Christine Palumbo: [00:07:38] So, I think of these people as today’s current college students say the 18 to 22 year olds, high school students and then younger than that and they are [gosh] there are just all over the place in terms of having the money to spend, knowing how to cook, being interest nutrition. This last generation is the most ethnically diverse and so that influences their enjoyment of an interest in a variety of foods, spicy things, foods from different countries. They’ve even shaken up what we offer types called Fast Food. You know we’re with the industry likes to call quick service restaurants. They’re not going to the traditional typical quick service restaurants like Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s but they’re expanding to places like Chipotle. It’s an interesting group to watch. There’s definitely some overlap in the interests in food and eating habits of millennials compared to Gen X but there are just distinctions.
Mathea Ford: [00:08:49] So I’m a Gen-Xer and my kids are the i-generation. And I have noticed or Gen Z whatever you might call it. I’ve notice that they’re very in tune to environmental concerns so they hear of things on TV or whatever they want to know why you know things are happening and they seem to get a little bit more of the news and that may just be my family. But they seem to be concerned about waste, about our throwing things away, they want to make sure we’re recycling. So, I don’t know. Is that any sort of trends or?
Christine Palumbo: [00:09:32] Well, you know I don’t have any data to back this up but my hunch is due to my own personal experience. And I think it’s the age at which they are Mathea.
Christine Palumbo: [00:09:43] Because I recall that what by millennial children were in middle school in particular they were very interested in the environment, very interested in recycling and all the things that you’re talking about. And in fact the recycling craze really took off when the millennials were in school, were in elementary school, when they were at middle school. And so I think it’s I think it’s just something that is part of the life cycle I think is just an interest that they have. So what I recall from the time is that the millennials got their parents to recycle. They came home from school and they said to their Baby Boomer parents we need to be doing this. And that’s what the recycling boom really happen. Now, what’s happening now that’s new and has happened over the last maybe five years is the extremely important issue of minimizing food waste and that to me is a new horizon. I think that there’s a lot out there. If you look at articles about food waste, restaurants are doing their bests to minimize it. I know i n my own suburban Chicago home for years, my husband and I have a little system where we put out some containers at every bit of food waste that I can put in these compost containers, I do. Even coffee grounds that are in paper filters. Those go out there and they all decompose. And in fact just this past weekend, my husband went to one of the containers and dug out the beautiful black crumbly compost and put it on top garden squares in preparation for planting our tomatoes and our herbsthis coming weekend.
Mathea Ford: [00:11:40] I used to travel a lot and they used to change the sheets on the Hotelbeds every night and never encourage you to hang up your towels.
Mathea Ford: [00:11:51] They get you fresh towels everyday. And now when I get to a hotel I noticed “OK, we’re going to change the sheets except her you know unless it’s your third night or something” and they’re constantly encouraging you to improve the environment so y eah reducing waste. Can you talk about specifically about what the Baby Boomers? Because I think yes younger generations have some health care concerns at times. But as the Baby Boomers age as they become Medicare eligible. What effect are they having on health care and how we deliver and how we give them health care as they get older?
Christine Palumbo: [00:12:30] Baby boomers are currently aged 54 to 72. And that is a very wide range in terms of where they are in their life stage and in their health. So, they actually have the demographers have actually broken this down to two cohorts – an older group ages 63 to 72 and the younger group ages 54 to 62. So the 63 to 72 most of those are eligible for Medicare. Some of them are joined Social Security. And whereas the younger ones they’re not. The Baby Boomers as I mentioned earlier. They are interested in anti aging. So, one example and I mentioned this I believe when I spoke in Oklahoma last month in the state of Florida there are clinics that are popping up where they offer blood transfusions, drawn from millennials at up to $300,000. And so the Baby Boomers are spending. They’re spending their children’s inheritances to get transfusions from young people. That’s an extreme.
Christine Palumbo: [00:13:55] Another area where the men are involved is they’re taking testosterone in order to look and feel younger. Unfortunately, these men are serving as guinea pigs because there is not much research on safety s pecially the l ong term safety of t aking testosterone. Another area where Baby Boomers are have changed things is in the area of weight management. And of course you and I and most of our listeners are well acquainted with the overwhelming evidence or preponderance of overweight and obesity in this country. You know I think most of us know that two in three Americans are considered overweight based on their body mass index and one out of three is considered obese. So, what the baby boomers are doing in terms of weight management, it’s not so much how they look although that is there is some aspect to that. But they’re using weight management, weight loss is a pragmatic tool to prevent illness. And it’s actually a physical emblem of good health. So in other other words, they watch you slim down so that they look healthy and there are so many boomers who are single for a variety of reasons and they want to look attractive for the opposite gender. So, that’s one thing. And then something about Baby Boomers having to do with food when they were younger in their 20s and 30s they were at the leading edge of many contemporary food and beverage trends. So, these include fresh and less processed foods and beverages. Baby Boomers because they have many of them have time if they are retired or semi retired they go out to eat a lot even if they’re not retired. A lot of boomers who are empty nesters and in other words their kids have left home.
Christine Palumbo: [00:15:52] And so they have time and they have money to go out to eat. So, they eat out a lot. And in many cases I’ve noticed just anecdotally just from people that I know with this generation, the women were the primary meal procurers. They did the meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and cleanup. And guess what? They are done. They are s o done with cooking and so they want to go out to eat. And I think the husbands gladly go along. So, they’re eating out a lot. They go to a variety of restaurants. In some cases they take their kids out or even their grandkids if applicable to either a quick service restaurant or a fast casual like a Panera. So, they eat out a lot and you’re a dietitian, I’m a dietitian. We both know that eating out at restaurants of any type is associated with or calories taken in for most of us and therefore some weight gain. So, there is a bit of a conundrum there. Yeah. And then the Baby B oomers. You know the women have they’re either postmenopausal or actually most of them are postmenopausal because the average age of menopause is 51 and if the youngest baby boomer is 54 then most of them are postmenopausal. So, there is a general weight gain and tummy gain after a pause for women. But when they go out to eat they’re taking it more calories than they blame menopause or maybe they’re take blame medication for their weight gain but maybe they should just eat at home a little bit more often or order or taking smaller portions when they eat out.
Mathea Ford: [00:17:38] Well, you know I have had people tell me that like you said the Empty Nesters. Sometimes, specially if you’re single, it’s almost easier and cheaper to eat out because you don’t have the leftovers, you don’t have to go to the grocery store and you don’t have to fix you know maybe they were used to fixing bigger portions so it’s an interesting justification for eating out.
Christine Palumbo: [00:18:05] Yeah, I think it’s not so much a cost saving. I think the justification primarily is “I am sick of cooking.”.
Mathea Ford: [00:18:11] Yeah or they’re still working and you know their spouse maybe still working so and they don’t have all these other activities, it’s also a social experience to eat. Food is a wonderful opportunity to sit down and talk if you put your phone down. Believe it or not. Yeah. So. So, you talked a little bit about how Baby Boomers kind of experience food differently or have had changed some trends. Can you talk a little bit about the other generations how they experience food or how they interact with food differently?
Christine Palumbo: [00:18:49] Sure. Well, let’s touch briefly on the silent generation in contrast to their grandchildren and perhaps even great grandchildren. They are accustomed to eating three square meals a day. There is very little snacking that takes place with the silent generation. It just wasn’t part of the culture when they were growing up and when they were younger. And I happen to think that’s a good thing. I think that snacking has just gotten out of hand in this country. And I think that that has contributed to some of the weight gain that we’ve had.
Christine Palumbo: [00:19:26] You know we dietitians have said for years oh you should eat you know many small meals and don’t allow yourself to get too hungry or don’t allow your blood sugar to get too low and people would hear the you know multiple. If we said multiple small meals I think they heard the word multiple. They didn’t hear the part the small part. So, little snacking. Again they are tired of cooking, they go out to eat a lot. And as you mentioned it’s a social experience for them. They and again they take it. They like to go do places like McDonald’s and it’s quick, it’s inexpensive, it’s predictable and they take their grandchildren there. So, that’s the Silent Generation. Now, Millennials they sure have done a lot in terms of their eating habits. They’re very focused on healthy and convenient foods. But they also like to indulge their senses. So, they expect healthy convenient and indulgent foods based on what the USDA, the Amber Waves posts they say that millennials spend more of their grocery money on prepared foods and also pasta, sugar and sweets compared to other generations. What’s really heartwarming as a parent of two daughters and a son, millennials who are married or have live in partners they share the shopping responsibility between the genders. So I say “yey” for that. And even parenting has changed, Where co-parenting is the norm and the dads are nearly just as likely to grocery shop as the moms do these days. And when they go to the grocery store both the men and the women, they are really big on the use of technology so they use apps and they use recipes that they access while they’re shopping.
Christine Palumbo: [00:21:32] So, they might come across a you know an item that’s on sale or they just see something that strikes their mood and rather than trying to you know just passing that item up because they don’t know what to do with it. They access recipes via the apps on their mobile devices, looking for recipes in that way they have all the ingredients. Millennials are big label readers. Yey! They are bigger label readers than the general population. In fact about 65 percent look on the product label. And that’s greater than other generations. What millennials are big on though Mathea is the brand story behind the food product. The brand story, so they’re looking for the origin, the certification and the authenticity. I was at a grocery store last week in my town and it’s just a it’s Jewel and I believe they’re part of Albertsons. It’s a store that has been in the Chicago area for dozens and dozens of years. It’s just a staple. And I was making out some pears, Bartlett pears and there was a sign attached to the pear display with the picture of a farmer – a female farmer. Pretty she had a hat on, you like a kind of a cowboy hat and it talked about the farm and had her name and it said these Bartlett pears are from this farmer and this farm and it gave a location. You know just outside of the Chicago area and I was I was kind of blown away by the store that had it as well as the type of product.
Christine Palumbo: [00:23:21] So, that’s that’s something. So, millennials really want to know what’s in their food and where it came from and that demand for information is growing. And it’s comforting to millennials as well as Generation Z. You know knowing a little bit about their food and the company that it comes from are the farm or the farmer. It comforts them and something else about millennials which I find fascinating is that they’re making their food choices based on their value system. So, it’s a part of saying you know I want to feel healthy or I want to identify with the food that I eat. And that is a shift from previous generations. So, more about millennials they really like evolved flavor profiles. They are very interested in ethnic and evolved flavor combinations. It’s actually become a cliché to assume that Millenials love S riracha the red hot sauce. And in fact McDonald’s introduced a Sriracha burger last year in sales of Sriracha and hot sauces are way up. Millennials are into too. I am not even sure how to pronounce says Poke. P-O-K-E, it’s a r aw fish salad from Hawaii and Shakshuka which is a poached egg and tomato recipe f rom the Middle East. There are Pinterest boards dedicated to these foods and more you know fascinating to me and then what other thing if we have time with the millennials and it is they’re looking for new ideas when it comes to cooking and they’re also time challenged. So, as dietitians, we can help them by giving them advice, we could provide instructional videos on YouTube or on our websites or blogs. We could create listicles for them. That’s a combination of the word list and article.
Christine Palumbo: [00:25:27] So of course nobody wants to read a full article any service bulleted or everything is a list. Community groups are are big in Pinterest, just huge resource for people who are looking for authentic recipes that millennials are drawn towards.
Mathea Ford: [00:25:48] Was just going to say you know that’s very interesting with the recipes and the apps because my husband and I do use an app when we go grocery shopping and you get mark it off and keeps us all updated so we can split up in the grocery store and get everything. But with the videos and in that same app you can look up recipes you can watch a video and see how something is made or. And I’ve noticed that my kids who are that iGen love watching YouTube videos like that is there TV now.
Christine Palumbo: [00:26:24] YouTube is the biggest social media platform.
Mathea Ford: [00:26:26] I believe it because my kids will watch. They have favorites and they know these peoples names. And it is really sad to me like a year ago, I was watching Jimmy Fallon when I get ready to go to bed. And there were the two guys on there. And people are going to laugh at me because I don’t remember their exact names but it was Reid and somebody in there like Science guys and they all do these tests but they were YouTubers and my daughter walks into the room and she’s like “Ohh! These and such and such are on Jimmy Fallon” and like I had no idea who these guys were so but they’re they’re… It’s that ability to kind of build their audience on YouTube on that social network.
Mathea Ford: [00:27:12] But yeah, there’s all kinds of recipes, all kinds of information on there that I think is just very easily consumed and they enjoy consuming that information that way.
Christine Palumbo: [00:27:24] I think you hit the nail on the head very easily consumed. Yes.
Mathea Ford: [00:27:28] Yes. Something that they can pick up and eat that’s healthy. Yeah. Yeah. So, I’ve been a dietitian for 21 years. I know you’ve been a Dietitian for a little while too. So, lots of things have changed since we became dietitians. I, for one remember first learning about food labels in my college c lasses and when they were getting ready to come out. So, there was not even food labels on everything when I first became a Dietitian. So, can you tell me what’s your favorite thing that’s changed in nutrition thought that has happened kind of since you become a dietitian over time for men to now?
Christine Palumbo: [00:28:07] The first one to first welcome change is the recognition that plant based fats are actually helpful. I remember when I was in school and for my early years of my career where the advice was to eat a low fat diet for health as well as for weight management. And now we realize that it is the quality of the fat where the fat comes from that makes a big difference and that a low fat diet isn’t beneficial. In fact, it can be harmful in one of my first jobs I was a Cardiology Dietitian and I was teaching classes to the heart attack victims or people had had heart attacks and their families and people who had cardiac surgery, the coronary bypass surgery and I would tell them they had to avoid nuts because nuts were high in fat.
Christine Palumbo: [00:29:06] And then I w ould go home and I would eat nuts and somehow so I had to tow the party line if you will and say eat low fat, avoid nuts because they’re high and fat. But my instincts told me that nuts were healthy. That they were good. So, that’s one welcome change. And then the second one is related. And that is the recognition that a plant based diet offers a wealth of health benefits and that we should try to fill our place with plant foods and eat animal protein such as meat more of a condiment or as a small you know a side dish if you will. So, b oth has to do with plants. I know and as a dietitian I ‘d been asked a question so many times you know “what’s the healthiest food or tell me what I should eat or how many and what percent of calories should I eat from carbs, protein, fat or you know just basically t ell me what to eat?” And now, my advice is concentrate on whole unprocessed foods and most of your calories should come from those and then you can augment with some other things but plant foods and that meat and animal proteins you know you can still eat them but it’s smaller portions and even skip a day or two.
Mathea Ford: [00:30:33] How can are these and other nutrition professionals or people who are into nutrition, stay on top of trends and yet information on trends from the place that they can trust?
Christine Palumbo: [00:30:46] Well, you know a couple of suggestions here one is to basically keep your eyes and your ears open.
Christine Palumbo: [00:30:52] What are your friends asking you about when you go to the hair salon or nail salon? What are you overhearing? What types of conversations are you overhearing? So, that would be my first tip is just stay alert and to be aware of what people are asking you. Another is when you’re getting ready for work in the morning and maybe you have a news program on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning or some of the other programs. What are some of the topics that they’re covering? Are they bringing out questions about? Are they bringing out topics such as a new diet fad or what is the latest “super fruit” or “super food” and I use those terms in quotation marks because in my book, and I think a lot of people’s books any food that grows from the ground is a superfood. So, you know be aware of you know what you hear in the broadcast media also maybe you’re listening to radio, you might hear some information there. Scan headlines of some of the major newspapers and magazines so New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Time Magazine. Every once in a while actually quite often there are articles pertaining to that. When I was preparing for this discussion, I saw an article that had been published in The Washington Post and it said that the coconut oil craze was over and my first reaction was I didn’t know that because coconut oil, coconut fat and all things coconut has been huge over the last few years. But apparently a couple of years ago that fad has more or less passed away and we’re on to other things.
Christine Palumbo: [00:32:52] And I didn’t know that. So that was interesting. And then there are other dietitians and people who are involved in the food industry. There are all sorts of free electronic newsletters that you can subscribe to. So GMA, SmartBrief, FoodNavigator.com, the International Food Information Council has an annual, it’s either annual or bi annual survey of consumers and it’s a wealth of information. There are people who are interested in the grocery industry. There is a website called Food Dive. And then finally Supermarket Guru. That’s Phil Lempert. And he has interesting pieces every so often. So, all these provide free free newsletters that can appear in your inbox daily. And I know sometimes when I just get busy it’s like oh I can’t deal with it so I just delete them so I don’t even worry about missing something.
Mathea Ford: [00:33:54] Yeah! Cause it’s gonna pop up multiple places and start being things that you hear over and over and then go look a little more.
Christine Palumbo: [00:34:01] Very good point. Very good point. Yes!
Mathea Ford: [00:34:04] Well, Christine I want to thank you so much for being on the podcast today. It was a pleasure to have you on our show. I know my listeners have learned a lot about differences generations and kind of what changes and what stays the same over time. So, if listeners want to connect with you what’s the best way to do that?
Christine Palumbo: [00:34:24] Well thank you for inviting me Mathea.
Christine Palumbo: [00:34:26] It’s been fun talking about one of my favorite topics and yeah sure if anybody would like to follow me I’m on pretty much all sorts of social media and you can connect with my social media via my website. So my Web site is ChristinePalumbo.com and I will spell that because it sounds a little bit different over the air Christine is spelled with a C so it’s C H R I S T I N E P as in Peter A L U M as in Mary, B is Boy O .com. So, on my website I put media articles where I am quoted and again my social media – Twitter, my Facebook page, Instagram and LinkedIn – I have all of those concentrated on the home page of my website. And at some point this year I will likely put together a newsletter just haven’t had the chance to formalize that but that is on its way so that way you don’t even have to go and look for my information.
Mathea Ford: [00:35:46] Great! Well, guys this has been another great episode of the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast that is all about learning more so you can do more with nutrition in your life.
Recording: [00:35:56] You’ve just listened to an episode of the nutrition experts podcast. Be sure to get more information about this week’s episode at www.nutritionExpertspodcast.com. Tune in next time for another great conversation with a nutrition expert and expand your personal knowledge in the field of nutrition. One conversation at a time.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:26] Hi there! It’s Mathea. Welcome back to Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast featuring nutrition experts who are leading the way using food starts today. Right now with our next guests. It’s great to have Jenna Drew on the show today. Jenna, welcome to Nutrition Experts. I’m excited to have you on the show and share your expertise with my tribe.
Jenna Drew: [00:00:48] Hi Mathea! I’m super excited to be here and I can’t wait to share this message with them to you.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:54] We were talking and you live on a farm now. What kind of motivated you to start homesteading and work with these?
Jenna Drew: [00:01:03] Yeah. So, we have lived in the concrete jungle of New York City for about the last eight years and we just kind of got sick of seeing concrete everywhere and not having nature surrounding us besides a park. So we made the move to lay out upstate New York and now we have over 20 acres we have 20 different raised bed gardens that are getting started inside the gardens. We actually have eight different hives of bees and I don’t know if you know this but there’s actually in each hive about 50 to 65,000 bees in each one.
Jenna Drew: [00:01:44] So that means we have to have two million bees which is crazy and on our property now and we’re getting chickens for their eggs. And really we were looking for a better quality of life now that we have a little one. We’ve got a little girl who’s going to be two this summer and we’re expecting our second little girl coming this summer too. So we wanted them to have a different lifestyle and have access to the foods that they’re going to be eating through are actually growing their own food. So we’re really excited to kind of instill this value and this love for Whole Foods into our little ones.
Mathea Ford: [00:02:25] So you going to use the bees to make honey? And also obviously the pollinate your gardens? Any sort of other reason that you have the bees or just for that?
Jenna Drew: [00:02:35] Exactly! So, we’re using them for the pollination since we have fruit trees. Most of the time you need to use some kind of chemical process to help them pollinate. So, this gets rid of that. So, we have you know that all natural back to nature pollinate everything with the bees when it comes to the fruit trees as well as the flowers and even the herbs and vegetables so that really just brings back another step to nature with the bees and they’re kind of fun to learn about. We have somebody that’s kind of teaching us what to do and when to do it with them so we can really get the best honey coming this fall.
Mathea Ford: [00:03:14] I’ve heard that local honey is really great for helping with like allergies or any sort of just to help your body because they do get that pollen from local area and then make the honey and then therefore you’re kind of getting exposed to that.
Jenna Drew: [00:03:30] Exactly! So, the bees are out there pollinating what’s around you and what’s on your property or different you’re miles around it. So it’s it’s helping you support your own immune system with what’s being grown locally so you can kind of fight back another way when it comes to those seasonal allergies when everything starts blossoming and pollinating and just starting to look beautiful. Unfortunately, some people create that seasonal allergy time which is not fun for anybody that has to deal with it. So just that extra boost you can give yourself locally.
Mathea Ford: [00:04:08] Great! So Jenna, what made you interested in those topics or that area?
Jenna Drew: [00:04:15] Really it started for my own health issues. I was about 21 years old and I had just graduated college. I was starting to take up a lot of different elements that weren’t of issues before I had been diagnosed with asthma and I had always been very active. I played sports, I ran track and I never had respiratory issues until my early 20s and that was sort of a red flag for me. I started getting these heart palpitations in the middle of the night where I would just wake up in the middle of the night and I feel like I was having a heart attack because my heart was beating hard out of my chest.
Jenna Drew: [00:05:01] You know it happened out of nowhere and then I kind of started getting this cyst like acne that would form at the base of my chin and it would be so painful that I’d actually have to go into my dermatologist and I’d have to have him drain this. Anytime that I touched it or put make up on, it was so inflamed and irritated and painful and then that I started getting belly bloat and I was having a lot of issues with focus and concentration especially at my job. And since I was newly graduated from college this is one of my first jobs and I was so afraid of not being productive and getting fired and knowing that my boss had a notice these kind of days I would get into in the afternoons and a brain fog that I would have. But what really made me pay attention is going to the doctor and I would tell him what was going on and the one day he said “Well, could you possibly have some kind of depression? Is that a possibility? What are your thoughts on that? And Mathea, whenever he said that it was like somebody slammed me with a train I just stopped dead in my tracks because I had always felt like I was very positive and very optimistic, very outgoing. I was always the happiest person in the room and to hear him say “Well, Jenna you might have some kind of depression.” I knew that was my wake up call where something had to change and something wasn’t right in my system. Luckily, I hadn’t been introduced to a woman who had written a cookbook that was all about living gluten free and allergen free. And it was because her daughter had celiac disease. When I need that connection and of course you know I want to see some doctors to get the diagnosis.
Jenna Drew: [00:06:58] But I realized how it all relates back to foods and how whatever we put into our body really either makes us thrive or it makes us feel sluggish and bloated and gross. Right? So and I got some training and mainly because I am a super nerd. I would totally weigh that up there and admit to and I actually have my Master’s in Library Science. So I’m not sure how much nerdier you can get than that but I started doing research and I got trained as a mind body fitness coach and not really because I had ever foreseen working with clients yet but actually mainly because I wanted to figure out for myself how the foods I was eating were affecting my mind and were affecting my body. And then you fast forward throughout the years,I started using natural remedies like essential oils. I started eating whole foods and seasonally cleansing and getting certified as a help coach and eventually I decided it was time to jump into this and start sharing all this knowledge that I had kind of collected and created resources for over the years because it was just for my personal use then and my family and making us healthier. Right? So, it got to the point where I couldn’t help but start trying. And that’s that’s kind of where I am now.
Mathea Ford: [00:08:27] You got diagnosed. Obviously, you have blood tests. They verify that you have celiac allergy and then you just went about with the background that you had. Having experienced someone who is writing a book about celiac or recipes for gluten free, how did you go about the change?
Jenna Drew: [00:08:44] Even though I knew a lot about gluten free it was pretty dramatic because I had been somebody that never really paid attention to ingredient list or you know what was actually in the foods I was eating I just cared about having tasted. And at that point a whole lot younger, it was about how quickly they could be made. Whenever I started to actually pay attention to food labels I would remember spending hours still at the grocery store and looking at the ingredient labels and starting to try to decipher what some of those words are that you can’t even pronounce underneath the ingredient list. And I would actually remember calling companies while I’m at the grocery store talking to their representatives and figuring out if there was any gluten in these foods because back then they actually didn’t have to list the top allergens. Now they have to list wheat and dairy and soy and eggs and peanuts and they needn’t have to do that before. So now it’s a lot easier but it’s still quite a transition and learning curve. But you know I don’t to learn how to cook for myself and it made these real foods and it got to the where I started developing this goal of just eating around the perimeter of the grocery store because then I didn’t have to worry about what was really in the foods because it was all fresh produce, it was fresh poultry and meats and fish and eggs and I didn’t have to really spend all that time looking up every single ingredient. Plus it was a lot healthier for me.
Mathea Ford: [00:10:24] I’ve seen it where as gluten free has become more of a popular diet.
Mathea Ford: [00:10:31] Not necessarily related to having been diagnosed with that condition but more people’s desire to do gluten free whatever their personal motivation is for that, there’s more processed foods that are now gluten free. So, how do those fit into a gluten free diet or how do you incorporate those or do you what do you do? How do you feel about that?
Jenna Drew: [00:10:56] Personally, I think that a cupcake is a cupcake no matter if it’s gluten free or not. And that being said as somebody that first diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, chances are there’s a lot of inflammation that’s happening in the gut. And a lot of damage that’s been done. So, when you’re first diagnosed I always like to lead clients into this real food diet to help heal that gut because you need to heal it f or you to start feeling better. And that’s hard to do when you’re still eating a lot of processed foods. Because even though they are gluten free it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier. There is different, there’s you know there’s some sugars in there. There’s still different carbs. There’s there’s a lot of ingredients that may not be as healthy for you as you need especially after you may have gone through a lot of health issues from your gut. So, really it’s back to the basics at the beginning and eating those real foods that are going to nourish you. You’re going to get the nutrients that you need because when you have damage in your gut the villi which are you know they’re those little hairs that are in the lining of your intestines that basically pull the nutrients from your foods to help you digest it. Those are all damaged.
Jenna Drew: [00:12:21] So, basically when you’re first getting started on a gluten free diet you’re going to be the major healing curve and you’re going to start to feel better. Those villi might not be quite h ealed yet. It can take a lot of time to heal those. So, starting right away with processed foods, you’re not going to be able to get as many nutrients from those as you would. You know the fresh or seasonal produce or those real food that provide most of your nourishment.
Mathea Ford: [00:12:52] Do you see a lot of value in foods that are like probiotics or prebiotics type things to help with that gut healing or to just maintain that gut once you get back to that baseline I guess you call it after you remove the gluten then you’ve stopped the inflammation?
Jenna Drew: [00:13:12] Absolutely! I think those healing foods whether it’s the drinking K ombucha or Kefir or any probiotic infused foods, taking a probiotic that has been researched to make sure… The number one thing with most probiotics is the bacteria gets released before it’s supposed to in your intestines. You want to make sure you’re getting a good probiotic that’s releasing it where you need it and That is so important in my opinion for everybody to be taking a probiotic but especially if you need support in your diet and especially if you have gluten sensitivity or celiac because you are damages all in the gut and then that happens, we produce less digestive enzymes and less bile which again helps us digest her foods. And you can get all that support from a probiotic. So really with Celiac you’re hit from both ends with the damage that guts, you are not digesting or foods you’re not getting the nutrients.
Jenna Drew: [00:14:18] So when you add in that probiotic it’s just like adding millions of other little fighters in your gut to help do the work for you.
Mathea Ford: [00:14:26] If you’re starting to see some of these things are there something that we can do? Because they’re not always going to be celiac but they could be affected by the food that you eat.
Jenna Drew: [00:14:35] Absolutely! So when it comes to these symptoms coming up and there’s actually over 300 different symptoms of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease so it can be really hard to diagnose. The average is actually about eight years for somebody to be diagnosed properly with celiac disease because it can come up similar to IBS or Crohn’s or Colitis or other digestive issues too especially if those are your main symptoms and it can be hard for doctors to diagnose. So, you know where to start keeping track of the foods that you’re eating. Especially if you’re noticing digestive issues or you’re feeling say after your lunch usually feel very tired, very sluggish or you’re getting migraines or headaches consistently and that the easiest way to do that is with a food diary or food journal. And this isn’t necessarily keeping track and counting calories of what you’re eating it’s more important to think about what food you are actually eating and ingesting than the calories are in them when it comes to this food diary. And the reason behind that is because then when you do go to the doctor you’re not trying to piece together what you ate that day or how you felt exactly that day.
Jenna Drew: [00:16:01] You can have this diary that you take with you and you can show him or her you know after after you had lunch this day I felt really bloated or I felt really exhausted. And then this food made me feel like this and that. And it really starts to piece together this puzzle for you. I think anybody that’s dealing with issues around foods or maybe inflammation or bloating or headaches or energy that food diary can be a really key component for you. And it can be as simple as taking notes in your phone and getting a little notebook that fits in your purse and keeping notes after you eat. And how you feel or you know I have a great template at I usually give to clients, it’s a freebie that you can keep track and it makes sure you remember what you had before breakfast and after lunch. Not only just right after you eat because most sensitivities can show up three to four hours later and sometimes days later. So, that can make it pretty difficult for the diagnosis. So keeping track in the food is really important. And one thing that I do want to mention because we’re actually going through this process with my little girl. She has been gluten free since she’s been born and we’ll actually introduce solid foods and that’s just because we have a totally gluten free house so we don’t have to worry about cross contamination or anything like that while we’re at home. So, we’re starting to discuss with her doctor and her pediatrician how we’re going to test her for this celiac gene or if she has issues with gluten because you actually have to be eating gluten to be diagnosed with celiac disease.
Jenna Drew: [00:17:54] So, you know I love the idea of elimination diets and I have an amazing program I walk women through that totally. It cuts out you know wheat, gluten, dairy, wheat, corn, soy other cause of the main causes of food sensitivities and issues and then we slowly reintroduce them. W hat you have to be careful with is if you do feel it may be gluten that’s leading to Celiac Disease. You actually have to be eating gluten for about three to four weeks before they can test you to accurately get a diagnosis. So, it be very tempting to just run out and eliminate gluten from your diet immediately if there’s symptoms that are lining up with that diagnosis, you might want to talk to your doctor first because the last thing I like to see clients do is eliminate gluten and feel amazing and then they talk with their doctor and they find out the only way to get the diagnosis is to start eating and again and feeling bad.
Mathea Ford: [00:18:59] What are the biggest mistakes that women make with food and eating and and the types of food that we eat? What do you say?
Jenna Drew: [00:19:08] Well, I think some of the biggest mistakes that we make is we were eating based on what other people are recommending and that can be magazines that we read or commercials that we hear or even you know those claims that we see on food labels. And I think what it comes down to is we’re all unique whenever it comes to our foods, we’re different chemically, we have different fingerprints and our digestive systems a ll work a bit differently in our bodies so when it comes to foods there is this idea of bioindividualality.
Jenna Drew: [00:19:44] And basically what that means is even if a food is quote healthy it may not necessarily be healthy for you. So, getting down to the root of what foods could actually make you feel good then you know you can focus on eating those it will give you more energy, more clarity. It will make you feel better and cutting out foods that don’t serve you. So, if you know that certain things trigger your headaches or your energy drains or feeling sluggish and you can cut those out. So really being empowered when it comes to what you’re eating is super important.
Mathea Ford: [00:20:25] So, what are some of your favorite foods the things that are healing foods?
Jenna Drew: [00:20:28] I love berries. Like this summer is my season because I’m obsessed with all kinds of fruit and I eat berries all day long like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries you name it. I usually have a bowl of mixed berries beside me at all times or I’m sort of in a smoothie or you know they’re on top of something else that I’m making because for some reason you know back to that bioindividuality those just make me feel great. And looking back all through my childhood that was my go to was fruit whenever I needed a snack or I needed to feel better or I just needed you know back up, it was always going back to fruit. And you know for some people that can make fruit can make them feel a little bloated or tired because there’s sugar in there. So it makes them crash. But for me it was always about thriving with berries.
Mathea Ford: [00:21:29] Have they uncover that proper diet or what they need? Because like you said it’s individual, it depends on a lot of things?
Jenna Drew: [00:21:39] Well the easiest way is to go through something like an elimination diet where you’re cutting out common allergies or common things that are caused sensitivities or issues within your body like the top allergens are eggs and corn and wheat and soy and different grains and even some people beans and onions or nightshade. So, it’s really you want to cut out those common causes of inflammation or irritability or issues and slowly start to add them back in. Now, it doesn’t necessarily get to the bottom of all of your food issues because again you could be somebody that totally thrives while eating an avocado and then there could be the next person who that just makes them feel bloated and sluggish. You never quite know. So it’s really about keeping track so you can start with those common causes of issues. Right? And then you can get a little bit deeper. So once you rollout those main triggers start to play with your foods and then keep track of how you’re feeling after you eat them. If you notice like there are certain things that I eat that within three hours. You don’t want to be in the same room with me because they make me so irritable that I know that I have to avoid those or else.
Jenna Drew: [00:23:06] And then you know there’s certain foods that if I eat them I know that I need to be like ready to go outside and do yardwork because I’m going to have so much energy and I’m going to feel great that I can’t eat them right before bed or else then I can’t sleep. So it’s really that discovery process and it may feel a little overwhelming but the best way to take this is make it really fun and introduce new recipes to you and your family while you’re learning exactly what’s making you feel good. Maybe you can take the guest work out by doing different programs that are already structured for you. Especially if you’re super busy and you don’t have to worry about kind of creating recipes that remove those common allergens. Then you can just go get your shopping list and start cooking whatever’s on the meal plan. So, that can make it really easy for you to figure it out and just keeping track using that food journal.
Mathea Ford: [00:24:06] You talked about a little bit about being mindful kind of paying attention to what you’re eating and how it makes you feel. I have some friends who’ve done the different diets a whole 30 for example and they don’t necessarily notice the change while they’re doing it and they may feel just because it’s an adjustment, you have to kind of think about what you can eat all that stuff. But then once the 30 days is over then they go back to eating some of those foods and they’re like “Oh, I really see a difference.” So is that kind of a common experience with your clients? How do people deal with that?
Jenna Drew: [00:24:47] Absolutely! So, when you remove that common trigger from your diet and then you reintroduce it, you can notice big changes. So, at first if you’re just eating your normal lifestyle and it’s normally in the food that you’re eating it may not be as prominent.
Jenna Drew: [00:25:05] And you might not notice that but once you remove that ingredient or that food from your your regular routine and it’s been out of your diet for say that 30 days or even even two weeks or so and you reintroduced it, you are going to notice if it’s going to cause you headaches or irritability or make you feel drained, you’ll see those differences and that’s kind of the idea behind. You go through these programs. The program is super important to help you feel great because you’re going to get some real food nourishment. But the key part which most people miss is actually this what you do afterwards that second phase that kind of hit phase where you’re adding foods back in and that can be called like the reintroduction of foods and that’s where you start to notice the hidden triggers or the foods that are causing issues. So, as you’re finishing a program like that I always suggest do it slowly. So, don’t just immediately run out and eat a cheeseburger if you eliminate a dairy and gluten and wheat and other things from your diet because you’re not going to know if the genes or the gluten or the wheat or any other ingredients that are in that burger. Right? So it’s really about focusing on the reintroduction so you can notice the difference and it does take some commitment.
Jenna Drew: [00:26:34] It’s not always that easy it’s because sometimes you get through that program and the whole 30 days you’re just craving something right and you can’t wait until day 31 when they just go chomp on this whenever this food craving is but if you are slow and you’re patient with yourself and you’re really mindful about how you reintroduce that food that’s where you’re going to see the most benefit.
Mathea Ford: [00:26:58] So, Jenna what are some ways that the listeners can use this information we’ve been talking about in their daily lives?
Jenna Drew: [00:27:05] When it comes down to it, you just have to be proactive and as you’re growing and you’re learning more about yourself you’re going to become more empowered. And it’s not just in the decisions that you’re making with your foods but often it starts to creep into the way that you know you’re taking care of yourself, your family, your health care. When it comes to the gut, there’s a quote that says “All disease begins in the gut.” And it so when you’re really introducing these real foods and these nourishing foods and you’re taking care of your gut, you’re going to be feeling a lot better overall. And right now you know whenever it comes to your health care system which don’t get me wrong I think there’s a time and a place for our health care system ends. I might not be here today if it wasn’t for my daughter might not be. But you know there’s things that definitely don’t fit well with me and one of the biggest things is right now chronic disease is growing in our country and around the world. It’s the rates of people being diagnosed with something chronic or just growing and you know of course our healthcare system it’s kind of that symptom focused. Right? So they’re focusing on what ailments you’re dealing with and not necessarily what’s the root cause of what’s going on.
Jenna Drew: [00:28:31] So when it comes to empowering yourself with these foods and discovering what does make you feel good and make you feel like you’re thrived and have all this energy and you can focus and clearly and really live that better lifestyle for yourself, you can actually get down to the root of what’s going on and not just the symptoms. So, I think that’s really important when it comes to our daily lives. And also for those of you listening out there with a family you know this becomes really important for that next generation. Right? And thinking about what our kids are seeing us do and what foods they’re s eeing us make and eat and serve at the dinner table so that we can teach them how to eat these real foods instead of you’re turning to the drive thru or turning to those easy processed foods, they’re going to have a better relationship with food in their future.
Mathea Ford: [00:29:28] So, who is the best suited like best type of person to go through this change or to go through the process of an elimination diet or trying to find the foods that are healing them?
Jenna Drew: [00:29:41] Usually when clients come to me it’s because they’ve tried everything else. They have tried it prescription they’ve tried this, they’ve tried that and nothing seems to be working in getting rid of whatever is happening in their body whether it’s you know the bloating, the digestive issues, the focus, the headaches and they’re looking for a solution. And it may be outside of that traditional health care.
Jenna Drew: [00:30:09] So, if you’re somebody that’s in that position where you feel like you’ve tried everything but you’re still dealing with headaches or bloat or digestion issues it may be time for you to to look at that elimination diet. It may be time for you to turn to your foods to see if that could be the cause of what’s causing your issues. You know I love working with women who you know they’re busy they’re active. They don’t have time to be spending hours in the kitchen because when I first started eating real foods, I was probably in the kitchen about five minutes a day before that because I just did whatever was possible to get in and out as quickly as I could. And I know what it’s like to be in that place. And now you know I’ve got it down to a system where you know we can work together and figure out how in fitting real food into your diet can work even if you live on a busy schedule whether it’s you using technology like I love the crockpot. I’m like such an avid fan of that I haven’t switched over to the instapot yet which I know people are going crazy for it right now. But whether it’s using tool like that to make your life easier, whether it’s meal planning, to take the guest work out of going to the grocery store. You know just simple ways that you can incorporate these real foods into your diet.
Mathea Ford: [00:31:36] And how do you think it’s affecting, it’s going to affect health care?
Jenna Drew: [00:31:39] People are just getting smarter and they’re getting more interested in their own health care. They want to know how they’re going to feel and what’s going to make them feel better.
Jenna Drew: [00:31:52] It’s no longer necessarily you go to the doctor you have a three minute conversation with them and they prescribed something and you’re okay with it. People are asking questions with all the documentaries that are out there today about our foods with all the research that’s coming out, with all the tools that are helping you monitor what’s going on in your body. Everything’s changing because of that technology. You know now there is no actual in-home tests that you can do to test the amount of bacteria that’s in your gut. There’s in-home tests to find out food sensitivities. There is. There’s different things that you can do to be more proactive. And I think that’s totally going to flip the health care system when we have these empowered people that are out there and they’re interested in feeling better and they’re not okay with just taking another pill for it. They want a different option. They want to feel empowered. They want to know that they can create this revolution within themselves. And I think that trend is just going to continue. And it’s only going to get bigger over the next few years as more and more information comes out about food and how that relates to your health and even your emotions and how you feel. And there’s a growing trend for health coaches out there as so there’s many more people that are becoming health coaches every day because of different experiences they’ve had by introducing real foods and now they’re sharing their stories so that’s just empowering the revolution even more.
Mathea Ford: [00:33:33] So, I know you talk about nourishment and gratitude and how they work together so can you talk a little bit about that?
Jenna Drew: [00:33:43] I love to talk about gratitude and positivity.
Jenna Drew: [00:33:46] This is when I made my genius stones I like to call it. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Strengths Finder where you can find out your top five strengths.
Mathea Ford: [00:33:55] I am. I have that.
Jenna Drew: [00:33:57] Ohh! Okay. The positivity is my top strength. I don’t know if you can know that from what I do and I just started embracing this and incorporating it into the work that I’m doing with clients and gratitude becomes super important with your food because it’s super easy. We walk into the grocery store and you can buy avocados from Mexico in our stores in New York at any time in the year. Right? Think about what they used to do back in the day. Whenever you only had access to the foods that work around locally in those seasons? You couldn’t make anything that you wanted. So, today we are we have so much access to the food and I think that makes us miss the importance in the work that goes into actually growing and harvesting these foods that are nourishing us. So, even in New York I always had this little garden that at one point I had a garden on top of a garage roof because I just wanted to grow some of my foods and it was just herbs and easy things to grow that point. And now it morphed often you know these raised bed gardens that are all to my yard and having that touch in the soil with the dirt and seeing how the plants are growing and thriving and changing and teaching my little ones about that, it instills that gratitude for the food that we’re eating.
Jenna Drew: [00:35:26] And you don’t have to go out and start your own garden or dive into a community garden or anything like that to experience is gratitude but it can be as simple as actually thinking about the foods that you’re eating while you’re eating them. And like you said before about being a means to an end to reshape that view on foods and actually think about what you’re chewing. And I know my husband, it sounds crazy but like when we first started dating he would be done with his meal within three minutes of it being put in front of him because he would just chow down and eat everything so fast and not even realize what he was really eating. Right it was just gone. I think that goes back to a lot of you know his military background where they didn’t have time to eat. Right? You didn’t. That was just the quickest part of your day and you got it and he got out as fast as you could. And now it’s more about realizing you know what’s on your plate, how it tastes, how it feels when you’re chewing it how you are digesting it and just being more mindful about what’s on your plate becomes really important.
Jenna Drew: [00:36:45] And when you start to practice this especially if you have any kind of disconnect with foods whether it’s your feeling those over eating or anxiety around foods or eating or you just being somebody that is known to be a snacker or over eater. When you actually start to think about the foods that you’re eating and processed them more slowly it can help you realize what they’re doing for your body and to curb those behaviors. So, it really becomes important to just express some gratitude and while you know we don’t necessarily say grace before meals or have any kind of your religious preference around or even just taking a second to note how delicious your dinner was or how much your little one love that asparagus or how much your husband complimented you on that meal you just cooked? You’re gratitude around that can make a big difference in your growth. And in that desire to keep eating real foods.
Mathea Ford: [00:37:56] That was lovely! It’s really funny because when you mentioned your husband you need really fast. I just thought of the military because when I was in the army that’s how kind of life was you quickly ate your food and didn’t think about it. But I’ve started doing a little bit of that gratitude with meal than just you know saying I’m thankful for all the Earth has given me and thankful to have such a plentiful supply of food. And it really does make you slow down and just savor those bites. I had an aunt who chewed her food probably 40 times before she swallowed it and it took so long to eat with her. I remember the little kid it was awful but now I remember that and I’m like she was really really enjoying that food.
Jenna Drew: [00:38:49] Yeah I heard that too where people say to chew your food between 40 to 100 times before you actually swallow which you know I’m not in that place yet because I am still a busy momma but I know how much more that can make you pay attention to the foods and help you digest the better.
Mathea Ford: [00:39:09] Well and I think it also adds to satiety that gives that hormone release from your stomach the opportunity to happen and everything but it’s just funny. That was 30 years ago. And you see she had been doing that all her life so she probably had great gut health. So, can you tell me your favorite foods to eat? You’ve already said how about berries. But you have any other favorite foods?
Jenna Drew: [00:39:38] I love making guacamole. That is one of my favorite foods to have. And I’ve always been a snacker. So one of my biggest junkfoods like I love chips like s alty chips. They were always m y favorite and guacamole was like the perfect fit especially those yummy and crunchy tortilla chips. And so now I’ve actually replaced what I snack on those on the guacamole and then I mix it up between a cucumber or carrots and I’ve done celery or jicama and making it a little more healthy by cutting up those tortilla chips that can be super simple change for most people. I do a lot of cooking with essential oils and so for my guacamole now. As much as I love growing my own herbs it’s not always easy or convenient. Right? To chop up a ton of cilantro. So, I actually made cilantro oil and lime essential oils to make my guacamole. So, you’re getting the benefits of those oils in your in your foods and you don’t have that big mess to clean up with you know cutting and juicing the lime too and cutting of the herbs. I love guacamole. We are big hosts.
Jenna Drew: [00:40:58] We love to have people over and entertain. So, we’re having making fun little appetizers. It’s kind of my genius stone too. So, I love putting out fun snacks and dips and little treats that are kind of unexpected or go to you was usually like cheese platter and meat platters and all that stuff. And over the years I’ve kind of morphed into you know the healthier treats like the guacamole with the different food you use the options or bacon wrapped dates like those are my to die for. And there’s sugary and sweet and delicious but still semi healthy for you right? Of course you know we love putting out some cheese platters every once in a while. That’s one of the foods I have to be careful with because it can cause a lot of congestion for me. So I just have to be very conscious about avoiding that platter for at least the whole day. Really those fun, most entertaining are some of my favorites.
Mathea Ford: [00:42:03] Well, Jenna thank you so much for being on the podcast today. It was a pleasure to have you on the show. I know my listeners have learned a lot about celiac, different types of foods that you can eat and how they affect your body. So, I really appreciate you coming on the show. If listeners want to connect to you what’s the best way to do that?
Jenna Drew: [00:42:22] Mathea, I’m so excited I was able to join you and share this message with your listeners. And if you’re interested in learning more. There’s a couple different places you can connect with me.
Jenna Drew: [00:42:32] I do host a podcast it’s called gratitude and grace. You can find that on iTunes. So if you’re somebody that really fits with that message of positivity, definitely jump over it and have a listen. I mention a food diary a few times throughout those podcasts so if you want a free template you can go to JennaDrew.com/fooddiary. And on that website you’ll find a lot of health and wellness tips as well as just another way to look at your overall wellness. And I do share my new journey into homesteading and motherhood at lifedefinedbygrace.com. So, you’ll see some ideas for self care over there and gardening tips. So I’d love to connect with you and help you on this path to wellness.
Mathea Ford: [00:43:24] I noticed you had a lot of smoothie recipes on jennadrew.com.
Jenna Drew: [00:43:28] Oh yeah there’s actually I am obsessed with smoothie bowls now too so I started with smoothies and then it slowly morphed into these smoothie balls. You know where you can decorate them all and so I’ve got seven amazing smoothie bowl recipes on there that you can download that are all super yummy and of course you know you can pick and choose your toppings but I provide recommendations on there too so you’ll find some of those amazing recipes as well.
Mathea Ford: [00:43:59] Great! So, well, guys this has been another great episode of the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast is all about learning more you can do more with nutrition in your life. You’ve just listened to an episode of the nutrition experts podcast.
Nicole helps women embrace their relationship with food and is able to unravel the years of confusion around “What is Healthy Food?” She is able to bring clarity to what to eat, and more importantly help you start the real food journey! You will get off the dieting roller coaster forever. More importantly, you will be given the tools, tailored to your lifestyle, to successfully implement your goals.
Nicole has a knack for explaining nutrition jargon in everyday language, taking her years of experience and distilling it into easy-to-understand terminology. Having been a Dietitian for over 25 years, and raising and home educating her 4 children during that time, Nicole has a depth of experience that translates into totally understanding where you are right now in your journey.
Nicole delights in seeing the freedom her clients experience when they are no longer slaves to their food choices and embrace the real food lifestyle.
Find her at https://www.naturallynic.com.au
Mathea Ford: [00:00:00] Hi there. It’s Mathea. Welcome back to the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast featuring nutrition experts who are leading the way using food starts today. Right now with our next guest it’s great to have Nicole Bathurst on the show today. Nicole, welcome to Nutrition Experts. I’m excited to have you on the show and share your expertise with my tribe.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:00:26] Thank you. I’m so excited to be here today. All the way from Australia.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:30] I think our guests will notice that you have an accent.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:00:36] Well, I think it’s you who had the accent but anyway.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:40] I have a little bit of a southern accent. Yes!
Nicole Bathurst: [00:00:43] You do!
Mathea Ford: [00:00:45] Nicole you are a registered dietitian… Well, you know in the United States we call them registered dietitians. What is… Is that the same terminology used in Australia?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:00:56] It is similar terminology. Yes. Yes. We also have Dietitian who work who are a part of the Dietitians Association of Australia. You have just fill certain… You have to be from memory have to be working full time. And I don’t fall into that category because I’m only working part time in my position and in the other part of my position is I’ve got my own business.
Mathea Ford: [00:01:25] So can you tell us a little bit what led you to dietetics?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:01:33] Absolutely! I sadly grew up watching my mum struggle with emotional eating. And I developed my own struggles with emotional eating so I actually developed bulimia when I was about 18 and struggled with that for nearly 10 years.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:01:54] It also created in me a real desire to understand food and nutrition and when I first left high school and worked in the bank I would buy nutrition books. I don’t know whether you remember many many years ago. Lesley Clinton and her raw energy book and then. And then Fit for Life and you know those kind of books really sort of intrigued. It really intrigued me and I just loved that connection between food and health and it sort of drew me back to university and I went back to university at 23 and it wasn’t long you know into my journey when I realised that bulimia wasn’t really a healthy weight loss strategy and began to sort of take two steps to deal with that. You know at 53 I’m still fascinated with food and its effect on our health, I just love it. I just [you know] I read I still read everything I possibly can and yeah I just love sharing…
Mathea Ford: [00:02:59] I read a little bit on your history and it said that you had breast cancer and that kind of led you towards more of the raw food stuff. Is that… How is that changed your… Go ahead.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:03:12] Yeah so it was actually the other way around. So it was just it was a little bit of an interesting journey. I did manage to definitely deal with my Bulimia and by the time I got married at 28, it was no longer a part of my life but I was still struggling because of what I witnessed with my mum still struggled with that whole fear of gaining weight. So I maintain my weight was always a big part of my life.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:03:43] And then when I turned 40, a friend of mine died of breast cancer it was almost like my fear of gaining weight became my fear of getting breast cancer and I was doing a lot of research back then in that field of you know avoiding cancer and a lot of the literature at there was talking about you know going raw food, becoming a raw food vegan and I started down that track you know in hindsight when you look back you just go “Oh my goodness me” [you know] I was hungry all the time. I had abdominal pain all that time and it wasn’t until I got breast cancer myself at 48 that I kind of woke up and just went know what am I doing? You are you actually eating a lot of sugar and I think it’s so easy for us to not realise how much sugar we’re actually consuming. And I was having eating a lot of fruit. I was eating you know having green smoothies which contain dates, I was having honey in my tea – you know all these things that we can kind of look at and think all the healthy there is nothing wrong with them but when you’re having a lot of them it all adds up. And I was literally eating every hour. I just… I was always hungry and when I got breast cancer I’d done enough research into cancer to realise that to give myself the very best chance of recovering and eating healthy again, I decided that I needed to cut out all of that fruit for a season and then all of a honey and all of the dates and it was really really hard because you know when I look back now I can see I was definitely addicted to this stuff that changed my life.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:05:31] Not only did all my abdominal pains and bloating and [00:05:35] gas go away [0.0] but for the first time in my life I could actually eat breakfast and not be hungry again for about three hours. Sorry. It was it was a real eyeopener and it kind of began my journey into sugar and my this whole awakening what should I be doing this.
Mathea Ford: [00:05:55] So, if you think about the way that people normally eat for what is a normal diet if you can categorize anything as normal so to speak. What would you say is kind of wrong with the way most people eat?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:06:13] I think what we’re realizing now is that this whole low fat era pushed us in to a high sugar era. So, you know we became a very afraid of fat and we were cutting, you know we’ve just cut out fat but when you cut out fat what actually happened is you increase your sugar. Now that’s especially true of processed products. And so you know we think we’re doing the right thing by having let’s say low fat yogurt. But in actual fact, that low fat yogurt is high sugar and we think that we’re having you know a healthy muesli but in actual fact it’s packed full of dried fruit and honey. And so we’re just consuming what we think is healthy products but in actual fact they are packed full of sugar and that’s not even… We do we’re talking about products that appear to be healthy that’s not like the obvious unhealthy foods like cakes and biscuits which are everywhere as well.
Mathea Ford: [00:07:18] In the United States, its kind of funny because we subsidize sugar production and so there is no fat lobby I guess but there was a sugar lobby so we went to the low fat kickin. Can you talk a little bit about the addiction part of sugar like how we’re just so drawn to it and how it affects us?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:07:45] Absolutely. I don’t know whether there’s a movie over here that was produced in Australia called That Sugar Film. I just encourage all of my clients to watch this movie because it’s a fantastic journey of a guy who is a very healthy eater and then he start to aid average person thinks is healthy and he’s consuming like 40 teaspoons of sugar a day. And it just shows you how easy. He actually comes to America one stage which is really good because they really blows me away. You guys Supersize Me products and you can be you can be consuming 40 teaspoons of sugar in one drink which is so scary. But I’ve got a whole addictive side, I actually think this is really really exciting for anyone listening to this podcast because what it means is that you’re not weak willed. You don’t lack self discipline. You are addicted. And that means that we can relieve ourselves of all the guilt and all the shame that goes around being. You know when we go I can’t resist having you know my chocolate bar every afternoon or I just want to have sugar after everything I eat. It’s not. You’re not weak willed. You’re not. No I don’t like self-discipline. You’re addicted. And I think that’s really important to understand because sugar affects the same part of the brain as drugs and alcohol. And that’s proven.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:09:24] So whenever you have sugar, it’s releasing hormones in your body to make you feel fantastic. These hormones of things like adrenaline and Serotonin and Dopamine, we get addicted to that and because we love it. And so absolutely and it gives us that kick up and and then what happens is about an hour later all of a sudden your blood glucose which was really high because she just had this can of coke or this great big donut or something like that has now crashed because your body has worked so hard get that blood glucose down because your body doesn’t like having a blood glucose level that’s too high or too low. This is in addition to all those other hormones been being released now that your blood sugar is too low, your body releases different hormones to make you feel really really hungry so that you will go to the fridge and have another donut or have another can of Coke. So you got all these factors working against you soo to speak to drive you to eat more sugar. So it’s just this whole cycle which unless you become aware of it it’s very difficult to move over on it.
Mathea Ford: [00:10:47] Like it’s not an illegal subtance, it’s a very common substance. Yeah.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:10:52] Absolutely! And it’s everywhere. It’s just you know workplaces. You know I think one of the hardest things, work environments has you know whether it’s machines that have chocolate in them or whether you know is some of our companies up here provide free tim tams. You know there, I don’t know…
Mathea Ford: [00:11:13] No, we don’t have it at home here in America.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:11:17] There are chocolate coated biscuit with you know a soft center that people just love to dunk in their coffee you know. Providing, I mean they just they’re just so moreish you know people just… It’s so easy to eat three or four and before you know it you’ve eaten a whole day’s worth of calories. Yeah. Is it frightening really how addicted we are. And I think all of the products are so many products these days that we that we give to our toddlers. I don’t know about you but we’ve got a little yogurt pouches that you can give to your toddler who can just take the lid off and stop sucking this sweet. Yeah. So we think that healthy because it got the labelled yogurt on it and it might have you know the word fruit on it. It really is giving your child you know five teaspoons of sugar.
Mathea Ford: [00:12:08] So, how do you break free from that addiction? How do they break that cycle that constant high sugar, low sugar, need more sugar. How do you do that?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:12:20] I believe it starts with education. Start with educating people on exactly where the sugar is. Coming to the realization that there is absolutely no nutrients and no fiber in these products. And there you are on a very unhealthy pathway because when you have a look at all of our lifestyle diseases they all have gone through the roof as our consumption of sugar has gone through the roof. We need to begin a process of moving away from it. And really it means getting back into the kitchen and and cooking your own food. So I think as for me I really begin a process of educating that we need fat proteins and carbohydrates. So what are the healthy fats?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:13:14] What are the healthy proteins and why are the healthy carbohydrate. This is one of the biggest missing links I’m finding in working with clients is that we don’t realize that the healthy carbohydrates are vegetables. I don’t know about you but we’ve got a healthy pyramid that really leads people to believe that they need to be eating bread, pasta and rice to get their carbohydrate. And of course we don’t have a bread, pasta, and rice. We just we throw in there muffins and doughnuts and you know we’ve got this belief that we need to be eating those products when in actual fact we’re not getting any nutrients from those products. It’sthe vegetables that we get all of our vitamins and minerals and fiber because fat and protein don’t provide us with any fiber. Definitely, education and then teaching people how to learn to eat that way.
Mathea Ford: [00:14:15] When you’re thinking about what you teach people you know how do you get away from those cravings for sugar though? I mean because those are so strong?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:14:28] Yeah! Yeah! They are so strong. Absolutely! And it i is not an easy process. But like any addiction we have to you have to go through a weaning process. So, in many respects it’s easier to give up alcohol and smoking because you can just stop them altogether. But we can’t stop eating. But what we can do is stop eating the sugar. And I think in the beginning it’s about getting … and really not even in the beginning. I don’t know about you but I still know exactly what I’m going to be eating from one meal to another.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:15:09] I have a meal plan and I and I shop and I cook in advanced and I have and I know what I’m going to be eating. Because if we leave it to chance it’s just too easy to go “Oh! I don’t know what I’m having for dinner tonight.” And then you get tired and before you know it you’re going through the drive through and having takeaway. You’re just grabbing a chocolate bar or something like that. I really like to talk to my clients about that whole decision fatigue. I’m not sure whether you know you’ve come across that but it’s a very real thing where we. That was what scientists have learned is that we actually only have so many decisions that we can make in a day and so if we get to the end of the day and we’re tired and we’re hungry we can’t be bothered to make a healthy decision anymore. We just go. It’s just I’m too tired. And and we just don’t make a healthy choice. But if we know what we’re going to be eating for dinner that morning or even you know that week we decide what we’re going to eat and we prepare in advance. It’s just that much easier to make a healthy decision. So it really does involve not eating the sugar and starting off the day especially with good quality protein good fats and vegetables.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:16:31] So eating something like you know eggs cooked, even even having something like bacon and eggs but adding in lots of vegetables like some mushrooms and tomatoes and baby spinach and having a really good breakfast that isn’t full of sugar, that isn’t going to send your blood glucose through the roof so that you don’t start that cycle and then it’s the same with lunch having a good lunch and a good dinner is going to keep your blood sugars balanced especially in that first, those first couple of days. Because what you find is after a couple of days of not having the sugar, those cravings start to go away. But it is it’s not. It’s not an easy process. And people really need to set themselves up for success by planning and prepping and being organized and knowing exactly what they’re going to be eating. And you know and even having some healthy treats so that you don’t feel deprived. I think that’s really important as well. But making healthy sweet treats like I have like little protein balls just squeezed nuts and seeds and maybe some dates. So that you’ve got that little sway trade but you have it straight after a meal so it doesn’t send your blood glucose through the roof and then you have the little treat and then you go and clean your teeth. You know what I mean? We really have to pull out all the stops because it’s not easy, it’s not easy. But once you start to process it definitely get easier once you weigh you know sugar.
Mathea Ford: [00:18:18] What I love about what you just said is the meal planning and the decision fatigue which I have known about and it’s important even like just to pick out your clothes the night before and lay them out so you don’t have to think about it in the morning. With the meal planning, the awesome thing is is that you can involve your family.
Mathea Ford: [00:18:41] Involve them not only in the planning because I have a 12 to 13 year old. They have pretty vague opinions about what they want for food. Whether they gets that or not. But if you have your meal plan and say you work you know and your child comes home maybe at three o’clock in the afternoon, you’re not going to be home until five. They can start some of that preparation if they’re old enough and that teaches them then the value of cooking and preparing food. And it becomes actually a very pleasant experience for that child or family to see it kind of a time to come together as a family. And instead of that rushed mindless driving here, driving there, drive through eating in the car. That type of activity, it becomes a memorable experience. So I think because food has meaning beyond you know what it’s a beet or it’s a carrot. It also may be what we had as a child. You know you have some very specific memories you can put those positive memories in your kid’s life brain whatever. So I love that. You just so much have to when you have the mind set when you’re ready to do your meal planning for the week. You know buying food. I mean you don’t have it in the house. It’s really hard to cook healthy. So it’s your time to go to school for the weekend then you’re planning ahead and you do it. So I love that.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:20:22] Absolutely. I love it so much that I developed and I help my clients develop a three week cycling menu so that…
Mathea Ford: [00:20:35] That’s what you do in the hospital. I mean you have a cycle menu where it might be offset a little bit but you don’t see the same thing over and over. It never really occurred to me to do that at home. But that is an awesome idea.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:20:50] Yeah. And the other thing I do with a lot of my clients is they have partners who are on these rosters so that the partner might be working for six days and then off for four days. So we work as a cyclic menu related to that. Because you cook different meals when the husband is working as to when they’re not working. So they might be involved in some of those meals when they’re not working. We even either look at it from that perspective as well. And that has really helped a lot of my clients. But you know what’s really really exciting I have to share this I’ve got four children who are all grown up now but they even do menu planning. They tell and they tell their friends you know oh you should be doing a menu plan. You know what I mean? So that they you know because they know how much easier it is.
Mathea Ford: [00:21:41] And its not a toll for them because it’s something that they grew up with. And they experienced and it was a positive experience.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:21:50] Yeah. And look the other thing I don’t know whether you have it in America but we have something like where you can get online and order your food and then go and either pick it up from the supermarket or they deliver
Mathea Ford: [00:22:00] Yeah we have that.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:22:03] So that just you know all that time that you would have spent walking round the shops and buying your food you can now spend in fruit food preparation. So it’s just that whole mindset. And I think too when you’re not walking around the shopping center, it’s less, it’s easier not to be tempted to buy those foods that are you know at the end of the aisle than buying…
Mathea Ford: [00:22:27] So, when you are working with people, how do you help them because I know that some of the hunger that you feel is truly like yes you’re really hungry. And then some of it is kind of that false hunger like you know you’re just you’re on a sugar low or whatever but you don’t really need to eat something necessarily. How do you help them identify what is real hunger?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:22:52] Look I think that once again is there is a real journey. And my big belief is at the beginning of this journey you don’t let yourself get too hungry. Because when we’re really hungry whether it’s real or perceived we tend to not make good choices. In addition to eating you know a really healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner which does have you know the healthy fats and healthy proteins, I also encourage my clients to have on hand you know some healthy snacks and that usually is like a handful of nuts or if they eat dairy maybe some carrot sticks and some cheese sticks. So something that they can just they’ve got there just in case they are starting to sort of feel a bit of a bit wobbly emotionally “Oh! I’m starting to feel hungry and I you know this is the time of day that I would normally go and have a chocolate bar.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:23:51] They’ve got their handful of nuts there. Or an appropriate snack like hummus and carrot sticks that we’ve got pre prepared and then they can have that even if they’re not really truly hungry. At least it’s something that not going to derail them and that will kind of in time they will get much stronger because it really is a morsel isn’t it? That we strengthen by not having the sugar. Our cravings go away and we become less afraid of being hungry although we find that we were not hungry anymore.
Mathea Ford: [00:24:29] I have some other thoughts, when I kind of read on your website a little bit and I was looking at the testimonials. Some people were loving the fact that you know you were so kind and so helpful to them. But one thing they mentioned was their personal shame or fear about going to a dietitian because their eating habits cause they have bad habits. You know a lot of people are apprehensive about even getting help because they’re afraid of you know they eat bad. So what do you think about that? How do you help people with that? How do we as dietitians change that perception that were the Food Police?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:25:18] The Sugar Nazi. Look, I think that’s why I am so excited to share that sugar is addictive because for me it does release people from that shame of you know you’re not weak willed. You don’t like self-discipline. You are addicted. So there is nothing shameful about how you are eating and it’s not your fault.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:25:44] I think too that’s the other thing I find myself saying a lot is it’s not your fault that you think that what you’re eating is healthy or that you have found yourself in this place where you’re eating a lot of food that you know are unhealthy because our marketing is so powerful and even some of the messages that we as dieticians and health experts have been sending over the years has been you know less than helpful. It really can’t it can’t blame it’s not a blame game. It’s just it is what it is. You know what I mean? We thought we were doing the right thing by encouraging you to eat low fat but in actual fact we let you down the garden path but we didn’t know it back then. So it’s just really embracing what we do know now and educating people about what happened to calling it out and saying look it’s not your fault you know. Let’s get on with it. Let’s start a journey. Let’s try and work on this and provide you with healthy alternatives. You know whenever I run a function live I always have food. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are surprised at how tasty healthy food can be. You know people have this you know this image that eating healthy means you know a boiled chicken breast and lettuce. So, so much of what we do really is education and being gentle with people and saying you know let’s start a journey that’s just a journey of walking towards a healthier lifestyle. And I’m really gone on. It’s not a diet. It has to be a lifestyle choice you know.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:27:35] Because if you go on a diet it becomes an on off thing whereas a lifestyle is embracing everything that that brings. So, that means that you know you might get a bit wobbly and fall off track on your birthday or Christmas. But let’s try and make sure that we’ve got as much healthy through there as possible. If some extra things do creeping, let’s try and push them out as as soon as possible and get that on track.
Mathea Ford: [00:28:02] I love it. I remember when I was in the Army and I was the dietitian for the post. And people would see me in the grocery store and they would rush by me and say don’t look what’s in my car. And I’m like I don’t know it’s … But it’s so funny. I think he has to get over that perception that we are somehow perfect we are not. You know you said you struggle with Bulimia. We all have some sort of… Everybody have something that affects you that either made you choose this way of life made you choose to be a dietitian or made you more or specialize in a certain field. So, I think we as dietitians though don’t acknowledge that shame or fear or apprehensiveness about us being the food police. So I love that answer. Hey! It truly is and I don’t necessarily care were you then. If you’re ready to change I’m ready to go with you. Nicole, what is your favorite food?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:29:08] It’s Chocolate!
Mathea Ford: [00:29:08] What kind of chocolate?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:29:11] I love I love the dark chocolate you know. Did you know that 85 or 90 percent chocolate but what’s been interesting is that I have always loved chocolate and but the more sugar I’ve cut out the more I’ve liked the darker stuff. So, to me now it is not that bitter. It’s actually quite nice and if I’d go and have the normal Cadbury’s you know we have Cadbury’s here in Australia. It’s actually too sweet.
Mathea Ford: [00:29:43] Like I drink diet coke and if I go to a restaurant and they give me the wrong thing they give me the regular soda then I’m like Oh yeah.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:29:53] Yeah! So, it would have to be that and mangoes. I absolutely loved mangoes. In fact I spent some time in Thailand a couple of years ago. And just the fruit is just amazing over there and to be able to get you know fresh coconuts and have the coconut water and the meat inside and oh gosh I feel like I was in heaven.
Mathea Ford: [00:30:20] That’s awesome! What are some ways what we’ve talked about today what are some things that our listeners can do in their daily life to just make their life a little bit better from what you’ve been talking about? Some simple things.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:30:34] Absolutely do some meal planning. One of the biggest things that I do and encourage my clients to do is prepare your vegetables for time. So, if you come, I would come home when I had a family feeding a family of six. I would come home from shopping and do things like peel the whole kilo of carrots, grate some, chop some ready for a casserole and chop some ready for like a roast dinner and then put them all in containers and do the same with my cabbage and I would wash my spinach and chop it out ready to go.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:31:12] If you’ve got your vegetables ready to go you will use them. If you’re starting it and you haven’t prepared your vegetables it’s all too hard. It’s like having your clothes really fit for the next morning. You know you don’t have to think about it and I think you know even even chopping up your meat so that it’s ready and diced ready to go in the casserole or it’s sliced ready to go in the stir fry, you are far more likely to do that in just even helped even if you’ve got a meal plan. It’s just that extra step closer to actually doing it and making life easier for yourself. We have to get our food preparation to become such a habit like cleaning our teeth. We don’t think about cleaning our teeth anymore we just do it and so we’ve got all these things in place. We’ve got our meal plan, we’ve got our food prep, we’ve prepared some of our meat and some of our vegetables in advanced. It just makes life that much easier.
Mathea Ford: [00:32:16] And the other thing about that what you talked about is that makes it easier for other people to help. You already got everything together and you’re running late or somebody else can throw them in the crock pot or put it in the oven or whatever needs to happen so it allows the helpers. Because sometimes we take everything on ourselves I think that just adds to the stress level so we can find ways to let other people help us. That’s good.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:32:45] Absolutely! Absolutely! And you know one of the things that we did in my family was you know my husband would cook a barbecue and very very quickly the boys learnt how to cook a barbecue and so they would learn how to cook the meat and then come in and helped with the salads and things like that I’d agree with you I think that if we can if we know what we’re doing it just flows down and it means that everybody else can get on board like you said and it can become an enjoyable experience rather than a stressful “What are we having for dinner? I don’t want to do this! I don’t want to do that!” It becomes these “Oh yeah! We’re having a barbecue. Who wants to cook who wants to cook the meat. He wants to help me do the salad?” It becomes an enjoyable experience that we can do together. And not only that you know as mums more is caught than is taught. So if we’re modelling these organised healthy way of eating, that’s when our children are going to catch that’s what they are going to grow up doing.
Mathea Ford: [00:33:47] At the house, I always have a basket of. When the kids come in and they’re like “I’m hungry, I want something to eat!” I’m like “There, go grab some fruits!” So they’ve got a habit a very good habit to have. Who would you say is best suited for what you’re talking about going through a process of getting off of the addiction to sugar and stuff? How do you know if you’re addicted to sugar? Although, I know the audience probably know.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:34:12] Yeah. It’s interesting because mostly people know, mostly people know that they’re addicted to sugar especially if it’s really obvious like you know they have a chocolate bar every afternoon and that on a thing but sometimes people don’t know.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:34:30] Sometimes people will come to me and say “Look, you know I’m just the weight started creeping on and I’m not sure why. I eat pretty healthy but when I do a dietary intake and have a look at what they’re typically eating during the day, there’s a lot of heat and sugar and it’s in those products that like I was talking about at the beginning of the session where we’re just not aware that there’s so much sugar in diet products and yet so-called healthy mueslis. That’s where the education comes in and been able to look at a person’s diet as a whole because one you know the muesli might not have an you know an extraordinary amount of sugar in it but the muesli or cereal coupled with some low fat yogurt and then coupled with you know a health bar and before you know it you are eating a lot of sugar. So, it’s that education and making people aware of of where it is and then making some healthy sauce.
Mathea Ford: [00:35:39] I’m always amaze that the amount of fruit juice that people drink?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:35:46] I’m a big proponent of you do not drink fruit juice, you eat fruit. I know that’s probably the biggest area and even even almost all the studies show that the biggest area where we consume the most amount of sugar is in our sweet drinks. Atrocious. It is so easy like a can of Coke has 10 teaspoons of sugar just so easy to down you know an extraordinary amount of sugar. So, I think you just have to cut them out tightly and if you want fruit juice you need to eat a piece of fruit and drink a glass of water.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:36:18] You know what we don’t understand is that fiber in the whole fruit slows down the sugar getting into our body. So we’re not having that addictive effect and we’re not having that its not putting us into their cravings and constant hunger cycle which is why it’s you know it’s important to understand how to make a smoothie properly. You know smoothies can be quite full of sugar if you’re making them incorrectly. You know if you’re just taking them, packing them full of fruit and then putting dates in them as well or some people even put honey in them for goodness sake, you might as well be drinking a can of Coke. Making the smoothie itself you are getting rid of a lot of fiber. Yes the fiber is still there but you’ve broken it up so that it’s so fine that now the sugar is able to rush into your bloodstream. So I think we need to learn also how to make smoothies properly and you know have one piece of fruit in there have lots of greens in there because that’s why we’re eating having a smoothie in the first place to get some greens into us and then putting some healthy fat in there like maybe half an avocado or a handful of you know nuts or seeds to make a more of a balanced product but also so it’s not going to send blood glucose highly.
Mathea Ford: [00:37:41] What do you think is next in this kind of field of sugar addiction and way of eating changes. What’s next and how do you think it can affect health care?
Nicole Bathurst: [00:37:52] I think that it’s the whole sugar.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:37:55] And I think that it is in Australia and I know that they are talking about it in England is actually putting charges on sugar. You know taxing sugar, these sugar products become more expensive. I think that’s the way that we’re going is that we’re going to be really educating people on sugar and also refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta. You know our bread is just so refined and full of sugar. Many of them that is just not a health product anymore. And I’d love to talk about how bread has in a hundred years ago the bread used to be a healthy product because we actually it was we actually use the whole grain. There was the fiber and there was a wheat germ in the middle but you know through time, we’ve processed it so that we don’t have the germ in the middle anymore which is got the healthy fat in it. You know the wheat germ in it and it doesn’t have a fiber anymore so this product that used to be healthy and a staple I should say of our meals has now become just a processed product. Yeah! It’s just not viable anymore to be to be eating large quantities of it. So, I think that’s the way that we going is really moving away from sugar because we’ve realized how damaging it is. All of our lifestyle diseases are because of the amount of sugar and processed products that we’re eating. So, hopefully we’re coming back to really what we eat more of what we were eating a hundred years ago not just run of food.
Mathea Ford: [00:39:37] I noticed one of the things that happened here in the U.S. is they’ve started putting calorie counts on menus.
Mathea Ford: [00:39:41] I watch people how it takes them a to see that the healthy restaurant, the healthy walkup place or whatever. If it’s a national chain it has the calorie levels typically and it can make you stop and think about what you’re picking just even not necessarily to the granularity of how much sugar is in it but just to the point of saying this food item is 1200 calories and that’s in your mind. You know maybe half of or more of the total calories you should eat for the day. But I love that because I do think we have to do something to make people more aware and we of the health care community did kind of create a little bit of the problem by saying “Oh, we need to be low fat!” So of course food processors replace fat with sugar. They want the food to still taste good.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:40:37] I think too is understanding that food manufacturers actually don’t care about your health. But what they are interested in is you buying their product. And so they spend a lot of time finding the bliss point of foods which is the exact amount of fat and sugar so that you keep coming back for more. And you know not believing educating people on labeling because can say all the right things on a packet. But if you read the ingredients you can have a basic understanding of those ingredients and a nutrition label you can very quickly see that this is not a healthy product to be eating at all. So, so much of our jobs I see is education. You know I think that there’s so much power in knowledge in understanding all that we’ve been talking about today. Yeah.
Nicole Bathurst: [00:41:35] Getting out there and sharing this knowledge and relieving people of their guilt and their shame and their fear and helping them you know on this journey, this healthy eating journey because it’s fun. You know it’s liberating. I still talk about how liberating it is not to be addicted to sugar anymore and to be able to feel satisfied after a meal and easily go you know three to four hours without eating or feeling hungry.
Mathea Ford: [00:41:58] Nicole, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. It was a pleasure to have you on this show. I know my listeners have learned a lot about just sugar and eating better just by paying attention to what you’re eating. So, I hope you’ll be open to coming back again and maybe even sharing more. OK. If the listeners want to connect with you what’s the best way to do that?
Nicole Bathurst: Via my website at naturallynic.com.au.
Mathea Ford: I’ll put a link to that in the show notes and its N-I-C.
Nicole Bathurst: Yes Nic right. NaturallyNic. Right!
Mathea Ford: Alright. Well guys this has been another great episode of Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast that is all about learning more so you can do more with your nutrition in your life.