Six Healthy Eating Myths Busted!

I’ve heard a lot of myths about healthy eating. Maybe your brain has latched on to one of these myths and it's holding you back from radiant, glowing health. If so, perhaps it is time to reframe. Let’s start by busting some common myths.

  1. Healthy eating is hard. Well, it will be if you think about it that way! Can you work on changing your mindset? Isn’t it incredible to have the opportunity to nurture your amazing body? Isn’t it easy to focus on ⅕ of the grocery store instead of wandering down all the processed food aisles? Isn’t it easy to have non-stop energy all day long, to sleep like a log, and to wake up without an alarm clock?

Sign a Peace Treaty with Your Body

Lately I've been hearing from many women who are struggling to find a diet plan that "works". I get it. I have so been there. 

For many years, unconsciously, I was at war with my body.  I fought with my body in an attempt to control my weight, the way my clothes fit, the way I looked in a bathing suit. I said such mean things to my body when I looked in the mirror!  Obviously, treating my body in this way left no room for love. I assumed love would come when I reached my desired weight/size/physique.

I'm Not a Gardener. And That's Okay.

I'm scrolling through Instagram. Instead of feeling inspired (how I want to feel) I feel icky with envy. A script from my monkey mind: 

"People are doing such cool things! They are pickling homegrown cucumbers and having farm to table parties and plucking tomatoes off their vines for gazpacho! I am so lame: I can't even keep a house plant alive." 

I'm envious because my thinking brain declares that I should be a gardener. Gardeners are cool and hip and earthy. Plus, I consume fresh vegetables in massive quantities; it makes logical sense that I would grow my own. But I can't commit.

Changing my Relationship with Alcohol

For most of my adult life, alcohol was a lot of fun. 

I was a social drinker. I never considered that I had a problem with alcohol: I drank only on the weekends and didn't seem to have drastic negative side effects.  Perhaps because I am naturally an introvert, a glass of wine would give me a warm buzz that left me feeling confident, funny, lively, creative. I realize now that on many occasions I used alcohol as a crutch. I felt that drinking loosened me up, highlighting my more socially enjoyable features. Truthfully, I was disguising a confidence issue: I didn't think I was enough. 

Finding an Eating Plan that is Right for YOU

I feel so fortunate to have found (after many years of trying EVERYTHING) a nutritional program that works for me. I eat an abundance of healthy fats and vegetables, moderate amounts of animal protein, and occasionally full fat dairy (like aged goat and sheep's cheese with Dry Farm's wine!). I love this food: it makes me feel healthy, energetic, and contentedly satiated. Maintaining my weight is effortless. I don't love labels, but for explanation's sake I follow a primal/keto lifestyle. 


Giving Away the Skinny-Me Jeans

I finally did it.

I have a special shelf in my closet that has housed the jeans I wore like a boss during my twenties. My husband loved the jeans, my friends complimented me when I wore them. I felt amazing. Except I didn’t. To wear those jeans I was following a very restrictive diet and exercising excessively. I was miserable, aside from the fleeting moments following a compliment. To wear those jeans I wasn’t living my life. I didn’t notice the beauty in the present moment,  instead I obsessed about what I was or wasn’t going to eat, how many calories I was burning. My fitness plan ruled my life.

Meditation and Making Space for Choices

"Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom."

-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana 

When Tom and I started a daily meditation practice a little over a year ago, we didn't really have expectations for results. Honestly, we did it because- like eating kale- we'd heard it was good for you. 

After about a month of regular sessions we noticed a shift. We both reported experiencing an overall, steady sense of calm. We were less reactive in our jobs.

Eat Fat and End Diets

Like many people in the United States, I spent most of my adult life on a diet. Sometimes the diets would "work" for a little (I would lose weight), but the process sucked. I was always hungry and fixated on my next meal. This lifestyle was so difficult to sustain that I was constantly on the lookout for the true answer to effortless weight maintenance.  Fortunately, in my quest for the next best diet, I found Eat Fat Get Thin and The Primal Blueprint. Thanks to Mark Hyman and Mark Sisson, I learned that fat is actually our body's preferred energy source. The Standard American Diet emphasizes utilizing glucose for energy, which often equates to empty calories that leave you hungry, with your body producing too much insulin. Too much insulin equals inflammation; too much inflammation equals disease. 

Looking Inside to Transform the Outside: Body Image and Freedom

Adopting a primal lifestyle transformed my life in countless ways. I solved digestive issues, I felt nourished and satisfied with delicious food, my body learned how to use fat as fuel, I ended a sugar addiction, I stopped dieting and started living my life fully, moment to moment. 

But honestly, this lifestyle change would not have been possible without addressing internal issues as well. I had to look inside to transform my outside. This is how I began my transformation:  

Easing the Sugar Detox with Bling Bombs

Tom ran out of healthy food on his week long fishing in Yakutat. Upon his return, he sheepishly reported back to his drill sergeant (me) that he had indulged in junk food and was ready for a detox. He'd noticed a few things during his food free for all: once he started in on the sugar his thoughts became controlled by the greedy bacteria in his gut demanding more sugar. It was difficult to stop once he'd started.

Sacred Mornings: My Hour of Power

I love morning time: the quiet, the peace, the unlimited potential of starting anew. I heard the term "hour of power" on a podcast a few years ago and I thought it was the perfect way to describe my morning rituals. I've always been an early riser, but it wasn't until fairly recently that I realized the power in an intentional start to the day. I now know that I create every single day with my thoughts and actions upon rising. There are so many beautiful ways to begin a day; I will share my routine as an example. 

Cauliflower Hummus

If you run in a similar social media circle I'm sure you have heard "Cauliflower is the new kale!" Well, how about, "Cauliflower is the new garbanzo bean!"? Perhaps not quite as catchy, but I will explain why that is my phrase of the day. 

Hummus has been off the table for me since I began my Primal Health Coach certification and I learned more about legumes. While they don't affect everyone in the same way, they can be problematic and they totally unnecessary for optimal health.

Water and Creativity

The focus of this morning's yoga class (courtesy of YogaGlo) was creativity. The instructor encouraged body movements that mimicked the flow and ease of water. Gliding through the poses, I could indeed feel an opening to that meditative, creative channel that gives birth to inspiration. 

Intermittent Fasting and Discovering What Works for You

I was reading an Outside magazine article entitled “We have Found the Cure! (Sort of…)” in which the author describes her adventures in cleansing treatments including fasting. The treatments leave her glowing and feeling beautiful and young, but then she asks doctors about the science behind the treatments. When asked about fasting the quoted doctor rolls his eyes and states, “There are no proven health benefits from fasting.” Another doctor said it might be okay as long as you don’t do it too often. I found these statements interesting, particularly when compared with the research described in The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore.

Fiddleheads Five Ways: Part 4 (Cali'flour Pizza!)

The pre-primal me (see My Story) never would have eaten pizza: too high in calories, too high in fat, too high in guilt. Fortunately the primal me doesn't give a damn about calories and consumes healthy fat with wild abandon and pleasure. And life is really too short not to eat pizza. My digestive system really enjoys the grain free life, so figuring out the pizza crust situation involved experimentation.

Fiddleheads Five Ways: Part 2

Today I am sharing my favorite fiddlehead recipe: pesto! I used toasted pumpkin seeds, but feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand (pinenuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc). Remember to begin by blanching your fiddleheads in boiling water for about two minutes, followed by an ice bath. 

Foraging for Fiddleheads

Alaska is abundant with wild game and fish, but foraging for wild plants takes a little more work. But it's fun work! With the right mentality, every spring walk through the woods can be turned into a treasure hunt for green buds and shoots.