I’m #HungryForChange.

 

change-roadsign

 

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the free screening of the documentary Hungry for Change. I have watched it twice and I am SO GLAD I did! Before watching I thought I’d be able to write a post breaking down all the information, but frankly there’s way too much in the documentary to do any justice in a blog post. I plan on using the video as a tool in my coaching – if you work with me, you’ll likely hear all about it! Here are points from the doc that stuck out to me:

Diet sodas suck!

  • Aspartame, an ingredient found in most diet sodas, is associated with a build up of formaldehyde in the brain, frontal lobe inflammation, migraines, visual disturbances, headaches, neuralgic problems and is considered carcinogenic. Aspartame is also recognized by many pilots as a big NO because it can cause severe aberrations in their vision.
  • Diet sodas are generally a vehicle for aspartame or another non-caloric sweetener and caffeine, a combo that’s found to kill brain cells. The combination creates excitotoxins that kill the cells.
  • Research shows that non-caloric sweeteners contribute to weight gain because they create carbohydrate cravings. Whenever you trick your body into thinking it’s getting a nutrient (like a carbohydrate) but you aren’t actually eating it, your brain will send a signal directing you to eat until you actually get the nutrient!! (I can vouch for this effect!)

What you consume, you wear.

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Consider that we are programmed to scan people for good health for reproductive purposes. Those with luminous skin, healthy hair , bright eyes, etc. are going to be more attractive generally than those with dull skin, eyes and hair. This “scan” impacts more than our dating prospects – it impacts everything you do! If you consume healthy, your body will not have a choice but to be HEALTHY. And your skin, hair, eyes – all the things people see when they first see you, will be better for it. There is not a beauty cream or eyeshadow or foundation that can replace the glow of good health. Eating your greens keeps you lean and it increases your natural beauty!

Obesity is not a problem, it’s a solution.

It’s the “solution” to chronic stress. It’s the solution to the abusive relationship you’re in. It’s the solution to childhood trauma. Keep in mind, obesity is not just about having excess weight on your body, it’s about the behaviors that lead to the excess weight. And those behaviors – turning to comfort food, drinking, taking drugs, eating excessively, not sleeping – are the way many of us cope with stress and trauma. Often, to address obesity, we need to address the problems that we’re trying to fix.

This reframing of obesity completely changes the way I approach weight loss issues! “It’s not about what you’re eating, it’s about what’s eating you.”

When you’re dealing with stress:

  • Sleep! Get as much sleep as you need. If you’re sleeping 3-4 hours a night, you need to give yourself more of a chance to “digest” stress hormones. Being under stress and sleeping only 3-4 hours a night you can gain two pounds from that alone, in “liquid” pounds. Give yourself permission to sleep for as long as you need whenever you can.
  • Exercise! It’s as good as any medical treatment for treating mild to moderate depression.
  • Laugh! Keep funny movies around when you’re feeling blue. Laughter decreases stress hormones too!

Love (from yourself) is what you need.

Self-love isn’t just about some woo-woo new-age feel-good ish. According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, self-love improves your hearing and eyesight, it lowers your blood pressure, it increases pulmonary function and cardiac output, helps the wiring in the muscular structure.

To increase the strength of your self-love, Dr. Northrup suggests this exercise, which she got from Louise Hay:

Post the following affirmation on your bathroom mirror, and for thirty days look at yourself deeply in the eyes and say it twice a day: I accept myself unconditionally right now.

When you say it, all the bullshit thoughts will come up – all the thoughts telling you that actually, you ain’t shit! But that’s ok. Let them come up, and keep saying this to yourself as you look at yourself lovingly in the mirror. Around day 28, something inside shifts and you begin to believe it. Keep saying it, and your self-love will grow stronger the way a muscle gets stronger with repeated use.

And I can testify: the stronger your self-love, the easier is it to show yourself love via making choices in support of your health and wellness. The stronger your self-love, the easier it is to make choices in support of living your best life possible!

Michael Pollan was right. 

Not familiar with Michael Pollan? He’s the author and whole-food advocate who famously suggested the following rule for eating healthily:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. 

After my year of studying numerous dietary theories at IIN, I came to the conclusion that Pollan was more or less on point. There’s no one way to eat healthily – there are several. This is demonstrated by the wide range of indigenous peoples and their varying diets (some are largely meat and fat based, some are plant based, some involve a balance of  macronutrients). The only thing that’s consistent about the wide variety of traditional diets is that they all involve WHOLE food (not processed, food-like substances), they do not lend themselves to excessive eating, and in many of these diets, there’s the presence of plants.

It’s worth noting that Michael Pollan is not one of the experts featured in the film. All throughout watching I just kept thinking of his book, In Defense of Food (highly recommended)! I also thought about his article from the New York Times magazine where I first read about his rule: Unhappy Meals.

Speaking of plants and whole food – I’m starting this smoothie challenge today and will be posting about it later this month. I’m sharing because it seems like a great way to get in your veggies and to commit to a healthier lifestyle (I also love this green smoothie blog – I always share the good stuff with my readers!) If you’re down for the challenge, check it out (and let me know that you’re in).

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