A Letter to My Client: January 24th, 2019

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I have many old emails to my many clients throughout the years at Nourishing Minds Nutrition. These are letters of encouragement in someone’s journey to intuitive eating and food freedom. I have decided to release these (without client identifiers, of course!) in hopes that others can find them helpful. Even though they are specific to a specific client, I hope they prove to be insightful and inspiring for anyone else going through this process. Please be aware these letters are not intended to diagnose or treat. Please work with a practitioner if you are wanting specific one-on-one help. You can always reach out to us at Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Hi friend!

I enjoyed our conversation so much yesterday and I am so so excited about our journey together! This is your time, lady friend!!!

I wanted to send you a recap email and some goals for the week! 

Of course in all of this, remember, we are partnering with your body. Your body is not something to be mastered or controlled. I know it is hard to hear exactly what it is saying to you right now… but as time goes on, its voice will get more and more pronounced, and you will be able to respond to it appropriately and without hesitation. 

I know a big barrier for you right now is the weight gain. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if this were not in the picture?! Hear this: weight gain may (and should) happen. 

But I don’t want you to just gain weight with the mindset that it will come off again. I want you to being to transform your mind and how you think about weight gain and weight on your body. Weight gain is not a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s a beautiful thing! It may be hard for you too see this at this point- but remember— being “thin” is not the only way to be beautiful and to be worthy of love. 

Defile the social ideals! Challenge the expectations you have placed on yourself to look a certain way. Minimal body fat should not be something to be attained by manipulating food. True beauty comes from confidence in who you are- apart from your body. You can and will be confident regardless of your weight is. I know societal expectations have trained us otherwise and weight gain goes against everything you have ever told  yourself in the past… but it is time to fight those cultural ideals. I want you to cultivate an attitude of body respect and trust. We want to let your body know that it is safe again. 

I know body love may not be possible right now, but fostering body trust and respect are! If your body starts to change, speak kindly to it. Don’t berate or dishonor it. Remember, when you gain weight- it means that you are nourishing your body. That you are honoring it with food. That you are repleting it’s nutrient stores. Your body does SO many things right for you every.single.day. despite having years of low fuel and minimal nutrition. Thank it for that! Make a commitment today and every day moving forward to honor it. Make a commitment to work with and partner with your body! That means to focus on getting it the energy and nourishment it needs. That means getting out of your mind and letting your body call the shots. Let the health of your body and soul drive your food and wellness decisions. Not your desire to be thin. Your body has an innate wisdom that is not gone, but it is going to be a journey for you to hear all it has to tell you again. 

xoxo,

meg

Part II to be released next. <3

A Letter to My Client: November 30th, Part II

I have many old emails to my many clients throughout the years at Nourishing Minds Nutrition. These are letters of encouragement in someone’s journey to intuitive eating and food freedom. I have decided to release these (without client identifiers, of course!) in hopes that others can find them helpful. Even though they are specific to a specific client, I hope they prove to be insightful and inspiring for anyone else going through this process. Please be aware these letters are not intended to diagnose or treat. Please work with a practitioner if you are wanting specific one-on-one help. You can always reach out to us at Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Read Part I

This week, as best you can, I want you work on stripping away all the food rules, food labels, and preconceived notions about food. None of that has a place in intuitive eating. Start to challenge and change that dialogue in your head about food. 

I also want you to to note your fullness levels after eating. I want your goal to be to eat until satiety. Eat until you are fully satisfied. Check in with yourself. Just because you are done with your plate doesn’t mean you can’t get more!  There are no rules here! Your body doesn’t care what time it is, how much you ate yesterday, what you are going to eat later or what you “normally” eat- it wants what it wants when it wants it! Honor that! So if you need to increase those portion sizes or go back for seconds, do it! If you are still thinking about food after your meal or even an hour after your meal, you didn’t eat enough! Be mindful of this.

Also, let’s challenge those “off limits” foods and those foods that are only available on the weekend. WHO MADE THESE RULES!? Diet culture. You don’t have to wait for a certain day of the week to partake in a food! it’s not even considered a “treat”- it’s just food that you are craving! Honor that! So if you want ice cream on Tuesday- have the ice cream!!! The more you normalize all foods, the easier eating and living in the grey area becomes. You’ll find that food doesn’t actually have the mental hold over you that you think it does. Placing rules on our diet disrupts our relationship with and mentality towards food. It makes it impossible to be intuitive. When you remove the rules, our true craving, likes and dislikes can come forth. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and do the things that are uncomfortable for you. 

Throughout this week, take note of various food rules that come up in your head- because they will! They will probably even be ones that you didn’t realize that you had! haha. Write them down so you don’t forget about them and we can talk about them.

Also, remember, you don’t have to have a growling stomach in order to need food and to actually be hungry! This is always the case for people- but especially for those with a history of disordered eating. It is most likely that your hunger signals still have not caught up to your actual physical needs, so if you continue waiting until you are “hungry”, then you could be doing yourself a disservice and ultimately undereating.


That’s all for now! Talk soon, 

xoxo 

meg 

A Letter to My Client: November 30th

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I have many old emails to my many clients throughout the years at Nourishing Minds Nutrition. These are letters of encouragement in someone’s journey to intuitive eating and food freedom. I have decided to release these (without client identifiers, of course!) in hopes that others can find them helpful. Even though they are specific to a specific client, I hope they prove to be insightful and inspiring for anyone else going through this process. Please be aware these letters are not intended to diagnose or treat. Please work with a practitioner if you are wanting specific one-on-one help. You can always reach out to us at Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Hi friend!

I hope you had a great weekend!

I’m so excited for you to allow yourself to fully embrace intuitive eating and instinctual living. 

We covered a lot of material during our call, but the foundation of it all is this- 

It’s time to take the next steps to living in the gray area!  The area where true wellness (and LIFE!) is found! Its going to be so much fun to allow yourself to truly experiment with various foods and figure out what you love and what makes you feel good- emotionally and physically! It’s going to be so liberating — and yes, scary as well! But trust, this experience of mixed emotions is normal and even necessary. It’s never just about the food- or the weight for that matter. The true “issues” are much deeper than that. Removing the desire to “control” enables us to truly feel and heal and develop coping mechanisms apart from food that allow us to enjoy life to the - INTH degree. 

Like we discussed on the call, wellness isn’t just about the foods we eat. YOU KNOW THIS! So eating something we’ve deemed as “bad” will NOT wreck you or derail your health. On the contrary, eating less than “nutrient dense” foods is actually highly beneficial to one’s health! There are “body nourishing foods” and then there are “soul nourishing foods”! Both are important and imperative! Each has a time and a place. There is something about going to happy hour and grabbing tacos with friends that is life giving. There are times when a kale salad just won’t cut it. Never underestimate the power of community and enjoying food and drink together. 

Of course, a lot of this boils down to removing labels from food. Removing the “good” food / “bad” food mentality. In doing this, we remove the potential guilt and shame that can be attached to food. Food should never be attached to our morality. NEVER! So removing those polarizing labels is imperative and transformational to our relationship to food and to our relationship with ourselves. Of course, none of this is possible over night! It takes time and mindfully tearing down the diet culture rhetoric that we’ve internalized. But start today. Start right now. You’ll get there.

I want you to start challenging yourself this week! I want you to start checking in with yourself and giving your body and soul more of a say in what you eat instead of eating what you “think you should eat”.  For many of us, years of disordered eating and restriction and buying into diet culture has led to a disconnect in our body’s and minds. Re-cultivating this relationship is imperative. And this starts with doing simple things like checking in with yourself, following your cravings, and removing the food rules- slowly but surely- one at a time. 

xo,

meg

Part II released next week.

A Letter to My Client: November 13th, 2018

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I have many old emails to my many clients throughout the years at Nourishing Minds Nutrition. These are letters of encouragement in someone’s journey to intuitive eating and food freedom. I have decided to release these (without client identifiers, of course!) in hopes that others can find them helpful. Even though they are specific to a specific client, I hope they prove to be insightful and inspiring for anyone else going through this process. Please be aware these letters are not intended to diagnose or treat. Please work with a practitioner if you are wanting specific one-on-one help. You can always reach out to us at Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Hi friend!

I was sitting here reflecting on your struggle with exercise and food this week.

I wanted to send you this email to encourage you and build you up and remind you that you are stronger than you think you are. And while it may seem easier to just revert back to your old ways… have hope and stay strong! Don’t take the easy road out right now. It will pay off in the long run- I promise. Remember, the end goal here is freedom. And that means not feeling like you need to restrict or deprive. That means having a good and peaceful relationship with yourself. 

You will certainly still have negative thoughts- and that is okay! Negative self talk and old emotions and habits are not going to go out the widow overnight! The thing is- you do not have to act on or BE those thoughts. They do not have to become your reality. You can have them, acknowledge them for what they are, and then dismiss them with the part of you that is full of sympathy, grace and self love. Eventually, those thoughts will come to you less and less.

xoxo

meg 

A Letter to My Client: October 30th, Part II

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I have many old emails to my many clients throughout the years at Nourishing Minds Nutrition. These are letters of encouragement in someone’s journey to intuitive eating and food freedom. I have decided to release these (without client identifiers, of course!) in hopes that others can find them helpful. Even though they are specific to a specific client, I hope they prove to be insightful and inspiring for anyone else going through this process. Please be aware these letters are not intended to diagnose or treat. Please work with a practitioner if you are wanting specific one-on-one help. You can always reach out to us at Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Read Part I

Now, as far as the food things go....

NO MORE PICKING! haha. If you find the urge to pick at something- I don't care what it is... Get yourself a plate or a bowl or whatever, and actually serve yourself some. Then, ENJOY THE HELL out of that food. There are no more good foods vs bad foods here. Moving forward, there is just FOOD. You do not need these moralistic labels on food in order to "eat well". I promise you, when you get to a healthy relationship with food, your body will naturally gravitate towards what makes your body and your mind feel well! You don't need to manipulate yourself into eating certain things. So now moving forward, I want you to try your hardest and be very intentional about not attaching your morality to food. God never ever intended food to serve that purpose - he did not design it to play into our holiness or worthiness! Diet culture did that. Well NO more for you! Moving forward, I want you to allow yourself the innate human right of eating without self judgment. 

Don't be fearful of eating in between meal! Or even of eating right after you have already eaten. If you continue to not allow yourself to enjoy these foods when you want them, you will continue to reside in pseudo recovery. Your body and mind still need to be reassured that they can eat whenever and whatever they want. 

Even if you do not feel "physically hungry" at the time... I DON'T CARE!  Your body and mind are not on the same page yet due to years of under eating… they will be eventually... but not yet- so for now, you MUST eat when you want to. Not just when you deem you are "physically hungry" or when it is “appropriate”. Do NOT make this the hunger / fullness diet. 

Also, when you eat meals, I want you to check in and ask if you are still hungry... are you satisfied? Does food still sound good...? Then get some more!!! Give yourself that option! Remember, we can't eat the same thing every day. That leaves no room for intuition and the changes in our body that happen every single day. A huge part of recovery is eating meals that FULLY satisfy. 


Now as far as exercise goes right now, this week- I want you to check in with yourself more often. Continue to develop that internal conversation- how is your body feeling? Our society praises this "push through" mentality. It praises this "kill yourself to workout" mentality. Well, that is NOT serving anyone and directly goes against our body’s intuition! If you feel like you need to do a certain movement or exercise- first, ask yourself WHY you are doing it. Check in with your motivation. Does it feel good to do this movement? Do you have enough energy? Is it going to serve you by making you feel stronger, more flexible, empowered, etc? Then, make your decision.

 If you choose to honor your body by not exercising, be at peace with that decision!! Your tendency right now will be to attach judgment to that decision. NONE OF THAT!!! You made a decision based off of your intuition. Be happy with that. Be proud of that. Be at peace with that. Know that it was the RIGHT decision and exercising when  it does not align with you does not serve you. Nothing should make you feel otherwise. If someone else is going on a walk or moving their body in some way- THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO. 

Which brings me to another point- what hobbies do you have outside of exercise?? Let's talk about it next time. 

Okay... that's it for now!! You are amazing!!!!

xoxo,

meg

A Letter to My Client: October 30th, Part I

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I have many old emails to my many clients throughout the years at Nourishing Minds Nutrition. These are letters of encouragement in someone’s journey to intuitive eating and food freedom. I have decided to release these (without client identifiers, of course!) in hopes that others can find them helpful. Even though they are specific to a specific client, I hope they prove to be insightful and inspiring for anyone else going through this process. Please be aware these letters are not intended to diagnose or treat. Please work with a practitioner if you are wanting specific one-on-one help. You can always reach out to us at Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Hello, friend!!!

I had such a great time talking with you yesterday! I’m so so excited about our work together and the life and food freedom ahead of you! It’s not all going to be super smooth sailing- but you know this! It’s going to take work, but I know you’re ready for it and we'll get there!!
 

We covered a lot of things yesterday, so I like to send an initial recap email to remind you of all the things and the goals we can work towards this week and through the next 3 months. 
 

First, one thing I forgot to say yesterday- but surely you know…. no more myfitnesspall!!! Quit that s***!!! You don't need any more of that negativity in your life.  ;)
 

Calorie counting dies hard... but it really does die. I know the numbers are still subconsciously in your head, but the more you refuse to count or let your mind go there and the more you begin to see food as something to be enjoyed, the more those silly little numbers just fade off in the distance. 
 

The most important thing I want you to implement this week is - a solid morning routine! I'd love for you to spend at least 15 mins doing this. You can play around with what you enjoy over this next week and moving forward! It can consist of meditation, prayer, journaling, just sitting in silence, reading, drawing, ... whatever. But, I want your focus to be to foster your intuition. Turn inwards. How are YOU feeling. Dive into scripture. Pray for a strengthened relationship with the holy spirit. Because like I said on our call- in doing that, you are strengthening your relationship with yourself. The holy spirit IS your intuition! IT'S SO COOL. 

A lot of recovery is about turning up that female intuition and energy. Cultivating trust with ourselves and our bodies again. Using calories and formulas and plans to tell us what we should be doing is easier - but this is not how we were created to relate to food and therefore, it comes with consequences. Controlling the food- as we both know, is a symptom of something deeper. It is a symptom of anxiety and the fear of loosing control. Manipulated our food and our weight gives us the false perception of being in control. 

During your quite time, pray and ask what is in store for the day. Ask that the Holy Sprit would give you the strength to think about things other than food and exercise. That your mind would be filled with other things- with things that are worthy of thinking about and things that give you life and purpose. 

Write down your intentions for the day. Visualize your day and what you will do. Visualize and FEEL your relationship with food. Remember your values and how a disordered relationship with food or one's self does not fit into this. 


Then, write down 3 things you are grateful for. They can be serious or silly! Make this a habit! 

Part II of this email next week! 

PART I: Starting a Herb Container Garden (from Seed!)

Hello, friends! 

Who wants to start their own herb container garden? Everyone right?!

Container gardens are great because you don’t need any actual LAND for them! Plus, they are mobile. If the weather is unfavorable, you can pull those suckas inside. 

 It’s a win-win-win and I’m here to walk you through it. 

And we’re going to start from the VERY beginning. Yep - that’s right. No short cuts here. We are going to grow our herb garden from tiny little seeds. 

It’s going to be straight MAGIC

 

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Now, you might be thinking, “Why would I go through the trouble of this?! Why not just buy grown plants?!”

Well… touché. However, there are actually a lot of great reasons to invest a little extra time into starting plants from seeds. 

For starters, it’s cheaper and you also experience a HUGE sense of accomplishment. Plus, you can find heirloom or more obscure varieties of seeds online. (PLANT NERDS UNITE!!!) You can also buy organic/non-GMO and you can foster the health of your plant from it’s infancy. Pretty cool, right?

I am starting 4 different herbs from seed this week: 

  • Basil

  • Thyme

  • Oregano

  • Sage

I chose these because; well, because they’re my favorite! 

I will be companion planting them all except for the basil. Basil gets its own container. 

Why companion plant your herbs? Thyme, sage, and oregano are Mediterranean herbs that love the sun and have similar watering requirements. They prefer dryer soil than herbs like basil or parsley. Thus, they will thrive being planted together. And I just want a TON of basil so it get's a big container to itself. 

Starting plants from seed indoors is a great way to grow successful outdoor plants! Starting seeds indoors allows you to better control the variables to increase the likelihood of germination and your seedling's success! 

Also, if you will be transplanting the plants into a raised bed or actual garden, you will have them ready to roll when the weather is favorable! (When the warmer spring weather hits, for example.) This method of starting plants from seeds indoors can be applied to all variety of plants- from herbs to veggies to fruit plants!

So let’s get rolling. 

BUT, before I proceed, I want to break down the timeline for you: 

SEEDS ==> Germination ==> SEEDLINGS ==> Hardening off ==> Transplant into containers

Germination is the budding of a seed after it has been planted into soil. 

Seedlings are the baby plants.

Hardening off is the process of toughening up your plants for the great outdoors.  

Step 1: Gather supplies

  1. Organic seed starting mix. Seed starting mix is a lighter texture than regular garden mix. You can get this in stores or online. I ordered this one from amazon

  2. A sunny, south facing window -or- a grow light with a timer if you do not have a sunny window. (Most seedlings require a lot of light!) I have an East facing window that gets the morning sun, but I got a grow light for the afternoon.

  3. Cow pots , egg cartons, or other seed starting containers. You can get these in stores or on amazon. The cow pots are amazing because they are truly bio degradable. (Some of the other “degradable” ones don’t truly break down and therefore, can hinder the growth of your plant.)

  4. Spray bottle for watering. (or the sink spray function works fine as well)

  5. Plastic tub or bucket. (just to dampen the soil)

  6. SEEDS OF CHOICE!

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Step 2: Acquaint yourself with the seeds by checking the seed directions on the back of the packet

  • How many days do they take to germinate? So you know when to start looking for them! If this is not on the packet, you can always look online!

  • Do they require light to germinate? (most will!)

  • What temperature do they need to germinate? (If your seed packet does not indicated- no worries. For most herbs, a germination temperature of 70 degrees F is optimal. This will probably be the temp of your home. If you keep your home cooler the majority of the time or if you live in a cold area, you might want to invest in a heat mat to start your seeds.)

  • At what depth of soil do the seeds need to be sowed. (Note some herb seed don’t even need to be buried)

  • Keep your packets for reference.

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Step 3: Prepare the soil and plant the seeds

  • Dampen soil mix in your bucket or tub. (you want moist- but not soaking wet!)

  • Fill cells or small containers with soil - about 1/3 an inch from the top.

  • Apply 2 seeds per cell. (the extra in case one does not germinate)

  • Cover the seeds with soil per the specifications on the back of the seed packets. (for basil, it is 1/4th an inch)

  • Mist the seeds with water.

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Step 4: Tend to the seeds

  • Adjust lighting to reach 15 hrs of exposure a day via sun and/or timed light. If you are using a timed light, set it for 15 hours a day. If you have some sun light, subtract the amount of time you have from 15 hrs and set your timer to that when they do not have the sun light. For example, I have 4 hours of sun light from my window. I will set my grow lights to be on for 10 hrs/day after that.

  • Water them with the squeeze bottle as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Let the soil dry slightly between waterings. (To prevent your seeds from rotting! You don't want to overwater.)

  • Keep an eye on them and watch them emerge! Once the seeds sprout into seedlings, rotate them once a day to keep them from leaning to the window / light.

  • If you are using a grow light, position your plant about 2-3 inches below your light. Adjust the lighting as your seedlings grow.

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Step 4: Harden off

  • You don’t want to take your seedlings directly from the protected indoors to the harsh climate!

  • Once your seeds are about ready to be transplanted outdoors, place seedling trays in a protected outdoor spot (partially shaded, out of the wind).

  • Bring them in at night.

  • Do this every day for 7 - 10 days- increasing the outdoor exposure time each time.

Now it's time to transplant into your containers!! In my next post, I'll discuss this as well as how to care for you herb plants to maximize their growing potential.

*****

PS, if you follow me and my work at Nourishing Minds Nutrition, then you may know that we are about to launch a membership community!! We will be diving in deep on all things hormones, digestion, and intuitive eating. Click here to learn more.  

Fake Honey vs. Raw, Real Honey, March 9th, 2017

Do you buy your honey at the local supermarket? If so, chances are your honey isn’t even real honey. 


Almost all honey in the grocery store has been ultra-filtered and pasteurized. This process involves heat and extreme pressure with the end goal of removing all “impurities” (pollen, propolis etc) found in raw honey. (AKA removing all of the good, healthful stuff….)
This process voids honey from much of it’s previous nutritional wealth — like most other processed or pasteurized foods. 

RAW, unfiltered, unprocessed honey contains all of the natural vitamins/minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and other nutrients that make honey such an incredible food for its nutritional and medicinal values.
Why would processing be advantageous for the honey packers? Well, pollen is the only sure-fire way of tracing honey’s origin. And guess what? As much as 1/3rd of all US honey comes from China. Chinese honey has a history of being contaminated with antibiotics, heavy metals, and corn syrup. (EEEKKKKK!!!) (Asian honey is banned in Europe.. but not here.) 

Here are some of the health benefits of RAW honey: 

Raw honey contains phytonutrients that have been shown to be helpful in cancer and tumors treatment.

  • Raw honey has antiseptic properties. It can be used topically to treat infection, burns, and wounds.

  • Raw honey contains a substance called propolis— a resin that the honeybees produce to seal all the crooks and crannies of their hive. This “glue” contains nutrients that have antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.

  • Raw honey contains vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, and a large amount of vitamin C. Calcium, magnesium and phosphate are a few of the minerals it provides.

  • Honey can be used to treat stomach problems such as gastroenteritis and ulcers, improve cholesterol levels, and treat seasonal allergies. Honey also has a lower glycemic index than other sugars so it is ideal for better blood sugar control.

  • Raw, local honey is successfully used to treat seasonal allergies.

Your best bet… support local bees!! Buy from your local beekeeper! In supporting local beekeepers, you are encouraging them and giving them the recourses needed to continue their beekeeping practice. The bee population is dwindling quickly due to pesticides, other chemicals, electromagnetic radiation, loss of food, and pathogens such as mites, viruses and fungi. Without honey bees, the majority of the plants we eat will not be possible. Honey bees are absolutely critical to our food system. Beekeepers truly love their hives- they fend for them and do everything they can to give them a fighting chance to succeed year after year in the face of draught, famine, predators, and our changing world. You can often find local honey at your farmer’s market. If that is not available to you, try a natural food store- look for raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized (preferably local)! 

Note: Raw honey will be more solid and cloudy, while pasteurized honey will look crystal clear and syrupy. SUPPORT THOSE LOCAL BEES🐝