Eating Psychology & Mind Body Nutrition Articles

  • The Free From Shame Project

    Recent events have left many people feeling vulnerable or threatened. One group in particular that we’ve been hearing a lot from in recent weeks is survivors of sexual assault, rape, incest, harassment, shaming, and other forms of sexual violence. Thousands of women from our online community have reached out to the Institute, especially in response to Emily Rosen’s frank writings on this topic, to share their stories and to express their fear that the cultural climate today is one in which acts of sexual wounding are allowed to go unchecked. While women across the nation are speaking up about the ways they are feeling unsafe, their voices are in danger of being drowned out by powerful commentators who insist this is “no big deal.” In such times, we know that many people want to do something to help, but they don’t know where to go or what to do, and they may feel powerless to make a difference by themselves. And that’s why we’re launching the Free From Shame Project.

  • The Heart of Nourishment

    The Heart of Nourishment For those of you who don’t know, Bubbie is the Yiddish term for grandmother. And even more important, for those of you who don’t know, my Bubbie was arguably one of the greatest Bubbies ever on the planet. She was the embodiment of unconditional love. I actually can’t recall ever seeing her without a smile on her face that could light up the world. Her mission in life was simple – bear children, raise them, feed them, love them, and then repeat same with grandchildren. The more I study nutrition and eating psychology, the more I learn about the science of food and how it impacts our DNA and our metabolism, the more I come to respect the simple and timeless eating wisdom that my grandmother stood for. Once you ate her meals, you understood in your bones that food really is love. You knew in your heart that food cooked with love touches the body and soul in a way that can last forever

  • Mind Over Food

    One of the most fundamental building blocks of nutritional metabolism is neither vitamin, mineral, nor molecule. It’s our relationship with food. It’s the sum total of our innermost thoughts and feelings about what we eat.

  • Happy Exercise vs. Stressed Exercise – There’s a Big Metabolic Difference

    If you have ever wondered about the power of thought to influence nutritional and calorie burning metabolism, here’s a story you won’t want to miss. It’s about two clients who provided me with one of the big “aha’s” of my professional career. Early on in my nutritionist practice, a forty-eight-year-old female lawyer named Toni was referred to me by a local physician in New York City. He warned me that she was a difficult patient who was trying to lose weight but couldn’t. The doctor did numerous tests but found nothing wrong with Toni; he had suggested various diets and she hadn’t lost a single pound. The highlight of this case was that Toni was a marathon runner. She ate a paltry 1,300 calories per day, she ran eight to ten miles a day during the work week and about fifteen miles on Saturday, and she was a legitimate candidate for losing fifteen pounds.

  • Getting Real About Weight

    I find that whenever I read about weight loss in the popular media or watch people on reality TV trying to fight off the pounds, or listen to the latest strategies from the experts – be it a drug, diet, or the promise of some genetic breakthrough – I’m left feeling empty, used and uninspired.

  • 5 Unexpected Brain Foods

    I love the term “brain food.” It seems pretty well recognized in the mainstream and has a natural way of rolling off the tongue. We can all likely agree that feeding the brain some good food is a smart nutritional strategy. Of all the organs that could possibly go south on us, the brain ranks pretty high in terms of one we’d want to nurture and protect. Actually, I can’t think of another organ that we put the word “food” after. Few people talk about kidney food, spleen food, liver food, or intestine food. To this end, nutrition experts and enthusiasts wisely point out the virtues of brain foods such as: fish, walnuts, blueberries, eggs, lecithin, coffee; herbs such as ginkgo, and a long list of supplements and amino acids that have passed the test of modern clinical use for brain health. Who doesn’t want to improve memory, cognition, mental acuity, and brain plasticity?

  • The 3 Types of Cravings

    If you’re alive, then chances are you’ve craved. Maybe the craving was for some sugar, or chocolate, perhaps pancakes and syrup, bacon, pizza; maybe you had a late night craving for something obnoxiously loud and crunchy, or sinfully cold and creamy.

  • Losing Weight: 4 Things That Work and 4 Things That Don’t

    Sometimes I say to myself that if I hear one more thing about losing weight I’m going to quit my job, run away to some tropical island, and eat vacation food for the rest of my life. But then I remember that one of the most important commitments of my life is to be the best expert and teacher and practitioner when it comes to eating psychology - which means I’ll probably be hearing about all the latest weight loss information until everyone on earth is finally skinny.

  • The 3 Levels of Diet

    Have you ever wondered why so many of our esteemed nutrition experts are constantly contradicting each other and offering us highly conflicting views of what we should and shouldn't eat? Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a clearer, big picture view of things that would empower us more as eaters? Well, I'd love to share with you some nutritional insights that I believe can have a life changing impact on the way we understand diet and nutrition. I call these insights The 3 Levels of Diet. This is a powerful set of distinctions that can forever change the way you navigate the food universe, and even have a direct effect on your health and metabolism.

  • The Metabolic Power of Pleasure

    Vitamin P – Pleasure – is a vital element that makes our meals nutritionally complete and makes life worth living. Like all organisms on the planet, we humans are genetically programmed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. A cat chasing a mouse is seeking pleasure, while the unfortunate rodent is doing its best to avoid pain. Indeed, any behavior we can imagine can be seen as either of these, or a swirl of both. This is particularly apparent in light of our eating. When we eat, we’re seeking the pleasure of food and avoiding the pain of hunger. Indeed, destiny has fashioned for us a body that’s wired for joy. The simple scientific equation for the profound biochemical effects of pleasure is this:

  • The Psychobiology of Chewing

    There’s more to chewing than you might think. It’s arguably the first digestive activity that we bring to a meal, and unlike the chemical processes that occur in our gut, chewing falls under our conscious control. Except of course, when we go a bit unconscious and inhale our food. But chewing is more than a digestive aid. It also has a potent psychological function that helps keep body, mind and emotions in balance.

  • When You Eat is as Important as What You Eat

    Rhythm is everywhere. Each particle of our being moves and pulsates, dances and sings, and keeps to the beat of a brilliantly conceived symphony. The whole of our biology is a fantastic clockwork of precise chemical and hormonal rhythms whose timing is critical for our survival and well-being.

  • 5 Steps to Make People Eat Exactly What You Want

    Here's some good news. If you're a health coach, nutritionist, dietitian, parent, or any food enthusiast who wants to have others eat precisely what you want them to eat, I think I can tell you how to do it. Of course, we’re doing this for a very good reason - a lot of us are smart enough to know the best ways for people to feed themselves.

  • 5 Unexpected Healthy Superfoods for Your Heart

    Did you know that heart disease claims the lives of men and women more than any other disease, and is even more deadly than all forms of cancer combined? The simple truth is that our hearts need some help. And that’s likely why you’ll hear many of the leading natural healing experts recommend preventive remedies for heart disease such as: garlic, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, magnesium, hawthorne berry, C0-Enzyme Q10, fiber and many more. But, in the bigger picture, our approach to stopping heart disease, before it ever starts, isn’t working very well. That’s why I think it’s time for some new superfoods just for the heart! These may be a bit unexpected, but if you put your nutritional thinking cap on and give some of these a try, my heartfelt belief is that you’ll notice a big difference.

  • 8 Highly Unique Ways to Lose The Last 5 pounds

    It seems that “the last 5 pounds” has become far more famous and noteworthy than “The Last Supper.” We approach this final frontier of fat-loss with a religious fervor that would make any good preacher jealous. As a teacher and practitioner in the fields of nutrition and eating psychology, I've noticed that these last 5 pounds carry a lot of weight, so to speak. They have so much power.

  • A New Definition of Metabolism

    Many people use the word metabolism, but few know what it actually means. Indeed, if you asked a room filled with a hundred doctors and nutritionists, “What’s the definition of metabolism?” you’d likely hear a hundred different answers to the topic metabolism definition. It’s no surprise, then, that the rest of us would be confused about this topic. So in the spirit of furthering science and making nutrition and health a lot more interesting, let’s take a look at the old definition of metabolism, and come up with a newer one that’s more crispy and fresh.

  • Is There Anything New In Nutrition Worth Talking About

    If you have an interest in nutrition and enjoy reading up on the latest information and trends, you've likely noticed that there's a certain blueprint for how things work in the field of food and health. Correct me if you see it differently, but most of the articles or books or blogs on this amazing topic focus on one of the following: the latest super-food, the newest supplement, the next toxic food you should stop eating, or the hot breakthrough diet that will help you lose weight. That's pretty much the template for what the field of nutrition looks like for the average consumer of information. And for sure, this formula can certainly titillate some brain cells and keep our curiosity piqued - up to a point.

  • Five Unexpected Tips for High Energy Nutrition

    Have you ever noticed that the field of nutrition can sometimes be a little stale, repetitive and boring? That's why I love the unexpected, especially when it comes to dietary advice. Perhaps one of the most common desires I hear amongst those interested in better nutrition is “how can I have more energy?"

  • Symbolic Substitutes

    There’s a fundamental paradox in human nature that you may have noticed by now: a part of us wants inner peace, and another part of us actively fights against it. We want to eat right, but we also want to break all the food rules. We want love, but we love to look for it in all the wrong places.

  • The Metabolic Power of Vitamin A – Awareness

    One of the most unusual scientific revelations of the last century is the mathematical proof that the act of observing any phenomenon in the universe - be it the flight of a bird of the rotation of the planet - has a direct influence upon that phenomenon. According to the laws of physics, we have no choice but to alter the bird’s course or the planet’s speed simply by focusing our awareness on it. So if we have the power to tweak the orbit of a heavenly body, it should come as no surprise that vitamin A – Awareness - also has a profound impact on the human body.

  • The Simple Psychology of Habits

    If you’re a human being alive on planet Earth, chances are, you’ve got habits. Some of those habits we like, while some of our habits nag us because they don’t serve a healthy purpose yet they don’t easily fall away. As Mark Twain famously said about habits, “quitting smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” Indeed there’s a huge industry built upon helping the helpless defeat their overeating habits, sugar habits, poor exercise habits, smoking habits and more. But what exactly is a habit anyways? Where do they come from, why are they here, and is there a simple approach to our habits that can better enlighten and empower us? I’ve got some ideas about all this – it’s a habit of mine to try to figure this sort of thing out – so tell me what you think:

  • What’s Up with Perfectionism?

    I’m not sure of the number of perfectionists who walk among us, but if you work in the nutrition, fitness, or eating psychology business, it seems like perfectionism is everywhere. So many people are looking for the perfect body, perfect weight, perfect diet, the perfect nutritional system, and more. It seems like such a noble and high-level approach to life – just do everything flawlessly and we’ll have achieved a lofty place in the Hall of Fame of Life. Some will applaud us, others will envy us, and of course, we’ll have the inner satisfaction of having reached the supreme state of perfectness. But, as fate would have it, our quest for precision has a toxic side to it that can be quite debilitating. It can terrorize us, set us up for constant failure, and keep us in a perpetual state of never feeling good enough about who we are, how we eat, and what we look like. So, what’s up with perfectionism? Where does it come from? Why do we have it? And how can we prevent it from wreaking havoc on our very human and imperfect selves? I think I have a few answers...

  • The Eater’s Agreement

    When I wrote my first book, Nourishing Wisdom, I wanted to create a whole new approach to nutrition that was fresh, real and meaningful. I was committed to discovering a way to talk about food and nourishment that honors the timeless wisdom in these topics. Like so many people, I was bored with the quick fix, sensationalist approaches to health and weight loss that populate the nutrition field, and keep the conversation in a stuck and outdated place. About 24 years later, the book is still in print, has been translated into 7 languages, and is considered a timeless classic. It’s a great lesson to have faith that messages from the heart are as important, if not more so, than those that issue forth from the head.

  • 5 Timeless Coaching Tips

    I feel very fortunate that for over 20 years now, I have spent much of my professional life training professionals.  It’s the work that’s near and dear to my heart, and I’m aware of what a great honor it is. From a young age, I’ve always admired my teachers.

  • Nutrition, Rhythm and Metabolism

    One of the lesser understood but clinically useful nutrition strategies when it comes to weight, energy, mood and appetite regulation is the little known field of bio-circadian nutrition. Simply put, when we eat is often as important as what we eat.

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