Eating Psychology & Mind Body Nutrition Articles

  • The Nutritional Power of Story

    Have you ever heard a story that inspired you or changed your life? One that lifted your spirits or gave you hope? The stories that move us are like powerful drugs that ignite our metabolism. There’s a hidden narrator within each of us that puts a spin on every aspect of our journey. And that spin - whether it’s positive and life affirming or negative and nihilistic - sets our metabolism in motion and creates a biochemistry to mirror our inner world. As we become more adept at discerning the secret stories we unwittingly tell ourselves, and the more willing we are to author a generous and healing tale, our metabolism rises according to the new standards we set. Let’s take a look at how we can harness the nutritional power of story.

  • 8 Surefire Ways on How to Control Your Appetite: Part 1

    Chances are if you could figure out a way to help people truly control their appetites you would likely be awarded sainthood, along with a really nice big retirement fund. I must admit, I'm fascinated by how we relate with this thing called “my appetite.”

  • 8 Surefire Ways on How to Control Your Appetite: Part 2

    Chances are if you could figure out a way to help people truly control their appetites you would likely be awarded sainthood, along with a really nice big retirement fund. I must admit, I'm fascinated by how we relate with this thing called my appetite.

  • A Happy Dietary Ending

    So many of us love happy endings. Whether it’s at the movies, in a book, or in life itself, why not have it all work out in the end? Think of the greatest children’s stories you remember from childhood. They usually finish with “and they lived happily ever after.” It’s a beautiful fantasy. And this makes it easy to understand then, why so many people are looking for what I would call “a happy dietary ending.” Meaning, we want to eat whatever we choose to eat and be happy, skinny, healthy, and perhaps even live forever. Really, we’re not asking for much from our food.

  • Can the Psychology of Eating Change Your Metabolism?

    Most of us have been taught to believe that good nutrition is simply a function of eating the right food and taking the right supplements. Of course, this is true, but there’s more to the equation. What we eat is only half the story of good nutrition. The other half of the story is who we are as eaters. That is, what we think, feel, believe our levels of stress, relaxation, pleasure, awareness, and the inner stories that we live out all have a real, powerful, and scientific effect on nutritional metabolism. Recent advances in the mind-body sciences have been proving what ancient wisdom traditions have been saying for eons – that the mind and body exist on an exquisite continuum, and profoundly impact one another.

  • 5 Super Important Questions to Ask Yourself About Food

    Here’s a suggestion: if you care about health, if you care about nutrition, if you care about good eating, then it’s a good idea to keep asking good questions about food. Asking the right questions about food inevitably points us in a smart direction with what we put in our body. The greatest advances in science, technology, philosophy, art, and culture have so often [...]

  • Five Unexpected Super-Foods

    I love the concept called “Super-Foods.” How could anyone possibly argue with this innovative nutritional identifier? Who wouldn’t want to eat such an awesome sounding grocery item? This term was coined relatively recently to bring some respect and superhero sexiness to foods like goji berries, chia seeds, raw cacao,  coconut oil, acai berries, maca, and more.

  • Is Your Food Life Getting In the Way of Your Sex Life?

    As a nutrition and eating psychology professional, I am quite fascinated by how much energy we can expend in our relationship with food. We think about food, worry about it, obsess about weight, we hope for the perfect body, search for the best nutritional system, and we often live in a silent war against the natural, inborn need to eat. It’s easy for many of us to become quite fascinated with our own complex journey with food and weight. Maybe even a little obsessed. Of course, all this is part of our journey to wholeness, yet I notice that for many of us who are trying to find peace with food, something very dear and important tends to be missing. Intimacy.

  • The Alchemy of Change: 5 Surprising Strategies on How to Change Yourself

    If you’re a human being alive on planet Earth, chances are you want to change some things. Perhaps you’re interested in changing your looks, your weight, finances, a relationship dynamic, a quirky personality trait that gets in your way, or an unwanted eating habit, just to name a few. Entire industries are built upon both our desire to change something, and the inherent difficulties that seem to make such changes a nearly impossible task. In the interest of pushing fast-forward on the change button and helping us get to the place we want to be, I'd like to suggest five ingredients that I’ve seen make a powerful difference in any recipe for change. Especially when it comes to our food, health, body, weight, and eating concerns, I've noticed how easy it is to get stuck, and feel frustrated or disappointed. That's why I’ve got a big smile on my face as I offer up these five ingredients – and I’m happy because they work, and I think you'll agree once you give them a try. As always, I'd love to know what you think:

  • The Metabolic Power of Quality

    The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a new star. -- Jean Brillat-Savarin The biggest and most urgent nutritional question of our time – what should I eat? – happens to have the greatest assortment of confusing and contradictory answers. Fortunately I have a very practical suggestion on how you can become your own dietary expert and be assured of consistently making excellent choices, if not the best nutritional choice. If you were to give me the honor of being your personal nutritionist, for just one dietary change, if you asked me: “What’s the one simple nutritional strategy that could give me the biggest bang for my metabolic buck, improve my health and weight more than any other change, and make a positive impact on the lives of others and the Earth itself …?” then, here’s the guideline I’d urge you to follow:

  • The Best Kept Nutritional Secret

    One of the best-kept secrets in the nutrition business is this: there’s only one true miracle nutrient, it has a profound metabolic power, it’s freely available and seldom used to the fullest. The miracle nutrient is vitamin O - Oxygen. And we need lots of it. With food, quality is what’s important. With oxygen, quantity is what counts. Plenty of people restrict their eating intake but no one goes on an oxygen diet. Try it sometime and see what happens. You can survive for four weeks without food, four days without water, but you can last only four minutes without oxygen. Talk about a highly essential nutrient! Whether you’ve known it or not, oxygen has been and always will be your number one nutritional priority.

  • A Deeper Look into Vitamin O

    People often talk about burning calories but few realize that a calorie is simply a measure of heat released when something is burned. Food scientists determine the caloric value of a food by placing it in a special apparatus that essentially torches it to a crisp and measures the heat given off. It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that just about everything has a measurable caloric value. A fortune cookie contains about 30 calories. A page of a typical book you read has at least 60 calories. The chair you’re sitting in has upwards of 200,000 calories. And all of these calories need oxygen if you want them to burn. So if you’re interested in maximizing metabolism, breathing is one of the most effective tools because the greater your capacity to take in oxygen, the higher your metabolic “burning power” will be.

  • The Brain in the Belly

    If you’re a lover of intelligence, then it’s reasonable to assume that you’ve got some high regard for the brain. How many people would argue against the supremacy of one of our favorite and most useful organs? Modern medicine understands the head-brain to be “command central” – the place from which our entire life receives its marching orders. But there’s another kind of intelligence that’s an equally potent metabolic force, and it’s found in the belly. Some call it the “gut-brain,” others proclaim it to be the “brain in the belly.” However you choose to name it, it’s way smarter than you might have ever imagined. And putting this extra brainpower to work can forever change your metabolism, and your life. Let me explain:

  • The Stress – Metabolism Connection

    I’ve had hundreds of clients over the years with digestive challenges and pains, many of whom had gobs of medical intervention, testing, poking and prodding – only to be told that “nothing was wrong.” This is one of my favorite medical diagnoses. Oddly enough, a vast majority of our digestive woes become medical mysteries simply because science often has the strange habit of missing the obvious. And this is where a little clever sleuthing and some simple science comes in to save the day.

  • Healthy Sexy Slow

    When it comes to losing weight and having the body we so dearly desire, most people focus on the age-old principal of eating less and exercising more. Few of us, however, pay any attention to how fast we eat. What’s speed got to do with it? As it turns out, a lot – for it just so happens that eating fast or eating slow can be a powerful determiner of body weight. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2009, eating a meal quickly rather than at a slow pace, diminishes the release of hormones in the gut that help create the feeling of being full. When these hormones – specifically PYY and GLP-1 are low, the unwanted result is simply this: overeating. The implication here is that the body needs time to regulate the chemical messengers that control our food intake.

  • Relax and Burn Calories

    If you’re like most people trying to lose weight, you’re likely working hard at it. And even though hard work is generally considered to be admirable and effective, when it comes to weight loss, you might be putting yourself at an unexpected disadvantage. That’s because “hard working” often means highly stressed, and when we’re in a heightened state of tension, anxiety, push, shove, force or fear – our metabolism changes rather dramatically.

  • Relax and Build Bones

    One of my favorite nutritional laughs came when I saw a clever cartoon in a magazine where a doctor was talking to a new patient, only the patient sitting in the chair was an amorphous, unidentifiable blob of goo with a pretty hat and confused eyes. The doctor looked at the blob and said “Mrs. Jones, I believe you need more calcium in your diet.” These days, it seems like the subjects of women, bone loss and calcium are forever wedded. The ladies of the world are constantly being sold on the supposed importance of calcium pills, added calcium to orange juice, and the seemingly holy necessity for the calcium in milk and other dairy products. But there’s way more to the story of bone health than mere calcium intake alone. Did you know that our inner world has a rather profound impact on bone health?

  • The Brilliance of Bitter

    In food as in life, there’s often a good reason for everything. There are hidden teachings and gifts waiting to burst forth from the most unlikely places. If you're like most people, you'll tend to appreciate sweet life experiences much more so than the bitter ones. You’ll also tend to gravitate towards the sweeter foods rather than the edibles that are bitter to the tongue. Of course, this makes perfect sense. Personally, I'd much prefer the sweet life, the fun stuff, the goodies, and anything that puts an automatic smile on my face. Likewise, if something leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, then it’s clearly the kind of food or experience that I'm not interested in repeating. But might there be a nutritional value to bitter? Is it possible that there’s even a brilliance to bitter that can not only fuel our personal potential, but our metabolic potential as well? Bitter has some beautiful secrets to tell, some powerful wisdom to teach us, as well as a special impact on our chemistry. Here's what I mean:

  • 5 Surefire Ways to Transform How the World Eats

    Maybe I was an Italian grandmother in my last life, because so much of this life is essentially devoted to helping people eat healthy food, while having a healthy and satisfying relationship with that food. When I look at the nutritional status of planet Earth, my heart aches. We manufacture strange concoctions that only vaguely approximate real nourishment. We unknowingly feed our children toxic pseudo-foods. Our taste buds are hijacked by industry-created chemistry that hooks us to the point of addiction. And in countries where we have more than enough to eat, people are too often weighed down by disordered eating. The topic of nutrition is no longer merely about our individual heroic quest for high-powered health, but an issue that grips all of humanity. The challenge to feed the world - in a good way - is huge. So, what’s a reincarnated Italian grandmother to do? Actually, there’s a lot to do.

  • Is There Hope for Your Eating Challenge?

    Every day, I'm impressed and humbled by the sheer number and variety of eating challenges that so many people seem to face. An eating challenge might mean that someone simply is eating the kind of poor quality diet that industry and media shoves down our throats that robs us of the birthright of true health. Eating challenges could mean the desperate desire to lose weight, and the absolute frustration of trying so many different kinds of diets and strategies that fail to give us long-term and sustainable results. Eating challenges could mean overeating, binge eating, disordered eating, and the many ways we reject our human form, perhaps even hate it, and try to morph it through diet and exercise. I've watched too many people spend a lifetime struggling around food. Perhaps the silent question that consistently runs through these challenges, like a quiet river, is this: Is there hope?

  • Women, Food, Sex, Pleasure and Weight – Do You Know the Connections?

    For those of you who are familiar with my work, you know that I love to discover and illuminate the unseen connections in the world of health, nutrition, and consciousness. Indeed, if we truly want to advance the field of eating and nutrition, or any field for that matter, we need to be courageous enough and original enough to see into the hidden Web of Life. For me, connections tend to reveal themselves as I continue to cultivate openness, and deep listening. Sometimes the hidden architecture of the universe is indeed hidden from our vision. At other times, it’s right in front of our eyes, but we simply hadn’t noticed. The great linguist and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said, “It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.” With that in mind, I’d love to share with you these thoughts around the connection between women, food, pleasure, sex, and weight:

  • A New Way To Lose Weight: Listen To It

    Here’s my new excitement: to get real and truthful and edgy about the gigantic subject of weight loss. Let’s all see if we can put our collective mojo together and spark something new in the weight loss conversation. Let’s invent some useful insights that have a chance to further the action and help us discover who we are and why, as a world, we keep growing more and more plump. So, in the spirit of pioneering a new trail in the still uncharted territory of weight, allow me to offer something that might sound a bit confusing, but I think is helpful:

  • The Secret to Fixing Any Unwanted Eating Issue

    For so many years, I’ve been a professional fanatic when it comes to self-help and personal growth. I think it’s done me some good – but I could surely recall a time when I was convinced I was broken.

  • Are You Spiritually Fat?

    Early on in my career, I knew a woman who made a particularly good living out of being professionally “beautiful.” She was the quintessential model actress singer. At a dinner party one evening, I couldn't help but notice how much she was loving her food. She ate with a passion that was unexpected to me. I didn't even realize it, but I somehow had the assumption that she would be the type who controlled her food, her appetite, and her body weight with absolute rigor and austerity. I remarked to her husband “does she always eat like that?” He laughed and said, “no one would believe it, but it's true. She has a love affair with food, she eats what she wants, and never gains a pound. And except for walking and yoga, she doesn't exercise. Everyone wants to know her secret.” To which I replied, “I bet her secret is pretty simple - good genes.” I didn't notice it, but she was listening in on our conversation, and she quickly corrected me:

  • What Is Your Nutritional Dream?

    As a youngster, I was profoundly moved by Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. And still to this day whenever I listen to it again, shivers run down my spine. This is arguably the greatest speech ever delivered in the history of recorded speeches.

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