Nutrition: Listening to Your Body

In the nutrition course I am taking as part of my Health Coach training we are learning about Dietary Paradigms. One that has really resonated with me and I think might be the most difficult to learn is, the body knows what it needs.  Your brain might not be able to decipher what your body is telling you, but again the body knows what it needs.

talks about in her article, Food Cravings & What they’re Trying to To Tell You, you crave chocolate when all you really need is some magnesium in your diet. Then in the blog post, Beat Cravings from Discovering your Happiness she says, “While you might crave for something sweet, your body maybe is lacking the mineral chromium, which can be found in beef, kidney, carrots and broccoli.”

What are you telling me?

Sometimes we may get confused and believe body is telling us it needs a sweet treat when really our mind needs some form of comfort. If your go-to is a bowl of cereal or a piece of chocolate you might not be lacking in some vital nutrients at all, but you are lacking in some awareness about how you are coping emotionally.

Sit With It

What can we do about this? How can we tell the difference between a mineral depletion and an emotional one? We want to be healthy and listen to our bodies, but what the hell is it trying to tell us? I would suggest if you are having a craving and you want it, go for it.  If you are having a craving and there are feelings or guilt around it, maybe sit with it for a little bit. What is this craving really telling you? Should you just take a multivitamin or up your beef and broccoli consumption? Or is it something more? What was your day at work like? Do you find comfort and relaxation savoring each bite of that piece of chocolate or pizza or whatever. If you decide to go for it and eat the treat really pay attention to how you feel as you make the decision to eat it, as you walk to the kitchen to prepare it, as you sit down to eat it, while you are eating, it and after you are done.  Take not of all of these moments. If there is a lot of emotion around it, you might have some emotional eating going on that would be worth exploring.

Is there something else you can do to comfort yourself?

  • Journal
  • Read
  • Call a Friend
  • Take a Bath
  • Make a list of all the meals you want to cook next week. (This could easily lead down a rabbit whole of pinterest food porn. Which I find extremely comforting!)
  • Watch Netflix
  • Put on Pajamas and slippers and snuggle
  • Go for a run
  • Read health/fitness magazines like Oxygen or Clean Eating
  • Play games on your phone
  • Make some tea
  • Try aromatherapy
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Go to bed

When to see an M.D.

If cravings are persistent and you have tried everything, I would suggest consulting your doctor. They could run a blood lab and make sure you aren’t deficient in anything. From there you could always see a counselor, health coach, or nutritionist.  You have to do what works for you and ensures you are happy and healthy both physically and mentally.

My success coach told me yesterday that I need to dig deeper not wider. I believe this applies to this situation as well. Look into yourself for answers, your body does know. Honestly, you probably actually know more than you are letting yourself admit.


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Fitness & Nutrition

fitness help
Fitness & Nutrition are really important to me. I was a personal trainer for 3 years before my pregnancy with my second son. I, of course, have my ups and downs as everyone does. I generally try to eat clean, but I haven’t been awesome about that since the holiday season. As mentioned in previous posts I participate in about my various outdoor activities. Being outside is my favorite way to stay fit! Today I will give an overview of my views on health and fitness. In future Wednesdays I intend to dive deeper into these.


For years I had a membership to the local YMCA and I absolutely loved it. They had a great pool and tons of awesome classes. I chose to cancel the membership this winter. It was kind of expensive and I have another gym membership. Since I tend to do most of my workouts outdoors anyway losing that membership didn’t sting to much. I am a trail runner and mountain biker. My other gym membership is to Asana, a local climbing gym.Occasionally I will drop in to a class or purchase 10 packs to another climbing gym here and various yoga studios. I climb pretty regularly and it feels so amazing for my back and arms. Running and mountain biking pretty much take care of my core and cardio. I will do home workouts with dumbbells and some ab work. Next week I plan get into specific routines. For now I recommend Jamie Eason’s 12 week work out plan. This plan is very effective and easy to follow. She is amazingly fit and a very cool mom! Her Instagram is great. I love when people walk the talk!


Vegetarianism was my life for 7 years! I ended up going back to meat (and taking my kids with me) when I was going through my divorce. I was having a hard time eating anything at all due to the stress. One day my Dad made me a turkey sandwich and insisted I eat it. I often think of going back to being veg. My boyfriend’s Mom is going vegan and I have considered going along with her. She and I both agree though, my boyfriend is a very skilled and responsible hunter. He’s not one of these gun nuts that will shoot just to shoot. He only shoots to kill and he uses everything he can from a deer or elk. My (I’ll call her my mother in law for ease of explaining) MIL and I agree that if we do go vegan we will still eat the meat he and his friends bring home. I have a good friend that is a bird hunter and I would still eat the chukar and quail he gives us. For chicken I would allow when my Stepmom’s parent’s harvest their old stew hens. I have a coworker that raises chickens for eggs and I will purchase eggs from her farm.  I am lactose intolerant so dairy is not really an issue for me anyway!  I realize what I have just described is not vegan or vegetarian at all. I wouldn’t go around claiming I was either. My main goals for nutrition are to eat as responsibly, sustainably and compassionately as possible.  My sons are educated on our food choices but I would never deny them a food then want. IE if I do go completely vegetarian and they will want to eat meat, I would still happily prepare healthy meaty meals for them.
What you are about to read will make you think I am really into “diets” but I don’t do “diets” per say. I believe eating is a lifestyle and fad diets are really unhealthy. I love challenges fitness and food. Sometimes I will do weird random cleaneses and such for the fun of the challenge. As far as diets go I have taken any stock into these two; the Eat Clean diet from Tosca Reno and 6 Weeks to Clean Eating from Seal Fit.
  • The Eat Clean diet is very easy to follow and very healthy. You merely stick with lean proteins (chicken, turkey, bison, elk, fish, eggs, nuts etc.), healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, fish, nuts etc), and complex carbs (fruits and vegetables).  She recommends you eat 6 small meals through out the day, but I personally think you should eat when you are hungry. When I am not gorging on holiday foods and alcohol this is my ideal diet. It makes me feel FANTASTIC!
  • 6 Weeks to Clean Eating is a great way to reset your eating habits. I really like this!
    • Week 1 – Eliminate Cheese
    • Week 2 – Eliminate All Dairy
    • Week 3 – No Wheat, Rice, & Corn
    • Week 4 – No Sugar
    • Week 5 – No Alcohol
    • Week 6 – No Meat

(These build so by the end you are basically eating nuts, quinoa, and fruit and veggies)

I have done it fully and completely once and then I jumped straight from that in to the Eat Clean diet and it was fabulous. The summer I did this and combined it with working out regularly and my other activities I was healthier than ever.  I was even healthier than when I was a Personal Trainer (cert through NASM and APEX)! I think the not having alcohol for two weeks was really beneficial as well. I went to a couple music festivals and it was nice to know I can still have fun even with out drinking.
Sometimes I think about going back to PT, I really loved it! I just hate sales. I have considered getting my Health and Life Coach license through the Health Coach Institute.  A good friend has done it and she is so good. It is pretty expensive so I am going to let her be my mentor and Health Coach for a few months while I finish paying off my credit card debt and then I will consider signing up. For me it isn’t about money, its about helping people. I would have been a counselor or life coach in another life.
Would you ever use a health coach? What are your favorite nutrition plans and workouts?
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