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Relationship with food


Our personal relationship with food is a very complicated topic in our society. I have heard how family of origin, trauma, culture, stress, allergies and personal temperament all impact our relationship with food.  There are many emotions that are also associated with food, such as shame, guilt, sadness, joy and excitement.  Its a complicated topic indeed.  On top of this, we have our biology!


Binge eating is heavily influenced by our survival mode which is influenced by our brain neurology and hormones, and so it is not always caused by emotional feelings alone. You could have no emotional triggers and still binge eat.  Again, complicated. I state this to let my readers know I come to the topic of eating from a very compassionate angle. 


Also, if you emotionally eat it does NOT mean you necessarily have an eating disorder. I can address emotional eating within health coaching and emotional eating counseling.  Most can relate to eating emotionally in some way – eating for comfort rather than quenching hunger, is in fact NORMAL!  Though, emotional eating is a spectrum and sometimes (but not always) emotional eating can turn into binge eating. Either way, its more healthy to focus on learning how to change your relationship with food, the goal is  not about weight loss, its changing your relationship with yourself.  

When we start eating, we go into a relaxation response (aka parasympathetic response, or “rest and digest” response).  As humans, we digest really well when we’re calm, so we shift into this relaxed state as soon as we start eating. Our breathing becomes deeper, our heart rate decreases, muscles relax, etc. and we calm down. So, yes emotional eating serves a natural process. But long-term addressing and listening to your true emotional needs without food, will help you better serve yourself.  


A note about binge eating

Emotional eating tends to operate on a continum, from emotional eating to binge eating.  In fact, there is no DSM diagnosis for emotional eating and would not be covered under insurance as medically necessary. Binge eating has a feeling of a loss of control, strong desire to stop eating but can't, eating done within a 2-hour period, usually done alone and then eating for variety of emotional situations (anger, stress, depression, anxiety).  Emotional eating involves eating for other reasons besides hunger and happens often enough that it is impacting your health, but you feel a sense of control over your eating.  Binge eating is best addressed as a team approach to treatment. Besides counseling,  I also recommend full physical and nutritional support. Please read more about binge eating here at this link. 


How I work with our relationship with food

I work with you using the concepts of intuitive eating and mindful eating, along with EFT (tapping) to manage not just the thoughts and emotions but also the habits that are ingrained within your neuroanatomy. 

Intuitive Eating and mindful eating is about building a positive relationship with food and your body.  This approach is associated more with weight stability, the goal is not weight loss. Weight stability vs. weight cycling is a very important determinant of health, as conversely, weight cycling may increase risk of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Yes, a  side effect of weight loss may occur but to mistake Intuitive mindful eating to promote weight loss would directly interfere with the process of changing one's relationship with food,  because its an internally based process not an externally based process that is solely based on the size of one's body.  Philosophically weight loss as a goal, would also reinforce weight stigma issues and continue with a diet mentality of restriction and shutdown.

It has been shown in research that "dieting" and restriction leads to binge eating behaviors - where the goal should be to cultivate a healthy relationship to food, mind and your body.  A mindful and intuitive eating goal is to help you begin to build a strong sense of trust and resilience by listening to yourself.  In addition, lets not forget the fact that our brains are primed to binge in the first place, this education can begin to lessen the self-shaming statements I often hear from clients. :-)


Ugh Dieting! The impact on our mind and body when we "diet"

  • Encourages Weight stigma

  • Maintaining an overly strict diet is so hard: You’re fighting nature when you try to cut out foods your body craves.  Having healthy limits ( ex. reduce sugar and processed foods) is appropriate but some diets are so restrictive that they only encourage yo-yo dieting later.

  • So easy to become preoccupied with food and make weight loss connect to your worth.   If you see your weight as something you need to “fix” about yourself and think of not sticking to a diet as a personal failure, that’s an unhealthy place

  • It is making  food the enemy

  • Feeling guilty when not eating diet foods.... The ultimate goal is to cultivate a healthy relationship with food, where you value it as fuel and value the way it makes you feel.

  • Turned on body defense mechanism in order  to confront another famine so your body will self-induced survival by slowing metabolism

  • Fad dieting doesn't work but....we think it will be different this time


Several studies also found that the most effective way to lose weight was to limit, not completely restrict, foods that contribute to health problems. Those foods include things like added sugar and processed foods. 

Dieting is the biggest trigger for restrictive eating and binge eating.  The goal with working within disordered eating, is not another diet! Instead its all about a shame-free relationship with yourself. 


I look forward to working with you on your own path of wellness


Health Coaching


​I am a national board-certified health coach and wellness enthusiast, personal yoga teacher, meditation/mindfulness coach and motivational expert, 


 Study shows the benefits of health coaching for chronic conditions!    


My hopes as a health coach:

I empower individuals to discover and embody their unique version of optimal health, allowing them to thrive and reach their greatest potential. I work understanding how your behaviors, habits, emotions, motivations, stress management and even time management helps or hinders your health goals. I am not a licensed nutritionist, doctor or a nurse as our roles are all different. Many times a doctor will suggest that you make lifestyle changes, but making those changes may not be as easy as being told to what to do! Habits, motivations and our emotions play a huge role in our ability to change.  

Health Coaching is about behavioral and habit changes.

A health coach can spend the time to help someone figure out what their personal health and wellness issues are and help them develop strategies to overcome them, whether it's that they want to maintain healthy weight for your body, cardiovascular fitness, reduce stress, sleep better or lower the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  

I support clients in creating positive daily habits in a few of these lifestyle pillars: nutrition, hydration, movement, sleep, self-care, stress management, connection, nature, mindset and purpose.

With customized daily practices in each pillar, clients build a sustainable healthy lifestyle that is uniquely crafted to their goals and values.

What is a health coach:

A health coach is really an overall wellness coach - its also called lifestyle medicine. I will help you determine what your health goals and we work together to help create actionable steps to reach them.  A health coach gets you “unstuck” by helping you figure out what’s keeping you from reaching your health goals. As your health coach I can make regular checks in with you by email and video telehealth, usually over the course of at least three months. During those conversations,   I can ask questions to get you thinking about how you can overcome challenges while also celebrating your success.

Studies show that working with a Health Coach significantly improves eating habits, quality of life, blood markers, and mental health.. It is often through small, incremental, and enjoyable changes in our ordinary lives that extraordinary results occur.

How health coaching works:

  • First, I do not tell you want to do!  I work with you to help you reach your goals.  We work collaboratively together to address your concerns and also focus on your accomplishments (so you can do more of what works!). 

  •  I help you find your inner motivation! I use motivational interviewing with solution-focused coaching to help you self-motivate. 

  • Depending on your goals and interests I can teach you several ways to reach your goals by maybe implementing new habit setting, resources for healthy eating, mindfulness, tapping (EFT), stress management skills, personalized yoga workout, breathwork and motivational coaching.

  • I hold you accountable to YOUR goals: Reaching health goals on your own can be challenging. A health coach can be a gentle source of accountability, providing encouragement as you make progress. 

  • Meet on a regular basis or as needed via video platform 

  • Email support between sessions

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